Hello folks, after three months of touring, my family and i are just settling back into our home in Milwaukee, WI. Our tour was nothing short of magical as far as i was concerned. We started out in Indiana, then went onto, FL, TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, and finally finished our tour in Reno, Nevada at The World Famous Nugget Casino, for the Reno Ukulele Festival. Looking back at a vast array of ukulele clubs, house concerts, schools, music stores and festivals where i taught and/or performed, one might be led to ask, "what was your favorite stop or what are some highlights."
Well, to be quite honest, that is a hard question...because, i loved every moment of being on tour, none more, none less, just simply being....that's right, just simple being out on tour does it for me no matter where we are. i simply love being out on the road. It sets my spirit free. If i have to stay put in one place too long, it never feels quite right to me. I was born to range, roam and ramble, the wild, wide open spaces, and in doing so, like to think of myself as a Jewish Cowboy and I ain't talking about the blazing saddles kind neither. For most, they can't fathom living out of a van for 3 months at a time, however for me, i can't imagine, being in any one place too long. We live in a great big, beautiful, majestic land and all i can say is God Bless, The Great American Highway System.
While my wife, daughter and i have surely suffered vagaries of the road, over the last couple years, this year's tour ran flawlessly and we put on almost 16,000 miles over three months.I taught dozens of workshops and presented countless concerts as well.
We plan to make this trek again in 2013 before our daughter starts school and we'll need to devise a new plan.
Fortunately, my wife Carol has been diligently videotaping and photographing as much as she can while we are on the road, and one day when life slows down enough, i aim to really take it all in and won't we have a time, looking back at all those memories that these tours generated for us and those whom we were privileged enough to connect with.
I am grateful to all of the Ukulele Clubs and Festivals that hired me to come and teach and/or perform for them. Words cannot express just how smitten i am with the whole Ukulele Revival.
I have made some real "keepers" for friends and every year, we look forward to visiting our extended ukulele family in places like: Tampa, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Dallas, L.A. Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Eureka, Portland, Hood River, Bellingham, Anacortes and Seattle to name a few.
My tours would be nothing without all of these folks who take us in, feed us, provide us with a clean, safe place to rest our road weary souls, and best of all...we get to share a certain fellowship that is U-K-U-L-E-L-E.
The year ahead, will find me writing a new book titled: Fiddle Tunes For Ukulele for my publisher Hal Leonard. I will be co-authoring this book with my old time music buddy, John Nicholson, whom i have been playing music with for over 15 years now.
While i will be mostly gigging in and around WI this summer, i plan to sojourn to TN, CO, NM and MI for various festivals, gigs, and private engagements. Watch my website calendar for more info: www.lilrev.com. Mostly, i will try to stay as close to home as possible and enjoy the WI summer with my family and friends.
Finally, there is the Milwaukee Ukulele Club and Festival (October 20th this year! http://mufest.com
that will keep me busy with the ukulele on a community level here in Milwaukee, until we hit the road again in November for our fall/East Coast tour.