“Hey Rudy! Why don’t you go check out the woods over there while we clean up and get ready for the day?”
“Uh…no thanks. Cuz remember, that’s where I pooped last night?”
Not every day on the road is full of adventure and anecdotes. Some days are just normal and uneventful, and that’s ok. Day 7 was like that for a bit. It was nice.
We had to start setting up for the “ambush” gig around 5:30, so we had a load of time to kill. We decided to head into Rapid City and check out the YMCA, get a work out, get a SHOWER, and the do some grocery shopping. We all took our time and got to be in our own worlds for awhile. Again, just nice.
Since we probably won’t be up to the mountain anytime soon again, we thought we’d visit the monument once more before we left. Plus, my girlfriends and I have a glass banana that first surfaced at a white elephant gift exchange a couple years ago that we pass around and keep a journal for and have an Instagram account for. (I kid you not… therealglassbanana) Anyway, the girls gifted the ‘nans to me to take on tour, so, naturally, I had to take it to the monument. Do you see the ap-peal’?? Hahahahahah! I’m sorry. So we took a 10 minute trip to the president mountain to take pictures of me and a glass banana.
With one day to advertise we weren’t sure what kind of turn out we would have for the show at Grapes and Grinds. But, we were excited to play regardless and very grateful for the current breeze and temp drop (87° the day before to about 78° this night), which made it so much more enjoyable for the audience and us! A few people started coming around as we were setting up and, by the time we got going (with a few failed live-stream FB attempts), we had people on the lawn and couches full of couples and friends, laughing children, and several dogs too! A big ol’ Great Dane name Zoey insisted on pets and kisses when the show was over as we visited with her awesome owners, whose names we never got! They all work at Mt Rushmore, so we got all kinds of stories and facts from them. A great group of people we hope to see again.
I’d like to point out something about this whole “ambush gig” experiment. Jared and I can set up and play pretty much anywhere, but the real awesomeness was the owner, Clay King, who put out ads, printed up and placed posters, and promoted us on his marquee. Just a note to venue owners…this is how it’s done. He didn’t count on an out of town act to bring in an audience. He did his job and promoted his investment (which was free, but you get it) It was amazing. And, it was because of this little bit of extra effort that a bunch of people came out who never would have known!
The show was full of laughter, stories, and guest appearances by Baby Groot and Spider-Man, with Venom and Iron Man only hitting the playground. (I guess they’re shy) It was an easy, relaxed atmosphere that really catered to the whole family aspect of what we’re doing on the road. It was incredible to see so many people come out and enjoy the music from all different walks of the country, religion, politics and nationalities. We were told Mt Rushmore gets about 4 million visitors a year, and for one night, a few of them also came to see Champagne Sunday! It was humbling and wonderful. Clay even booked us for a return gig!! We sold tank tops, cd’s and the owner even kicked in a generous tip to help us on the road. Everyone was so kind.
The Load Out:
Nothing special about actually packing up and loading gear, but, magic was in the air. We were riding high from the $200 plus bucks we’d just pulled in on our “night off”, we grabbed our wine (me), beer (jared) and juice (Rudes) and some graham crackers and had our post show “dinner”. Jared and I gradually took turns packing gear, playing tag w Rudy and chatting with the baristas. Once we started walking stuff to the trailer, I immediately loved the cool grass in my toes and insisted that Jared shed his sneaks n socks and slip into the sweet grass with me. Cushioned and pillowy, the damp lawn gently escorted us with each piece of gear we loaded. We took our time and relished it until the last piece was in and the trailer doors were locked. We pulled around the corner into our “reserved” spot, poured some tea, made our beds and blissfully reflected on our circumstance.
It would be redundant to begin, middle or end every blog with how blessed we are, how kind people have been, how well received our music has been, but, for now, it’s our absolute reality, and we’re a-okay with that. The gifts we have been given are abundant. And, on the eve of week 1, we are hyper aware of it and grateful beyond.