Our big summer tour has brought us safely back to Chicago with a lot of crazy tales to tell.  We put about 5500 miles behind us with stops all over the western US along the way.  There was a string of festival dates to kick things off with a few club stops scattered here and there.  Our Salt Lake City arts festival gig was completely off the hook, to name one, but our shows in MIchigan, Idaho, Montana, and southern Utah (Cedar City) were also super memorable on the way out west.  The weather was basically perfect the entire time save for the haze and smoke created by the extensive forest fires in California.  We spent four days at the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA with two performances–a late night set and an afternoon slot on the main stage.

At High Sierra we had a few impromptu jams with some of the members of Gamelan X and Sambada at the bus camp as well as a slew of percussion jams sitting on the back of our gear trailer.  Other stops in California included a great show at Yoshi’s in San Fran where we loaded up on Sushi and a little waste veggie oil fuel for the bus, and stops at Temple Bar in LA where Jason Thor (trombonist virtuoso) joined us, and a show at Winstons in Oean Beach, San Diego.  The band also stopped in for a show at a great venue in Crystal Bay, Nevada on Lake Tahoe at the Crystal Bay Casino.  We rendezvous’ed with our good friends from Chicago-based 56 Hope Road in Denver at Cervantes Ballroom before playing a great ‘finale’ show at one of our favorite clubs to play anywhere–the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO.

A lot of hard work went into keeping us rolling along, much of which revolved around the many ‘Veggie Quests’ we emparked upon, i.e. trolling alleys for sources of veggie oil fuel for our bus.  We scored over 500 gallons worth of essentially free, low emission, low socio-political-environmental impact ‘recycled’ fuel.  And we’re looking for someone to design our band veggie oil fueling team suits, so drop us a line if you have any ideas.  I’m thinking rubber shirts / pants (or jumpsuits) with our logo on them and some clear plastic tubes wound around them  maybe with oil permanently trapped inside (but I’ve been on the road for while and can’t trust my own thoughts).

We have a show at Duffy’s on Tuesday July 15th that is free, and (get THIS) giving away free draft beer from 7 to 9pm before we hit at 10pm.  Duffy’s is in Lincoln Park in Chicago at Sheridan and Diversey St.  In a few weeks, we’re back to Colorado to get our bus and play in Carbondale, Colorado.

Thanks again to our Western States fans for a great summer tour.

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