Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Leaving today for Vinstra, Norway. Excited to be going back, I was there last year with Terri Clark and it is just a great festival to work with.

Lots of hugs and kisses with the kids before dropping them off at the sitters.

We have Aaron Watson and Anita Cochran performing at the festival on Saturday. I leave today out of Nashville on United and Aaron and his band leave out of Chicago on AA. Anita and her band are not leaving until tomorrow. I am scheduled to land about 4 hours before Aaron and his guys so I will make myself comfy at a little coffe shop at the airport 🙂

So the big act on this festival is Rascal Flatts, they are performing on Friday night. I am at the gate in Nashville and notice a big group of people and road cases..hmmm… guess some of the band and crew are on my flight. About the time we should start boarding, the gate agent makes the announcement that the in bound aircraft has landed but due to weather and heavy air traffic in Newark we are delayed an hour and half..leaving me with only 20 mins to make an international connection. Go up the desk and the guy in front of me is talking to the agent..”flying to Oslo…16 people…show..Rascal Flatts” Agent gets on the phone and says that we all need to stay in boarding area as they are doing a very quick turn around of the aircraft to get us out to make our connections. Seriously the fastest I have ever boarded a plane and taken off. Probably 20 mins from boarding to taxing down the runway. Started talking to one of the guys next to me about the festival and Norway. I think he was the FOH guy. Anyways, we land in Newark in Terminal A and have to shuttle over to Terminal C. Walk down to the “holding room” for the shuttle and it looks like the rest of the RF band has joined the crew. A small passenger van pulls up and the agent is only letting the RF group on, my new best friend grabs my arm and tells me to come with him and sneaks me on the shuttle. Boarded the flight and Jay and Joe Don are sitting behind me. We talk a little…I actually met them years ago when they were with Chely Wright, so we talked about some old times and great music. I am looking forward to seeing their show Friday night.

Had an email from Gino and they left Chicago on time..they actually connect in London before landing in Oslo. Flight over was short, only 6 1/2 hours and I had an empty seat next to me. Watched “Argo” finally..really great movie and ate dinner then slept for about 3 hours before we started landing. Got my bag, exchanged my money, Gino emailed that they made it to London. Found a spot at the restaurant to sit and wait.Aaron and the band landed about 30 mins late so it was around 3:30 before they walked out of baggage claim, then we had to find the driver. Loaded the gear/bags and band onto the bus and we started the 3 hour drive. Arrived at the hotel around 7:30 (yes, 10 hours after landing in Oslo I am finally at the hotel), threw our stuff in the room and ran downstairs to eat dinner before it closed. This hotel has a great breakfast and dinner buffet, everyone was very happy with it. It is now almost 10pm. Finishing up some work and going to bed!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Was able to facetime with the kids a little bit before heading to bed. Guess 4th of July back home was a total rain out 🙁

Fell asleep around midnight…sun still shinning. Then around 3am one of the bands started playing music in there room. Right above me! The only song I could figure out was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and it has been stuck in my head since then.

Woke up at 8, showered and went downstairs to have breakfast. Saw some of the guys but just missed Gino, Aaron and Jason. They left at 9 to take a trip to Besseggen to hike all day.

Had a text from Anita around 10 saying they had landed in Oslo and were waiting on the driver. Driver finally got there around 11. Seems he was suppose to pick up an Artist from this hotel and take him to the airport early this morning but the Artist wasn’t here. His stuff was, but he had checked into a different hotel late last night. Anyways.. Anita and them are on the bus headed this way. Going to try and walk down to the lake here in a few and then meet Anita and the group when they arrive.

Brian, Clint and I walked down the trail to the lake..I think we made our own trail though. It was absolutely beautiful. Clint got a fishing pole and tried to do some fishing but wasn’t having any luck and wanted to try a different spot. So…we walked back up to the hotel. We chose to take the longer way back because it stayed on the road. Major hike back UP!

Anita’s group arrived about 3pm and got them checked in then I went down to the “store” it is a little “general” store that sells groceries, clothes, souviners, fishing stuff and automotive stuff. Cute little place 🙂

We all went down to dinner at 6 and just as I was finishing Aaron, Gino and Jason got back from their 16 mile hike to Besseggen..they look worn out!

All of us were suppose to go out the venue tonight to see Laura Bell Bundy and Rascal Flatts show at 9, by the time the van was here to take us..we were down to 5 of us going. Got to see Bjorn, our promoter and talk to him for a bit and then ran into Bo Porter and got to trade some road stories with him. Shows were really great. Back to the hotel at 1:00 AM and have to be back out at the venue at 10 AM!!!

July 6 – Show Day Norway – July 8 – Trying to get home!

Saturday, July 6, 2013 – Show Day!

Up at 8 to get ready and went down for a quick breakfast. Anita and Aaron are both doing 2 shows on 2 different stages today. Left for the venue at 10:30 am with Aaron Watson for soundcheck on the big stage and then a line check on the Café stage. Soundcheck on the big stage went well but took a bit more time on the Café stage. Met Anita and her band at the venue at 12:30 for her line check and sent Aaron’s group back to the hotel.

1:30pm – back to the hotel with Anitia’s group.

2:45 pm – back to venue with Anita’s group. It is a beautiful, sunshiny day here. Almost 80 degrees. The crowd is walking / stumbling around with shirts off…women too! Anita did a fantastic job, the crowd and promoter just loved her. She signed a few autographs then I sent them back to the hotel. Aaron Watson and his band arrived at the venue at 4:30 for his first show. Again… the crowd loves that old country / Texas music. This was the first time I have been able to see Aaron perform. Was able to talk and catch up with Bjorn for a few minutes.

6pm – Back to the hotel with Aaron and the band. Quick dinner, pack and shower…lord it is hot out there!

9pm – All of us left for the venue. Aaron takes the big stage at 10pm and Anita has a line check at the Hall stage at 9:30. The Hall Stage wasn’t quite ready for Anita when we arrived so it was almost 10:30 before she got done. Aaron took the big stage on time. Gino, Aaron’s manager was backstage looking for me around 10:30 said he needed me to come up on stage. Obviously, Aaron’s fiddle player does a little trick during the show and has a female hold his bow while he plays. Guess who the female was during this show. Aaron brought me out and while I am holding the bow and Damien is playing Aaron snapped a picture to send to mom.

11:00pm – Aaron finishes his second awesome show of the day. Signed some autographs. Sent a few band members back to the hotel . Aaron and few others stayed to watch Anita’s second show.

11:30 pm – Anita show on the Hall stage.. unfortunately it was a light crowd bc the Hellbillies had just started on the big stage. The Hellbillies are a very famous Norwegian country band. The crowd for them was more than Rascal Flatts had on Friday night. But… Anita did another great performance and the crowd that was there enjoyed it.

Bjorn’s wife and soon to be daughter in law were at the festival and I was able to meet them and talk to them for a few. This was her bachelorette party!!

1:00 AM – said our goodbyes and we all headed to the hotel. Bjorn rented us a huge sleeper bus to take us to the airport.

2:30 AM – Leave the hotel with Anita and Aaron and band for the 4 hour drive to the airport. The drive is actually pulling into a Petro station around 6:30 and letting us sleep till 8 before we drive on over the airport for check in. I think by 3:30 most of us had crawled into a bunk and were trying to catch some sleep. I think I got about 3 hours.

Sunday – July 7 – Fly home!

9:30 – All of us are checked in for our flights. I fly home with Anita’s group on United through Newark, suppose to get into Nashville at 7pm. Aaron and his guys fly to Dallas on American through London.

Board the flght and the guy I am sitting next to is a crew guy for Black Crows. They just finished a 3 week tour in Europe and are headed home. He lives in Nashville and as we talked we figured out we had a lot of people in common. Landed in Newark and cleared customs with plenty of time for connection. Went to the gate and our flight to Nashville was delayed like 10 mins…then 30 mins.. then an hour. Air traffic and then weather. We finally boarded and then sat on the plane for 45 mins before they said the flight had been canceled and we needed to get off!

They have me rebooked on the 7:30 pm flight tomorrow night and the band on a 5pm flight thru ORD tomorrow night. Went to the club room to get some assistance in getting on an earlier flight and there is nothing. To many flight cancelations..everything is overbooked…even on other airlines and out of other airports.

We all decided to go ahead and get a hotel room near the airport and try to get some sleep and figure things out tomorrow. We waited until 11pm for our bags to finally come out and head to the hotel. Talked to Christy and the kids. The kids asked if I could just take a taxi from airport to Christy’s… oh how I wish I could. I am so upset that I wasn’t able to get home to them. However..I think they were ok as they finally got to swim in Christy’s pool!! So much for mamma…ha ha.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Caught a few hours of on the phone with Untied Global services and they said the 3:20 flight to Nashville was my best option for stand by flight. So John with Anita and I are waitlisted on this flight. The other guys decided to just wait and take the 5pm flight home that they are definitely booked on.

So here I sit in Newark…finally getting a chance to write the road report for the last 2 days with what I can remember! I just want my bed and a massage!