CLAUDIA’S SOMEWHAT PITIFUL ATTEMPT AT CATCHING UP ON THIS BLOG… (I SWEAR I’M GOING TO GET BETTER AT THIS!)
Smoky Mountain Rain
In ABQ I did a show for the Sandia Heights Coffeehouse. What a gorgeous city, and what incredible hosts! Linda & Kerney Bolton put me up in their stunning house at the base of the tram, (Kerney is an architect) and took me to dinner there. There was a view of the whole town, and it was such beautiful weather. The show was great too, and I was thrilled to be asked to do an encore. I spent the next day rolling around up in Santa Fe, where I visited the Western exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum. It was like taking a step backwards in time to when I was a kid on my dad’s ranch. Viewing the old ranch photos from the 50s and 60s, and seeing the tack, clothing, and art, was rather emotional for me. Santa Fe is stunning, and well worth a visit.
THE SUMMER TOUR OUT WEST
I left Nashville at the end of July, and my first stop was the Lupus General Store. Lupus is about 500 feet from the Missouri River, on the other side of it from Columbia, MO. The store is a very old building that reminded me a lot of my grandfather’s store in North Dakota. It’s a brick shotgun, and with those old tin tiles on the ceiling the acoustics were fabulous. The weather was perfect too, and the audience was open, fun loving, and generous. I had a great time!
From Nebraska I pushed on to Denver where I did a show at a new venue called Starlite Station which is nestled in the center of a cloister of art galleries. I have played in many Colorado towns in the past but this was my first show in Denver. It was a combination of work and vacation as I was also able to see my Aunt Eloise and a couple cousins while I was there.
The next night I performed in Centennial, Wyoming. It’s a small town up against the base of the Rockies, and I sang in a bar rather than a concert venue like I usually perform in. The audience was well oiled when I got there, and after I sang a Patsy Cline song it was obvious how the evening was going to go. I spent the rest of the night singing every old Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Willie Nelson song I could think of. I had not sung those songs for a long time and I had a blast, mostly because the audience did too. Normally I won’t take a bar gig, but Wyoming was a bucket list show as I’ve now performed in 48 of the 50 states! This is where I stopped for breakfast the next morning…
After a quick swing through Boise at the beginning of August I was on my way up to Seattle. I was born in Tacoma, so performing on KBCS radio was something of a bucket list performance as well. I played a house concert up there at my friend Mike’s beautiful home overlooking a lake, followed the next night by a show at “Kenyon Hall”, a venue that has been in existence since my parents dated in that town. During my show at Kenyon Hall I got a wild hair and dumped my set list in favor of playing some new songs. I’m planning a new CD, and it occured to me that I better start playing the new songs in public so I can see what the response is to them. It’s a brave thing to do. We who do this for a living know which songs are guaranteed to get a good reaction, and it’s tough to cut one out of the set list to make room for a new one. Still, if you aren’t willing to flop, show biz isn’t the right career to choose!
From Seattle I drove south through a forest fire down into Northern CA. It was far enough away that it wasn’t scary, but still plenty smokey. Mount Shasta was much closer than it appears in this photo, because of the smoke.
The perfect upper 70s weather followed me from Seattle down into Northern California where I played several shows and made my annual pilgrimage to see some dear friends. I don’t know what I would do if I had to give up the road. I’d miss my friends all over the country so much, and especially Northern CA as I grew up there. My old school chum Marsha hosted yet another show for me in her stunning home in Los Altos Hills on 8/9, and the next night I played a show at the “Woodshed” at Keith Holland Guitars in Los Gatos. LG is where I cut my teeth in show biz long ago. My first partner and first love Chuck McCabe and I lived there and the venue is named after his record label, which was named after the bar on Cape Cod where we performed. It was a full circle night, with many of his friends in attendance. I just wish he had been there too, but sadly he passed away to pancreatic cancer a few years ago. I did get to share the night with one of his best friends however, Jay Howlett.
The following weekend I performed a house concert in stunningly beautiful South Lake Tahoe at he home of some friends who first heard me sing back when I lived in LA in the early 80s! They had recordings of me that even I didn’t have!
From Tahoe it was down to Pismo Beach to play Steve Key’s Songwriter series. I had a stunningly beautiful drive down Route one through Big Sur. God was having a REALLY good day when it did this…
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