Keitum/Sylt, Germany: Captain Corl

The Gal Holiday band was mentioned in a hilarious “strange happenings” column in the Keitum newspaper called “Captain Corl” Published the day after our public show on the Island of Sylt, a German island in the North Sea, it speaks about our band, a “wild squad of Country musicians from…New Orleans…” and calls me a “Sangermaus” which I feel needs to be included in our band bio now.

(Translation below, courtesy our friend Sabine.)

Captain Carl Sylt

TRANSLATION: Captain Corl: Sunshine at night

Sylt is indeed well-known if not infamous for all kinds of curious occurrences, especially during mild summer nights. I have already seen shadow figures, clothed in Asian garments, standing on the beach, mumbling to themselves while repeatedly bowing towards the setting sun. Or a group of quite slender and very blonde Yoga ladies, who first go about dreadfully straining themselves in various directions in the dunes, and then stop dead in a peculiar pose. I think it’s called Sun Salutation. But all this was outdone in Keitum the other day when late in the evening a wild squad of Country musicians from, you better believe it, New Orleans, took over with a really cute sweetie pie of a singer who then shortly before midnight sang: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” and that in the dark…

Young Audiences: Fun at the library!

We work with a fantastic group called Young Audiences who place programming in schools and libraries. There are a handful of awesome Head Librarians in different Parishes who request us for their summer reading programs, including Ms. Patricia with the Plaquemines Parish Library system. Plaquemines Parish is the finger of land, much of which is threatened by the shrinking coastal marshes where the mighty Mississippi reaches the Gulf of Mexico. We spent the first three days of this week playing for the children of Buras, Belle Chasse and Port Sulphur, Louisiana.


Sharing music with kids who might not otherwise get a musical education is rewarding as well as mighty important these days, what with many school district cutting Arts curriculum completely. The upright bass and the drums are always the stars of the show, although the guitars are not far behind…

“Now let’s talk about the style of bass playing that Dave does which is called, ‘SLAPPING.’ You’re not supposed to do it to other people but it’s okay to slap a bass!”

In case anyone is curious what we play for the kiddos, here’s a set list:

Kids Show Summer 2014

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.

Olde Dixie and more

Here are a few gems for the “And the sign says…” category from Patrick Bytnar, sent to me (with his permission, of course) by the lovely Carmen Diaz. Enjoy!


“olde dixie”
Location: South Orange Ave, South Orlando FL
Description: I wish I had something more in depth to say about this sign, but WOW! The chicken has a confederate cap on! How awesome is that! As a transplant from the “north” I am always on the lookout for true southern gems like this.


“duens gas”
Location: Lake St, Miller Beach Neighborhood, Gary IN
Description: Since I was kid I always wondered if the letters on this sign were transposed since the Indiana “Dunes” begin in the Miller Beach neighborhood along Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, like most store fronts, this gas station has sat vacant and vandalized since I was kid.


“beverly shores depot”
Location: South Shore commuter train line, Beverly Shores IN
Description: While a number of towns in the Indiana dunes were named for squatters who occupied the area, Beverly Shores was to be the Atlantic City of Indiana. Of course this never came to be and now the area is inhabited by wealthy home owners who feel entitled to the natural beauty of the dunes and Lake Michigan.


“cold”
Location: Orange Blossom Trail, Kissimmee FL
Description: Remnants of old Florida tourism…

And the sign says…

During my travels I enjoy snapping photos as much as the next tourist. I even snap an occasional picture when I’m in full on local mode, wherever I decide that is at the current time. The new part of my blog is called, “And the sign says…” It’s a call to you fellow snapshot enthusiasts to submit signs you see along the path! Funny, ironic, visually stunning, esoteric and anything that strikes your fancy. Email me pictures no larger than 700×700 to nocowgirl (at) gmail (dawt) com along with a short description.

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This photo was taken on Franklin Avenue in the Marigny in New Orleans, LA. An amazing revelation once the old external walls were taken off the building.

Broke Down and Broke

After our harrowing breakdown experience last week we wrote this song on the 17 hour drive to Denver from Shreveport:

Broke Down and Broke

Broke down and nearly broke
Ain’t that the way that it always goes
When time is on your side
And you’re feeling mighty fine
Moving on down the road

Thinking maybe so
We shoulda stopped a few miles ago
Outside the last town
When we heard that funny sound
And now the black smoke’s burning my nose

Now we’re broke down and nearly broke
We need a tow to the nearest garage
Made a call to triple “A”
But they wouldn’t pay
And now we’re sittin by the side of the road

Two nights in a roadside hotel
Our cash flow is getting real low
Gotta make up the cost
And the time that we lost
Getting the diesel repaired

We were broke down and now we’re broke
At least we’re back on the road
Until the next time my friends
When it happens again
And we’re broke down and broke