October 13, 2008
Summer, Part 3…East Coast
New York City!!! You gotta love it…I sometimes think that I enjoy it so much because I don’t live there. Perhaps. But for now, I’ll just go on thinking that it is arguably one of the greatest cities in the world. Amidst the mayhem and chaos there is an underlying pulse that creates a sense of serenity for me. I find myself as relaxed in mid-town as I do sitting on the beach drinking Coronas’. Well, OK…that one got away from me just a little bit. But you get the point. I love it! New York is one of the few places where doing nothing is doing something. Walking around is an adventure. Sitting at a coffee shop and watching the world pass you by, becomes not a waste of time but time well spent. Here, people who in their homelands are sometimes bitter enemies, somehow find a way to co-exist and work together. Don’t believe me? Walk down forty sixth and sixth any day of the week and witness for yourself.
On this trip, I had the added bonus of having my kids with me as part of their last bit of summer vacation. I love watching them take it all in and offer the perspective and honesty that only kids can. When we walked into the Westin Times Square it was just packed with people. The hotel spa was offering free five minute massages which nobody was taking advantage of. Well, as I was waiting to check in I looked over and there was Victor, my eleven year old, getting a massage from one of the lovely masseuses’. That’s my boy! We were meeting Betty at the hotel, as she was already in the city on business. After a lovely lunch we had just enough time to get dressed and head on over to the boat for the first of two shows. For some reason, these shows are always great fun and we enjoy doing them. I don’t know if it’s because of the cramped quarters that kind of force you to have a good time, or the cruise around the harbor that always makes for quite the scenic backdrop, or it’s just that new yorkers know how to have a really good time no matter where they are! There have been plenty of reviews so I don’t think I need to get into details about the shows. The backdrop of the Manhattan skyline always makes for a special night.
Next stop was the Mohegan Sun. Now as far as casinos go, I love this one. They treat you well here and the facilities and rooms are wonderful. At the big arena, heavy metal stalwarts Judas Priest were headlining. And to say that they have an interesting looking fan base is, I would say, fair and accurate. Apparently, there was some sort of meet and greet, and their fans were lining up eagerly and enthusiastically. Which prompted one of my kids to tell me…”ah dad, your fans here are kind of weird”. Ah…honesty!
After some time in the spa, while the kids swam in the pool, it was soon time for our soundcheck. As usual the sound in the Cabaret is always great and it is never worrisome as it is in some places. Our show that night reflected how great the sound is there, and what a wonderful job Ricky (our soundman/road manger) does behind the board. Also, this band gets everybody off their feet and it was nice to see the usually subdued casino crowd rocking all the way to the end. After the show we had our last family dinner at Todd English’s Tuscany restaurant, which is the best restaurant in the whole place. Betty and the boys were heading back to Nashville the next day as school was just about to start. So this was our last night together before the tour continued on and they went home. Betty went up to the room as she was tired so it was me and the boys. We went to the Sky Bar to look for the rest of the guys. That is the usual routine after the show. However the door man was unflappable with regards to not letting my youngsters in. House rules baby! So, I walked them down to the arcade where they could play video games and, not surprisingly, learn how to gamble! The very first machine that greeted us as we walked in was some sort of roulette-like wheel that you play with numbers. Yet they (kids) are not allowed to walk around the casino…ahh irony! It makes the world so much more enjoyable!
My boys were having so much fun in the arcade that they wanted me to leave them alone! There were a lot of cute teen-age girls and I guess they didn’t want dad hanging around! So I made a deal with them that they had to be up in the room no later than 1:30 am…I gave them some money, hugged them, and walked away feeling a little sad, honestly. Not because they wanted to be alone really, but because I realized that I don’t have babies anymore. Now before, I get any flack for leaving my kids alone at that time here’s a little reality for you… Ninety-five percent of all child abduction cases involve someone they know. Fifty-percent of child-molestation cases involve the family priest. So, the way I figure is that a packed casino with strangers is probably one of the safest a child can be left alone at. So I went off to meet the guys for a night-cap and at 1:45 called it a night. I was curious to see if my children would follow directions or would they be tempted by the vises that the casino had to offer? Well, to no one’s surprise, I walked in to find them in their pj’s watching a movie. We ended up staying up until about 4:30 or so watching movies and ordering room service. We didn’t tell mom…
After our rock star night, we were a bit tired for our noon departure. It was goodbye to the family unit and off to Northampton, Mass. for a show at the legendary Iron Horse. An enthusiastic crowd makes for a fun show always, no matter what size the venue is. Thank you to all that attended and making it a wonderful night. One of the funniest moments of the night happened when I was outside the venue signing autographs. As we were all standing outside the bus and the gear was getting loaded up, the forum’s own “Ditzy” tried to stow away in the cargo bay, making for a very funny photo. (I believe someone posted that photo on here a ways back). Then off to Saratoga Springs, NY., sans “Ditzy”, to open up for the “Bob”. Nothing eventful here really. Played about a half hour. People seemed to like us…we got a good review the next day in the paper…and nobody got hurt…on to Sellersville.
Sellersville, PA. is a lovely little town right outside of Philly with a lovely music venue appropriately called the Sellersville Music Theatre. Great crowd there as always…thank you for selling it out for us. I got to meet a fellow Cuban singer named Lilly Anjel as she was the support act for this night. She was great fun to listen to and the crowd seemed to dig her. I wish her nothing but the best. I don’t always get to hear the opening act so it was a real treat for me. Funny thing that night…during the concert while I was talking to the audience I said “shit” as part of some silly anecdote or something. Well to my horror, I noticed the cutest little girl sitting on her mom’s lap in the front row. Oh no! What to do? Well, I did what I used to do with my kids…I gave her a dollar for my transgression. I was going to give her a five so that I could have some credit, just in case, but nobody had a five dollar bill. Another great night in a great venue…thank you.
After wrapping up our east coast run we headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Home of the Wolverines, and city-host to what amounted to be the largest gathering of Malo-Mamas to date. It was crazy, folks…they were all there and from all over the place…California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Canada, Wales!! (I’m sorry if I’ve left anyone out.) There have been plenty of reviews and videos from the shows so I don’t really need to expand on that which has already been said. The shows at the Ark, of course are always memorable. And to hang out in a very groovy town like Ann Arbor for a couple of days just makes life on the road that much more enjoyable. As much fun as the actual shows were, the real fun was had afterwards at the pub next door. I walked in to see Gracie and the lovely Mrs. Gracie, and that crazy guy from Arizona, Czar and Tartar and his lovely wife and the rest of the gang. (I will not use names in order to protect the innocent. Come to think of it, if you were in that bar you were not innocent at all!) There was dancing, dancing on tables, partial nudity, money being stuffed into underwear (Czar)…anyways, a great time was had by all. Oh yeah, and this was just the first night. We had to do this all over again in twenty-four hours! I cursed all of you that bought me a shot of tequila, I’ll have you know. The seemingly easy and mundane task of locating a large bus in a parking lot full of cars becomes quite the challenge in a fog of “Patron”! The second night was as much fun, if not more. And after a much needed good night’s sleep we were off to Lexington, Mi.
Now, normally we don’t really play little towns like Lexington. No offense meant. It’s a lovely little town right on the lake with some beautiful homes and just a couple of restaurants. No hotels really…except for the one that’s on the golf course. So why play there you ask? Well, Lexington happens to be home to one of the coolest venues to play in the country…the Lexington Music Theatre. Owners, Adam and Lisa have opened a world-class venue in this most unlikely of places. It is an entire complex comprised of a restaurant, a pub, a coffee shop, a gourmet shop, and of course, the theatre itself. Their food is some of the best you’ll ever have with a wine cellar to match. Their attention to detail is obvious, even to the most casual of observers. From the wood used to make the bar, to what is offered at the bar, everything is top-notch. They also happen to treat the musicians with kindness and respect making it a pleasure to return.
After recovering from the night before (with a little help from Lisa and her staff and their offerings of food and sympathy) we found ourselves with a couple of hours to kill in the afternoon. Hmmm…what to do? Jay bought a tuba in downtown Cleveland that he had not been able to use yet. (We haven’t incorporated the tuba into our live show just yet…saving it for next year). So, together with Ben and his sax, and Jameson and his trumpet, they proceeded to play a little impromptu concert in the courtyard nestled between the theatre and its adjacent restaurant. I took several pictures as onlookers barely noticed three grown men playing music in the courtyard. Maybe tubas are commonplace in Lexington. Or maybe they just stunk. I’m kidding of course. I was joyfully entertained. Either way it made for quite the amusing afternoon. The show was great fun as always. A lot of the folks from the previous two nights came out prompting someone to coin the phrase a “Michigan Malopalooza”! Indeed it was.
Thank you to everyone that has come out to these shows. Your support does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I hope you know that. I am going to spend the next couple of months working with the label to ensure that our release of the new record is a successful one. Remember…March 3rd! I will also be writing with several artists for their own records (more on that later), as well as writing for my own future records. I’m also glad I will be home for a while. I will get to enjoy Dino’s baseball games, Victor’s football games, Max’s track and field meets and his cubscout meetings. Aside from really enjoying all those moments and the joy those moments bring, there is a really selfish part of me that wants to do everything possible to keep them from later on in life appearing on the Jerry Springer show complaining about how I never spent time with them! (Just kidding…sort of…)
Peace and Love,
|Just To Say Hello - 2009-09-11|
|Raul,I had the pleasure of attending your Gruene concert this summer and Austin last night. Again, a great concert. Enjoyed it! Viva Cuba and Puerto Rico Libre.|
|by Ruben A. Alicea|
|Raul Bueno, haha - 2009-09-11|
|I just wanted to let you know how much fun I had last night watching you perform at Antones (December 20). Your show was my Christmas gift to myself. I'm a single mom, with three kids. Getting out was special. Getting to see you perform was extra special. Take care. Merry Christmas Mary Helen|
|by Mary Helen McCarthy|
|Children - 2009-09-11|
|You must be a good Dad to you boys, I admire That..|
|by Amelia Olmsted|
|Raul The Author - 2009-09-11|
|Raul should be writing books he has a way with words, very interesting I must say.|
|by Amelia Olmsted|
|touring - 2009-09-11|
|Hi when are you coming over to the uk,we have been fans for years now and look foreward to seeing you again|
|by Terry White|
|Journal juice - 2009-09-11|
|Ah Raul - if you ever (heaven forbid) lose your magnificent voice you have an alternate universe calling as a writer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life with us as much as I thank you for your music - both live and recorded. As I'm writing on Christmas Day, I hope this finds you enjoying your beautiful family. Please post again soon, let us know what Santa brought you and please share what you hinted at above on the co-writing adventures. All the best to you and yours - see you aboard SBC15! Amy|
|Your the Best - 2009-09-11|
|Please come back to ann Arbor Michigan in 2009 you put on such a great show there and i all so seen you in Maryland on dec 10th 2008. Thanks Mark|
|We love your music - 2009-09-09|
|Wondering if you'll ever get back to Saratoga Springs, NY this year(2009)?|
|by Sand J. Stubing|
| - 2009-07-30|
|Raul, So there I was one morning tuning in to see (hear?) what Imus was up to. Seems he had on someone doing a live performance. Not unusual for the I Man. What was unusual was A) the song that was being done,B)The way it was being done, and C)the man that was performing it. I am referring to "Indian Love Call" Holy *%#T!! I now know who Raul mallo is. I always knew what the Indian Love Song was. A really beautiful song that was stuck in that stilted almost parody like arrangement. "Wow!this guy is finally doing justice to a unique piece of music". That was the first and last time I heard it. HELP! You obviously haven't recorded it. Any chance it might show up on a future recording,or in a future concert? I just became aware of the upcoming concert at MSG in July. I intend to attend. Maybe I'll get lucky. Keep making beautiful music my friend.It may not change the world but it can't hurt!!|
|by Jerry lamagna|