Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Things Come....

Man! We passed some SERIOUS tests this weekend. Thursday night we picked up a couple extra shows down in St. Andrews at The Red Herring. This meant some driving Saturday as we were already booked for a matinee at Crabbe Mountains Thirsty Boot Lounge, but hey we're used to van time.

After I got my haircut on Friday I noticed that Ruby was blowing cold air out of her heater. I topped her up with fluid hoping that was the issue. Later when I went to pick up Shawn en route to St. A I noticed the same issue again. I took a peek under her skirt and saw that there was rad fluid all over. Not good. We obviously couldn't take her to St. A. Normally I would be pissed bt I told her long ago that if she got us through the last tour and then to Mississippi and back she wouldn't owe me a thing. So....we went into "find a vehicle mode". After exhausting all rental car spots for a van we resolved to take Karl AND Shawns car. So we made the switcheroo and loaded up and hit the road for St. Andrews.

Remember Friday> It was storming badly. About two thirds of the way there Shawn and I hit a couple bad drifts which sent us spinning backwards into the ditch. We hit pretty solid but there was no damage save a flat tire. I texted the bar to update them and then a truck stopped and if you've ever been to Charlotte County then you know how this story goes...he had chains and pulled us out. We were literally in and out of the ditch within 10 minutes. MAJOR thanks to those folks who stopped to help! We arrived late but still rocked out a couple strong sets. Then Shawn had to wrestle with his spare tire for the trip home in the early AM. Once changed we loaded up the vehicles and went to crash out right around 3.30am. We were back on the road by 8am to get up to Fredtown and find a different vehicle situation before we headed out to Crabbe. I stopped by my pal Randy Wheatons lot, Trius Trucks on Bishop Drive, hoping that he would be open. He wasn't. Just as I was leaving I noticed someone come out of the building. It was Randy. Turns out he lives upstairs. I told him the situation and before I knew it he had hooked me up with a little van AND sent Ruby over to his garage for a closer look by a professional. AWESOME!

We rocked Crabbe and then loaded up and headed right back to St. A for another go. By this time my 'cough' which feels like Bronchitis was in full effect. I used the rest of my voice on Saturday night and now I'm enjoying a painful squeak. Great!

Anyway, through all these tests we ended up getting our mastering session moved up two weeks, thats good news! This means the new album might, just might come out when we want it to!!!!! As if that wasn't good enough, during my last set break at Crabbe I received an email confirming my invitation to perform at the Atlantic House on Granville Island in Vancouver fo r the good ole Olympics! This is a tremendous opportunity and as a result I cancelled all my previously booked gigs so I can go. Normally I would NEVER do such a thing but this is really is a great gig so I reluctantly called each spot to sheepishly cancel. Fortunately when you mention the Olympics EVERYONE seems to get excited and all the gigs I cancelled wished me well. I thank them all for their understanding!

So there you have it. When faced with times of trouble keep your head up and follow your gut and you will be rewarded. We could have threw in the towel on friday but I believe by persevering it helped line up some other great opportunities! Positivity breeds positivity folks!

I can't believe it's only the end of JAnuary and music has already taken me to Mississippi for a new record, Memphis for a weekend of good times with great friends and now in less than two weeks I head to Vancouver for two weeks. Lots to do before I go though....gotta finalize artwork for the new record, do some taxes and tidy up loose ends, then its off to the left coast! I can only imagine what else is in store for us this year. Bring it on 2010!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 20: Home Sweet Hooooommmeeee

WOW. I just woke up from a great nap! I had a dream that I went down to Mississippi with the Bastards to make a record and then hung out in Claksdale. Then We jumped to Memphis and hung out there for a few days soaking up the musical history where ever we went!

Of course I know it wasn't a dream....I pinched myself.....but right now it sure feels that way. It all went by in such a blur. Looking back through the photos I'm reminded of some of the greatest moments in my life. I'm still absorbing it all and filing the great memories of new people we have met that make up the pieces of the puzzle that is our future. Australia, New York, Florida to Tulsa, Mississippi to Memphis, we have made new connections that will take us down all kinds of new paths over the next few years.

Yesterday we drove hard. 18 hours. Right through the night. Other than heavy rain and bad fog and a real bad food experience at Chateau Westboro, an italian restaurant with incredible rude staff, it was a safe trip.

I'm home now and the adventure is over. Sort of. Now I'm busy booking tours, lining up a mastering session for our new album and thinking hard about artwork and liner notes. Always lots to do.

I know the real exciting stuff might seem over but I will be continuing to post regular updates on the ole blog here so I hope you all hang with me and subscribe so you get the videos. If you want to see a bunch of pictures from the trip head on over to our Facebook Fan Page HERE.

Stay tuned

Ross

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 19: Goodbye Memphis, On the road again

Well we're back on the road trying to get home. We miss NB and all of our friends and family, even though we had a great time. Today was not a great travel day. We sat in Ruby for about 13 hours. Two thirds of the trip today was torrential downpour. We're hoping tomorrow will be better as we are gonna drive until we can't.

Our last night in Memphis was low key but fun just the same. After a few days on Beale we were all a little burnt out on its touristy, street hustling mania. All in all we had a great time in Memphis. The high light was getting to hang with good friends, Steve, Miles, Matt & Jeff. Because we travel so much we don't always get quality time with some of our other musicianeer friends and to have a few days in a place like Memphis was worth so much to us.

We're holed up in a hotel in Winchester Virginia for a nap before we rock the asphalt tomorrow. Gotta get some Z's. Can't wait to get home and see y'all.

Here is a couple of pics from our last meal in Memphis. Some kick ass O rings. Friends from Carleton County will understand when I say Betty Broad - You gots some competition!!!




R

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 18: Elvis has left the building

Today we enjoyed the last of our touristy sight seeing. We stopped by the Orpheum theatre to cheer on Matt Andersen to victory in the solo category and then we hit Legendary Sun Studio. It was very cool with the exception of the size of the tour and the temperature.....too many people, way too hot in there. The tour obviously focused around Elvis and we would have liked some more johnny cash and Sam Philips but all in all it was pretty cool to walk through the building where rocknroll is considered to have been born!

X Marks the spot! This is where Elvis stood. apparently.

Here is a bit of video from the studio floor. Pretty cool man. LOADS of history in that little room. Still exactly (more or less) like it was a waaaay back then. Very, Very Cool!

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We here at the Bastard Empire would like to extend a huge congrats to our great friend and brilliant performer Matt Andersen. MAtt beat out more than 80 other musicians in the solo category at the 2010 International Blues Challenge. We are REAL proud of him. Much love brother.

Mississippi Trip Vol 17: Not a Weiner

Well we played our last gig in Memphis tonight. That means we are not advancing to the finals. We did however lay down another smattering of Bastard Blues Rock all over the our club on Beale. I thought we were true to ourselves and did what we do well. All in all the IBC has been super awesome. We met some great musicians and now have friends in New Jersey, New York, Tulsa, Pensacola and a few other places. That my friends is what it's all about. (oh yeah, and i got to meet and be interviewed by Bekka Bramlett today, Daughter of Bonnie & Delaney Bramlett. Don't know who that is? Google them)

Since we now have tomorrow off we'll try to make the best of it by checking out Sun studio and the human rights museum if we can fit it all in. We'll also head to the Orpheum Theatre to support our good friend, Matt Andersen, who move into the finals for solo and duo category.

This has been a real crazy way to finish off a huge, life altering trip into the heart of American blues music. Many, Many thanks to all the people who have extended their hospitality and educated us on the music that spawned here so many years ago. Huge thanks to the Dickinson Family, Alvin Hart, Rat, Red, Guy and crew at the shack up. Bruce Devlin for being here to take some great photos of it all. Truly awesome.

I know some of you will feel sad for us but don't worry your lil heads. We came to the south and made a great record and had some really REALLY good times. The only thing we're sad about is that our trip is coming to an end......

Don't go running away though....the trip's not over just yet, and that means more updates......

Ross

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 16: Stax of fun!



Hey Y'all

Great day was had yesterday. Started out with an awesome breakfast from Polly's on Beale and then we headed for the legendary Stax Museum. This place was so cool. What an amazing and heartbreaking story. The short movie at the start of the tour had us all a little misty. The Otis Redding footage blew my mind. By the time we got done we were chomping at the bit to play. The had the wah pedal used of Shaft in there and they actually had Isaac Hayes' Cadillac. PIMPMOBILE!!!!! Check the Video!

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You have to be at the venue you play at the start of the night and stay until you play so we grabbed a bite and checked out some other bands. The Venue is Called Bues City Cafe and is a pretty good medium sized club. Looks real good with people packed in there and the folks that were there were real responsive. Great Crowd. We hit the stage like an Atom Bomb and delivered a real strong introduction to Ross Neilsen & The Sufferin Bastards. We had a LOT of comments and people seemed to really dig our brand of blues.

A couple of other acts we dug were Jeremy Wallace Trio from New Jeresy. These guys were kind of a Tom Waits meets Howlin Wolf outfit. Really Cool. The other band that really stood out was The Dustin Pittsley Band from Tulsa. Nice guys and great players.

Today I'm taking it low key. Just caught a bit of Colin Linden's songwriter workshop and now I'm about to have a nap and then a couple interviews before I have to head over to our venue. We play second to last tonight and it's gonna be hard to sit and wait so long.....we'll find a way to get energized for our set though. we always do!

I hope all is well where ever you are and you are enjoying these updates. We sure appreciate you keeping in touch.

Ross

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 15: Memphis in the mean time


Well we had a fun time playing at Red's Juke last night. Brucie got some footage but i'll have to post it another time cause I didn't get it from him yet. When we got back to the shack up we really got down. Tequila, Wine and Beers celebrated the great times we had in Clarksdale. In the morning it was a different story. A bus group that were arriving for a blues camp showed early so we had to get it together real quick and split. I was real proud at all the fellas in the band as well as Brucie D for getting shit together while I basically just walked around and belly ached. Thanks boys!
Here is a late night pic of the fellas sitting round the Robert Clay Shack late night for y'all:

Now we're in Memphis and ole Mizzip is behind (rather south) of us. What a time she showed us. Unbelievable really. Our hotel is right across the street from the historic Peabody. Had a great catch up session with East coast friends Matt Andersen, Miles Gallagher and Jeff Liberty as well as Ottawa superstar Steve Marriner (Monkey Junk the band). Good start to it all really. We are gonna try for the Stax museum today but we'll see how the registration goes for IBC. We are READY to rock the dust off of Memphis. Thinking of the late great Jim Dickinson a lot up here. Can't wait to unleash on the windy city.

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Werd Up
MB

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 14: Just for a laugh

Well the last few days have been a very good kind of intense with meeting all kinds of great people and seeing some of the craziest landscape out there. Having said all that I decided to put a post up of just random shit. Some of it may only be funny to us but I know SOME of you out there love the stupid shit we do.....Hope you get a laugh. Lots more where this came from.

Here is one of my fav shots that Bruce Devlin has taken this week. The ole Cop car from Blues Brothers.

We have seen a lot of pimped out cars here in clarksdale. Some are outrageous. This one was kinda tame but very cool.

We had a rehearsal at the juke joint chapel here (they have a stage with a PA system in the main building. We thought, why not!) at the Shack up Inn compound to keep the cobwebs off our fingers. I used my heavy duty amp.......

If you know me VERY well then you probably know i LOVE LOVE LOVE american RED hot dogs. They are delicious. We got crafty with em.

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......and Tequila


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Don't forget we have loads of pics at our facebook fan page.... here

Mississippi Trip Vol 13: Watermelon Slim at Red's Juke Joint.

*This is update Four of Four today. If you're just tuning in scroll down!

Dude is whack! He has a total thing going on. Super nice to us and we appreciated him letting us sit in...He used his sock for a pop sheild aka windsock. on his microphone....that's when you'd put it over the mic if it was shocking you or something like that. Slim took it off his foot, put it on the mic, did the show, put it back on his foot. DANG! Crazy MoFo!!!

Red's is a crazy lil place that looks like nothing you've ever seen. its wild. A real honest to goodness Juke. Red has been real nice to us over the last couple so big thanks to him. I think we're playing there Tuesday night which will be a good warm up for the IBC on Thursday.
Our new pal from Australia, Dan Dinnen was there for a jam too! Good times. I had to upload the video of us playing with Slim on Youtube cause it's way too long to put on here. please check it out, I haven't uploaded to youtube before so I hope this works! LINK IS BELOW. Here's the pic ......
Here is the Video Link
PS....If you're wondering where Slim is in this video......he's the dude crawling on the floor!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 12: Died And Went To Blues Heaven

*This is the third of four new posts today. If you're just tuning in scroll down! Or check out ALL the photos at our facebook fan page

The Shack Up Inn. I don't even know what to say about it. They boast the title of world's oldest B & B (breakfast n beer). It is on the historic Hopson Plantation. The first mechanized cotton harvest. It's cooler than words can descirbe... Here's the pics n Vid

Juke Joint Chapel. Shot by Bruce Devlin
Our Porch. shot by Bruce Devlin
Our shack.

Main building (this is half of it) includes the office some rooms and the Juke Joint Chapel.

Shawn and a rusty old truck. shot by Bruce Devlin!
Sippi Sunset

Gans comes out laughing in disbelief at this cool place we have found.
A Tour of The Robert Clay Shack. He drove tractor and had seven sons.
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Mississippi Trip Vol 11: Riverside Motel, Clarksdale MS


This place is unreal. The proprietors name is Rat. He has been there since his mom bought it in the early 40's. Ike Turner cut the demo to rocking 88 in the basement. Muddy stayed here. Bessie Smith died here when it was a hospital in the late 30's. JFK Jr stayed here when he wanted to be left alone. Rat insists that this is now our home away from home. No check out time. When you leave you put your key in the room door. Thats how he knows you split. his stories were crazy. We saw Levon Helm's name in the guest book. If you are in Clarksdale YOU GOTTA STAY HERE!!!!

Us with Rat on the front step. Bruce Devlin photography. Thanks Brucie!

This is the room Bessie Smith died in. Crazy story. Apparently she was in a car accident. The fellow who stopped to help her got her in his car and THEY were in another accident. She ended up at this mercy house but died of too Much blood loss, Truth, Fiction?

I found the room John Lee Hooker stayed in and had to try and gather him up. Rat said "you be careful, you might wake him up".
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Mississippi Trip Vol 10: The Crossroads


So, it's a little depressing to realize that the crossroads are a tourist trap taken on by every little town near clarksdale. We drove old highway 61 (original, not the four lane) looking for what could be the crossroads. I of course had plans to play a tune there. Realizing the disney-fied nature of them now sure took that wind out of my sail. We did have some fun looking though. From a surprise plantation of casinos to the "real" crossroads in clarksdale.....enjoy some video

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Mississippi Trip Vol 9: No Internet

So for the last few days I haven't really had any good internet connections that would allow me to up load pics n vids. Tonight is no different. I'm hoping tomorrow I will be able to find a connection in town so i can upload the new stuff. They will blow your minds.

Yesterday (Saturday) we hit the road out of Hernando after some laundry and an oil change for Ruby. We hit Highway 61 and headed south. We stopped at a museum in Tunica for a minute or two and realized here that every little town claimed to be "The blues town" in this area and that every crossroads was 'the crossroads'. We searched the old highway and come across dozens of crossroads. We drove through some of the most depressing areas as well. Truely another world.

We rolled into Clarksdale around 6pm and had a bite at the local BBQ "Abe's". REALLY good pork sandwich. Abe's is located right at "the crossroads", highway 49 & 61 intersection. Commonly accepted as the real crossroads. After supper we went to The riverside motel to check in for the night. Everyone has stayed here. Muddy, Levon Helm (saw his name in the guestbook), Pops & Mavis Staples, JFK Jr, John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke, Ike Turner and this is also where Bessie Smith died. Crazy history. The owner "Rat" is a super cool old dude who knows all the history. Stay tuned for pics n vids in the next day or two. After hanging for a bit we went to "Red's". Red's is the local juke. I mean real deal no BS juke joint. There was a dude named Harmonica Bean playing and it was only moments before Karl was up to join him and then later I got up and played a tune with him. We also met a cat named Dan who is from Australia. Dan is also here to compete in the IBC in the solo category. After a while we hit the road for The Ground Zero Blues club owned by Morgan Freeman. It was cool and a nice club but very touristy/frat boy. The tunes were less that impressionable but we had fun regardless. After a few beers we went back to the Riverside Motel to hang late night. Unbelievable place. Rat was so cool.

Today we got up and grabbed some eats then packed up to head out to the Shack up Inn where we'll be for the next few days. This place is indescribable. It really is a blues lovers heaven. I won't even try as words don't cut it. Again, stay tuned for Pics n Vids. They are awesome.

Tonight we went back to Red's as we were told Watermelon Slim would be performing and we should jam with him. We arrived late but everyone was happy to see us. Seems we'd made an impression the night before and Watermelon said after a tune..."Y'all must be the Canadians". Well is wasn't long and we had set up some gear to accompany him for a set. The aussie was there too and we all had a fun time. What a night. Looks like Monday night we'll play at the Hall here at the Shack Up and then tuesday we'll load into Red's to warm up for Memphis. Look out.

So hang tight for images...I'll get em up tomorrow. Just wanted to say hey and that we are having a stupidly fun time. Stay tuned.....

R

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 8: Post production downs

Today was long. But it was also extremely productive. The ranch was getting some heating apparatus worked on so Mary Lindsay was hanging about the studio with Lightning the dog. This gave me some much wanted chat time with Mary. What a gal. She was really digging the tunes. Her and lightning the dog hung out for an hour or so while we mixed a couple tunes. She is a SPECIAL person. These sessions would never have happened without her. She is amazing.

It was a furious work pace today. We mixed eight tunes and by we I mean the amazing Kevin Houston. A solid dude and a killer engineer. He was like our secret weapon making this record. We got to see Cody play the electric washboard (woogieboard). So cool. We had a lot of fun mixing. We're all bummed that the process is over but we're over the moon at having rocked out, recorded and mixed over 13 tunes in five days. VERY proud of the Bastards.

Now we're chilling at the hotel room having a low key celebration. maybe tomorrow we'll get crazy. for now we're burnt out and happy to chill. Thanks for reading the posts and We hope you've enjoyed the pics n videos. The party isn't done yet though, tomorrow we head to Clarksdale in the delta, to chase ghosts and hang for a few days. You can bet there will be more adventures. Stay tuned friends, in the meantime here are some more pics of a few of the secrets to our success and also included is one Video of us tracking 'For the Last Time'. I'm pretty sure that is the solo and those are the vocals that made the cut. Enjoy and thanks again for checking out the blog.


The southern belle herself. Mary Lindsay wit Lightening the dog.
The studio dog - Lightening. He's awesome!
RL Burnside on the wall providing some much used Mojo!
Mental Excersice: Don't think of a Zebra.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 7: One more day

Hey all

Well we spent today in mixdown. We completed five tunes with seven more to finish tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a long one. Aside from having to mix seven tunes we will also most likely have to cut two tunes. This is going to be real hard because right now we love em all so much! It will also be our last day at The Zebra Ranch Studio. It has been a monumental five days that I won't soon forget. So many awesome memories. I extend a huge thanks to Mary Lindsay Dickinson for being so instrumental in getting us down here to record. This is the real deal here folks. Real people in every way. They really do smell the roses down here. I'll miss them terribly.

In other news: tonight the one and only Brucey Devlin arrived safe and sound in memphis and we picked him up to bring him on an adventure with us for the next ten days. Should be fun. Bruce is also a fine photographer and he surely has his camera device with him. I also gave an interview with Brian Thompson from Thorny Bleeder records. I believe he'll be posting that shortly on the Bleeder Blog. Check it out!

Well here are a few pics of some of the secrets to our success this week.......
I guess this one is pretty self explanatory.

The Ghost Rider. A sure sign of good luck considering our band Logo.

Our team. Producer Cody Dickinson and genius engineer, Kevin Houston.

The best Microphone ever. I am in LOVE with this baby.

Thanks for reading all. More good times ahead. Stay tuned!

Ross


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 6: Well that was quick

Today we didn't have anyone drop in so we relied on the talent in the room. We knocked out a brand new tune tentatively titled 'Hot Little Pistol', and then started overdubbing the few things we needed to. Cody laid down some great piano and rhodes parts on a few tunes and then we set up to mix. This takes a little time so we took the night off and had a great big steak dinner to celebrate our parts being done in three days. We go back in to mix hard tomorrow and Friday. What a great experience it has been recording here. Things are approached differently and the more laid back atmosphere has been real beneficial. We have kept much of what was recorded as a band live off the floor, including a lot of vocals, ALL guitar parts and solos. Thats just how they do it there. Totally awesome. Here's some video.....

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Mississippi Trip Vol 5: Full Circle

Fice years ago I opened a show for Alvin Youngblood Hart in Fredericton. It had a big impact on me and Alvin was super cool. This was my first "bonafide" solo opener for a 'heavy' blues guy. Five years later I'm in Mississippi recording my album and Alvin pops by to lay a badass lead on my song 'Badlands'. Awesome. It was great to catch up. Alvin Showed up right after our producer Cody's brother Luther popped in. Luther is the singer/guitarist for North Mississippi Allstars and the lead guitar player for the Black Crowes. He almost made us cry with the slide shit he put on "She Ain't You". Just unreal. Amazing day. Tracking is pretty much done. Tomorrow we polish her up with some overdubs and then its mixing. If you are reading this on the facebook link you should come here to my blogpage because there are a couple vids. The second is Us listening back to some of Luthers slide mastery on She Ain't You.....bad quality video, we didn't really get any pics either because we were all sort of in shock. Good times.

Later,

Ross
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 4: Time to go to work


Just a short note today as it was a long day and I'm beat. We got out to the ranch around 9.45am after securing a little breakfast in Hernando. Kevin Houston, our engineer was setting up and we hung out while it was all getting plugged in. We were only there for a bit when some of the Burnside family (as in R freaking L) showed up for a quick hang. We met Dexter Burnside and RL's youngest son, the severely talented, Gary Burnside. A couple other folks who's names we missed. Funny hang. very chilled out. A good 'vibe' setter for the day. Unfortunately I had gone upstairs to grab a Harmony guitar I saw laying there all lonely like, I thought she may want to be played, Anyway, before I got back downstairs Gary and the fella's had split before I could strap a guitbox on him. Oh well. He'll be around most of the week.

We tracked hard all day. We ended up getting seven tunes in there. Long ass day but so productive. We only broke for and hour to go eat some BBQ. Delish! Then it was back to the studio to cut a mellow tune called "She Ain't You". More of the same tomorrow with lots of giving 'er and much tracking. More guests planned for tomorrow and you can bet we're gonna get them to strap up a geetar too! Stay tuned. In the meantime here's a couple pics.....


Our weapons of rocknroll destruction. Reso, Cherry Sherry, Green Hornet, a Harmony I found upstairs, T-bird and the P-bass.
Gansarelli in the Drum room aka the rock room.
Checking out playback under the watchful eye of the creature with glowing eyes. Painted by wrestling great 'The King' Jerry Lawler.
Gans and I in Jim's office checking out all the things to look at and getting the vibe.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mississippi Trip Vol 3: My head's in Mississippi


Ok. We got up and got out of our nasty hotel around 10am. We boosted a fella in the parking lot who's car died on account of the cold. We hit the road trusting that our food supplier, Cracker Barrel, would only be moments away. Sure enough we find one on the highway. A solid Breakky of Grits, eggs, two kinds of sausage, hash browns, bacon, saucy apples and biscuits. all under ten bucks! Wooohooooo! here's a pic....

After breakfast we head to Memphis. after we find our way back from a brief detour we head straight to Elvis Presley Boulevard. We decide the $100 that it would cost us to tour the house and grounds is way too much and are satisfied with pics over the wall. Biggest friggin' nativity scene I have ever scene. Disgusting. Here are some pics for you..




After Graceland we check into our hotel in Hernando. Then its off to Zebra Ranch Studio to load in and meet Mary and Cody Dickinson. The house is amazing. Nearly all the decor is Zebra themed. We have a good chat and head out to the studio to load in. It is exactly what I want out of it. Jim's vibe is intense on the whole grounds. After some chatting with Cody we realize that we are on the same page and everyone is excited for an epic week of recording. After we load in we head back to the house for stew and apple pie. It's all very delish and Mary is a great host and regals us with tales of life with Jim. An amazing time. I wish I could properly describe it but I'm still stunned. It was the most sureal hours of my life. Karl sat in the same chair that Bob Dylan sat in when he came to visit.....We are acutely aware that there is something special going on for us right now and are trying not to look it right in the eye. Sessions start tomorrow for what will surely be one of the most awesome musical experiences of our lives to date.

Stay tuned,

MB

Mississippi Trip Vol 2: I'm going to Jackson....

Today was a long day of driving. We decided to push hard so that tomorrow will be a short drive enabling us some brain dead/relax time to mentally prepare for the very intense five days that will follow. Saw some cool stuff today. Passed Roanoke VA, Nashville TN, we're currently pulled off of "music highway". No am not making that up. Thats what it's called. All very surreal.

We also ate at Cracker Barrel. There is one about every 25 miles. For real!It was alright and quite cheap! Karl and I had chicken and dumplings with veggies, Shawn had catfish as he usually does when it's available....


Ten years ago (actually a little more) when I met Shawn at my friends house (he was playing in my buddy's band) I never would have thought we'd be cruising by Nashville on our way to Mississippi to make a record. About the same amount of time ago I worked at Tony's Music Box with Karl. I again, never would have thought we would be in a band together traveling south to make a record. Crazy surreal day. Awesome. This artsy pic is Ruby's rear. Waht you can't really see is that beyond her ass is Nashville.

Tomorrow we head to Mississppi via Memphis. If it isn't to pricey we're gonna stop in at Graceland and see how the King lived. After that its focus time for a week of hardcore work. I can't wait! That blurry green sign says MEMPHIS!!!!!


Two things have been concerning me....1. my throat is STILL sore. Cross your fingers for me that tomorrow is a better throat day. 2. the further south we go, the colder and snowier it gets. Thats messed up. Don't believe me? Here's a video....

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talk soon

MB

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mississippi trip vol1: Border crossings, large dogs and eight states

Well, well, well, my first ever blog entry from the USA!
Yesterday (Thursday) we left Fredericton and head up river to Carleton County and my Mommy's house. We stopped to see Moms and have a little snack to build up our energy for our first Music related border crossing. To say we were nervous was an understatement. We did however have all of our paperwork done perfectly, we were clean shaven and had our "yes sirs" down pat! The man at the desk inside confused us a little when he said what we were asking for needed to be done in Woodstock/Houlton and that the B1 visa we were asking for was really a work Visa not a Showcase Visa. We soon realized that he was not the most knowledge-able officer in the room. While we answered their questions about Merchandise and how long we'd be gone and if we made money etc. etc. The three of us couldn't help notice the metal bench with handcuffs dangling off of it.... A little unnerving to say the least. In the end after we answered their questions they let us go in about five minutes. Didn't search any of us and didn't even LOOK at our Union letter of reference which cost us an outrageous amount of $$$ considering the boys joined the union and there are some fees involved. In the end though, better safe than sorry. It was a great border experience all in all and after their doggy sniffed us we were free to have fun in the USA!!!

The drive was fairly uneventful and no bad weather was had. We did have a hard time finding a good roadside spot to eat that wasn't boxed chain fast food store crap! I did get a delicious red hot dog into me near the turn off for Skowhegan! Yum!! We hit our friends, Greg and Colleen's, house around 7.30 and they immediately showered us with beer wine and pasta for supper. What great host! We feel like the luckiest band out there on the roads what with all the great hospitality people provide for us! We had a nice time and fun playing with Gwen their Great Dane. Here's a video of the little pup. video

This AM we hit the road after breakfast for a long drive to the Red Roof Inn in Winchester Virginia. We hit eight states in a little over eight hours today. Needless to say we are happy to be chilling in the hotel room. It's unusually cold here and it's amusing to see the locals running everywhere and swearing about the cold!

The cold I've been fighting seems to be lingering but I'm confident that I will be fine on Monday when we fire up the studio and get things rolling. Cross your fingers for me.

Tennessee tomorrow!!!
Talk to you soon.

MB


Monday, January 4, 2010

Our Distributor's Anniversary Present: Free Tunes

Hey folks here is a note from our distributor.....some free tunes for ya! Download it and pass it on to your friends!

To celebrate the the 1 Year Anniversary of The Bleeder Blog, Thorny Bleeder Records has just released the second volume of their Free Album Download series, entitled Get Thorny 2. It features over one hour of new music from seventeen independent Canadian artists.

Thorny Bleeder Records is based in Vancouver BC, home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. They embrace file sharing and encourage their fans to engage with them and their artists on social media sites. They're a new type of independent record label for a new era in music, helping to bridge the gap between fan, artist, management, and label.

Get Thorny 2 features new music from Columbia, Ross Neilsen, Black Hat Villain, Stars Of Boulevard, TV Heart Attack, Whitfield, Burning Borders, Burn Hollywood Burn, Isle Of Thieves, The Rebellion, Floodlight, Run The Red Light, The BaDD HaBBits, The Painted Birds, Scott Valentine Presents, Cory Woodward and the British Columbians.

You can download Get Thorny 2 for free directly from their website here:

The label has also planted the download on numerous bit torrent trackers, but they need more seeders. So this is a call to all torrent freaks to download the new Get Thorny 2 torrent and keep the seed alive!

Your support keeps the music coming, let's keep the music alive!


Enjoy all!

Ross