Our 2007 Summer Tour was a great success, covering five states in six weeks. Once again, the tour began in Cincinnati, Ohio; this year, we played at the “BEATING THE MELANOMA BLUES” fundraiser in Cincy at the Frisch Estate (of Frisch’s Big Boy fame) on Thursday, August 2nd, with many of the boogie woogie piano players from the Arches Piano Stage performing. It was terrific to see AXEL ZWINGENBERGER from Germany again, and to meet LLUIS COLOMA from Spain. The Friday night Piano Party at DR. LEMING’S beautiful new home was a delight- delicious food and good music! Then, on Saturday, we did the CINCY BLUES FESTIVAL, our 12th year at this fine fest, before moving on to other shows.
As usual, we saw many familiar faces, friends, and fans in our summer travels, but this tour, we also saw people we hadn’t seen in years. Three of Liz’s high school classmates came out to shows: ROBIN in Indianapolis, and RON & LISA RUCKER in Cleveland. STEFANIE GRIFFIN, Liz’s old friend from her Tucson years, also drove from Champaign, Illinois to our SLIPPERY NOODLE show in Indianapolis! Liz’s cousin, STEVE LEWIS, and his wife showed up at the FRONT ROW in Parkersburg, West Virginia (this was their first time ever hearing us), and our old pals JOE & DEB FINLEY came to our Marietta show- we hadn’t seen them in at least twelve years. It was wonderful to see all of you again!
More surprise show-ups from the Summer Tour: Liz’s cousin & keyboardist GARY LEWIS appeared at our RASCALS gig in Dover, Ohio and our good friend JOE REED showed up in Marietta as well. Another big surprise was at the SLIPPERY NOODLE (Indianapolis) when our Florida friends JUDY RADA and HARRIET walked in with JACK BAILEY. We were floored to see them there!
We had not played in several towns for years until this tour. One was in Cleveland at the SAVANNAH BAR & GRILL (our last gig here was seven years ago). Many of Doc’s cousins came, and we had a fine time. Then, we played our first show in twelve years in Morgantown, West Virginia at RHYTHM & BREWS on September 4th, where a number of old fans showed up. CAROL WENDLAND & FLORETTE ORLEANS (both of whom we met at Blues Week In Elkins, WV around 1992) came, Florette with percussion washboard in hand. Then, to our surprise, NICK CAVOTI and friends came in with copies of our old albums. We had met Nick in Marco Island, Florida about eight years ago and had not seen him since until this show.
DILIP TRIPATHY (from Cincy) wins for attending 4 gigs in 4 different cities, as well as THE GRUSECK’S coming to 5 gigs in 4 cities!
Our tour ended in Fredericksburg, Virginia at the COLONIAL INN on September 7th. Once again, we were surprised when BEN KEYES, a fan from St. Pete, walked in. Also there were Doc’s son DREW SHAMBARGER and his friends. It was great to spend a few days in Fredericksburg with Drew, who graciously put us up in his beautiful home and showed us around town. We also got to hang out with SAFFIRE members GAYE ADEGBALOLA and ANDRA FAYE at a jam session ANDRA was hosting in Stafford, Virginia, and we had a chance to jam with them as well.
In Parkersburg, WV, we were saddened to learn that our friend JERRY MARKS (Reefe LeFevre’s brother-in-law) passed away just two days before our show at the MOOSE CLUB which he had planned to attend. Jerry’s son, Tim, is a fine sax player who had sat in with us a number of times over the years. Our condolences go out to Tim & Jerry’s wife Edna- we shall miss you, Jerry, and will think of you every time we play your favorite song, “While You’re Down There.”