Last weekend swung through Arizona with Thunderosa, hitting San Angelo TX on the way out.
The run was a blast, and a resounding success. Thursday in SATX was ok, slow night but fun. The AZ gigs rocked, as they are singer/guitartist AJ Mancabelli's old stomping grounds. Was great to get to share the stage with old friend Mike Mihina's band Love Mound in Tucson, and share the stage with him in AJ playing as Big Mean. Awesome times with awesome people!
San Angelo TX to Tucson AZ: 720 miles. Ouch. Drove straight to the venue.
El Paso TX
The Bashful Bandit, Tucson AZ
Tucson AZ the next morning
The Airplane Graveyard, Tucson AZ
Triple T Truck Stop, Tucson AZ. Recommended
En route to Phoenix AZ
Big Mean: AJ Mancabelli, Mike Mihina, Danny G at Chopper John's in PHX
Setting up for Thunderosa, photo by Kim Radke
AJ on the bar at Chopper John's
Good times. Mike Mihina, Drew "Deathproof" Underhill, AJ Mancabelli, Everett Dolgner, Danny G
Drove straight back from AZ, stopping again in Tucson on the way back to see more of AJ's friends.
Tucson is the most metal city ever.
Moonrise somewhere in the desert
Got back into town at 8:30am Monday morning. Had 4pm Ocean of Stars rehearsal that afternoon.
Tuesday night was the benefit show for local bass legend Appa Perry at Skylark Lounge, who recently had a stroke and is just about back to 100% (!!!!!!!) but is still stuck with some hefty medical bills.
What an amazing night of music, and definitely an amazing showing of love and support for Appa, as well as a meeting of Austin music royalty. Gary Clarke Jr with Eve Monsees, missed Carolyn Wonderland. Local blues legend and master Alan Haynes, etc etc etc. Appa sat in with damn near all the bands.
Gary Clarke Jr and Eve Monsees
Gary and Appa
The Man Himself, Appa Perry
Alan Haynes and Appa
I got to play some bass as well with Ulrich Ellison (filling in for his wife/bassist Sabine Ellison), and was joined by our good friend Andy MacIntyre. Good friend and bandmate Adrian Conner in attendance, as well as Loca Maria from Maria's Taco Express.
Wednesday night was the Gypsy Lounge show with Ocean of Stars.
A resounding success!
Radio came aboard to help promote the show. Good friend Loris Lowe of KLBJ-FM asked if I'd swing by Tuesday night for an interview for Local Licks, which due to the Appa benefit I had to regretfully decline.
That same day Laurie Gallardo of KUT-Austin asked for some music as she was featuring Ocean of Stars and myself on the Austin Music Minute. Wow!
The show was well attended for a Wednesday night in mid-December. PetCatMan opened the show with their experimental soundscapes. Very avant garde and Pink Floyd esque at time.
OoS had a very good crowd and welcome reception, and we played a very strong set. My confidence (which has been admittedly up and down for quite awhile) in this musical experiment is now through the roof. Just wow. I have really assembled an amazing grouping of musicians :D
Ocean of Stars, photos courtesy Kristy Duff Wallace:
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive too! A good friend had this to say: "Just, WOW. This is the most amazing thing you've ever been involved in... the music is like something out of a dream!"
But didn't get to have much time after our set to mingle, I then had to play a set with Thunderosa haha!
Tho OoS was the main attraction for the night, people stuck around for some fist-in-the-air rock n roll. Great set, as we were still hella tight from the weekend! Fun times!
Will post pics from the above events very soon.
In the meantime, I need to walk Nacho, pack and take a shower in prep for Thunderosa in McAllen and Laredo TX this weekend, and coming straight back Sunday to play the Saxon Pub with Deann Rene.