Five years ago, when we first came to Yankton and played at the 1872 Saloon, we met our friend, Mike from the local favorite band, “Jetley Park”. Mike said, “We gotta get you to play one of the “Sunday Funday” events over at the Cottonwood!” Well, last spring we finally got in to at least play for them one weekend. We all immediately became friends, and when it came time to book the Summer tour, Rene over at the Cottonwood was all too happy to help! The only issue was that the Summer shows were already all booked up, so Rene juggled some stuff around and just doubled the fun for one of her “Fundays”, having us play the 1:00 – 3:00 slot, and the band, “JETT” would play their normal time slot from 3:00 – 6:00. The fans that had already came out and cheered us on the past three shows were already at the venue by noon, raring to go. These guys are hard core! Every show coming out, cheering, singing along, helping us set up and tear down, buying us drinks, collecting our posters to keep and have us sign, helping sell merchandise, and overall being an amazing presence of encouragement and support. If there was ever a second we felt tired or even just struggling to get pumped for the gig, it only took a greeting from one of the amazing Yankton fans to boost our morale and set us back on track.
The Cottonwood is the PLACE TO BE on Sundays. People come from all over the campgrounds and the town to park, set up chairs, post up at the outdoor bar, or take shelter from the heat at the indoor bar, to participate in the live music. (Jared here: I distinctly remember our first few times playing in Yankton, driving past the Cottonwood on a weekend while it was packed and a band was playing outside, thinking, “Man, I wish we could be playing THAT place.”) It was really cool to find out after the show how many people came out that hadn’t seen us, but had heard the buzz from the past three days’ worth of shows! This town LOVES their live music, and we have something genuinely different to offer, so we’re not in competition with any local acts; just complimentary to them. So it was really a perfect mix of Champagne Sunday first to hit everyone in the feels and make people laugh a bit, then JETT came in with all the classic rock/pop hits and had everyone dancing til 6:00! We even stayed to party as well, since we had no more gigs, and we couldn’t have left if we’d wanted to because we were getting drinks slung at us left and right, AND people were buying merch until the second band finished!!! We really got to hang out with everyone and truly enjoy the community!
Joined for the last time in Yankton by our little man, for “Fallin”.
After we were through, I asked everyone who had on a piece of CS merchandise to head up to the stage and get a picture! THIS was one of my favorite things we did the whole tour! So many lovely people and smiling faces!
Once the craziness at The Cottonwood had subsided and we FINALLY got all loaded up, said our goodbyes, and got in our comfy clothes, we headed back to Heather and Nate’s place for the much-anticipated T-bone steak night. Not pictured are said steaks. We ate them. We wept over their greatness and admired their baseball mitt size and tenderness. Also not pictured are the mild jalapeño poppers, homemade mac n’ cheese, or the mini potatoes. I’m sorry. There was no time. If I stopped to take a picture, it may have all been eaten, and then no one would be alive to share this story…
This horse…I mean, dog, LOVES Rudy. His name is Haze, and for two seconds, he was a small puppy.
This snake also loved Rudes. His name is Eku. Rudy held him for quite some time and Eku smelt all over Rudy’s face and arms. I think Eku really liked Rudy’s sloth, Fred. We never did ask Fred how HE felt about it.
Jared’s not a snake guy, usually. But Eku really was extra sweet and calm, and just sort of made his way onto Jared.
For the evening’s finale, and keeping with our new tradition of burning things at Nate and Heather’s place, we set off some leftover fireworks from July 4th. Rudy had never lit fireworks, seeing as how we live in a suburban neighborhood, and with the burn ban almost always in effect, he doesn’t get to have them or even see them at camp (where he has been the past two Summers for the 4th). So this was really special and fun!!
We have fully enjoyed our time here in Yankton this Summer. During one evening’s walk around the beautiful campsite that we are so privileged to stay at, we were reminiscing about how much has changed from the first time we came here, first sleeping in our truck, then getting to upgrade to a loft above the venue and sleeping on chairs, we made lunch down by the river and got devoured by mosquitos, knew no one, barely made money, didn’t even know if we should come back. Heather and Nate were CRITICAL in anchoring us to this town. Heather works so hard for us when we aren’t here, getting us new gigs, making sure we get the agreed pay we require, advertising for us, and then caring for us when we’re in town. We have all become friends now and we can’t imagine NOT making Yankton a stop on any tour. I know the music is magic and does some really special things. We have worked really hard to keep creating new material and keep the message honest and from the heart. People need it and are ALWAYS sharing their stories of how our songs touch them, change them, or just bring them some joy they didn’t know they craved. But without the fans, none of it would matter. They HAVE to show up. And they DO. They keep coming back every time, and they keep bringing MORE people to hear us. I know we are a grass-roots movement, so it’s not like there’s gonna be some huge influx of fans or listeners, so this is how it’s done, bit by bit. And Yankton NEVER disappoints, almost DOUBLING our fanbase each time we come out! We are constantly humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we receive. Each time, it gets harder and harder to say goodbye.
We have a few days off to explore the Black Hills, the Needles Highway, the Crazy Horse Monument, the Presidential Wax Museum, and some general family fun time! Well be back with more blogs and shows by next weekend! Thank you all for reading and reaching out while we’re on the road. It makes us feel a little less homesick and a lot more connected. We love you all.