Galena, Lancaster, Chicago, St. Louis!

Well friends, it’s been another two weeks since last we caught up together, and seriously, what a two weeks it’s been!  So much awesome has occurred that I’ve had Chooch pinch me daily to make sure we’re not just dreaming this together in a sensory deprivation chamber on the set of the last “Matrix” movie.   In short, “Whoa, Neo.  Whoa.”

Hooey doggies in a blanket, let’s get started, shall we?  How about Galena, IL.?  Okay then.

Quit horsin’ around and get on with it!

Galena is a quaint little burg with serious charm.  I believe some wealthierish (distant relations of the Welsh) Chicagoans have been calling it their home away from home since the 1850s.  It’s little wonder why!

We stumbled upon Rootbeer Revelry downtown.  Lady oh lady was this place like some valhalla on earth.

Disco inferno! With Erica Wulff

Next day we went to Madison for an interview/performance on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Simply Folk” show with Stephanie Elkins.

Early morning music in Madison!

Back to the Lancaster Barn!  Love this place (can you tell?)!

The antithesis of excruciating pain here, folks.
Look at those perty mics! Look at that perty laydeedeedee!

Saturday afternoon launched the Cloud King in a Chicago-like direction.  We had a great show at The Musical Offering in Evanston, IL, followed by some recording on Andrew Calhoun’s upcoming album in Glen Ellyn.  Tuesday, we caught the 8:30am Metra train into downtown Chicago for a wonderful behind-the-scenes tour of The Field Museum with Dr. Larry Heaney.

First stop was the ornithology department of research upstairs.  Bird bones!

Where the real magic of taxidermy happens. More like pungently artistic sorcery.

How to get clean bones in a hurry, you might be asking yourself.  Fair enough.  Dermatids!  Beetle colonies of hyper-efficient carrion-consumption.

Ah, the sweet smell of rotting flesh at 9:30 in the mornin’…

Larry brought us into the catalog room where every species of animal since the beginning of the museum has been meticulously entered upon reception.  120 years worth, to be exact.

“Here we have the most amazing collection of handwriting known to humankind.”

Fruit-bats.  Kinda like Flying Foxes.  A three-pound mammal with wings.

Moth-balls and a magnificent smile.

OK already, we get it.  You had a good time.  Can we yet?

I said “Enough already.”
The rest of the museum was pretty cool too, I guess… (!!!)

We gotta get outta here. Jenn and I walked the city streets until dusk.

Too cool for the school of rock.

And off we went.  To St. Louis, and the City Museum!  Could the week possibly get any better?!?  No, I think not.

The prison of your mind…on moderate hallucinogens.
Whale whale whale, what have we here…

Rooftop beauty at its finest.

Gorgeosity. That’sa happy leetie right there.
Slip slidin’ away…
Is there even such a thing as the light side of the corn dog?

Top of the world.

Climbing and climbing…there’s no ceiling here.
Adults compete with the kids for “Most fun had” award here…

Crikey.  We need to wrap this up soon, huh?

In summary, this is the Waterbug showcase room at Folk Alliance Regional Midwest this year.  This is power group here.  No kidding.  We LOVE this crew to pieces, but not quite to death.  In fact, please, no one die, ever.

Pictured here, from left to right, top row first: Basho Parks, Steven Bacon, Jenn Rawling, Kari Bedford, Ben Bedford. Bottom row: Casey Calhoun, Andrew Calhoun, Louis Ledford. Photo courtesy of the lovely and fantastic Heather Styka!

Cleveland, New York, Maine, hear the rumble of our imminent approach (and stomachs)!!