Route 66 Backseat Driver: Chicago

Hail, Hail the gangs all here in Chicago for what has been described to me as a trip that will require manners, endurance, fortitude, a gigantic sense of humor, gobs of patience and having a few loose screws probably won't hurt to make it through this years 2008 Route 66 Challenge.

Here was the plan. I took off driving the southern Route 66 from Wrightwood to Chicago on what was to be a very pleasant ride through Arizona and New Mexico until I discovered that The Wicked Witch of the East was on my tail as I crossed the Oklahoma border, and stayed there through Missouri and for the rest of the way to Chicago. Someone was certainly watching over me due to the fact that I was able to stay 5-6 hours ahead of the worst parts of the storm. Reading the Sunday papers ended up being a very surreal experience. I'm sure the trip back will be very humbling to each and every one of us.

Now Bruce Almighty and Pinto Pammy, driving on the northern route #80 from Carmel to Chicago got so much rain that they were at times convinced that the building of an Ark would have been a far better choice than the mini van rental decision. I tend to agree with them considering present gas prices and the obvious savings at the pump. Quandary, how do you get the Ark to Iowa from Carmel and what to do with this hybrid once arriving in Chicago.... Well thats another story for another time and another day.

Now Back to the news.....

Mike, Phil and Devin thinking they would enjoy a normal Los Angeles to Chicago, Dinner and a Movie, type flight were surprised with more than one delay due to the rain, wind and the otherwise terrible flying conditions encountered. With that said, everyone is safe and sound in Chicago.

The renting of a top shelf sound studio, see above, was secured today for the first practice of the tour. Bruce, Devin and Phil worked on some critical changes and some new songs for Devin. Pammy warmed up her voice on a few numbers and Mike, the consummate professional, relaxed and checked out his timing and the view the studio offered of the Chicago skyline.

Presently everyone is heading in different directions for a few hours to ultimately meet up at Martyrs Restaurant for sound checks and then a 8:00 show. I, on a mission, went to find "The Lost City of Wrightwood Il". Bruce, Pam and Mike went to see and tour Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Devin went to Millennium Park for a visit with an old friend and Phil went to the Army Pier area to meet old friends and students. After arriving at Martyrs Restaurant sound checks went well and the first trickle of customers started to filter in.

The night began with introductions made to a good sized audience, by Blue Jazz Records owner Greg Pasenko and the night was off and running with a crowd pleasing rendition of "I'm an Old Cowhand". Devin was featured on the next Ray Brown in-fussed number "Slow Boat to China" which proceeded to kick things up a notch.

Some additional highlights of the evening were Pinto Pammy singing Patsy Clines' "Crazy", Bruce and Phil's high speed "Texifornia Breakdown", Mike "Sebastian Box" McKinley on "Route 66" and Fiddling Phil Salazar on "Boomer Stampede".

Tomorrow morning we will be heading south towards Springfield Ill. with a final stop at The Capitol City Bar and Grille for a 8:00pm show.

Come on out and "Get your Kicks With Us" while supporting JazzMasters Workshops.

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