Monday, December 09, 2019

2020 Preview

On January 1, 2020 Contratopia will enter our 4th decade as a band. We started in the late 90's, played through the 1st decade of the 21st century, played through the teens and, now the clock resets. This was not our plan. We have gone from year to year happily playing mostly original dance tunes without care, beyond the next few gigs.

While we have occasionally benefited from the talents of a handful of superb substitute musicians, the vast majority of time the Original Four, Pat, Erik, Patrice and John have shared the bandstand together. It's always a great time when we meet up somewhere and continue our musical friendship.

We closed out the current decade playing at Tapestry on Nov. 16 and we have a few dances lined up for 2020. I'll get around to updating the calendar on our website soon but, until then, here's what we know:

Jan. 25 will be out first dance of the year, held at Tapestry in Minneapolis

Feb. 28 we will play the Friday Night Dance at Glen Echo (see photo above)

Feb. 29 (it's a Leap Year!) we will play an intimate concert/dance at a lovely home in, I believe, Silver Spring, MD. (More details will emerge.)

March 1 we once again get to play at Glen Echo for the Sunday Afternoon Waltz Time dance.

March 21 will be our homecoming dance at Tapestry.

We'll keep you posted as more events are scheduled and hope that you will find the time to visit with us sometime in the coming year.

Thanks for keeping us going!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tapestry cancellation, Feb. 23

We're sorry to announce that Contratopia won't be playing for the contra dance at Tapestry this Saturday, Feb. 23. A combination of possibly dangerous weather-related travel conditions and a couple of other conflicts have led us to cancel this gig.

We believe that the dance will still be held with music provided by some of our excellent musician friends and we encourage everyone to come out and have a good time despite our absence.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Wintergreen 2019

This was the view from our luxury (really!) housing complex last Sunday, late afternoon, just north of Bozeman. We were relaxing after finishing up the Sunday portion of a great dance weekend. We were also enjoying the balmy 40 degree temps while back home in Minnesota/Iowa things were being enveloped by the dread polar vortex.

We can't say enough good things about the wonderful folks in Bozeman. Marty Albini and the rest of the organizers were super nice. I won't attempt to name names because I know I'll forget someone, but we've never been treated so well. I will, however, single out Adam and Johanna from Sassafras Stomp who were a joy to work with as the "other" band.

The weekend finale was an hour long set with the two bands playing together (without much, actually any, preparation) and I have to say that we all managed to make it work beautifully. Sassatopia was a group to remember and I hope we get to do it again someday.

Many, many thanks also to our generous housing provider (Bozeman folks know who I'm talking about) who freely turned her house over to us and made us all feel at home. The whole weekend, from late night Thursday arrival to ridiculously early Monday morning departure, was about as good as it gets.

I know that the whole band and our buddy Ted Hodapp had a wonderful time and we hope to return before we all get too old.

In about 3 weeks we will be playing at Tapestry in Minneapolis for the Saturday contra, with Ted calling. Three weeks after that we will convene at Glen Echo Park for the start of what will surely be an epic weekend of dances and fun.

We hope to see you at one or more of these events.