On the Road - 32 Days in - The West Coast

After our must needed rest in Hide River Oregon, we headed to the great city of Portland, Oregon. We were playing another show with our buddies and and and from Portland. I really can't say enough good things about these guys. Great band; awesome guys. I Really hope we can play again with them soon. We played at Bunk Bar. A happening spot, known for good music and good sandwiches. What more do you need?

After Portland it was time to start our descent into California. We made sure to spend plenty of time on the west coast this tour; spending 10 days playing shows in California alone. First on the list was Sacramento. We pulled in late the night before and checked out the neighborhood (which means "go to a bar") and breathed in our fist batch of California air. 

Welcome to California - Keith in Sacramento, CA

We played at Old Ironsides, a fun neighborhood bar that has been around for the better part of a century and will probably be there long after we're gone. On the bill were  2 great bands, one of which

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On the road - 20 days in

You'll be pleased to know we survived our trifecta of marathon drives from Lincoln, NE to Denver CO, to Denver CO, to Boise ID. Thanks to Marc, (our new addition on the road) our driver, roadie, tour-manager-in-training, he rotated in on some grueling drives for us.

Boise was a really nice city. You never know what to expect being that far from home but we had a little time to stroll around downtown and take in the sites and rather enjoyed ourselves. Our show at the Red Room was really fun. The bar reminded me of some of the places we play in Boston, like Great Scott; a friendly neighborhood spot with PBR tall boys and a quality lineup of music each night.

the WANDAS Live at The Red Room - Boise, ID

We had to leave Boise, ID right when the night was over as we had a 9 hour drive

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On the Road - 2 Weeks in

It's been a whirlwind of a couple months. With the release of our new album and prepping for 2+ months on the road it's hard to find time in the day to do anything; before you know it you've played 14 gigs in a row and are in the middle of Idaho. This is our most ambitious tour yet. We're playing almost 50 shows in under 10 weeks across 15,000 miles of the U.S.

In the last 2 weeks we've had one day off without a show, but made up for it on one day when we played 3 full

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theWANDAS partner with Lands' End Canvas for USA Tour!

We're pleased to announce that for our 2011 Fall U.S. Tour, we've partnered with Lands' End Canvas. You may be asking, "What does this mean?". Well, the short answer is that Lands' End Canvas will be helping us with our tour support budget and providing us with a new wardrobe in exchange we'll be providing them some concert footage and other content for their website.

The long story is that we're an independent band who has never been under the direction or support of a record label. All of the albums we've created and tours we've gone on have been funded by us or directly by our fans. Our producer, booking agent, publicist, etc all work directly with us; as opposed to being hired by a record label. It's a very rewarding experience to

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SXSW Music Festival - 2011 - Recap (LONG!)

Where do I begin? I think the most logical place is to start at South By Southwest 2010, last year. We had just come off of almost a full year of touring  the U.S. on New Wave Blues. We had played the songs inside and out at nearly 200 shows and came into SXSW expecting nothing except that we could play our set blindfolded and hanging upside down at this point. SXSW 2010 was a huge success for us. Having the opportunity to perform for industry pros across the world and reuniting with friends we'd made around the country touring; you couldn't ask for a better time. Oh yeah, the free beer wasn't too shabby either.

Fast forward 1 full year later. We had spent the last 12 months writing & recording our new album. The timeline was so tight that we actually picked up our masters of the new album from our producer Patrick Krief in Austin,TX because he was in town with his band The Dears

Hello Austin! Waller St and 4th St. We're your new RV neighbors for 8 days

With a brand new arsenal of songs never performed live yet, we were back in Austin with the exact opposite situation we had last year. We knew everything to expect in terms of

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Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2011 Recap

We were thrilled to be invited to perform at CMW in Toronto Ontario this year. Canadian Music Week takes place the week leading up to SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX. It's a good way to catch up and coming acts from around the world, along with some legendary music figures mixed in.

We figured that since we'd be heading to 80 degree weather in  Austin, TX for a week, that we might as well head to Canada just to get in a little more cold weather; us New Englanders are gluttons for punishment.

We were in Toronto for about 3 days and got to perform at a famous Toronto venue called Cherry Cola's Rock N' Rolla Cabaret. The venue is laid out in a dark red velvet atmosphere and a cozy stage that has held many surprise shows by bigger acts like Them Crooked Vultures and The Eagles of Death Metal. 

Cherry Cola's Rock N' Rolla Cabaret: Toronto, Ontario

The combination of the smaller venue mixed with the CMW energy kept a line filled with music lovers and industry pros, out the door the whole night.

After being cooped up in the RV for a couple days of straight rain (yes our RV leaks when it rains) it was great to take the stage and play to an eager crowd and some old friends from the Toronto based band The Danger Bees.

Then it was off to Texas. Oh and we didn't have any trouble crossing the border either. I think it was a good omen 

Cheers,

Ross

Buffalo, NY & Rochester, NY

As we were winding down our tour we landed in another city we've never played before; Buffalo, NY. We arrived early to the gig so we took a stroll around town. The area was filled with cool shops and friendly locals. It reminded me a bit of Newport, RI and Cape Cod, MA. 

The venue we were playing at was a very nice restaurant / bar called Merge which regularly features live music & comedy shows. The venue was an intimate setting so we decided to try out a simplified version of our set using acoustic guitars and a modified percussion setup. 

The result was very fun for us. We got to really connect with the audience and play different versions of our songs for the first time. After the show we stayed local as we were heading to 90.5 WBER in Rochester, NY for a radio show the next day.

It was only fitting that the DJ who invited us to the station goes by the name Boston Erik; us Bostonians need to stick together! We had a great time hanging out at the station, answering questions and playing a couple acoustic tunes. Of course we can't forget our favorite part of doing any radio show; recording station ID voice overs. For this one we gave our best over the top Boston accent in honah of Bahstahn Erik.

We've got a big weekend coming up back in New England with us playing the 95.5 WBRU Summer Concert Series in Providence RI and then back in Boston at Tommy Doyle's.

Cheers,

Ross 

Kalamazoo, MI

After we enjoyed our extended stay in Chicago we began our trek back towards the east coast. First stop on the way, a quaint college town in Michigan that goes by the name of Kalamazoo.

The venue vibe was very fitting for the night; a mix of indie rock and old school country. The night featured a couple of bluegrass acts and ourselves. It's been great hearing some different styles of music on this tour. It was especially nice in Kalamazoo because we love country and bluegrass music.

 theWANDAS stage setup at The Strutt: Kalamazoo, MI

After the show we had our longest drive of the tour; a solid 8 hours to Buffalo, NY so we did a few hours at night and got up early today to continue on our way.

Tonight we are at Merge in Buffalo, NY. See you there!

Cheers,

Ross

Chicago, IL

On the road there are some cities you always know are going to a great time; Chicago is one of them. I don't know if it's the deep dish pizza, the breeze off of the Great Lakes, or the ghost of Muddy Waters but there is something in the air that always makes Chicago fun place to be. 

We had our show at the Elbo Room; the same place we performed last time we were in town. The Elbo Room really is a fun place to play. It's two floors of music with the rock club in the basement. It has an excellent vibe with amazing sound, lights, and of course the quintessential rock n roll product; the fog machine.

The night couldn't have been more fun. We had a mix of new fans, old friends, and even one of our favorite Boston music reporters; Hilary Hughes was in town and at the show. I think setting the record for most distance traveled by a non-family member for our shows; Boston, Austin, and now Chicago.

theWANDAS at The Elbo Room: Chicago, IL. Photo Credit: Hilary Hughes

We had a whirlwind of a time after the show traveling through the city with a pack of people made up of performers, friends, and fans who gathered throughout the course of the evening. We ended up closing down some hole in the wall pub that had to be packed 2 times over capacity; followed by diner-breakfast and briskly walking back to the RV in order get to bed before the sun comes up and turns the RV into a sauna.

Luckily we always seem to schedule a day off in Chicago to recuperate and enjoy the city. Now I'm off to hit up our favorite taco joint in the country for the 3rd time this trip.

Cheers,

Ross

Cincinnati, OH & Indianapolis, IN

Prior to touring my knowledge of Cincinnati was limited to Pete Rose and the Cincinnati Reds. Well I can't say I've learned too much more about the city but I can say we had a good time and it was fun seeing a new place. One of the highlights was pulling up the RV right next to the club where there was an awesome record store. Record stores have been a dying breed for some time now; so it's always cool to find a new one, especially one that is embraced by the local community and still thriving. I knew it was a good sign when I walked in and the first CD's I saw were of artists who we played two of our favorite shows with: Justin Townes Earle (in Worcester, MA) and The Duhks (in Atlanta, GA). 

Brent picked up some tunes by Dylan, The Pink Fairies, and Lou Reed. Albeit it was Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music which was purchased primarily for comedic purposes to annoy us while we were driving in the RV. The show was in a dingy rock and roll tavern; needless to say we felt right at home. Keith caught up with an old friend who has since moved to the midwest and a good time was had by all.

Two acts theWANDAS have played with 1,000 miles apart; together at the record store. Justin Townes Earle & The Duhks

Next up was the Vollrath Tavern in Indianapolis, IN. Last U.S. tour this was our second to last stop and by the time we finished up I was so burnt out that I don't think I ever got to write about our time in Indy. The bar we played at is famous for being one of John Dillinger's hangouts/underground getaways from the police during his heyday. The owner gave us a tour of the basement (which the locals say is haunted) and it did not disappoint in it's creepiness. Getting back to last tour; the bar had completely cleared out towards the end of the night when a group of people came into the bar. Keith and Brent decided to put on a private acoustic show for them; seeing they missed the night's earlier festivities. We ended up keeping in touch and they came back to see the full band this time.

It's always fun to see familiar faces especially when you're on the road. It gives you a feeling of community; even when you're a long way from home. Adding to the mix was a good friend of mine from college who has since moved to Indy as well. Talk about a trooper; this guy donated blood right before the show, drank Narragansett beer with us all night and had to wake up at 6am for work; definitely a true UMASS alum.

The show was a blast. We shared the stage with some great local acts and another awesome band called Humdrum from St. Louis, MO.

Tonight we're headed to one of our favorite cities to play, Chicago, IL!

Cheers,

Ross

 

Dayton, OH

When we left Pennsylvania we had the day off heading into Ohio. We got word that touring bands get free admission into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so we decided to check it out. We also hung out with some friends we met last time we played Cleveland, so it was a great time all around.

We headed south of Cleveland to Dayton, OH; our first time in the city. We played at very cool neighborhood venue that specializes in live music, gourmet pizza, and craft beers. Needless to say we indulged in a little of everything.

The show went really well, we've been playing a handful of new songs this tour and they're really starting to gel. The local crowd was great. They were very receptive, enthusiastic and friendly. We will definitely be back to Dayton, OH.

Keith, Brent, & Will making new friends in Dayton, OH

Tonight we're heading to Cincinnati

Cheers,

Ross

Philadelphia, PA & Newark, DE

After we got some sweet relief from the heat via the Jersey shore, we made our way down to Philadelphia, PA. We played a fun little neighborhood bar where we got to see some old friends who came out to the show and some of the guys from the Philly-based band El Fuego stopped by as well. Philly never seems to disappoint.

Up next was our home away from home; Bank Shots in Newark Delaware. For those of you who have followed our tour blog may know that we first landed in Bank Shots by luck when a Pittsburgh show fell through on our first East Coast tour. The guys from the band, Drunk Unkle let us jump on their bill at Bank Shots and we have been best buds ever since. Now it's our 3rd time back and each time has been rowdier than the last.

Along with helping us out with sound and promoting the night for us the guys from Drunk Unkle also caught wind that it was Keith's birthday. In conjunction with an array of free shots and 2 birthday cakes the real surprise came at the end of our second set when the Delaware guys conspired with myself, Brent and Will to attack Keith with a barrage of silly string.

Keith blowing out his birthday candles on tour at Bank Shots in Newark, DE

It was definitely one of Keith's more memorable birthdays (maybe not for him thanks to the double shots) and one of our most eventful shows. We can't thank the guys from Delaware enough; they're just awesome all around. 

Keith getting covered in silly string on his birthday at Bank Shots in Newark, DE

We're making our way to Cleveland to visit some friends on our day off. I don't think I'll be wearing my Lebron jersey this trip!

Cheers,

Ross

Summer touring... Back On the road

It's hard to believe we're back on the road again already. After getting home from SXSW in Austin, TX at the beginning of April the last couple months just blew by. We had a jammed packed schedule in the Northeast which kept us busy.

Our tour got off to a bang playing to the hometown region in Providence, RI and Boston, MA. Being on the road really makes us appreciate the hometown fans more and more. It's great to be able to play to such a receptive and loyal audience. We really can't tell you how much we appreciate it.

After playing the Middle East in Boston, MA we played a 4th of July celebration held at Gillette Stadium. Not only was the show held on a beautiful afternoon celebrating our Nation's birthday but it also set our own personal record for least time between back to back shows. We finished up in Boston around 3am and were up and ready to head to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA at 7am; rock n roll.

theWANDAS at Patriot Place @ Gillette Stadium. Foxboro, MA July 4th 2010

The next day we headed to New York City to play Pianos; a great bar in the Lower East Side. The show was extra fun because our buddies from The Highway got added on as a last minute edition to the bill; so it was great to play with them in NYC after sharing the stage with them, two days earlier in Boston.

Oh yeah, did I mention we're touring in the middle of a massive heat wave. Temperatures hit 107 degrees fahrenheit in NYC; a mere 100 degree difference from our last tour which brought us to New York at a balmy 7 degrees. Last time we had no heat, this time we have no AC.

Keith enjoying one of the cooler moments in NYC on the bus.

After NY we headed south into more heat, however at least we were heading to the Jersey Shore where we could get a bit of a breeze. We played a fun show with some great bands in Red Bank, NJ. Thanks again to Against The Tide for inviting us to play the evening.

We had the next day off so it was a no brainer where we were going; the beach! Luckily we had a friend in the Jersey Shore who invited us to her home where we could go swimming and enjoy some air conditioning. We even lucked out and landed free tickets to see Sting with the New York Philharmonic on our night off. It's great to have friends across the country!

Our view to the beach. Day off at the Jersey Shore

Tonight it's on to Philly. The temperature has dropped significantly. It's now an icy 90 degrees.

Cheers,

Ross

theWANDAS in The Boston Globe

How do you get a publication that is located 2 miles from your home to write about you? Travel 2,000 miles to Austin, TX!

theWANDAS being interviewed by The Boston Globe: SXSW 2010, Austin, TX. Photo Credit: Kyle Tancrell

We caught up with The Boston Globe down at SXSW at one of our shows. We snapped some photos and did a quick interview. Here's what the globe had to say about us. You can read the entire feature HERE

the Wandas also had a packed schedule, playing shows daily before loading up their 30-foot RV and heading north. The Wandas, whose sound is a dreamy lovechild of rock radio and your grandpa’s record collection, have spent most of 2009 and the early part of 2010 on the road. They have honed their set list down to a well-oiled, high-volume machine packed with 4/4 melodies and a ’50s rock feel. “Lose You’’ is an endearing moment in the live show of the Wandas, with singer Keith McEachern leaping from a croon to a howl in the matter of a measure. “The end of ‘Lose You’ tends to get the crowd going,’’ McEachern says. “That’s where I scream for five minutes. There are pictures on Facebook of me singing that song where you can practically see down into my stomach.’’

SXSW - Finished (and still alive!)

Hey Guys,

So we made it through South By Southwest in one piece. We had two more killer shows. The first being Electric Western and Teaparty Boston showcase. This was especially cool for us  because we were able to represent our awesome hometown publication; Teaparty Boston. Our last show (the 4th of the week) was the Red Gorilla / I love Music Gear showcase. This show meant a lot to us as well as we met the owner (Tony Love) of I Love Music Gear on the road at a show in Dallas, TX and have been in touch ever since. It's great when you can meet people on the road and maintain life long friendships.

theWANDAS at SXSW 2010. Electric Western and TeaParty Boston Showcase. Photo Credit: Laura Hinds

The great thing about SXSW is that so many of the bands we've played with around the country all migrate to Austin to perform. On one day I saw 5 bands we've played with from Georgia over the past year, alone. Never mind throughout the entire week: there are too many bands to mention!

We've got a busy schedule coming up for everyone back North. You can always check our Tour Page for up to date listings.

Thursday March 25th - Newport Blues Cafe' (Newport, RI)

Friday March 26th - Playoffs Pub  (Fall River, MA) WBRU Rock Hunt Semifinals 

Saturday March 27th - Tommy Doyle's (Cambridge, MA)

See you there!

Cheers,

Ross

 

 

 

SXSW - Halfway through

We're on day four of our sunny stay in beautiful Austin Texas. The music has been awesome, the weather is perfect and the parties are insane. We Pulled up the RV to a quaint little spot away from the action. Little did we know Levi's was setting up a huge outdoor stage and had Metric playing right in our backyard. Pretty awesome.

We've played 2 showcases so far and both have been great. The first one was a PureVolume event featuring free drinks for everyone in attendance. The lighting rig was setup and maintained by someone who does lights for Cirque du Soleil. Needless to say everything looked and sounded top notch. The venue can hold about 600 people and features acts throughout the week including Jakob Dylan and Neko Case. 

PureVolume Showcase - SXSW Austin, TX 2010. Photo Credit: Laura Hinds

The next night we played the Music Tech Mashup showcase at Rusty Spurs. It was a marathon day of music featuring 45 acts on 3 different stages. Both nights we played with our buddies from back home in McAlister drive. It's always fun to share the stage with hometown bands.

We've got 2 more shows to play and ton of other bands to see. It is Disney World for music lovers down here.

Cheers,

Ross

Gainesville, FL

After our great night in Jacksonville, FL we made our way to our last stop in our Floridian trifecta; The Backstage Lounge in Gainesville, FL. This place was Rock N' Roll at it's finest. $1 beers, a sound system that you could feel in your gut and a stage lighting kit that looks like it was taken from Pink Floyd's Pulse tour.

This night was also the last stop on our little East Coast run (it's funny how a month long tour seems little these days) before we head to South By Southwest in Austin, TX in a couple weeks. There's something about the last show of tour that brings out the best in you. A perfect mix of satisfaction and sorrow.

We met a great band from Orlando, FL called Buffalo Gun who put on an excellent show and gave us some good pointers if we want to hit Orlando the next time we come through Florida.

We drove a couple hours north last night and hit the road this morning. We're passing though from Virginia to Maryland as we speak and the temperature has already dropped 20 degrees since we left Florida. Oh well, Texas is right around the corner.

Thanks to everyone who made it out to see us on this run and to all of the great new people we met. You guys are the best.

See you soon.

Cheers,

Ross 

Jacksonville, FL

We departed Palm Beach and slowly made our way back up to northern Florida. We made sure to go as slow as possible to ensure our maximum exposure to the sun. We decided to splurge a bit and stay at a few campgrounds so we could hit the pool, play shuffle board and horseshoes with other retired couples. 

We passed through the Seminole Indian Casino then up to Orlando to visit some of Keith's family. After a few days of beautiful weather our streak had ended as it was raining when we pulled into Jacksonville. Not to worry it was just a passing storm.

We were looking forward to sharing the stage with our buddies in Longfellow Street. As expected, after our set they blew the crowd away. We had a little extra fun and decided to join them onstage for 2 of their songs and have a full on jam session.

As usual Jacksonville, FL never disappoints. We spent the night sharing stories and playing acoustic jams back at the Longfellow Street house into the early morning.

Looking forward Gainesville, FL tonight!

Cheers,

Ross

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

We've been hitting a lot of cities which we've played before, however we were on our way to a new destination; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; only the second place we've played in FL (Jacksonville being the first) and just eeking out San Antonio, TX for theWANDAS southern most gig.

When we pulled into the parking lot we were greeted by The Bastard Suns; one of the other bands we were playing with that night. It turns out that not only were they being friendly, but they also mistook us for Junkie Rush, the other band that was playing, who coincidentally has the same Gulfstream make and model RV that we have. After meeting the guys and getting some laughs about the mistaken identity we grabbed a bite to eat at one of the nearby eateries.

Brent's dad and step mom have been traveling throughout the east coast and FL for the last month as well and were going to be meeting us at our gig. The funny thing is that they have a near identical RV to us as well. So needless to say when they pulled into the parking lot they got a warm welcome from The Bastard Suns.

The show was great. We had a blast playing and socializing with all of the Boston/northern transplants. It seems everywhere we go there is always at least one, but this place was filled with them. We felt right at home, except for the fact that it was 75 degrees outside. Ah yes, now we're talking.

 

Cheers,

Ross