Richard Bennett
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Contrary Cocktail

Moderne Shellac, 2015

Contrary Cocktail

A hypnotic blend of rhythms, landscapes, tones, colors, styles and moods, with melodies leading the way to certain places that only songs without words can go.

-- Pieta Brown, 2015

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Welcome back.  I’ve been out of pocket and off line for several days due to leaving my computer in a dressing room back in Barolo, Italy.  One of our drivers graciously made a side trip back to retrieve it, which was appreciated more than I can say.  I got it back yesterday but the internet in our hotel is nearly non-functional.  As you can imagine the backlog of e-mails is staggering and I’ll try to catch up with them over the next few days.  It took several hours, really, to download them given the poor internet service here.

 

In 50 words or less, here’s a summary of the last three gigs: we’ve played shows in the wine country of Barolo on the 20th to a record attendance for that venue of 9,600, Rome on the 21st and Lucca on the 22nd.  I won’t go into detail about those days except to say they were all outdoor, hot and wonderful gigs.

 

We decamped Roma the morning of the 23rd and flew to Pau in the French Pyrenees.  From there it was a spectacular 2 hour plus drive through dozens of villages and hamlets around, through and over the gorgeous Pyrenees mountains arriving at last in Tramacastilla De Tena, Spain.  Apart from the aforementioned internet, this chalet-hotel we’re staying in is delightful.

 

In a nutshell that brings us to our show in Lanuza on the 24th.  I threw open the curtains to the towering peaks of the mountains, ordered a cafe con leche and tried unsuccessfully to get online.  Nada.  I went downstairs to the lobby-lounge thinking it might be better there.  Nope.  Strange thing is, it shows you being online but you’re not.  Everyone’s in the same boat.  What I realised over the last four or five days being without this computer is how tethered I’ve become to it, all the time thinking of myself as not being one of those people.  It’s been greatly liberating not being tied to e-mail or anything else.  That said I have a whole load of stuff to deal with now, most of which will be taken care of with the delete button.

 

My phone rang around noon, Tim asking if I’d be interested in a car ride and a walk.  With Tim at the wheel, Peter, Mark, Glenn and I rode through the switchback hairpin turns of the rugged, shear mountains to a hamlet called Panticosa, with a cascading waterfall, lake and hiking trails.  The air was cool and clean and the water was the same.  I cupped my hands and drank from spill down of the falls…pure and delicious.  After wandering awhile we made our way to an outdoor cafe for coffees and tortillas, that tasty Spanish pie of potatoes and eggs.  On our way back to the hotel we stopped at an overlook and watched a hawk ride the thermals for 20 minutes.  With the exception of Tim who has hiked the Pyrenees with his son Sam, this is the first time for most of us in these spectacular mountains and it is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking places I’ve ever been.

 

Just arrived at the gig where the internet is stable so I think I’ll post this while I can with more to follow, hopefully, tomorrow.

 

So long,

 

 

Richard