The Rag Tag Misfits have not only performed throughout the UK, they have also touched on international waters on 2 different continents. A trip to America with an American agent they met in Liverpool with the opportunity to perform in the prestigious House of Blues in Chicago and a short trip to New Zealand where they tested the waters with the Kiwis.
We had a fantastic opportunity to tour North America and meet some very inspiring musicians known wordwide. A huge thanks goes to Jeff an American agent and friend who met in Liverpool who made this eye opening experience all possible.
We had an amazing opportunity to work with Joey Molland of Badfinger (Breaking Bad success and hit makers of the 1970’s) who were one of the only bands to be signed to Apple Records. Joey is a truly inspirational musician and a pleasure to have collaborated with on our original music. He shared stories of his experience working in the music industry and gave us an inspiring insight into the song writing process.
We played to a crowd of 1300 at the prestigious House of Blues in Chicago with the sensational singer/songwriter Mitch Ryder of The Detroit Wheels (hit makers of the 1960’s) and performed on stage together alongside Joey Molland.
The crowd were ecstatic and we were applauded on our performance, feeling elated the night was a great success, one night never to be forgotten.
ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC
During our time in Chicago we had the opportunity to meet and jam with Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers, and we jammed their hit song “Midnight Rider” together, he played his trademark guitar style and we backed him in the jam session; a truly memorable experience.
We were also introduced to Buddy Guy at his club in downtown Chicago. The legendary guitarist and pioneer of the Chicago Blues sound as well as an inspiration to Eric Clapton, an awe inspiring venue full of guitars that starred a Chicago blues band. We recorded original tracks at Matt Finks Studio of Prince & The Revolution and collaborated with the extremely talented Phil Solem of The Rembrants respectively. This was an amazing and very inspiring experience
We were also fortunate enough to meet Mark Hudson and his famous multi coloured beard, Producer & Songwriter (Hudson Brothers, Americas Got Talent, Pop Idol). We attended his master class in Chicago, were we were encapsulated by stories of Aerosmith, Cher & John Lennon. We received invaluable advice about the music business and song writing.
DYLAN DAYS WINNERS
We ventured out to Hibbing and became First Place Winners of the Dylan Days Songwriting Festival in Minnesota, USA. Since Bob Dylan is one of our greatest influences in song writing it was an honour to visit his hometown and be invited to perform at “The Dylan Days Song writing Festival” at Zimmys Bar.
They hold a 2 day festival dedicated to the music of Bob Dylan, entrants from all over the world take part. We won the competition with an original song called “Gypsy Girl”. We were told by the judges it was a unanimous vote and we walked away with a beautiful acoustic guitar and a plaque for our achievement. We also had a tour of the area and saw the house Bob Dylan grew up in and the school he attended which was very inspiring.
On our travels we were introduced to a beautiful town called Sturgeon Bay which is situated on Lake Michigan. Here we had the opportunity to perform twice at the Steel Bridge Song Festival which is a festival organised by Grammy Award Winner Pat Macdonald (Timbuk3) and his team. We were greatly received by our friends across the pond and informed we were welcome back at anytime.
Overall our experience in the USA was fantastic. We were very well received by the American audience and would return again in a heartbeat.
We met so many beautiful and inspiring people, jammed with so many amazing musicians and made friends along the way. It truly was the American Dream.
HELLO NEW ZEALAND
On our trip to New Zealand we were primarily visiting relatives and planned to go site seeing. But after all music is our way of life; we had our instruments with us so inevitably we decided to go busking.
We bought a small amp and hit the sunny streets of Auckland & Pukekohe. The response to our music was fantastic and the Kiwis loved us. Gig enquiries were flying in and CD’s were flying out. We picked up some weekly gigs at BASE in Auckland following our performance and performed at a Rugby Club.
It was unbelievable that after a couple of sets of busking, with no manager or promoter, we had picked up 6 gigs and sold a ton of CDs in the very short time we were there.
Our music went down really well in New Zealand and we hope to return especially after such a positive response. We’ll maybe try to make some contacts before we head out there again. A beautiful country, a chilled out lifestyle, an appreciative crowd and lots of music, what more could you want, as they say in New Zealand it was “Sweet As”.