Monday, January 31, 2005

back in black

No, it's not deja vu, just a jump back to where we were before. My makeover to the blog was a surprise to others -- there was a strong stance to keep the white text on black background rather than all those rounded boxes and lighter background and I'd rather be a lover than a fighter, so I'm returning to our original look.

My apologies to all for all the sudden changes. This is how we're keeping it until and unless we take the blog to a new location, at which time it may have a look to match whatever our website looks like in the future. I'm disabling comments on this post only because I just want my post to be here as an explanation and not a starting point for conversation... please blog on, friends, and if you'll just do me the favor of pretending the change never happened, I will feel a little bit better and can continue on with the bigger picture, ok?

(If you have just posted and beat me to this message, don't worry about it, I just want to move on from here... hope that makes some sense... thanks, and all good things to all of you.)

The TV show is on next week

OK folks, here it is! Starting next week, the Trading Spouses shows w/ our friends, the O'Briens. Look out for Nate the Great on bass! Maybe some other Wilders may pop up, too. I think it's on at 7 pm central time... is that right, brophil?

I'll have some stories to add about last week, coming soon. Today, I am burrowing my way through a bunch of emails from the last week.

Thanks everyone for the continued faith and support. I'll say more soon...

Trading Spouses: O'Brien/Shackelford: Part 1 (2/7) Part 2 (2/14)

In this fresh take on the classic fish-out-of-water story, Mrs. O'Brien of Evergreen, CO, and Mrs. Shackelford of Smithfield, VA, trade places with each other to try out the ultimate life change - switching their families to take over a family from another walk of life. Part one of this two part episode airs Monday, February 7, part two airs Monday, February 14 (8:00-9:00 PM) on FOX.

Part 1 of this episode of TRADING SPOUSES: MEET YOUR NEW MOMMY airs Monday, Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Episode: O'Brien/Shackelford, Part 1 of 2 (TSP-121)
Date: 2-7-2005
Time: 8:00-9:00 PM
Network:  FOX

Part 2 of this episode of TRADING SPOUSES: MEET YOUR NEW MOMMY airs Monday, Feb. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Episode: O'Brien/Shackelford, Part 2 of 2 (TSP-122)
Date: 2-14-2005
Time: 8:00-9:00 PM
Network:  FOX

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Oh for heaven's sake, relax folks!

Alright, now that I've got your attention. I'll give you an update. Sorry for the cliffhanger but I like to play around with y'all's minds a little bit just to keep you interested, you know? Yeah, The Chief ran like crap all the way down to Louisiana. Yeah, The Chief ran like crap 1/3 of the way back. But we've still got angels on our side and a couple of decent (albeit reluctant) mechanics on board that old claptrap. I won't go into great detail at this point but let's just say that Nate and Ike, with the help of an above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty employee of the local Natchitoches, Louisiana O'Reilly Auto Parts store, fixed that crap for good. The short story- it needed a new distributor. The old one looked like an rusty old antique at a roadside flea market. The boys fixed him up real good and we rolled like butter all the way home. So let's stop all this "we need to organize" stuff ok? We are grown ups. We are able deal with our transportation situation without calling Andy Hardy and Judy Garland-not that I don't appreciate the sentiment. Rest assured that when we REALLY need help, we'll beg like.... well, beggars, I guess. Oh, by the way, Dirk Powell was fantastic. Y'all can relax on the whole vehicle thing and start salivating at the aural prominence that is coming your way soon...

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Trials and tribulations on the way to the bayou...

Betse, Nate and I left good ol' K.C. around 4pm enroute to Betse's home town, Fayetteville, Arkansas. We met up with Ike and his mom, Vieta, in Joplin, Missouri and dined on a fantastic truck stop buffet dinner courtesy of Flying J. Then Ike grabbed the wheel of the Chief and, in two hours, delivered us safely into Betse's parent's driveway. Bob and Bobbie Ellis welcomed us into their home and we enjoyed a nightcap of German beer and cheese dip before turning in for the evening.

The next morning, after breakfast, we stopped by a local Fayetteville music store to stock up on picks and strings before heading out of town straight south on Hwy 71 through the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. Being the strong morning driver that I am, I took charge of The Chief and renewed my RV driving legs on the twisting, turning single lane. After a few hours of driving this snaking highway, The Chief began to backfire randomly. There would be a loss of power and then a giant BANG! Each time it happened, I watched the cars that were hopelessly trapped behind us on the curving, narrow hills drop back 50 yards or so- putting a safe distance between us just on the odd chance that The Chief might suddenly explode. I cautiously continued to limp the RV up and down the hills while Nate and Ike deliberated on the possible cause of the RV's poor performance. Smack dab in the middle of the Quichita National Forest, I completely lost power and I had to quickly jerk the wheel to the right shoulder. The boys pulled off the engine shroud and started inspecting things while I crawled under The Chief to change the fuel filter. The boys discovered several possible problems but decided that a filthy air filter was the most likely culprit. As our luck would have it, the next town was only four miles away (downhill thankfully) and we were able to buy a new filter, spark plugs, wires and other essential auto sundries at the parts store minutes before they closed down for the weekend.

With the filter freshly changed, and our appointment to record with Dirk Powell foremost in our minds (but still hundreds of miles away), we fired back up The Chief and hoped for the best. It performed much better (now that it could breathe!) and we all exhaled a sigh of relief as the Ozark afternoon decayed into golden twilight.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Gettin' ready to go

OK! Here's a new post so y'all can go crazy again! Yes, we've been busy getting ready for the big record session. I'm all excited and not too nervous... yet. Hopefully the nerves will be more like adrenaline once we're there. It's just crazy that this is actually happening and... well, I don't even know what else to say. I think I just got more nervous writing that.

Peggy -- I hope your shoulder/arm is doing better! I don't know if you can get ahold of any down there, but look for some arnica -- it really helps with soreness. You can find it in a health food store, both in gel and pill form.

Everybody else -- keep on keeping on, and don't worry about limiting your topics, like brotherphil said.

I have too much to do this afternoon but as usual have enjoyed all the various posts from y'all -- all alliterations aside, always admire animated activity and actual astuteness.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Black was getting me down so now I'm blue

Hello Everybody,

Thanks for all the well wishes. I am doing better, not quite 100% yet, but am determined to be well very soon so we can get back into practicing -- which is much needed to make the most of our recording session!

I will try to post a little more often... not exactly a resolution, but a good intention... because for you serious posters, it's hard to have to scroll all the way down after a long post. I may some day change locations of the blog as I've seen some that work more like a list of threads and you can more easily navigate per topic.

But first things first. I liked the black page I originally set up, but I was getting tired of it. So, I've chosen a new template. I hope you like it. If not, well, hmm, that may be too bad! I like to mess with html, what little I know of it, and so I customized this template so I could add links, which you can see on the right. I'll be adding more to these and if you have ideas you can email me (see the email link to the right)... ideas, anyone?

For once I'll keep this one short -- thanks again for the good thoughts and great stories and I will say a little tear came to my eye more than once. Y'all are good people.

P.S. Nate just got a real email address and I've sent him the key to get in as an official post-er. So you don't see his name right now on contributors, but it will reappear when he's done this. Now, Vieta, how'd you get in on that list? I guess Ike did it but I'm not sure how that happened as I am the Keymaster. Not to be confused as related to Tickmeister.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A Much Needed Update!

Hey folks,
These are a few things that are happening or are going to be in the next two months:

1. The Wilders live DVD is finally finished. I worked on it for the entire month of December and finished it just in time for the Christmas holiday. My wife and I watched it on Christmas Eve and she tapped her toes and laughed out loud for the entire show. Although we recorded it almost a year ago, I think it is an excellent representation of our live show. I also included a special surprise at the end that many of you will be very eager to see. I will take the final master to the manufacturer tomorrow morning and I'd expect it to available (hopefully) by mid February. The cost will be $20.00. Stay tuned to the website for ordering information.

2. We have been invited to travel to Louisiana to record with Dirk Powell at the end of January. Betse and Nate both got a chance to meet Mr. Powell at the Gray Fox Festival in Ancramdale New York last summer. He immediately impressed both of them with his laid back, hip southerness. At the IBMA conference this last October, he candidly told our booking agent, Mary, that The Wilders had, "raw beauty man, raw bea-Uty". We know we are lucky to have this opportunity and are taking it very seriously with multiple practices to get our new material up to snuff. For a nice one-page biography of Dirk go to the following link:

3. Some of you who dig deep in the comments of these blogs know that, for the first time, we are working on original material for our new album. As of now, we have 10 original songs/fiddle tunes with a few more on the back burner. Betse has written some fantastic barn burning fiddle tunes that are quickly becoming my favorite tunes in her repetoire. Nate has written two fabulous honky tonk tunes that are a blast to play (the kid has really got a way of setting that old country hook!). And Ike and I have both dug into our old song archives to resurrect some of our old songs that we always believed in, but just never had a band to flesh them out, until now. So we are all pretty excited. The hardest part will be figuring out what will work best for the album. Regardless, it will be our best sounding record yet.

4. I gave 30 days notice to the Art Institute on December 17th. I will be a full time Wilder by the time we go to Louisiana to record. I'm looking forward to focusing on just one job for the first time in 9 years.

5. Finally, I'm not supposed to talk about this so please heed this cryptic hint...
Watch the reality show, "Trading Spouses" on Fox in January and February. The reason why will be evident when you catch the right episode. That is all. Happy New Year everybody!