WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH: Got up and checked on the flight status for Chely first thing.  All is well.  They will land about 30 minutes late.  Hit the really  hotel small gym, but it was better than nothing.  Showered, dressed and took the hotel shuttle to the airport.   This guy didn’t speak any English either so trying to convince him that I needed to go to ARRIVALS, not DEPARTURES was fun.  Again, lots of hand motions got me to where I needed to be. Chely’s group arrived with ALL their luggage and equipment.  Our promoter and his staff met us and drove us for a little more than an hour to the little town where she will be performing an acoustic set at a small nightclub.  It’s been sold out since the day the tickets went on sale.  She performed here last year, too, but it’s my first visit to the club.  I met the promoter in Nashville during Fan Fair and he is a great guy. Grew up in Washington, D.C. Chely, Katie (her manager) and I went to the Italian restaurant next door for a quick lunch.  Nice to have another night off and especially nice NOT to have to fly anywhere for another week.  Did I mention that already?  J Spent the afternoon trying to work in my room but there is no air conditioning and I’m on the side that gets the afternoon sun.  It was about 150 degrees in here.  I’d much rather be in Iraq if I have to be that hot.  Tomorrow I’m going to try and buy a fan for the room.  Trying to sleep tonight is going to be miserable.  Katie and I walked over to the club to have dinner.  Great restaurant and the club is reminiscent of “Tootsies” in Nashville with all the autographed photos of country artists tacked up all over the walls.  Should be a fun little gig.  Back in my sweltering room (even though the sun has long since gone down) now trying to answer the hundreds of emails that came in while I was away for dinner.  Easy day tomorrow, I hope.  First item on the agenda is an interview for Chely at 3:00, sound check from 3:30-4:30 and then the show tomorrow night. Jude

THURSDAY, JULY 19TH; Now I think I have my “days and dates” correct.  Hard to keep up with time the way I am traveling. It was a miserable night last night.  I tried to sleep with the windows open because my room was like a sauna.  The trucks, cars, and motorcycles at all hours of the night made it impossible.   Plus the sun came up very early and flooded my room with light.  Decided I HAD to do something about finding a fan today. Got up, had breakfast and went to the GREAT gym that is next to our hotel.  They had all the newest equipment so I worked out on every machine.  I usually focus on one particular body part but it’s been so long since I’ve been in a great gym, I went a little wild.  Came back and went straight to the market next to our hotel.  I found a fan that was only 15 Euros and I purchased it.  I would have paid 100 Euros for it at the time.  Got it back to my room and realized all the directions were only in German!  I tried to put it together and managed pretty well with my Swiss Army knife.  But hit a roadblock and had to take it to the front desk to have them help me.  But, it is wonderful and sure makes a lot of difference in the temperature in my room.  I am going to put it back in the box and take with me to Switzerland where it will also be hot and the hotel won’t be air conditioned there either.  If I have to make the 3 ½ hour drive with the fan box in my lap, it’s going with me! Typed up some set lists for Chely, took a shower, went back to the market and got a salad for lunch and then met Chely downstairs for a couple of interviews.  After the interviews, we all went to the club for sound check.  She only has two musicians with her on this gig.  It was sweltering HOT in the club.  Going to be hard to do a show in there tonight as it is sold out and will be even hotter. Back to the room to answer more emails and then over to the venue for dinner.  Then back to the room to answer more emails (repetitive, huh?) and over to the club for the show.   I walked in the backstage entrance and the heat absolutely took my breath away.  I don’t know how Chely and the guys did it.  But the audience loved her and kept calling her back for encores until she basically ran out of songs.  She is using two new musicians so the repertoire is not as big as it normally would be. She signed autographs and took photos with everyone for almost 2 hours after the show.  She is and always has been such a “trooper”.  Back in my room answering emails again and going to bed soon.  It’s 2 am now.  Off to Switzerland tomorrow. Jude