What do you do when you’re scheduled to play fifteen separate performances in thirteen days? Well, you call up a friend in a town you know and say, “Hi! We have one day off. Can we fill it with another gig?”

Luckily, they were happy to have us and it ended up being a really special bill to be on. When we first came to Stevensville back in 2018, we met a woman named Tina and her son, Zane. He was probably nine or ten years old. Well, as the years have gone by and we’ve passed through the town almost every year since then, we have gained quite a fan base, as well as become close with many of the locals. We have gotten to see their kids grow up, meet new ones, celebrate personal accomplishments, and help usher them through difficult times. It’s a small town with a huge heart and we are lucky to have many of its residents call us family. That being said, when we asked to play on Friday night, on the off-chance that Kate at the jewelry store didn’t already have a band, (she has live music all the time), we were informed that a high school jazz quartet was already playing. Buuuuuut, it was Zane’s band! He now plays drums for the Uninvited Gentlemen and they were scheduled to play their first gig that Friday for the town’s “First Friday” event, and they would love it if they could “open” for Champagne Sunday! A win win! They get to play, we get to play, AND, totally in line with what we’re doing with students and music already o tour, it actually couldn’t have been more perfect.

The night was a huge success! The boys played jazz standards and some cool arrangements of popular songs for about 2 hours. They were well rehearsed and focused and most of all, having a great time. It was awesome to see the community gather to support them and really cheer them on in this endeavor. I hope that more kids in more schools that we visit get this passionate about music! It really helped that they have a WONDERFUL music teacher who totally believes in them as well. Just a perfect way to start the night.

Maybe one day they can back up Champagne Sunday!!

So, I have a confession to make. I made the classic “old person” bonehead tech move during our show. At the end of our new song “Naked”, there’s a rowdy crowd sing-along that I thought would be super cool to video. Well, I did video the entire thing, complete with screaming, laughing, rock-faces and general tom foolery. I thought, “This is gonna be so cool for our socials and the blog!” Well, as I was putting it down after the song ended, I hit the “Stop recording” button, only to find it “start recording”. I am such a lame-o. Anyway, here’s a series of pictures I like to call, “The Song’s Over: You Missed It”

The show was off the charts. I’m not sure how we even can describe it, but it was really as good for us as it was for them…if you catch my drift… We honestly never stopped smiling the whole show and afterwards. One guy said, “You are so METAL! I love your energy and, just like the metal community, you are so inclusive of everyone!” Several newcomers to the CS experience hugged and  loved on us after the show and one fan who is really experiencing a painful disease wrote this to us the next day.

“Good morning Folks, Just can’t express enough the elation of seeing you both and your performance last eve ! It’s the first time in a long while I felt those wonderful, “Warm & Fuzzy Feelings” listening to you.😘 Your “Light” shines beyond all measure. All the best to you both. Stay safe in your travels. Love ya 😊”

This is Kate, the owner of the jewelry store, Lutzenhiser Jewelry, in Stevensville. She is a staple in the community and has become a very dear friend. She always makes sure we are taken care of and she always makes space for us when we’re in town. She is loved by all and gives back over and over again. She is a beautiful lady and we are lucky to know her.

Once the show was over, loving words, goodbyes, “see you next times”, and “safe travels”, we headed back “home” to Gretchen’s place, where dinner and drinks awaited us. We stayed up quite a bit, catching up, sharing music, stories, laughter and reminiscing about the first time we met several years ago. As we chatted, Gretchen took up her grandmother’s old post in the kitchen, a tall stool for sitting, scooted under an extended cutting board with a shorter stool to prop up her feet. There she cut, diced, shredded, and layered her way through meats, cheeses, and noodles, that turned out to be a 13 and 1/2 pound (yes, we put it on the scale!) lasagna! She made it for her parents and us to share, stating that she couldn’t possibly leave us empty-handed as we headed out tomorrow. I’ve said it before in past blogs and I’ll most likely say it every time I mention her, but Gretchen is the last great pioneer woman! I am honored to call her my friend, and am inspired every time we’re together. I went to bed happy and peaceful at 3:15 am and thought it was pretty late, even for us.

Well, Jared and Gretchen and Lily didn’t think it was late enough…they all went to bed at 5:00! My night-owl husband found his people and spent his time exchanging new music, poetry, and bonding over Shakespeare til the dawn. I’m glad it was them and not me!! Somehow, Gretchen STILL managed to be up in the morning, do farm chores, and then come home to make “waffle-omelettes” for breakfast… then gave a massage at 2:00. Meanwhile I’m over here like, “I need a nap…”

With clear roads and daylight, we made the three-hour drive up north to Seeley Lake, MT, where a DARLING  Bed n’ Breakfast awaited us, and we had dinner with a new friend. All that for tomorrow. I’m ready for my nap now…

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