Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harper and Midwest Kind July Blog

Hey everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the summer.  My band Midwest Kind and I are on the road in beautiful Oregon and Washington, USA as we speak.  We have been hitting the road pretty hard this summer, but it has been a lot of fun.  In late June we had a very cool tour to Colorado for some Australian Didge-ucation Library performances then on to amazing Utah.   We performed at the fabulous Groovefest in Cedar City, Utah.  Great audience, loads of cool vendors with interesting jewelry and clothes.  We had a fabulous show and really enjoyed the Reggae band after us called "Stranger".  Then it was on to The Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City.  This festival was huge with multiple stages and an eclectic mix of music, art and theatre.  We saw the Australian theatre group who perform on stilts called "Strange Fruit" which was a unique experience.  Our show at The Park Stage, closing the festival was a huge buzz.  Big crowd and good vibes all round.  We really enjoyed playing The Wine Cellar in Ogden, Utah, so nice to catch up with owner Mitch and his awesome staff.

Then it was Salt Lake City to Ottawa, Ontario Canada.  Not the best routing but the festivals were amazing.  The Ottawa Bluesfest is beyond huge, up to 30 000 people per day, multiple stages and many many amazing bands.  We performed on the Black Sheep Stage with the Honey Island Swamp Band.  They had big screen jumbo trons at the back of the stage.  It was kind of bizarre to look behind you and see yourself ten times bigger than life.  After our set Bobbi and I rushed over to The Bell Stage to catch up with bass player: Ross Valory after his set with Journey.  There were literally 30 000 people in front of the  Bell Stage.  We had special Journey back stage passes, so we had a really close up view of the band.  It was cool to hang out with the wives of the band and to see the band after their killer set.  Our Saturday show on the Claridge Stage was fun.  This stage was huge, complete with even bigger jumbo trons on either side of the stage.   The sound, back stage crew, hospitality at this festival were fabulous.  We hung out with Matt Anderson and JJ Grey back stage.  Had a lot of fun. Even got to see Lady Gaga drop a load of F bombs during her performance..  Despite that, she did put on an extravagant  show with her 24 tour buses and 150 person crew and entourage.  The next day we headlined the final day of Sab Stock in Pembroke, Canada. This was a very nice ending to a great tour.

The next week I performed ten shows in seven days- the highlights were Jamming in Jackson, Briggs Farm Festival and Blues in the Vineyard in St Catharines, Canada!!!   No Rest for the Blessed!!!! Hope to see you out on the road this summer.

Thanks and Peace,

Harper and Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) CDs    Australian Didge-ucation (for live video clips)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Harper and Midwest Kind June Blog, 2014

Happy July 4 everyone,

Just back from amazing Utah.  Such breath taking scenery and Colorado's Rocky Mountains weren't too shabby either!!!!   Now we are heading to Canada's Ottawa Bluesfest !!!! We have an amazing festival season going right through to the end of October, which will include a short tour to Australia.  The first festival of the season was the fabulous Camp Jam in the Pines in Buena, New Jersey.  This was the second time we performed at this festival and we were certainly not disappointed.  Very cool folks and great vibe.  Our drummer Greg Sauceda and guitarist Mike Howe picked up an extra gig with Paul Ceber and the Tomorrow Sound as some of their guys had their fights cancelled in Wisconsin and couldn't make the show. You never know what can happen on the road!!  Amazingly the gig went very smoothly and most were none the wiser !!  The following week we had the pleasure of performing at the grand opening of The Celtic Ray in Lexington, Michigan.  We were very shocked to see a lot of the staff from the sister club- Celtic Ray in Punta Gorda, Florida in Lexington.  We performed a double bill with the very talented duo - Brigid's Cross in the adjoining Theatre- The Lexington Theatre!!  The new pub is absolutely stunning.  I think Kevin Doyle and The Chief  will have a huge success in this new pub!.

Early June saw my band "Midwest Kind" and I performing at a few Michigan festivals- Blues in the District in Kalamazoo,  Pumpstock in East Lansing and the Nor East'r Festival in Mio.  Its always nice to play festivals in your home state.  We had great shows at all and got to see many old and new friends.  I did a harp workshop for the kids at Pumpstock and also a harp and didgeridoo workshop at the Nor East'r Festival.. A huge thank you for the great hospitality and good times!  Bobbi and I had a few days up in Traverse City, Michigan for three Australian Didge-ucation presentations.  We took our Kayak along with us plus some bikes in the hopes of doing some Kayaking and bike riding in between shows.  Unfortunately the weather was not too cooperative- so the Kayak stayed on the roof of the van.  We did get to ride our bikes though.  We also had the pleasure of working with a group of blind teenagers and adults at The Braille Camp up in Lapeer, Michigan.  It was such a beautiful experience and so very fascinating to observe how people can see through their hands and ears.  We played some didgeridoo and even got a three part harmonica blues jam going!

Hope to see you out on the road this Summer!!

Thanks and Peace,

Harper and Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) CDs    Australian Didge-ucation (for live video clips)