Monday, August 24, 2015

Fourth of July Pt. 2

Welcome to the middle of the 3-part Fourth of July weekend blog: Jonesborough

Our day in Jonesborough was the actual Fourth of July, which coincided with Jonesborough Days, which meant lots of activity: vendors selling crafts and food along the street, open air bluegrass bands, rides for kids, and a parade through town, featuring high school bands, local churches, boy scout troops, family reunions, and more antique tractors than you possibly imagined in one place.

Oh, yes, and a WannaBeatles show downtown.

But first, a walk through Jonesborough Saturday morning.
A permanent sign cerlebrating the annual event
A classic pickup parked downtown
View of Courthouse
View of Main Street
Saturday morning crowd and booths
A bluegrass band on the church front porch

And then, the parade….
Waiting for parade
Parade begins
A beauty queen waves to the crowd
A church float including a preacher at his pulpit
1940's military attire promoting a local theater production
Big John Deere and a family reunion
A nice looking Ford tractor
Antique Case tractor
Another Ford tractor
And another antique tractor

And check out the lines on this 1949 Cockshutt tractor

Don't know why the sight of antique tractors captured the imagination. I confess to admiring their appearance even when they weren't moving.
Ford diesel at rest
One final antique tractor - Farmall - at rest

By afternoon, it was time to bring our gear to the courthouse steps and begin setting up. The weather was cloudy and threatening to rain. 
Food booths under tarps

There was a tent over the stage area, and we put additional tarps over our gear in case the wind might blow rain under the tent.
Nathan contemplates tarp
Our sound lady Sara Jane setting up 
David storing drums in dry area
Dennis being silly, chewing on a bungee cord
Our pop up banner 
Every fifteen minutes or so, we would hear the whistle of a train that would carry passengers up and down main street, another fun activity for Jonesborough Days.

WannaBeatle David's wife and daughter, Alice and Shaina, joined us in Jonesborough. They added beauty to our dinner at a fine restaurant across the street from the courthouse. 

Alice and Shaina

The show went on as scheduled, without rain.
Our host Steve and Dennis, onstage before show

WannaBeatle David received extra moral support having his wife and daughter present.
Drummer's wife reassures him before the show

We had a good show, entertaining several blocks filled with people, all the energy emanating from the courthouse steps, radiating outward from the center of town. 

To see what it was like, you can view the photos from last year's Jonesborough show, when we had photographer Charlie Monk of the Herald and Tribune taking pictures and allowing us to publish them in that blog. ("Jonesborough" 7/1/2014) Just add a tent to those pictures, and you'll get the idea.

We were happy to talk to people after the show, sign tee shirts, and pose for pictures. Then we packed up, and returned to the hotel.

Then came Sunday morning, and our continuing road trip.
One more photo from breakfast: a WannaBeatle daughter, only weeks before heading off to college for the first time.

After breakfast, we put ourselves and all our stuff into the Tundra and the trailer, and we were ready to roll again, this time off to Loudon, Tennessee.
Loading up at hotel Sunday morning under clear skies

Next stop: Tellico Village Baptist Church, and an exciting show to conclude our three day weekend.

Stay tuned!

Bloggin' Bryan 24Aug2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fourth of July, Pt. 1

Hey, we've been busy. Here it is second half of August and we're just starting to blog about early July.

For the Fourth of July weekend, The WannaBeatles had a three day tour. It was centered around Jonesborough TN, "The Storytelling Capital of the World," the oldest town in Tennessee, where we played last year at their annual downtown street festival. It was a tremendous success, so this year July 4 was a return engagement for an audience that was happy to see us again. 
A panoramic view of in downtown Jonesborough, 2014
Those interested in last year's visit can find a full report in the blog "Jonesborough" dated 7/1/2014.

The other two dates added to Jonesborough on July 4 were the result of diligent work done by our home office,  a.k.a. WannaBeatle Dennis.  For July 3, we were booked in Lexington Ky., for another downtown festival. July 5 was a show in Loudon, TN., a variation on a church picnic, thanks to connections there with the uncle of the wife of WannaBeatle Dennis. 

The weekend involved driving about 800 miles, staying awake  past 2 am on 2 out of 3 nights, and crossing the Cumberland Gap where Daniel Boone did in 1775. 

Because the weekend was packed with adventures, with photos to prove it, The WannaBeatles consider it an act of mercy, upon both our readers and our writers, to divide the report into three parts. 

Welcome to part one: Lexington.

We were booked for Lexington's Thursday Night Live Series, which happens downtown during the summer.

The gig was largely due to the support of a fan named Skip Benton. Skip greeted us when we arrived, and helped manage our merch table. He made us feel right at home.

Lexington Ky. is close enough to leave Nashville in the morning for an afternoon arrival. Friday July 3, we loaded up our trailer, and headed north, riding in our trusty white steed, known as Tundra.
WannaBeatle David in the driver's seat, heading up I-65
Nathan practicing his Hofner in the back seat
(New England diligence on display)
Dennis handling paperwork, helping keep us organized

We arrived in downtown Lexington right before it rained. 

Stage under shelter at Fifth/Third Pavilion

Eerie lighting on skyscraper in downtown Lexington
Equipment gathers on stage
Another view of the Fifth Third Pavilion

Setting up at merch table
Nathan helps bring drums to stage

We were under a shelter, but water was running from the street to the area under the stage, so we had to move cases to dry areas, wherever we could find them.

We were treated to dinner at a cool restaurant across the street called Parley Social. 

No, we didn't order that bottle of bourbon. It's a prop. 

Unusual wall painting next to church in downtown Lexington

We changed clothes in a small closet at the restaurant - well, we tried. There wasn't really room in the closet. The options were to face the inside of the closet while changing in the hallway, checking the restaurant to see if any customers were watching, or to change in the restroom, which had some privacy, and slightly more floor space, but much heavier traffic, not to mention the curious feature of ice in the urinal - which we found out too late was not a good place to store our shirts.

As usual, we were in a hurry between sound check, dinner, changing clothes and showtime. So it was moving quickly from Parlay Social across the street to get onstage.
Dennis gives final instructions at merch table
The pop up banner near the stage

There was one man dancing enthusiastically during our first set. During the break he spoke to us, recommending a sure way to get the crowd going: yell "wildcat country!" 

We tried it, and it worked. Lexington is home to University of Kentucky, and basketball is huge there, so we were speaking the local language.

We are grateful to Skip Benton for helping us out in Lexington. Friends like that really make a difference.

After our two sets, we stayed and met lots of people, posing for photos, making new friends. I found one interesting tee shirt and took a picture.
Random tee shirt on the streets of Lexington

After packing up, we returned to Parlay Social to put on our travel clothes, then fired up the GPS to navigate our way to Jonesborough. Then our Tundra took us another four hours into the night, until some tired WannaBeatles dragged ourselves into our hotel at 2 am. 

Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure - parts 2 and 3.

Bloggin' Bryan 19August2015