España, por favor
That was a fun few days. Paella, carajillo, tortillas, pulpo, vino tinto, cerveza, the Prado Museum, tapas, pinchos, Bilbao, Madrid, Riaza - and Laura Cantrell.
Spain never disappoints. And neither does Laura. All those years after the release of Not The Tremblin' Kind, a certain heady feeling returned, watching NY's 'Princesa Del Country' break new ground and win new corazones. Great to play stuff from the recent albums alongside "The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter", "Two Seconds" and "Queen Of The Coast". Sure felt like old times.
On Tuesday we caught up over a meal near Puerto Del Sol.
On Wednesday we picked up guitar hero Lyle Brewer and bass hero Jordan Caress (LC's fellow Americans also visiting Spain for the first time) and drove up to Bilbao for a lovely show.
Turns out Lyle can invoke the spirits of Scotty Moore, Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, while Jordan can play bass, sing harmony and cue changes for rusty drummers mid set like a demon.
On Thursday I accompanied Laura to RTVE's Radio 3 in Madrid for Como Lo Oyes; lovely chat and session with music nut Santiago Alcanda. Hear it here.
Then we had some free time in Madrid. I think I last visited The Prado was with Michael Shelley on a Cheeky Monkey tour of Spain (!) many years ago. This time around there was a temporary Picasso exhibition.
Goya's black paintings were also a highlight.
Friday we drove to Riaza for soundcheck in a football park for the Huercasa festival. Then we went into the old town centre. 40 degrees in the afternoon. Deserted play parks. Houses with the shutters pulled down. No one on the streets. I was waiting for a doleful Mission bell to sound. Clint Eastwood could have popped up on a roof waiting for the baddies to attack. But he never.
Cafe Con Leche at La Fonda and then back to the gig with The Old 97s opening for Lady Cantrell. Great audience. Great fun. Queues for Laura to sign merch...It wasn't hard to feel the love.
And here's a wee clip...
Friday - Paella at La Casa Del Abeulo and a last cafe con leche before jumping in a taxi to the airport.
There are worse jobs. Let's do it again sometime.