Cheers from the Wild Band!
May 7-12, 2007 Croatia & Slovenia
We temporarily relocated to Europe! Old and new members of the Wild Band recently converged and emerged weary, smiling and ready to play in beautiful Zagreb, Croatia.
Robert Scott, a Cherokee drummer from Phoenix, Arizona, joined us for his first shows with the Wild Band and has proved why he's a drummer in high demand throughout the Southwest.
All ventures into foreign territory need a good scout, an experienced culture guide versed in the proper ways to hold a wine glass, order a pizza, and rope luggage to the top of a small European mid-sized van. Diné dancer, cattle roper and Paris local, Lucas Hogue, filled this role -- our MVP for this leg of the tour.
Cherokee vocalist, Melanie Storm, returned from hiatus to contribute her multi-octave flourish best known from the award-winning recording "Wailing Blues." As expected, much shoe shopping occurred.
An integral part of the Wild Band identity, bassist and co-songwriter Jimmy V, appeared with his usual easy grace sporting a cowboy hat, and provided his driving signature sound. This trip landed the no-hyphen-American once again in the land of his grandfathers, adding a circular element to our universal dance.
Leading us on our journey of five-star hotels, cobbled streets, coastal stages, and coffee jitters along the way, was our fearless leader and Peasant King, Anishinabe legend Keith Secola. With his characteristic charm, humility and abundant energy, Keith offered songs of revolution and love. With great care he welcomed this opportunity, honored to share the heartbeat of Native America with Native Europe yet again.
This week consisted of a series of gigs organized by the Croatian American Society and the U.S. Embassy. From Capitol to Coast the Croatian and Slovenian people greeted us with open hearts and ready minds. Monday morning found us performing "Indian Cars" on "Good morning, Croatia" television show at an hour most of us usually crawl into bed. Saturday was a record-setter as Europe's largest round dance circled the grounds of beautiful Maksimir Park under a brilliant Croatian sky.
In between we dined and sang with foreign ministers, opera singers, Venetian ghosts and the good people of Zagreb, Opatija and Copra. We were humbled to share the company of Director W. Richard West of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and his beauteous wife, Mary-Beth. Sev, the tie-dye guy couldn't join us on this trip so we sent him a postcard.
Many thanks to the amazing people at the Croatian American Society who made this all possible. Thanks to Marina, Marijena, Biba, Michael and so many others. Thanks to Bert and the good people at the American Embassy. Thanks to the Sheraton and Mozart hotels, thanks to the journalists (especially the Dylan expert), the taxi-drivers and bellboys who were integral parts of what it took to keep a band on the road. Thank you most of all to Tihomer Lerner, a powerful and generous presence whose innovation and skill organized the events, and his damn good Bette Davis impression made us laugh. Special thanks to Jagoda Bush, from Voices of America, for coordinating details of our Croatia trip. Words are not enough but maybe a few songs will do.
This week found Keith and Jimmy adventuring in Paris and Sweden.
Here's to keeping the fire burning at home in Turtle Island and all over the world. Looking forward.
Love from Zagreb,
Keith and the Wild Band
May 17, 2007
Blog written by Melanie Storm