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Archive for July, 2011

Italy Part 2 (Due)

Posted on: July 29th, 2011 by lisabell 4 Comments

Lots of gigs and fun being touristas!

Toscolarno Moderno at the Soltto Le Piante restaurant with special guest Titi Venturelli on sax. Very fun!

Bob and I stopped into Radio Vera for a live performance of the Boomba Boomba song and to promote our gig that evening. Lisa Simmons did a fantastic job of translating during the interview.

Next up was a fantastic gig at the Cafe Grande Italia in Sirmione, owned by the amazing the fantastic and oh so generous Mario Pagiaro. It was a very fun night at this restaurant on the lake in the histroric Sirmione with an appreciative crowd.

Then it was off to Florence for a very fun gig outside in a community park. Check out a live performance there of our co-written song “The Best of Me.” which is all about manifesting your dreams. It’s never too late, as witnessed by this amazing tour in Italy I’m on right now!! Click on the song title above to see the live video!

This was Lisa & I looking “Funky Fresh” for the gig!

Bob, Kelly, Steve and I then took a few days to sight see around to Florence, Cinque Terre and Venice.

Steve in Florence

Taking a very needed wine break on the Cinque Terre trail

Steve & Bob in Pisa

Eating squid ink pasta on the Grande Canal in Venice!

A quick detour for my marketing client Natural Merchants to shoot a promotional video at the winery La Cantina Pizzolato in Treviso.

A beautiful party given by Cesare Valbusa and Daria Toffali.

And back for a gig at the Plaza in Castiglione.

More things I’ve learned:

1) Italy is much more laid back than the U.S.
-We have been going at a much more relaxed and slower pace, enjoying each other and the music along the way!
-Food, especially pranzo (lunch) is very important. A two-hour lunch is the usual, and all businesses close to go home and enjoy family and community from 1-3 in the afternoon.

2) The tourist cities are super busy and hot in peak summer season. I would skip Venice in July. Some people from other countries (which will go unnamed, but are not Italy or US, and rhyme with Terminy and pants) have still not discovered the wonders of deodorant, yet insist on riding the Vaporetti (water taxis) while holding on the to rail above their heads. Other than the masses, Venice is beautiful.

3) Espresso serves several purposes and is drunk pretty much all day long:
-It’s necessary to get going in the morning after being up until 3 a.m. at the gig
-It counteracts the effect of the three bottles of wine at lunch and dinner, so that we can get back to work and gigging in the late afternoon
-It keeps the body plumbing flowing after eating mostly fromage and pasta for the past  2 1/2 weeks!

5) My favorite “Italish” phrase: “Awesomemo!”

6) The beauty of Italy flows through food, landscape, buildings, art, friendship and music. It’s all about amore here!

Last night was the final gig with the entire Hippie Tendencies crew, for now. Next up is a CD project that I am going to put together with Bob, that will incorporate all of the tunes we have written with Lisa Simmons, and will include all of the Hippie Tendencies musicians. We’ll record parts in the US and parts in Italy, then have it mixed and mastered in Italy. More to come on this exciting project!!

I have had a wonderful time here and have a few more precious days to share with my beautiful friends, who are more like family. I’ll write one more blog post on the way hojme to recap the last experiences and send links to some more live videos. Check out more pictures, including the boys driving Ferraris on my Facebook page. Ciao for now!

Italy Days 1-6

Posted on: July 17th, 2011 by lisabell 13 Comments

The adventure begins! We arrived on Tuesday this week in Verona. Lisa & Marco picked up up and we went to their Casa for an amazing lunch and of course lots of vino. No napping! We then went to Sylvia & Matteo’s restaurant QB in Brescia and received dish after dish of incredible “apperativo” dishes and of course, lots of vino!

Bob Story (my guitar player) and his wife Kelly were arriving much later and had quite the travel story, but I will let them tell that one as they want!

The next day we spent  making   gnocchi and enjoying the company of our hosts in their casa!

That evening we went to the beautiful town of Sirmione and enjoyed the sites and more food & drink!!

Wednesday we had an 8 hour rehearsal (!) at a studio near Pozzolengo in a beautiful house/studio in the country. That is the dream! To own a studio and agriturimo here in Italy where we can host touring musicians, allow them to record in the studio and have beautiful music 24/7!

We had a 50th Birthday party that evening for Marco, my husband Steve and Bob & Kelly’s host Laura, at a beautiful agritusimo in the country just 5 minutes from the studio. Lots of amazing food, drink, fun and music!

Friday Steve and I and Bob & Kelly went early to Parma to find some authentico parmesiano reggiano and to eat Parma proscuitto (along with authntico parmigiano and Lambrusco of course!) in Parma before heading to the private party we were performing at nearby.

The party was in the country near Parma in an amazing setting!


We had them dancing all night long! Then it was back home-at 4 a.m.!

After a few hours of sleep and of course more delicious food prepared by Marco, it was off to Gargnano to the amazing 5 star resort Lefay. A perfect evening under the stars, with a view of the lake, beautiful mountains and glorious surroundings. Lots of tourists from around the world enjoyed our music all night.

Things I’ve learned so far:

1) Musicians are revered here in Italy far more than in the states. We have been treated with respect, fed well, our music enjoyed and CDs purchased, and the pay scale is nearly double that in the states!
2) European tourists love American music-originals and covers-as English is the common language for everyone. They just eat up everything, dance to the music and welcome us with open arms!
3) I have eaten more in the past five days than I have in a month at home! I have to slow down or my performance clothes will never fit by the end!
4) I’m in love with Italy and certainly my Italian hosts and friends. The long-term dream is to spend a great deal more time here!

Today we went to a BBQ party in our honor and then a free night with no performances! Though of course we all made music together anyway! Even my husband Steve sang!

Three more gigs this week! More photos can be found on my Facebook page and more blog to come…