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Cow Bop embarking on another summer Route 66 tour April 17, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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Western swing and jazz band Cow Bop, along with several other guest artists and bands, will go on another Route 66 tour this summer, according to a news release from Cow Bop guitarist Bruce Forman.

This time, the World’s First Linear Music Festival on July 25 to Aug. 9 will be sponsored by Rifftime, a new community website.

There will be music all along the Mother Road, sharing pictures, stories and streaming video on the web through one coordinated website: route66.rifftime.com

“This is an exciting way to share my experiences and love of Route 66 with other artists and to revive the tradition of traveling and interacting with new people. Now the internet has made it possible to share all this with the world!” says Forman. “Bands will play in clubs, restaurants, bars, at iconic roadside stops and along the street, even jamming with others that are making this trip.  Just like the generations of people who have made the trip searching for something new, we are creating another way to share our music and to build a more vibrant community.”

An archive of Cow Bop’s three earlier Route 66 tours can be found here. Acts that want to take part during the tour are encouraged to sign up at the dedicated Rifftime site.

Here’s one of Cow Bop’s performances east of Albuquerque during a previous Route 66 tour.

More about that Diet Mountain Dew commercial April 16, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Television.
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Longtime readers of this site probably have seen a muddy-looking but still-invigorating Diet Mountain Dew commercial featuring an altered version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66″ by John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.

A high-quality version of the ad recently was uploaded by the AICP Show, which honors art and technique for those working the advertising world. Because the footage here is so much better, it becomes apparent Route 66 shield pops up everywhere and is a lot more noticeable.

1997_MountainDew_Route66.mov from AICP SHOW on Vimeo.

According to AICP’s archives, the Diet Mountain Dew commercial was made in 1997 by HKM Productions for the BBDO New York agency. The director was Michael Karbelnikoff, who still is doing commercials and the occasional feature film, including “Mobsters.” The AICP Show honored the ad that year for production design.

According to the archives, there was a 60-second version of the ad that I still haven’t seen. And, according to my Shazam app, Lydon’s recording of “Route 66″ is not available commercially.

“4th of July” April 11, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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This music video for Denmark singer-songwriter Esben Kronborg was shot in a variety of places in the United States last month, including Route 66.

If you look closely, you’ll see the historic railroad depot in Kingman, Ariz.

Kronborg may be Dutch, but the song he wrote is an American tale — one you’d probably hear from John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen after writing during a dark night of the soul.

Sometimes the non-Americans know America better than Americans.

Kronborg’s song can be downloaded here from iTunes or here from Amazon.

Cruising with Asleep at the Wheel April 7, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Lord knows we’ve posted a lot of performances by western swing band Asleep At the Wheel on this site.

But this is a well-produced video: The band playing “Route 66″ at Billy Bob’s Texas, the famous club in Fort Worth.

The band always performs Bobby Troup’s “Route 66″ at every show, and bandleader Ray Benson says it’s his favorite song.

Asleep At the Wheel also embarked on a tour of major Route 66 cities. And one of his band members produced two CDs inspired by Route 66, “Songs of Route 66″ and “More Songs of Route 66.”

And next year, Asleep At the Wheel will mark its 45th anniversary. Incredible run.

(Image of Asleep At the Wheel by giovanni via Flickr)

“Automatic” March 29, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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This new video by Miranda Lambert came over my feed. I suspect a few Route 66ers will relate to its message — not that I agree with everything in it:

I also am one of the few who learned to drive in a manual-transmission grain truck.

The glimpse in the video of an Airstream trailer brought a smile. Lambert’s always had a thing for those.

(Image of Miranda Lambert by Larry Darling via Flickr)

A “Holiday” in California March 23, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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For folks in America who are still languishing in the clutches of a harsh winter, maybe this video by Danielle Dumont about the Golden State — with lots of Route 66 content — will make your day a bit warmer. Or induce you to take a vacation.

California 2012 from Danielle Dumont on Vimeo.

Music is “Holiday” by Weezer (the song is available as a $1.29 download here).

(A sunset image of the Santa Monica Pier sign by Jeremy Thompson via Flickr)

Tucumcari expands rockabilly festival March 12, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music.
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The Route 66 town of Tucumcari, N.M., will feature a greatly expanded Rockabilly on the Route festival on June 5-8, according to a news release from the organizers.

According to an email from co-producer Simon Cantlon:

With a whopping 18 bands from across the country, Colombia and Norway, classic car show, Route 66 cruise, burn-out, burlesque show, pin-up contest, parade, bowling, classic movies, and pool party, this event is the largest of its kind in the state and on The Mother Road.

In 2013, in the event’s inaugural year, Rockabilly on the Route drew in an approximate 1,000 attendees from the local area, state, and from as far away as Oregon, Colorado, Texas and Michigan, to name a few, surpassing the all expectations. We are expecting to easily double that for 2014.

Last year, the festival featured nine bands, including rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson. This year, the festival will have 18 bands. The headliner this year is Justin Shandor, a Graceland-endorsed Elvis Presley impersonator. A highlight reel:

More from the press release about the festival:

“I feel that this event has a huge tourism and economical impact on Tucumcari, as well as the state of New Mexico,” says Jessica Elebario, former Convention Center director. “Rockabilly has a huge following around the world and this is our way to bring them to the state of New Mexico via historic Route 66.”

The event is endorsed by Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce and City Commission, and the New Mexico Department of Tourism.

Tickets for the weekend are as low as $25 if you buy now. The full schedule can be downloaded here.

(Rockabilly logo by tikilab via Flickr)

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