Saturday, August 16, 2014

Minnesota Here We Come!

Georgia in the car on the way to Weiser
     A week from today we are on our way for a weekend in Minnesota.  Georgia is going to compete in the Minnesota state fiddle contest and Quin will compete in the fe-fi-fo contest (fiddle tunes played on instruments other than the fiddle).  Some of you might know that Georgia currently  holds the title for Illinois and Wisconsin state champ.   Georgia practices about 4 hours  a day, sometimes more.  Doing these contests is a huge part of Georgia's life, as well as a large part of my own, and my little sisters life. After the 30 hour drive to Idaho this past June, the drive to Minnesota will feel like no time in the car at all

     People might think following my little sister to fiddle contests would get boring on my end of things, but it never does.  For one thing, I love travelling, and for another, the people I am with are the best people I know.  Our "team" that we take with to contests consist of Mom, Georgia, Quin, Dad, Shawn, me, and sometimes Uncle Brian.   Georgia's endless amounts of positive energy and funny dances in the car never cease to keep me entertained.  If its not Georgia, its Quin.  They get so goofy from the long car rides; probably 
has something to do with all of us breathing so much of the same oxygen in the car, gets to their brains I think.

Shawn in his rain suit in Idaho
We keep it pretty interesting
Massage train watching the competition
Georgia before competing in Weiser
Jamming in Weiser
     Honestly though, there is usually jamming going on and other things to keep me busy.  Plus I can't even try to relax if my sister is competing, it really consumes me sometimes.  My family follows contest fiddling the way most family's follow football.  Watching my little sister go from a squeaky 6 year old playing on a monkey size fiddle to the beautiful, talented, committed, fiddler she is now puts me to tears sometimes when I watch her compete.  Georgia works hard practicing everyday for hours at a time.  Minnesota is tough competition but Georgia is prepared and I believe she will play her best. 

       This trip to Minnesota is especially exiting for me since after our first day in Minnesota we are picking up someone very special to me from the airport.  Then after Georgia competes, whatever happens, we are headed to Wisconsin for a few days of jamming and practicing for upcoming shows. The next few shows at the end of the month are going to be so fun!  Hope to see you there!


Aug 29th, 7:00
Stage Left Cafe 
125 E Van Buren St, Woodstock, IL

August 30th, 2-5:00
Walworth County Fair
Elkhorn, WI

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How it all Began

How it all Began

It all started back in 2010 when the economy tanked, this wasn't an easy time, however I am grateful for it, if it wasn't for such a crummy economy then there probably would't be a Georgia Rae Family Band.  Because there wasn't really money left at the end of the month for my little sister Georgia's fiddle lessons my mom got Georgia together a list of songs and called up some nursing homes.  My mom and Georgia started off playing one or two shows a month for about $25-50 to pay the fiddle teacher.  My mom had seen Georgia work so hard with such a good attitude in the past years and didn't want Georgia to have to give up something she loved doing.  Seeing mom and Georgia enjoying themselves Quin and I started tagging along.  Quin picked up the spoons and mandolin and I became the official lead singer, on one condition made by my mom:  "no Taylor Swift".  By Valentines Day in 2011 we played our first nursing home gig as "The Georgia Rae Family Band".

First GRFB promo pics (I was 15, Quin was 11, Georgia was 12)

By that summer we had a few more lessons and instrument expenses to pay for.  My mom had lined up some shows in the south west Wisconsin area, I believe it was about 27 shows in 2 weeks, sometimes three shows a day.  It just so happened that my uncle was in town for those 2 weeks and played bass for us.  

We called the two weeks our "geriatric tour"... I didn't know what that meant, and thought that sounded really cool, so to be honest I got back to school and told everyone I had gone on a geriatric tour.  Which I find kind of funny now.  To be completely honest though, that was 2 of the best weeks of my life.  Those 2 weeks brought me close with my sisters, brought me out of my shell, and provided me with memories I hope I will never forget.

My uncle Joey gave us what we like to call "rock star lessons".  Teaching us a bit of stage presence, and what to say in between songs.  We practiced in the basement for hours every day, every morning it was eat, practice, preform, and we all loved it.

Me and my sisters with my uncle Joey

I remember at the end of the two weeks when we got up early to leave for our last 2 shows on our way home. I got to have ice cream for breakfast.  Our uncle and my mom talked to us about how important it was that we keep practicing as much as we had been if we wanted to keep doing this.  

This is from the last day of tour... rainbows are kind of good luck for us :)

So, that's it, that's how it started, it all grew from a tanked economy, my resourceful mom and two amazing weeks.
And if I haven't said this before:  Thanks mom, for growing our family a blessing from a seed of hardship, we love you.