January 1-6, 2014:
I started 2014 properly by attending an Arizona Blues Hall of Fame induction concert at the Hotel Congress. This is a state wide Blues organization that has a Phoenix faction and a Tucson Faction. The Tucson group does little promotion that I can see, not even a table to sell CD's, tee shirts or merchandise. The Phoenix group on the other hand is much more active from what I have seen. The concert was well done however, the music was great and and considering it was on New Year day was very well attended.
I have found an independent Tucson radio station, 91.3, that plays much new fresh music that you won't hear on the mass media stations or main stream record labels along with much local Tucson music. Very refreshing ! They even have a blues show on Saturday evening. I also found that there is a Tucson Musicians Museum, but it seems to exist only as a internet website. One more find is the lovely Tucson Nimbus Brewery and their dirty blond beer.
|T'm calling it "Dirty Girl" beer|
Thursday was a 9 mile hike with the campground hiking group on the Bear Canyon Trail in Sabino Canyon to Seven Falls. It was a perfect sunny day with low to mid seventy temperatures. The end of the trail at Seven Falls had flowing waterfalls, great views in all directions and a perfect lunch spot.
On Friday after Twinkles gourd making class, we went to the local library where I ended up books on Geronimo, Poncho Villa and Cowboy Poetry, quite revolutionary. Next stop was the local casino, quite a contrast ! The "Casino del Sol" is a beautiful casino with several restaurants, a hotel and a concert pavilion. We signed up for free players card which gives you a $10 credit and a free buffet dinning coupon. We then went to the slots and about quadrupled our free money. They also have a card reader near the entrance where you swipe your players card for a chance to win stuff. Twinkles immediately won another free buffet dinner coupon, so it was a very productive afternoon ! The downside is that the gambling bug has now taken a bite again.
|The Seven Falls|
|View along the Bear Canyon Trail|
|On the trail|
Friday night I went to the "Surley Wench Pub" in Tucson for their monthly "Black Cherry Burlesque" show. The performers were the exotic Lola Torch, Diamond Morgue, Natasha Noir, Stormy Leigh and possibly more along with MC, Stephka VonSnatch. They seem to be genuinely dedicated to preserving and celebrating the art of burlesque. It was well done with very theatrical, artistic performances to music and much rowdy crowd appreciation. There weren't that many dirty old men in attendance (I helped) and the dark, sleezy element was lacking somewhat, but it was a fun event. No photos allowed !
Afterwards, walking past the "Plush", I saw a banjo duo playing inside, couldn't pass that by ! Inside was a incredible banjo player, Wilder Lee accompanied by Olivia Garriga on upright bass. They are basically street performers, rarely play inside, mostly all original tunes, ended up buying their CD, "Shadow of a Hercules".
Saturday afternoon was a hike for us on the Signal Hill and Cactus Wren Trails in Saguaro National Park. The short Signal Hill trail takes you to a hilltop where there are many ancient Indian Petroglyphs in the rocks and a nice view of the surrounding desert. The Cactus Wren trail is mostly flat but very scenic with many large Saguaro's and other cactus types.
|Rocks are covered with Petroglyphs|
|Interesting artsy rock art design|
|Saguaro wood, another interesting design|
|An interesting ring of fish hook looking cactus|
I'm slightly under the weather on Sunday and Monday, not used to being around lots of people with all sorts of germs floating around. I get out again on Monday for some errands and to roam around downtown Tucson a little as it is a nice warm sunny day.
|Tucson's historic Fox Theater|
|Tucson's beautiful Pima County Courthouse|
|Beautiful tile mural near the Tucson Art Museum|
|Old historic building in contrast to the new|
|Old Tucson view and French Horn in music shop window|
|Mural on side of the Rialto Theater|
Twinkles and Slick