As we re-enter the “real world” after a magical weekend in Napa Valley, we are grateful to Southwest Airlines for allowing us the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our favorite musicians. And not to mention all the perfectly-paired food and wine we were able to enjoy. The weekend was so magical, that often we had to pinch ourselves to make sure it was real. If we hadn’t returned with tons of great photos and interviews, I would have bet money that it was all a dream.
Below are a few highlights from our trip. Stay tuned to Live in the Vineyard and Nuts About Southwest for information on the next Live in the Vineyard event this fall. Perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones who win a chance to join us for another spectacular weekend of music, wine, and food from Live in the Vineyard!
Not only did we get to enjoy 13 amazing artists/bands, who each brought something special to the stage (and our ears), a few of them have become friends—including one of my longtime favorite bands, Better Than Ezra. We also spent some time with LP, getting to know the warm soul behind the terrific voice and fantastical whistling. Last but not least, while we didn't get as much bonding time with her as we would have loved, our interview with Mary Lambert was heartwarming and life-affirming. Every single artist we interviewed (or simply chatted with), like Passenger, Yuna, Fitz And The Tantrums and Allen Stone, are just wonderful people and happy to have the chance to spend their lives doing what they love.
Just what did we ask during our interviews? Aside from questions about the artist’s music and background, I also asked them about their “must-have” travel item. Answers ranged from neck pillows and re-usable water bottles to moisturizers and a scented candle (for the hotel room). Representing Southwest Airlines brought its share of perks such as the media access to do the interviews, but it also brought a request from Rapid Rewards Members, Fitz And The Tantrums, who were lobbying me to be "A Group for Life." As I promised Michael Fitzpatrick, I passed the request along to the airline and that the band will forever be in my “A Group.”
As for the music, WOW! I wish I had time to review every artist we saw. Instead, you’ll find a sampling of tweets at the end of this post. We were so impressed by the music we heard over the weekend, that we have been burning up our iTunes account with all the downloads. I suggest you give them all a listen and let us know if you love them as much as we do.
The Wine and Food
Aside from music, the great wines of Napa Valley and the amazing food from some of Napa's greatest chefs were a hot topic of conversation over the weekend.
At the Colbie Caillat show at Sutter Home, we discovered many of Sutter Home’s “sister” wines including Menage a Trois, Napa Cellars, and Bandit, which are all produced by the Trinchero Family Estates. These wines were paired with amazing fries, crab “cones,” cheeses, and desserts. On Saturday, we headed to a special lunch at Peju Winery that featured an incredible kale salad with chicken, grilled veggies, brick oven pizza, and corned beef sandwiches. A perfect strawberry shortcake was the perfect finish to this great meal.
Tweet ReviewsHall Winery: Birdy
@officialbirdy on the piano has more skill then you'd believe possible for a 17-year-old. Rousing ovation for her hit cover of Skinny Love.
Copia: Elaine Faye and We Are the Big Bang, Allen Stone
@allen_stone did 1 of the highest energy shows I've seen in a long time, a true entertainer with the musical skills of a master #hardworking
Sutter Home Winery: Colbie Caillat
@ColbieCaillat reminded us how many great songs she has made since being discovered on that ancient technology My Space! Still amazing today
Friday Night at The Uptown Theatre: Plumb, Mary Lambert, Hunter Hayes, Fitz And The Tantrums, O.A.R.
@marylambertsing is beautiful, poised, human and oh so talented. Turned her pain into poetry & songs delivered with the voice of an angel
@hunterhayes huge hit with young girls, and deservedly so, he can play and sing as good as he looks, really rocked the house like no other
@FitzAndTantrums plugged in and turned it up for a genre smashing, "you-can't-possibly-sit-while-we-are-playing-with-this-much-energy" set
@ofarevolution headlined the night in stellar fashion, a big band with a big presence who had everyone singing along & dancing in the aisles
Late night at Westin Verasa: Better Than Ezra
@betterthanezra a great long set in the hotel lobby, like the early days, but with some new music form the upcoming album (sounds awesome!)
Saturday Night @ The Uptown Theatre: Yuna, Alternate Routes, LP, Passenger Sarah McLachlan
@yunamusic 1MM followers have to be right! her voice and her music, influenced by her Malaysian roots, were bright, happy & lit up the night
@alternateroutes heard 1st on Olympics opening, their hit is the right message for our time. "We are how we treat each other, Nothing More"
@iamLP continues to amaze me as one of THE leading singer/songwriters of our time. Old soul, deep lyrics, powerful voice & mad whistling
@PassengerMusic mesmerizes you with his raspy voice & powerful performance, new single "Scare Away the Dark" super relevant for computer age
@SarahMcLachlan hasn't lost a step, her voice has aged like fine wine, one of the grandest of vocal instruments in the musical world today