On the Road with Mandragora

I recently returned from a very exciting and eventful tour of several East coast cities—I went with Mandragora Tango…and, tango or no tango, we partied like rock stars.  My 12 years with the Rogues tearing across the US and Canada playing every conceivable type of rock venue gave me a taste for the road which, I learned, hasn’t gone away.

I left on June 16th and drove a car loaded with PA equipment, meeting up with the rest of the band in Philadelphia the following evening.  The drive was significant in that I used the time behind the wheel to psychically access certain musicians I admire and have master classes with them.  I even took notes!  Remarkable stuff—I’d greatly appreciate any feedback from readers of this post as to their experience and opinions of this sort of cosmic exercise.

The tour’s first date was in Northampton,  Massachusetts on Wednesday the 18th and this kicked off a whirlwind week of 7 shows in 7 nights in 7 cities.  Most of the shows were milongas—tango dances hosted by the local community of tango dancers.  We also played a lovely outdoor wedding in Bethlehem, PA.  Mandragora’s aim is to be a first-rate tango dance band as well as concert performers.  As such, we play in “tandas,” groupings of 3-4 tangos, waltzes or milongas that have continuity for those dancing.  We also play music of the great dance orchestras of old.  We do our share of Piazzolla.  This is food for a musician’s soul….And we’re doing some post-Piazzolla, as well, what is referred to as “tango nuevo.”

We had great response everywhere and dancers seemed particularly delighted so this was a huge high for all of us.  We performed in Woodstock, NY and Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley, Washington,DC and Richmond, VA.  In Richmond we hooked up with “El Pulpo,” the Argentine dancer of repute, and did two demos with him that can be found on youtube.com.  His new partner, Stephanie, is a lovely dancer as well as a lovely person.

Read more about the specifics of the tour on Bob’s blog at mandragoratango.com.

This month we have a concert at Pope Art—a gallery of fine and performing arts—in Terrace, MN on Saturday, July 20th at 7:30PM.  More info at www.popeart.org.  I hear it is an exceptional acoustic so we are looking forward to this show.  Mandragora Tango performs almost every Sunday evening at the Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN.  This is a long-standing tango dance (milonga) that begins at 6PM and draws a lot of dancers of all ages.  Good food and wine—makes me happy….