In 1953, Emporia Kansas was the site of the first Veterans Day observance in the United States. At the urging of local shoe cobbler Alvin J. King, U.S. Representative Edward Rees introduced legislation in The United States Congress to rename Armistice Day as Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law on October 8, 1954. Perhaps the moral of the story is that in America even a humble shoe cobbler’s ideas was able to make a difference.
Speaking of good ideas, some forward thinking folks in 1976 created the Emporia Arts Center. The Emporia Arts Center has presented an annual performance series featuring prominent national and international artists. The Emporia Arts Center has been the catalyst for more than 1,000 artistic and cultural programs On Tuesday, April 30th they will be hosting yours truly, arguably another great idea! Bringing yourself and your friends to the show sounds like the best idea ever! See you there.
"The time was 6:30 p.m., June 25, 1927. St. Joseph, Missouri citizens-factory workers, packing plant employees, professionals-arrived in Model T Fords, Stanley Steamers, Pierce Arrows or hurried on foot up the sidewalk to the seventh block of Edmond Street for the gala opening of the city's $1 million, 1,200-seat "Movie Palace." The air was electric with excitement..." The Missouri Theater opened June 25, 1927 with Rough House Rosie as the feature. After paying their 25 cents admission, guests were astounded at the theater's intricate beauty. The silent film showing that evening must have paled in comparison to the theater's plush seats, ornate chandelier and exquisite plaster work. The Missouri Theater was built as a cinema in the atmospheric style, using a combination of Art Deco and Moorish detailing. It features a single balcony that looks over a house designed to resemble an open tented courtyard, decorated with details borrowed from Assyrian and Persian architecture. While the theater was principally designed for movies, it could also be used for live performances, with dressing rooms, a fly loft and an orchestra pit. It also featured a Wurlitzer theater organ. We can attest to how cool the Missouri Theatre is as we played there in 2013. And we’re excited to return there on Wednesday May 4th. We hope you can enjoy this amazing theatre with us.
The city of Detroit Lakes, originally called Detroit, began north of the railroad tracks and gradually extended south to Detroit Lake. The name Detroit came about when a French Catholic Priest camped on the shore of the lake with a view of the sun setting across the water. The water was low and revealed a sandbar, creating a narrow strait that glistened in the light of the setting sun. The Priest exclaimed, What a beautiful strait. The word strait in French is detroit. Consequently, the city was named Detroit. We’re playing a show in Detroit Lakes on Friday May 3rd at the Historic Holmes Theatre. The Holmes Theatre is named For E.G. Holmes who was born in New York in 1841. After serving in the Civil War – and seeing action at the Battle of Bull Run, Holmes married a young lady from St. Cloud, Lucy Sherman, and they arrived in Becker County in 1870. The Theater was an 1931 addition to the school Building that Holmes originally built in 1895. Hope you can join us on Friday at this great historic theatre.
Built in 1904, the beautiful Sheldon theatre showcases the best in arts and entertainment from Minnesota's heartland and beyond. Located in the heart of one of the most beautifully distinctive downtowns in the Midwest, the 115 year old theatre is a truly unique gathering place. The theater began with live theater performances and then transitioned to silent movies and later, talkies and back to live performances. In 1986 it was gloriously restored to its original grandeur. Described as a "glittering jewel box," this turn of the century gem, charms performers and audiences alike. We’re excited to see this beautiful Theatre and the city of Red wing on May 4th. Perhaps if there is time, we can check out a Red Wing shoe store. Do they have an outlet? They do make some exceptionally nice boots.
The Franklin is starting to feel like an old Friend. This cozy theatre sounds great and we love playing there since they have great backstage hospitality, We’ve played the Frankin a few times over the last several years and they are a class act. You can tell a lot about a venue by the way they treat the musicians/performers that play their stage. We’re returning to play this great venue on May 23rd. If you haven’t seen us, you need to come out. If you have seen us, you need to come out as we’ve been adding a bunch of tunes into the set that we recorded and never played live or haven’t played live in a long, long time. After roughly a dozen records we have a lot of “deep” tracks we can choose from. Hope to see you and all your friends there!
Memorial Hall is conveniently located in the heart of the revitalized arts district of Over-the-Rhine overlooking Washington Park. Designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons, the hall features marble staircases adorned with intricate wrought iron that lead to the 556-seat proscenium theater featuring exceptional acoustics, Tiffany chandeliers, and completed with stenciled murals by Francis Pedretti. Built in 1908 by the Grand Army of the Republic, the Hamilton County Memorial Building stands as a monument to the Cincinnati veterans of the Spanish-American War and the U.S. Civil War. Clement Barnhorn, a locally prominent sculptor, carved six figures above the exterior doors, each wearing a military uniform representing forces from the Revolutionary War through the Spanish American War. Memorial Hall also houses a special collection of artwork and artifacts of local civic and military history. More than 40 pieces are on display throughout the building, including the storied wreath that adorned Abraham Lincoln's casket when it passed through Columbus, Ohio. Well, not only is this place absolutely beautiful, it also seems to serve as a museum. After playing each night in one town after another it’s these special places that we really look forward to. Luckily this place is made of stone and looks pretty strong and formidable. Because, on May 24th, we are going to try to blow the roof off the hall!
We’ve had the pleasure of playing many of the City Wineries, in Atlanta, Boston, New York and the Chicago City Winery. The Chicago venue, like the other “City Wineries”, is a beautiful venue, and the hospitality at the Chicago venue is second to none. their Charcuterie plate in particular is awesome! We’re returning to the Windy City once again on May 25th. Come on out and see the new show featuring lots of new, old songs we haven’t played in ages. And if we seem to be moving slightly slower then usual, It’ll probably be due to eating excessive amounts of wine, olives, hummus and prosciutto
On May 26th we’re headed to Petoskey MI, This will be our first time to Petoskey, and it seems like an interesting place. Apparently Ernest Hemmingway spent 22 beautiful summers in the surrounding areas, where he first launched his professional writing career. Perhaps he was fascinated with the local Geology. Petoskey is known for Petoskey Stones (AKA Hexagonaria percarinata) Hopefully we’ll have time to explore Magnus City Park Beach, or Zoll Street Beach and look for these unique rock/fossil specimens before we play a show. Speaking of a show, we are going to juxtapose the search for fossilized-millions of years old-rocks, with playing the absolutely BRAND NEW, Great Lakes center for the arts.
I knew this place had to be brand spankin’ new, since most of the photos available of it online, were mockups of the design made by the architects. Lo and behold their website also was announcing that they will be celebrating their inaugural year in June, so they have yet to be one year old. This place looks amazing. and it’s right on the water. Wow! We’ll be opening their summer season with another high energy Voodoo Daddy extravaganza!
Big bad voodoo Daddy
Together for over 25 years, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — famously named after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins — has appeared in concert venues across the world, sold millions of records, and had their music appear in hundreds of movies and television shows. With sold out concerts from the Hollywood Bowl to Lincoln Center, appearances with many of the country's finest symphony orchestras, and television appearances ranging from Dancing with the Stars to Superbowl XXXIII, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues it's decades long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music — America's original musical art form — and bring joy to audiences around the world.