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!.....

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.  

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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

 

 

 

 

New song and VIP UPGRADE!!!!

Hello Beautiful Ones!

You have all been on my mind.  I had my birthday celebration and then our puppy Juno had her surgery. She needed to be spayed and have her little “girl parts” worked on so she would avoid infections as an older dog.  Anyway, that felt like full time job! She just now has her stitches out, we had to watch her 24/7 for 3 weeks!  Ugh!  It was a time, let me tell you! She had ripped her stitches one week into recovery and that was costly. Plus she had to be put completely under anesthesia again to repair the damage.   And yes she had the “cone of shame” on yet she did not seem to be too shameful ha!  She’s a self-confident one, that girl!

 "I feel no shame....now, get this thing off me!"

"I feel no shame....now, get this thing off me!"

 

So onward: What have I been creating?  I feel as if I am pulling out of a bit of a slump.  I had all these ideas (still do) yet earlier this Fall I had no time.  Then when I finally had time I had zero inclination!  Wow!  What a yo-yo, so things didn’t pan out how I thought they would for the month of November.  Yet, I found a starting point. 

Earlier this fall I traveled north to McCall for just an overnight.  I spread out all of my “song-bones”.  Song bones are those scraps of songs, full songs, half songs, great titles, ideas, fragments, thoughts…you get the idea.  It turns out, I have A LOT of song bones.  It was pretty neat to go through them all. 

 Song bones...a starting point!

Song bones...a starting point!

There was one in particular that I always loved but I wrote it on a “baritone” guitar.  This is a guitar that I own where I simply turn the dial and “presto” it’s in drop B tuning!  I love this guitar because it takes me out of what I know.  It makes me musical instead of theoretical.  I can only use my ear because my fingers don’t know the notes in these odd tunings (yet) and I’m glad I say yet.  Maybe I will familiarize myself with these different tunings or maybe I will reserve them for the mystery that they seem to be.  It’s still fresh and new that way!

So, I wrote this sad song a couple years ago called, “Only the Lucky”.  I’ve always liked the song, but I never completed the song and it’s a bit ironic because it says, “only the lucky finish the song” ha!  Well…I finally finished it! 

I haven’t decided on the version I will share with you.  I have a new friend who plays piano and she and I recorded this song on piano and then I have a guitar version.  Perhaps I will put them BOTH down and you all can tell me which one you like.


Here's the lyrics to the new song:  Only the Lucky
All of my best & all of my love    
Goes to you,  oh darlin’
All of my best and all of my love
Goes to you
There have been times and I confess
I’ve been the fool oh darlin’
But I’d do it again
The best I can, all for you

Life is short    Love is Long   
Only the lucky finish the song

Time goes by in the blink of an eye
And what a ride oh darlin’
No better ways, I spend my days all for you
We can choose again with a brand new hand
And play it right – oh darlin’
Pick a new line to sing in time here with you!

BRIDGE:                                                             
So won’t you finish the song with me
Carry on with the ride just me and you
So I can be lucky too


Which leads me to another important thing I would like to share with you: our goal was always to build a community of Blaze and Kelly super fans and I feel that this platform just does not give me enough feedback from you all.

I often have so many muses and would like to include you all in it but the platform I am running does not allow it.  I have asked my web manager about making an interactive platform from the beginning but he “poo-poo-ed” it and for some reason I went along with him.  I suppose he painted a picture of another “social media” head-ache that I must keep up with. 

Time has changed my thinking.  I want to send pictures and comments to you “guys” on the fly, when we are out there on our trips.  Get you instant video and bring you along with us on our adventures and by the time I get home, recollect my thoughts, down load all the material we’ve either recorded or caught on video the moments are long gone and then I procrastinate further and feel terrible.  So what I’ve decided to do is – open it up on face book also! 

I will invite you all to an EXCLUSIVE “Blaze and Kelly” group on Facebook. I have to think of a creative name, but for those of you on face book, you will get the invite.  For those of you NOT on face book, all I can say is, you WILL keep getting all from your membership information as it is and yet the face book group page will be an extra bonus ONLY FOR YOU.  If you would LIKE to join us, open a face book account and let me know your “handle”.  Some people don’t use face book and I understand.  You can sign up under a “ghost-name”.  Pick a handle, “old timer”, “bandit”, “rainbow walker” …ha !   Whatever it is, let me know and I will get you on the group page. 

I decided Face book because most people already have it in place.  It won’t cost a thing and it will be super convenient.  When I write new content I can point to it from face book too.  AND the best part is…you all will be able to interact with each other and get to know other members and I really believe our audience is such a great group of people.  I really don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.  I was afraid of the over whelm of more social media, but I feel that being out of touch with you can be more stressful.

I will STILL be doing the membership page on the website!  Have no fear about that!  I just am looking for a way to add more value to our membership, thus having the interactive page for all of you so we can stay in touch whenever we feel like it. 

Also, I would like your suggestions on how we can make things better, and I think having our interactions on-line may be what's missing.  I want to know what you would like to see, hear, experience from our membership page.  I want to make the membership better, bigger, grander than it is!  So….get your hot dog sticks out and your bag of marshmallows and meet me over on Face Book from time to time.  It's wonderful to hear from you. 

You can be as involved on non-involved as you want.  You don’t HAVE to interact, but have the option to, if you'd like.  It’s just another better feature for your membership!

Thank you so much for being on this journey with us!  We really want you to know how very special you all are and we so appreciate each and every one of you!  Gratitude! 

 Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Niccole & Mo

 

 

 

Rock-tober!!!

Hi Friends,

Ok…where the heck did September go? Holy Cow!   I read back on my last blog to you folks and we have been on the go since August. IT’S no wonder I missed September!

I HAVE been writing but just not exclusively to you, so sorry.  We went to Nashville and I wrote a blog about the experience and shared it with everyone because I found it a valuable thing to do.  You can catch up here if you haven’t read it:

https://www.blazeandkelly.com/blog/2017/9/1/nashville-brain-blog

I also wrote about being hard of hearing here:

https://www.blazeandkelly.com/blog/2017/10/5/insights-from-a-deaf-musician

So I HAVE been writing and I WANT to start writing songs again. Hopefully I can focus on this and bring this desire into fruition.  We have one final stent this month.  We are heading to Oregon to surprise one of my friends for her birthday.  We leave tomorrow, play in Baker City then head to Lincoln City.  It’s her 40th birthday and I’m excited to surprise her!!!

She’s not the only one “turning old” this month!  Ha!  I am joining a new club!  The 40’s…ug, errr 50’s club LOL!  Is this even possible???! Beats the alternative, right?  I have many thoughts about coming to this age but none that are swamping me at the present moment which is a good thing. 

In this business, unfortunately age matters.  However, there is MUCH success to be had that doesn’t mean “super stardom” and I think it’s more imperative to be young for that kind of “success”.  I’m reading a great book about the “new music industry” and it seems most people confuse success with mega stardom aka Eric Clapton style and that is the 1%.  I like the way this author defines success as basically: funding your living via your art.  So, if you can self sustain and pay your bills and other things due to your art (in our case music), then this is success. 

Well, that takes a little of the heat off.  We still must “hustle” for that status and as I am turning older by a new decade I wonder how much “hustle” I have in me!  Ha!  But I do still feel that I am on the right path and truly enjoying it!  Even if we do get tired and we watch other people party and eat and drink while we are starving on the side lines singing songs!  Ha!! 

We went to this party a couple weeks ago.  It was elaborate.  Mega food, beautiful surroundings, lots of people.  The folks enjoyed the music, and came in like vultures.  Within that first hour that we played,  ALL the food was devoured!  Wow!  We laughed.  This is typical and we’ve learned to pack snacks in our car for those 10 minutes we eject ourselves to get a little sustenance.  Trouble with that is usually there is someone who is excited to talk our ears off so we have to make our disappearance gracefully and efficiently.   Mo is SO MUCH better at this than I am…but I’m learning LOL!

So much has happened in the world since we last “spoke”!?!?  The full Solar Eclipse was such a spectacle to see!  It opened my heart chakra a mile wide! Yet I’ve been crushed by the news: Tom Petty passed from this plane. Many folks were injured and killed in Las Vegas.  Hurricanes pelted the Planet. California is still on fire.  And here I sit with the doggie at my feet…and I just raked up some of my autumn leaves today. This world is NOT absent of material to write about! 

In a world with so much pain, music can bring us together.  Good friends show up to help with loading appliances into our home.  My yoga teacher makes a statement in this morning’s class, “feel your inner beauty”.  I can be grateful for a clean office (just accomplished less than an hour ago).  I am grateful for so much, yet I get that it can be so hard.  The outside world and the people in it are really struggling; struggling with tough and real dilemmas.  It’s hard to rise above circumstance, but so many are doing it; coming together in the midst of chaos…..we all have much to see and learn from what’s happening today. I do wish, hope and pray that our music eases someone in their day or at least connects them to what they need to be connected to at this time. 

Winter is on its way. Another grey hair pops out of my head.   I can celebrate with friends and family for just a “blip” of time.  The back of my mind hopes we have enough “peanuts” squirreled away to afford that furnace we have put off buying.  Ha!  If success means we can buy a furnace, then there it is!!!  *Big Smile*  All those tips in the jar, literally bringing heat into our home!!  All of your smiles and contributions too!  It is no wonder many talented musicians never wade out to “sea” and try surviving on their talents.  It’s quite a storm at times.  Many a swift current and sharks like to take you down.  It is a challenge to not predict where your next “food source” will come from.  But one thing I’ve learned and re-learned is…Trust.  Letting go and trusting the Universe will provide.  If I do my part and keep “swimming” even treading water at times…I will not only survive but thrive!

Thank you beautiful friends!  Here come the holidays around the corner.  Keep all those beautiful gratitude’s close to your heart and know you are one of ours! 

Much love,

Niccole & Mo

Wonder Nic 2.jpg