Friday, 24 June 2011

Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike - 2011 European/UK/Canadian/US Tour - Post 7

Becky Buller

Photos by David Tousley


I wrote up the following before we disappeared into the Canadian wilderness and off the grid for over a week. Took in some great fishing in between gigs there. I think I'm hooked! (Pun intended.)

So please read on about the end of the European leg of our two-month tour. I'll be posting one more installment after our gig at ROMP Saturday in Owensboro, Ky.


Passing by wads of windmills on the east side of the Zuiderzee. In a rare moment of touristic benevolence, J. Gregory stopped in the middle so we could take pictures. Actually, we're all fascinated by the way the levees work and have lots of questions for our Dutch friends when we come back.

Played to a packed house at Cafe de Vriendschap in Wadway, Netherlands, last night for our dear friends Loek and Hanni Lamers. (Val and I are really excited about the Delft cow creamers, Loek! Thanks!). Pieter Groenveld was on the sound...great as always and thanks for the EWOB sticker for my banjer case. And we saw lots of familiar faces...Cor, Hank, Zoey, Hans... I didn't want to get out of my comfortable cubbyhole bed at the B&B this morning, but I'm glad I did as it gave me more time to visit with the Lamers and an incredible kiwi jam was served. Oh, and Loek taught me how to wow little children by cracking my hard-boiled egg on my head.

My second cousin Lynn came to the show from Amsterdam...we look so much alike, we could pass for twins! She and her family own the American Book Center in Spui street, Amsterdam. She is the author of "Passing The Comfort," the story of thousands of quilts sent by the American Mennonites to help the Dutch after WWII; of Lynn's journey to Holland in the 1970s and how these old quilts helped her feel connected to the folks back home; and of her friend An who is a Mennonite minister's wife and was with the resistance during the war. It's a good read. By the way, they have the most interesting new machine at both ABC locations in Amsterdam and Den Haag. It prints books while you wait, either manuscripts you bring in or out-of-print, hard-to-find titles you've looking for... Check it out by clicking here.

Gig at the Kulturspeicher in Leer tonight. Another sold-out show! Thanks to our hosts for the wonderful meal ahead of time.


Wound up our six-week European adventure in Hildesheim at their Jazztime Festival. Figure there were around 10,000 folks in the audience! Really! I've posted a video to my Facebook page.

Met an incredible Iranian Flamenco guitar player while there. Also met up with my friend Delia from Murfreesboro, Tenn., who is traveling across Europe for the month.

According to some really nice local folks we met over a plate of Hawaiian schnitzel tonight, Hildesheim is home to the fourth largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world as well as High German, as in the German folks are taught in school. They also told us a story about a Tom Thumb dude who kept local thieves from stealing apples in the way back yonder days. we come! Then on to Canada!

(For an update on TOMM Fest 2011, please go to my website: