October 1, 2007

Banned in Canada, Home in Indiana

Well we have had some amazing shows this summer, and some amazing adventures. We’ll get to those soon, but this time the blog begins somewhere in Montana west of Billings. This is a forest fire off in the distance. At this point we are many miles away.

As we came around the bend (still miles away), we passed beneath the smoke from the 1000’s of acres of trees being burned. It blocked out the sun and made the sky dark in this strange way.

Our van blew a belt.

Jayme and this fella fixed it. We were back on the road headed to Seattle then Canada!

We arrived at the Canadian border with all the correct paperwork/permits/passports etc. The line on I-5 to get into Canada was three and a half hours long. We patiently wait our turn, get to the front of the line, and then are told to go into the customs office. There we are questioned. They pull my brother aside. We are then informed that Jayme is not going to be allowed into Canada. What?

Yes, Jayme was banned from Canada for some stupid kid stuff years ago. The Candadian border guard said it was his discretion, and he just decided not to let him in. Now before you think that my brother is a bad guy, there was even an article written in the one of the Canadian papers about Americans musicians booked at the festival being denied entry into Canada. A lot of really big names and headliner acts were turned away. We weren’t the only ones who had trouble. We will be able to get it worked out we believe, it will just cost money, and that is really what this kind of thing is all about… money. HOWEVER! Breezy and I decided to go on in and make the shows, because one thing is for sure… come hell or high water we always make the shows. We had to turn around and wait an hour at to get back into the US, drive 35 minutes to a greyhound station, and we put Jayme on a bus headed for Glendive, Montana. That is the station closest to where we would enter back into the USA.

We had to wait another 3 hours in line to get back into Canada without my brother. All in all this was over an 8 hour ordeal. Breezy and I drove all night, and got to Salmon Arm, BC at 4:30am. We stopped to sleep somwhere in the Canadian Rockies, and I don’t know if I ever felt so far from home in all the travelling I have done. We didn’t know where Jayme was, what we were going to do when we got there, or really what was going to happen. When we got to the festival we were greeted by very friendly Canadians. They were wonderful, and totally sympathetic to our woes. They helped us find a local drummer named Josh to fill in. Despite having NO rehearsal time, Josh did a great job on the drums. It wasn’t the same as having my brother of course, but he did pretty good. It ended up being the highest CD sale day of the whole summer. We couldn’t believe it.

We saw beautiful things in Canada. This is a Canadian Pacific train, which was really cool.

In Canada’s Glacier National Park it snowed on the van… in August!

This is probably my favorite picture from Canada, and Breezy took it! She demanded credit for it!

More of the Canadian Rockies while we were on our way back to the US. We still didn’t know what had become of my brother. The trip from Bellingham, WA to Glendive, MT was a 40 bus ride, but we had been away from him for more than 40 hours. The US border patrol searched our van on the way in, and held us at the border for about 45 minutes. Then let us go.

When we got to the truck stop in Glendive, MT where we were supposed to meet up, Jayme came walking out of the woods. He was out of money, and had been hassled by some of the authorities. He went into the woods to hide so he wouldn’t get picked up for vagrancy. He said, “I have never been so happy to see you two.” We felt the same way.

We made trakcs across North Dakota, but stopped to see this beautiful place.

Our giant hoosier homecoming show was awesome. The place was packed, and we couldn’t have been happier to be back home in Indiana. The crowd was one of the best crowds I have ever played for. The Vogue is a giant place, and it was an honor to play for a packed house. We recorded the whole thing for a live Big Damn Band record, and the rough mixes sound great! I can’t wait for you to hear it! Here is a video made by our friend Ryan Hupfer at Indy Mojo. And a couple of reviews of the show. Indy Star and Nuvo.

These pics from the Indy show at the Vogue theatre are courtesy of amazing concert photog and dear friend – Kristen Leep… https://kristenleep.com

Breezy at the Vogue! https://kristenleep.com

I am proud to be a Kentucky Colonel from the other sunny side of the Ohio. https://kristenleep.com

Jayme at the Vogue. https://kristenleep.com

We stopped of at Prairie dog town to see the world’s largest prairie dog. If you have read previous blogs you know we have attempted this a few times, but the place is always closed. Not this day. Here saw a lot of animals, and also this five legged cow.

This is a bobcat at prairie dog town.

Breezy feeds a goat at prairie dog town.

And yes here Jayme and Breezy stand with the world’s largest prairie dog.

Jayme at prairie dog town.

Jayme feeds prairie dogs.

A rattler at prairie dog town.

A cafe sign in Minnesota.

This is the view from the stage at the Broken Axe in Moorehead, MN (Fargo, ND). This picture is not very good, but notice that the stage is 13 feet off the ground and above the bar. The crowd is vary far down and away. It is the most unique set up I have ever seen. There are some really nice folks there.

Here are some pics from our show at Red Rocks in Denver for the Monolith Festival. This was taken by Laurie Scavo. Here is a fun You Tube Video of the show.

Breezy Rocks out at Red Rocks.

Jayme at Red Rocks.

Another great Red Rocks pic taken by Laurie Scavo.

Monolith Festival, Red Rocks, Denver, CO.

The amazing crowd at Red Rocks for the Monolith Festival.

A Rainbow shines over the van in Carbondale, CO. This was the brightest rainbow I have ever seen. The pic does it no justice. Below the purple you can see more colors, and it was a double rainbow!

Part of a burger king billboard flew off in a windstorm in Kansas and hit our van. Thanks for a great summer, but be on the look out for an even better fall!

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