Tuesday, August 10, 2004

BloG #20: Open Road - Part Deux II

  • Scroll down to see the BloG #20 Indie Artist Pick

  • In continuing this story from BloG #19 concerning the 1979 Open Road tour, we will start where we left off.

    Having not witnessed the terrible accident on the hill above a small town named Gays Mills, Wisconsin with my own eyes, I cannot comment firsthand about what took place. However, that evening, I saw a young girl in extreme pain get picked up & taken home from the trip by her parents and it made us all very sad. I wrote to her several weeks later & learned she slowly recovered from her awful wounds. Needless to say, we all had a new respect for the unknown road which lie ahead.

    The over-riding theme to this trip seemed to be the rain. Looking back in my 25 year old memories, I keep visualizing wet pavement and rain ponchos everywhere.

    We eventually crossed the Mississippi River and marvelled at the locks and barges on the river. Our next stay was in Lansing, Iowa. My most prominent memory of this town unfortunately revolves around the numerous attacking mosquitoes! There was no relief!!

    Riding northward the next day, I gained my first exposure to a new song on the radio - 'My Sharona' by The Knack. A fellow rider kept singing the bass line over & over & over (DanananaNa Na Na Na Na Na naNanananana MY SharoNA!) when we were riding through Brownsville, Minnesota. I finally asked "what IS that you're singing?" His reply, "You've GOT to be kidding! You haven't heard My Sharona? Where've you been???" Of course, 10 minutes later, I could hear it blaring from the nearest radio!

    We then crossed back over the Mississippi & got literally drenched coming into LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Fortunately, our itinerary included a stop at a Perkins where we could wring ourselves out.

    The next highlight came with our trek down the Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail. This was an experience like none other! The 32 mile trail on an old railroad bed took us through 3 tunnels, including one that is 3/4 of a mile long! Flashlights came in handy & walking was an highly desireable option here!

    The Wisconsin Dells loomed large for everyone. We all hosed each other down in a serious water fight and then loaded up our bodies into the back of the U-Haul trailer for a ride out to The Tommy Bartlett Water Show for an evening of water-skiing and magical entertainment.

    Riding on The Merrimac Ferry across the Wisconsin River between Sauk and Columbia counties was a special treat. This was, and I believe, still is Wisconsin's only FREE ferry service.

    A revelation came to this 17 year old rider during one of the long days sitting on a bike saddle. My riding group included one African-American rider named Anthony. Anthony, who had a slight tendency to be humorous at times, started complaining about a sunburn. Well, this young white boy from Iowa moved forward with his base instinct and began to laugh. Having only met 3 African-Americans (Anthony being #3) up to this point, I had no idea whether this could be a reality. Guess what!.....

    Finally, the end of the trip was near & one of my greatest physical achievements came into being.

    To be continued...


    JavaMusiK - Piano-Based Instrumentals from Western Slope, CO

  • A prominent feature of The JavaMusiK BloG has been to highlight an independent artist who we feel deserves our recommended attention.

  • BloG #20's Indie Artist Pick is Lana J Albert - "Capturing Life's Emotions in Music" from Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Lana J Albert: "Bringing you closer to the journey to the inside of your soul and back again..."

    Sit back and enjoy a great journey into the depths of emotion and passion with Lana's music. There are no limits, no barriers, and no apologies for the immense intensity you will encounter. Lana's music runs the gambit of ambient, smooth jazz, new age, and fusion.

  • Occasionally, you bump into something really special which captures your attention and won't let go. If you're lucky, that something might happen to be in a field which you are somehow associated with. Today, I had the blessed misfortune of bumping into Lana. In return for a favor she had offered, I decided to play her page and see who this kind person was.

    Boy, was I in for a royal treat! The brilliance shone through from beginning to end. I could not step away through the whole session. I was afraid I might miss something! Rarely, do I feel the immediate satisfaction from having every emotion captured by an artist. Lana's music left no stone unturned. In conclusion, my personal note to Lana is: Consider me your newest fan!

  • We recommend giving the whole of Lana's page a listen. But, you might start with Trial By Fire featuring the brilliant guitars of Scott Landers and Lana's collab featuring guitar by Mark Skipper of Damien Project, My Epitaph (2004).

    Congratulations Lana!


  • Lana J Albert - "Capturing Life's Emotions in Music" from Roseville, MN.

  • If you are an artist or band who would like to be listed and featured in The JavaMusiK BloG, e-mail us and we will get you listed. All Featured Artist Picks are chosen from FriendZ of JavaMusiK.
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