The past few weeks have been an incredible journey. We left Washington for Montana on June 20 and are just now trickling back a few at a time. Growing up in Montana (and truly loving its culture and natural beauty), it was a pleasure to be able to share it with the rest of the band as we toured the state. Not only did we get to perform in a few of my favorite cities, but we also performed at a couple weddings for some of my favorite people and got to be a part of their creating lifelong memories. What an honor! We enjoyed a perfect Independence Day celebration on Seeley Lake (thank you, Kurt’s Polaris) and were able to introduce Montana to the incredible music of Australian native Blake Noble. We didn’t waste our time between shows either. We fished, we enjoyed the farm life, we camped in Glacier National Park, we reacquainted ourselves with the great people and town of Seeley Lake, and we embarked on a two night paddle down the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River National Monument. I would love to indulge myself by detailing every moment of this adventure, but I feel obligated to limit it to one good story. You’ll find that below, but first… THANK YOU to everyone that helped us, hosted us, hired us, hung out with us, and rocked out with us the last three weeks. Montana truly is the treasure state.
Paddling The Missouri
To me, rivers are the veins and capillaries of our world, and through those passages flow the lifeblood. Distilled in that substance is the unique nature of the country you’re in, and if you are given the chance to experience it intimately, you glimpse the fundamental character of the landscape you’re surrounded by. The Upper Missouri River National Monument in North Central Montana simmers with that lifeblood, and when you match its stillness for even a moment, the Missouri will tell you some of her secrets.
Packed, armed, bathed in sunscreen and bug repellent, toting a good measure of Songbird Syrah from Washington’s Red Mountain (as well as a healthy portion of layman’s beer from Montana’s finest pub), we boarded two canoes and a kayak and began river mile 1 of 43. Accounted for were our provisions, a tool for every job, a device for every possibility, and our rules. Of these, there were far fewer than gear… In fact, there were only two.
Rule #1 – Don’t capsize your canoe.
Rule #2 – Don’t get bit by a rattlesnake.
Though neither was a weighty nor controversial commandment, one out of two would be broken within the first ten minutes.
Grins broke under sun-squinted eyes. After all the preparations, we finally embarked… our direct destiny filled only with paddling, fishing, and solitude. As some in our troupe adjusted to the weight and drag of their boats, the canoeing at first was a little erratic, and it was found that some structural tweaks must be made. The focal point of our efforts was to be the pony keg of layman’s suds.
A thought flickered in the back of my mind that maybe we were acting greedily taking a keg with us into the wilderness to be motored around by our own grit and strength… But, what is one to do? Abandon the beer for more exceptional maneuvering?
Somewhere, we had heard these things would float given the chance (I may have even helped to spread that rumor), so we intended to smartly drag the keg behind a canoe. Thus, two problems were solved: where to put the keg and how to keep it cold… So, my friend Billy Pierce, with whom I have made this trek many times, tied a good knot around the device and another to the back of his canoe. He let go; the keg sank.
Luckily, it was tied on.
While retrieving the beer from the bottom of the river, the more scientifically leaning members of our group relayed their long standing opinions on the lack of buoyancy of a keg not yet tapped. Unfortunately, those opinions had not been voiced to full effect earlier, but lofty thoughts of vacuums and air pressure led directly the next logical step.
“We must tap the keg and drink down the beer.”
Drinking beer to promote exceptional maneuverability? Rarely yes, but at that moment… yes.
Amidst an eruption of warm, sticky foam, the keg was tapped. As a yellowy stain ran down my arm, I accepted my first cup. Foam piled onto foam, and it was undrinkable. So, after some moments of further deliberation, we decided to put it in a canoe. There were two immediate options:
Option #1 – Spitfire Betty. Manned by our percussionist Joe Catron and Billy, Spitfire Betty was the canoe I learned in. She’s tippy, but she’s fast.
Option #2 – Jolly Green Giant. Bassist Eric Miller and our singer Cody Beebe manned option two. She was a plastic Coleman special – a whale of a boat and nearly impossible to tip.
The only outside consideration while designating the location of our beer was this: Eric and Cody are gluten intolerant and don’t drink beer.
After we mounted the 120 lbs. keg to the tippy (but she’s fast) canoe, I turned around and pressed play on the small $20 boombox strapped behind me. Leo Kottke’s “Meadowlark” rang out, and the Western Meadowlarks in the trees around us chimed in their old tune. The mood was perfect.
Then, Joe and Billy broke Rule #1.
Initially, tipping over a canoe is funny. Everyone laughs and the water is refreshing. Soon after, the problem of righting the canoe and relieving it of the water it has taken on whilst floating down a fairly strong current and not losing all your gear dawns on your consciousness. It isn’t until later that you worry about the soundness of your dry-bags and the dryness of your sleeping bags.
A few Physics lessons solidly clunked in our minds at that point concerning buoyancy and centrifugal force. Full kegs don’t float and shouldn’t be strapped to the highest point of the most unstable (but she’s fast) canoe. Three quarters of an hour later, we set off again. We were still smiling, our gear was all accounted for (its dryness still not considered), and the keg finally sulked in the boat manned by our gluten intolerant conglomerate. Thus, we crossed into river mile 2 of 43.
A hawk glided down and called to us what we thought must be our welcome, and we soon passed two immense bald eagles perched as still as the dead of night on equally impressive cottonwoods. The sentries.
We paddled, floated, enjoyed some wine, tried to de-foam our beer, and fished. On a hunch, I told Billy he was going to catch the first fish as he had recently taken his sons fishing the Dearborn River. Good river Karma is good river Karma, and Billy soon had a catfish on.
Ten minutes later, I nabbed a goldeye. A goldeye is a particularly un-fun fish to catch. They don’t fight, there isn’t anything on them to eat, and it makes you question your river Karma. I can’t recall who caught the next catfish, but someone did and it wasn’t me. Then, I caught another goldeye, and shortly after I landed yet another goldeye. With banter and snickers, I was crowned The Goldeye King and really started analyzing any possible source for my river Karma.
And now for the Big Fish Story…
Drifting back behind the group, I continued to fish in earnest. I have heard that fishing is done at least 50% in the mind, and I steeped mine into its most predatory stance. I became part of my surroundings, and I became silent. Fishing even more intently, I questioned whether or not it is selfish to pray for a fish. Can I trouble My Maker just for a nice trout? Then it happened… Just as I moved my lips to begin my fishy prayer…
Something grabbed my eye from starboard side. I whirled to cast in that direction. A plomp (or maybe it was more of a glug) sounded from the surface of the river. My hand twitched to the reel. I cast.
The biggest Walleye I have ever laid eyes on floated to the surface – belly skyward and freshly dead just two feet from my boat.
Now, you may think at this point that my river Karma is of course bad, but I am not totally convinced of that. Consider this. I was floating well behind the rest of the group. Any one of them could have caught the fish (as they passed by directly before he died), but they did not catch him. Instead, a truly magnificent predator, wily enough to survive in well fished waters, died of old age right under me and floated to the surface right where I couldn’t miss him… I have great river Karma!
Of course, you may say, “How do you know it died right under you? It could have died long before and was submerged by the current and just happened to pop up next to you.” You could say that, but it is my fish story and that is how it ends. I have great river Karma.
Later, we arrived at Hole in the Wall, an incredible rock formation that is undeniably self descriptive and served as our camp site. Montana performed her nightly symphony with the sun and the horizon, and the stars materialized in an arch, blotted out only by a distant lightning storm on the prairie to the North. It is unclear when we discovered that the majority of the sleeping bags were quite wet, but it is clear that is was at that point that the fact became the most inconvenient.
The next morning was filled with the bustle of breaking camp, some more fishing, and another bit of that incredible Syrah. Beginning with a cloud of dust and gusting winds, a storm swept in from the West. It mostly missed us, but it demanded a measure of humility and respect. We paid our dues and virtually surfed the front downriver. Pulled and pushed by violent throws, we worked to keep our boats upright and pointed downhill. As we neared the final destination, the wind quieted and Cody, Eric, and Billy caught some more catfish. Billy even caught a nice walleye. Of course, I topped it off with another goldeye or two.
We rounded the final bend, landed on the boat ramp, and wished we were going a bit further. Powdery dust billowing, my brother Matthew soon flew over the hill in his black pickup and pulled up next to us. We loaded up our crafts, and we headed to Pep’s Bar and Lanes in Big Sandy for the nation’s greatest hamburger, some cold beer, and an audience for our stories. Our keg rode home as full as it had departed (minus some foam) and everyone followed Rule #2 to the last letter.
Sometimes, the secrets you learn take a while to understand. Sometimes, they appear in your work down the line and it is then that you realize you heard them.
- Aaron Myers (keys and piano)
Thanks for your patience and understanding regarding the lapse between blog posts! Thank goodness you aren’t our friends because we are talented and prolific writers! Anyway, we have collectively agreed to make the blog a priority, and we all look forward to doing our due diligence. As far as the music goes, we are all very excited about the direction and the depth of the new music we are creating and we look forward to sharing it with all of you! Our Summer schedule is booked out solid and we have so many exciting events coming up that it wouldn’t do any good trying to recite them all to you now; the website has all of the info you will need to come share an evening or 2 with us this summer!
All 5 of us will be taking turns writing the blog and I think it will be really cool for you all to get a little better understanding of us as individuals; what we do with our spare time, our favorite local hikes, our pet peeves, our favorite meals, etc. There are many of you that know us as close friends, and there are many more casual fans that would perhaps like to be a bigger part of this journey we find ourselves on. It is you, the fans, that make this dream possible for us, and please believe me when I say that we genuinely cherish and appreciate every ounce of support that you have all provided over the years. Thank you.
After having traversed the country a couple times, I think back to all of the seemingly random people that I have encountered and shared precious moments with. Are they really just random people that happened to be in the same city, at the same time, at a CBC show? I am increasingly convinced that these “random” interactions aren’t random at all. Does everything happen for a reason? I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe that if you keep your brain aware and your heart engaged, life has a way of rewarding you.
Yesterday at work, I met an older fella named Doug. He was on the hunt for some daphne plants, and I was happy to help him pick a couple out. As we were walking and talking about the weather, (as us old men do) I commented on his very nicely crafted pearl snap western shirt, and told him that I play in a band and wear those things during concerts (as many of you know, we Crooks try to out-do each other with vintage pearl snaps, but I digress). When I told Doug that I was a local musician, his demeanor noticeably changed. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Son, I kinda have a crazy story.”
Doug went on to tell me that several years ago, he and his wife were about to go to bed for the evening, but he couldn’t get to sleep because he had some words running through his head. He told me that he just kept hearing “If I’m here all night, wake me in the morning.” This verse continued to cycle through his head for about 2 weeks, when finally, Doug, who is not a musician and had never written a song before in his life, sat down and tried to get the words out of him. As he explains it, he sat down with a pen and paper, and before he knew it, the sheet was filled with words. As a veteran of the Korean War, Doug experienced some very raw and unforgettable days, and he also lost some very good friends. He sincerely believes that one of those friends is responsible for the words that he wrote down and he believes that he is an acting conduit for his fallen comrade. I believe him too. At this point of the conversation, I was covered with goosebumps and hanging by his every word. He went on to say that he had several times considered just sending the poem down to Nashville and seeing if anything ever came of it, but never actually got around to doing it. He had just come across the poem again the past Sunday, and him and his wife again discussed the logistics of getting it into the hands of someone who could formulate a song out of it. Doug then, for whatever reason, decided he was going to try to find a local musician to give it to. The following Tuesday he came in to the nursery to get some daphne plants.
This Friday (Feb. 10, 2012), we will be kicking off a great festival at Nectar Lounge in Fremont, WA, called Northwest Lovefest. The festival celebrates the connection between community and art and how essential that support is for art to survive. We couldn’t imagine a better cause and a more meaningful weekend or venue for it because this Friday will also mark the third anniversary of our band. It was at Nectar Lounge three years ago that I nervously paced around, mentally ran through songs I barely knew, and shook hands with our percussionist Joe Catron for the first time. I think Cody was in worse shape than me as far as nerves go. If I was pacing, he was doing laps, and, as always, Chris and Eric were as cool as two arctic sea cucumbers (as the old adage goes).
I honestly can’t remember how we sounded that night. I know we had a great time, and it strongly affected the directions of all our lives. It wasn’t long after that night and we were fortunate enough to record an album together. Then, we fullfilled long held dreams by criss-crossing the nation, sharing our passion with an incredible variety of characters, crazies, and very fine folks.
There are a few ways the success of a band is commonly judged. Are you famous? Are you rich? Have high school kids begun to dress like you? Well, we certainly aren’t famous, and splurging on a fancy dinner means deli meat over pressed ham product (water added). We are unaware of any high shoolers running off to purchase Ariat boots or used pearl button shirts. In fact, there are liklely adolescents mocking our wardrobe and sheer linear feet of hair at this very moment. But, then, how can you take some punk wearing his little sister’s jeans and multicolored neon shoe laces seriously? The fact is we feel successful just to still be doing what we are doing – playing music together.
Yesterday, Joe and I sat down to dinner and beers. As the distance between the foamy heads of our IPA’s and the bottom of our glasses lessened, we began talking about how much support we’ve been given… all the people that have helped us out over the past three years. People like Leslie who will drive hours to see us play and always brings us a huge batch of homemade cookies, or Katie and Brett in Austin that let eight rock and rollers turn their backyard into a campsite for a week, our families whose encouragement and help have sustained us, Sue and Doug in New Jersey who gave us a little feeling of home when we were thousands of miles from our own, our significant others who don’t see us for weeks or even months and are still excited when we finally show up (often with 4 guys in tow begging for couch space), the hard-cores up on Chinook Pass and the Nile Valley that love our music and inspire us to keep making it, the cities of Yakima, Selah, Seeley, and Big Sandy for accepting us for who we are and urge us to keep going. This list could go on for miles, and I’m tempted to make that happen. It is a shame to neglect any one person. You know who you are, and we sincerely appreciate your support and think of you often. We are a band of five that seems to stand on the legs of a thousand.
So, this Friday, we return to where it all started for CBC – The Nectar Lounge. We will be kicking off Northwest Lovefest and celebrating the connection between community and art. Truly, we couldn’t imagine a better cause.
*Presale tickets for Friday’s show at Nectar can be found at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/e/221598.
There is a subtle ringing in my ears – I’ve worn headphones all day and own the real estate closest to Chris’ drum set. We hammer out the same two measure long transitional riff that we’ve continued constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing for a long while. Cody’s exasperated exhalation is literally amplified through a series of electronics and harmonizes with each of our own inner thoughts.
“Maybe we should take a break for dinner,” Eric suggests. We all respond with an almost over-eager chorus of agreement. So, I gladly pull off the cans, crawl out from behind my keyboard, and we all walk stiffly into the kitchen. We roast some potatoes and brussel sprouts, grill some burgers, set the table, and all gather around family-like.
Someone says, “Man, I’m starving. What time is it?” We all look up at each other cluelessly, and ten eyes drift to the clock. It is 1:30 AM. We just prepared a full-course, sit-down meal at 1:30 in the morning. After a moment of silence that is almost a respectful mourning for our distant selves that kept things like regular hours and long term addresses, we erupt into a welcome, decompressing bout of laughter. Who cares if we get lost in what we’re doing and lose track of time? We eat and serve each other massive helpings of banter and bull shit. Then, we get back to work… This is how we are proceeding with the task of writing the songs for our next album.
Though the songs we have written thus far are still in rough form and extremely eclectic, I am starting to sense some of the common themes. This new music seems to serve as our reflection, and we get to study it to discover nuances about our selves we didn’t necessarily understand before we voiced them. Part of what I hear is an understanding and a respect that the past year of touring and depending on each other must have galvanized amongst us. It is a giving sort of respect that creates space for us to intently listen to each other, and it is an unspoken understanding resulting in an essential freedom to openly express and create.
I can’t presume to know the outcome of what all this will be, and (as They say) talking about music is like dancing about architecture, so trying to describe what it sounds like is pointless. I can only say that I am inspired by the attitude of our little tribe, and I am thankful for the atmosphere surrounding this opportunity to make music together.
Sorry it’s been so long since our last post! We feel so lucky to have been able to travel the country for the past year, seeing 30 states, playing 112 shows to date so far, meeting a ton of new inspiring people along the way. After an incredible summer on the road, we are back in Washington, re-energizing and writing new music for an album we hope to release in Spring 2012….. well, if all goes as planned. That being said, we have a lot of work ahead of us! So, we have holed up in Central Washington for a few months, built a small demo recording studio, and have been focusing our attention on our next plan of attack…. well, and a little fishing while we’re here!
In the past, Ty did most of the blog posting and did an excellent job. But, since he won’t be around to keep everyone in the loop, we’ve decided to all take turns writing posts from now on. So, about once a week, we’ll have a new write-up from one of the Crooks….. should be mildy entertaining at the very least! Personally, I can’t wait to see what the guys come up with! Joe may do a post about the best microbrews we’ve found along our travels; Aaron may delve into his past month in Montana driving grain truck; Chris may give a little insight to his point of view each night from the back of the stage; Eric may even let you in on his best beef jerky recipe….. who knows!
Most importantly, I just wanted to say that although this past summer has had its share of ups and downs for the Crooks, the remaining five of us are more committed and excited about our future than ever. Although it seemed very difficult to make sense at first of some of the things that shook our foundation, I feel that it has made us stronger as a group. After talking with the rest of the guys, I know for a fact that we are all in it for the right reasons….. to make good music and hopefully help some people along the way if possible. As long as we can accomplish this, we’re a success in my book. Anything else is just gravy.
Thanks for the support!
After playing Taos, New Mexico, we made our way to L.A. And before I talk about the City of Angels, I want to take a brief moment to thank all of our new friends in Taos who came out to the show at the Taos Inn and Adobe Bar; what a night!
Well, we’re back! It’s been about 5 months since we last played in the great state of California and it’s still everything we remember it to be; sunny, hot, pretty people, and a lot of music lovers! We arrived into the beautiful neighborhood of Englewood at about 4a.m. last Thursday morning. Once again, we stayed at Chris’ Uncle’s apartment, The Heights, where we seem to have become local visiting celebrities. We played at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood Thursday night and had a great response. Not only did we have old friends show up (great to see you Austin, Ian, Renae, and friends), but we also had the opportunity to meet new ones.
The next day, after sleeping in, we were off to Warner Bros. Records to meet with our friend Austin Hendrix. We got our own personal tour of the studios and offices. Thanks again Austin! Next, we had dinner plans with our friend Maria. It was at a fancy burger joint and I’m pretty sure Joe and I had one of, if not the best, burgers of our lives. Later
The next few days were relaxing, but eventful. Not only did we have the opportunity to hang out with Chris’ family and join in on Grandma Adrielle’s birthday pool party, but we also got to camp on the coast and drive up the scenic Highway 101.
Tonight we play at the Sonoma County Fair. Tomorrow camping in the Redwoods!
One thing’s for sure, The Crooks love Colorado! We had an amazing time in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins! Thanks to everyone who shared these good times with us! We also had the opportunity to play with Angie Stevens and The Beautiful Wreck! If you ever get the chance, please check them out!
Being in a touring band is an interesting and exciting way of life, but it also comes with sacrifice. One must accept the fact that you will be traveling in a van for eight, twelve, possibly even seventeen hours per day with the same five other poeple. Most of the time you won’t know where, if at all, you’ll be sleeping each night. Your friends and significant others won’t see you for months at a time. And lastly, your diet will be unorthodox to say the least and most likely very off putting to most “normal” individuals; one of our personal favorites for this tour: chicken cans! With all of these factors considered, you can begin to evaluate if this is the life for you.
After chewing on and digesting the lifestyle that comes along with being in a touring rock band, you can then begin to enjoy its fruits. You have the opportunity to see new sights and visit every state in our country. You are able to meet new and interesting people with every stop the van makes. You have the option of making lifelong memories. You might even have the opportunity to change someone for the better with the healing powers of music (my personal favorite).
I want to take this time to give some recognition where it’s deserved…If y’all didn’t know already, Eric happens to be the genius behind all of our photos and videos while we’re on the road. So, thanks Eric for being you; a great friend, an amazing photographer, and an OK bassist!
“You only live once” is a popular term we hear being thrown around from time to time. Whether this is true or not, I believe it’s important to live life to the most of your ability. For some, that’s playing music around the world. For others, gardening, farming, or running marathons. Whatever it is, I encourage you to do it.
See ya on down the trail!
Within our ten hour visit to New York, we almost hit a famous celebrity, played two shows, witnessed a topless “working woman” on the street, and ate a slice of famous New York pizza…twice.
On our drive into The Big Apple we quickly realized how difficult and expensive it actually is to drive a twelve-passenger van and trailer into the city. After maneuvering through traffic and almost getting assaulted by a smug, aggressive New York driver we had finally made it to the Holland Tunnel. After twenty minutes of waiting in line, we had finally reached the teller. ”You can’t bring that trailer through here,” she said. Well, @#$%…now what. She contacted a large, tattooed NY Policeman who rerouted us to find the Lincoln Tunnel; apparently this tunnel accepts vans with trailers.
After finally making our way into the city we now had to deal with the traffic that comes along with it. Both of our gigs were in Greenwich Village, where finding a decent parking spot in the proximity of the venue was a challenge. Keeping our eyes peeled for civilians stepping out in front of us, we had a standoff with a jogger. Cody braked, then gassed, then braked again. The polite jogger gave us a smile and wave and motioned for us to ‘go ahead.’ ”Dude, it’s Christian Slater!” Cody said, as we drove past him. ”No, that’s Ethan Hawke!” No joke, we actually had a run in with the actor Ethan Hawke while he was out for a jog! Wow! If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hawke he has starred in such films as: Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Hamlet, and Training Day.
After finding our way around the busy metropolis we pulled up to our first venue. Kenny’s Castaways is a unique venue with a bar that has been there since 1962. We played a fun set with several attentive listeners. The gig was a music Showcase put on by a company called Music Gorilla and had an A&R Representative from Columbia Records in attendance. After playing, we quickly wrapped up our gear to get to the next gig. The heat was on! Because our van was parked in such a convenient location, our friends Lawrence and Alexia, who also happen to be the owners of Music Gorilla, offered their vehicle for us to use. So, Cody and Eric drove our gear, Greg, Aaron, and Chris flagged a cab, while Joe and I had a brisk ten block walk. We made it right on time.
The next gig: The National Underground at 10pm. Unfortunately, we could barely hear anything on stage. Regardless of this misfortune, we still played our hearts out. We even had a friend in the audience from Wenatchee, WA. Great seeing you Ali!
Next stop: Washington D.C. @ Bloombars
After pulling out of North Carolina on Tuesday we made our way north toward Virginia. One of the advantages of being in a seven piece band is the collective network between all of us. A lot of times, no matter what city we are playing in one of us either knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone, who will be attending our show. This also reigns true in terms of lodging. So far, we have been very fortunate to have such a large network of friends and family who are able and willing to house seven full grown, stinky men. We had arranged a visit to stay with a good friend of Eric’s mom, MaryLynn and her ultra-scholar husband, Mehdi. On our seven hour drive up to Lorton, Virginia we had to make a pit stop so Chris could get his fill at Hardee’s; a sister of Carl’s Jr. He was thoroughly and beefily satisfied. Upon our arrival we were greeted with smiles, hugs and a large home-cooked meal that we’d been longing for. Our stay was outstanding! Can’t wait to see you on Sunday when we play in D.C.
The next morning we were greeted with a big breakfast and then were off to Newark, Delaware. The drive couldn’t have gone better. We were greeted with sunshine and rolling hills of deciduous forests. It was awesome. We really hope to return in the fall to see those trees in their autumn colors.
During the drive I had been charging my phone in the front of the van. Upon our arrival I unplugged it only to find six missed calls from my fiance’, Mo and her mother. ”Holy %^&! I hope everything’s alright!” I called the both of them back only to find out that Mo’s half brother lives in Newark! I couldn’t believe it. Carlos and his wife Amy even invited the band to crash at their house for the night…a big expense-saver for us! The early evening was going great. They took me out to dinner and I was able to get to know them better. The night couldn’t have been going better until I found out that Mo’s other brother Danny and his wife Karice were driving up from Baltimore to see the show! Karice is 8 months pregnant, what a trooper! Next time you think you are too tired to come out to a show, think of Karice!!
So it turns out that Delaware, the first state to ratify the American Constitution, is also one of the first places to visit if you are ever out east. It’s a beautiful place with intriguing people and copious amounts of diversity. The Crooks will be sad to leave.
Next Show: Mojo 13 Wilmington, Delaware 10 pm Thursday, July 14th
Wow! What a crazy last few days it has been! I would like to start off by saying thank you for your patience as it has been many moons since my last blog entry. Cody’s vocals are feeling better and the band, as a whole, is ready for our next chapter on the road! Let’s go to the East Coast!
Considering the mouthful of memories as well as the 3500 miles we have accumulated on our odometer thus far, I’ll just get us all caught up to where we are now. And then, I promise to keep the posts rolling in as we roll across the East Coast and beyond.
We started the tour off in Yakima, WA where we played for some old friends at the Yakima Arboretum. It was an awesome evening and somewhat of a class reunion for a few of us. The next morning it was up and at ‘em with a drive down to Sun River, Oregon to perform at a wedding. The wedding performance was unlike any other gig we have done. Not only were we the main entertainment at the Reception, but Aaron and Greg held down the Processional and Recessional with some easy listening. I had the pleasure of being the M.C. for the night, announcing the bouquet toss and all of the other traditional events that go along with a great wedding. What a night! A special thanks to the Graf family!
We spent the next few days in Montana with a few old friends and good laughs. Not only were we able to catch an incredible fireworks show at Seeley Lake, we also had the pleasure of trying our luck at wake boarding and surfing…Aaron, you’re a natural…me, not so much. After making new memories in Montana and meeting new friends, including our new little pal, “John (The Dragon),” a young boy who started the dance party at Seeley Lake, we were off to Indiana.
We spent a few days driving across South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. We caught ourselves in one of the biggest thunder and lightning storms a few of us had ever seen, the Hozzington hit it’s first deer (it was only a tap…she’s probably ok…just gave it a little tappy) as well as it’s first few hundred fireflies, and saw more corn fields than…well, we didn’t know that much corn existed in the U.S.
We played in Bloomington, Indiana to a crowd of adoring Hoosiers. For our first Midwest gig, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. That night, Eric’s Birthday celebration! It was awesome. I was the D.D. and had the pleasure of making sure we all got home safely. Eric had the pleasure of enjoying himself in a celebration of his 27th year on Earth. Next stop, ‘Ol Kaintuck!
Lexington and Louisville (pronounced LUH-Vull) was a blast! It was about 85 degrees with 90% humidity. The shows went great and the Kentucky Bourbon, even smoother. Driving through Kentucky is pretty much how I pictured it. Pristine grass pastures filled with thoroughbred horses surrounded by white fences. Awesome.
Next stop, North Carolina! We had the pleasure of staying with a friend of Eric’s, Molly. She gave us the true Southern Hospitality a boy could only dream of. When we arrived we were greeted with BBQ burgers, fresh goat cheese, and grits…MMM…mmm! After driving through the Biltmore Estate (the largest home in our country) and attempting to sneak through a field to get a closer look (it’s $50 per person…we’re starving artists) we played at a local brewery. Great night!
Stay tuned! More to come… Up next, we hit Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.
This is Cody. Ty usually writes our blog and does an awesome job, but I have had a few things happen to me personally lately that I figured I should share. Sorry if this gets a little wordy, but I feel I need to share this for you, and for myself. And for those of you who follow this blog regularly, sorry for the recent slump in activity….. I told Ty a while ago that I would handle the next update……. and my old high school procrastination skills snuck up on me in the meantime. The Crooks have taken the month of May off in order to recharge our batteries and gear up for an intense summer tour schedule. Joe has been working at a family plant nursery in Central WA, digging in the dirt and planting trees; Aaron has been working on the family farm in Montana, watching that hard red winter wheat grow; Greg has been hanging out on the beach in West Seattle and working on his tan; Chris has been hanging in Everett and working at his Dad’s insurance office; Eric has been shooting and editing video for various commercials and National Geographic reality shows; Ty is hanging with his fiance’ in Denver and working three part-time jobs, one being a childrens’ train conductor in the Denver mall; and I have been working on bringing Crooked Red Wine to fruition…. it’ll be released in June! It’s been an extremely busy and rewarding last few months, and we want to sincerely thank everyone who supported us along the Crooked road we traveled.
As some of you may have heard, I’ve been dealing with some vocal issues for the past few months. Many of my musical heroes have very raspy voices…. so I have always been attracted to a more breathy, gritty tone. Naturally, I grew up singing in much the same way. Little did I know, if done improperly, this can add a lot of wear and tear on the vocal chords. In addition, I often seem to get so caught up in the emotion of being on stage that I end up pushing my voice past its limits. So, I’ve honestly probably had these issues for the last year or longer, but not until on our tour did I really see the impact it was having in the long-term.
Back in mid-February, while in Southern California on tour, I was losing my voice and having a hard time keeping up with the demand of our intense tour schedule. After speaking with our manager at the time and my vocal coach, we decided I should probably see a doctor. Luckily, especially for a guy like myself without medical insurance, the Grammys have a non-profit called MusiCares that helps financially with artists in need of medical attention. They set me up with an appointment in Beverly Hills with the same doctor who cares for Mariah Carey…. so, I was really excited to know that after visiting him I’d finally be able to hit all the notes in “Butterfly.” Although the doctor was a very nice and reassuring guy, it was a fairly nerve-wracking experience overall. He used some sort of rod to stick a camera down to the back of my throat….. and then said…. “Okay, now just stay calm….. breathe through your mouth….. now hit this note…. ahhhh…. no, eeeeehhh….. breathe…….” and then, well, I gagged and nearly spit up on the poor fella. “You want to try some of this throat numbing spray? It may be a little easier this way.” Yes, I would love to try the spray….. why didn’t you ask in the first place?!! And how am I supposed to breathe through my mouth when you have a camera in my throat?!?!?! Thankfully, I made it through the second round, and we were presented with a video of my vocal chords in motion.
The doctor deduced that I had what is called a “soft vocal nodule.” At this “soft” stage, he said it was treatable, but that it may require some drastic changes in my habits, and possibly in our tour schedule. He said his ideal treatment choice would be to administer some steroids, have me commit to complete silence for at least one week, and then we would have to take a few weeks off to let me fully recover. Well, being that it was only the second week of our first national tour and that we would have to cancel upwards of 20 shows including SXSW, this seemed like a catastrophic blow to my spirit. Feeling like I was negotiating with a used car salesman and trying to save the tour, we talked a little more, and he said that I may be okay if I limited talking to only necessary instances, along with cutting back any drinking or smoking I was doing………. but, it was still a risk. If the nodule were to worsen and become hardened, the result could be surgery.
I left the doctor shaken, but determined to work through the issue and prevail. Not only could this nodule affect my singing career in the long-term, but I also had six other people to think about… my band. We had all sacrificed so much to make this tour a reality….. and now its survival teetered on my vocal health. Telling the guys wasn’t easy, but they could not have been more supportive. There was not a question in their minds….. my health was most important. Even if we had to cancel the entire tour, they had my back. I was so thankful for their support during that time…. they told me that I didn’t need to feel that I was carrying everything on my shoulders, and that we were all in it together.
After much deliberation, talking amongst ourselves and with my vocal coach, we finally came up with what we thought was the most reasonable solution to our situation. First, we canceled a few select shows along our tour route that would allow rest time for my voice. Then, I committed to limited speech…. literally using a pen and paper for most communication between shows and only speaking when absolutely necessary. When we had a few days off, I’d usually cut myself a little slack and let out all the words I had been holding in….. and I’d end up blabbering like an idiot for a few hours due to all the pent-up verbiage. I also erred on the conservative side and completely quit drinking alcohol and caffeine, smoking, and eating and drinking dairy products….. all of which can affect vocal chords negatively.
Where most musicians seem to acquire addictions on the road, I was the most sober I had been in a decade. I also sang more cautiously and really tried to focus on using my vocal chords correctly. We worked hard on making sure the monitors were mixed so that I could hear myself and not have to push too hard to compete with the stage volume of the band…… and again, I have to thank the guys for being so understanding in this circumstance as well. I must say, all of these changes took a lot of will power, but knowing that it would allow myself and my band to continue living our dream….. it was really quite easy. I saw Vegas in complete sobriety, with a pen and paper as my voice. I saw the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the world, sober. I entered various public places…. banks, stores, restaurants…. without saying a word.
The end phase of our plan for my recovery was to play out the rest of the shows on our tour, and then for me to see another ENT doctor upon returning to Seattle. This way, he could take a look at the picture of my vocal chords from before and see if the nodule had progressed or receded. We left the majority of May completely open so that I would have ample time to recover….. thus, part of the reason for our current hiatus.
So, on Monday, April 25th, directly following our shows in Portland and Seattle, I faced fate and visited the doctor. I was extremely nervous to hear the results….. but to my surprise and satisfaction, the doctor said that my chords looked considerably better than before. What a relief! I guess all of the precautions were not in vain! However, the doctor did say that I could still use a steroid treatment and a week of vocal rest….. but after all the stress that had preceded, I welcomed this verdict with open arms! Compared to the alternative of surgery, I felt rather fortunate.
From April 25th at roughly 3pm until May 2nd at around 5:30…….. I did not utter a sound. I headed back to Central Washington and hung out with family for the week. My grandparents had just returned from their winter stay in Arizona, my uncle visited for a few days, and I got to spend a weekend at our family cabin with my Dad for his birthday….. all in silence. At times it was aggravating to not be able to explain how I was feeling….. or crack a joke. And if I really wanted to say something, I had to work for it. I couldn’t just spit out words without thinking like before. But, no matter how hard this experience was at times…… I tried to always remain thankful. I think we often forget that some people live their whole lives without the use of certain “normal” functions. There are people who will never make a sound…. never hear a sound…… never see. In challenging myself to this silence, I really grew to appreciate a function that I often take for granted. I learned that much of what I say on a daily basis is really unneeded…… people just tend to want to have their opinion heard, so they open up and let it flow on out without much thought or care. I could count in a journal all of the things I actually needed to say in the day, because if I didn’t write it down, I kept it to myself. So, since my opinions were stifled by my lack of communicative vehicle, I instead focused on learning from others’ opinions. I watched the world around me in silence, taking everything in and thinking very deeply. It allowed me the time to have a conversation with someone in my life I often ignore….. myself. The world is spinning so fast and our lives are filled with constant activity. I challenge you to take a day, just one day, and save your voice. You’ll really like the way it sounds when you finally decide to speak. And, if yours looks anything like mine, you’ll have to improve your handwriting so people can understand what you’re trying to say!
All in all, couldn’t ask for a better experience. There may have been a few bumps along the road, but I am so grateful for everything that has happened in the past few months. I am also thankful to my friends and family that have been so supportive along the way. I have grown closer with my Crooked brothers, and, I’ve grown closer to myself. This was a crazy time for me, but I feel better about myself today than the day we left on tour…. and in my book, that’s a win. Personal growth. Progress. Sometimes, the hard times can end up being your best times. Thank you for reading.
While visiting Leavenworth, WA there are a few “HOT” spots to check out. One, is Der Hinterhof; a German style Ale House and music venue. Well, pretty much any Ale House in Leavenworth is “LeavenWORTH” checking out! From local Northwest Brews to German style dark beers, your taste buds will be tantalized with each sip. However, there is one place you might want to wait ‘til your very last stop. That is, if you want any taste buds at all to taste that delicious German beer. The place I am talking about is at the very end of the main drag directly next to the Munchen Haus. The name is gone from my memory at the moment, but you’ll know you have arrived when you see the collection of jars filled with jellies, mustards, honeys, bbq sauce, hummus, and of course hot sauce. The store is filled with every type of dipping delight you can imagine. Each dip has a small bowl of pretzels to test each one before deciding which one to take home for yourself. Near the register is a hot sauce with plenty of warning signs. There’s even a sign that warns parents to keep the sauce away from children! So, being the Crooks that we are, we had to try it.
We each took our turn allowing the peppers and other ingredients to tear our mouths apart. After about five seconds the tears began to roll. This stuff is HOT! And you only need a tiny amount. In fact, any more than a rain drop-sized dip can have you on your knees begging for a time machine to take back the courageous amount you scooped onto your pretzel!
Chris Green was the bravest of all that day. After we each took a sample Mr. Green stepped up to the plate to load his pretzel. He picked up the saucer and drenched his pretzel in the Hell fire sauce, all the while having a, “I’m a brave badass” snicker on his face. ”No! Don’t do it,” one of us hollered. Holy S&^%! I thought to myself as he plunged the pretzel into his mouth! We all froze! Did he really just do that??? Yes. After a few seconds of giving the “rock star horns” he began to succumb to the poison that had just entered his mouth. Off came the glasses as the tears streamed down his face! Wow. He ran to the check out line and bought two over-priced bottles of water and guzzled them. It was painful to even watch. Joe’s eyes were watering just at the sight of Chris’ agony. This all lasted a very painful 20 minutes for Mr. Green as the Capsaicin enzyme (the stuff that makes peppers hot) leveled his taste buds like a bulldozer in soft dirt.
Well, in case you weren’t at our show at The Croc, he did survive. But, I’m pretty sure he’ll think twice next time about being Mr. Hot Sauce showoff!
The Crooks are enjoying some much needed TLC and rest. And Cody’s vocals are doing much better! And although it’s nice to take time off, I can speak for all of us when I say, I can’t wait to get back on the road and make music! See you all very soon!
Cody Beebe & The Crooks will be performing at Boundary Bay Brewing Co. in Bellingham, WA w/Flowmotion on Sunday, May 29th.
There’s no doubt that being in a band is a lot of fun. However, being on stage and actually performing our music is not even the half of it. In fact, I would say playing music equates to about 5% of our time and efforts, with the other 95% going toward other aspects of the business.
This may come as a surprise to a few of you, but just take wineries or breweries for example. Sure, you get to show up to a tasting room and try their delicious concoctions right as you enter the building. However, before they pour their craft into your tasting mug, the master brewer had spent countless hours, weeks, months, and in some cases, years to reach the end product. A band is really no different.
Being a seven-piece band, we have the advantage of accomplishing a lot together. So far, we have been lucky enough in putting our efforts together; with a few of us shining in certain departments. One key aspect of being a good leader is job delegations. That doesn’t just mean assigning jobs to whoever. It means seeking out specific talents within the members of the business and allowing them to shine. Cody, and the rest of us, have done a great job coming into our own organically. As a collective, we have a strong marketing, business, accounting, broadcasting/recording, and music theory background; all of which happen to be key elements in the working engine of a small up and coming band. Go Crooks!
We are stoked to see some of our family and friends at The Brick Saloon this Friday, April 15th! Show starts at 9pm!
As I sit here typing this I am back in a familiar place; our home in Seattle. The band officially finished the Southwest Tour on Monday, April 4th with our last gig being at Central Washington University. CWU is a familiar place for us to play and we are always warmly welcomed by the students and staff alike! A special thanks to our friend Amber Linn and her family for treating The Crooks to lunch after the show. What a great final finish to a wonderful tour!
Our last few dates were jam packed and we were hustling all around Washington and some of Oregon to finally make a valiant finish! On Friday, April 1st we played up on Chinook Pass for a private mountain party. And what a party it was! Not only were we celebrating a few local birthdays, but it also just happened to be our own Aaron Myers’ b-day as well! Wow! Well, at least we survived to tell about it!
Our next stop was up at Mount Hood Meadows! We played up at the main ski lodge for both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Not only did the staff go out of their way to make our stay comfortable, but they also provided us with daily meals, lodging, and free lift tickets! Holy jeeze…I can’t wait to play at “The Hood” again! Needless to say, I took them up on the free lift tickets and spent my Sunday morning on the hill.
On Sunday morning around 7:30 am, Eric was nice enough to give me a lift down to highway 35 where I proceeded to stick my thumb out and further myself up the mountain. After about 5 minutes a friendly guy named Chris pulled over and gave me a lift to the nearest parking lot and I was on my way to a great day on the slopes. All I can say is, “powder, powder, powder!” Woo! It was great.
In other news, Chris is finally home to his “Babbas!” and Mr. Cody Beebe has a new piercing! What did he get pierced you ask? Well, you’ll just have to come to our next show and see for yourself!.
Cody Beebe & The Crooks will be performing at The Brick Saloon in Roslyn, WA this Friday, April 15th! Show starts at 9pm!
So, after much deliberation and careful, emotional talks among the band members, we have decided to go our separate ways. The band is officially breaking up.
I’m really sorry I have been so dang illusive recently with the blog posts. A personal family emergency coupled with lots of driving in the van and many shows during the tail-end of this tour, has seemed to resulted in a blog posting vacation.
The band has been warmly greeted once again by our fans and friends in the greater Pullman/Moscow area! Our show at the Coug went flawlessly and seemed to be more of a big Pullman party! John’s Alley was the shiz and fans packed the place for a Thursday night. We were scheduled to open for Elephant Revival but when we arrived the show got switched on us. So, after last minute facebook posting and calls to friends to let them know that we are going on late, the show went on and it was a success!
Cody Beebe & The Crooks will be performing up at Chinook Pass for a private mountain party tonight (4/1/11)
Wow! What a trip! SXSW is truly a music lovers paradise. Well, Austin alone is a music lovers paradise, but inject the city with thousands of bands, even more fans, and as much free Monster energy drinks a boy can handle and BAM! You’ve got it made!
The day we drove into Austin and parked the van to check out the city for the first time as a band, was like falling in love with a first crush. With the 85 degree weather, the sweet smell of blooming Russian Olive trees, and the faint sound of live music in the distance, we were hooked. Austin happens to be the birthplace of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Willie Nelson, and many others so you know there is harnessed musical energy flowing about the city.
We had the pleasure of meeting so many great people and making lasting connections. The band played at Treasure Island on Wednesday night and had a great response! The place was packed and the people were grooving to our sound. We had Thursday off to walk around and hang out with other Seattle musicians including Lotus Crush and Eclectic Approach.
Not only is Austin home to great music, but it also hosts the largest migrational urban bat colony in North America. During the spring and summer months, you can catch the fuzzy winged creatures flowing out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge was constructed in 1980 and, unknowingly, became the home of 1.5 million bats for a few months out of the year. This is truly a natural spectacle to see if you ever are lucky enough to travel to Austin.
Well, first off I’d like to apologize for not being very punctual on my blog updates. Secondly, if you’re going to play live at a coffee shop in Dallas, do it at Opening Bell!
As we drove from Lubbock to Dallas we all didn’t quite know what to expect; considering this was going to be our first gig at a cafe’-type setting. Not only that, but it was also going to be our first ‘all ages’ show. No alcohol or screaming party animals at this gig. Not that that’s the only reason people scream and cheer…I hope it’s because of the music we make. Regardless, it was going to be a different set up.
As we were pulling our gear from the trailer I noticed more and more people filling the seats at Opening Bell. ”Wow!” I thought, “this coffee house gig might just prove worthy.” It did. As we took the stage we were greeted with cheers from about 75 people; and in a small coffee shop, that can seem like a packed stadium with thousands of screaming fans! At least that’s what I like to think of it as…or hope that it will be so in our future. We made several new friends and sold about 20 CD’s. What a great gig. Thanks Opening Bell!
As I a sit here typing this I am in a nice hotel room and I just finished a room serviced breakfast in bed. Why am I not in the KOA campground with the rest of the boys you ask? Well, I was as surprised as you all when I opened my tent on Friday afternoon. Cody and the boys had told me they had seen a lizard inside through one of the screen windows. ”In my tent,” I excitingly announced, “Awesome, I love lizards!” I ran out of the KOA club house where we had set up our office for the day with the boys swift behind me; awaiting the surprised look on my face. As the opening of my tent was drawn back, a head popped out at me. Dad? What the F@#$!
In case a few of y’all (my time in Texas is becoming apparent) didn’t know, it’s my birthday today. I am 25. I guess my dad had been planning a surprise visit for a few weeks now and the boys were in on it. So we spent the night around a BBQ pit laughing over a few beers. Today we have plans of hitting the local Six Flags here in Dallas. Wow!
Cody Beebe & The Crooks will be performing at The Moon Bar in Fort Worth, TX on Sunday, March 13th.
Cody was the first to see him sitting across the parking lot in his white truck with an official emblem on the side. I was slightly nervous, fearing we might be about to get a big fat Texas-sized citation; considering one of the tents was still set up. Cody whistled to the boys around the fire as I walked over to the tent to warn Joe, Greg, and Chris. “You boys might want to think about getting up,” I said, “There’s a Texas Ranger …or some official truck coming into the park slowly and he’s headed our direction.” Sporting confused mugs and boxer shorts, the boys shot up and started getting dressed. Cody and I stood side-by-side, looking like soldiers on the front line anxiously awaiting the enemy’s gain; and fearing the worst. As the truck pulled up next to our van we could see a shield on the side with the words, Lake Patrol. “You boys can’t camp hur,” the officer said in a stern southern accent. Slightly set aback and confused as to what to say, Cody stepped up and simply told the guy the truth…
We left Lubbock yesterday with no particular destination in mind, just a map, eight weary travelers, a loaded down trailer, and a desire to see the Texas countryside. Being a bunch of country boys, we made sure to include our camping gear and planned on sleeping beneath the Texas stars somewhere along our journey. We need to get to Galveston by Saturday, so I found a town in the general direction and set a new destination on the Garmin.
We reached Abilene in about 3 hours and asked a grocery store clerk her advice on camping locations in the area. She suggested Fort Phantom Lake. So, we drove another 7 miles north to our destination. After driving in past the NO CAMPING! sign, pitching tents, and making plain ham sandwiches on bread we were settled in for the night.
Before too long we heard some commotion. It turned out to be two local Texas boys trapping bait for their bass fishing trip the next day. They had large nets that they were tossing out and bringing in ghost minnows. They couldn’t have been nicer to us and they even allowed us to try a few tosses ourselves. We didn’t bring anything in. I think we might need some more practice tossin minnow nets.
…”To be honest sir, we’re a traveling band on a tight budget and we figured it would be best for us to pull off and sleep rather than continue driving tired,” Cody said. “We have to get to Galveston by Saturday, and this looked like a nice place to stop.” “Well, if you drive past sayn that’s tellin ya not to do somethin… you can’t do what it’s tellin ya not to do,” Officer Burdett explained. “Well, you boys got any warrants?” “Well, actually that’s why we’ve left Washington,” Cody said jokingly. After making our new friend laugh and giving him an album, we were off Scott Free! Before he drove away he looked at the name of our band and said, “I knew ya’ll’s were a bunch of Crooks!”
Well, we’ve made it to Las Vegas by golly! It has been quite the trip so far and it’s not even half over. The Crooks have made it through our California dates and are pushing East through Nevada, Arizona, and eventually Texas by next week. One advantage of being a seven-piece band is the reach we have through our family members across the Nation. We definitely could not be doing what we do without the support of our beloved family members.
The Crooks owe a massive thank you to Chris’ Uncle Lincoln for opening his beautiful Inglewood apartment to us. Screw Geico, we just saved hundreds of dollars on our band account by switching to Uncle Lincoln’s apartment! We also cannot forget the hospitality and love from Aunt Donna! She provided the band with full bellies throughout the duration of our stay in L.A.
Crooked Quote: “Well, when we first got to L.A. we had dinner in Compton. Since then, we’ve pretty much just been hangin’ out in Inglewood.” –Aaron Myers
Last night, we played in Las Vegas at The Freakin’ Frog. The show went great and we made some new friends. Included in the audience was our long time friend and fellow musician, Josh Stuart. And of course we can’t forget about Chris’ parents, Wally and Carol who were cheering us on all night. They also treated us to an incredible buffet/champagne brunch this morning. We love you both!
As I sit here typing this, the sound of the opening band is echoing throughout Moe’s Alley. Tonight we are playing in Santa Cruz. We are excited to meet a few new friends and are itching to get on stage.
It’s 8:30, we go on in two hours, and still no sign of Greg and Rich! Last week we played in San Francisco and, in our frenzy of a departure, Greg left behind his pedal board. This is a bummer because San Fran is about 7 hours of a drive north of where we’re staying near L.A. Fortunately for Greg, our gig tonight is about 90 miles south of the Bay Area. So, as we pulled up to the venue earlier this evening, we unhitched the trailer and Greg and Rich high-tailed it up the 101 to recover the expensive piece of gear. Hurry up, boys!
We arrived into the greater L.A. area two days ago with a VERY warm greeting from Chris’ grandparents. We pulled the van and trailer up to a quiet neighborhood (if you can believe that exists in L.A. County) and before we could step out of the van Grandpa Wallace was there with a big hug and smiling from ear to ear. We didn’t have two feet in the door and Grandma Adrielle was there with hugs to go all around. The kitchen counter was stocked full of chicken wings, pot stickers, mixed nuts, chips and dip! And I can’t forget about the stocked ice chest out back. WOW! We all felt like little kids again getting spoiled by our grandma and grandpa. Thanks for the good food and even better company G&G!
Yesterday we spent the day at the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach. We had a meeting scheduled with a friend of Deborah’s who works at Universal Records. Nothing to be alarmed at, Cody, Chris, and Joe just had a meet and greet as well as a small tour of the building. And as for the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, I can’t really begin to describe the characters jostling up and down the boardwalk. From the hippy playing an electric guitar on roller blades trying to sell us CD’s to the nearly-naked, very sculpted, very oiled-up man dancing on the beach in front of us! WOW!..and it’s only been a week and a half! Next stop L.A. for two days then off to Vegas.
Today is the day we showcase in front of a few hundred AAA-Radio professionals, label representatives, and other professional musicians. So, you know…there’s no pressure.
The band has spent the past two days bumping shoulders with such musical greats as: K.D. Lang, Iron & Wine, Sia, and many other monumental musicians. Not to mention all of the industry professionals who are also attending to watch the music and network with each other. Imagine seven small goldfish in a tank of barracudas and sharks. This image is somewhat analogous to how The Crooks have been feeling these past few days. At the same time, we are all prepared and confident to deliver our craft and have been making great connections!
Last night we had the opportunity to meet K.D. Lang as well as Sam Beam of Iron & Wine backstage in the musician’s green room. It is such an honor to be in the presence of musicians who have been in the game for so long and who are able to claim such a reputable past; little known have the opportunity to play on the same stage!
I don’t know what else to tell you all. I suppose I am beginning the mental preparation process for tonight and that is all I can think about. So, root us on! Thank you all for your thoughts and support.
Cody Beebe & The Crooks hit the stage of Michele Clark’s Sunset Sessions tonight around 11pm.
Our show in Fresno, CA was a success! Not only were able to meet a few new friends, including Lance Canales and his band The Flood, but we also gained a few new fans in the area. After getting in to Yuki’s house in Hanford, just south of Fresno, at 5am, we took to slumber for about 4 hours. Then, it was back to Fresno for a radio interview and a quick exploration of the city. After a plain turkey sandwich dinner in a park, we were bound for Audie’s Olympic Club to play the show.
The band truly can’t thank those who help us along the way enough! We really appreciate our dear friend Yuki for allowing us to crash all over her floor in her cozy Hanford apartment. With Deborah by her side, She even prepared an egg burrito breakfast with fresh fruit smoothies for us all just before our departure to San Fran! Thank you, thank you, thank you…..KEE! Hooray for Yuki!
I have always envisioned San Francisco as a magical hippy land where the beer flows like wine and the hippy women flock like the salmon of Capistrano! So, needless to say the expectations within the van were high as we crossed the Bay Bridge into the city. Our newfound friend Janie Hendrix invited the band to take a sneak peak at the mixing and mastering of a new live album of Jimi himself. We were able to meet a few people that worked on the Hendrix albums and hear their stories. As we exited the van into the studio we immediately realized we were in a “sketchy” part of town; better known as the Tenderloin District. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that within the hour of parked on Hyde Street our van was pissed on (more than once), Joe, Rich, and I almost fell victim to projectile vomit from a woman on the sidewalk, we witnessed an arrest, saw a gentleman walking his two dogs and allowed them to drop bombs all over the sidewalk, and were offered any type of drug we wanted…by several individuals. Schweew!…and survived to tell about it.
After playing at The Utah downtown San Francisco and enjoying the company of a few good friends and loved ones(Carol, Nadine, Shawn and his friends) Rich drove us south until about 6am when it was time to pull over and rest.
The Crooks are currently residing with Chris’ Aunt and Uncle in the Carlsbad area and are attending the AAA-radio showcase The Sunset Sessions. Tonight we get to bump shoulders with Iron and Wine, K.D. Lang, and Sia.
Cruisin’ down the street in my HAW ZEE! It’s like this, and it’s like that…pulled into the pilot to pump some gas…When upon my amusement, what did I see! Perfect push-ups, shake weights, and dumbbells oooohhheee!
Our journey commenced this morning with an early rise and a full pot of coffee. We had The Hozz loaded up the night before to ensure a timely departure. Chris arrived around 9 o’ clock and we were off! Next stop, Deborah’s house to pick up our beloved manager. The boys of the West Seattle chapter were down in Castle Rock, which is south of Olympia off the I-5. After our pit stop of gathering Aaron and Greg, and ordering from the value menu, we were back on the road. Before we knew it, we were in Oregon.
As I sit here typing this, the windshield wipers are moving to the beat and we are traveling through the great state of Oregon. Joe is in the driver’s seat, Deborah’s riding shotgun, myself and a tired, head-bobbing Cody are inhabiting seat #2, Greg and Chris are holding down seat #3, and Eric, Aaron, and Rich are keeping the back seat comfy. Next stop: probably a rest area in Northern California somewhere.
Today…and some of early tomorrow we are on the road, traveling from Seattle, WA to Fresno, CA. We have 16 hours worth of road to cover, four cases of Golazo energy drink to …drink, and nine souls determined to entertain each other. This tour is going to be a challenge, a test, a lot of logged van hours, a blast, and a monumental stride for the band all in one. We feel so blessed to be following our dream and we know we couldn’t be doing this without all of your support! You know who you are, and we thank you!
Cody Beebe & The Crooks will be performing at Audie’s Olympic Tavern in Fresno, CA on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 9pm! We are very excited to share our time with our dear friend Yuki; who also happens to be selflessly offering her home up to us.
FIRST THING’S FIRST! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CODY! WE HOPE TO SEE ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AT THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ IN SEATTLE TONIGHT FOR CODY’S BIRTHDAY/TWO-YEAR BAND ANNIVERSARY SHOW!
Well, we did it. The band just got their first sponsorship. And with a light carbonation and refreshing mango-lime flavor, I’m sure it will fit right in with The Crooks! No, I’m not talking about Sprite or 7-UP…I’m talking about Golazo!
When The Crooks first began talking about embarking on a Southwest tour, it was merely a big dream with romanticized outcomes. Now, after a couple months of hard work, dedication, and sore eyes from staring at computer screens day in and day out, the band is touring through eight states, playing at major festivals including a AAA-Radio Showcase in L.A., Mardi Gras Galveston and SXSW in Texas, and now is being sponsored by the energy drink, Golazo.
As described before, Golazo is a lightly carbonated, mango-lime flavored energy drink. Originally made for Seattle Sounders fans at Qwest Field, Golazo is Spanish for “super goal.” Well, the folks at Golazo have enough confidence in The Crooks to score big during our Southwest tour and decided to send us off from Seattle with the trailer stocked full of Golazo!
Cody Beebe & The Crooks are performing tonight(2/12/11) at The Hard Rock Café in Seattle. The show starts at 9:30pm with opener, Tommy Simmons and will end with local great, Massy Ferguson. The Hard Rock Café is located at…
116 Pike Street , Seattle, WA 98101