Central Washington….. home sweet home!

 

Hello again!
Sorry it’s been so long since our last post! We feel so lucky to have been able to travel the country for the past year, seeing 30 states, playing 112 shows to date so far, meeting a ton of new inspiring people along the way. After an incredible summer on the road, we are back in Washington, re-energizing and writing new music for an album we hope to release in Spring 2012….. well, if all goes as planned. That being said, we have a lot of work ahead of us! So, we have holed up in Central Washington for a few months, built a small demo recording studio, and have been focusing our attention on our next plan of attack…. well, and a little fishing while we’re here!

Naches River

In the past, Ty did most of the blog posting and did an excellent job. But, since he won’t be around to keep everyone in the loop, we’ve decided to all take turns writing posts from now on. So, about once a week, we’ll have a new write-up from one of the Crooks….. should be mildy entertaining at the very least! Personally, I can’t wait to see what the guys come up with! Joe may do a post about the best microbrews we’ve found along our travels; Aaron may delve into his past month in Montana driving grain truck; Chris may give a little insight to his point of view each night from the back of the stage; Eric may even let you in on his best beef jerky recipe….. who knows!

Most importantly, I just wanted to say that although this past summer has had its share of ups and downs for the Crooks, the remaining five of us are more committed and excited about our future than ever. Although it seemed very difficult to make sense at first of some of the things that shook our foundation, I feel that it has made us stronger as a group. After talking with the rest of the guys, I know for a fact that we are all in it for the right reasons….. to make good music and hopefully help some people along the way if possible. As long as we can accomplish this, we’re a success in my book. Anything else is just gravy.

Thanks for the support!

New Year's Eve - Seattle, WA

Cody

Dec 17 - Yakima, WA

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California Love…

After playing Taos, New Mexico, we made our way to L.A.  And before I talk about the City of Angels, I want to take a brief moment to thank all of our new friends in Taos who came out to the show at the Taos Inn and Adobe Bar; what a night!

Well, we’re back!  It’s been about 5 months since we last played in the great state of California and it’s still everything we remember it to be; sunny, hot, pretty people, and a lot of music lovers!  We arrived into the beautiful neighborhood of Englewood at about 4a.m. last Thursday morning.  Once again, we stayed at Chris’ Uncle’s apartment, The Heights, where we seem to have become local visiting celebrities.  We played at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood Thursday night and had a great response.  Not only did we have old friends show up (great to see you Austin, Ian, Renae, and friends), but we also had the opportunity to meet new ones.

 

 

The next day, after sleeping in, we were off to Warner Bros. Records to meet with our friend Austin Hendrix.  We got our own personal tour of the studios and offices.  Thanks again Austin!  Next, we had dinner plans with our friend Maria.  It was at a fancy burger joint and I’m pretty sure Joe and I had one of, if not the best, burgers of our lives.  Later

that night our dear friend Yuki drove down from Fresno to accompany us for a few days.  Yuki is awesome!

The next few days were relaxing, but eventful.  Not only did we have the opportunity to hang out with Chris’ family and join in on Grandma Adrielle’s birthday pool party, but we also got to camp on the coast and drive up the scenic Highway 101.

Tonight we play at the Sonoma County Fair.  Tomorrow camping in the Redwoods!

-Ty

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Life on The Road…

One thing’s for sure, The Crooks love Colorado!  We had an amazing time in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins!  Thanks to everyone who shared these good times with us!  We also had the opportunity to play with Angie Stevens and The Beautiful Wreck!  If you ever get the chance, please check them out!

 

Being in a touring band is an interesting and exciting way of life, but it also comes with sacrifice.  One must accept the fact that you will be traveling in a van for eight, twelve, possibly even seventeen hours per day with the same five other poeple.  Most of the time you won’t know where, if at all, you’ll be sleeping each night.  Your friends and significant others won’t see you for months at a time.  And lastly, your diet will be unorthodox to say the least and most likely very off putting to most “normal” individuals; one of our personal favorites for this tour: chicken cans!  With all of these factors considered, you can begin to evaluate if this is the life for you.

After chewing on and digesting the lifestyle that comes along with being in a touring rock band, you can then begin to enjoy its fruits.  You have the opportunity to see new sights and visit every state in our country.  You are able to meet new and interesting people with every stop the van makes.  You have the option of making lifelong memories.  You might even have the opportunity to change someone for the better with the healing powers of music (my personal favorite).

I want to take this time to give some recognition where it’s deserved…If y’all didn’t know already, Eric happens to be the genius behind all of our photos and videos while we’re on the road.  So, thanks Eric for being you; a great friend, an amazing photographer, and an OK bassist!

“You only live once” is a popular term we hear being thrown around from time to time.  Whether this is true or not, I believe it’s important to live life to the most of your ability.  For some, that’s playing music around the world.  For others, gardening, farming, or running marathons.  Whatever it is, I encourage you to do it.

See ya on down the trail!

-Ty

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New York, Ethan Hawke, & Seven Crooks

Within our ten hour visit to New York, we almost hit a famous celebrity, played two shows, witnessed a topless “working woman” on the street, and ate a slice of famous New York pizza…twice.

On our drive into The Big Apple we quickly realized how difficult and expensive it actually is to drive a twelve-passenger van and trailer into the city.  After maneuvering through traffic and almost getting assaulted by a smug, aggressive New York driver we had finally made it to the Holland Tunnel.  After twenty minutes of waiting in line, we had finally reached the teller.  “You can’t bring that trailer through here,” she said.  Well, @#$%…now what.  She contacted a large, tattooed NY Policeman who rerouted us to find the Lincoln Tunnel; apparently this tunnel accepts vans with trailers.

After finally making our way into the city we now had to deal with the traffic that comes along with it.  Both of our gigs were in Greenwich Village, where finding a decent parking spot in the proximity of the venue was a challenge.  Keeping our eyes peeled for civilians stepping out in front of us, we had a standoff with a jogger.  Cody braked, then gassed, then braked again.  The polite jogger gave us a smile and wave and motioned for us to ‘go ahead.’  “Dude, it’s Christian Slater!” Cody said, as we drove past him.  “No, that’s Ethan Hawke!”  No joke, we actually had a run in with the actor Ethan Hawke while he was out for a jog!  Wow!  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hawke he has starred in such films as: Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Hamlet, and Training Day.

After finding our way around the busy metropolis we pulled up to our first venue.  Kenny’s Castaways is a unique venue with a bar that has been there since 1962.  We played a fun set with several attentive listeners.  The gig was a music Showcase put on by a company called Music Gorilla and had an A&R Representative from Columbia Records in attendance.  After playing, we quickly wrapped up our gear to get to the next gig.  The heat was on!  Because our van was parked in such a convenient location, our friends Lawrence and Alexia, who also happen to be the owners of Music Gorilla, offered their vehicle for us to use.   So, Cody and Eric drove our gear, Greg, Aaron, and Chris flagged a cab, while Joe and I had a brisk ten block walk.  We made it right on time.

The next gig: The National Underground at 10pm.  Unfortunately, we could barely hear anything on stage.  Regardless of this misfortune, we still played our hearts out.  We even had a friend in the audience from Wenatchee, WA.  Great seeing you Ali!

Of course we finished the night off with some NYC pizza slices before getting on the road to our hotel across the water in Jersey.  What a night!

Next stop: Washington D.C. @ Bloombars

-Ty

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New York, Ethan Hawke, & Seven Crooks

Within our ten hour visit to New York, we almost hit a famous celebrity, played two shows, witnessed a topless “working woman” on the street, and ate a slice of famous New York pizza…twice.

On our drive into The Big Apple we quickly realized how difficult and expensive it actually is to drive a twelve-passenger van and trailer into the city.  After maneuvering through traffic and almost getting assaulted by a smug, aggressive New York driver we had finally made it to the Holland Tunnel.  After twenty minutes of waiting in line, we had finally reached the teller.  “You can’t bring that trailer through here,” she said.  Well, @#$%…now what.  She contacted a large, tattooed NY Policeman who rerouted us to find the Lincoln Tunnel; apparently this tunnel accepts vans with trailers.

After finally making our way into the city we now had to deal with the traffic that comes along with it.  Both of our gigs were in Greenwich Village, where finding a decent parking spot in the proximity of the venue was a challenge.  Keeping our eyes peeled for civilians stepping out in front of us, we had a standoff with a jogger.  Cody braked, then gassed, then braked again.  The polite jogger gave us a smile and wave and motioned for us to ‘go ahead.’  “Dude, it’s Christian Slater!” Cody said, as we drove past him.  “No, that’s Ethan Hawke!”  No joke, we actually had a run in with the actor Ethan Hawke while he was out for a jog!  Wow!  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hawke he has starred in such films as: Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Hamlet, and Training Day.

After finding our way around the busy metropolis we pulled up to our first venue.  Kenny’s Castaways is a unique venue with a bar that has been there since 1962.  We played a fun set with several attentive listeners.  The gig was a music Showcase put on by a company called Music Gorilla and had an A&R Representative from Columbia Records in attendance.  After playing, we quickly wrapped up our gear to get to the next gig.  The heat was on!  Because our van was parked in such a convenient location, our friends Lawrence and Alexia, who also happen to be the owners of Music Gorilla, offered their vehicle for us to use.   So, Cody and Eric drove our gear, Greg, Aaron, and Chris flagged a cab, while Joe and I had a brisk ten block walk.  We made it right on time.

The next gig: The National Underground at 10pm.  Unfortunately, we could barely hear anything on stage.  Regardless of this misfortune, we still played our hearts out.  We even had a friend in the audience from Wenatchee, WA.  Great seeing you Ali!

Of course we finished the night off with some NYC pizza slices before getting on the road to our hotel across the water in Jersey.  What a night!

Next stop: Washington D.C. @ Bloombars

-Ty

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Dela Where? Newark…that’s where.

After pulling out of North Carolina on Tuesday we made our way north toward Virginia.  One of the advantages of being in a seven piece band is the collective network between all of us.  A lot of times, no matter what city we are playing in one of us either knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone, who will be attending our show.  This also reigns true in terms of lodging.  So far, we have been very fortunate to have such a large network of friends and family who are able and willing to house seven full grown, stinky men.  We had arranged a visit to stay with a good friend of Eric’s mom, MaryLynn and her ultra-scholar husband, Mehdi.  On our seven hour drive up to Lorton, Virginia we had to make a pit stop so Chris could get his fill at Hardee’s; a sister of Carl’s Jr.  He was thoroughly and beefily  satisfied.  Upon our arrival we were greeted with smiles, hugs and a large home-cooked meal that we’d been longing for.  Our stay was outstanding!  Can’t wait to see you on Sunday when we play in D.C.

The next morning we were greeted with a big breakfast and then were off to Newark, Delaware.  The drive couldn’t have gone better.  We were greeted with sunshine and rolling hills of deciduous forests.  It was awesome.  We really hope to return in the fall to see those trees in their autumn colors.

During the drive I had been charging my phone in the front of the van.  Upon our arrival I unplugged it only to find six missed calls from my fiance’, Mo and her mother.  “Holy %^&! I hope everything’s alright!”  I called the both of them back only to find out that Mo’s half brother lives in Newark!  I couldn’t believe it.  Carlos and his wife Amy even invited the band to crash at their house for the night…a big expense-saver for us!  The early evening was going great.  They took me out to dinner and I was able to get to know them better.  The night couldn’t have been going better until I found out that Mo’s other brother Danny and his wife Karice were driving up from Baltimore to see the show! Karice is 8 months pregnant, what a trooper! Next time you think you are too tired to come out to a show, think of  Karice!!

So it turns out that Delaware, the first state to ratify the American Constitution, is also one of the first places to visit if you are ever out east.  It’s a beautiful place with intriguing people and copious amounts of diversity. The Crooks will be sad to leave.

Next Show: Mojo 13 Wilmington, Delaware 10 pm Thursday, July 14th

-Ty

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