X-Train Says Goodbye to New Zealanders!

Guest Blogger Mark Miracle with X-Train Writes:

Our last gig in New Zealand is now in the books…bummer.

Image634585357314020000What a great country. We played in Dunedin, a university town just south of the 45th parallel, at an old church that is now a pub (!) which was situated on the outskirts of a large park.

A lot of the churches and other municipal buildings have been turned into restaurants, pubs and other businesses. They are old landmarks and I think it's cool that they are still being used to further businesses.

Anyway, as with all of our gigs here, the place was packed and the kind folks were eager to give us a hoot n' holler throughout the show! These people love their music and seemed to appreciate our style of bluegrass.

X Train has been dropping a few new tunes into the set lists and they have been sounding real good.

We listened to The Bluegrass Album Band during one of our road trips and have picked up a few old gems. "100 Years From Now" was one we just played around with at a sound check in Thames, NZ and so we added it to our set-list. We even had one of the local bluegrass heroes, Paul from the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band play some dobro with us! I think we should have brought him with us on the rest of the tour…what a nice guy and a great musician.

Oh, and the cold weather we were expecting turned out to be one of the warmest and sunniest day of our tour! Picture perfect skies which made for great for taking pics and vids of the NZ Alps, lakes and bandmate antics.
We returned to Christchurch the next morning taking in sights and enjoying our last drive in New Zealand. We had a great meal at an Indian food restaurant and toasted our drivers, hosts and new friends, Val & Lorna. They clocked more than 2500 kilometers (approx 1400 miles!) driving us from gig to gig! Thanks so much!

X Train is back in Australia! We sent Peter's girlfriend Andrea and Bob's wife Fran back to the states the next day and we too were soon at the airport awaiting our flight to Brisbane, Aus. We landed to warm and sunny weather (as promised!) and we all made it through Customs except Peter. The dog sniffed out his cheese and they thought he was smuggling something in his hackey-sack - remember those?

They cut a small hole in it to "test" its contents and found that the only thing inside was the stuff you put in hackey-sacks. After giving him back his wounded toy and sharp cheddar, we were soon on our way to the homes where we would be staying.

Twin brothers Mark & Peter Nahuysen are the brave souls that have volunteered to put us up in their homes and subject their families to American 'grassers. I am staying with Mark, and Peter and Bob are with Peter…predetermined? They are both great pickers as we found out at the Harrietville Bluegrass Festival, where we first met them. Ross and his girlfriend Tina are staying at the coast for the first 3 days at a nice hotel overlooking the ocean. I foresee 3 bandmates soon crashing this said hotel and taking over Ross's room…just sayin'.

We play this morning (Sat, Dec 3rd) at a local radio station and then we have shows throughout the weekend. Gonna be a great time here and I know the next 10 days are going to go by fast!

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