Reckon Crew and I had soooooo much fun last night at Cedar Creek! I was completely impressed by the beauty of the grounds themselves! Beauty and Cottage charm in a rural setting. The picture above shows the entrance to the tasting room. They have a small vineyard at the front of the property, and a really cool outbuilding/shelter near the tasting room, which is where we played yesterday evening to a small but responsive crowd that remained to the end of the night. The winery itself has only been in operation for a couple of years or so. They have a broad selection of wines and cheeses. Reckon Crew enjoyed "Twilight White" and garlic cheese with focacia chips. It was awesome! I don't normally drink white wine at all because I get a headache. Not from Twilight White, and I consider myself most sensitive.
NOAM (Network for Original Americana Music), headed up by J.C. Clements sponsored this event. It's a new organization hoping to shine light on the original americana musicians and talent that we have in our region. Reckon Crew and myself are involved with the group and wish you would help us get off the ground by "liking" the Facebook pages of both NOAM and Reckon Crew. Go to www.reverbnation.com/mistystevens to keep up with me :-D You can also join the mailing list for regular updates.
Well there ya go! The new band is called "Reckon Crew" and has started booking shows for 2012. At this time the band roster is as follows: myself and Kim Robins vocal/guitar, Mark Stonecipher on banjo, Richard Torstrick on fiddle, and Mark Spriggs on bass. We've played a couple shows out at Bear's Place in Bloomington on the IU campus recently. We're joining up with a great group of people, headed by J.C. Clements, to promote local, original, Americana music. So try to make it out to Bear's Place for one of the Americana Jam Nights! We'll be playing at the Muddy Boots Cafe in Nashville this Thurs 4/12. Come on out for the evening. We start at 8pm.
Holy cow! I haven't posted in forever! So.........what's going on with the band? Good question! lol! We're reorganizing. We've made some changes and plan on taking off again in 2012. I'm using the down time to do some writing, planning, and soul searching. Also working on joining up with some web services that can make my life a whole lot simpler. If anyone has any tips to share, please do! Thanks for hanging on you guys
I'm not sure if it's spring fever or cabin fever here lately! Our weather has been crazy! One day it's 75 degrees and the next day it's snowing! (This really happened. I'm not making it up!) That's southern Indiana for ya! Wanted to let everyone know that this Saturday April 9th, MSRR will be playing in Bloomington Indiana at the Spring Fling, held at the former Buddy Bill's on Moffett lane. Also playing is Sweetgrass and other local acoustic/bluegrass/gospel artists. The festivities start at 3pm with open jam sessions, a pitch-in dinner at 5pm, and the bands start playing at 6pm. The shows will be followed by more jamming that lasts till around 10pm. Bring your instruments, chairs and a covered dish! We're gonna have a ball!
We had a blast this weekend in Jonesborough TN when we opened up for Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice! They put on a great show! Really nice people. After the show Saturday night, the band and I headed over to Steve's house for a jam and had a ton of fun! (Steve is my agent~Mountain Music Entertainment)
I really learned a lot on this trip, one being that the band and I have a lot of work to do to reach the level we would all like to be playing at. Knowing how and being able to sing and play is only half the battle. The best artists have learned to be entertainers.
I'm now a huge fan of Jr. Sisk & Rambler's Choice! Jr. swapped me one of his CD's (Heartaches & Dreams), for one of mine. Brody (my son who's 7), and I already know the lyrics to all the songs! We love it!
It was quite a ride down to Nashville Tennessee for SPBGMA. I drove my Yukon (a.k.a. the bus), and Richard and Mark rode with me. The ride went smoothly except for one traffic jam. We were stuck behind a semi wreck on I-65 for about forty-five minutes, and of course my bladder felt as big as my head! I actually considered, well, you know. The only thing that stopped me was the possibility of pictures that might surface! Also, my speedometer cable isn't working for some reason, but that worked to my advantage, as I'm sure if Richard had known how fast we were really going he'd have surely gotten off in Louisville.
We had a grand ole time cutting up and laughing the entire way down there and back. On the way home we stopped at a Cracker Barrel so I could get a little something for my babies. I got Brody a Mad Libs book and a giant whoopie cushion, which opened a whole new juvenile can of worms. It was great!
Our showcase went pretty well for a group who'd only played together for 2 weeks! (Mark Stonecipher~banjo, Rex Hunt~dobro, Lynn Manzenberger~bass) I learned a lot about how to promote myself better for the Americana Conference we're playing in Memphis TN next weekend. I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to the most, playing the showcase, or the ride down there!
I was introduced to some really cool people while I was there. I wish I'd had someone take pictures! I got some super video footage of a private jam with Michael Cleveland and some other "well-known's". It was awesome! I even saw a banjo that was worth $250,000 (to someone)!!!! LOL! I know, it's hard to believe.
Anyway, several DJ's now have my CD to share with their listeners, so keep your ears on!
I picked up a Mad Lib book at a Cracker Barrel this past weekend. We were on our way back from Nashville TN, where the band and I played a Rural Rythmn Records Showcase at SPBGMA. Anyway, you pick random nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, & parts of the body. Then you place your words into a prewritten story. Here's one my family (Brent, Brody & I) did last night.
(A one-act "Babe Winkleman" to be voluntarily performed by two "boobs" in this room.
Clerk: Attention all "rags!" Final "plowing" for flight Seventeen at "booger" twelve.
Passenger: (Out of breath and breathing "pimpley") I'm sorry I'm late! My cab had a flat "toe-nail".
Clerk: No problem. May I see your ticket and your driver's "finger" please?
Passenger: (Patting his "nipple" pocket.) Oh No! I left my license at home on the "charriot!"
Clerk: Do you have a "funky" passport or a birth "cock-roach?"
Passenger: No. I have a credit card with my "left front tooth" on it.
Clerk: I'm sorry, sir. That's tough "pickles". You don't have the proper "hair". I'm going to have to re-route you on a later "spoon".
Passenger: Oh, no. I was due in Chicago for my
"monkey's" wedding. I was best "walnuts!"
Richard Torstrick is not just your average "front-porch picker".
He's not just an average fiddler.
He's no average producer,
No average confidant,
No average friend,
and most certainly,
no average man.
I first met Richard almost 7 years ago. I was playing with a group of guys locally, (Crossfire), and he sat in on a set with us when we were playing someplace in the southern part of Indiana. The only thing that i even remember about the gig, was that we got lost while trying to find the place and nearly missed it, and Richard. It was his musical talent that first drew me to him. He reads music and plays several different instruments, but I could tell right away that he could also play "by ear", as so many of us call it. His musical expression is such that, you can hear the influences of Bill Monroe and Kenny Baker when he plays. That's something coming from a guy who could easily sit in with any orchestra. And so we started playing together more often and the rest is history.
It wasn't until we had started recording "Love Lies Bleeding" at his studio, (What's That!? Sound), in Bloomington, that I started to really grasp the depth and range of knowledge welled inside the noggin of my new friend. He truly is a brilliant man. But by far, what I value more than all of these things, is that Richard knows everything about me, and likes me anyway! He knows how to nudge me out of the slump of procrastination I so often find myself in. He knows how and when to give advice, and when I need a pep talk, he can almost convince me that I'm not way out of my league. He has supported me when I've had to make difficult decisions, and reassured me when I worried they were the wrong ones. He doesn't yell at me when I drive him crazy, or make me feel stupid when I don't comprehend. He listens to me until he understands, even when I have to draw him pictures! (I promise to explain that one in another post ;-) The bottom line is, no matter what, Richard has always been in my corner, pointing me in the right/next direction.
I hope we get to work together for many years to come, but I know in my heart that no matter what, we've got each other's back. So, thank you MaryAnn for sharing your home and your husband with me, and thank you Richard for all you've taught me along the way.
County Sales is a company that specializes in music sales of bluegrass/country/old-time artists. Dave Freeman (aka county sales) is probably the most respected critic of this genre. He features albums on his website and in his newsletter, and then sells the music for a profit. Anyway, he's placed an order for my CD's, and will be featuring MSRR on his site and newsletter! I'm really excited about it and can't wait to see what happens with this. I feel sooooo blessed! God is so good to me!