Route 66


I got word yesterday that one of my favorite independent restaurants/music venues is closing it’s doors.

The Battleground General Store and Diner in Battle Ground, Indiana, was a truly delightful place. Their food was outstanding, their service was great, and they had live music on the weekends.

Battleground is a small town not to far from West Lafayette, home of Purdue University. The times we were there, we’d see folks ranging from local farmers to university professors, enjoying the food and music.

But they just couldn’t compete. Even though their prices were reasonable, and the food was outstanding, one of the things that led to their demise was that there were so many restaurants on the interstate exits nearby, they just weren’t getting the business they needed to stay open.

That’s exactly one of the reasons we’re taking this trip and making this documentary. To see what’s happening to small town America, to those businesses and cultures that aren’t right on the interstate.

I could go on and on, but, to me…I think much of America has lost it’s sense of adventure, mostly because we’ve become lazy. We miss so much simply because it’s so convenient to stop at an exit and grab a burger.

This weekend, Holly and I are headed to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. And one of the things we’re going to be doing is exploring life on the back roads, off of the interstate. Kind of a precursor to what we’ll be doing on Route 66.

This Memorial Day weekend, I would like to suggest to you to do the same…get off the highway and travel the back roads for a while.

You won’t be sorry.

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We’ve added Sedona, Arizona to our list of stops.  We’ll be appearing at the Gypsy Lounge, part of Ken’s Creekside on September 14th or 15th…we’re still figuring out the routing for that trip, and will post the exact date as soon as we get the routing/timing figured out.
Welcome, Ken’s, to the list of Indy Kicks It stops!

We’ve just added two songs to our MySpace page.  We’ve added “Freight Train” by Patchwork, which comes off Patchwork’s debut CD called “Patchwork” and also is featured on the compilation  “Goin’ Back Home…The Best of American Folk Music”.  We’ve also added Mandy Marie’s “Dashboard Dust”…a wonderful tribute to her grandfather that comes off of Mandy’s CD  “..A Guitar and a Grin”  We hope you’ll go check them out!  the Indy Kicks It MySpace page is at http://www.myspace.com/indykicksitonroute66tour .  And, if you are on MySpace…we hope you’ll add us as a friend!

Here’s a photo of our Indy Kicks It pathtag…if you’re a Geocacher, you know what a Pathtag is.  If you’re not…they make great zipper pulls, charms, or other great trinkets.  These are made of nickel and about the size of a quarter.  On the reverse side are the words “Route 66”.

These are already in production and will be offered for sale when they’re in our hands, in roughly 4 weeks.  As an added bonus, each person that purchases one will receive a mention in the credits of the documentary that is coming out of this trip!  Interested in getting one of these limited edition collectibles?  Watch this blog or our MySpace page for an announcement when they’re available.

On Wednesday evening, the members of the crew met at the Red Key Tavern in Indianapolis for a planning meeting.  We discussed the route, merchandise for the trip, and contacts in various towns.

Our first stop will be in Chicago on September 9th, and we’ll meander down the route for the next couple of days, before playing dates in Cuba, Lebanon, and Strafford Missouri.  We’ll leave Strafford on Sunday morning, the 13th of September, and head to Oklahoma City, where we’ll be Sunday night.  The next day, it’s off to Amarillo Texas.

Our MySpace page is taking shape, and Holly, Mandy, and Rick will have their first official rehearsal on Tuesday of next week.

We’re all so excited about the tour, sharing our music with the folks we meet, and hearing their stories!  And, it looks like we might be in store for an old fashioned barn dance/hoedown in Missouri!

Here are a couple of pictures from the meeting:

Gabrielle and Mandy pouring over the map...

Gabrielle and Mandy pouring over the map...

L-R Gabrielle Price, photojournalist, Mandy Marie, Danny Thompson  (Mandy's hubby), Holly Jae Smith, Rick Garrett

L-R Gabrielle Price, photojournalist, Mandy Marie, Danny Thompson (Mandy's hubby), Holly Jae Smith, Rick Garrett

One spring evening,  Holly and Rick were watching “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” on The Food Network, and in this particular episode, Guy Fieri was highlighting diners along Route 66.  We happened to be chatting with friends on Facebook at the time, and we started discussing how cool it would be to travel down the Mother Road, playing music and collecting stories.

And that’s how it all started.  We’re currently planning our trip.  We’ll leave Chicago on September 9 and get as far west as we can.  We’d love to stop and play in your town!  If you’re interested in having us stop, send us an email at IndyKicksIt@yahoo.com (or simply reply to the post here) and we’ll get the ball rolling!