There was the usual small bottle of Patron in our dressing room behind the stage at Camrose Big Valley Jamboree – nothing special – the usual for our ritual toast prior to each performance we do. However this bottle was the one we should have had last year when the stage collapsed. They had saved it for us all year long until we returned. It obviously had a great significance to us since on that day last year Donna Moore was killed and many people seriously injured including Park and our tour manager Mark Botting. We celebrated Donna that evening even though we did not know her. We each said a silent prayer for her and her family before the show. $100,000 dollars was raised in an auction for her kids earlier in the weekend.
The great fans at Big Valley welcomed us back in style as well. To salute them, their country who has sent their own into harm’s way along side of ours, and to remember Donna, we played “The Angels Came Down” just before “Superman 14” to end the set. Thank you all for welcoming us back.
Prior to our set we all had the pleasure of listening to the great Ronnie Milsap who still sings and writes with a conviction rarely heard in county music today.
We are headed up to Niagara Falls for two shows at Fallsview Casino on Thursday and Friday – the 5th and 6th – then to Nova Scotia on Sat.
We heard rumors that some friends from Europe are coming to Fallsview. Is that true? Also……… Who , among our friends in Canada, are coming to the shows? Are the twins coming………..?
Ludmilla – you came last year – had to break the bank to come – but I heard you can’t make it this year. I’ll say hello to you from all of us…..Thanks for coming then – We’ll see you and your husband soon.
Last Friday Kevin, along with Daisy (his faithful white Lab), flew into Edmonton with Jan Folk and friends for our concert at Big Valley Jamboree. You probably don’t know Jan – but – she is the visionary, the philanthropist, and the founder of Orangedog. She’s from Edmonton, Canada and just recently happened to fly 140 homeless dogs from Orange County, California in a private jet to Edmonton and then found homes for all of them except one. That one was adopted by the pilot of the plane before it got to Edmonton. And….that wasn’t the first time she flew little dogs in a private jet from O to E. Kevin is a big time supporter of Jan and her cool idea… Do your research online and see what an incredible story it is.
Edmonton has a shortage of small dogs and Orange County has a surplus – so much of a surplus that they are killing dogs by the second down there because there are not enough homes for them. We all know the story….cute little puppy….. but too much to handle when the puppy becomes a living dog who needs walking and feeding and time to poop and a little love. Well, Jan convinced the sweet-hearted owner of a private jet company (the kind of company that flies rich people around the world) to use his down time to help stray dogs from Southern Cal live a full and meaningful life with someone in Edmonton who is freezing his or her ass off in the long winters with no one to love and cuddle in the long cold nights (as opposed to the Long Hot Nights down in Tucson where the only thing you want to cuddle is an ice cube or a wet sheet). The airline company is Global Exec Aviation run by Ramon Manriquez. Try them out sometime when you are SICK AND TIRED OF AIRLINES WHO KEEP LOSING YOUR BAGGAGE AND YOUR GUITARS AND SOMETIME EVEN LOSING YOURSELF! Global Exec might be a little pricey for a trip to see Grandma in Columbus, Ohio for the weekend….. but, Ramon’s got a heart of gold. That’s the way people should use their money! Don’t you wish there were more people around like Jan, Ramon, and Kevin?
Modern Westerners love dogs, cats, snakes, rodents, bugs, spiders, horses, cows, buffaloes, alligators etc……………
The sun finally broke through the clouds above Wisconsin and the show went on at Country Thunder last Saturday. It still rained off and on through the afternoon but nobody really cared. Hardly anyone even ran for cover because who would want to miss Craig Morgan or Collin Raye. What great talents. We were honored to be on the same stage as those guys and of course the headliner Miranda Lambert who came out with all guns firing. We had a great time playing as the sun went down – finishing as usual with Superman 14 and Kevin running down the walkway thanking people and shaking hands. We also played “Johnny Stole A Cadillac” for the first time in a year. That was a lot of fun. Most people still don’t know our songs but they were encouraging and supportive and know how to have a good time.
This week we are headed up to the Big Valley Jamboree where the big tragedy occurred last summer when the stage collapsed in a violent storm. We never got the chance to play so we are looking forward to coming back and spending a day and shaking off some bad old memories with some good rock and roll.
First of all we want to thank everyone in the Ottawa area and everyone in the Regina area for coming to the festivals. Wow! You Canadians really know how to put on a festival. The Ottawa Blues Fest, right in beautiful downtown Ottawa, had an incredible lineup of musicians and music of all kinds – and that means everything from pure country to the amazing Martin Sexton to some great R&B to the incredible Jimmy Cliff. It went on for 12 days. We had a fantastic time and made a lot of new friends who now know that KCMW is not a FLUKE.
About 30 miles outside of Regina (some new friends here told us that Regina rhymes with fun – I didn’t say it so don’t get all over me about it) there is a beautiful green valley which is the location of the kick-ass festival called Craven Country Jamboree. Out in the middle of nowhere there were 32,000 fans ready to rock and roll. The weather was magnificent (so was our tequila before the show – you probably remember that we always have a toast before we go on) and the fans were too. Most of them didn’t know what to expect from us although I did see a few “Turn It On” CDs in the audience. By the end of the show we were finishing “Superman14” and Kevin was out on the walkway running through the audience shaking hands and blowing kisses and the band just kept rocking out on that great riff, which Teddy came up with at the end of the song — people were up on their feet – we just didn’t want it to end – man it just doesn’t get any better than that………unless……..we just happen to be in Europe – which is looking more and more like it’s going to happen. Two shows in Armenia – Two in Austria and one in London – maybe one in Ireland -all in late September. We should have some dates for you by the end of the week.
You want to know something else? Kenny Chesney ROCKS! – got a knockout 4 piece horn section, an incredible percussion guy who played with The Wailers, and some amazing guitarists – and they are all great people. There were 32,000 fans on their feet as 4 jets roared overhead on a low flyby……………..and the band rocked on into the summer night
Well we’re off to Canada for a bunch of dates this summer. For those of us in the band who are from Tucson (Larry and John) and from Nashville (Teddy and Park and Sara) this is a welcome change. We all have been in BLISTERING HEAT! Tucson has been 100 + for almost a month now and Nashville has been hot and humid for weeks. In Nashville you have to change clothes four times a day otherwise you look like you have just stepped out of a swimming pool as you walk into a meeting. Kevin is in Aspen after a hard few months of trying (once again) to convince people that his centrifugal machines really do separate oil and water. He is exhausted but ready to play again. Blair has been in Oregon where it has been (until recently) quite cold. He has been complaining about the weather but to deaf ears from his bandmates who are sweltering in the heat.
For our fans in Europe, it looks like we will be coming back in September to do a couple of shows in Armenia ; a couple in Austria ; one in England and maybe a few more. Keep checking our website. WE CAN’T WAIT TO COME BACK…………..
And……..our latest CD “Turn It On” will be released in Canada on EMI on July 13th just before our show in Ottawa.
The whole world knows it happened already….. but we just want to say congratulations to Kevin and Christine. They have a little girl now and her name is Grace.
We’re starting to gear up for the summer – doing some festivals in Canada – also Country Thunder again – this time in Twin Lakes Wis. Also we’re working on a return trip to Europe for Sept. 4 – 11. Not sure where we’ll be playing yet. And………we might be coming to Australia for some concerts. That would be fun.
Park and Teddy survived the floods in Nashville but only after incurring pretty heavy damage. They’ve been playing some benefits to help out the community. KCMW might do one this summer but it depends on scheduling. John, Blair and Larry headlined the final night of the Tucson Folk Festival in May. That was a blast. We played with our friend Peter McLaughlin – world champion flat picker. We also played a wonderful memorial celebration concert for my mom who passed away while we were touring in Europe last time. Had a whole bunch of people out under the stars while the nighthawks swooped into the light and the music carried for miles and miles across the desert. Most everyone knows about Kevin’s desire to help clean up BP’s mess with his wonderful machines which can separate oil and water. Bp’s been dragging their feet. I hope some indictments follow.
Our last three shows – Stuttgart, Bratislava, and Nurnberg sent us off back to America with fond memories of Europe. The crowds again were amazing and enthusiastic. We saw old friends who came to say goodbye in Nurnberg. We saw an unexpectedly beautiful city in Bratislava (we all want to go back to Slovakia). There we walked along the Danube before the show – miles of walkway along that ancient river. In Stuttgart we played in a wonderful theatre and once again felt like we were playing to friends who welcomed us with a little hidden wildness which came out full force at the end of the show.
We’re home for a couple weeks then we head to Florence, Arizona to play Country Thunder – then to Mississippi for one show – then back home.
Word has it that we may be coming back in late June/early July to do an outdoor concert in Salzberg and maybe a few others probably in Italy.
We were talking about our flights back on British Airways on the 26th – will we really fly back home then or will the strike cancel our flights?
It will cost a bundle of money to rebook our tickets – so much so that we may never be able to fly home again. We had a good laugh about that. We would all just get back on the bus and keep moving – call our agent Nick and have him book another 6 weeks of shows. It wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened. Park even said he would be fine with having 10 days off, go home, feed the dogs, mow the lawn, pay some bills then come back and start another tour. A silence fell over the dressing room when he said that….. just a momentary consideration about how we could each make that work. We were all fantasizing about the call back home……”Honey, we’re going to be a little delayed……….”. We all miss home too much for that to ever happen but it just illustrates how much fun we’ve had over here.
Dresden was amazing. One of the most beautiful cities we have seen …..a wonderful concert. In Kempten, one day later, the day was so warm we all sat out in the parking lot basking in the sun….. great crowd that night. We’ve got three shows left…… We’re “gonna miss your town……” when we go.