August 26th thru 28th, 2004
Every once and a great while, you luck out and get a gig that just reaffirms why you do this stuff in the first place. This trip to Switzerland, and the Festival I played there with the Danny Click Band definately fell into the "This sure pays for a load of bar gigs" category. We arrived Wednesday night at the beautiful Hotel International Au Lac, where the majority of the bands on the festival were staying. The staff was amazing - from tracking down lost luggage to opening a special "Musicians" dining room - a large Thanks goes out to Heidi and her whole crew.
The Festival ran all weekend, with stages set up in the larger Piazzas around the city. Every night, Thursday thru Saturday, we were booked at different stages, with different bands. Every night we had thousands of people jamming the Piazzas to listen, dance and enjoy the whole atmosphere. The whole thing culminated in a giant Jam Session late Saturday night on the biggest stage, and as you were playing with all these great musicians, it was almost easy to forget that you were sharing the moment with thousands of people well into the wee hours of the morning.
Lava Rock Fountain
View from the Cathedral
Europe is very old.
Yeah, this is my house...
I don't know why this was here...
...But I liked him.
I got paid to come here. Ridiculous.
Our Hotel across the street from the lake.
Ladies and Gentlemen; Rented Backline!
Setting up a stage...
At the Piazza Della Riforma.
Julieann Banks belts it out.
Left to right; Big white head, Julieann, Danny, Joe, my right arm...
Joe, enjoying himself.
Dave Sampson is a Rock Star.
Julieann smokes. Literally, it seems.
People and Links
One of the coolest things about this kind of event is the people you meet and get to hang with. I liked these people enough to introduce them to my friends!
First off is Julieann Banks. Julieann came to Lugano with us bringing a little extra spice, adding backing vocals and doing some numbers herself, and she won over the crowds every night. Check out her website at julieannbanks.com, and by all means buy her album "Magazine and Race". The copy Cindy got from her became the soundtrack to our Italian adventure, and it's stuck in my head still. Killer stuff from a killer talent, and I hope I get the chance to work with her again.
The nightly favorite of the festival goers was Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy, a high energy blues outfit out of Houston. Diunna's got enough energy to light up the whole damn city, and I wanted to send a special 'thanks, man' out to Larry "Lownotes" Johnson for generously sharing the spotlight, and his bass at the Jam! Do yourself a favor and check them out here; Blue Mercy.
Rory Block...oh my God! What a guitar player! She just HAMMERS the blues out of that Martin! Spellbinding. In a more perfect world, she's a huge star.
Tonight, somewhere around Nashville, Jim Diamond and the Groove Syndicate is slammin' out the blues, with lots of sweat and booze. Jim's wife Beth plays drums the way a bass player want to hear it. Someone said "Jim, I'm in love with yer wife" and Jim said "Get in line."
Tamboura takes all kinds of musical styles, mixes them together, then makes them settle-the-hell-down and enjoy themselves. Hey, it works!
Duncan McKenzie Band, The Starlighters, Lee Gates...the list goes on. All monsters, all Gentlemen and Ladies. Special thanks to (How does he do it?) Norman Hewitt, for putting it together. Thanks to Lalla, for making sure everyone's taken care of. Thanks to Ardie Dean for 'Ringmastering' the Jam Session - or was it Lion Taming? Thanks to our drivers, Doug and (How fast do you want me to drive?) Fabian.
Check out Blues to Bop. They'll have pictures and stuff up soon, and we're waiting to see what cuts end up on the 2004 CD.
THIS JUST IN! (10/05)
The new 2004 CD is out and includes the Danny Click Band tunes...
None. Not a one. *Sigh*
If it's any consolation - and it is - I have a copy of the 2003 CD, and it's awful. I bet the new one stinks too. I bet.