Italy Italy Italy
Had a stellar time here. First show of 9 we played in a small club in Italy. They dig the blues brothers. This is one of the table tops.
The owner was a sweetheart and the audience went bananas. People were really listening and getting into it – dancing too. We were lucky – there was a great birthday party there. We were playing for folks in their 20s. Beautiful people. They had never heard of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Wow. We are not the center of the universe in the US.
Before the gig, we hung out in Trento, a small but beautiful city. The politics may be absolutely crazy and corrupt here, but Italy, without fail, is Italy.
The coffee, the food and the sound of the language lived up to my expectations. They do take coffee to another level.
And they have interesting gum:
and even more interesting guitars.
Gig #2 was at Steinegg Blues festival. Although Steinegg is in Italy, it is, for all intensive purposes, Austrian. Just an hour north of Trento, this area of Italy is called Sud Tirol – not very Italian at all, except for the excellent coffee. Most of the people speak German. Before WWI, it was Austrian but the Austrians had to give it up after the war. War, what it is good for. The people would rather be part of Austria now and I suppose I understand why. Better social services! i.e. we waited a good 45 minutes to an hour at the post office to send a package in Italy. Just a small microcosm of how things seem to operate most of the time here.
It is staggeringly gorgeous here. I missed my hub and dog, but I loved taking in the scenery and playing music. Being in the moment – really pays off. It is something I am trying to pay more attention to in this life and yes, it works.
Of course, it never hurts to get to know the local royalty too!
The Steinegg Blues Festival is pretty fabuloso. I am very honored to have been a part of this festival. Some incredible artists have played here and the folks who run the venue do it for the love of the music – not for money. Seriously, they work for free. They only have a few concerts, so when they do, they do it up and promote it to the hilt. We had a sold out show.. Wonderful audience. Quite a memorable night. Check out the festival here: http://www.riegler.it/steinegglive/
The chickens seem content in Steinegg too – they can walk around a bit, but, their fate is ultimately not so happy – not sure if you can see the guillotine-ish blade on the stone…That rooster is headed right for it. Talk about ol' skool!
There’s something very magical in Italy – I’ve been there a few times and no matter where I’ve been, I always feel that. As soon as you cross the border back into Austria, it’s different. Austria is great too, just not Italy.
After Italy, we drove to the next gig in Switzerland. Audience response couldn’t have been more different. They were very quiet. I got the feeling they didn’t like the music but I was completely wrong -- folks stayed for both sets, were very enthusiastic about getting the new cd, and the promoter invited us back. Amazing what a few hours distance does to change people.
From Switzerland, we went to Rottweil. Germany, birthplace of the Rottweiler dog.
Vienna has changed since the last time I was here six years ago. They have a health food store where they sell, you guessed it, American Cookies
And of course, I found my favorite hang: the hund zone aka dog park!
Last gig was at the “Rockhouse” in Salzburg. Excellent venue. Since the band is based in Salzburg, it is always our last show and it is always bittersweet for that reason. There’s a video clip here of one of the tunes. http://www.meinbezirk.at/salzburg-stadt/kultur/ann-klein-and-band-in-concert-in-der-rockhouse-bar-salzburg-d948682.html
As soon as I got back to NYC I had three rehearsals and two gigs, one of them in Maryland. The gigs couldn’t be more different! One was a rockin blues gig at Hill Country and the one in Maryland was pretty straight ahead pop/country gig where I played only mandolin. The gear switching has been very intense.
Now as I sit here in my apartment, absolutely exhausted, reflecting back on it all, it seemed so large in that moment. And all those moments, now gone, are memories! I have a couple of days to recoup before the next bunch of events – again, all very different projects. But I hope to see some folks on May 28 at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 where I will be doing an acoustic show.
And yes, they had an accordion festival in Salzburg, which makes me question everything now!