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There was this one gig where we considered rebranding ourselves as a hard-core "death-folk" band and calling it KILL BUCKET while on the road through Kansas. Inspired by hours of true-crime podcasts, a kidney stone violently working its way through me on a bouncy Oklahoma turnpike, and a bored 8-year-old, it seemed the next appropriate step for our ensemble. We even had ourselves a KILL BUCKET set list worked up to include tunes like:

  • Muffin-Top Tattoo

  • Stinks So Good: Sometimes Love Don't Smell Like It Should

  • Meat Candy

  • I Leave My DNA Wherever I Can

  • Blood on the Banjo

  • Bastard Son of My Uncle

Hydrocodone spared them from having to drop me off at the ER in Oklahoma City and, after the Tornado Warning that greeted us in Kansas, I was able to hobble on stage at Paisley Pear in Shelly's hometown of Hays, KS.

Next day, we ventured east where we provided the hootenanny for Oskaloosa's Old Settler's Reunion, and I do believe we were entertained by those folks as much as they were by our hootenanny. They had everything from turtle races (8-year-old James won 2nd Place!) to hay-bail throwing. Joining us on mandolin was our ol' buddy Jamey Logan, who we met on our last Kansas tour (read all about that HERE).

Now, Jamey is a local picker, luthier, and Kansas City history buff, and he schooled us on how this area became the "Paris of the Planes" back in the day, thanks to a mafia presence, organized prostitution, and...well...the kind of shows you just can't see at the opera house. KC didn't even feel much impact from the Great Depression, and it became a hotbed of jazz musicians.

Late-late that night after the Oskaloosa gig, we quietly crept into the sleepy KOA in Lawrence and set off our car alarm to let everyone know the musicians had arrived with a trailer full of gear. The cabin was great, though, and we learned that Anthony is as much an artist with coffee as he is with the keys.

While us normal folks slept in the next morning, Shelly ran a 5k race. And then we all ventured into Kansas City for BBQ at Joe's (aka, "meat candy") and to tour the downtown thrift shops and hit Buffalo State Pizza Co. before loading in for our shindig at Martin City Brewing.

With no marathons to run the next day, Shelly gave us a tour of Mass St. in Lawrence which, of course, involved beer - Free Nation Brewing Co. Later, we played the Replay Lounge - a staple of the Lawrence music scene where we've jammed before. But this time, we were joined by the amazing all-lady folk group, MAW. Loved it! And we think we'll be covering a tune or two of theirs soon.

So, the Kansas-KCMO Tour 2022 is a wrap! Left a few kidney stones behind, no one got arrested or hassled by police this time, and KILL BUCKET may debut a tune before long.

See you next summer, Kansas!


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