It’s official. The Mountain Boys are in Ecuador, en route from Guayaquil to Cuenca. Our first gig isn’t until tomorrow morning so we had an unusual few hours of free time to get through a mudslide on our way up to cloud level and have a nice typical meal before arriving. We’re in the Breakdown Bus and off to a good start.
We’re glad to be here with our old friend and Tennessee native Jay Raman from the US Embassy in Quito. He was our contact at the Embassy last hear when we went to Guatemala so we’re expecting multiple performances of Rocky Top and the traditional tour coffee thermos of Zacapa.
We’ll be playing a handful of concerts this week and are looking forward to seeing people there. Check out the schedule on the Tour Dates page.
Cheers from Cuenca,
Ya es oficial. Los Ajusco ya llegaron a Ecuador, en camino a Cuenca desde Guayaquil. Nuestra primera presentación es hasta el lunes así que tenemos por muy rara ocasión unas horas de tiempo libre para esperar que pase el deslave por la carretera y llegar arriba de las nubes para una rica comida típica ecuatoriana.
Nos da gusto ver de nuevo a nuestro amigo y originario de Tennessee Jay Raman de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Quito. Jay nos llevó el año pasado a Guatemala cuando estuvo en la Embajada allí así que esperamos varias rendiciones de Rocky Top en su honor y el thermo tradicional de Zacapa pa’el camino.
Estaremos en varios pueblos esta semana y esperamos verles allí. Todas las entradas son gratuitas y les pongo la agenda en la página de Tour Dates.
Matagalpa rolled out the red carpet for us in true Central American style. We were invited to play at the Centro Cultural Heroes y Martires, a wonderful open air amphitheater with a great view (from on stage) looking out over the town square and up into the mountains.
The stars were shining and the quarter moon was perfectly framed by the iconic silhouette of Augusto Sandino, complete with boots and planters hat. Sandino was Nicaraguan nationalist and guerrilla in the 1930s who fought U.S. intervention. The town mayor is from the Sandanista party.
After the concert we were presented with a framed certificate and three enormous flower bouquets to mark our visit to the town.
Once again, we found lots of Country music fans. Kenny Rodgers has lots of gigs waiting in Panama and Nicaragua. Eat your heart our Kenny.
Day one in Managua involved us going to probably the best music store in all of Central America, Bansbach Music, to give a master class on Bluegrass for a group of students. The music store had a wide range of real instruments -guitars, basses, brass, mics, cables, etc- and most shockingly, the guitars on the racks were set up and ready to play. Kudos to Denis, the store’s manager, for running a tight shop.
We played with some really intriguing students and taught them Cripple Creek and I’ll Fly Away. True to our word, we’re hoping some of them will come to our concert tomorrow night (Friday) at 7:00pm at the Teatro Nacional Ruben Dario in Managua and join us on stage. In case any of them are reading, here’s a video of “I’ll Fly Away” that is similar to the version we’ll do. Just remember that we´re doing it in A.
Thanks to everyone for coming by and hanging with us at the U.S Embassy stand for a while. We had a great time!
Mil gracias a todos por habernos visitado en el stand de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos. Son lo máximo y lo pasamos de maravilla!
Here’s a rough mix down of us doing “Sleep” at the Panamá Feria del Libro. More to come.
It’s Tuesday and we’re already leaving Panama. Hard to believe.
The tour has been officially named The Fainting Goats Tour and we thank our kind hostess and tour coordinator (one of many who helped put this leg of the tour on) Alison Brown from the U.S. Embassy in Panama for helping us coin the name. Why The Fainting Goats Tour? I’ll let Tom or Steve elaborate on that one later. The folks at the Embassy, namely Alison and her colleagues Shaleen White and Javier Rodriguez, really set up a great opportunity for cultural exchange and we had a great time. Thanks to everyone there for bringing us down to Panama!
We played for some really amazing audiences, including at the Panama Feria del Libro (book fair), the Feria Yo Reciclo (pro-recycling), and for an incredibly talented high school marching band in Chorrera, called the Banda “Víctor Raúl González” at the Colegio Moisés Castillo Ocaña just outside of Panama City. Those guys and gals played and danced a few numbers for us and they rock. They are in fact an internationally award winning marching band. Kind of a big deal. Thanks also to everyone that came to the book fair and hung out with us in the booth afterwards. We sure gave out a lot of t-shirts and probably 100 CDs or so.
We leave you the following for the Gods of posterity.
Its tough being the hardest working bluegrass band in all of Mexico and Central America (have we said that already?). Someone has to bring bluegrass goodness to all the hearts and minds out there so we’re taking off again, this time to Panama and Nicaragua. We don’t have the full schedule yet but we’ll hit the ground running on Saturday, August 27th and be back in the Big Taco by Sunday, September 4th.
We are stoked to play the National Theater, “Ruben Dario,” while in Managua (ww.tnrubendario.gob.ni/cartelera.html, scroll down to the bottom) and the Feria Yo Reciclo in Panama City (http://quepasapanama.com/2011/06/feria-yo-reciclo-3/feria-yo-reciclo-3/), among others. Once we know more, we’ll get those dates up here too.
Andy “Short-pants, The Donkey Whisperer” Kieffer is coming with us as Sound Man and Videographer so we’ll keep you up to speed with photos, video and the like as we go. He even bought a new camera. How ’bout that?
In the words of Dave (Big) from SPAB, “Stick around! We’re having a good time!”
We hit the ground running at full speed ahead this morning with a live performance on San Salvador’s version of Good Morning, America. No rest for the weary here. From there we took off to the press conference and then on to our big theater gig in Ahuahcapan, about 2 hours drive from San Salvador. The road looked like this.
We arrived in time for a delicious lunch and then went over to give a conference to a group of students and then to sound check at the theater. It was a beautiful place and we defintely ticked off item number 3 of any band’s Must Do In Latin America List: we danced with the Ms. Ahuachapan on stage during the concert. These local pagents are a really big deal in small towns and both the current Ms. Ahuachapan and the outgoing Ms. Ahuachapan came to the concer tonight. During “I’ll Fly Away” I asked the current Ms.Ahuachapan to dance and pulled her up on stage for a quick twirl or two (no albur please). We played well and had a great time. Day one complete.
Hardest working bluegrass band in Central America. -Tim