Ned Luberecki and Stephen Mougin are a pair of busy bluegrass boys. Both serve as sidemen and band members with different outfits (Chris Jones and Sam Bush respectively), and have “regular jobs” in the biz as well. Ned is an on-air host on Sirius-XM’s Bluegrass Junction, and Stephen operates a studio, Dark Shadow Recording. When they have some free time, they tour as a duo, Nedski & Mojo.
They have agreed to chronicle their current N&M tour for the readers of Bluegrass Today. Day 8 finds our heroes with one last show in New York before starting the long journey home.
Day 9 begins with a 7 am breakfast at the B & B so we could get on the road early. It was a balmy 25 degrees in Hudson Falls, NY as we packed the car for the long ride home. My parents sent a few extra instruments and some things for my son, which had to be creatively stuffed into the Altima. After a slow drive through morning traffic, and a couple of arguments with the GPS about our route, we got on I-87S bound for TN.
The rundown for our trip:
Best Coffee: any Dunkin’ Donuts we visited.
Worst Coffee: Econolodge, Tacoma Park, MD
Best Breakfast: (there were several good ones) Homemade French Toast with REAL Maple Syrup, just like Mom used to make… oh, wait she did!
Worst Breakfast: Motel 6, Johnson City, TN (they actually didn’t have any breakfast so we stopped at Dunkin).
Best Lunch: Broiled Crabcakes at Hella’s in Pasadena, MD. Ned says these were just like the one’s Mom used to buy…
Best Traffic: the 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. leg of the ride home
Worst Traffic: Washington DC
Easiest Drive: Tie between Pasadena, MD and Ashfield, MA. You don’t need the GPS in your hometown!
Best Money Saving Tip: AAA Discount for the extra driver on our rental car.
Worst Money Wasting Expense: $30 in tolls…
Best Fuel Prices: $3.06 Virginia
Worst Fuel Prices: Nearly $4.00 in Boston, but thankfully we didn’t have to fill up there.
|50 Hours in the Car
|6 Dogs and 5 Cats
|8 Complete gear setup/take downs
|14 Different Beds (7 each)
|8 Sets of Strings (with 2 additional Banjo 4ths)
|9 Different Dunkin’ Donuts
|16 Meals “out” – 6 Home Cooked Meals
|14 Hours of Live Recorded Audio
|14 Hours of Music Instruction (7 each)
|2 Collegiate Bluegrass Programs
|1 Package of Sudafed (yes, we had to show ID).
|1 Bottle of Nyquil (for the “restful sleep my body needs”)
|1 Nissan Altima
Since our route home took us directly through Hagerstown, MD, we decided to stop for a quick visit with Paul Beard (Beard Guitars). Ned and Paul have been friends for nearly 30 years and, since Ned recently purchased a Resophonic guitar from Paul, he wanted to check out the shop. It was a nice opportunity to stretch our legs and see the different stages of Resonator Guitar building! In addition to building the guitars, Paul is spinning the cones, designing reso-ukeleles, and developing new instruments. We had to try a couple of round-necks while we were there and it seemed natural to pick some blues. He saw our collection of “The Pose” and demanded to have one taken with us!
We sure had a great time on this tour, but there was a LOT of work that went into it (as any traveling musician/band knows). Starting back in June with phone calls and emails, we put together this tour with the help of friends and venues that we have played in the past. As you probably noticed, I packed a lot of teaching, publicity, travel, and shows into a small amount of time, and we didn’t get much sleep. It was fun to meet so many new fans (animals included!) and spend time with new and old friends. The tour was the most challenging to date, but we really feel like it paid off.
“The Pose” has take on a life of its own and we’d like to see what YOU can do. Grab your camera and take your best shot (pun intended) to win a Nedski and Mojo autographed CD. Post entries to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/the.nedski.mojo.show by Midnight, December 15 when we pick our favorite!!
Come visit us on the road sometime if you get a chance. We’ll be in Birminham, AL at Fretted Instruments on Wednesday, December 5th and North Vernon, IN at St. Annes Golf Course on Friday, December 7th. Thanks for following the Nedski and Mojo Bluegrass Today Travelogue!
-Note- Awoke at 6:30a.m. EST Tuesday, and sending this entry at 3:30 a.m. CST Wednesday. Yikes, that’s a long travel day. I’d love to sleep in, but we have to meet in the morning to get the rental car back by 10:00 a.m. Gotta sleep fast, the work is never done!!