Saturday we flew out of Tulsa, Oklahoma
...destination - Asuncion, Paraguay
Saturday, March 26, 2011 - Little Joe and I left Tulsa International Airport at 4 pm heading south for Dallas. You're barely able to get your carry-on stowed, and your seatbelt tightened, before you arrive in Dallas. With three connecting flights between Tulsa and Paraguay, there is always a little anxiety loading guitars and tracking baggage. You go on faith.
In Dallas we met up with Andre who had caught a flight from New Orleans to meet us at the Dallas International Airport in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.
Little Joe with Andrea Bohren at the
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
The next leg of the journey takes us to Buenos Aries, Argentina.
The area surrounding the gate was packed, and following another layover of two hours, we finally boarded the plane, to began our next flight, lasting ten and 1/2 hours more!
We landed in Buenos Aries at 8:30 AM, on Sunday morning, with another two hour layover...then finally, we caught our remaining flight and final leg of the journey, arriving in Asuncion.
March 27, 2011-
We arrive in Asuncion, Paraguay
Sunday, March 27, 2011 - From the air Paraguay looked like a tangle of rivers...water everywhere. Our flight landed in Asuncion at noon and we were met by Ricardo Espinosa and his team from the US Embassy. We were delighted (and releaved) when all the bags and gear came rolling off the plane onto the carousel. After clearing customs we were escorted to our hotel. We were in need of rest. We had a brief meeting to discuss the schedule and took a much needed nap.
Our translator showed up at the hotel at 4 pm and we had a brief meeting to discuss Monday's activities. We will have a wake-up call at 6 am, 2 TV interviews, 2 master classes and a concert...all on our first day! We will be busy until mid-night when they bring us back to the hotel. The first day, and 18 hours...I need to get some sleep. More later.
March 26, 2011-
Bound for Asuncion, Paraguay, South America
Following our 2010 tour to the Middle East on the Rhythm Road with the Little Joe McLerran Quartet I decided to take a break from writing the journal. That's not to say there's been nothing to report. Little Joe and I have been traveling, as usual, to gigs and festivals across the US, often times with Quartet members David Berntson and Ronnie Mac. Appearances at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, Iowa, the Chautauqua Hills Blues Festival in Sedan, Kansas and gigs at National Geographics in Washington DC and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center in New York City were among the highlights.
In January of 2011 Little Joe was approached by the State Department to bring a band on a goodwill mission to Paraguay in South America. This time to help the Paraguayans’ celebrate their bi-centennial. It was in 1811 that Paraguay gained their independence by overthrowing the Spanish. What better way to celebrate your independence than with a good dose of Little Joe's Piedmont Blues. The US Embassy in Asuncion plans a series of concerts, jam sessions and master classes; the most interesting to me, is a concert at a woman’s penitentiary. Little Joe suggests we play "She's in the Jailhouse Now". Most fitting I would say.
Little Joe will be bringing a trio to Paraguay with Andre Bohren on drums, one of Joe's childhood friends and son of our old friend Spencer Bohren. Andre is co-founder and the drummer for the New Orleans based funk band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Andre also doubles on piano, guitar and bass. I expect the jam sessions will be exciting. Little Joe is bringing a couple of guitars, his Les Paul for slide, and Estel, his '48 Gibson arch top. I will be playing the the Fender bass.
Robbie Mack's Journal