We've been enjoying our first summer at home in California. With some new songs brewing, we are excited to announce that we will be recording a supplemental album of original instrumentals this Fall and hope to have it ready for our 2020 tours. Besides our usual circuits around California and the US West Coast, Manitoba/the Canadian Prairies, New England, and the US South, we are planning a return to Europe (September 2020) and are overdue to return to the Canadian West Coast/Vancouver Island (we're hoping for an early Summer 2020 tour). We are in the middle of booking a mid-west/Great Lakes tour for May 2020 and could especially use some leads for this region as we haven't toured there since 2013!
This past Spring we enjoyed a house concert tour from Florida up into Georgia and North Carolina, which included a full house in Asheville, NC at the famous Isis Music Hall. For months leading up to the show we'd been receiving daily notifications saying "0 tickets sold" and we were getting quite concerned about the venue cancelling us. However, in the week leading up to the show we were thrilled to see those notifications suddenly turn to "19 tickets sold," and "15 tickets sold" etc., and finally, the notice that we had actually oversold the room by one ticket. An incredible and unexpected turnaround!
The excitement continued into a very busy May and June, driving up from California through Oregon, Washington, and then from B.C out east to Manitoba and Ontario, playing almost every night and getting to reunite with friends and family in Winnipeg. We would have loved to stay in Manitoba through June, but we had a few important dates to play in Los Angeles, so in just three days we drove 32 hours from Winnipeg to California. And then, after just a few days back at home post LA, we headed back North to play the fantastic Kate Wolf Music Festival in Laytonville, CA. The Kate Wolf Music Festival was a highlight. It was an honor being invited to perform there after being a fan of Kate Wolf's music for many years. The festival was blessed with uncommonly cooler weather, and we were impressed by the array of high quality, creative vendors, humble and genuinely talented musicians around every corner, and a great reception for our music. We enjoyed catching up with a number of friends we’ve met through our travels. A poignant experience was meeting Kate Wolf’s widow. He was especially kind to us and told us many stories about his times with Kate, making the whole weekend that much more poignant. Here's a video of our contribution to the Kate Wolf song showcase, performing her song "You're Not Standing Like You Used To":
One sad bit of news is that our beloved pet dove, Shanti, passed away in June. He'd been back and forth to the vet several times over the past year and his spirit finally flew away to clearer skies. We miss him and his uncanny ability to interject his coo into just the right moments in our music when we'd be practicing at home.
The past few weeks have been all about trying to recover from the busy schedule... trying! Dan has actually been performing nearly every night, hired to sit in with different bands on different instruments - drums one night, bass another, mandolin, lap slide, etc. and in between all that, also managed to also record a new solo album. Besides her usual weekly violin and viola students, Laurel has been enjoying some nice long hikes and violin practice sessions, and has been working on a new project we will unveil at some point in the future. Meanwhile, she's trying to not go insane this month with brides requesting her to arrange rap and pop music into something that sounds like music on the violin for their weddings. An interesting challenge to be sure, but she'd happily return to the days of Pachelbel, Mozart, and Handel requests, The Beatles, or our own tune "Back Down the Aisle."
We have a few shows coming up this month that we are particularly looking forward to, including two concerts this weekend in the Monterey Bay Area with Emmy award-nominated composer and vocalist Gary Stockade from Los Angeles. We will be co-billing with Gary at The Ugly Mug in Soquel, CA on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 in Monterey, CA at East Village Coffee Lounge. If you're in the area, do not miss your chance to be beguiled by this incredible talent. He's one of our favorite vocalists in all our travels.
We return to the Brask House Concert in Fremont, CA on Saturday, August 17 (this will be our third time being invited back!), and perform a rare house concert in San Francisco on Sunday, August 25th. We are also performing at some great outdoor concert series' and festivals around Monterey this month, including the Lovers' Point Concert Series in Pacific Grove, CA on Friday, August 23, where we'll be joined in three part harmony by the lovely vocalist Shannon Warto, and The West End Celebration in Sand City, CA on Saturday, August 24. More details for all of these concerts below.
We have a tour coming up in New England in late September (FYI, we're trying to re-book Sunday, September 22nd after a recent cancellation if anyone has a lead in MA, NH, or VT), some more dates around California to finish out 2019, and finally, we are excited to report that we'll be returning to Pinawa, Manitoba for the a spot on the EMCA season (Eastern Manitoba Concert Association) on Friday, November 1st. The last time we performed EMCA was five years ago, the day after Laurel's ban from Canada was lifted and the night Dan introduced his hometown to his new bride, Laurel Thomsen. A fantastic and magical evening we will never forget! That tour will also include a stop on Saturday, November 2 at Temple Shalom Hall in Winnipeg. We've been trying to square away that date for a few years and are happy it's finally happening. This will be our only public concert in Winnipeg before Summer 2020, so please mark your calendars!!
We hope to see some of you at one of our upcoming shows. You can always visit our tour calendar for more details. Please share our dates and tell your friends!