Showcasing in the Northwest!

 Surf dog at the Pacific!

Surf dog at the Pacific!

Hello Beautiful VIP members!  The last several weeks have flown by, and now we are encroaching November already!  Hope you’re Autumn Season has been beautiful, and that perhaps you’ve had some much needed R&R, or quality time with loved ones, or adventures in nature, or all of the above!  We’ve had you in our thoughts as we’ve traveled along the fine state of Oregon, and here are a few stories to share about this fantastic Northwest tour. 

We landed in Baker City, OR. two hours west of Boise on Fri. 10/5. It was a blustery, stormy day so we wondered how many peeps would come out that evening.  We loaded in Barley Brown’s Brew Pub on Main Street in our usual fashion….begging one of the fella’s at the bar to help us up the flight of stairs in the back, then through a small, hobbit door, 4 feet tall, 5 feet wide, to a stage 12 feet above the brewery floor below.  As the evening unfolds, I try to stay away from the edge of the stage as vertigo tends to set in after a beer or two. 

 Juno sacked out up in the loft. She would occasionally look down at other dogs and wag her tail our Francine and Lynda.

Juno sacked out up in the loft. She would occasionally look down at other dogs and wag her tail our Francine and Lynda.

So we’re setting up, and low and behold, two of our VIP members from Washington surprised us by showing up to the Show!  It was Francine Henderson and her good friend/traveling compadre, Lynda Russell!  They decided to spend the weekend getting to know Baker City a little better, and kicked off their time with some B&K music!  How cool was that?!  The pub was packed that night, and our CD’s were very popular, so between the great company, new listeners, stellar food and brews, and of course, getting to play at this wonderful local hang out, we were happy campers!  We thought, “What an incredible great start to our tour”, and we couldn’t have been more right!  Thank God! 

 Shane is the sweetest guy.  He and Mo look like characters from Kung Fu Panda in their fun hats!

Shane is the sweetest guy. He and Mo look like characters from Kung Fu Panda in their fun hats!

We joined Francine and Lynda for breakfast at the infamous “Lone Pine” downtown at “foggy-thirty” and were graciously gifted with their time, gifts of the heart, and breaking bread together.  Thanks ladies!   You made our day! 

Then we made our way via John Day to the Sisters, OR. to visit our friend, PJ.  We drove through John Day National Fossil monument, and what an extraordinary landscape to behold!  The drive to Sisters from Baker City via the Sumpner Hwy is gorgeous, especially during the Fall, but we found ourselves very tired after nearly a 6 hour drive, so we were grateful to land in the woods of quaint, little Sisters.  Had a hot tub, and did our best to shake off the anticipation of what was to come next week at the conference.   Also made plans to mountain bike some single trek trails on our way back through in two weeks. 

 Beautiful drive from Baker City to Sisters

Beautiful drive from Baker City to Sisters

We made our way to Eugene the next day and landed at our friend, Wendy’s apartment that was like a beautiful decompression chamber.  She had books that inspired us, and spoke to our hearts, inspirational messages and art on the walls, and a quiet, meditative balcony overlooking a grove of trees.  The hummingbirds frequented the deck all day long.  It was a true Oasis, and exactly what we needed to rejuvenate and unwind with the rigorous Arts NW booking schedule ahead.

 The Holt Performing Art Center…in Eugene. They liked our act too and asked us to play next year!!! Wowsa!!!

The Holt Performing Art Center…in Eugene. They liked our act too and asked us to play next year!!! Wowsa!!!

 We hit the ground running on Monday with a workshop by Patti Morrison. Her company is called “Inner Fire, Outer Light” and she helps artists find their vision for their craft and put it to work. Her talk was called “How to Quit your Day Job.”  Well, we are already so blessed to be doing this full time with your on-going support and encouragement, but we never stop growing as artists, and it’s important to continue to find ways to expand and improve your act, so we thought, this would be a good starting point.

 Juno making friends IN the exhibit hall at the conference. Anyone who has treats and is close to the ground is a perfect friend in her book!!!

Juno making friends IN the exhibit hall at the conference. Anyone who has treats and is close to the ground is a perfect friend in her book!!!

We learned we’re doing some things really well, but our systems for tracking and follow up with folks needs improvement.  She asked specific questions that made us realize, we need to work on our vision and get as succinct so we can manifest more success in our musical career, and have our music  best serve our world, and enrich our lives too.  We won a free consultation with her on Wed. 10/31 so we’ll keep you posted on what we discover so that you too, can help us hold the vision for this musical career going forward. Collective focus and energy is the key to manifestation. We can accomplish anything with enough minds holding the vision.

 Juno was better than cookies, candy, and even beer to lure the presenters over to our booth!!! She was also a great stress therapy dog for all conference goers!

Juno was better than cookies, candy, and even beer to lure the presenters over to our booth!!! She was also a great stress therapy dog for all conference goers!

We were offered a showcase spot for this year’s conference, but it wasn’t until Wed. evening at 8:45pm, the last night of the event.  We’d been searching for just the right songs that would capture what we can offer to the talent buyers, and once we selected the songs, we practiced it, and practiced it, making sure it didn’t exceed the 12 minutes allowed for the showcase. 

Our sound check was at 7:15pm, and we were an easy set up because we were the only band without drums.  However, somehow Nicci’s tuner pedal got reset to a half step below, and we couldn’t figure out why we’d tuned, but were not in tune.  So as we entered this Twighlight kind of zone, with that oh so familiar surge of heat and sweat that overcomes your body, Nicc finally figured out what was wrong, and we got it all together, and sound checked, after the mini heart attack. Wow, that was a trip!  The Universe likes to test us every now and again…..

For our set, we performed four shortened  classic rock tunes (Marshall Tucker’s “Can’t You see,” into “Summertime,” then a little of “The Letter,” by the Box Tops, but in Eva Cassidy’s style, and of course, a little “Folsom Prison” by Johnny Cash.”  And then we offered up our recent ballads, “Only the Lucky” and “Thankful.”  There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience when we sang Nic’s tune, “Only the Lucky.” 

Our artist friends and talent buyers alike finally understood what our music can do; move people into gratitude and joy.  Touch that tender part inside that’s been so eager to express itself, but kept so tight under wraps.  It’s challenging to describe the musical experience B&K can offer people, but when they actually experience it, then their interests were perked.  The executive director, a well-known presenter, and Sundae and Mr. Goessel (artists from Seattle, WA) gave us big fat squeezes when we came off stage, saying “We killed it.”  Love that feedback, and I believe we’ll get some good work out of this conference.  They start booking in November for their 2019/2020 concert series, so keep your fingers crossed.

 Meeting up with friends and collegues is part of the conference experience. Here is the lovely Sundea & Mr. Gossel!!!

Meeting up with friends and collegues is part of the conference experience. Here is the lovely Sundea & Mr. Gossel!!!

We were approached by talent buyers from Seaview and Port Angeles, WA; Redmond and Eugene, OR; and Crescent City and Red Bluff, CA.  Also Salishan Resort on the coast of Oregon near Newport.  We watched showcases from other artists each day of the conference, attended keynote speaker luncheons, did the dine around with some of the talent buyers, sat at our exhibit booth for hours each day talking to folks, and meeting other artists, and agents.  We even joined the entire group for karaoke the last night.  It was great catching up with old friends, some of which had been signed to an agent since we last saw them.  Juno was a big hit with everyone, and got us some good action at our booth, so darn cute and personable.  Who can say no to a waggy tail, right?

We left for the coast Thursday afternoon and landed in Lincoln City!  The weather was absolutely beautiful the entire weekend! What a blessing to have such exceptional coastal weather in the middle of October.  We played at a quaint little bookshop/café in Newport called “Canyon way” that has been in operation since the 1970’s.  While we donate our time to perform, there’s a tip jar on each table.  Most tables were reserved, about 15 total, and folks sat and listened with open hearts after they’d enjoyed a most splendid, home cooked meal.  We did really well, and folks bought CD’s, and signed up on our mailing list.  It was a feel good evening, and we were grateful to have been invited back to play for the community again; the last time had been in June.  The drive home that night to Lincoln City, though only 45 minutes, felt like 2 hours, we were so exhausted from all the escapades at the conference, and hadn’t had time to really digest all the information we’d taken in.  Needless to say, we slept like rocks that night, even Juno too.

Saturday we prepared for the house concert at Rudy’s Piano bar in Lincoln City, and we’d offered to bring appetizers since they weren’t hosting house concerts anymore, but had made an exception for us knowing we were coming through.  There were about 45-50 folks that attended, and it was nice to see everyone again.  This crowd listened temporally with their heads, but had a hard time getting to their hearts.  Still we took them on a journey that brought everyone together. Intermission was a lively time of everyone catching up with one another, and I was grateful that Rudy and Marilyn had opened up their home again to allow this special community bonding to re-occur.  It felt good to be an instrument in people coming together. Isn’t that what music does?

Sunday was our free day, yeah!  We took a stroll on the beach, did a little shopping in the quaint, novelty shops of downtown Lincoln City, and had some appetizers and a drink at our favorite lounge in the Spanish Head!  Ocean views as far as the eye can see, 10 stories up!  We had the perma-grins sitting on our “perch”. What a fabulous way to end a very successful tour! 

Monday morn came quickly and we buggered off back to Sisters for our epic bike ride!  We’d come full circle, traveling 1290 miles, with over 24 hours of driving time.  We had a nice quiet evening, Nicci and her friend, Kathy sharing their new songs with each other.  PJ and I listening with quiet appreciation.  And that hot tub never felt better! 

 A bike ride in nature…our obvious happy place after all the business!

A bike ride in nature…our obvious happy place after all the business!

Tuesday we made tracks downtown to rent mountain bikes, and skedaddled into the mountains on Peterson’s Trail; 30 miles of single trek trails through the wilderness, and only 6 blocks to the trail head from the bike shop.  It was an absolute blast!  We rode over rocks, through small openings between the trees, through gully’s that were tricked out, by lava beddings and outcroppings, all amidst the vastly wooded forest.  I could hear Nicci hoopin’ and hollering in the distance. She left my ass in the dust cause I was a little more cautious, especially going downhill.  We definitely had some cheap thrills! 

We rode to an overlook point of the Sisters mountains and three fingered Jack (also a mountain, not a man with only 3 fingers), and took in the incredible panoramic views!  12 miles and road hard, thank God for the new suspension on bikes these days.  Hard seat though, and our butt muscles have yet to recuperate from all the activity, but soooooooooo worth it!  We hadn’t done a bike ride of that caliber in at least a decade.  It felt good to blow the carbon out and also take time to do something enjoyable and athletic in nature.  We’re always off to the next destination it seems and rarely get the opportunity to do these things, so we felt really good about making this special little treat happen.  We’ll never forget it!

 Spectacular view up up up 6 miles!!! Then down down down…whew whoooo!!!

Spectacular view up up up 6 miles!!! Then down down down…whew whoooo!!!

We got back late Wednesday, a long 8 hour drive home on Hwy 20 through Burns.  At this point, as we were unloading the car, everything seems to weigh double of what it normally does, but we managed to get all unpacked, then went downtown to our favorite pub, Bittercreek, for a burger and brew.  A wonderful way to end a wondrous tour!  And thank you again for coming along on this magic carpet ride with us! It keeps the proverbial flame of our music alive!  Namaste to each and every one of you! 

Take the best of care, and we’ll be in touch soon!

Mo and Niccole

 

 Home to 45 bags of leaves to pick up! :-)

Home to 45 bags of leaves to pick up! :-)

 

 

Exploring the Depths

Hey Friends,

 We’ve been thinking of you and hoping you are ebbing into the shorter, cooler days with some reverence for “slowing down” and getting into autumn mode!   We caught the general population up with our blog we released last week.  Funny, as I was writing the blog last week I was very happy that all of you knew the inside scoop because that general blog was a doozey and many details were left out (like the pile of ladies in the van at the winery in California! LOL!)

Mo did a great job keeping you up to snuff on that tour and I wanted to go into a bit more detail about the lake at Alturas and my inner experience with this conference coming up in October this year.

We were moving and a grooving in July and also August, but we had a chance in August to just ‘STOP’ for a little while.  It was amazing!  Never in our musical career have we stayed in a campground for over a week solid!  It was unheard of and something we definitely want to repeat! 

 The cool part is that we had gigs all around the vicinity in the Stanley/Sun Valley region, so it was a “working vacation” in some senses.  After our crazy 8 shows a week, we landed at a serene campground and we parked our chair by the lake.

 I was empty, out of gas, content but tired.  I sat there. No book, no phone, nothing but the water lapping on the shore and a relatively quiet campground.  My mind first drifted to a revisit of what we have done this summer, last week, and then it got “macro” with, “what are we doing in general with our music…or lives?”   

I felt ever so grateful to be sitting by the lake, and even though the air quality was poor, full of smoke because of all the fires in the region, I felt truly blessed to be in company with Mo, Juno, and this still body of water.  Water has always been so healing for me.  Mo and I are both water signs, perhaps that’s why we blend pretty easily…..infact, Juno is too! (Just made that connection…I swear she has some “fire” in her though ha ha!!!)  Juno absolutely LOVES the water (as many of you witnessed from the face book video). 

 I broke my paddle board out of its box that trip. It had been in that damn box for over 4 months!  “How ridiculous”, I thought, “not breaking this out sooner”.  But in all honesty…when did we have time?

 I brought my bicycle too! Her name is Xena! (I hadn’t been on it all summer either!)  So now was the time!  I paddled out to the middle of the lake.  It was still, like a mirror.  No wind.  I laid down and went into a deep dreamlike meditation. 

 Something about those still, quiet moments…something I can’t place my finger on or put into exact words came over me.  I felt changed forever!  As I laid there looking up at the mountains I closed my eyes and imagined the water beneath me; so deep and so cleansing. With each deep breathe, I could feel the fullness of the lake, and an  energetic shift that overwhelmed me with gratitude. 

 All that I was ever miserable about was “make-believe”.  It was a story I told myself and I could STOP telling myself a miserable story at ANY TIME!  It was as if my Spirit guides were talking to me.  It was quite incredible.  

 No one’s life is ever what it seems on the surface.  Like that lake, we all go deep.  We all have inner wounds that need healing.  We all look one way on the surface but we have a depth that sometimes even we don’t understand. 

I laid there for an hour.  I drifted.  I stopped.  I hit the refresh button as this beautiful place filled my soul and gave back to me the depth that I know I indeed possess and I am here to help others remember they have too!  It was so awesome!  I felt like I dropped 50 pounds of emotional wreckage and the water just washed it away.  I touched the center of my soul, so to speak, and I liked who was there!  In fact, I loved it!  AND, I let myself love it!   

How often do we get uncluttered enough to simply acknowledge ourselves IN our being-ness?  Right?  We are all humans walking a path. We all have been dealt some cards (good and not-so-good).  All we have to do is love ourselves and each-other.  It’s that simple, but that gets clouded over. 

 The lake washed this away for me…and THEN!!!

We played at Redfish lake a day or so later.  Normally when we go to the mountains, the altitude is something of a challenge. The Red Fish gig has a “status” tied to it. We are the ONLY all female band to play it all season (so sad but true) and it can be a bit of mind game to feel worthy of landing this gig due to the amount of folks who wish to play it and how few dates are available. So we consider ourselves lucky!

 And this year, the parking angel opened a spot, friends helped us easily unload or equipment, and when my mouth opened I felt my voice resonate from the depths of my Soul.  I could have held a note for 10 minutes it felt like!!!  I was blown away!  It was as if I took the lake with me and was unafraid to go deep!  Unafraid to sing a song which allowed people to cry and feel! It felt a bit freeing, to see folks emote freely, and know that this truly is part of my/our calling.  It’s what I’m here to do!  It’s what you’re here to experience! What a gift!

I may have felt this in my past on some level…but I truly got it this time!  And I feel our shows have been different ever since then.  I’ve been wanting to feel deserved, to be “worthy of being on stage” etc.  And for the most part I’ve been really feeling it.  I don’t ever take this gift of playing music for granted.  But to have my heart SO OPEN and so calm and so intuitive…holy cow it was awesome!  And surely if I can keep my cup filled, I can help others fill their cups too! It’s simply magical! 

 And isn’t life funny how it gives you a chance to exercise what you’ve learned and what you “think” you know.  Next month we’ll be playing a showcase at the Northwest Booking Conference in Eugene, Oregon.  This conference hosts many musicians, dancers, comedy acts, etc. and the talent buyers come to select the acts for the coming year’s line up. 

 It’s basically…a big freaking deal.  So keep your fingers crossed!

 We were selected to showcase (another big deal and quite an accomplishment in its own right) which means we have 12 minutes to perform our “magic” to the talent buyers and also in front of our peers.  Hopefully, many will love what they hear from us and wish to book us at larger (more lucrative) venues, like theaters, festivals, and concert series all over the Northwest. 

 We have exactly 12 minutes!  Not a second more!  They will pull the plug on you if you go over.  Mind you, most of our songs run 4-5 minutes long! 

 So, yesterday Mo and I sat down with a formula for the showcase because I was getting nervous that we haven’t yet prepared for it and it’s coming up Oct. 8-11th. 

 We decided to do a montage (truncated version of songs) 4 classic, active, fun songs, so this means we are taking the best out of some songs like; Summertime, Can’t You See, The Letter, Folsom Prison to show our diverse covers, then plan to have some good old fun and create a BIG sound with the 2 of us, ending with “Only the Lucky” and “Thankful.”

 People often put us in the ballad box, or country.  Nothing wrong with that box, but it’s nice to be versatile too.  So, if all of you can say a little prayer for us the 2nd week of Oct. while we are at the conference…we would be so grateful. 

 These conferences are usually something I dread, but it really comes down to taking this opportunity to fully believe in ourselves.  Music constantly gives us a chance to step out and “in” to ourselves.  It can be quite a vulnerable place. I will draw from my meditation from lake Alturas and also from all of you who so generously support us and believe in our music!  Having you behind us brings so much more confidence to the stage!  We will keep you posted and let you know how it goes. 

 Meanwhile, I hope you all are adjusting to the Earth shifting on it’s axis and finding beauty in the changing of the leaves! 

 

Be well! 

 Lake Alturas 2018 - Juno is quite the proud “surf dog”.

Lake Alturas 2018 - Juno is quite the proud “surf dog”.

 

Niccole

 

 

Throttle Pinned!

 

Hello Beautiful VIP Members!

Happy to take some time out to catch up with you on our latest and greatest, some not so greatest, travels!  It’s been a whirlwind, let us tell you! So glad that you’re on this musical journey with us!  Helps keep the pep in our step, and a smile on our faces! Especially when you're playing in sweltering heat!

Well let’s back up a smidge….last we shared we’d been in CA, and had a great time aside from the transmission dying and getting a speeding ticket just after entering the Idaho border after a long 10 hour drive at the end of our 3 wk tour.  Guess you gotta take the good with the bad, huh? Ultimate duality in effect, putting all in to balance in some glorious grand design we’ll never fully understand.  Sounds like the line in a “BEAUTIFUL” song….ha ha!

Well we hit the ground running upon our return from CA. doing a retirement party the next day in 103 degree heat, and then a Celebration of Life/Memorial the following day. Had the week off to lick our wounds so to speak, then played another private, and early church service Sun. Don’t forget about the B.O.O.B.S. (Bustin out of Boise) benefit sandwiched between the two gigs in sideways rain and thunderstorms.  A 6 hour endeavor to help raise money for this dedicated non-profit helping folks get through cancer treatment. We’ve done this benefit for 10 years now. The set is 4 hours, and not for the weak of heart by any means.  But it's part of our journey to give back and help whenever we can, and we bring the best of who we are to these benefits knowing that we're making this world a better place one day at a time. 

On average we’ve been playing 5-6 nights a week, sometimes 2 times a day and the throttle is wide open!  Talk about being amped 24/7.  Usually takes us 2-3 hours to settle down after a gig….yes, going to bed at 1am not so bad, but getting up at 8am to play a gig the next day, as it would go sometimes,  brutal combination.  Like your feet aren’t going to hit the ground for a day or two so be tender to yourself, kinda thing.  Don’t make any quick or sudden moments…..could be catastrophic.  The plane must land!

On Sat. 6/16 we were heading home late from a house concert we did honoring our VIP Blazing members, Mark & Bonnie Benson.  From 20 miles away we could see the Cloverdale Bridge on fire, flames exceeding 70 feet off the highway, and our hearts sunk.  We knew something tragic was happening. We took an alternate route home, and later found out that 4 Mountain Home Air force base men lost their lives in that crash. Can you imagine, having served your country for all those years, being in hostile territory, life or death situations, and then to lose your life as a civilian on the highway?…….it’s a bitter pill to swallow.  Moreover, if we’d left the party 10 minutes earlier, that could have been us trapped in between the flames of that commercial vehicle. We sent prayers to all the victims and their families, our hearts breaking with news of the tragedy.  Grateful, once again, to be alive, and be doing what we love.  The gifts of  life unyielding, until it’s time to hang up the proverbial hat. Makes it all that more important to start attending to the things on our bucket list….

Speaking of bucket list, we’d always wanted to go to the Old Time National Fiddle Festival in Weiser.  We’d heard from multiple people and musicians how amazing and life changing this festival was, so we wanted to see what it was all about!  We’d made arrangements back in March to camp and see the competition, and didn’t get a single booking during that usually very busy weekend in mid June, so off to the races we went!

A clear lesson in “things aren’t always as they appear.”  We pulled the trailer up Thursday, and ran into our good buddies Sue and Ellen, (also VIP members) passing through from Mt. Vernon WA. Super cool treat to have dinner with them, but the temperatures exceeded 100 degrees as we gnawed on our burgers and fries.  Our campsite, turns out, was in the direct sun, and we have no A/C.  Fortunately we did not have our precious Juno puppy. She would have melted along with us. Either way, the outcome was not good. But she was rather comfortable in Aunt Jackie’s air-conditioned home and big back yard with play mates! 

We were going to stay all weekend and enjoy the fiddler’s fest, but we found the event to not be what we expected.  Instead, we were falling asleep during the competition,  probably due to the extreme heat, but it was very scripted, songs were truncated (shorted) to fit the formula, and you weren’t allowed to clap until after they’d done their quintessential 3 song set (We learned that the hard way).  We were thinking that there would be songs in the round with other bands, or perhaps a “play off” where several bands or more did a “face off.”  No such luck, it was very serious…..we, on the other hand, were far from serious, and quite delusional!

We had a show the next day in Halfway OR. Drove the 43 mile, 2 hour drive through Hells Canyon to get there, and decided not to turn back. We were full of the fiddle fest experience, and home was calling us.  We kicked off the Summer Concert series in Halfway on a Friday night 6/22 and tried to find refuge in a nearby church parking lot to sleep in our camper for the night, as camping options were minimal. Seems reasonable, right?  Well apparently this church likes to mow their lawns at 5:00 am on a Saturday morning, the day before Sunday service,  so that was our wake-up call the next day!  A giant mower driving right by our door in the early A.M.  Time to move on B&K!!!  Screamed from their doorstep. And so we did!  Wow, getting home never felt so good.  Especially when sleep deprivation is your middle name. 

In Nicc's delirium she playfully wrote a little "diddy".  *"Don't go parking at the LDS, don't go thinking that you'll get some rest, oh no....no they have a lawn to mow."  We laughed all the way to Baker City where we had to land in a residential area and shut our eyes for at least another hour.  Could have been more sleep without all the commotion of the neighborhood and diesel trucks driving by.  The world, turns out, can be a very loud place! *Note- we have LDS friends too, so this little song is not meant to offend.  It's basically where Nic's mind goes with very little sleep. She gets witty when a bit delirious!   This is THE ACTUAL RECORDING from her phone.  We attached it below (Nic does all that techy part, thank God!) 

OR. TOUR 6/27-7/6/2018

Packing up for Oregon was a lot of fun! It’s like playing Jenga when we pack for a trip.  Everything has its own spot, every crack and crevice is accounted for, and you’re lucky if you get 3-4 inches of space to see out the back window.  Juno gets the best seat in the house, 4x4 on a cushy, self cooling pad, yet rarely sleeps there. She rather insists on sitting between us on the console, and falling asleep for brief periods of time with her head drooping, just like grandma and grandpa used to do.  She doesn’t want to miss a thing!

We drove to Bend Wed. 6/27 and landed at our good buddie and former drummer’s place, Scott Lindbloom in Bend. It was wonderful to catch up with him and Katie, his girl! They’d just gotten back from Iceland, so they had a lot to share.  We played “out in the sticks” of  Sisters, OR for a house concert the next evening. That was an interesting experience, but so much love in the small room of folks.  The three jack Russell/corgi dogs made things quite lively at almost all times!

Friday 6/29 landed us in Newport, OR on the coast where we played at Canyon Way Restaurant and bookstore.  That’s right, the last of their kind, an actual bookstore in Newport.  They had great food, lovely people, and a listening crowd.  Our wages were not guaranteed, but we were up for the adventure.  There was a tip jar on each table, and while not stated aloud, the culture of the place over the years implied “if you like what you hear, show your appreciation in the tip jar.”  We had a family from Boise, some gals from Eugene that had seen us 3 years ago, and Francine and Lynda from WA, our VIP members show up to the show, which made the experience that much more wonderful. Thanks Gang for coming!

The Pixie Festival in Lincoln City was like nothing you’ve experienced.  A beautiful family throw back of a restaurant from the 60’s that used to serve all you can eat steak and lobster.  The kind of place where you’d get a pitcher of tea, coffee and water on your table as soon as you showed up, instead of waiting 20 minutes just to order your drinks.  They’d also opened an amusement park nearby, thinking perhaps these iconic landmarks would put Lincoln City OR on the map. While it did not survive more than 10 years, a whole generation or two remembers this place on the coast, and that it was as magical as Disneyland. 

We played both Sat and Sunday, right on the ocean at the Chinook Winds Casino, and froze our patooties off!  They’d tried to block the stage with two large trucks, but instead created a wind tunnel that blasted us with a steady flow of chilly wind…..now we’re not complaining, but we were so grateful for our vests who’s collars went up past our ears, and  Nicc was so happy she still had long hair at that time, great scarf!  Really fun time watching all the kids play games based on Pixieland trivia, and kids and adults dressed up as Pixie’s  (kind of like a naughty fairy without wings), and families having a great time on the rides, and dancing to the music.  Definitely a blast from the past, and we were happy to be a part of it.

We took Juno to Pacific City and threw the ball for her in the ocean, she’s very brave!  Played for a 4th of July party at our friends, Jenn and Mary’s in Lincoln and had about 30 folks pass the hat. Kind of an informal house concert.  Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating so we had to end the set early, our entire sound system was wrapped in plastic bags and duck tape.  Then we watched the fire works from the end of their street, and said a special blessing of gratitude for the Independence of America.  We are all very lucky….

 Throw the ball mom! Don't be scared...I can handle ANY wave!!!  

Throw the ball mom! Don't be scared...I can handle ANY wave!!!  

We returned home to gobs of practice time with band members, Bonnie Johnson on electric lead, and Meghan Kelly Watters on Cajon to get ready for two high profile shows we had last week.  Twin Falls Tonight Concert series, 2 hours East of Boise on Wed 7/11, and the Mountain  Home Concert Series, 1 hour East on Friday, 7/13.  Both shows were in 100 degree heat, and the stage on Friday was directly in the sun.  We were lobsters!  But both crowds seemed to enjoy the shows, and we were very proud of our "waggie tail" band members for doing such a great job.  Now, we are so grateful for air-conditioning! Ha!   It also feels really good to be hired to perform regionally, and get compensated for your Art.  Beats driving 14 hours to the show!  Many hours on the road is very taxing on the body!  That’s why we try to eat very nutritionally, even on the road, so we can keep our health and stamina.  Makes a huge difference!

 Twin Tonight!  1000 people + 100 degrees = A hot good time!!!!  

Twin Tonight!  1000 people + 100 degrees = A hot good time!!!!  

This week we have 8 shows, 2 shows on both Friday and Saturday.  These are the weeks where we just focus on one day at a time, or you go into overwhelm.  Every day we wake up, we take in much gratitude with our first waking breath, and thank the Universe for the privilege of sharing our music with the world! And so we thank each and every one of you for being such an incredible support in this adventurous career.  Thank you for being the wind beneath our wings folks!  We are smiling widely thinking of all of you!  Take good care of yourselves! Be happy and healthy, and we’ll talk to you soon!

All our best,

Mo and Niccole

 The short hair...and that look!  It's good to be home again!!! 

The short hair...and that look!  It's good to be home again!!! 

 

 

California 2018!!!

B & K CALIFORNIA TOUR:  MAY 16-MAY 31ST, 2018

Well hello friends and favorite fans!

We sure did carry you with us in our "pockets" on this recent California tour!  3 weeks on the road and 2,400 miles. As many of you know, our motto is “Go Where the Love Is,” by Edie Brickell. Well there is nothing more comforting and supportive than to think of all of you, our awesome fans, that keep the wind in our sails when we’re playing to a rough crowd.  Collectively, it was a tough crowd to play for in California…..We found ourselves saying, “What the hell can we play for this audience that’s going to move them?” But each time we had that question mark over our heads, we’d come back to remembering all of your support and beautiful faces; a smile, a head bob or two, maybe a foot tap….you’re appreciation and support of our music frankly gives us the fortitude to keep on putting our music out there!  If it wasn’t for all of you, we would simply be out of a job.  We sincerely thank you for being on this journey and celebrating music with us! You are making the “Dream” possible!!!

We got a late start on Wednesday, 5/16. Had to do all the necessary yard work before peeling out of town!  Mel Wade’s in Reno, NV was our first destination, and we made good time!  However, about 100 miles from Reno, we drove into the blackest of blackest clouds, lighting, and torrential rain, I mean CRAZY RAIN!!! Talk about a white knuckle experience!  Took awhile for the backsides to relax after all that adventure with Mother Nature! We were so glad to finally land 8 hours later, and we cooked a lovely taco dinner for the ladies as we sat tableside, catching up on what’s new.  Holly, their beautiful and playful lab/mutt mix was the best playmate ever for Juno!  We were thoroughly entertained all night by their antics!  Wish we could bottle that kind of energy!.....

IMG_5217.JPG

Friday night, 5/18 landed us in beautiful Quincy, CA for our double billing show with Mel Wade and bassist extraordinaire, Gia!  If you’ve never been to this quaint and historic mountain town, put it on our bucket list!  There’s really a lot to see and do in the vicinity, and the forests are robust and majestic!

IMG_5218.JPG

So the West End Theatre in Quincy was a wonderful spot for community to gather!  It was beautifully done, with state of the art technology, and the owners, Edie and Earl were incredibly hospitable.  They even extended their place to us and all of our doggies for the night!  Most of the seats were full at the show, and the audience, though we could not see a single one of them because of the blinding stage lights, were full of applause and accolades! We were especially grateful to be sharing the stage with our good friend, Mel.  Hope some of you got to see the live stream of that show (downloaded on Facebook)!  Niccole strapped her phone with Velcro to the banister to get a good view for you!  Flipped it on and off in between sets!  Pretty amazing! It made a difference to have you all there with us!

We had to get a “Move on!” Saturday morning because we had an 8 hour drive to Paso Robles ahead of us to get to the next show on time!  “Get me to the church on time!”  Love David Bowie!  We followed the beautiful Feather River on our way past Chico, my old college stompin’ grounds, into Gilroy, the garlic capitol of the U.S., and along the coastal highway past San Luis Obispo, to our destination.

We stayed with these folks that someone had recommended because they were ‘music lovers.’  It was a last minute arrangement, and looked a whole lot better than the hotel rooms starting at $250 a night!  This “Farm” was like stepping into the Twilight Zone. There were 4 dogs, all rescues, and quite sketchy; 3 cats, only evidenced by the hair; 9 horses, and a donkey.  We drank beer and ate pop corn for dinner. (Bill had a real popcorn maker like you see in the theaters!) We also enjoyed burnt blueberry pancakes and charred sausage for breakfast.  I had to flick a few pieces of hay off my plate before serving up, and politely flicked the dust off my chair before sitting down, but hey, that’s why we have laundry mats, right?  They were a lovely couple, a bit zany, but incredibly hospitable.  They even came out to see us play at Eberle Winery the next day, bought our entire compilation of CD’s, and T-shirts, vowing “we’d stay in touch!”  We are welcome anytime, and what a wonderful offer, especially if you like “magic carpet rides!” 

One of the great things about being an entertainer is you get to “watch the show.” Folks may or may not be watching us, but we are scanning the crowd and checking out all the action. Eberle Winery’s grounds were absolutely gorgeous and pristine, everything in its place!  We watched people come and go during our 4 hour set.  The wind was pretty steady that day, about 30 mph, so the gig posed some challenges for us.  The highlight was that our dear friend, Trudy showed up to the show!  Drove 175 miles from Camarillo to surprise us, with a delicious spread of fresh strawberries, and stayed for the entire set.  Not only is she one of the first endearing friends that we met in Boise 15 years ago, but she is also one of our Blazing VIP members!  We are so grateful to all of you that help keep the live music scene alive!

IMG_5261.JPG

We got a kick out of a big group of 20-something gals, wearing barely anything, dancing and singing to our cover tunes, and jiggling and giggling around! We played all of their favorites (Nicci’s intuited that) and then asked “who’s getting married?”  The gal seemed to have a bit of a question mark over her head about it, and some of her friend’s head nodded, “don’t do it! Well Nicc gave the bride to be our “Joy in the Ride” CD, and played her “Only the Lucky.”  Wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as they all huddled close and hugged one another.  It was definitely a bonding moment that we got to bear witness to. We also learned that wineries in California are the most lucrative shows, and clearly the most entertaining, especially after they’ve had a few glasses of wine.

We drove the windy coastal road to Morro Bay that evening and stayed at a cute, little Airbnb pad.  We loved the wharf and giant monolith that you could see from all directions.  The pelicans were diving for their lunch as we ate our lunch.  We walked the beach and Juno frolicked about with reckless abandon. Saw an abundance of sand dollars like we’d never seen before, but didn’t take one. Just admired them and waited for high tide to call them back to sea.  We also got the pleasure of watching a pod of 20 sea otters in the bay, just kicking back in the seaweed beds and grooming their newborn babies.  Some of the juveniles were wrestling and playing in the background; a regular National Geographic moment!  Really amazing!  Then we visited the local farmers market in  Los Osos and got some pristine fresh produce and home-made hummus, yummy!

IMG_5287.JPG

We performed 4 songs at a weekly event called “Songwriters at Play” down on the wharf that evening. We just followed all the folks carrying instruments to find the venue. We saw some incredible talent from all over the U.S. and made some great connections.  A highlight in particular was meeting Jill Knight, the headliner act that evening. She tore it up!  Her first paid gig was in Savannah, GA when she was 15 years old. Been playing steady since then, and is quite an icon.  Also a kick in the pants! And her doggie, Linus and Juno became fast friends too!

We had an instant connection and believe there may be some great musical opportunities with her in the future.  We each gave a toast “to our fans” recognizing that we wouldn’t have the privilege of sharing our music if it weren’t for folks like you that wanted to hear it! Morro Bay and the vicinity were definitely one of the highlights of our tour, and we were grateful to hang our hats there for a couple of days to recuperate.

 A beautiful array of colors!  I've never seen so many "dollars" in one place!  We did not take ONE home...it just didn't feel right to take them.  So...we took a picture to share with you! 

A beautiful array of colors!  I've never seen so many "dollars" in one place!  We did not take ONE home...it just didn't feel right to take them.  So...we took a picture to share with you! 

Our next destination was Trudy’s citrus farm about 3 hours South!  60 acres and 6200 citrus trees!  Amazing Oasis!  Juno danced all over the orchard, chasing birds and bunnies, and retrieving an occasional lemon or two that dropped from its branches.  The hummingbirds blessed the gardens.  It was nice to spend some QT with Trudy, and the property lent itself to much peacefulness and relaxation.  We had a gig at “The Greater Goods” in Ojai the next night, 5/24. That show was a bit challenging in that they had a local opening act play from 7-8 pm and by the time we played at 8:15ish most of the folks were falling asleep in their chairs, and ready to go home!  Well you can’t win em’ all….

 I never knew a dog that liked lemons!!!  ????  Goofy pooch!  :-) 

I never knew a dog that liked lemons!!!  ????  Goofy pooch!  :-) 

Friday we made the long drive through the outskirts of L.A. stressed to the gills because our transmission light had come on, and we were hard pressed to get to our next gig at Vintana Winery in Escondido.  We landed at our hosts and had a tour of their beautiful 9,000 square foot home, affectionately referred to as the “Spa.” Our room had a stuffed zebra, a zebra pelt on the wall, the head of an Impala ( From Africa), and a bed spread and matching carpet of tiger stripes. It was quite something, and Juno barked at the Zebra every time she noticed it. We all got the privilege, including Juno, to swim in their pool and take a hot tub, with expansive views of the ridge line, and Lake Hodges below.  We were on Safari!  Juno was relentless fetching the ball, too exhausted to even climb the stairs out of the pool at the end of the night. Even dove down the slide to get it! She was a hilarious dare-devil, and her playfulness, a highlight enjoyed by all!

 Juno made friends of all kinds!!! 

Juno made friends of all kinds!!! 

We played a house concert/party at this residence for about 50 guests on Saturday. Our dear fans, friends, and VIP members, Janet, Dave, and Ben flew in from Boise to visit and see the show!  It was she and Julie’s long time friendship that got us to their door, and what a wonderful connection.  Even though it was a tough crowd, we made it through OK. What we mean to say is, there was a polite applause between songs, but we couldn’t help but feel like there was nothing we could play that would appease them.  They sat in their chairs, quiet and stoic, a general feeling of “Ok, dazzle me” permeated the scene.  Those kind of shows make you want to drink a lot, but then we just go back to remembering all your enthusiastic faces, and it puts the pep back in our step, so thanks again VIP members!  You are truly the gift that keeps on giving!

 Chillin' at the SPA, Nicc, Dave, Janet, Julie and Carol!!!  Wonderful Peeps!!! 

Chillin' at the SPA, Nicc, Dave, Janet, Julie and Carol!!!  Wonderful Peeps!!! 

The tail end of our trip was to get to Encinitas to visit Nicc’s cousin, Loann, and find a transmission specialist to figure out our ride.  Very important when you have a 16 hour drive across the desert to get home.  Well the prognosis was not good. Once the transmission was apart, you could see all the corrosion of the bands and clutches, the pan and filter layered with chards of metal, and the recommendation, to have it rebuilt with brand new parts.  $4,000 later, which was everything we made on tour, plus half on a couple of credit cards, we were off to Boise! 

We did enjoy the time we had with her cousin and beautiful Encinitas!  We even went to Sea World in San Diego to take our mind off things.  Got to take a roller coaster ride together (aside from the one we’re normally on). A super fun ride not yet shared in our 16 years of partnership.  One more thing checked off the bucket list!  Also checked out the lovely coastal town of Carlsbad!  The farmers market was so beautiful and fresh, that I couldn’t help taking pictures of all the pretty rows of goodness! So we made the best of this daunting situation, and counted our blessings! There are, after all, worse places to be stuck than Encinitas!

 Nicc's Cousin LoAnn

Nicc's Cousin LoAnn

We left Encinitas at 6pm Thursday, and drove till about 1:30 am, landing at a hotel in Bishop, CA to rest for the night.  Hit the road at 9am the next morning and made it home by 9pm that night.  Just in time to make good on our local weekend shows, both of which were private parties. We’re still recovering from the long road trip, but so grateful to be back in our hometown.  We really live in a beautiful community here, and this is reaffirmed every time we tour and come back home. We hope you liked the stories of our travels, and look forward to sharing some more stories when we get to see you again!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer, and have your own adventures to dive into soon!  Take good care of yourselves now!

All our best,

Mo and Niccole

Note from Niccole:  This is Mo's first entry on the VIP Blog...thanks Andrew for the idea and relieving me of my VIP duty from time to time  AND  I think Mo nailed it!  GO Mo!!!  :-) 

One thing I would have included is getting to tour the Larrivee Guitar Company!!!  Trudy got us in the door (which is very hard to do) and we met the makers of my favorite guitar!!!  I wonder if we toured Carvin she would have included that...ha ha!  It's already long enough I'm sure she was having to chop a WHOLE LOT out of this very beautiful trip!!! 

 Jean from Larivee Guitar shows me (Nic) the cool woods that make these guitars exceptional. (I already knew that which is why I play them, but I loved hear about the intricacies of these fine instruments!)

Jean from Larivee Guitar shows me (Nic) the cool woods that make these guitars exceptional. (I already knew that which is why I play them, but I loved hear about the intricacies of these fine instruments!)

 

 

 

 Doggone tired!!!! 

Doggone tired!!!! 

Austin/Zion & Mamma!!!

Hi Sweet Friends!!!

Well the California tour is “breathing down our necks” and we have been bopping around the country this last month.  We managed to cross two things off of our bucket list.

1.   We visited Austin TX

2.   We traveled to Zion and hiked Angel’s Landing!

Austin was fun as we got to visit the “Live Music Capitol” of the USA.  I really enjoyed it.  It could be a place where I could live as it reminds me of a larger Boise, yet I really liked visiting Nashville better.  Something about all the music during the DAY in Nashville I loved.  There is a lot of music in Austin but it’s kind of like here, you have to get out at night and we were staying with Bonnie who was 21 miles away from the “city limits”.  We DID,  however enjoy our free upgrade rental car!  A dodge Charger!!!  It felt like a common day, “Dukes of Hazzards” scene in that car!

We had a great time catching up with Bonnie and tooling around the town.  Eating the most amazing BBQ at the “Salt Lick” and renting these little scooters to get around the city.  They are like a skate board with a steering wheel and run on electric!  How utterly fun that was! 

We then geared up for Zion!  Mo and I had been through Zion but we ran from the tourists as it was in the height of the season in 2014.  I drooled over the map back then wanting to tackle Angel’s Landing. 

I was a bit worried I would be too out of shape to do it…but honestly, it was pretty easy…so the good news is…I’m not in as bad a shape as I thought!  Ha!  I really goes up up up in elevation.  But we left early and caught the shade and the views were spectacular!

So now…we have something new and something old for you to listen to this month!  2 songs!!!  One is from my solo album and since it’s Mother’s Day I thought…maybe some of you don’t have this album and would like this song!  So the song is “Mamma”.  And the second one is a cover many of you may enjoy “Wish you were here”. 

This was how I was feeling, “Mamma…wish you were here”.  So I thought it would make a good pairing! 

My mother was my greatest influence to this day!  She was a little lady, 4’10” but she was a giant in so many ways!  She taught me how to “walk in others shoes” and was the most generous person I’ve ever met.  She had a cackle that would shake the walls and was loved by simply everyone who met her! 

 Lois on her 21st birthday!  A woman of class and courage!!! 

Lois on her 21st birthday!  A woman of class and courage!!! 

I wish she were here with us but she passed (2002) and I would have loved for her to meet Mo and all of our friends.  I could only imagine how much fun we would all be having if she were still around. 

So as a salute to Loey (Lois), I give you; “Mamma”. 

I wrote this 2 days after she passed and sang it on her funeral.  People ask me how I did that and I tell them…she was RIGHT NEXT TO ME as I sung that song!  Truly!  And when I sing it to this day, I still feel her essence smiling upon me.  It’s a beautiful presence that she has!  She is always right there cheering me on!  I am so grateful!  In some ways, we are closer now than we ever were when she was alive. 

I feel truly blessed to have had the time that I did with her.  I miss her hugs, her cooking, her no-nonsense get to the point conversations.  The woman could go deep and had much substance.  She cut to the chase and told it like it was!  You could always count on her for an opinion and most times she was absolutely right.  I however at 14 yrs of age would never admit that then!  Ha! 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy both songs!  I haven’t had much time to muse in my own creations as of late and I don’t see much time in the future.  But I will still put up interesting downloads for you!

We appreciate you very much!  Be well!

Niccole & Mo

 

 

Interviews, House Concerts and Austin!

Hey Sweet People,

We are excited to let you know, we are flying off to Austin this afternoon!  WHAT??!!!   It has ALWAYS  been on our bucket list and we have the fortunate opportunity of having an invite to Bonnie's place as she is down there on work detail!  Yay!  You remember Bonnie, she is the amazing electric lead player from our Sapphire show! 

So we will get to pal around with her and survey the scenes of the music city we've heard so much about!  Ya know, the "bucket list" is long so...ya have to do it while you can!  

Other news on the home front. We hosted our very first house concert here at our place called "Black Dog House Concerts".  Many of you might have been there.  There was limited seating (36 people) crammed into our shop, but it made for a very sweet little show with Sundae and Mr. Goessl doing the entertaining AND the "black dog" Juno adding to the comedy!  :-)  I did post part of the show on the Fan Flare page for those on that page, check the video section if you would like to see it.  

JunoBug.jpg

 

We also had the privilege of one of our members, Mickey McKinlay,  taking time out to interview us.  She came up with some pretty great questions as the interview moves more in depth.  This will be a series of videos.  We had some technical difficulty as the camera kept quitting for one reason or another. :-/  Then uploading it to this page I found out I can only upload 5GB per week. So look for that in bits, but I hope you still like it! 

I'm sure we will have many stories of our adventures in Austin in which we will convey.  Our plan is to take a small little break before we trek to California and the summer details get running fast!  

Thank you for tuning into this corner of the website and joining us in our journey!  Be well and have a beautiful Spring season!!! 

All of our best! 

Niccole & Mo

Sold OUT Sapphire!!!!

Nicc at the Sapphire!

 

 

Hi Sweet People!

Well it took a couple weeks to “recover” from that EPIC time we had at the Sapphire this month!  How fabulous that some of you could tune in from our new “Fan Flare Face Book Page”.  What a great tool that we are looking forward to using as we tour around.  I liked how people could interact and send hearts or thumbs up and comment!  Thank you to those joining us from far away places!  AND…it was a SOLD OUT SHOW!!!  How fabulous!  So many that couldn’t get in, our VIP’ers  got FRONT ROW seats!  Yay!  For any of you that missed the “live stream” of the Sapphire show, you can go to your “fan flare” page and click on “video” and you will find that show.  

Also, all of you have a CD coming to you!  “Joy in the Ride” EP!  That was our surprise at the show.  Yep, usually you market a CD release way in advance but you know…I really enjoyed surprising you all with that! Even our members didn’t see that coming and I love the element of surprise and NEW!  New music!  Yay!

How did we go about this?  It wasn’t easy keeping a secret from many of you!  I was SO EXCITED!  Here’s the process.  I had finished these songs in late Dec.  and hadn’t even played them out very much in Jan. Mo and I recorded them in our shop on a little hand held recording device that I purchased a last year.  It allows me to record in such a way I can keep all the signals isolated.  What does that mean?  That means instead of one microphone pointing at us and capturing a “stereo mix”, we were able to isolate my voice, Mo’s voice, my guitar, Mo’s bass.  That way, when I dropped it into my recording platform I could blend the levels and I think I nailed the mix personally.  It’s the CD I’m most happy with and perhaps that is because I was in control! Ha ha ha!!! 

Really! All of my recording career I have been subjected to some man who really hasn’t ever been a fan of our music, sitting in the recording room blending us how he thinks we should sound!  Maybe he would think my voice needed “this or that” whatever his little contraptions were to run my vocals through that would wind up, in my opinion, deaden some of the naturalness out of the record.  It is ALWAYS a challenge to get the EMOTIONAL energy on to the record.  There are so many things about the recording process alone that can just beat the snot out of your songs, so it really is an art and you really need a good sound engineer to make it work and sound right.  I know to the average listener, this doesn’t really compute.  But this is why you are a member; to find out stuff like this.  Right? 

Anyway, I have all of you to thank! YOU supply the need for me to get new material onto the membership page and it forces me to “do it”! Ha! If I didn’t have people on the other end of this web corner wanting new material, my recording device would probably sit all lonely on the shelf.  Do I like recording?  Well, it can be exciting!  I love working on projects with other people and other musicians! That is a real gas!!! I love their interpretations and inflections on our songs when it lines up right.

 When it doesn’t, it really sucks!  Ha!  Hurt feelings can happen.  If we have to kick people off the record, ugh! That makes it tough.  But you don’t know unless you “go”.  Unless you lay down a track of violin and hear that it really sucks on your song, you won’t know that it doesn’t need this or that.  Most of the time I get a sense of what I would like to add, but half the time I have someone in the control room doing just that…controlling!    

So…how this delightful little “Joy in the Ride” CD came to be is…Mo and I sang it out in the shop.  I downloaded it into ProTools and rolled my sleeves up to better understand that difficult complicated recording platform.  And wah-la! There you have it!  Simple; just us!  No one else!  It’s our first EVER album like this and though it’s very stripped down and raw, I think it’s lovely!  I hope you all like it! 

The movie of the Sapphire show is now up on your membership page now and with Bonnie’s permission I added her song “From the Bottome” to the download section this month.  It’s an absolute GORGEOUS song that rolled through my mind weeks before the show.  She sang it to us and I asked her to play it after the intermission of the show.  It was a truly fabulous collaboration!

For those who weren’t there, Bonnie (is the blond in the video) plays electric guitar like a champ!  Her and I became friends about 5 years ago through a mutual friend.  She’s a kindred Spirit!  And when she is around in this town and we get a chance to play together it is such a fun time! She is an open heart and her soul shines through her music.  Pretty magnificent friend! 

 The one and only..."Bonnie Johnson"!  aka  "Bon-Bon"

The one and only..."Bonnie Johnson"!  aka  "Bon-Bon"

 

I hope you all are “enjoying the ride”!  Tune in next month!  I hope to have an interview up!  Our VIP member Mickey Mckinlay will be hosting some questions for us to answer!   

Enjoy Spring and Happy Easter!

 

Joy in the Ride

Greetings lovely friends!!! 

Thanks for taking some time to come read about our adventures and the next new song.  I am happy to have “Joy in the Ride” added to your collection of tunes from this membership.  You don’t know how awesome it feels to have a place for people to go who, “really want to hear that song”!  One of my main goals in building this membership page was to answer that call!

Now I can point listeners to our “cyber campfire” and they can have numerous tunes.  I am still “new” to recording and producing on my own but that being said, I’m getting better.  WE are getting better!  It’s funny, you hit that record button and suddenly screw ups occur out of nowhere! Mo and I have come a long way in that regard. And even though these tracks haven’t been “perfected”, they have been a pretty fun representation of the songs and our delivery. 

I am learning how to use my new “contraptions”.  I have a ZoomH6 hand held recording device.  This allows me to record us with better quality than say a cell phone.  Some cell phones though, are pretty magnificent.  But 9 times out of 10, the bass will be too loud in a recording.  (Mo…sucking up the spot light…ha ha ha!)  No, it’s really not her fault.  Bass sounds great in a live setting but in a recorded audio it can saturate the mix. 

For those of you that don’t know what a “mix” is:  A mix is how music tonal qualities are blended.  So not only the level of the instruments and voice, but how to present them (left, center, right) and how much timber or bass is included.  There are MANY tricks to this trade.  It is an art form all unto itself.  People in Hollywood and around the globe can get paid BIG BUCKS to produce albums as they catch the latest “trend” of sound quality.  It’s amazing because most audiences and listeners don’t really notice.  Or, they may notices but not make the distinction of what is happening.  Things like reverb, and delay…this is a sound quality.  These tools help “wet” the music so it’s not so crisp.  Compression helps to take the sharp edges off of harsh tones.  I use these things very sparingly as I really don’t know what I’m doing yet.  But “Joy in the Ride” I’m pretty proud of.  It’s truly US all the way!  Meaning, it sounds like we are in your living room.  That is my goal.  To make it as real and raw as I can, not all fancified and covered up with too many effects!

I did experiment with Mo’s voice and it was a blast.  Check out her harmony line ¾ into the song.  I was thinking of her beautiful ethereal voice and we basically grabbed that line, doubled it and put an effect called “hall reverb” on it…so it’s like she’s singing from heaven…or the shower!  Ha ha!!!  Anyway, it was fun…I had Joy in this Ride making this song.  I hope you enjoy it!  I really do hope you find our membership valuable and insightful. 

Many of you good souls don’t even check the page and I get it. Busy lives, and that’s ok.  I get too busy to record and write too, but this page helps me try, AND be accountable to you all.  I appreciate the “push”,  AND we definitely appreciate the proceeds! It’s been a tough winter and our puppy, Juno likes to go to the vet it appears!

She cracked her lower canine and needed surgery to extract it! Ugggghhhh!!!  We’ve been so sad about it.  She  has turned a corner and is doing much better now.  She’ll just have a hillbilly smile for the rest of her life.  Idaho dog!  LOL!  I need to teach her how to play banjo!  *Big smile*

I do want you to know, I’ve had difficulty with the go pro (video).  I’m a bit disappointed in that thing.  It was supposed to be user friendly and perhaps this “user” is a bit delayed!  Ha!  I hope to tackle that soon so the movies keep flowing.  For those of you NOT on the B&K Fan Flares group page on facebook; if you are a face book user hit me up with a “friend request” at facebook.com/niccoleblaze.  I will add you.  Some of you have popular names and I don’t know which “Ann Smith” to request.  ;-) 

If you are NOT on face book, I am looking into how to get movies more readily available to you so there is no latency of time AND my goal is to take you on a trip with us, live stream!  That’s been my goal all along.  I suppose I need to hire an IT person!  Ha ha!  We have to be our own camera girls, musicians, roadies and IT people so…it’s a bit tricky!  Hard to film yourself when you are playing LOL!

We do thank you for your patience in our learning curves with the technology AND thank you so much for helping us get through this winter with “dog tooth” issues and all! 

 That lower left is gone gone gone.... :-(  "Like a dog...chewing on a bone, your gums are bleeding, so you carry it home..."  -She wanted that song to be hers instead of Osa's!  Ha! Keep Facing the Sun!!! 

That lower left is gone gone gone.... :-(  "Like a dog...chewing on a bone, your gums are bleeding, so you carry it home..."  -She wanted that song to be hers instead of Osa's!  Ha! Keep Facing the Sun!!! 

 

Here are the lyrics to “Joy in the Ride”  (and chords for you guitar players):

Joy in the Ride 

(Capo 2)

A                     Bm

I hear you wrestled that monster down

D                                        E

You’ve tackled every chord and played every town

F#m                      E

Now your just making the rounds

D       F#m                                  E

Ain’t it a pitty, guitar strap on and your touring the city

F#m  E       D                               E

It can be a cold cold place- that mind of yours.

Bm

The magic left you years ago

D                                     E

This musical bull you were trying to throw
 F#                     E                                      D

Oh the horn twisted but the string broke

E                 F#m

You lost your joy in the ride.

D                 E

You lost your joy in the ride

A                      F#m

And the music dried up inside

D                E

You lost your joy in the ride

 C#m                 F#m     E

And the fire, in your eye

Bm

If getting there is half the fun

D                                                               E

What’s the other half when you’re all done?

F#m  E        D                           E

We all want to shine, here in the city

F#m                                             E

Guitar strap on and ain’t it a pitty

F#m  E                  D                                     E

It can be a cold dark sad song  - this tune of yours

(possible bridge)

Bm                                            D                           E

Recognition for all your ambition is going to fly

F#m    E                              D   F#m  E

On the wings of angels – it ain’t all gray

Bm                          D

There is beauty in what you know

E                                                F#m

More beauty comes when you let it all go

E                  F#m

And find the joy…in the ride!

Chorus:   D                    E

Find the joy in the ride

A                      F#m

Let the music bloom up inside

D              E                     C#m              F#m                    E

Find the joy in the ride, and the fire back in your eyes  X2

 E                     Bm

I heard you wrestled that monster down

D                                        E

You’ve tackled every chord and played every town

F#m                      E

Now you’re making the rounds

D

Here in the city

F#m                                          E

Guitar strap on and you’re looking real pretty

Bm                 E            F#m

You found the joy…in the ride.

 

 Thanks for being part of our very special team!!!  We love you!!! 

Niccole