Category: brewery


Ok, so the pandemic is not a quandary. It’s straight up in our freaking face. And beer drinking isn’t so much a quandary as a given. Particularly during the pandemic that is not a quandary.

And you might be wondering (or you might not, but let’s just pretend) why, when I’m playing in the virtual open mic to benefit Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival tonight, and have a big show on Friday (also at Poor David’s Pub) that I’m promoting, I’m taking time to worry about beer. And there it is folks, the pandemic in a quandary bottle (or can) with beer on the label.

Actually, I’m not so much worried about beer. There’s some in the refrigerator. It’s just that I’d like to go back (or forward) to feeling like I earned a beer. “I’ve done a hell of a lot today. Damn, I deserve a beer.” Rather than, “why the hell not, I’m not going anywhere.”

I still work of course (can you see me now), and Cyndy works from home too, but we don’t really DO anything. Even when I social distanced my butt to Colorado, stayed with our friend, Sally, and played a live (safe) show, that’s all we did. I got there, we hung out, went to my show, came back, hung out some more, and I came home. No sight-seeing, no going out for a beer, no nothing.

What would going out for a beer matter when I don’t (in my mind) deserve it. Or I deserve it, but I just can’t enjoy it. It’s sad when you can’t fully enjoy a beer.

And that’s my quandary. That, and I’ve run out of ways to use quandary. There’s nothing to do but ride this damned thing out like we’ve been doing for what seems like an eternity.

Come to think of it, I may have another idea. I’ll have a beer and get back to you.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

No matter how long I’ve been playing music, I’m still amazed when someone goes out of their way to show their appreciation. I was already grateful that Tom Martinez and his staff at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, invited me back in October and November, after months of no shows for either of us. Not only that, it was a safe and enjoyable environment for all concerned.

The October show went well, but last week’s show went especially well. The staff was great and the audience was responsive and appreciative. Our friend, Sally (Cyndy’s best friend), was with me and sitting at the bar. We stay with her when we’re in Colorado.

After my third set I packed everything up. I came back from one of my trips to the van. As I walked in the door, a guy sitting in the alcove on the other side of the door from the alcove I was playing in, stuck his head around the wall.

“Thanks for playing tonight. We really enjoyed it!”

I smiled and said thank you. In a non-covid situation I would have shaken his hand and given him a card. This time the smile and thanks would need to suffice. Before I turned completely around, he continued.

“We put something in your bucket for you.”

“Thanks again! I appreciate it.”

Then I was packed and Sally and I headed out. That’s when Sally told me what actually happened.

The guy had called the waitress over. He said he didn’t have enough cash for a tip and asked if there was an atm nearby. Then he walked down the street in cold, windy weather to the atm, got some money out, walked back to the brewery, and dropped money in my tip jar.

With all the shit that has gone on this year, and all the bills and such that he probably had to pay, he took time and money out to show how much he enjoyed hearing me playing my music.

Damned if I didn’t appreciate it! And feel grateful.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Except for playing Zoom open mics for almost nine months now, I was late to the livestream train. I’ve stuttered all my life and I hate talking on the phone because I can’t look them in the eye. So performing to a camera and interacting with people I’m not sure are there was a daunting task. But I’ve played live long enough to be able to get past that. It’s just that having all this freaking time on my hands has made it hard to follow a thought at times. Then there are the times I can’t stop the thoughts from coming en masse at top speed.

That’s just an explanation, not the pitfalls I was referring to. Doing a livestream from home with my home studio setup results in minimal problems. Except, of course, for operator error, which causes me to exclaim to myself out loud, “way to go, dumbass!” The reason there are few to no problems is because I control the variables. When I’m at our friend, Sally’s, house, the point is the same with the exception of occasional lapse in wifi reception.

Hotels aren’t too bad if I use my hotspot as long as they aren’t out in the middle of nowhere. The acoustics are obviously good and I can get all the light I need. At one hotel, I got a notice that there was not enough bandwidth, but it didn’t seem to effect the livestream. That was also the Monday night Songwriters Benefit for Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival hosted by Rob Case, so it was about four hours. Which would explain that.

But in places like breweries the variables increase. The noise and electricity of the brewing and cooking equipment for example. Reception even with my hotspot was dicey – it was in the mountains. The video sucked and the sound cut in and out. But I didn’t know that until I tried to watch it the next day. One of the major problems/variables is that I’m doing it myself and don’t have anyone to man the computer while I’m playing. The second brewery I tried a livestream in, the video was perfect, but the sound was garbled.

I think I know what the problem was. But I’ve already called myself a dumbass over it at least three times, so I’m not going to further my own embarrassment by telling you what it was. If you make sure what should be turned off is off, and what should be turned on is on, you won’t repeat that particular issue. That is – if that’s what it was. Which comes back to knowing the variables. Which I didn’t and don’t as far as the two breweries.

But pitfalls be damned! I’ll keep getting back on that horse. I have a livestream on Thursday, Nov. 5th at 3:30 p.m. in the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, Kansas. My cousins Tom and Beth Burns, and Beth’s daughter, Ellie, have an exhibit of their art work there. I was supposed to play at the opening, but guess what screwed that all to hell? I wanted to see the exhibit before it closes and the livestream takes place of the opening show.

There will be more livestreams. Hopefully, each one will go smoother than the last one. But, oh, those variables!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

This Friday, October 30, I will be doing a livestream at 5:30 p.m. CT on my YouTube channel and Facebook page. I will be playing songs, telling stories, and talking about the beer at Bitter Sisters Brewery. I will be displaying my virtual tip jar and all donations during the show will go to Bitter Sisters, unless otherwise noted.

You can buy beer from Bitter Sisters Mon.-Fri. 4-7 p.m, Sat. 2-7 p.m. and Sunday 2-6 p.m. So after my show, if the beers sound good to you, you still have time to get to the brewery to buy beer – depending on how far you live from Addison.

Or take a day trip on Saturday and pick up some beer for watching the moon Halloween night. Not only is it a blue moon, but it will be visible to the whole world for the first time since since World War II.  A Bitter Sisters beer would make it all that much more pleasant.

So tune in Friday evening, listen to some tunes and beer talk, and show your support for craft breweries, music venues, and family businesses.  #SaveOurStages  #SaveCraftBreweries

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark 

 

 

 

For those of you just tuning in, the World’s End Tour that I had to cancel earlier in the year was to begin and end at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado. I thought calling it the World’s End Tour was perfect during this bullshit (collectively, but feel free to pick up to two). Fortunately, Tom Martinez from World’s End Brewing sent me a text asking if I wanted to play in October – he was doing social distance shows.

I played on Saturday, the 10th, and the crowd, though small and changing through the evening, were appreciative and responsive to my show. I also had a virtual mini tour throughout the weekend from hotel rooms and a friend’s house. The mini tour ended on Monday night, the 12th, with Rob Case’s Virtual Open Mic benefiting Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

The open mic – which started out good – is now a smooth running show made up of great songwriters. I include my appearance on the show as part of my tour, although I only play about fifteen minutes. Any exposure I can help give the open mic (please share by the way) is all that much better.

Live shows are slowly returning and will continue to do so (albeit slowly). However, if we don’t help the venues out, there may be a lot fewer places to play. Same with the craft breweries. Some places have already given up the fight.

I’m returning to World’s End Brewing on the 20th of November. In the meantime I’ll be playing livestream shows at venues and breweries in support of the #SaveOurStages and #SaveCraftBreweries movements. I don’t know if the second one is a real movement other than just Cyndy and I, but I want to do my part.

More on that later, but for the moment, plan to listen in and watch the open mic on Facebook – tonight and every Monday night. Don’t forget to donate what you can. Donations will be split between Poor David’s Pub and Kerrville Folk Festival. Tonight is the Halloween version with a costume contest and you don’t have to play to enter the contest. Message Rob on the open mic page for the Zoom info.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

Picture taken at my last show at World’s End Brewing.

I was looking at my tour calendar that I had been ignoring and hadn’t crossed out all the cancelled dates yet. Fortunately, most of the breweries I was going to play are still surviving. I’m still hoping to play a few shows at the end of the month. But I thought I would feature the breweries here and give a shout out to them.

World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, was where I was to begin and end my tour. It was – after all – my World’s End Tour. It’s a great little brewery on the corner. Tom Martinez and his wife – a sweet couple – run the brewery. They have delicious food to go along with their tasteful craft beers.

Bavarian pretzel sticks go with almost any beer. Cactus Needles are strips of jalapeno and sweet onion, battered and fried, with blackened ranch. World’s End also has the usual appetizers with their unique spin on them. Don’t expect your usual fried pickles.

The entrees run the palate pleasing gamut from hot dogs and chili dogs, to Fish and Chips, wings and BLT, to build your own angus burger, salmon burger, a panini, to fruit and salads. Something to go with a variety of beers. Fortunately, World’s End has just such a variety. King’s Kona Stout is on the heavy end with coffee. They have a few fruit beers, currently Code Blue, Fairy Dust, and Frostberry.

The beer menu also usually includes a porter (Lethe’s Tears), a wheat beer (EJ-5), a kolsch (Reclamation), and a pale ale (Dragonspit). A few of my favorites – I have more – are the Suicide Blonde Bomber (blonde ale), Durty Leprechaun (Irish red ale), and the Dark Abockalypse (bock of course). Yet there’s more. When you’re in the area, check them out. If you can’t stop for while, grab some food and beer to go. You can order on the website before you get there. Either way, check out the beers they have. And tell Tom I said hi.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

The first week of isolation, I lamented the loss of shows and wondered if the places I played around the country – primarily breweries and craft beer bars – would survive for me to play there again. I thought of things I could be doing, but then went back to the lamenting and the wondering. I could still support the local breweries. I could still to “essential” things (albeit being careful). I could drive around for a bit if I wanted to – not getting out of the car. But I couldn’t get out of my own head. Or more correctly, get back to my happy place. The current path is filled with a mixture of anxiety and panic, in just enough strength to be a pain in the ass. I had a live streaming gig in the Starving Artist Festival benefiItting Feeding America that Saturday. So I had something to practice for.

The second week our oldest son, Conner, was down from Des Moines isolating with us, so I could do some recording with him for upcoming projects. I came up with a solid plan for what to do going forward and proceeded to do nothing about it. The funny thing is, except for playing shows, I didn’t leave the house a lot anyway (although shows could run into weeks). Cyndy works at home and didn’t either. But it was the few times we did that mattered. Cyndy’s groups, my groups, church on Sundays, and so forth. But when you’re told you can’t do something, you want to do it more. The Zoom meetings help, but it’s not the same.

The third week Conner and I did some recording before he packed everything up and I took him back to Des Moines. We stopped at two travel centers, a CBD shop, and drove through a Chick-fil-a. I isolated with him at his house and did some more recording. He works maintenance at Adventureland Hotel. They are closed and the hotel was sterilized by the employees before they left and filed for unemployment. There is a restaurant that still does carryout. So the maintenance staff is equal parts maintenance and security. We recorded one night in the cabana room. We also filmed a few songs, so I’ll be releasing those videos when the editing is finished.

I was looking forward to the drive back home alone. It wasn’t on the way to or from a show, but it gave me time to think. Bullshit! It rained from Des Moines, Iowa, to Lawrence, Kansas. Which I can tell you is a long freaking way. Not only was I not getting out of my head – or simply making it a more comfortable place to be in – I found myself locked inside with the key on the outside. It’s a good thing I don’t have serious depression, because that was freaking depressing. Fortunately, when I reached Oklahoma, the sun was at least trying to break through, which was something. Then there’s that whole, I can’t really get out of the van thing.

And now I’m home, still in isolation, and healthy, thank God. But I’m working on the the plan I came up with in the first place. By myself and in conjunction with Conner. I hope you’ll join us on the journey. This post represents the start of that plan. Stay tuned and stay safe.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

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