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! :-)