Saturday, July 6, 2013

It Might Get Loud

Danny; Kaluga Russia, 6/6/13
Last night we played an outdoor concert in Kaluga Russia called Summer Jam. It's part of an international guitar festival run by our host Oleg Akimov here in Kaluga

It was an all day event that featured performances by local bands, a Russian Blues singer, a great guitar violin duo called Two Siberians and our band to close the show. I've often found that outdoor festivals have a few things in common and one of those commonalities is volume. My ears are ringing today as must be the whole crowd. Combine a guitar festival and an outdoor festival and well, you get the idea;)

We played for about an hour and after the first few tunes, it turned into a dance party. Johnny really knows how to get the crowd going and what songs to call to keep it going. He really takes the temperature of the crowd especially since he jumped off the stage and spent most of the time singing and dancing with the audience. These evening shows are even better because the sun stays up past 10.

I took a walk around the area while we were waiting to play.

After the show, our hosts took us to a great Rock & Roll bar in the area where we were treated to some great food and music. They had a very interesting bathroom dedicated to drumming;)

The next morning, they took u to the Russian Space Museum and it is just amazing to see everything from Sputnik to the current spaceships that go to the international space station.

There has been so much cooperation between the US and Russian space agency's over the years and I have read of many great friendships that were formed between the astronauts. Because they have the amazing opportunity to see the Earth from space, I'm sure they gain great insight and a realization that we are all of one planet, one living organism hurling through the black void of space united by life.

Independence Day

Danny; Moscow, 7/4/13
Here we are pictured with the US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul after he had joined us on stage to sing Otis Redding's sitting by the Dock of the Bay. He told us that he had grown up around music because his Dad was a working musician in Montana. The Ambassador told us the we were the real ambassadors and that it gives the world an opportunity to hear and meet Americans in person.
We have been lucky to play at a few US Embassy parties around the world; Thanksgiving at the Manilla embassy, the Ambassadors residence In Papua New Guinea, an Embassy party in Bahrain, the Ambassadors residence in Fiji and an event for the Officers at the military instillation in Djibouti East Africa.
Celebrating the 4th of July with the US Embassy and thousands of guests in Moscow was an amazing experience. They really went all out on the decorations and all things Americana.

The residence compound was filled with guests and dignitaries from the US, Moscow and around the world. it was quite a sight to see US, Russian and other international top brass enjoying the festivities and food together. It was also fun to speak to other Americans from all over the States, that were here in Russia working in the Foreign Service.
There was a nice ceremony of the Marine Color Guard and a top notch Russian Chorus that performed the American and then Russian National Anthems. The US Ambassador gave a speech to the crowd in Russian. He is a Russian Scholar and is a political appointee from the academic sector.

The crowed enjoyed the mix of American music and food throughout the afternoon. It was definitely one of the more patriotic 4th of July's I had ever attended. Here are some more sights from the day;