Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays!

This will probably be my last post before the end of the year since there is absolutely nothing going on right now, and I have much more important things to do than try to think of something interesting to write- like waiting for the dang snow to melt so I can get back to the Sweeeeeeeeet skatepark they just built in downtown KC. So, in the meantime, all of you who are able to recieve Kansas City radio, please tune in on Christmas Eve to KCUR 89.3FM at 2pm. Yesterday, we went down to our beloved local NPR affiliate and pre-recorded an hour of Christmas goodness AND an interview for our pal, Robert Moore's show, Sonic Spectrum. Our special guests included our good friend Gary Miller (aka Bubba) AND Darth Vader, so it is NOT TO BE MISSED. If you are out of the KC radio area, KCUR 89.3FM can be heard online by pasting the following into your browser:

If you are not able to listen on Christmas Eve, no problem, because Robert's show is now archived. Just go to the following:

I'm not sure how long it will take for the show to be archived, but I'd imagine that you might get to hear it before your fruitcake hardens up. Oh wait, fruitcake by definition has already hardened hasn't it? Well, you get the idea...
Best wishes from our Wilder families to yours...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Last month of the year...

I'm sitting in the back of the brown clown rolling through the birthplace of water skiing, Lake City, Minnesota. But there aren't too many people out on the vastly wide Mississippi River right now, however, since it's frozen solid and topped with about 6" of snow. We are out on our final tour of the year, a quicky 4-day run taking us from Minneapolis, MN to Columbia, MO with stops in LaCrosse, WI and Iowa City, IA. We've put almost 50,000 miles on the clown since we purchased it in April. Our little conversion van/4x6 trailer combination has served us well, and it feels good to finish out our first year as full time musicians with one more road trip.

What a year! As I think back on 2005, it's hard to believe all the places we've been and all the people we've met. It all started in January with the recording of our new album, "Throw Down", down in Louisiana with Dirk Powell. That trip was followed by a very long tour taking us from Arizona, up the California coast into the northwest, and finally up to Vancouver for our first visit to Canada. As you might remember, we lost The Chief early on in that tour, and our finances have been compromised ever since. But we persevered, and with the purchase of the brown clown, we were able to continue on in April, making our first visits to the southeast United States on a tour that would ultimately prove to have fortuitous later returns due to a stellar inaugural appearance at MerleFest in North Carolina.

Then it was back out west for another first, The Telluride Bluegrass, followed by a return to Montana and Wyoming. The summer closed with a hot and sticky tour starting in New York, continuing on up the eastern seaboard to Maine, and then halfway back across the country and then all the way north, to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Before the leaves even began to turn, we found ourselves back in Michigan for our second appearance at The Wheatland Music Festival, followed by our beloved Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, then Silver Dollar City in Branson, and finally, IBMA in Nashville. One more plane ride in November, and we were then able to cross Florida, too, off our list of "firsts". It all seems like a blur, but by the time we finish up this current tour, we will have played concerts, clubs and festivals in over 30 states as well as one Canadian province- all in 2005!

Despite all the miles, we are all holding up well. Nate and Melissa had their beautiful baby girl, Gretel, in October, and they are now easing into the routines of parenthood. We've ordered protective flight cases for our instruments to prepare for next year's travel demands, and although we will probably not record another album until late next year, everyone is writing new tunes like crazy. I think we are all looking forward to sitting down together to work on the new material after the holidays. We are also looking forward to visiting some new places in 2006, most notably, our first tour of Alaska in June, and a trip to Ireland in late August. So, as I always say, stayed tuned. There will be lots more stories from the road. Thanks for reading.