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TBills Blog: Judd Hoos a 7 piece band!?

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It felt a lot longer than two weeks since our last gig. We hadn’t taken a weekend off in five months! So it was nice to be able to relax and spend time with our families. All us Judd Hoos boys were happy to see each other. Even though three of us work at the same place during the week and Devin and I see each other every day. The Bills Bros hadn’t seen the guys since we left from our show in Haxton, CO. Can you say band reunion?

We loaded up the van and all piled in to get started on the long drive down to Lincoln, NE. It was a beautiful day for traveling. Halfway through the trip Devin and Shane were having a conversation about Shane’s band history. This turned into a Judd Hoos history lesson. Which ultimately turned into a 5 hour long discussion from the first version of Judd Hoos to this last year where the Bills Bros had joined. Seriously, if I don’t do it, then somebody needs to write a book about it. Some of the things that happened for us to all be together is almost freaky. The coincidences are almost too perfect. Anyways, everyone shared their part of how they joined the band and their band history prior. Even after spending 10 months in the van together every weekend we hadn’t had this discussion yet and it was really fun to have.

We got into Lincoln and headed straight to Cappy’s to sound check quickly. The stage was set and Judd Hoos had an easy sound check. It was back to the routine: Go to hotel, check in, get something to eat if you can, iron your clothes, shower, change your strings, and load up to get back to the bar before showtime!

The show went really well. It was not as busy as we would have hoped, but the crowd that was there was great. We had people dancing on the first set. Even if there had been no one in the bar the whole night, all of us would have had a great time. You could tell that we had all missed playing music together and played really well. It is like riding a bike; you never forget how! Judd Hoos rocked Cappy’s and had a great time. Our crew guy, Q, and Devin even decided to take the show to the dance floor on a break and had everyone in the bar watching them dance. Thanks to everyone who came out. We love seeing our Lincoln buddies.

Tear down and load out wasn’t too bad considering we hadn’t done it in two weeks. We got out of there and back to the hotel were we decided to have a good ol’ fashioned Judd Hoos hotel room beer tasting. Grab your little paper cups from your rooms, cram into one room, and let’s place the beer bottles from best to worse on top of the TV. It was fun. It was a tie between a Shake Chocolate Porter and a Laughing Lab Scottish Ale. Yum.

The next morning we all dragged our bags down to the van. It was beautiful out again! The Judd Hoos boys headed to one of our favorite local eateries in Lincoln, Toast, with one of our favorite local buddies, Aaron Funk. We sat outside for probably 3 hours and soaked in the sun and talked about… well whatever six dudes talk about over coffee and burgers in the sun. It was a good relaxing lunch and it was nice to be able to take our time since our next gig was so close. We headed out towards Omaha and went straight to the hotel once we got into town.

We hung out for a bit until we had to head down to sound check. We were playing for some super fans, Justin and Amanda’s wedding reception. They had rented out a Firefighter hall and had it decked out for a rocking good time. Sound check ended up taking a while. Most of us kept getting shocked every time we would put our mouths up to our microphones. Not cool. So besides some power issues, we finally got a good line check in and hurried back to the hotel to get pretty for the gig.

This was not going to be a typical Judd Hoos show. We had a very special guest who was going to perform on stage with us. None other than the original guitar player for Judd Hoos and ultimate bad ass, Mr. Drew Lerdal. We had him all set up and ready to go for the second set. The first set was smooth and we boomed and rocked the hall. Not too many dancers but there was a little kid mosh pit going on at one point. Everyone was enjoying themselves.

The second set was epic. Judd Hoos was a 7 piece band! Drew ended up playing through almost the whole set. We played some of his favorites and had an amazing three guitar face melting solo during Folsom Prison. The night was only starting too. During the third set we had Drew get up some more and played some Judd Hoos songs that we hadn’t played in years and Devin and I had never played. Hopefully it sounded good!

Did I mention an open bar? Well needless to say it was a very fun night and not a normal Judd Hoos show. I remember getting down off the stage and watching the guys play. It took me back to when I had seen Judd Hoos in the past and thought to myself, “Woah it would be so cool to be in Judd Hoos.” Thank you so much to Justin and Amanda for having us be a part of your special night. It was a blast.

We got done loading up the trailer earlier than usual and went back to the bar in the hotel to enjoy last call and some interesting karaoke. Judd Hoos likes to jam after shows. But sometimes it is hard to find a place in the hotel where we aren’t disturbing other guests. I think we had gone to three different rooms and finally got the front desk knocking on our door. You are not a real rock band unless you get the management called on you every once in a while. In our last attempt to have a jam session and extend the party a little longer we went down to the lobby where we were turned around back to our rooms very quickly. Seemed like a good idea right?

Anyways, it was such a fun weekend. A great weekend to come back to after having some time off. The time off was much needed but I know personally I was in Judd Hoos withdrawal. We all crave performing and playing music together for the fans and for ourselves. I think we like spending time with each other too most of the time. haha! Judd Hoos will be going on the road down to cowboy-country-Laramie, WY this next weekend. In the words of Chancey Williams, “Somebody might die.” (In regards to playing two nights with his band during homecoming weekend at a crazy cowboy bar.) Should be fun! Thanks again to our friends in Lincoln, NE for coming out and supporting us. And a huge thanks again to Justin and Amanda. You guys rock. Until next time, stay tuned for more on the road with Judd Hoos!

TBills

TBills Blog: Autumn Nights and Weddings – Judd Hoos STYLE

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We started the three show weekend off with a hometown gig in Rapid City at the first Autumn nights concert series. It got very warm in the afternoon when we were finishing set up and sound checked. It is always fun to perform so close to our families so they can come out to the show. As soon as that sun went down during our set it got very chilly. You could tell by looking out in the crowd everyone was huddling together and getting coats and blankets. Judd Hoos stayed warm by rocking out. We played a quick first set which seemed to get everyones attention. On our break we visited with friends, fans, and family until it was time to rock the long second set. It wasn’t very long into the set that the sun finally went down and our light show was in full swing along with our performing. We played well and the fantastic people of Rapid City flocked to the front of the band stand and were dancing and digging the music. It was so fun! It was also weird getting done so early. We only played til about 9. After load out it wasn’t even 11! I remember after the set there were lots of people buying some shirts and wanting pictures with us. This particular group of asian girls came up to me and asked if I could come back to China with them! I told them Judd Hoos World Tour is not that far away in our future and not to worry. Even though we did get done pretty early, we had a super long drive the next day to Nebraska, so most of us went back to our homes or the hotel to get some rest before traveling.

In the morning we all met up at our designated meeting spot, The Flying J! Our cars were lined up in the dirt parking lot and we loaded up the ice man. Shane was going to try to drive a not so terrific car to our destination for a friend. We pulled out of the parking lot and got a call from Shane saying he hadn’t even left the parking lot yet and had broke down! So long story short, we made room for Shane Dawg in the van and left the car at the gas station. We kept each other entertained with Fantasy Football trash talk, college football radio, a little coast to coast, and switching out drivers so nobody was driving too long. As usual with a long drive across the state you could tell we had all been in the van a little too long by the time we pulled into York, NE. The crew had kicked some ass and set up everything without a sound guy. Well, almost everything. Judd Hoos was set up on some trailer stages in between two big buildings and facing down the street. It made me happy that these Street Dances are not over yet! Set up went smooth and our temporary sound guy for the night, Pat, showed up and helped us with a fairly quick sound check as well. We hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the show but not before we got our Runza on! mmmmmm Runza. I think the person most excited about it was Andy. I remember him singing Thunderstruck but replaced the words Thunder with Runza. We might have joined in with him. After stuffing ourselves with fast food, and getting cleaned up at the hotel we headed back to downtown York to rock!

It was another chilly night. Colder than Rapid. We all started the first set with some jackets on. Well besides Shane, because he is a man and doesn’t need no jacket! As usual people were hesitant to come outside of the bar and see where the fantastic music they heard was coming from. We hit them hard with a good first set and kept warm by jumping around with high energy. It was good to see some old Judd Hoos fans as well as make some new Judd Hoos converts as well. We rocked hard through the night. Every one of us played well and worked hard to entertain the people of York. By the third set the crowd was bunched up in front of the stage and going crazy. York turned out to be an awesome night. Tear down went pretty quickly. We had a big curb that we had to lift things up and over to get to the trailer. I keep saying that if you want to be in good shape, become a roadie, they have a hard job! Well for the most part! After the gig we all went back to the hotel to share some of the beers that were left. We really didn’t even finish them because we were so tired from the long day in the van and the show on top of it.

Well the weekend wasn’t over just yet. We still had a big show to look forward to on this particular Saturday night. Judd Hoos was playing a wedding! Yes that is right. Not a typical gig for us, but when the circumstances are right and if we really really like you, then maybe we will play your wedding. So we got up as late as we could (like rockstars do) and left the hotel. Grabbed some coffee and breakfast before hitting the road to the Pippett wedding in Le Mars, IA. It wasn’t too bad of a drive to the “Ice cream capital of the world.” As we pulled in I didn’t know that it had that nick name and thought it was weird there were little ice cream statues on all the street corners. We checked in at the hotel and hurried over to the Pippett compound to help our crew finish setting up and get in a sound check. It really was like a compound. Like if there was a zombie apocalypse, this was a good place to be. We were set up on a couple trailers in the back on some grass. The crew had done a good job again at getting most everything set up. This wedding had everything. A big tent with tables and chairs, a bar with gorgeous bartenders, a bouncy house, and a live band named Judd Hoos! I could tell that these people knew how to party. (And might have started partying already!) We got sound checked as fast as we could once our sound guy A-Ron showed up. We didn’t have much time between then and when we needed to start so we cruised back into town and got ready as fast as we could.

Back at the compound we took the stage. As the sun went down it was getting a little chilly again. In fact this was going to be the coldest night of our three day run. But a little cold was not going to stop the Hoos! We played a strong first set to get peoples attention and attracted them to the front of the stage. After our first break the sun had gone down all the way and there was craziness all around us. The wedding party was in full swing and those who wanted to party had stayed to party hard. The bartenders were staying very busy and we played really well and had people dancing and singing along. Somehow a bottle of Crown had ended up right in front of me onstage and people were just pulling out of it and putting it back. We got the bride and groom up to dance on a song. It was a crowded stage of awesomeness. There was another time during the night where we got Sara the bride up again and auctioned off her garter. By that time it was a first class shit show! So much fun. I don’t even remember how much it was auctioned off for, but I remember hearing numbers like 400 dollars! We kept playing into the night and had the crowd up in front enjoying the night. It was such a fun experience to be a part of. Judd Hoos was taken very good care of during and after the show and we were all in party mode by the end of the night. Thanks again to Mike and Sara for letting us be a part of your big day. We wish you guys the best.

So another Judd Hoos weekend in the books! It was a long three day run. I think it was one of our last of the summer actually. Which is sad and a good thing at the same time. You can tell we have all just played the busiest time in a band we have ever had. So going back to just two night weekends will be a welcome new pace of things. A little more time to spend at home with our families. Fall is here and summer is saying goodbye very quickly. We are hanging on to it as much as we can. I know Judd Hoos has a few more outdoor shows before the bar season starts so make sure if we are playing outside in a town near you to come check us out! A big thanks to all the fans that make this possible for us. If you didn’t come out to support us then we wouldn’t be able to put on these big shows to entertain and party with you guys. Keep on the lookout for new videos, originals, blogs and Facebook status’. And keep checking that Judd Hoos schedule to know when we are playing close to you again!

TBills