My Trip to Wokingham, UK

Hanging with Family at Woodflock
Hanging with Family at Woodflock

After a fabulous five days in California hanging with my “family” at Woodflock, I had little time to rest.  I was purt near worn ragged from all of the fun and events at this “Flamingohead Family Retreat” and truly wasn’t ready to book on out of that four day camping extravaganza and head across the US and on to England.

Thanks to all my Woodflockers for a GREAT weekend. Love and hugs to you all.

 

Went to Iceland and all I got was a silly T-shirt
Went to Iceland and all I got was a silly T-shirt

Delayed flights and post holiday travel can test the resolve of one who has promised to “Enjoy the Ride.” After a day of delays flying from California to New Jersey, I finally buckled in on my flight to Iceland, where I would change planes to London. I was finally able to relax!

When I finally got to Iceland….it was just a layover, but what I saw of the airport was very nice.  At least I was able to land a t-shirt out of the visit!!

With legs stretched, it was back on the plane and on to London. I arrived tired and headed to the hotel.

Old Church in Wokingham
Old Church in Wokingham

While in London, I watched my first episode of Nashville – HA! It’s big in England. And I found out it’s just ‘The Young and The Restless’ with guitars. After a night of off-and-on sleep trying to acclimate myself to life on another continent, I can attest that British television is every bit as bad as anything we have going on in the U.S. HA! However, there’s a show over here called ‘Gogglebox‘ where cameras are set up in living rooms to catch the reactions of viewers as they watch various Reality TV shows, and it’s actually pretty hilarious. This will be the next phase of television: We watch others watching TV. The phase after that: We watch people watching people watching TV, and on it goes. Anyway…I needed to then head outside to soak up the sunshine and some of the beautiful old scenes of jolly old England, like the old church in Wokingham.

 

WokinghamPosterMy good friend Pauly Zarb, who arranged the street concert in Wokingham for the second straight year (very much like the street concerts he arranged in Bardstown, Kentucky with his brother Matt for a number of years), pulled together an amazing group of musicians to play with the band.  My Nashville drummer, Chris “Spoonz” Long, flew out a few days earlier and did some gigs with Pauly.

After I had rested up we got together with these fine musicians…Stuart Long on guitar, Rob Reeve assisting on percussion, amazing saxophonist Erly Thornton, Spoonz on drums and Paolo Minervini on bass…we got together and rehearsed.

These guys were hot.  Following is a video by guitarist Stuart Long of a piece of our rehearsal.  Taken from a GoPro attached to his guitar, it is a great view of our rockin’ rehearsal/show at Jagz Jazz Club.  Thanks to Stuart for this video.

Setting up the Stage for the street concert in Wokingham
Setting up the Stage for the street concert in Wokingham

The day for the Wokingham show was finally arrived.  The stage was getting set up and equipment was brought in.

An event like this takes a ton of planning, coordination and logistics.  Words alone cannot express the happy, peaceful place was in. I can only say “thank you” Pauly, for making this possible, and inviting me across the pond to be part of your party.’ It’s a way cool world.

By evening we were ready to put on a show.  After Hussy Hicks and Jimmi Nolan did their parts to open, we were primed and ready to kick into high gear and give the crowd a fun time.

Local Press had us Covered
Local Press had us covered
Working the crowd at Wokingham
Working the crowd at Wokingham

By evening time the crowd was ready.  The band was tight and we had a fabulous time.

There were hundreds of people lining the street in Wokingham, many of them dancing to the tunes.  I must admit that it was easily one of the top five shows I’ve ever been involved in. This band — O. M. G.!!

Following are a couple of quick video clips from the show and a couple of photos.

Friends, if this ain’t the Big Time, What Is?

Enjoy!

 

 

Chris on Drums and Paolo on Bass from my perspective
Chris on Drums and Paolo on Bass
Left to Right - Pauly Zarb, Rob Reeves, Erly Thornton and Mark Palmer
Left to Right – Pauly Zarb, Rob Reeves, Erly Thornton and Mark Palmer
Pauly Zarb Working it in Wokingham
Pauly Zarb Working it in Wokingham

 

The After-show Effect on my jacket
The After-show Effect on my jacket

As with all things…this good…no, this GREAT thing had to come to an end.

It was a wild and fun night…lots of sweat from dancing on the stage with some wonderful musicians…all of whom I felt honored and grateful to share the stage with.

Leaving was bittersweet, but I can now look forward to the next trip to hang with these great folks.

 

 

 

 

Closing off the trip with old friends Spoonz and Pauly
Closing off the trip with old friends Spoonz and Pauly

Parkin’ It With Antsy McClain: Cockroach After the Bomb

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“For years, I didn’t want anyone to know that I’m a functioning disaster, which was always painfully obvious at our live shows.” – Tommy Womack
Antsy McClain presents another demo of a brand new song: “That’s What I Do,” and covers some personal ground, giving insight into how he is wired, and examines why we do the things we do.

Also in this podcast, Antsy talks with singer/songwriter Tommy Womack, whose new album, “There I Said It,” is a wonderful collection of introspective songs that track Tommy’s path into an unknown future – a concept we can all embrace with familiarity. Many of Tommy’s songs are featured in this podcast. They are are honest and forthright; funny and thought-provoking. Despite being born the same year, and almost living in a paralell universe (Tommy’s a Kentucky boy first turned on to music by bands like KISS as a kid), Antsy only recently discovered Womack’s music. “It’s been a big part of my summer listening,” Antsy says, “And I wanted to share it with my friends.” So Antsy got in touch with Tommy, who agreed to an interview. They talked in the living room of Womack’s Nashville home. Tommy talks about songwriting, depression, and what he’s learned from his years traveling with a rock and roll band. His answers might surprise you. He also reads from his popular book “Cheese Chronicles – The true story of a rock and roll band you’ve never heard of” which outlines the ups and downs of a 7-year long adventure with the rock band Government Cheese in the 80’s and 90’s. To learn more about Tommy Womack, visit his website at: www.tommywomack.com.

Listen to the Podcast:

Parkin’ It With Antsy McClain: Wonderful Baggage – Laura Ellen Hopper

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An interview with Laura Hopper of KPIG radio, posted May 29, 2007
Our friend Laura Ellen Hopper of KPIG Radio, died Monday, May 28th, 2007, after a short fight with cancer. We are forever indebted to her and the KPIG family, and we will miss her more than we can say. In this special podcast, we present Antsy’s casual interview with Laura unedited and uncut, from the Polyesterfest Cruise 2007. No music. No website plugs. Just Laura, as we remember her: candid and honest.

Listen to Podcast: