With MUCH better road conditions this morning, Jared and I made the hour and a half drive to Belt in a safe and (fairly) timely manner. That is to say, we left at 7:30 am and got there by 10:00…not dead. When we rolled into town, we spotted this really cool band up on a banner on the overpass leading into town… They look cool. We should check them out.

Now I know Florence And The Machine thinks the “Dog Days Are Over”…but what kind of life is that really? I need MORE dog days, personally! (For anyone wondering how daft I really am…well, pretty. But, I AM aware of what she really meant. I just think the phrase “dog days” should always be associated with the best days ever…) Anyway, I woke up this morning with a full cuteness overload and report from home letting me know all was well with the world and our “furmily” was doing well.

From left to right: Clementine Fandango, Fiddleneck Fredeen, and the OG…Miss Etta James.

Must have been a day for dogs because the moment we pulled up to the theater, LOOK at what I got to squish!!!!!!!! I kid you not, this dog’s name is RUDY!!! Literally best morning EVER!

This theater was an old, restored Vaudeville house, then silent film theater, eventually giving way to “talkies”, then live theater, and then a complete abandoning. Restored to its full glory, complete with all modern amenities and luscious amber orange cushioned seats, the one-hundred-seventeen-person capacity Belt Performing Arts Center is a magic performance space! The green room selfies could have gone on for days!

These kids were READY! Being familiar and used to outreach programs, they knew all about being respectful and involved, and they were all here for it! But they didn’t know how much FUN they were gonna have! We ALL did. Dancing, clapping, shouting, whistling (not me so much…I’m a TERRIBLE whistler😂), and FULLY engaged in the conversation at the end. These kids were about ages eight to twelve and had a LOT to talk about. I also got to run through a high-five tunnel. 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommend.

Driving away from our gig we received a screenshot of a text from one of the teachers at the school. 💖💖💖💖💖

Once the outreach was through, we were taken to our lodging for the next 2 days; the “Lucky Spur” cabin at “The Ranches at Belt Creek”.

This… was the view.

Please, please don’t let this little sign fool you…the place was absolutely extraordinary.


One of only three cabins on the hill, overlooking the dude ranch and clubhouse, the Lucky Spur had enough space to sleep several people, washer/dryer, beautiful bath, private gym, outdoor hot tub, plush leather and wood furniture, huge, king-size bed, and nice dining/work area. We also had our own personal “ranch host” named Troy. Troy was probably disappointed in his city guests. When he came up and asked what kind of things we wanted to do at the ranch, and “write” and “rest” were our answers, he looked a bit bummed. The Ranch provides a lot of outdoor excursions like horseback riding, hiking, and skeet shooting, as well as indoor things like pool, massage and facials, and a fire in the clubhouse that’s going most of the time. The food is all cooked to order by a chef who creates her original dishes. The first night, we had the duck and the lamb chops, with a raspberry sorbet palette cleanser and then a lavender cream topped cheesecake, homemade sourdough bread and a bottle of red wine.

A coffee liqueur, crossword by the fire and full, full bellies was enough to usher us right into sleepsville. Back at our cabin, we watched a little Seinfeld and toddled off to bed. As we were toasting before dinner that night, we looked at one another, raised our glasses, and just said “Music did this!” That was my last conscious thought before I passed out.

The next morning, we ate a breakfast that can only be described as “Something one should consume if going to hunt a bear, or hike a fifteen thousand-foot mountain”. Both of which, these Montanans are probably used to doing. But for us, “Non-tanans”, it was a struggle.😂

Fueled up and ready to “sit” for several hours and write, ever so slowly, barely metabolizing the food fit for a Viking warrior heading into battle, we knew we were going to be just fine until the next food extravaganza provided after our show that evening. (Honestly, we weren’t even hungry until we sat down to eat our pre-prepared dinner at 11:00 that night!)

The sunset as we were heading to our gig…

More epic green room selfies.

A rare capture of “Too of the World”, a song we don’t play often, but a crowd favorite every time. Poor Jared hauled that beast of an accordion around to EVERY gig, hoping for the right time to pull it out. Here, at the last full show on tour, it got it’s reveal. 💜 Our sound was run by such a professional that we just felt like our music was floating at times. It makes such a HUGE difference, not just in the way WE feel on stage, but the way the music is received by the audience. Brian Susko, our sound guy (Amy’s brother) has a looooong history in sound engineering, performing and recording. After our soundcheck the day before at the school concert, we knew we’d have a spectacular time playing and singing when the worry about sound became non-existent. Brian was the man. It made all the pieces come together for the best performance of the tour.

Met some fans at our intermission. The young lady is a drummer and the only female percussionist in her school drumline.

Our joyful and incredible hosts, Jim (Gus) and Amy!

We met Amy and Jim at MPAC last January. They were wonderful people and immediately loved us and wanted to bring us to the Belt Performing Arts Center. They knew we would be a tough sell to the other board members, just based on our eccentric and exuberant presentation of ourselves. Even one of the other board members that saw us at MPAC did not think we’d be a good fit. Well, how did we get to play there, you ask? Great question. I’d love to tell you.

We weren’t booked to play this show originally. Another performer was. A returning act that does a musical/scripted production of the life of some famous, historical Montanans. He is well-liked and an easy sell to the community. He is safe, familiar, and doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, he had to cancel. Now, I’m not sure how many other acts they contacted to fill his space, but we were the ones who said, “Sure!” Amy and Jim really believed that bringing Champagne Sunday into Belt would shake things up in a great and positive way. Everything they stand for aligns exactly with us and the agenda we have for this tour: Leading first with love, and presenting people with the unfamiliar and new, so they have a chance to learn about something outside their comfort zone and discover how “not scary” it really is!

I am here to tell you it WORKS! We had an almost sold-out show. Whether folks came because they were curious, or really wanted to be there is no matter. Kids came back from the school outreach and brought grandparents, people called and asked if there were any seats left, long time patrons professed their true love of the show, some even saying it was their “favorite yet” or “top three of all time”. One woman said, “This is the first one I didn’t want to fall asleep to!”🤣Everyone laughed and listened. When the show was over, tons of people were shouting “Love you”, echoing the words and message in “That Girl”. We sold music and shirts, beanies and stickers. We got passionate high fives from new fan, Dirks, a kindergartner with big love of music and a bigger love of fun, who sat through the whole show and never wanted to leave! We heard from some of the older generation that this was the first concert they’d been to in a really long time, and they were loving it! People embraced us with tears in their eyes, thanking us over and over again for what we do, our authenticity, our love for each other, and our message, encouraging us to “keep going no matter what”. Several of them also remarked on what a pleasant surprise we were. Competing with a Belt High School basketball game that night, and preparations for the Super Bowl, Champagne Sunday came in, full force, and made an impression to a packed house. We are proud of that, but it only makes us recognize just how much work still needs to be done, and we are excited to do it!

Our greeting party as we returned home to The Ranches after the show.

Taking selfies with horses is not easy. 😂

Hey! Where are you guys going? We need more scritches!!!

As I sit here the morning after the pinnacle evening of our tour, I realize some important things:

First, I need a red leather couch with cow hide on it… wait. That in no way is practical or goes with our aesthetic at home. Damn. We’ll just have to come back here.

Second, I’m considering our toast before dinner the other night and all it symbolizes. All of this is because of music. OUR music. All the time and tears, energy and practice, ups and downs, and literally every single thing that Jared and I have gone through and worked towards, both in our love for one another and our sweet Rudy, and in our passion for the art we create, has all led us here, to this red leather couch, covered with black and white cow hide in the middle of Belt, Montana. Would we be here otherwise? Would we have been able to hold so many hands and catch so many tears on our shoulders? Would we have been invited into homes and hospitals, schools and theaters if we were just spotted walking down the street? Probably not. As a matter of fact, people may have been apt to look down as we passed by, with our crazy hair, gaudy outfits, tattoos, and piercings. But because of the music we share and the message we offer with it, we are guests of honor, offered the high quality feasts, decadent dwelling spaces, communion with the town’s most precious treasures; the children. We represent so much beauty out there within the music scene, and we will continue to push the boundaries with kindness, showcase our differences with laughter and honesty, and fight judgement and ignorance with love. We are Champagne Sunday and we are changing minds.

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