Saturday, February 15, 2014

Whole lot of Shakin

Danny; Miri, Malaysia, Day 2
Last night after we got settled in the hotel in Miri, we began our first day of the festival activities. The organizers had set up a meet and greet cocktail hour for all the bands and staff. There was also a preview in the lounge of two of the bands that would be be performing on the main stage tonight.

The bands sounded great and it was so nice to meet everyone from the festival. After the meet and greet we went to the main stage to do our sound check. We are one of 8 bands from all around South East Asia, Britain and the USA. The longest day finally came to an end and we had to sleep fast because we had to wake up for a 9:00 am press conference, 10:00 rehearsal and then a workshop.

Well we woke up on time and we're at the press conference, hearing from the Cultural minister of Miri.

This is the first country festival in Malaysia and he believes that Miri is the perfect city to promote music, dance and the arts. This festival is interested in becoming an international festival like the KK or the Penang Jazz festival. Miri will be full of events and become a big tourist destination, but this is just the beginning. There is such a rich culture here that spans thousands of years. Miri has a rich biodiversity and it actually has has the worlds largest cave which is a world heritage site. This cave called Mulu has wall paintings dating back to the Stone Age. Miri is working on developing an urban nature park, because of the many protected species that are all around the area.

Michelle presented the cultural minister with his own official cowboy hat.

We ended the press inference with an unplugged version of Tex William's Smoke, Smoke, Smoke.

Before our workshop this afternoon we met up with our US Embassy liaison Shannon Phang who will be traveling with us to tomorrow Labuan and KK.

After our workshop we were able to spend some time with the participants who had some great questions about how to get a more authentic country sound.

There was a line dancing workshop after us this afternoon and I was impressed how fast everyone picked up the steps!
The big concert is going on right now and there are 8 bands. We are on in a couple of hours, so it's time to start getting ready;)

A shot of the stage from the wings before we took the stage.

Well our set was quite a success and considering it was the first time we played this music with Michelle, it seemed even more impressive to me;) She really got the audience going and it is so much fun to have some three part harmonies in the band! My favorite is the two accapella verses at the end of Wagon Wheel!
There was a big encore Jam session with many of the bands coming together on stage at the end of the night, there was a Whole lot of Shakin Goin on, and if you ignored the palm trees and moon lit ocean, you could swear you were in Nashville;)