Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day Three: The Boise / Oregon Ghost Town Tour...

We arrived in Boise, ID late on Saturday night and got up early for my performance at Cathedral of the Rockies, First United Methodist Church.

My family and I stayed in Boise with pianist Christian Housel and his family. It was Christian, actually, who invited me to come and play for his church there in Boise. Very nice of him! Christian and I had played a Whisperings piano concert together only a month before, and here we were, together again! if you like my music, check out Christian's as well. You'll like it!

For the morning church service, I played three songs. I opened with "Be Thou My Vision" (played as a prelude to the service) and then I played "The Vigil" as special music. Finally, I played "Eden Again" for the postlude.

One of the reasons I played the morning service was to give folks a "preview" of the evening concert and to encourage them to come.

So, after spending a fun afternoon with the Housel's, we returned to the church for the concert that night. It was a really nice setting, on a beautiful 7' Steinway piano. We had about 80 people in attendance.

The concert wasn't just myself, but Christian also. We took turns. Christian opened with three songs, and then I played three. Then he played three more and I played three.

At the end, we got a standing ovation, so we each played one more. Then he and I did some improvisation together, finishing up with a four-hand version of Pachelbel's "Canon in D." It was great fun!

To the right is a photo from the concert. It gives you some idea of the setting. It was a nice, mellow evening. :)

For the concert I played....

The Gift
Sweet Dreams & Starlight
Big Snow in Salzburg

As the Deer
No More Tears
It is Well With My Soul


That pretty much sums up day three. Most of the day surrounded events at the church, going back and forth, and then spending some time with the Housel family just hanging out.

Coming soon... Day Four!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Day Two: The Boise / Oregon Ghost Town Tour...

Day Two was one of the longest and most eventful days on the Tour.

We started the morning by going up to "Radar Hill" just outside Burns, Oregon to visit the old air force base there. My father-in-law was stationed there about 40 years ago. So for my wife it was a chance to "stand" where her father stood decades ago.

The base is all but torn down now, but you can still see the remains. It's a "ghost" air force base.

I won't bore you with all the details of our time there. It was more of a personal trek, reflecting on family history, but we enjoyed it. My son Nathan, in particular, enjoyed walking on the remains of old buildings.

Once we were finished there, we decided to take a bit of a detour. Instead of heading straight to Boise, Idaho, which is where I was performing a concert the next morning, we decided to first head south to take a driving tour of the Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon.

Man, oh man, what a day we had ahead of us.

The trek around the Steens is about 60 miles - all on gravel road. But it is such beautiful driving. Probably the only disappointing thing about the trip is that we were there in late July, too late to see all the flowers in full bloom. Still, the landscape was incredibly beautiful.

I must tell you, the views at the Steens are breathtaking. I've rarely seen more beautiful country. There's one point where you're sitting above 9,000 feet and you can miles and miles of country 5,000 feet below you. A few of those viewpoints are no place for anyone with vertigo to stand!

Here's a photo I took of one of the glacial carved valleys. I truly wish I had something in the picture to give you a perspective on the size of what you're looking at. The photo makes it look much smaller than it was. Let's just say that in order to truly photograph the entire expanse, I had to do it in three pictures. This is just the center one.

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And here's my daughter, Noelle, relaxing at the edge of "Fish Lake," one of my favorite spots on the Steens tour.

Aren't the colors beautiful? All the greens, blues, yellows and browns create such a lovely canvas.

Just mile after mile of epic scenery. Like something straight out of a fantasy novel.

A good four miles of the Steens loop trip is impassable (at least safely) by any car not equipped for it. Once we reached that point of the tour, I was so very glad we rented a Ford Explorer and not a mini-van! Even with the Explorer we were going really slow - like maybe 1 mph. Even at that slow speed we were being bounced around like dog toys in the truck as we drove over that crazy, crazy road!

I had estimated the 60 mile loop would take us 2 and a half hours. It took us 4 and half with stops! By the time we were through it, we were glad to be on paved road again. But the trip was worth it.

For anyone thinking of taking this drive, a recommendation: Start the loop at Frenchglen, Oregon, and then drive up to Wildhorse Lake. At this point, rather than continuing on to the "rooster road," just turn around. The rest of the loop is tough driving and though it's beautiful, it doesn't match the beauty of what you've just come through. The last 20 miles or so of the loop are really LONG miles!

From the Steens we headed north east back up to Boise. We arrived at about 10:30 pm. It was a long day in the car for the kids, but we were ready for the next day's concert.

In the next blog, I'll include a photo from that concert, plus a couple more from this day's adventures.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Day One: The Boise / Oregon Ghost Town Tour...

The first day of the tour we decided to travel as far as Burns, OR, which is about about six hours away from my home in Springfield.

There's a very common misconception about Oregon.

1) That it rains all the time. It really doesn't.
2) That's it's all forest and trees. It's really not.

A good half (at least) of Oregon is desert - and by desert, I don't mean all sand like the Sahara. I mean what they call "high desert country." It's wide open space and lots of heat.

Here's what I mean...

Yes, folks, that's Oregon, and a WHOLE lot of it looks like this. But you know, I really LOVE it. I love the quiet and the open sky. When I was younger, I was really into the forest, and while I still appreciate the beauty of the trees, I think that the desert speaks more to me now. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's just the openess of it. You can see for miles and there's no hiding anything.

One of the most popular travel destinations in Oregon is a little tourist town called Sisters. It's right at the foot of the Cascades. There are lots of little shops and fun things to see. It's a nice place to spend an afternoon. But, NO ONE but no one has heard of Brothers, Oregon, and that's where these photos were taken... Here are a couple of my favorites...

This one of my little girl, Noelle, out hunting for rattle snakes (a daring one, she is).

And this, one of my favorite photos from the entire trip. This is SO eastern Oregon...

All of these were taken at a rest stop in Brothers, which has a population of about 50 people. Brothers is also SMACK DAB in the middle of the state. Right on Hwy. 20 between Bend and Burns.

At the end of Day One we stayed at the Comfort Inn in Burns and had a wonderful family dinner at Applebees. It was a nice, hot day to drive across the desert. What could be better? You'll see in my next post.

Day two was a day of REAL exploration!


Prelude: The Boise / Oregon Ghost Town Tour...

I just returned from a week on the road, having played a concert in Boise, Idaho. I thought it would be fun to use my next few posts to tell you about the trip and share some photos.

For this concert event, I decided to do something I'd never done before - take the whole family with me! Boise is just an 11 hour drive from my home, so it was pretty much a no brainer. We rented a Ford Explorer so we could fit the entire family PLUS all my usual "tour" stuff. I had intended to rent a mini-van, but the vans were all gone when I went to pick up my rental. So, I was upgraded to an Explorer. Initially, I wasn't very happy about it, but in the end, I'm really glad we had the SUV. You'll read why in my next post.

Since I was traveling through eastern Oregon to get to Boise, I decided to also use this trip to scout locations for a photo shoot. For my next CD, an album of traditional Hymn arrangements, I'm trying to locate a very old, isolated, pioneer era church. Something that just gives the impression of a past generation. I want the album cover to have the "feel" of a bygone era.

I had a few photos of some old churches in Oregon that I'd found on the Internet. I wanted to hunt those down, plus explore a number of "ghost towns" in Oregon to try and find just the right location.

So all in all, the objective of this tour was...
1) To play the concert in Boise
2) Spend quality time with the family
3) Search the back roads of Oregon for the perfect "pioneer church."

It was a GREAT trip! More to come...


Friday, August 04, 2006

David Nevue: Mogul of New Media?

I thought I'd pass this along as it's pretty cool....

I just got mentioned with my photo in the Wall Street Journal.

They were doing an article entitled "Moguls of New Media" about unknown producers being "catapulted into positions of enormous influence." Apparently, I'm one of them. :)

They interviewed me a couple weeks about for about an hour. Here's a link to the Wall Street Journal article.

Funny, I don't feel like a "Mogul." :)

The mention/photo is underneath the text of the article, in the "New Media Power List" portion.


David Nevue