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!!!!