October 4, 2006

Italy Blog

The Rootsway Festival put us up in Bed and Breakfasts most of the time, and it was really nice. It sure beats sleeping in our van.

This is Ivan He owns this B&B. We gave him a shirt, and he gave us this bottle of wine.

These are the awesome people that took care of us in Rome. I really miss them. That was a special group of people. I cannot wait to return.

This is Sylvia she was our translator in Rome, and she looks exactly like our mom when she was younger. It freaked me and Jayme out.

This was the view from the stage in Bellinzona Switzerland. It rained so fewer people showed up (it was still in the thousands). They danced in the rain until a really bad storm came. The four and a half songs we got to play earned us a spot on the front page of one the national newspapers in Switzerland. What an amazing place. You can see a castle in the distance.

Another Swiss Castle.

Here I am in the courtyard of a Swiss Castle.

And Jayme is hanging out in an old tunnel under a castle.

I love this Breezy self portrait.

I took this picture.

In Rome we hung out with T-Model Ford, Spam, Big George Brock, Bill Abel and Jennifer and Roger Stolle (all some of our friends from Mississippi). T-Model kept us laughing all night. He loved Breezy. He told me that I needed to watch her, and, “If she flags my train I am gonna let her ride.”

Here Jayme is with Spam.

T-Model wanted to play my 1930 National Triolian. He started to play, but he didnt know the tuning. He handed it back to me, and asked me to play him a song. So I did, and I started clowning and showing off. After it was over people clapped, and he said, You had to do it didnt you you had to show me up well I dont blame you Your old lady has been looking at me all night. We were in tears laughing.

This is Breezy rocking out in Rome.

I love this pic of Jayme.

In Rome.

This is Jennifer Stolle with T-Model. Jennifer and Roger Stolle run Cathead in Clarksdale, MS. It is one of the coolest places on the planet.

This is Big George Brock on stage.

The World Cup is a huge deal in Europe, and here some Italians are celebrating a victory. I am so glad they won the whole thing. Everyone in Italy really wanted it too happen, and to be honest we were attacked by mimes and clowns on our layover in Paris. It was very frightening. It made it hard to root for the French in any way.

The food in Italy is amazing. No preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors, all natural it is the law. The stuff they call Parmesan cheese in America isnt fit for human consumption once you compare it to the real thing in Parma Italy. But they dont make a good hamburger! Dinner in Italy is a five plate undertaking that take 3 hours to finish, but Italians are skinny because the food is so much healthier — As a curious fact, they take great care of their skin with products likeĀ under eye masks.

I took this picture in rural Italy, because I thought it looked like a Monet painting or something.

We got to play on the Radio in Italy too, and during that leg of the tour David Lee Durham was on the road with us. He is one of the keepers of the Indianola, MS sound (like BB King). He is a kind hearted talented soul. It was a pleasure meeting him, and he asked me to play rhythm behind him on the radio.

Then I played a song by myself. There wasnt room for the whole Big Damn Band in the room.

After the radio show I played more in the lobby, and David and the DJs danced. It was awesome.

On the last leg of the trip we stayed at the same bed and breakfast on a 1000 year old farm, and they drove us from gig to gig and back to the farm to stay. It was awesome. We thought it looked like a scene from the Godfather II.

The cars in Europe are a little small. This van drove us around once we got to the farm.

Another photo of the farm.

This goat was fun to play with. He would head butt you and try to eat your pants. Pretty normal for a goat.

Over the thousand years that the farm has been in there many different groups have taken over. This is what remains of one such group.

On the property there was a 1000 year old catholic church.

This fresca painting was uncovered at that church recently. It was painted over during the plague to sanitize the area, because the church was used as a hospital. This one is especially interesting Mary the mother of Jesus is shown nursing here. A rare glimpse at the breast of the mother of god. It is the only one of its kind that is known. They figure since the church was dedicated to the life of Jesus, that made it ok, only in the walls of this church. Also, some rich nobles of the time period had themselves painted into the fresca in the middle as though they were there during the birth of Jesus. Pretty interesting.

This is Tony Negri and his wife Janice. They are responsible for this tour happening, and they really took care of us. Tony has an amazing story himself. He lived in an orphanage for a while, and when he came to America from Italy he only spoke Italian. No one taught English from Italian, so he had to learn Spanish first so that he could then learn Spanish to English. He is the real deal.

I cannot wait to get back, and I am going to try to find more pics and links. I cant stress enough how kind all the people were too us. It was like a dream come true.

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