Today’s the day!!! Today’s the day!!! We get our boy!!! After the worst sleep full of false wake-ups for fear of missing my alarm and leaving our boy stranded on a mountain, I finally got up at 7:00 for good, showered and got ready with an anticipation to rival Christmas, a 21st birthday, or a performance at the Gorge. We were going to see our Rudy after 2 long weeks without him. 

We got coffee at the coolest coffee shop where I met a fellow fancy-head! The man behind us in line insisted on snapping a pic of us together. The guy had leopard print hair, but you can’t tell from this photo…

Once we had sufficiently regaled the staff with stories about our amazing kiddo that we were going to pick up, we headed to the camp. 

When we got there, we were instructed to head into camp and wait at the bottom of a dirt road. The campers wold be down shortly. So we did. While we were waiting, we had the strangest encounter with a counselor. 

“Are you here to pick up a camper?”


“Do you know which one?”


Jared said, “Hmmmm. We’ll take whichever one looks the strongest, but won’t talk back. Got a lotta gear to carry.” 

She didn’t hear him. But I laughed really hard. I’m sure she didn’t mean it how it came out, but it was worded very poorly. 

So we waited. And waited. And, FINALLY….

We felt complete once more!!!

We all cried and hugged and laughed. Rudy hung out the car window to yell goodbye to each counselor and cabin mate and anyone who’s camp name he remembered. He was loved by all and encouraged to return for years to come. He said, “We’ll see.”😂

After a full morning of stories from camp, songs from camp, and stink from camp, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for our gig that night!

So yesterday, since we had a full day to wait before we could pick up Rudes, we walked around Durango and looked for places that may want a free band for the night. After a couple of dead ends, we popped into a distillery called “Durango Craft Spirits“. Located right in the middle of the main drag of town, with a covered patio and plenty of foot traffic, we could set up there and it would be perfect. We walked up and met the owner, Michael. After some handshakes and introductions, he said he’d listen to the music, talk it over with his wife, and call us. As we left, I said let us know asap, so we can come back and set up around 4:00. “Oh! You meant you’d play TONIGHT?” he said. Maybe we didn’t make that too clear. He said “Ok.” But, I didn’t feel super positive about it. 5 minutes after we drove away, he called us and offered us the gig. An hour later he called back and moved the gig to Thursday night because, I kid you not, Durango was experiencing a flash HAIL storm. HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO US?!?!😂😂

Well, at least we had a gig!

The Durango Craft Spirits Distillery

This gig was the second show we got on tour that wasn’t booked when we left. We love playing these “kamikaze” gigs because there is little to no expectation. And since we always offer to play for free, we’re a little more loose with ourselves, our set up, and our strictness on our start and finish times. All around, it’s a bit more laid back, as we are treating it like a “getting to know you” performance. That’s certainly not to say that we don’t still give 110% effort while playing. I’d like to also add, when we say we’re “more relaxed” or are a bit more “laid back”, that really just means we may start 3 minutes after said start time, or, we’re not wearing as MUCH leather or sequins as usual. 😂 Jared and I have not truly played a “laid back” gig since maybe our first month together. And, for the record, we both felt so uncomfortable, we vowed to never do THAT again. 

Anyway, Rudy was back with us so we couldn’t wait to get him up on stage with us. With such short notice and the extreme heat for an outdoor show, we had modest attendance…but everyone who showed up stayed. AND . . . more people showed up. And then MORE people. It felt incredible to sing with Rudy again. He also was super chatty, full of jokes and stories, and really into the songs. Even when he was off stage, he was singing along between chapters of the book he was reading. 

At our break, the owner handed me a check. 

“I told you this was a free gig.” I said. 

“Please. You must take it.” he insisted. “We had no IDEA how good you were! You are seriously welcome ANY time!” Then, after our last song, someone rushed up and offered us $100 to play a few more. Then, someone put $200 in Jared’s hand for gas money. 

I am mentioning this all of this not to point out the monetary gainings of the evening, but to make a point. This is true for all of life, not just our profession. You can create your own opportunities! What if we had just assumed no one would want free music? What if we were lazy and didn’t try? What if we given less than our best because we weren’t getting paid? What if we’d been too discouraged by the few rejections to our offer and had given up? What if we didn’t ask ourselves “Why are we out here?” every day on the road? If we had let ourselves get derailed by any ONE of these, we wouldn’t have seized this opportunity, or any like it, for that matter. 

However, let me also add while we’re at it and I have you all hostage, it’s not easy. It’s not easy or fun hustling and inserting yourself like that. I always feel like an imposition. I am constantly fighting the urge to apologize for myself. For our work. For our “noise”. Even with the thousands of hours put toward this craft and the careful construction of songs, shows, image, merchandise, etc, I STILL feel unworthy. I still feel like we need to get better before we deserve to be noticed. Even with the countless repetition of comments like, “You guys are too good to be playing HERE.” or, “Why aren’t you famous yet?” or, “You are literally the BEST act we’ve EVER seen.”, I STILL have breakdowns where I feel like a fraud. I’ll listen back to live recordings and just die inside, questioning every single decision I’ve ever made about my career path. 

My dad, a lifetime entertainer, always says, “Jessi. People hear with their eyes.” which is why people say, “I went and SAW this band last weekend.” Or, “We’re going to go SEE so-and-so tonight.” Rarely do you hear people say, “You want to go listen to Pink? Or U2? Or Madonna?” It’s about the “show”, the entertainment of the event. We’re lucky in that way because we do put on a SHOW. But, you can’t fool everyone all of the time. It matters how we’re playing, what we’re singing, and it TOTALLY matters that we’re hitting the notes. So, that is why I am in a constant state of self doubt and a push to better myself musically and as a writer and entertainer. 

But, it’s not just me. If it was, I may have quit years ago. Jared always comes in at just the right time to say, “We got this.” or “Fuck it. Who cares what they think.” Or, “Yep, we can both improve, but that doesn’t mean we’re terrible. It just means we need to keep working.” So we do. And we put ourselves out there. And we answer the questions about fame and success with smiles and confidence and remind people that we are exactly where we need to be, because if we weren’t, then we wouldn’t have met them! 

This is true for humble performances as well. When the show was through, a family joined the group, but had missed the whole show. They were so upset and asked for one song. We were already half torn down, but we grabbed our instruments, stood in the parking lot and played “Dressed Up” for them, unplugged. They lost their minds! When we were finished, Rudy, after getting bum-rushed with praise, offered “autographs” and we sold a ton of merch. You truly just never know unless you make yourself fully present and available for life’s opportunities!!

Petra and Jeff. New fans who LOVED “Life Fantastic” because they just moved into an RV! Good luck guys!

Rudy’s groupies!💖

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