Posted on August 7, 2014 by Bruce
Crazy? Me? Well, some of you might think I’m crazy…and the rest of you know I am!
Crazy? Me? Well, some of you might think I’m crazy…and the rest of you know I am! Was it that far-fetched to dream up this hazy scheme? I didn’t seem so to me…at least not at first. Route 66 is intertwined in our culture and represents a time before our turn towards generic. No cookie-cutter anything…except cookies! When a big part of it all was not just the arrival, but the getting there.
Music is like that, we have a sound in our head, we work and strive, and along the way, influence and experiences help to refine it and send it in unexpected directions. And when we get better…or even good…we just want to stay on the path, to find the next sound. Getting there is better than being there!
Posted on August 6, 2014 by Bruce
Needles, CA on Route 66
Some might call it a run for the border, but we’ve been out here for two weeks, almost 5,000 miles. Through Flagstaff and Williams, the gateway to The Grand Canyon, we made our way west through vibrant fields of yellow wildflowers.
Took the old road up in the mountains to the southwest of Kingman. Into the old mining town of Oatman, where Clark Gable got stranded on his honeymoon…not by his wife Carole Lombard…by his car! The town is now famous for the donkeys that run amok in the streets extorting food out of tourists. They are advertised as wild donkeys, but speaking as an avid horseman, I’ve never seen wild equines clipped like this? Their hooves well cared-for, and jennies happy to let a human touch their practically newborn foals? They must be descendants of burros left behind when miners panned out the area and went bust. Good to see they are thriving, although they should cut back on the potato chips if you ask me. One even inspected our bumper…I guess he’s moonlighting as an insurance adjuster?
Posted on August 5, 2014 by Bruce
La Posada Hotel
Everyday, along about evening
When the sunlight is beginning to fail
I ride, through the slumbering shadows
Along the Navajo Trail
The swirls of red in deep ravines change hue as the sunlight changes. The Painted Desert has a visual movement even though it stands still…mystical, harsh and haunting, home of the Navajo and Hopi. It’s no wonder they are such deeply spiritual and stoic people. Their movements and responses seem slow to a person who moves at my speed. Yet, the gravity of their thought and their solidity and humanity exudes a deep connection to this place.
Posted on August 4, 2014 by David Howard
Why are we doing this? Why would a small Silicon Valley Internet start-up take dozens of bands on the road for two weeks traveling along a highway that had its heyday in the 40s and 50s?
We could just say that we are nuts and let that be it.
The Rifftime on Route 66 Linear Festival, and its associated tagline “where the asphalt highway meets the digital highway” get to the core of why we started this business.
See Michael Wallis rap about Route 66
Ever since superhighways and freeways took over the arteries across the country, the smaller roads , like Route 66, have been bypassed. This has had a profound effect on local economies and small businesses across the country. While this has been a boom for the Walmart’s and Costco’s of the world, it has been a disaster for the family run stores and businesses that dot the landscape. By the same token, the development of the Internet and wireless technologies, while providing a wonderful “highway” to fans and followers around the world, have made it difficult for the professional and emerging musician.
Posted on August 4, 2014 by Laura
It was our second time being at The Cowgirl and I can’t complain, it gets more fun each time. The joint gets packed with locals and tourists alike and no matter where you came from, everyone is your friend. The conversations were great and the music was even better. Bella Donna played the evening with their jazz style and the entire crowd grew silent whenever a note was sung.
Lucy, the dancing machine
We were even lucky enough to have an amazing little dancer named Lucy. Lucy took over the dance floor with her awesome moves as if she was the energizer bunny. I got tired just watching her wiggle around and jump around. Did I mention Lucy was only 6 years old and danced like she was a pro? Bella Donna dedicated a song to her and you could see the excitement in her cute little face. At one point, there was a downpour, but that didn’t stop anyone from doing what we were there to do. Bella Donna played through as if there wasn’t water falling out of the sky. I panicked for my cameras for a brief moment, but managed to shield the water from getting on my equipment.
Posted on August 3, 2014 by Laura
The Cowgirl is a fantastic hot spot for locals to come eat great food, play pool, and listen to live music. Once dinner hour hit, there wasn’t even anywhere to stand. Roberta Donnay and band started the evening with their 1920′s flare and attracted everyones full attention.
Country Blues Reveue and Roberta Donnay
Then headliners, Country Blues Revue took center stage and boy did they kick butt. Their set was fun and full of energy and people couldn’t help themselves from dancing. Even their instruments were unique and unlike any I have seen. Harmonica Mike had a guitar made out of an old gas can. The evening was a great time and I felt like part of the band. Everyone was so nice and I was honored to be here filming the set. Thanks guys!
Posted on August 3, 2014 by Krystina
Woke up, showered and coffee in that approximate order. The Band gets here and a’packing we go. There’s never enough room in the van. On the highway to our first destination, we encounter a chain-reaction accident of Mother Road proportions. Ten big rigs and four sedans all victims of a dust storm. The highway is paralyzed for miles and traffic is reversed just to get off the Interstate. Destination: Bagdad Cafe’.
On the Road
The “Bagdad” fills with Route 66 travelers and quickly becomes the “Babel” Cafe’. There must have been 4-5 languages being spoken simultaneously, and all with the polyphony of adventure. We (Blue Monday) played an acoustic set of originals lasting for nearly an hour. Each visitor felt that these songs had been written expressly for them. What a great audience! All tips were earmarked for the “American Cancer Society on Rifftime Route 66″. Thank you Andree’, for all the hospitality.
Posted on August 3, 2014 by Laura
Roberta Donnay and Charles Davis after their set
The second the plane touched down we were off on one mission: to get the music to the fans. We packed our gear into the truck and we were on our way to get ready for Roberta Donnay at The Relay For Life in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When we arrived, the sky looked possessed (monsoon season), luckily a warming sense of spirit filled the air. The American Cancer Society’s representatives were amazing in getting the performance ready to go. They even brought over a golf cart to take Roberta to get ready!
Posted on August 2, 2014 by Bruce
The big night of the Rifftime Route 66 Roadshow Revue at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
Stillness, the kind of light rain that mutes the sounds of a city. It comes down gently, a warm mist that lands like a butterfly. Had some basic maintenance to take care of: Vinnie (the van, Vincent VanGo) needed an oil-change, had tons of emails and phone calls to return, had to catch up on blogging, and we are making a video montage of Route 66 singing Route 66…stay tuned for that one!
A Hall of Fame evening ensued. The big night of the Rifftime Route 66 Roadshow Revue at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame:
John Wooley as MC. John is a fantastic writer (check out his blog posts on the route66.rifftime.com site: Hubbing It and The Bunion Derby, he also writes novels and is an award-winning journalist), he is one of the most knowledgeable experts on Western Swing music, and has a western-swing radio program Swing on This, airing at 7 p.m. on public-radio station KWGS (89.5 FM) in Tulsa and streaming at www.kwgs.com It was an honor to have him speak, introduce bands and give context to the musical event.
Posted on August 1, 2014 by Jack Cimo
After a late Sunday night concert, I definitely thought I was going to be exhausted Monday for the drive across Illinois. Turns out, getting out on the road and pumping up some Led Zeppelin 3 (favorite song “That’s the Way”) got the adrenaline pumping up more than sufficiently.
I ended up driving quickly through the state, because I left later than planned and the concert in St. Louis was at 5:30. I always like to get to a concert a couple house ahead of time. That way, I can warm up the fingers, get a nap or some meditation in, and generally clear the mind of the day’s stresses.