Ione Gig Cancelled…Music up on MySpace

The people of Ione, Oregon have canceled their fundraiser because all the important people are planning to be out of town for the Thanksgiving weekend.  We are overly bummed about the cancellation of a non-paying gig.  I think we were eager to get in the swing of traveling and getting involved with people in the places we go instead of just passing through.  We’ll just have to head on down the road and see what we can drum up on the coast.  If you have any ideas, pass them on.

We got our recordings converted to mp3s yesterday.  My fiddle teacher, Will Harmon, did it during my lesson yesterday.  The are posted at www.myspace.com/themittelstadts.  You can click on the link on the left to hear them for yourself.  They will be posted here soon as we figure out how.

I went out with some of my former co-workers last night.  We had some wine at Sommaliers.  I miss them, but I do not miss work at all.  I was especially happy to have Sandy Wardell come out and bid me farewell.  Sandy’s husband John had been my boss for 17 years before he died this summer.  Sandy had some great suggestions for places to visit on the Oregon coast.  I’m hoping she remembers the name of the cheap seafood restaurant before its too late.

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Recording is such a pain

The two points of intimidation:  John Dendy and the mic.
The two points of intimidation: John Dendy and the mic.

Yesterday our great friend John Dendy came over and recorded us so we would have some higher quality stuff to put on the web.  Well the recording quality might be better, but the playing, well we’re just players not recording artists.  Both of us were nervous like chickens.  Bumble and fumble.  Melodies evaporating before my ears.  The fret board looked like some kind of ancient artifact.  What were we doing?  How can we even play in public?  I had to abandon one of my favorite tunes “Dance Me to the End of Love” because I could not play and sing at the same time.   Here’s a picture from the session.

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Charlie finds his Angels outside O’Tooles today

Kris, Betsy and I have a weekly lunch date.  This week we went to the Vanilla Bean.  Yummy tuna and pesto bows.  As we walked together afterwards we were laughing about stylish jeans versus my new favorite: the $17.99 Levis at Costco.  You can say I’ve given up on ever being happy with a pair of pants.  Anyhoo….there was some discussion on how to hide muffin top with a demo (you know who you are) and whether certain stores even carried our sizes.  We headed down towards O’Tooles bar when a regular barreled out he door and yelled to us, “It’s Charlie’s Angels.”   I am still chuckling.  Give that man another drink.  Here’s a look at those gorgeous crimefighters today…DSC01179

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Happy Halloween

It was inevitable.  We dressed as gypsies for Halloween.  Here’s the obligatory photo.  I might adopt the permanent head gear on the road.  I think I’ll be a long time between hair washings in the trailer.DSC01176

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Handed over my keys and credentials

My 1st EPA ID photo
My 1st EPA ID photo

I’m officially out.  No longer a public servant.  I’m taking care of boring but important things to make life on the road easier: setting up full electronic banking, mail forwarding, financial management ideas, TRAINING the cat Mimi to wear her harness…

It looks like our first destination is Ione, Oregon.  Lucky for us a Helena client has family in Ione that own a large patch of ground they’ve offered to let us bird hunt.  It looks as though we might even get to play a community gig.  No details are available (even to us) but we hear the people of Ione are eagerly anticipating our arrival.  Based on our experience in rural communities in Montana, it could be the biggest crowd we’ve ever played. 

After Ione we’ll hear west to the Portland area.  Burt’s guitar got us an invitation to a party the first Saturday in Oregon.  Coincidentally the guitar’s maker, Dan Roberts, will also be at the party.  Plans are shaping up and about as specific as we want them.

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Yes, I’ll Cry at my Party…

I made it to my Halloween Farewell party.  I was almost late from a poorly planed hike up the mountain.  Thanks to my great co-workers for so many years of companionship.  I got to do a lot of different things for the Montana Office and I know I made a difference.  I couldn’t have done it without all my friends.

Julie’s good-bye comments were very touching and made me cry.  Lest you think I had second thoughts, I don’t.  I am ready to see what the next road has in store for us.  With Burt by my side I know we can do anything we set our sights on. 

Here are some funny photos from the party.  Thanks for the yummy cake, Shawna.  Gladys, I love, love, love the money tree.

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What to do now…

scn605 more days of “work.”  Today is the staff retreat.  I’ve been excused since I’m not going to play a role in the future of the organization.  I’m physically and mentally in limbo.  The photo of me on my little Grandma’s stoop accurately captures my mood.  Can’t finish packing the house or get any real work done.  We had a dinner party last night.  It was especially fun. 

Next week I start my intensive fiddle lessons with Will Harmon.  I’m hoping if I knuckle down for a few weeks of practice I can perform a tune or two on the road.  I can play now but its not something you’d want to subject an audience to.  Intonation usually fine, but the rhythmic drive is wobbly.  Will’s a great player and I’m looking forward to the experiment.  Now Elvis and me are going to get up Mount Ascension.

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