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Dear Surfer:

If you feel like reading my spur of the moment account of our first shows in May, visit our forum and look under TOUR DIARY. There you'll find a much more detailed and personal account of our shows in North Carolina & South Carolina.

We drove to South Carolina on Friday the 5th. We got snarled up in Baltimore/DC traffic, and then we hit some horrible, scary weather - rain as thick as tar - so we didn't make good time getting to South Carolina. We basically went to our hotel and went to sleep, at least, Marco, Camari, Morgan and I did. Jack and Luca went to the bar and broke up a fight, I heard.

The next morning, we played at the North Charleston Arts Festival. There was rain in the forecast, but we lucked out! The band played well. The Random Horns (Jon Phillips and Steve Spaulding) were excellent! Considering we had very little sleep and had driven 15 hours the day before, blue number nine was amazing. I forgot the words on three songs... my brain just wouldn't wake up (our set was at 10am, the first band of the day!) But it was fine. On "Jerking My Chains", some girls who were watching us jumped up to dance and we showed them the moves. It was cute! Don Lewis from LOW COUNTRY VOICE came to the show and videotaped it. I'll let you know when we get a copy. I hope those girls don't mind if we put them up on our website!

After our performance, we went back to our hotel, hung around a bit, then checked out and drove to Asheville, NC. Someone at the North Charleston Festival told us that the drive was "a five hour white knuckle drive," but we made it in four hours and it wasn't scary. Yes, it was mountainous, but there was no fog or rain. It was beautiful!

When we got to downtown Asheville, we put blankets in the windows of the van and changed into our gig clothing. We put on a really great show that evening, and again, it looked like rain would fall any second, but it never did. We sold quite a few CD's at this performance and met some cool and some kooky people. Asheville is an interesting place!

That night, we stayed at Pasckie Pascua's house. Paskie organizes concerts in Pritchard Park on a monthly basis and calls them "Bonfires for Peace". That was the event we played on Saturday the 6th. On Sunday, we were to perform inside a space called the Fortune Building. Sadly, very few people came. We had fun anyway and pretty much just jammed with Adrienne, Malcolm and John, the other artists who were supposed to perform as well. I should be honest - 3 people came, that's it. I felt bad for all of us. The next day, we drove home. We made some great contacts in North Charleston if we ever wanted to go back there to play, and I would like to return to Asheville, too. I wish our show on the 7th hadn't been so empty, but there's nothing I can do about it now!

On the 13th, we were supposed to play at a place called Cozzy's Backyard Barbeque in Pine Plains, NY, which is close to the Catskills. Camari came to town on May 3rd and stayed until the 14th, so she and Morgan would have done this show. However, the owner called us the day before and cancelled because it was supposed to rain on the 13th, and our show was to be outside. They had no backup plan in place in case of rain. We were all bummed about it, but what can you do, other than never again book a gig where there are no rain contingencies!

Our next performance in May was on the 26th in Maryland. Dana had originally confirmed this gig, but forgot. So we pulled in Dara Seitzman, who hadn't sung with us in years. But as always, she learned what she needed to learn, did what she needed to do, and totally pulled it off! She and Camari looked fabulous together, too. See the pictures in our TOUR section.

This show, however, was hard... this month was hard! Luca's parents were visiting from Italy. The night before the show, Dara came over and slept over because we had to leave at 7am the next morning (the show was at the Lexington Market at NOON!) Luca was originally going to bring his parents along - his plan also was to stay over the house the night before, however, on Wednesday, he announced that he got a gig Thursday. Marco had a gig, too. I had to tutor! So Marco picked up Luca's parents and me from the PATH station, I immediately ran off to teach, and when I got home, Marco was gone, Luca's parents were at my house and Dara came over in a cab. Jack showed up around 11:30 (we all agreed that since we had to leave so early, we would all sleep at my house.)

Does any of this sound like fun? Well, you got it - it was not! It was hectic and tiring and involved much sleep deprivation, especially after the week I had before that, and especially because once again, a musician cancelled on us 2 weeks before and another one gave me trouble about a very important gig. Plus, Luca and Marco got to the house at around 2:30 and I woke up and had a hard time falling back to sleep.

But the show itself was excellent. I had never been to Lexington Market before and expected the show to be outside, but it was inside and the place was packed! Afterwards, a woman who runs a jewelry stand told me that usually, she can't wait until 2pm, when the bands are done! But she loved us... it was a great audience, actually, one of the better bn9 shows in a while. The only problem was the sound system - we were told the venue had a PA, but it was awful and people kept telling us to turn up. We pushed it as loud as we could, but then, the speakers started distorting and feeding back. So we singers just how to sing as loudly as we could. Afterwards, Marco, Jack, Luca and his parents and I had crab cakes. YUM!

Luca's parents videotaped the show. Too bad the sound wasn't good. If we were to perform there again, we'd definitely have to bring our own PA!

We returned to Club Europa on May 28th. I had originally wanted to have a 3 piece horn section, but we went with a two piece. I actually screwed up, because I had asked the trumpet player to perform with us and forgot that I had asked her, and Marco had already sent the contract back saying that we were an 8 piece band. I've been very confused this month... it has been a difficult month in many respects.

The lineup was me, Luca, Marco & Jack with Amy Leeds and Chris Vaindirlis on vocals and Lily White and Jeff Dieterle on horns. It was fun to perform with Chris & Amy again. They both did a fabulous job as usual and I hope to be working with them again.

The audience loved Lily. This woman can play her butt off on the sax, and I found out last night SHE SINGS, TOO! So she very well may be getting a lot more calls in the future. How cool would it be to have a singer who also plays sax?! Well, we'll see.

We met some nice people - one man ran out to his restaurant and bought me pierogis and borscht! It was delicious. Europa is located in a Polish neighborhood and this food was the real deal. Also - THANK YOU to our fans and friends who came out that night. We don't know when we'll be performing again in this area, so I'm glad some people did indeed come out.

Luca's parents came again and videotaped us, and my mother came also and helped sell CD's. The warm reception we receive at Europa is always a treat and I always look forward to returning (although lugging gear up the stairs is a little tough on the ole back - but they have a drumkit and bass rig there now, so that helps.) I'd play there all the time if we could.

If you haven't been to our FORUM yet, I added some photos from our trip to South Carolina & North Carolina in the ON THE ROAD topic. There are also photos from Baltimore in there. Tomorrow, I'll add a photo gallery of even more pix from that show.

Finally, we could use a little help. This is a strange request, but we need help in Charlotte NC, Morganton NC, Columbus OH, Boston MA, Nashua NH, Boston & Lincoln MA, Morristown NJ, Pittsburgh PA and Cleveland OH. We need someone to sit at our merchandise table and sell CDs, caps and t-shirts, and we will PAY YOU to do so - not only will you receive a cap and a copy of blue number nine's CD "on a shoestring" (or if you already have that, a copy of my solo CD), we'll give you 20% of our sales. So if you can't do it, but you know someone who would/could, please click here to contact me. Thanks so much.

Summer is here! What a beautiful day today, although it seems a little hotter than usual, but it seems there is no such thing as "usual" any more. I have finally accepted that the season known as "spring" no longer occurs in this part of the world. I'll take a Memorial Day weekend like this, though, every year. Apparently, this is the first time in SEVEN YEARS with not rain on Memorial Day weekend. Did you realize that? .



Remarks? Comments? Want to read "Dear Surfers" all the way from 1997? Visit our FORUM


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blue number nine™ is not affiliated with Number Nine Records
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