July 11, 2013 @ 12:56 AM

Dear friends and fans,

Once again I need to make amends for the long silence. I guess I'm more at home doing things than talking about what it is we're doing ... and there has been PLENTY to do to get from there to here. Still, I don't mean to cut you out  ... so let me try to catch you up.

Sail Rock Tour in full swing for summer 2013!

After seemingly endless preparations and coordinations between artists, managers, crew technicians, airlines, hotels and rental car companies, the Sail Rock 2013 tour finally left harbor on June 12th with a pared-down show roster at the San Diego Fairgrounds Racetrack in Del Mar, CA. Being as it was essentially home turf for him, Christopher Cross brought his own band and opened the night with a full 45-minute set. After a 1/2 hour set changeover, the rest of us ... Orleans, backing both Player and Firefall ... hit the stage for our 45-minute segment. What to do for an encore? Ah!!! ... How about an all-hands-on-deck, 3-band version of "Take It Easy"? Yeah, that seemed to work well. :-)

With that more or less "test case" under our belt, we got ready for the Full Monty 7-act revue. All of us ... John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree, Player, Firefall, Gary Wright, Christopher Cross and Orleans ... convened in Erie, PA for a long day of rehearsal on July 4th. Charlie, Lane and I, along with the crew, began at 11 AM. We didn't crawl out of the rehearsal hall until 8 PM! And, in between, the time was spent going over every song that everbody had brought to the table for the following night's show.

              

Have you ever been to Chautauqua, NY? Me neither. But WOW! ... what a place! Nestled in western NY state's Souther Tier, behind the entrance gate, lies a whole town ... a quaint, idyllic, arts-centered community that only operates for the 9 summer weeks of the year, hosting event after event. Our show venue was a 5000-seat, covered, open-sided amphitheater with a huge stage, which we were given just after noon for the 8 PM show. OK ... ready, set, GO! ... everybody get to work!

Ever push a rock uphill? Soundchecks finally actually commenced at about 3:30 and went for a full 3 hours. For me, that left just enough time to grab a quick shower, a quicker meal, and to push the reset button to get mentally fit for the actual performance. And, right on time, at 8:15, we hit the stage.

The July 4th day of rehearsal was hard. The long set up and soundcheck day was hard. But you know ... it was all well worth it. I don't recall at exactly what point it was during the show, but I do vividly recall a moment of realization wherein I said to myself, "Man, how cool is this? Am I blessed or what!?!?!"

For a nice look into the July 5th show, please visit this kind 
review of the evening.

                


It's now year 41 for Orleans. Who knew we'd go this long or still have opportunities like this one? Thank you fans, freinds, family, Universe for allowing me ths life.

Also many thanks to all the contributors to this part of the journey, especially all the fine artists named and those behind the scenes who have not been named ... but you DO know who you are! Together, we make it happen.

We're off to the Fortune Bay Casino in Tower, MN this coming weekend. I'll do my best to keep posting as we go along this summer. Also, word soon on some new Orleans recordings being released.

Stay tuned!

Lance Hoppen
(for the entire Orleans ground crew)