When we began our journey to the road…
I thought that we would leap right on that road and start travelling, but responsible planning, learning curves and a better foundation for income are necessary before we get to feel the breeze in our hair. Working jobs, fixing up and selling a house, homeschooling and parenting that was our life just a few months ago. Let me repeat, just a few months ago. And now I am here, sitting in my camper, writing this. Yeah, it is parked outside of Aaron’s Mom and Dad’s house on East 29th but still I am in it and ready to go. And at this time there is a lot more work to be done this summer before we really get to stretch our road legs.
Our family is working on the other facet of our music, The High Crest Family Music. We are working this summer and fall to put together a family album featuring the song 10’ Dragon. It is really important for us to bring the family fun music into our lives on the road. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this project in the next couple of months.
The summer has filled in nicely with gigs around the Midwest again and this should give us a good chance to keep working, keep working, keep working. All we really want to do is share our music! You will often hear musicians say, “I just want to play music.” But this act of sharing comes with much more blood, sweat, soul and tears. Which we have given and will continue to give – gratefully!
It was a lot of work even finding our camper. Our search for a home that could take us on the road has not been an easy one. There are so many choices out there, class A, class C, trailer, pop up. By the time we found the one, we were done in.
We searched online every night, we looked at adds, we talked to friends, we pulled over when we saw one for sale, we went to the rv shows at the fairgrounds, we checked out lots to see up close and personal. What finally got us was good old craigslist. We were trying to find one before the season started up because we knew it would probably make it harder, maybe even more expensive. So I was checking craigslist daily to be able to hop when we found one and sure enough we did, right over in Altoona, IA.
Dan, Rachel and Emily Waddle were selling their camper and ready to upgrade. The craigslist add and pictures sounded like we better take a look. First thing that happened when we went to see the camper was Abileen and Emily hit it off! They are very close in age and soon they were shooting hoops in the driveway and talking about their favorite stuffed animals. We checked the camper out good and Rachel and Dan were super helpful. It was their starter camper so they talked about learning the ropes with this unit and how it worked for them. We ended up staying over an hour. We were hooked and ready to buy.
Not only did we get our camper but we got new friends as well! At the beginning of the month we all went to Rock Creek State Park and camped together. Super fun!
Before that our family camped at Yellow Banks Park for Aaron's 40th birthday and that is where we got to park our camper trailer for the very first time. I walked around the campsite glancing at all the other campers and when my eyes met ours, it was hard not to smile and click my heals together.
Let’s all click our heals together tonight, Thurs. May 21st, at our Open Camper event from 4-6ish. We will be parked at Shotgun Mgmt Headquarters, 4321 Woodland Ave. Des Moines, IA. We’ll have snacks and refreshments, we will play some music, and the camper will be open for tours!
When it rains it pours and this spring it is pouring music! We have a huge weekend in front of us and right away we want to thank you for your support (just even by reading this).
Friday we perform at Baratta’s Café in the Iowa State Historical Building over the lunch hour. Abileen loves this gig because after we get to check out the whole building. The historical building is a very cool place with lots to learn. Baratta’s is delicious and I consider music during the lunch hour a treat!
Saturday night Aaron and Rob Short take on the Iowa Blues Challenge together as the Eastside Brothers. We are so excited and, of course, are hoping they win. The winners get to represent our state by performing in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They also get recording studio time and even some money. But all that aside, Rob and Aaron are having a great time performing together again and for the first time as a duo. It is very inspiring! Brings me right back to the first time I ever saw these two perform. They have something special and you won’t want to miss it. The whole family is going to be at the Downtown Des Moines Marriot Hotel on Sat. night, doors open at 5:30, Eastside Brothers kick off the night at 6:30pm, tickets are $10. Come support the Eastside Brothers and the Central Iowa Blues Society.
Sunday you will hear us hosting Iowa Homegrown on KFMG 99.1 but we won’t be live in the studio. We have pre-recorded and the segment will include live music from Krista Haugland, news about Peddlers Jamboree and much more Iowa music. So tune in 2-5pm this Sunday to hear the show or stream online at www.kfmg991.org.
We had to pre-record because we’ll be up at Byron’s in Pomeroy on Sunday night. The show starts at 5pm and tickets are $10. We may even have Rob with us that night. Aaron and Rob introduced me to Byron’s. I saw their band, The Creek Dwellers, perform a few times, and even record an album there. When we first got to play Byron’s I was floored. Aaron just asked, there wasn’t really anything to it, but to me there was everything to it. Getting to perform at Byron’s felt like a rite of passage, a graduation point of my musicianship. I have gotten very important musical guidance and been inspired at a very deep level at Byron’s. At first glance is might just look like a Grateful Dead Bar in a small town because that is what it is, but look closer, more importantly, listen closer and you will find music and that music will find your soul. To be inspired by live music – GO TO BYRON’S – because the rule at Byron’s is “live music only happens once, so you’ve got to be there.”
“Living on the Road…Almost” is how the article released Dec. 17th, 2014 in the Des Moines Register’s Juice and Iowa Life should have stated. The cover features our family in front of our house for sale, our anchor. Until that anchor sold, our dream would have to wait, or as I like to say, gestate. Another story, written by Patresa Hartman was published in Band Bombshell last Aug.and begins telling the story of The High Crest getting on the road. But no matter what the headlines or when the story was written, we have yet to get on the road.
When you decide to simplify your life, it actually gets more complicated. What will be gained is way on down the road. So far down the road, you can’t see it. You just have to believe it is there waiting for you. I still can’t see the end of the road but I do have faith. Faith that what I need is waiting for me and what I carry are the tools to get there.
The dream of playing music on the road with Aaron Short started with in the first few weeks of knowing each other. We made a commitment then to make it happen, why not!? What followed sent us flying into our lives together, marriage and our daughter Abileen.
Now we have a daughter. What seemed like the easiest route, get paycheck jobs and a roof over your head, didn’t feel right no matter how hard we tried. Why did we try so hard to begin with? Was I scared? Yes. Was I learning? Yes. Every turn in your life leads you to what you need to learn and I needed to learn that this was my destiny. What a romantic word! I might as well say “dream.”
What has happened to me since I began writing songs has solidified my love of music. I’ve always had it, bad – band geek, musicals, lessons, solos, then to learning guitar to back up my singing. My mom always said, “Use you what you got. You were given your gifts for a reason.” My reason is to write songs and play them for you - simple enough, but oh so hard. After years of live shows, aka. feeding yourself to the wolves, I've found a home for my musical soul in The High Crest.
The High Crest is a family band now. All three of us plan on making music together for the next few years and we plan to do it on the road.
People have a lot of opinions on this matter of living on the road. One of the statements we hear is, “Do it why you are young.” And Aaron just replies with, “Well this is as young as I can get.”
Another question often asked is, “Are you home schooling Abileen?” Yes, we are. We have been home schooling her for a few years now, first through pre-school, kindergarten and now first grade. Home schooling is a very intimidating adventure but we always knew that we wanted to perform music and be on the road. To be able to do that we had to embrace home schooling and all that it has meant for my family, and to do this in the early stages with Abileen.
“I like what you are doing, I don’t like how you are doing it,” was another exclamation. This is not a conventional life, for sure, but does anyone have a true conventional life? What we have is life, and what we do with it. As long as I can create the environment where my family is safe, nurtured, social and learning – I can do this, for our own happiness.
People just want to know, “Where are you heading?!?” We have plans in our schedule to hit the Midwest and our home state of Iowa heavily. We want to go to Texas and Colorado and head back out to the NW Coast, Oregon and Washington. And of course we would love to hit up the music cities, Austin, Nashville and Memphis. If you know of a place where we can come play some music in your area, let us know!
We have just begun our journey to the road. We are closer than we have ever been thanks to our management team, Shotgun Mgmt, all of our fans and friends who have made the choice to support The High Crest, and most importantly John and Linda Short for all the times hanging with Abileen while we’ve had a show, supporting us at our lowest and highest points and now helping even more with our transition to the road. THANK YOU!
Stay tuned for more from The High Crest!
Thanks for reading,