FAN PHOTOS: April 9-14, 2015

Check out my favorite fan photos from French Quarter Fest weekend and more!
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE and scroll through.
ENJOY!

Rockin’ the Rails Concert Series – Covington, LA
April 9, 2015

Pictured: Vanessa Niemann (vocals), David Brouillette (bass), Greg Good (acoustic guitar), Izzy Zaidman (electric guitar), Michael Sollars (drums)

French Quarter Festival 2015 – New Orleans, LA
April 10, 2015

Many thanks to local dress shop, Trashy Diva for my GORGEOUS dress. www.trashydiva.com
Pictured: Vanessa Niemann (vocals), David Brouillette (bass), Greg Good (acoustic guitar), Izzy Zaidman (electric guitar), Michael Sollars (drums)

Chickie Wah Wah – New Orleans, LA
April 12, 2015

Pictured: Vanessa Niemann (vocals), David Brouillette (bass), Greg Good (acoustic guitar), Dave Rosser (electric guitar), Michael Sollars (drums)

Troubador Tuesday @ Cottonwood – Houston, TX
Lone Star Jukebox, KPFT 90.1fm
April 14, 2015

Pictured: Vanessa Niemann (vocals), David Brouillette (bass), Greg Good (acoustic guitar), Adam Burchfield (electric guitar), Doug Gay (drums)

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Austin, TX

Howdy from Austin, TX!

We left New Orleans bright and early yesterday (Tuesday) to make it for a 6pm start time at the historic Driskill Hotel, with a stop for some excellent Texas BBQ on the way, of course. We’re chilling in the hotel this morning before heading out to Dripping Springs to the house of our angel in disguise AKA local band host, Deb.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our shows in Lafayette, Gonzales to the Balloon Festival and The Rivershack Tavern last Saturday. What a great string of shows and what a band at The ‘Shack! It was really cool to be joined by Cranston Clements once again. He really is a king among men and we miss having him regularly.

Well, four days in Austin feels like a luxury! We have so many friends here and it’ll be great to have some time to hang out. Plus, we’re playing every night:

Wednesday 9/26 The Rattle Inn; 9-12 Facebook event
Thursday 9/27JUST ADDED: Papi Tino’s; 9-11:30
Friday 9/28 The Continental Club; 11:15-12:15 (but come at 10 and stay late for the other two fabulous bands!) Facebook event

We did have a cancellation for this Saturday in Plano. The darn bar owner just totally flaked out and it’s too late to find anything else. Such is the nature of the beast I guess. I’m sorry to anyone who was planning to come out to that one. We’ll try again soon!

Once we make it back to New Orleans we have some awesome shows lined up in the month of October including a return to Chickie Wah Wah on Thursday 10/4 and a last minute early show booked at Siberia on Thursday 10/11. Those of you who have been following the live music controversy in New Orleans will be interested to know that Siberia has procured a limited number of Special Events Permits for the months of October and November. The bar was featured in Offbeat Magazine’s September Food issue in an article entitled Sound Bites which talks about the live music issue and highlights Siberia’s fabulous food. Support the venue, eat delicious food!

One more unfortunate cancellation this month is the Andouille Festival in LaPlace at the end of the month. With all the damage their area had from Hurricane Isaac and 7000 people still homeless they felt that holding the festival was not practical, nor was it proper to spend money when their citizens were still in such need. Please send your thoughts their way or donate to the Greater New Orleans Foundation who have a fund set up for victims of the hurricane.

Details for all of our fall shows are up on our website so make sure you make a visit there on your internet wanderings. And see y’all out and about!

Your gal pal,
Vanessa

"Without the courage to fail there is no progress."

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Early Fall Goings On

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Hello from New Orleans! It’s been a crazy few weeks, starting off with a long drive from Los Angeles and a stop in Austin for a show with Charlie Pierce on piano at the historic Driskill Hotel. Dave and I then hot footed it to New Orleans, pulling into the city the day before Slobsterfest and our first Saturday night headlining show at Tipitina’s. You folks really came out in support and we thank you! Make sure to visit our website for photos, courtesy of Angelina Geraci and Jerry Moran as well as our new favorited videos on our YouTube page for videos taken by Angelina.

A couple days off to recoup and get organized turned into four days without power and two cancelled shows, all thanks to Hurricane Isaac. I for one, will never underestimate a Category 1 ever again. Fortunately, we had no major damage but our hearts go out to everyone in Mississippi, LaPlace, Slidell and way down in the parishes who got it bad.

After a week of sweating and worrying I was off to North Carolina and a show singing with the Squirrel Nut Zippers during the DNC! For those of you not familiar with the SNZ, check them out on YouTube. Here’s one of my favorites. They made a big splash in the 90’s by finding commercial success, helping to ignite the swing revival movement and were super influential on me as a burgeoning young big band singer. It was an exciting opportunity for me and one that I hope will be repeated in the months to come!

Now back on (semi) solid ground here in New Orleans, we’ve been catching up on booking and promoting our upcoming shows. I’m glad to say that we picked up a nice little show for this Saturday 9/15 at Mojitos on Frenchmen. Our fall schedule has beefed up for the rest of this month, October and November so make sure to go to our website and check out all the dates.

The Gal Holiday band is also coming back to Lafayette after too long! Then we’ll be in Gonzales for the Ascension Parish Balloon Festival and Texas the last week of the month, so look out for us in Austin and Plano folks. Traveling with us will be NOLA guitarists Chris Adkins and Gregory Good and we look forward to tearing down in the Lone Star State…and drinking a little Lone Star beer to boot.

See y’all out on the streets and in the clubs!

Your gal pal,
Vanessa

"Without the courage to fail there is no progress."

Dangerous Drivers

It’s a known fact, and probability says that the more time you spend traveling in a vehicle the higher your chances for accidents. I’ve had my fair share of fender benders, mostly before my 21st birthday including one particularly horrifying and life changing crash involving a tractor trailer, which left me with a fractured pelvis and one dead in our vehicle. It happened a long time ago and fortunately I was not the driver, having fallen asleep in the backseat which lessened the impact. Nonetheless, I cringe when I see people driving dangerously on our highways and love the signs in TX that read, “Drive Friendly.” On our most recent tour through the American West this June we encountered a driver who was definitely NOT heeding the sign.

We had completed our run, which started in Los Angeles before heading into NM and CO via Phoenix, AZ. Making our way back to Louisiana we were minding our own business, doing the speed limit, (which, in TX is plenty fast for me at 75) when in my side mirror I saw a truck hauling ass. I must say that most truckers are great drivers, having jobs that depend on it and have gotten a bad reputation over the years, mostly from little old ladies. That said, this guy was a maniac, hauling an empty wide load trailer and passing at 85 or 90 by veering onto the shoulder.

Bastard. No offense to his mother intended.

Normally you would just mutter something like “asshole” and drive on, letting the dumbass get his comeuppance at some point down the road, hoping for a Highway Patrol to catch the offending driver. And then he threw a rock. Small. DING! Slow down a little…back off. But then came The Boulder. WHACK! Our guitar player, Chris Adkins who was sitting in the back seat actually ducked. And then gasps all around as we gazed upon the 3 inch, circular crack in the windshield.

Now, common sense would implore that you do something sane, like call the aforementioned HP. But not knowing exactly how much time that would take, we thought it would be much more productive to get the guys’ trucking company info. You’ll recall that he was going much faster than us, but we were about to hit Wichita Falls and more traffic so we hoped he would get slowed, allowing us to catch up.

I put all my driving skills to the test as I followed him, changing lanes (always using my blinkers, mind you) and weaving through traffic. I watched him almost run other cars off the road multiple times. I watched as more rocks were thrown. I knew we had to catch him. And just the other side of town, success! We pulled along his left side and Dave B was ready with the pen and paper to write down the info on the side of his cab. As he looked down and saw what was going on he immediately slowed down to below the speed limit. Ooooooooo, yeah. Sweet satisfaction.

Well the slower speed didn’t last for long. He pulled behind us and we figured it would be safer to follow him instead. The thought of some methed out trucker following us to a rest stop and kicking our asses crossed my mind, as it should. A quick call to his dispatch company in Michigan and ten minutes later he was doing the speed limit. I hope that guy really gets it from his boss.

We had another incident, also in TX with a rather large raccoon on the way back to California a week and a half later. But that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say that one raccoon who decided to cross the road didn’t make it to the other side.

And that folks, is all she wrote.

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The Long Road West

SO. We made it back to Los Angeles after our two months all the way to Ft. Lauderdale and back saga of a trip! While most of our time was spent back in New Orleans with friends, fans and family (read prior blogs for more deets) we’ll pick up The Adventures of Gal Holiday the day after our outstanding farewell show at Old Point Bar in Algier’s Point, New Orleans.

We actually had one more show to do which was a party for a super cool couple, recently married at a lovely Lower Garden District locale on the rainy Saturday night after Thanksgiving. Though the unpredictable New Orleans’ weather moved us indoors to a considerably smaller space, the company was cool, staff included. Great photos, too…

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After packing up and hitting the bottle with the catering staff in the alley behind the venue, Dave and I ventured uptown to visit with a friend before taking off on Monday, two days later. It was then that our van had ANOTHER crucial meltdown. For those of you not following us on Facebook or Twitter you are unaware that we had some electrical problems “fixed” before we went to Florida the week before Turkey Day. Long story short, $450 wasted and still major issues. And now again with the issues and three days before we had to be in Austin for a show.

SO. Major decisions were made and our old clunker of a diesel van was laid to rest. Bye bye, Ol’ Bessie, Hello as yet un-Christened Honda Odyssey minivan. We’ve heard all the jokes by now, about how you’re supposed to have kids and THEN get a minivan, but wait…we DO have kids. They’re called band members. And all jokes aside, the gas mileage is great, the ride is a thousand times more comfortable and we’ll get to where we’re going with more confidence that we’ll actually arrive on time. Many thanks to the fine folks at Superior Honda on the Westbank of New Orleans for their expediency and swell treatment. Turns out, we even played for the wedding reception of the manager’s daughter! (If anyone feels especially generous this Holiday Season, we have a little PayPal donation button on our website to help with car payments. And we love you!)

SO. We finally left for Austin on Monday night after organizing and downsizing, taking with us only the essentials…PA, instruments, amps, clothing and a few other things. All the rest of the crap we brought with us to NOLA stayed in the guest bedroom of Dave’s mom. Thanks Gods for moms! We stopped at ATX to pick up Joe, our L.A. guitar player who had flown home for the holiday after being with us for the duration of the trip. It was great to be back in Austin, see some friends who we’d been out of touch with for a while and make some new acquaintances, too! In particular check out Teri Joyce, a super songwriter who might be in our song lineup coming soon. Love her!

We made the long trek from Austin to Santa Fe in one day, hoping to head off some incoming weather which never arrived. Thankfully we have a great friend in Santa Fe who didn’t mind us keeping him up until midnight and had beds set up for our weary butts. It was another great night in Santa Fe for our second appearance at The Cowgirl BBQ, and despite the freezing temperatures we kept warm by drinking tequila and rocking out.

Departing the next morning it was cold and overcast, freezing rain in the forecast and a decision made. We would travel south to I-10 in lieu of the threat of closures on I-40. Yes, 16 hours instead of a mere 12. We almost killed each other. But we made it back to L.A. safe and sound in one go, arriving home on Saturday morning at about 3:30 am after dropping Joe off in Hollywood.

AND THEN. Dave got sick on Sunday. Like projectile vomit sick. Food poisoning or stomach flu we’re not sure but he was not well for days. I plugged away, unpacking, grocery shopping, organizing. AND THEN. I got sick. Projectile vomit sick. And I threw up on Sunset Blvd which is so rockstar I can’t even begin to tell you. Apparenly it puts me in league with Slash, Paris and many other people who go by one name only. Just call me Gal.

BUT. We’re better now and have done two great gigs back in L.A. with a trip to San Francisco tomorrow. The show must go on.