Firecracker Tour & Blogathon

Posted on July 8, 2007 by Sara Hickman. | 2 Comments is open for business as of this morning! Last year, I blogged for 24 hours to raise money for the Invisible Children Project, but I’m thinking someone out there reading this wants to be a marathon blogger, too. So click on that link and sign up! Raise mulah and awareness for the charity of your choice!

First night of the Firecracker Tour, culled together by the fabulous and cheer-filled Abi Tapia (, was at a wooden dance hall in Freyburg, TX, owned by the dazzling and very talented Ginn Sisters’ family ( There was B-B-Q, and a variety of folks, from youngsters to the oldest, and very attentive folks they were! Seated at long wooden tables, sipping on beers and cokes, laughing and clapping and singing along under sparkling Christmas lights laced into wooden vines that have collected in poignant spots around the interior, it was a congenial crowd. The Firecracker Tour kicked off with Abi, and then me, and closing with the Ginn Sisters and band.

Abi is fresh-faced freckles, sparkling brown eyes like a kitten’s, and lots of dark ringlets to frame her face. She smiles so wide while she is performing, and her songs are a mixture of
country, folk and catchy! She is a love bug, for sure. (And I can NOT stop singing “I Cried Wolf”…) The Ginn Sisters are Tiff and Brit, who encapsulate sisterhood and perfect timing in a sound akin to the gutsy side of the Dixie Chicks wrapped around the tasty flavorings of family bluegrass. Tiff sings and handles acoustic while Brit plays incredible flute, and I can honestly say it was incredible…she is a rock flautist…and melodica, switching readily into harmonies as needed. Their blend is why all families should sing together—just sounds uncannily pure and captures the best joy of harmony-style singing.

Cat Reynolds had come along to sell merch…She has the best spirit: patient and wise. Abi, Cat and I took my mommy van and car pooled.

The night wasn’t hot or rainy, just pleasant with the scented hint of waters to come.

I met Gabola; I know I am spelling that wrong. An 82 year old woman with a slight German accent. We were hanging out by the port-a-potty, chatting about the days of farming, her 8 children, her 20 grandchildren and her 33 great-grandchildren. Amazing. There was a very wierd shaped spider in the port-a-potty. It looked like a tea pot.

We played at the Cactus Cafe with all of the above, plus Suzanna Choffel ( and Amy Cook (

Wonderful crowd! Griff, the man who runs Cactus, asked me if I was going to mention the Denny lights. I laughed. Those frosted globes that hang down from the ceiling and provide dim
lighting prompted me once many years back to mention that I thought the place looked like a romantic Denny’s.

Abi went first, and wowed everyone, of course, then Suzanna, who plays electric jazz be-bop-hip-folk, hopped up and filled the room with her lusty voice and perfect pop. I really enjoyed hearing her, watching her bow her head, hair hiding her face, as she sauntered to her sassy songs. Up next was the lithe Amy, who played in a drop D tuning, singing about sunny days and promises kept and a voice akin to Eliza Gilkinson crossed with shades of Sheryl Crow, but, of course, a feeling and sound that is all her own. Just hearing the three of them perform would have been a perfect night. Especially at only $8.

We took a short break, and sold cds, chatted with the crowd, then it was time for the Ginn Sisters to pop up and they were bright and deep and painted a feeling of something old with something new. Listening to them, I feel transported to a simpler time, when people would sit on their porches, rocking in their chairs, family gathered around, sharing songs…or a country fair, cotton candy in hand, a ferris wheel in the background, sunny days, children’s laughter, and the two of them on a simple, flatbed trailor, wailing away, sharpening the afternoon with their voices and humor. I like how girly they are, carrying their femininity in their long ponytails, but their wisdom in their mischievous smiles.

The audience ate them up, and wanted more more more, but it was my time to go up, so I played. No description of me here….! But I had fun, broke a string, kept moving forward, singing my heart out.

At the end, all the women came up, and we dedicated “Strong Woman” to Ann Richards and Molly Ivans, and all sang together. That was fun, then Abi and Brit broke into “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, and we did, and the night came to a close.

Great job, Abi, thinking to put this diverse group of female musicians together!

JULY 6, Friday
Abi, Suzanna, Amy, Cat and I gathered our gear and headed out in Martha (my van) to Sons Of Hermann Hall in Dallas, which I had not been to since my wedding there in 1996. I love that hall, I love Jo, the woman who runs it, and I love Mike, the promoter. Heck, I just think SOHH is, again, a warm inviting embrace into the past. Anyplace that has shuffleboard, come on! How can you go wrong?

The sound check was perfect, loud and clear and warm and the hall is so large, your voice feels like it is expanding across water and to the end of the seas. Mmm.

I guess this could be considered the oddest night, as there were maybe 20 people that showed up, and with the size of the hall, it seemed like a dismal turn out to all. I had people emailing me through the week letting me know they were coming, so I was slightly shocked at the turnout. But, maybe it was because we were up against Terri Hendrix ( or Keith Urban (, I’m taking a stab at that one! wink ????

But we all played, and we were all sitting in on each other’s songs, and I was missing having Kristin with me…And afterwards sold a ton of cds, so, perhaps a small turnout, but the crowd had a big heart and helped us out!

Drove home, and traded out the driving. Got in to Austin and home around 4:30 am.

JULY 7, Saturday
Last night….my first time to ever play Anderson Fair and here is what I think of that place:

I LOVE IT! Tim, the soundman, did a stupendous job…wow. I felt like I could fly anywhere with my voice. There was a packed house, and we all actually made some mulah, but more so,
everyone sounded BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL. I love when Abi and the Ginn Sisters sing the gospel-tinged songs in three part. (Then I really miss being in Domestic Science Club…my body aches for that kind of song-sisterhood, blending voices and making it feel like one long stream of universal conciousness-angel-song.)

Lastly, I want to say….I said something on stage…rambling words as I was searching for a lead into a song…but feelings got hurt and, later, there was some tears and conversations and I felt SUPER bad and I hope I alleviated any terrible joo-joo because, golly, I really, really, REALLY am just winging it on a prayer and a song, and trying to do my best, and don’t like upsetting anyone…but I do make mistakes…and…I don’t think ANYONE likes upsetting anyone…but these things can happen in the moment of live music… and then we must talk it through so that things don’t eventually get worse or memories become unclear….so I am grateful for the courage of everyone involved to spit it out and work through the confusion/sadness/uncomfortability of it all.

Then…the tour came to a close, and we waved goodbye to Anderson Fair, hugged one another, and the sweet Ginn Sisters headed back to Schulenberg, while me, Amy, Abi and Cat drove towards Austin (Suzanna had only played two nights.) Rain on the way in, but none on the way out. Which is too bad, cuz Abi does a great Mary Tyler Moore worried sound, like “Oh, MR. GRA-ANT!” in that wobbly voice, but more of a “Ohh….it’s RAIN-ing!” with a cheery tinkle in her voice. You’d have to hear it. I’m missing it today, already!

Lots of love and fun on the drive home, with Amy doing the BEST dance, when we pulled over, from the gas station back to the pump. I just wish we’d captured it on film.


Thank you to all the women musicians! It was an honor to share the stage with you, your musicality, your songs and heart. U R 2 CUTE 2 B 4gotten!
Abi–you rock! LYLASA, and I mean it! Let’s write!
Amy–you know what I’m thinking so I don’t eve have to say it! BFF and PMA, sister!
Suzanna, I wish we’d gotten to chat more, you’re amazing! And going far! Most likely to succeed! (which is true everyone!!!)
Ginn Sisters—you wow everyone you meet, and I look forward to our friendship expanding! C U soon!
Cat, thank you for the hug, and you know why. You’re a great sister to me. ILY 4 Evah!

2 responses to “Firecracker Tour & Blogathon”

  1. Erik says:

    None taken!! grin

  2. Shawna says:

    No offense guys, but the bond between women rocks! Even if we have different opinions, we have a soul connection that is unique. Thanks for sharing Sara—it sounds like a great experience!

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