On April 1, we headed all the way up to Niagara University (close to Niagara Falls!) We sort of dropped the ball on bookings due to lineup changes and the CD recording, so yes, we traveled all that way to play only one show. It was fun... we haven't played at a college in a while. This particular university put great care into their live music space. The sound system & lighting were the best of any college show we've ever done - totally pro. Sheila joined us on this show, since she lives up in Buffalo. She had just returned from a solo road trip during which she toured all the way to Nashville, singing in clubs and meeting all kinds of people. She told me she's recording her own CD soon, but she doesn't have a website (yet?) so if you want the latest Sheila details, shoot me an email and I'll put you in touch with her! After the show, we drove to Niagara Falls because Luca had never seen it. I was actually sick that night... I got some sort of weird stomach flu thing that caused much nausea and exhaustion, so the show was tough for me. But I think we pulled it off.
On the 8th, we drove all the way to Cleveland for one show at the Barking Spider. (April 1-April 8 was originally supposed to be a one week tour, but as I said above, it didn't work out!) The place was packed! Thank you SO MUCH, Cleveland. I am thinking of moving to Cleveland! I'm serious - the people are so amazing and I'm sick and tired of NYC. It's a depressing place, at least to me. If Cleveland weren't in Ohio, the state that brought us "BUSH 2, THE HORROR CONTINUES", I would seriously move there. Ok, calm down! I'm kidding! I am not blaming the entire state of Ohio for the mess this country finds itself in, and I'm not blaming the mess entirely on Shrub... things have been getting progressively messier since the 50s, really, if you study history. Anyway, enough politics and brainiac stuff... back to the mind numbing world of music and my report: this was the best show so far with our new members, thanks to the audience. Camari had what I had the week before and made the grave error of taking NYQUIL prior to our show, a dehydrating, sleep inducing product! She got all hoarse and scratchy, but only after she tripped on a cable and fell PLOP on her bootie. It was embarassing. Morgan and I pretended to fall on our booties, too, to make Camari feel better, but she was mortified. But, trooper & professional (and hot babe) that she is, she showed no sign of embarassment to the audience. And anyway, as I said, the audience was fantastic. Thanks to Mike Verbic for bringing out the fans, and MAJOR SPECIAL thanks to Gary & Jean Shumacher for not only putting us up for the night, but for putting up with us!!
Marco and I had taken the new CD to be mastered in March, but discovered that I screwed up the mix of "Dig My Hands". So I had to remix, but the mastering engineer just happened to leave for vacation 2 days after our session and didn't return until April 19th. So, yet another delay occurred in our project. We still haven't finished the mastering, as of this date. Meanwhile, I'd been moping about my lame graphic design, when, lo and behold, my very first real boyfriend (who now lives in San Diego) sent me a random email asking what I've been up to. (He's married with kids and stuff - no flames flying, folks! It's been a recurring theme in my life to run into people from my past - ask my Mom... it happens to me all the time.) Anyway, Loren (that's his name) just so happens to own his own graphic design company! While he commended me on my artwork, he certainly gave it more polish than it had before. I am so grateful to him for that!
We played the Rock Bar at Split Rock resort in the Poconos on April 22nd. We'll be back there 2 more times this year, but no Sand Bar bookings... I'm bummed about that (the Sand Bar is an outdoor bar next to a lake and it's very fun to play there.) There were more people at the bar that night than last time we played there. It was completely empty when we arrived, but all at once, a bunch of people showed up, which was a relief. We had a blast at the end of the night, when some fun & nice people got up to dance. I joined them on the dance floor, Morgan & Nedge joined me, and the band played on and on and on. Jeff Witt joined us that night and did a great job. I'm still rather annoyed with our Mackie PA (which we bought last year specifically for the Sand Bar shows!) It just doesn't work right... I fear we bought a lemon... or my microphone is a lemon. I don't know. I really profoundly dislike having to be the soundperson on gigs as it is, so I just wish the equipment would work! One less thing to worry about.
On the 23rd, we played a wedding. I haven't written about this wedding engagement much, but let me just say it was stressing me out to the point of having dreams about it, and now, I am so glad it's over! The couple wanted horns and keyboards, so I had new members, a ten piece band and requests to deal with (which was a ton of work for Marco - he had to write out all the sheet music for the entire band & horn section.) Second, the requests were difficult songs! And Luca played the cocktail hour and made some extra $ for himself. He, Jeff & I played the wedding march, which was awkward. I'm glad it's over because I worked really hard. I had fun, though. I played some sax & flute with the horn section, which I throroughly enjoy (and want to do more often... I'm thinking of finding a band to join), the band sounded great on some songs, I believe the wedding guests liked us, and hanging out afterwards with the bride, groom and best man was a blast. And best of all, my old friend Dave Lambert joined us singing all the male vocals. He did an amazing job, as I knew he would! And now, I am hoping we can do more "events" together.
This month, Camari decided to come on board for our June tour. We still have open dates. Marco is discovering the hell that is the reality of booking shows! It is just a drag. Anyway, I'm thrilled that Camari is coming, because Nedge can't do it, Amy is in Australia and can't do it and in typical Stefanie style, I was starting to panic! Well, I'm still panicking a little, because I've discovered that passenger vans are expensive to rent. We may just have to take 2 cars, which means fewer drivers available, which isn't good. I wonder if I could just sell out and get some corporation to sponsor us so we can buy our own van or bus.... do such things even happen? I'm also now panicking because someone told me they can't do some dates in July, after they said they could. I really can't stand that!
In May, we're playing in NYC at the Alphabet Lounge for the first time, and then we return to Altoona & the Blair Arts Festival. Unfortunately, as hard as we tried, we didn't get a booking for May 21st, so now, we'll be driving all the way to Altoona (4 1/2 hours) on the 22nd for one show. <<sigh>> It would be so nice to have some help with bookings.
Finally, I still can't say when we'll have the new CD. We're not having a CD release party this time. I haven't had time to plan such things, but I will shoot an email out when the CD is ready.
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Letters from the past: