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getting the band together again

in sunnier times

Jarrod’s not playing, so it might be weird to keep calling it Old Braunfels. Who knows, though. It’s a good name for a band in Munich, whose members predominantly come from Texas.

Playing the guitar surrounding by sixties design wallpaper in Lisel’s front room

However, we’ve got something else going on and Vancouver Michael will most likely have a considerable impact. Nina Kuhlig, who you might remember from the Blue February show two years ago will sing some originals, as well as one or two classics.

Have you ever noticed that the best songs tend to be sad and full of human suffering? We’ve noticed it, as well. We LURVE those songs.

The evening will be chock full of melancholic love songs. We’d love to have a place for lonely Valentine’s to congregate and revel in their plight.

We might even be able to entice Carlos Köhler, who was with us a few years back, to bring his bass up on stage and play with us. He’s one of the best local bass players I know, so it’d be a treat. We’ll see.

You want to see it, leave a comment below with your email and we’ll put you on the mailing list. Check it out!

we’re getting the band together again
Featured

digital detox (for social media) and grieving for those damned dogs

Here’s how it feels now…they’re always there in my thoughts but somehow deeply, truly gone

We decided last weekend that we’d do a Digital Detox starting this next Sunday, and neither of us really thought it through. Late last night (or two nights ago, at this point), Miriam turned to me and said, ‘You remember what we agreed to last weekend?’ In a split second, it all came rushing back to me.

I’m a personality that knows two speeds. Either really slow, if not stationary, or full speed ahead. Pedal to the proverbial metal. It’s not easy, but it’s much worse for whoever I’m partnered with. Even work colleagues have noticed how all or nothing I tend to be.

Either you’re on my team and can practically do no wrong, or I’ve judged you by some ridiculous standard and cannot bear the sight of you. It sounds like I’m bragging but I assure you I’m not.

So this weekly day off allows us to reconnect to source, as it were. I’m hoping it makes me more tolerable to work with. She went to her meditation Runde & the baby and I putzed around the new flat.

I’m doing the Plassman’s Polka Lounge this Tuesday, so I needed to sort out my playlist. At this point, I’ll be playing:

  • Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen
  • You Can’t Always get What you Want (in honour of getting crap xmas gifts)
  • Be nicer to DJT (an original I just wrote)
  • and either All of Me or My Romance

I’ve also just signed up for Freilich Open Arts, which looks promising. If you want to hear us play, just go to the site and book us. Old Braunfels has been quiet lately. It’s time for us to awaken from our slumber.

Digital Detox was good, even if it didn’t include everything we’d thought. As freelancers, neither of us can just take every Sunday off. Oh well.

We’re not complaining, though. This is an amazing existence and every single day, we try to remind each other of how lucky we have it.

We get to live here?

hereabouts it’s going to be played by Old Braunfels and hope to see you there 

Old Braunfels in headier days
Well, we seem to have our best gigs in summer, and this year’s no exception. 

Jarrod moved away and then moved back home over the course of this most recent trip round the sun, and we’ve even reconnected with former (& hopefully future) fiddle player & singer Violeta, who’d moved to Chile. 

Now she’s back in Germany, albeit up in Cologne, but you won’t believe our luck…

This Friday evening we’re playing a show at a local school, and Violeta is sitting in with us. That’s right. Like old times for Old Braunfels

Then we’re playing in the afternoon on Saturday 8 July at the Straßenfest in Türkenstrasse before we have a private party to play up in Ingolstadt. 

It’s going to be a weekend of good times with old friends and the soundtrack for all of it? 
Well, hereabouts it’s going to be played by Old Braunfels. Hope to see you there. 

The western sky alight and melodies rattle round in my head

Stumbling outside, this wondrousness greeted me
Playing with a new band, as well as  ramping up new projects with Old Braunfels, as Jarrod has made his way back to Munich after months of being a digital nomad. Welcome back home, you old goat. 

But what was I saying?

These new Germans I’m palling around with love playing covers of stuff you’d hear on a classic rock station, and until now they’re humoring my eclectic taste in songs. 

Now we’re doing a bit of Americana, some outlaw country, as well as some originals, and I’m enjoying warming up my rusty chops. 
Last weekend, we had one of those rehearsals that go on for hours, and when I got a message from the outside world that I shouldn’t miss the sunset that was happening at that very moment, we stumbled into the fresh air. To be greeted to the above photo. 

It’s certainly been edited, but I assure you the real life reds, yellows and blues were even more lush than the photo conveys. Some days it’s the smallest things that remind you what a gift this whole thing is. 

Take a deep breath, reconnect to source and get back to it. These melodies rattling round in my head aren’t going to write themselves. 

Old Braunfels…getting the band back together edition

  

In the coming months, I’ll be pimping this blog and sending my astounding levels of traffic toward a couple of the projects I’m working on these days.

Some of these projects are new, but most are the latest instalments of continuing collaborations. One of the nearest and dear to me is the one I’ve been working on pretty regularly with ol’ snaggletoothed Jarrod Shepherd.

It should be mentioned if you click on the SoundCloud graphic down below, you can hear a bunch of our repertoire. On some of the songs, you’ll also hear Javi ‘Hansfry’. He’s a Spanish Per Anhalter, which is the German word for hitchhiker.

Oh, and if you actually make it out one night to hear Old Braunfels, there’ll likely be some other musicians sitting in. We’ve been playing with a brand new guitarist this year, and there was even a percussionist sitting in on one of our shows in the waning days of summer.

We’ve got some shows in the coming months and even more in the New Year. Come out and hear some country-fried Americana. Tell ’em Bernie Sanders sent you – you might get a discount at the door.

A church door and a few thoughts about Prague

 

The door to the Church of Our Lady before Tyn

I’ve heard it said that when you get back from a trip & someone asks how it was, you’ve got a small window of opportunity to answer about your journey. Before long, their thoughts move on to what’s in front of you rather than where you’ve been.

So according to that logic, I’ve got to talk about Prague quickly before I’ve lost your interest.

My band Old Braunfels had a lot of fun while we were in the Czech capital. We played a lot and laughed even more. New songs were worked on and devious plans were hatched. Plenty of that will be covered here in future missives.

As beautiful as the city was, it seemed like the best parts of the trip were the conversations we had while we were walking around. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need for an infusion of creativity.

I’d hoped to learn a bit more Czech while I was there, but managing ‘excuse me‘ and ‘thank you‘ was about all I could master.

What else do I wish I could say in Czech?

Yeah, what’s up with all the 1 Krone coins? They’re like pennies in the US or Euro cents…no matter how hard I tried to spend them, they seemed to constantly be coming back at me. I might’ve even had a nightmare about the damned things.

We also saw a lot about Beer Spas…what on earth is that? Is it a spa where they serve beer? The photos made it look like the guests were bathing in beer. Is that a thing? Not that I bothered to find out. Was just rather curious.

This hopefully won’t be my only blogpost about Prague. More to come, I’m sure.

 

 

Tanz in den August

  
On the last night of April, there’s a tradition here that you stay up late & dance your way into the First of May. It’s something that apparently originated in medieval times or perhaps even farther back in history. What frivolity – all in the name of welcoming everybody to the month of May. Or May to everyone. 

So, I’ve been joking about dancing into August, hence the title of this post (Tanz in den August). Why the hell not?

We had a Blue Moon last night, and it was something special. What is that, anyway? When there are two full moons in a single month, the second is called the Blue Moon. A night of wonder, if you believe the hype. 

Onto a bit of news, since I’ve not been keeping things current here. 

This time last year, the band was in Berlin for a week. We had a different name, which shall go unmentioned, and fewer songs. This time we’re headed to Prague & hopefully I’ll be able to take the time to use this space to document our Czech shenanigans. 

Now we have a name everyone seems to like – we are Old Braunfels – and we’re getting into all sorts of trouble. If you see us in your town, you should really come check it out. A few dozen pleasantly surprised Bavarians can’t be all wrong in recommending us. 

Oh, we’ve also got a new member who sings quite beautifully & plays a mean violin. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. She’s called Violetta, and here she is with our favourite Jarrod:

  
Stay tuned. This is gonna be fun.