Category: Essays

Feeling the blues: Charlie’s missing home on his Thanksgiving tour

Blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are feeling the blues again and have been on tour again since Nov. 14, continuing through Dec. 9. Charlie tells us it is likely his last tour with the group. So Baty and Lone Star Revue fans better get out there to one of the gigs – remaining is the East Coast and Texas. HI Travel Tales runs occasional musings and blues wisdom from Baty on his Golden State-Lone Star Revue blues on tour. (Click here to see his most recent post, as well as...

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Fear of Flying: The cockpit is no place for loud bangs

Then …BOOM!!!… The unmistakable sound of an explosion or other impact came from the cockpit. Immediately the plane began to shake and, within seconds, we were executing a very tight turn and initiating a steep descent heading back toward Salt Lake City … and, I hoped, for the airport. She looked at me with very wide eyes. “You have an explanation for that, right?”

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Traveling blues on tour: ‘Be the road,’ says Little Charlie

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are taking the blues on tour again – just finishing a Northern California and then heading to the Northwest and British Columbia. This round, he and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh will be watching the weather turn chillier too. HI Travel Tales runs occasional musings and blues wisdom from Baty on his Golden State-Lone Star Revue blues on tour. (Click here to see his most recent post, as well as links at the bottom to other Baty...

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‘You don’t go to Tucson to eat pizza’ and other Baty blues wisdom

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are on the road yet again – now in the Southwest, Northwest and California (wait, where did that one gig in Illinois come from?) This round, he and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh will be not only turning clubs into hot blues joints, but also some outdoor festivals.

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Singing the blues: Lone Star Revue tour winds down

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are nearing the end of their June tour through a few midwestern burgs (is Chicago a burg?). He and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh started in Indiana, headed across Illinois and Wisconsin with a drop into Nebraska and Minnesota. Night after night, they turned clubs and theaters into steamy joints with their blues. But when not playing this seemed to be a food-focused tour! Pizza, Greek food, pizza, steaks, pizza, cognac ice cream…....

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Red eye to hot blues: Off to Mishawaka and the Midwest

It is heating it up again in the Midwest with our writer taking a red eye to hot blues. Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians have rendezvoused again, kicking off the short tour in Mishawaka, Ind., at The Midway Tavern. HI Travel Tales will run occasional musings from Baty, as we did in the spring. (Click here to see his most recent post, as well as links at the bottom to other Baty road diaries.) This jaunt, Baty seems to be focused on food! Pizza, pizza, pizza? With the Golden State-Lone Star Revue blues tour,...

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A Road Trip: Refuge of the roads

Leaving home, hitting the road, casting oneself into uncertainty and danger, discovering the unknown, seeing one’s reflection in the landscape and the sky—these have been the stimuli and the “itch” that have propelled writers, artists and thinkers to abandon home, family and security and set out alone, across the seas, over the mystic mountains or out on a road trip.

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Cruise ship boarding near miss: twice in two days!

HI Travel Tales friends Diane Benton and Jerry van Heeringen recently traveled for several weeks throughout Asia, hopping a cruise ship for part of that journey. They experienced a cruise ship boarding near miss, two days in a row, no less. Not what you normally plan on,…but it does make for some great stories.

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My Traveling Blues: dirty blues and Italian ice

As the Golden State-Lone Star Revue tour winds down, traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians are all nursing colds and a little road fatigue. But his columns continue: A friend of HI Travel Tales, Baty semi-retired in 2008 (his co-founder continues with the award-winning Nightcats band), he stills steps into a gig or a tour now and then which takes him on the road. The life of a touring musician isn’t always glamorous, but Baty breaks up his many hours in the van or in hotels by writing about what he sees. And from...

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My Traveling Blues: Diner tour & driving tips

The Traveling Blues journal by Charles Baty continues: The official “Diner Tour” continued today at one of our favorite spots – Dove Diner in Newcastle, Del. It has an amazing assortment of cakes and pies that I have never tried because I am always too full after finishing a breakfast there to even attempt a bite.

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Calling Sweden. Talking to a ‘random Swede’

Calling Sweden? You mean the entire country? Yes, you too can call Sweden and talk to a “Random Swede” and ask this random person picked randomly in Sweden about some random thing. We bit on the Swedish Tourist Association’s new promotion, The Swedish Number. We’re all over random.

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My Traveling Blues: A life on the road

Blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) is a friend of HI Travel Tales. Although Baty semi-retired in 2008 (his co-founder continues with the award-winning Nightcats band), he stills steps into a gig or a tour now and then which takes him on the road. He has offered some of his personal journal entries to HI Travel Tales during this Golden State-Lone Star Revue tour with Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors.

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Make travel important in your New Year’s resolutions

Sometimes you get stuck in a grind, a life that sucks you into a day-to-day routine that leads to being unfit and unhealthy. Sometimes, if you make travel important, travel can be your lifesaver, leading you to a fresh start or exposing you to a mind-opening experience that affects you deeply and changes your life forever.

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It’s my mum’s birthday … I miss her

Today is Mother’s Day for me, my mum’s birthday. Though Mary passed away on May 27, 2001, following a painful battle with cancer, I still take time every Dec. 12 to honor her. I miss my mother, but today, as I do on every birthday of hers, I smile at the many wonderful memories, and thank her for all she gave to me.

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iPad Art: Watercolors From Michael’s Travel Journal

As a traveler, adventurer, and artist I have long enjoyed sketching and painting, but it was not until a bucket-list trip in 2012 where I crewed on a sailboat for the crossing from Fiji to New Zealand that I discovered a passion for channeling my creative side on the iPad and creating unique pieces of iPad art. My original pieces were quick sketches and watercolors created with the program Paper53. I also draw and paint, favoring oil pastel, ink and watercolor, working primarily in the program Procreate as I enjoy the numerous brushes and pens and wide color pallet to choose...

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A Traveler’s Shanghai – We are the people

Rain slick streets of Shanghai lie worn but resolute under two millennia of bare feet, sandals, hooves and wheels. The people run to work, hurry to school, linger in produce shops; peddling bikes, racing scooters, driving beat-down cars and over-stuffed delivery trucks. We are packed onto buses, waving for taxis and queuing for the metro.

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Messing About in Boats: White water rafting on the Green River

“Hang on,” yelled our river guide Kevin with a grin. Leaning hard against the river’s pull, the oars bent slightly and the raft heaved to, taking a line that would carry us clear of the rocks, but right into the heart of the maelstrom. Heartbeats kept pace with the increasing speed of the raft as Kevin launched us into the jumble of waves. The raft bucked and heaved, so much so that in the middle of the rapid I managed to execute a nearly perfect back flip with a twist, landing smack in Kevin’s lap.

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