Greetings from somewhere near the Czech/Slovakian border.  We’re in the van headed to our twelfth show of this tour and it feels like a good time to write a little update of the highlights.

The tour kicked off with a run of three shows in Slovakia, the highlight of which was a headlining slot at the Fuzie Festival in Bojnice, the site of a breathtaking castle:

Your standard Slovakian street complete with fairy tale castle.  #natosbornband #europe2014 #slovakia

.  We shot a live video from the show and there are a few songs from the show up on YouTube, including this one of “Siren”:

Nat Osborn Band in Clubie 105

Nat Osborn Band live in Koszalin, PL

Nat Osborn Band in Clubie 105

Nat Osborn Band live in Koszalin, PL

After a few days off in Krakow where the rhythm section played some jazz gigs, we headed north toward the Polish sea.  First off was a high energy house show at a breathtaking house in the woods in Lodz. We followed that with a a club show in the gorgeous seaside city of Sopot before we landed in Koszalin, also near the sea.  Last year’s Hanza Jazz Festival show was a highlight of our first tour over here and this follow up show did not disappoint.  It was great to reconnect with fans there, many of whom were singing along with the songs having taken the year to soak in “The King and The Clown”.

Sunday Oct.12th was a day off in which we headed to the sea to eat some incredible freshly smoked fish.  Our attempts to have a rematch on last year’s beach soccer match (Mike and Dustin vs. Nat and Damian) were foiled by a couple of the boys feeling sick (aka. being terrified of losing after a year of taunting).

Monday we headed to Szczecin to kick off a run of twelve shows in thirteen days.  After a show in the breathtaking city of Wroclaw we ventured off to what will surely go down as the most unique show of tour in Pobiedna, PL.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect for this one but what we found was a cross between a farm, a music venue and a commune.  There was a ton of character and characters, a lot of warm hospitality, and a hell of a show to be had.  We befriended the Polish/German couple who own and run the place, an elderly Japanese couple who live on the premises who made us incredible fresh sushi, and a lovely young family from the Netherlands passing through on their way to Greece.  After enjoying the woods nearby and the friendly animals on premises we were invited to check out a studio in the nearby town.  We had no idea what we were in for.  Saraswati studios takes up an entire three story house built in 1798.  There were vintage guitars, basses, keyboards and drums to make each of us drool for hours.  We each grabbed an instrument of choice and shot this video of “Roam”, a new song to the repertoire.  Making a cameo is  little Oliver, the son of the Dutch couple.

 

We managed to pry ourselves away from the studio to get to soundcheck in Hradec Kralove despite getting a flat tire on the way. Our show in that beautiful Czech city was the Thursday night headlining slot at the Jazz Goes To Town festival and it was sold out.  Without a doubt one of the most high energy shows to date.  Everyone was dancing and screaming their heads off.

We had another packed, super high energy show in Czech Republic last night at a great club called Batyskaf in Zdar nad Sazavou.  The club was boat themed, quite fitting for a group that likes to consider themselves a band of traveling pirates of sorts.  Damian was right in his element

#damian #truepirate

That brings us up to speed.  We’re off to Slovakia for what surely will be a rager tonight before hitting the studio to get some new recordings made tomorrow.

There’s just one more week of shows.  Some big ones in some of our favorite cities like Brno, Bratislava and Krakow before we fly back to New York for a November residency at Rockwood Music Hall.

 

A couple more thoughts from the road:

-When we travel we don’t have a radio, so we bust out our baritone ukulele and sing most the way in the van.  If you want to know what that’s like then click this link.

-We’ve added a new member to the crew.  His name is Michal Sanecki and he’s incredible.  He’s the driver for the tour, soundman for every show, and also has top level photo/video/audio equipment, meaning that we’re able to record our shows and make videos along the way.  The man works his ass off and always has a smile on his face.

 

Michal Sanecki  (the man)

Michal Sanecki, our driver/soundman/recording engineer/one man roadie team/keyboard technician/all around gentleman

-It’s been a joy to watch this ensemble grow. This particular quartet has played close to 100 shows together and our ability to read each other on stage, move musically as a unit and find new ways of approaching the music continues to reach levels I didn’t know existed.  I feel blessed to play with these guys every night.

-There’s really so much warmth and joy in this part of the world.  It’s infectious.