Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas in Florida

So, this is how they do it in Zephyrhills, Florida. You can see some of the carolers thought it a bit cool and wore sweaters! (It must have been in the 60's for goodness' sake!) Our love and condolences to you guys back in Michigan!


"Here we go a-caroling..!" The reindeer to the left is Rudolf, and the reindeer to the right is Olive. (You know, like in the song, "Olive, the other reindeer...")


Kalimba, harmonica, guitar, fiddle, and off camera to the right--auto harp!
Judy played the jingle bells and took the pictures.


What's wrong with this Christmas picture?


There's a smart Alec in every crowd and at every age!
Some things you can just count on! Ain't it great?!

We had lots of fun with the folk from Country Aire Village. We even got cookies at some of the stops, which made it a little tough for our harmonica player, Percy!
Percy also lent us the use of his computer when we couldn't get ours to work.
Thanks, Perce!  You're our hero!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our Great Adventure begins...

This update is under construction.  Just check out the pix and come back when we have the story filled in!

 Judy, standing among the giants at Hartwick Pines as we left Michigan.


 A Michigan rest area with a road workers theme...


Some of the folks at Town & Country Church in Shelbyville, In. 



Our hostess in Nashville, our lovely youngest "child," Jordan (a musical force to be reckoned with!)
(The old man with her is The Old Man.)



           Christmas Village at Stone Mountain, Ga.

Eight lanes of EEEEK!
Who knew Atlanta rush hour started before 3:30 on Friday afternoon?!  Everyone but us. 
(The sheepish figure in the foreground has been our dashboard sentinel for many years.) 


Judy and Whitt at The Crimson Moon Cafe, Dahlonega, Georgia.

We promise more to come soon, so come back later, okay?
(If you haven't been here before, check out the past updates...Previous reports are more interesting and complete.)



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Officially Homeless--er--On the Road!

Yes, it's true. Those were our taillights departing Michigan after a quick stop in Hartwick Pines. In 14 years in the north country we had never made it there to see the 350-year-old "old growth" forest. It was worth the side trip. Beautiful and quiet, the old woods showed us her fall colors and whispered goodbye. 

Then we high-tailed it downstate to "Live from the Living Room" in Pontiac for our last Michigan stop for the year. Dennis Kingsbury and Maggie Ferguson (the event's hosts and promoters) were as great as ever, and we really enjoyed the songwriting (and playing!) of Barbara Barton, who was the co-act for the night.  (Dennis is becoming one of Whitt's favorite songwriters.)

The Apple Festival at Kendallville (Indiana) was a blast, in terms of both heat and fun! (Crowd was estimated at 50,000!) We met people from all over. They come from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio to experience this festival year after year. All the vendors and entertainers are in period costume, as were we, thanks largely to the help of Toni Felmlee and Susan O'Rourke. There's a slew of old-fashioned fun, like hand pulled merry-go-rounds for the kids, civil war encampments, demonstrations of folk art, music (of course), Abraham Lincoln (he liked us!), magicians and a full stage show revue! All of it free! The food was amazing as well, from apple cider slushes to haystack (apple peel style) potatoes, and even candied pork!  (No, we weren't feeling that adventurous!)

The bad news is, our camera chose this time to go completely dead, so no pictures. We hope to have this remedied soon!

One thing was missing as we enjoyed a night at Chain O' Lakes State Park in northern Indiana: our Michigan pine tree air fresheners! Boy, are we spoiled!  (This is a beautiful area just three miles south of Albion, IN, and the showers are really hot!)

Now we're in Valparaiso, IN, to perform at an open mic Thursday evening at Front Porch Music, a music store and coffehouse.  As always with open mics, we're hoping the guy who does the booking for their concerts will actually be there to hear us!

Next, it's three shows Friday night at Ed 'n' Joe's in Tinley Park, a bedroom community to Chicago--wonderful restaurant and the chance to spend a little more time with great new friends.  Hopefully we'll get some pix this time, but you can click on "past news updates" below for a look from the last time we were there.

We'll be in touch at the next stop!  Don't forget you can leave comments in the guest book or just email us.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Accosted in Mecosta

We had a great time in Mecosta--a village just slightly bigger than Mt. Misbegot.  One marked (pun intended) difference being live local radio happening there--a phenomenon these days! Mark Ray is responsible for a popular Sunday morning show called Local Talent Round-up. It airs from 8 to 10 am on True Country 106.3 WSCG. Tune in if you get the chance...talent from all over Michigan.

Mark and his wife Alice (who co-ordinates the Mecosta Music on the River concert series) were our hosts,


and completely responsible for our dining at Michigan's renowned "Maxfield's" restaurant, where we feasted on...

VEGETARIAN ALERT! Our vegan friends and PETA members should turn away. 
The next two pictures and accompanying text contain graphic depictions of amphibian carnage.

...Frog Legs!Yummy!and we liked em!
They taste, as you may or may not have heard, like chicken, only with a lighter flavor...not a bit pond-ish!



Yeah, we know...more info than you needed, probably...just keepin' it real for our street cred.

End vegetarian alert

Anyway, we had a lot of fun playing in the park--so much so that Mom and Dad had a hard time getting us into the car afterwards.  A wonderful audience who came out just hours after a prodigious downpour, sat amid very moist grass (hardy folk!), and sang along and laughed a bunch (or was that croaking?)

Here's what we looked like 'way back then...


Next time we appear on the river, it'll be a benefit for amphibian amputees.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Up or Down is a State of Mind

No disrespect to the great state of Michigan (state motto: "You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a pleasant peninsula") we're the ones in the confused state. First we're downstate, then we're upstate and basically we're just in a state and should be lying in state, flatly stated.

Port Huron is some hours south of us and we looked forward to playing at The Raven Cafe, nestled in one of the oldest buildings in Port Huron. It's beautifully restored and redecorated as a multi-level coffee house and cafe. When we read "elevated stage" we had visions of perhaps 4 or 5 feet off the floor...when we arrived we were escorted to the stage and were greeted by this:


Yup...A trap door in the ceiling! Now picture Whitt hoisting my trunk and washtub bass and all the other paraphernalia that we use.  The stage ceiling was literally two inches taller than Whitt's head. If he'd a-been wearin' cowboy boots he wouldn-a fit!  Suppose it should have occurred to us that The Raven would have a crow's nest.  Whitt's favorite part was the sign on the top side of the trap door reading "Please keep hatch shut."  Yes, that would be an unfortunate misstep!


This should have been a tip off that things were not going to go as anticipated!  (He climbed down when we started to play, and just sat sulking in a mug of something foamy.)

Fast forward to August and we're in The Soo. The Mackinaw's 50th anniversary... Lake Superior as awesome as ever. The horizon is Canada and includes trees and enormous wind turbines.                            

We had a great time at the Soo Locks Park doing a concert in the Park.  Our camera batteries (company motto: "There until you need us") chose that time to die so we don't have a picture to share with you...

Spent two nights playing at The Corner Pub. Who knew Sault Ste. Marie was such a happening town at 2am?  Probably the police.

Check back later for some pics of the 25th Sault Ste. Marie Arts Festival!


We'll leave you with this shot we call "Big Propeller,"  having neglected to jot down the name of the ship whence it came.  (Whitt insists true salts call these "screws," but we decided to go with "propeller" for titling purposes.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Two Successfully Circumnavigate Globe

Ok, maybe not the whole globe, but 1,125 miles later (we can’t even think about it in terms of gallon$) we’re right back in Mt. Misbegot.  We met lots of good folks and acquired a new battery and alternator-all good things!  

Ed & Joe’s is a wonderful restaurant & pizzeria in Tinley Park, Illinois. 
It is Chef Kevin Kincaid who puts it over the top for Chicago-area eateries.
 We enjoyed what we had thought would be a light salad and wound up taking half home.
 The stage should be so big! (Plans are to enlarge it.)  If you’ve seen us perform, you know the amount of clutter we have to move in to accommodate Judy’s many bizarre musical proclivities.  We made it all fit in front of the hand-painted silhouettes of Kevin and Annie, who perform there often. We would be ungrateful indeed if we failed to give a shout out to Hall and his friend, who were our best audients!

At the Rhubarb Festival in  Kankakee, we enjoyed Annie Kincaid on violin and guitar, and her Mom on hammered dulcimer, in a turn-of-the-20th- century one-room schoolhouse. Very cool.

The Indiana Samboree was held at the Boone County Fair Grounds in Lebanon, we were greeted by the always-friendly Good Sam folks.  The ladies in “hospitality” showed off some gorgeous orchids that are brought to the Samboree each year and served as hostesses of the coffee, lemonade, iced tea, ice water, and oh-so-many cookies!

The theme  “Christmas in May” provided the basis for an amazing display--lights, ornaments, centerpieces, life-size Santa, snowmen, a lighted lawn display and a lit nativity scene! 
We really admired the creativity and diligence of the many volunteers, and, of course, John & LouAnn Vaughn, Good Sam directors extraordinaire for the State of Indiana. 
Everything ran like clockwork!

Here’s what the crowd looked like on the first night,
before the other half of the happy campers arrived!

                  (That's John & LouAnn in the front row, right-hand side-isle side)

We headed for Detroit and the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market (where we once again forgot to take a picture, @#*#%&*!). On any given Saturday morning some 2500 folks typically stroll by...or stroll by typically.  They were generous folks, too...even sold some CDs!

The Steak Hut decided, at the last minute, to close for Memorial Day weekend,
 so our little “southern tour” ended at Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak, MI. Known for its delicious barbecue and blues, it’s the site of John D. Lamb’s Songwriters Showcase once a month. On the panel with four very serious, talented young singer/songwriters,
 we were definitely the comic relief. 


Overall this was a great “shakedown cruise” for us as we prepare for touring; but it was all made like a vacation by the generous hospitality of the Kincaids in Illinois and the Dosters in Royal Oak. What a treat to spend time with bright, creative folks who share our sense of humor (at least they pretended to!) and love of music!  That’s the best part of the whole experience.

We'll close with this great pic of the MS pig kicking back, oblivious to the heady smell of barbecue sauce wafting through the room!

Remember, it the road rises up to meet you-you've fallen down!

Friday, March 30, 2007

April's Fools

Now that we've thawed enough to feel our fingers again, we
thought we'd limber them up by contacting our friends.
First we'd like to invite you all out to The Annual Palm
Sunday Concert this coming Sunday
, April 1st (no joke!), at the Comins
Community Center just 2 blocks east of M33 in beautiful downtown Comins. It's a
free event, open to the public and has been so popular they keep having to find
larger places to hold it! It starts at 5 pm and there'll be a dozen or so
different musical groups--bluegrass, country, contemporary and, well-- us! It's
always an uplifting time of music, fellowship, and cookies!  (Wives, don't
forget to mention the cookies to your husbands!)
In other news, we just enjoyed participating in
Handrich Farm Supply's 60th Anniversary celebration. These are great folks, so,
be sure to see them for all your dairy cattle feeding, milking, and manure
equipment!  (Tell 'em we sent you for a discount on teat dip!)
Even though we have set the Ripley's record for longest departure
time, we are actually looking at finally heading downstate in late
and plan to keep on going. Our route at this point wends through
Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia and then ultimately
Florida in December (ahhhhhh!). We plan to go missing from
Michigan from Oct through April annually. We'll have a cell phone number by the
time we leave, and, of course, can always be reached via email no matter where
we are!

Stay tuned for a Popeye cartoon.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Brothers, Farmfest and MWT

 Hi Y'all,

Mistakenly thinking we heard the ice break,we're coming out of hibernation to play a fund raiser for Farmfest this Thursday (Jan. 25th) from 6 to 8 pm at Brothers Coffee & Tea, 416 W. Main, in Gaylord.

There is no cover charge. but a tip jar will be convenient, and your alms will help bring live music to northern Michigan via Farm Fest.  Stacy Jo says she'll have some free Farmfest booty there to give away, and Brothers will have a it's usual delicious hot soups, wraps, sandwiches and desserts for your listening and dancing pleasure.  Whitt says "Don't say 'booty'...Someone under 50 might read this."

If you can make it, (or even if you can't) we'll be performing from the crack of evening (6:00 pm!) until their regular "open mic" begins at 8:00. So, leave work early (tell 'em you have to visit sick friends, and you won't be lying!) bring your instruments, and join in the fun! We'd love to see you.  It's so lonely out here on the tundra!

Whitt & Judy