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German American Festival in Ohio this August 22-24

german american festival logoI’ve been anxiously awaiting my premier gigs at the German American Festival in Oregon, OH for quite awhile! Friday night me and the boys will be hitting the stage– where we’ll be all weekend through the 24th. I’m told these folk know how to party and we’re all ready to power up the polkas, schlagers and rock tunes for them!


Alex’s Notes from Edinburgh, Scotland – Part 3

Alex doing a bit of busking on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Alex doing a bit of busking on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland.

So…. the trip is carrying on and has really been growing and giving me some amazing experiences.. Nothing quite describes the scope of this festival. I can’t overstate how many different types of artists, music, drama, visual art and just unique personalities I have encountered in the last few days.- And last night I got to experience (in some really cold weather) – The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most amazing shows of music, dance and pageantry I’ve ever seen. People from throughout the UK, as well as Europe, Australia and a few Americans. Amidst all of this newness– I was playing accordion on the street by a German bratwurst stand and bumped into an ex-accordion student of mine from PA that I hadn’t seen in at least 6 years! I’ve met performers who are friends with the son of one of my friends, last night a fan originally from Texas came into my show with her “Don’t Keep Calm and Polka On” t-shirt as she just moved to Scotland recently.

My show is being well received by the audiences that are here. I’m also feeling more and more confident about the solo setting for this repertoire. It’s awesome to be developing this music– in some cases from my band repertoire and in other cases new repertoire that I might be adding to the band repertoire or just developing in the solo realm. It’s been a growing experience as an artist and as a human.

But then there’s the other side of the coin… last night was the biggest show so far– 36 people in the audience. Now- as a musician/ artist/ entertainer– I’ve played to a wide variety of audiences- in size, venues, what they like,etc… But night after night we’re distributing fliers with the other 3000 shows to get people into our theaters, cabarets, clubs, etc… Busking on the street, playing showcases at clubs, attending conferences to meet promoters/ booking agents– it’s some of the most intense work I’ve ever done.

But on Sunday- the crowd changes over, I’m told… so it’s like starting all over!! So today, I’m relaxing a bit- catching up with work– looking out at Edinburgh Castle and maybe just soaking in a little down time from the 6-10 miles of walking with an accordion a day to reflect on the experience.

I’m greatly appreciative of Karen and David Denzine for their support of this trip, work and hospitality. I’ve been enjoying the experience and look forward to what these next few days will bring– as well as the upcoming gigs with the band in the USA too… and getting home to the kiddos!

Only Three More Shows!

Alex’s Notes from Edinburgh, Scotland – Part 2

alex meixner doing a showcase set at the mash house in edinburgh scotland

Doing a quick showcase set at The Mash House in Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m getting ready for my 3rd night of performances and starting to find my way around this scene here… It’s quite a challenge as I’m adapting a lot of repertoire that I’m used to playing with a band to a solo accordion program- while communicating in completely different ways with people who are totally unfamiliar with me and what I do.

Last night after my cabaret show- I performed at a showcase with 4 other musical and/ or comedy acts… One of the gentleman had just received a 5 star review for his show. There were approximately 3 people in attendance besides the performers! There’s just so much talent and uniqueness here, that everyone is fighting for attention. So– I’m lucky that I’ve got 28 advanced tickets sold for tonight and that last night’s late set (I did 15 minutes at a rock club at 2am after a popular band and got a great response with the Eggroll Song and Why Die Thirsty!) and today’s 20 minute set at a stage on the Royal Mile hopefully drum up some more peeps that are digging the music I’m making…

As I’m reading back over the notes I’ve written, it’s hard to distinguish all of the artists I have met. So many are so talented and charismatic and nice and entertaining, but it’s sensory overload. This afternoon- I did remember the Sushi Tap Dance Troupe… I don’t think I could forget them!

So– I’m continuing on and soaking it all in. Gary Blair is stopping in tonight to jam for a song or 2 and all will rock.

I’ve eaten excellent fish and chips, had a few cool beers, some great Scottish breakfasts and just waiting for the right haggis!
It’s also pretty different not having constant internet access, phone… and since I’m moving to a new flat tonight, I’m not sure I will even have the inconsistent internet access I’ve had– but I’ll write another note when I have time and appreciate the love and support from home and the new friendships and fans here…

Thanks y’all!

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Alex Photo by Nicole C. Kibert

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