We broke up a couple of huge driving days by staying the night in New Orleans, which was basically right between Port St. Joe and Round Top. In our twelve hours in New Orleans we were able to pack in a Preservation Hall concert, some oysters on the half shell, and lots of wonderful live music on Frenchmen Street (along with about five hours of sleep).
Once in Round Top (February 6), we met up with our wonderful friends, Ted Lange and Mollie Busta Lange, who are world class musicians and people. They were able to use their connections to get us into a beautiful performance hall, Festival Hill, where we had a Facebook Live mini-concert. Many of you may have seen the event, but if you haven't, you can still watch it on our Facebook page, or you can Google search some images of Festival Hill to see the glorious venue. We met the man who built the hall from scratch, and he gave us a tour which was really fun!
One of the perks about having professional musician friends is that you sometimes are able to sleep in their tour bus, which we were able to do for two nights! Mollie and Ted have a 65' house on wheels, and we played games, chatted, sang some polka, cooked and ate on the bus. Such a cool experience, and to get to do it with kind, loving people was a special treat for us. Ted and Mollie have been in Texas many times before, so they showed us some of the must-see's, including the massive gas station called Buc-ee's. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, but we did not expect to walk into an all-inclusive mall in place of the gas station!
We were fortunate enough to run into some car troubles while in good company. Ted took our van out on an errand to get a part for the bus, and the alternator went out en route. We had a gig in Houston later that evening, but he was able to get it into a shop, fixed up, and to the gig in plenty of time, without even breaking a sweat. It was admirable, the amount of patience and calm Mollie and Ted exhibited during what felt like a disaster to us!
We rolled up to Hidden Cellar Wine Bar in Houston in the tour bus, which felt pretty cool and really gave the bar a shock! Ha. Another shock came later, when we were all setup to start playing at 7 pm for a 7-10 gig. Right before we started to play, one of the owners came out and said, "You guys are running 8-11, right?" Long story short, we had not factored in the time change when putting the event on our Google Calendar, so we had an extra hour to spare!
After the hour of extra preparation, we had a blast for the next three hours, interacting with a diverse crowd that actually had lots of Ohio representation for some odd reason! It even included some BGSU grads!
Our time with Mollie and Ted was interspersed with many great memories that we will hold onto for a long time. It feels good to all of us to have such caring musical mentors; you know who you are, and we love you all!!!