Before we move on to Branson/Missouri I must
tell you about something I forgot to mention. I bet a lot
of people who attended Fan Fair did not know that there was
another Festival on at the same time. We only found out because
friends of ours where playing at it. Don & Annie Kidwell
from Bakersfield/CA invited us to come along to the Nashville
Municipal Auditorium, where the Independent Musicfest
was held between June 14th and 16th. This was probably the
best kept secret as we didn't see any advertising for it anywhere!
We decided to go along and as the Municipal Auditorium is
on the route the shuttle buses where taking, we thought: 'Good,
we can get off there!' Not so! The buses where going past
it alright - but weren't allowed to stop! We couldn't believe
Anyway, we decided there was nothing else for it, but to walk
it! Quite a distance from the hotel we were at, especially
with bad legs! The event was in a huge hall, and unfortunately
it was not very busy! Of course we where not surprised at
that with the lack of advertising, but we where surprised
at the quality of the acts which appeared there. Not all where
strictly Country, but all entertained and where very good!
Of course we had gone firstly to see (..and meet after only
exchanging e-mails for a couple of years!) Don and Annie Kidwell
and their band. What a great set they played, their CDs really
don't do them justice.
Another band which really caught our attention was the Will
Triplett Band from Alaska. All their songs had been written
by Will and there was some really good stuff there. Especially
'Highway Nights And Interstate Days', which is already riding
high in the US charts. Listen out for that name, I am sure
we will hear a lot more about this talented and very nice
guy in the future.
There will be another Independent Musicfest next year, so
if you are heading to Fan Fair, why not find out about it
and go and see for yourself!
Now that I have told you about that we can go back to our
schedule. We finished in the last Mag. that we were heading
to Branson/Missouri. To us it feels like going home these
days, this was our 4th time courtesy of 'American & Country
After a 10 hour drive which took us through Kentucky and past
the Mississippi river we finally got into Missouri. Springfield
first and then down the brand new Highway 65 to Branson. This
was the first time we experienced it without any major road
works, what a difference! It took them 6 years to finish blasting
the wide road through the mountains and rocks, well worth
We arrived at our basic, but very comfortable hotel, unpacked,
showered and went straight back out to BT Bones for dinner.
This is where we met up with the rest of the group and had
a very pleasant evening!
Next day it was the sight seeing tour on the 'Ducks', which
are amphi..... and its the most fun way to see everything.
It takes you round Branson, to the Dam, right up into the
mountains and then down on to Lake Taneycomo! The Capt'n on
these vehicles are great comedians and make the trip very
worthwhile and enjoyable. At the end you even get a certificate,
much appreciated by the 'kid' in everyone!!
the evening it was off to the Moe Bandy Show. Moe is quite
settled in his new theatre now and his show is as polished
and funny as ever.At the break and at the end of the show
he makes a point to come and say 'Hello' to everyone who comes
to see him, a nice gesture and well appreciated by his many
Then it was off to 'Charlie's' for a night cup! Charlie's
is the local steakhouse and a very comfortable pub. Head barman
Francois from France makes everyone welcome and this establishment
has been our 'local' for a couple of years now. The rest of
the group quickly made it their 'local' as well, especially
after owner Charlie and his wife Nancy made the point of being
there to welcome everyone too. Charlie is a real nice guy,
mad on fishing with a good few stories to tell. Its his wish
to one day come to Scotland, we hope so!
Next day we had a good rest, enjoyed the sunshine and shops
before setting out for the Pierce Arrow Show. The first time
we saw this show was 4 years ago in one of the smaller theatres,
now they have progressed and are probably one of the best
shows in Branson. They have moved to a big theatre, which
was very busy. As most shows they have a comedian, but this
one is something else. His name is Paul Harris, and I am sure
he will not stay there. He is a very funny, handsome young
man and also a great singer and musician. Some day he will
be snapped up and will become a very big name. (You read it
to prove how popular this show is, even Charly Pride came
to see the show. He was there on a night out and happily posed
Next day everyone did their own thing until night time, when
it was time for 'Country Tonite', a very fast and glamorous
Country show. The time just flew in, one Country song new
& old after the other. I am sure each artist was good
enough to have a CD in the charts, very talented indeed. The
youngest performer was around 10, you could see how much she
was enjoying herself with proud Mum watching in the wings.
After that it was back to 'Charlie's', this time for a meal
Next night it was to the 'Legends in Concert'. We had looked
forward to this show, but it was probably the first time that
we were disappointed. The tribute artists to Garth Brooks,
the Blues Brothers, Britney Spiers, Elvis Presley and a couple
more really weren't up to much. We found it a pretty boring
Next morning first thing we where off to the 'Silver Dollar
City Park'. Its a park with shops, shows, rides and attractions
which explain how things where done 100 years ago. All the
staff dress as they would have then, very nice and colourful.
Some in the group weren't too keen on the park, mostly because
the rides weren't scary enough and not enough of them. But
we were looking for a nice relaxing day out with lots to see
and the chance to go back in history a bit, so we really enjoyed
ourselves. But it was hot, and if you are not too good at
the walking, think twice. Its very hilly and can be quite
exhausting to get round. We loved it!
after that it was the end of the tour for most, some people
went back to England and Jean & Tracey went back to Scotland.
We were lucky enough to stay on a couple more days courtesy
of Bill Lynn and we took our chance to have a good rest, even
read a book and generally lazed about in the sunshine.
During those last couple of days we saw the worst thunder
storm and rain we had ever seen, even the sight-seeing helicopters,
who where stationed across the hotel from us, where put into
their sheds in case they got blown away! Weather warnings
where on the TV and it was quite scary, but exciting just
the same! A couple of hours later the sun was shining again
just as if nothing had happened!
One more drink at Charlie's, then it was off for home! What
a great holiday it was!