We started our day off right with breakfast out our Couchsurfer Mark’s home outside of Durango. The night before we arrived at Mark’s place and managed to get the van stuck in the driveway… Turns out the tires aren’t as good as they were new! After some slipping and sliding and pushing and well… all that fun stuff that comes along with having a 2 wheel drive van on the snow… We finally managed to get the chains on the tires and drove out of the driveway with ease. Man I’m glad we picked up those chains! So moving on… We had a 6 hour drive from Durango to Breckenridge through some amazing mountain passes including the Red Mountain Pass. Fortunately the passes were clear of snow and it was just a gorgeous drive. We arrived in Breckenridge around 8 pm and the Motherloaded was already hopping. The Motherloaded Tavern is such a fun venue. It’s the perfect environment for funky upbeat music like ours. They have a table that is bolted to the floor so you can dance on the table and people use it! The drinks were flowing and the crowd was dancing and eating up every bit of funk we could cook for them. It was such a fun night. I really can’t say enough about the Motherloaded. They really take care of us(check out the pic of the tip jar, lol) and this place is just a blast!
Ahh we are back in Ft. Collins. We have had so many good times taking brewery tours, hosting jams, and playing jams. This is our first real showcase type show in Ft. Collins at a great venue Hodi’s Halfnote. Hodi’s is a great place to hang out as far as just having a good vibe but then on top of that there is a great room with a big stage and excellent sound. We played with another band from Colorado called Able Minds. They are a cool mix of electronic and traditional (guitar, drum, etc.) type music. It made for a great night of upbeat danceable music. We had fun catching up with a friend of ours Liza as well. You may remember her as our merchandise representative for our last west coast tour. It was great to catch up and it was just a great night in Ft. Collins. Hooch over and out!
The booking game is a crazy world… we finally confirmed the show that was supposed to happen on December 10th exactly ten days before it was to occur. On December 9th, I got a call from the booking agent saying that their email account had gotten hacked and he never confirmed the show, so we were SOL.
Luckily, we have been through this before and applied the Achachay! spirit. Focus on the solution, see the opportunity and make the most of whatever is in front of your face. After a few phone calls, it became apparent that nothing would happen that night. I’d have to wait until the morning.
We woke up at the usual time and I started calling all the bars in Winter Park. At first I got the usual run-around, but when I mentioned “We’re an awesome Austin TX funk rock band that got our show cancelled, do you want us to bring you an awesome show TONIGHT?” or something similar, they get things moving.
The Winter Park Pub came through in the 9th inning and opened their arms… not just a place to play, but a decent last minute guarantee, free food, free drinks. The show ended up being packed and well received. The staff was cool, and we’ll definitely be back! Even though Hooch and I both felt a little sniffly and hoarse, we played a top notch performance and had a great time busting out some covers we haven’t done in a long time. We closed off a three day weekend of 4-hour-a-night performances with gusto and energy.
We’ve been shown time and time again to keep the faith. In spite of whatever circumstances life throws your way, maintain an optimistic outlook while working hard to achieve whatever your objective is. Almost every time we’ve done this, the result is better than what we expected from the original plan. Even if it isn’t better, the experience is beautiful.
To top it off, we all three got to sleep in individual beds at the family place of a buddy I studied in Ghana with. We got to meet some of his family and catch up on six years of traveling, craziness, and life. All in all, a phenomenal day.
We’ve had some interesting times in Moab. The first time here we toured Arches National Park (my favorite National Park thus far) and this time was interesting in it’s own way… We were supposed to have a show in Reno the day before on our way from Lake Tahoe to Moab but because a booking agent at a club failed at his job the show didn’t happen… So we drove straight from Tahoe to Moab. In case you haven’t looked at a map of the area lately is a super long drive… 13 hours to be exact… This isn’t the longest drive we’ve encountered but it did make it hard to sleep comfortably… We arrived in Moab at 9 am and set up camp to try to sleep. Fortunately we found a nice shady spot and it was nice and cool so sleep came easy. After a few hours of rest we headed up to Eddie McStiff’s our venue for the evening. It’s a cool restaurant/bar and although we had to keep it quiet, it was a good show. We made some new friends and ran into some friends from Austin actually (Hello Devra!) which always makes life more fun. After the show we had a 7 hour drive to Denver. As you can tell our booking manager (aka the members of Achachay!) forgot to look at the map when booking this section of the tour…. But we did end up surviving and sleeping well when we finally got to Denver super early the next morning… Ahh the life of a touring musician… It can’t always be one with the luxury of sleep….
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
San Francisco always welcomes us with open arms and crazy fun free activities features thousands of people. Last tour we got to the Bay Area just in time for Bay to Breakers (see Hooch’s blog post); this time we got there just in time for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. This is a MASSIVE (ie 600,000 people), three day long music festival held in Golden Gate Park. The best part – its FREE! It’s like Austin City Limits but four times as many hippies (remember, its free), spread out over a much larger park.
Liza and I got there pretty late Sunday afternoon but still got to catch some classic acts like the Dark Star Orchestra, Gomez, and Emmy Lou Harris (she’s closed the festival every year since it began 11 years ago). I also saw my first “Occupy Wallstreet” sign there. Not knowing anything about the movement yet (this was a few weeks ago after all) I thought it pretty ironic- The festival is free because its funded by a guy who made a ton of money investing in stocks. Actually, I had a great conversation about the whole thing with a buddy of mine from SF. I’ll include some of that email exchange HERE, for those of you interested in my thoughts about the whole thing.
We had a free day in the area, which gave us a lot of time to relax at Ryan’s long time family friends’ the Burger’s (who have now hosted us three times, always very welcoming!) and catch up with friends from the usual: Rice, Ghana, high school, Austin, etc.
Our show at Kimo’s was cool for the following reasons:
- Great surprises of people who came to see us (thank you Facebook for connecting us all)
- Delicious Indian food before hand. My buddy Chek ate lamb brain. I tasted it. Very strong flavor.
- The Official Story was funky, talented, and super fun to dance to!
- Void 808 Band- cool guys whom we played with again the next night in Sacramento
- We freakin’ rocked
That about covers it. We’ll strive to play Strictly Hardly … next year? Either way I’m sure San Fran won’t disappoint as even if there aren’t absurdly fun large and free events to attend, there will be awesome people to hang out with.
Let’s start with the basics: My name is Liza Mitrofanova and I’m accompanying your favorite Achachay! boys on their 2011 West Coast Tour. Why, you ask, do I have the supreme honor of making this pilgrimage? Well, it’s all quite simple, really. The only cosmic alignment that had to take place was their need to promote and sell merch on the road, my availability and pre-existing plans to forage into the West, and a tiny amount of social network intervention.
This is why there has been a random girl you probably don’t recognize popping up in the later posts by Jordan and the Ryan’s. So let’s get cozy – here are a few factoids about Yours Truly.
I was born in the wintery month of February in Siberia…. As a point of reference, pull up a map of Russia, now point with your index finger to the exact middle of that glorious country, and Voila! You have now, more or less, identified my birth place: Novosibirsk.
Three of the people I consider my parents are either biochemists or moleculuar biologists. Nevertheless, neither my sister or I have (or intend to) follow these career paths.
As is made obvious by my decision to embark on a six week tour in a van with three strangers, I like journeys, people, music, and all kinds of new experiences… preferably the ones you can’t predict. The elements just mentioned have brought me to an appreciation of Peruvian box drums and sharing yerba mate.
I don’t get homesick really ever (though I do love my family very, very much), but I do miss my 120 pound pooch. Home is where your dog is, I say.
All in all, I’m a pretty simple being, and all I want right now is to see the West the way Thomas Moran did… and despite all the domestication of the Wild that’s taken place, I’d say I’m feeling it.
Nice to meet.
I should preface this post by saying that I was suffering from food poisoning for the 2 days leading up to this show and a day or so after… so the things I remember from the show are minimal. We played an Irish Pub. What you wouldn’t expect from an Irish pub is for the majority of the staff to actually be Irish. But O’Sullivans is different in that way. The bar staff was awesome and like I said mostly Irish. Everyone was friendly and there was good food (even though it was really hard to eat being sick and all). We had a great crowd that danced and kept the energy high to help me through a rough night. We also ran into an artist by the name of Sid who meshes together hip-hop and several other genres to create some awesome music. I haven’t been able to track him down online but once I do I will post some links to his music. After this show we had a couple days off for some much needed rest. I have recovered nicely from my little bout with food poisoning and all is well! That’s pretty much what I’ve got from that show. Hooch over and out!
Exactly one week ago we played in Norman Oklahoma, home of OU.
Hooch went to school here for a while, back when he thought he wanted to be a weatherman (yeah, Anchorman is one of his favorite movies) so it was cool to see the town and hear his stories. I even found a healthy, locavore place with Free Range turkey to get some grub (somewhat rare in OK).
Our show was sparsely attended. This wasn’t unexpected, since it was our first time playing there. Luckily we impressed the bookers, staff, and everyone in the bar so we’ll be coming back. We still filled up a page of emails on our signup sheet, and sold some CDs. I consider that a big success. The bar wants to set us up with a big name local so we can start building a bigger following. This is great! It’s how we start, every single time.
Since everyone was really supportive, digging every song, and we played for a couple of hours, we got a chance to test some new stuff out. We played one song that is sort of afro-beat influenced, and everyone gave us very positive reviews. We’ll definitely be playing it again.
Another big positive was that we got to spend some time with Autumn and her family. They’ve been huge fans since Hooch joined the band, and are always very welcoming to us on the road. They make us feel so at home that I don’t even mind raiding the fridge for leftovers. Here’s a pic of the kids – Rayann, Gunner, and Barak. We always love spending time with them .
All in all, a solid night with a big foot in the door to a new market. Great stuff.
Ahh the Q Spot. I grew up playing pool at the Q spot and now we get to play shows there. Pretty awesome. David is always great to us. From the Apple Pie shots to the great crowd that he has come out on Tuesday nights. It’s just great to come back to the Q. Another surprise at the Q spot is who I will see from my childhood. It’s always crazy to see people I haven’t seen in well… 15 years…. Every time there will be a couple of people I would never expect to see. It has always been that way in Enid but lately more and more people seem to come out and really dig the funk we are growing.
That pretty much sums up the evening. A great crowd and venue. Catching up with old friends and just having a great time. So far this little tour has been a blast! Gotta keep the good times rolling! Hooch out!
(PS: Most of these pics are from the after party at The Ramada)
This post has been a long time coming… my apologies. Been busy playing all around Texas, composing new music, booking more tours, and recovering.
This was our second time playing The Summit, and they treat us well. This time was less violent (last time a guy punched someone out for saying he didn’t like the music…) but just as dance-y. We got invited to another after party, which was full fledged; DJ, sound system, honey whiskey, and another sunrise. Hooch wasn’t feeling it so he passed out in the car while Ryan and I socialized.
One of the coolest little things about Durango was this:
Ryan and I went to a Chinese food place to get some din-din. He asked these people at a table near us, “Excuse me, what’s that dish?” They responded, “We have no idea, its not what we ordered. Would you like it?” After some more pleasantries, they gifted us the dish. Then they proceeded to load us up with their rice, and the leftovers they weren’t eating. They were a local couple and some of the most generous and friendly people. They got excited about us playing, and even came to the show and stayed for the whole first set! They like Eric Clapton so we made sure to dedicate our “I Shot the Sherif” Cover to them (although technically I prefer and tend towards the original Bob Marley style). Really cool people. I think they ended up buying up a bunch of our merch too.
All in all, Durango was a good time. Missed Jack and Kat and the two-story bikes, but they weren’t around and staying in town made a lot of sense. Our new couchsurfing host Sunny was friendly as they come. She made the best veggie burrito I’ve ever had in my life. We’re planning on coming back on our next run our West, and I’m excited to get Sunny out on some rock climbing routes.
All in all our show in Durango was a lot of fun.
Oh yeah, another interesting thing: There was a crazy bike race going on the weekend we were there called the Iron Horse Classic where cyclists race the train from Durango to Silverton. It’s some impressive distance like 40 miles and covers two mountain passes and thousands of feet of elevation, so its a big deal. The town overflowed with cycling enthusiasts, making it fun to bike on my little fold-up.