Archives for category: Live From the Trails 2012

Whenever I go to Plummer, Idaho, I am struck with how windy it tends to be. People get tired of hearing me say, “I’m surprised more people don’t have windmills around here.”

So, it’s fitting that a band from the Netherlands, which bills its music as “windmill rock and wooden shoes blues,” would bring their brand of music to our little corner of the world.

Kicking Bill will perform at Bobbi’s famous rez bar in Plummer on Oct. 16, starting at 9 p.m. They play One Shot Charlie’s in Harrison on Oct. 19.

OK, there are a lot of them! Learn more about who’s who here.

kicking bill, bobbis bar, plummer

Kicking Bill of the Netherlands Returns to Idaho this Month

Kicking Bill was founded by Wim Kuipers and Gertjan Kluitmans in 1988. Until then, Wim and Gertjan played with the fun/punk/rock band “Kein Tiroler Musikant’n.” The best I can make out, that means, “No Tyrolean Musicians,” so I guess it was no oompah band.

When it was time for a more serious approach to music, and inspired by the sounds of REM, the Velvet Underground, Green on Red, and The Feelies, they got a new band together and started rehearsing. The line up was Eric Verhoeven on drums, Wout Verhagen on keyboards and Patrick Hendriks on bass. Their first CD “Sunny Side” was released in 1991.

Bart Willems replaced Eric on drums in 1992 and the band played in almost every bar in their region. In 1994 they recorded, “So Called Life,” which added to their  popularity in Holland. Their third album, “Paradise,” had more country influences, and somehow that led to a decision to do a little touring in the western States. in 1997 they spent two fun weeks performing around California and Oregon, but when they got back to Holland, the music inspiration had mysteriously drained out of the group, and soon thereafter they quit playing.

In November 2009 GertJan asked Wim if he thought it was time for a reunion. In February 2010 they started rehearsing again. The vibe was good, so they decided to try another tour in The US . Again, they played for about two weeks, but that time in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. This worked out so well, in their estimation, that they’re doing it again, this time with friend Dennis Wels as a supporting act.


Ray Roberson of RBF

Inland NW award winning musician, Ray Roberson,

I first heard Ray Roberson perform on The Idaho, a tour boat that ran out of Heyburn State Park on the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene. I was working at the Gazette Record, covering smART, the annual art show at Cherry Creek boaters park on the St. Joe River. The Idaho  picked us up there and Ray sounded great as he serenaded us while we cruised up the highest navigable river in the world, to the head of navigation at St. Joe City. I had only been at The Gazette for a few months, and I was thinking it was a pretty sweet job.

Unfortunately, both The Idaho and the weekend art show at Cherry Creek are history. The State Parks Dept. could not afford to keep running the cruises.The smART show isn’t gone, it’s just moved and shortened to one day. This year it will be at Aqua Park in St. Maries on Sept. 29th.

Roberson, BZ and Flores play in Harrison city park this weekend.

BZ, Flores, Roberson formed Roberson, BZ, and Flores in 2009.

Ray joined up with BZ and Flores in 2009 and has been going strong ever since, entertaining audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest. It’s difficult to hang a label on this trio. True, RBF has been twice voted the Inland Empire Blues Society’s Best Acoustic “Blues” act, and Roberson is the two-time winner of the Society’s award for “Best Blues Slide Guitar”, but the band goes way beyond the blues.

When asked, fans will tell you they play Roots-Americana-Rock-a-Bluesy music, or a variety thereof.  One thing is certain, they perform in their own style with passion.

RBF is comprised of Ray Roberson on guitars and vocals, Neil “BZ” Beese on standup bass, and “Miah” Flores on drums.  Each member is an accomplished musician in their own right.  Together they’re an original trio that gives every ounce to every show and keeps you asking for more.

The band performs this Saturday in Harrison as part of the Summer Music in the Park series. The post on Harrison’s chamber website only lists Ray, but I called and checked, and he says all three of them will be there for your listening pleasure.

June 1-3, Wallace Street Fair, Wallace
June 14-16, Gyro Days & Lead Creek Derby, Wallace
July 3, Statehood Day Parade, Wallace
July 4, Silver Valley Independence Day, Kellogg
July 5-6, Silver Spokes Bike Jan, Wallace
July 13-14, Blues Festival, Wallace
July 28-29, ATV Jamboree, Wallace
Aug 3-5, Molly b’Dam Days, Murray
Aug 4, Pinehurst Days, Pinehurst
Aug 4-5, Volunteer Fireman’s Fun Festival, Mullan
Aug 10-12, Accordion Festival, Wallace
Aug 17-18, Huckleberry Festival &5K Walk/Run, Wallace
Sept 1-3, Under the Freeway Flea Market, Wallace
Dec 7, Yuletide Lighting Celebration, Wallace

David and Bonnie DeRoos announced the development of DeRoos Ranch with the 2-course zipline in Wallace, ID, with soft opening May 11, 2012. Find the Silver Streak Zipline Tours Welcome Center at the Wallace Inn. Reservations and info online or call 208-556-1690.

Box office opens 2 hours before performance.  
Call 1-877-SIXTH

Summer 2012
Summer Hours: Wed. through Sat. 7 p.m. Sunday 2 p.m.

The Farmer’s Daughter, aka Sally and the Villain

July 5 through July 29

Will smooth talking villain Benjamin J Slick convince Sally the country girl that she can make it on Broadway? Written by Ellis Wilhite, directed by Carol Roberts.

Danerous Days for Deacon Dudley, aka Raising Cain wherever we’re Able.

Aug 1 through Aug 26

Can Deacon Dudley save the church in the town of Tribulation? Written and directed by Paul Roberts

7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays.
There is an additional matine, Saturday, Nov. 10.

I’ll be Home for Christmas

Nov. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18.

A musical about Family and hope in the golden days of radio. Written by Deborah Craig-Clause and Mark Hayes. Directed by joy Persoon.


7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. There is an additional matine, Saturday March 16.

Lucky Enough

March 8 – 10, 15-17, 22-24.

The show that will make you wish you were Irish! Written by AJ Werner. Directed by AJ Werner and Michelle Hodgdon.

A BIT ABOUT THE THEATER BUILDING: The historic building that houses Sixth Street Melodrama was a wallpaper store, market, and bordello called the Lux Rooms. It is the only building remaining in present downtown Wallace that survived fires in 1890 and 1910.


A new eatery is the Bus Stop on the corner of Cedar and Fifth. Look for the big bus. You can get espresso, Jet Tea, hot dogs, and burgers. Open 7 days in summer, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brought to you by the same folks that run Red Light Taco, kitty corner from the bus.


Stop in and welcome Grant & Kristin, new owners at Silver Pine on the corner of Bank and sixth.

THE JAMESON is only available for special events.


EJs Pizza and the Aloha Hawaiian restaurant closed their doors last winter.

The Silver Coffee Shop (formerly Family Affair) is out of business.

Everything that’s going to be open for summer will be open in Harrison for Memorial Day weekend.

The Creamery opened Friday.

I stopped in at Sheppard Fruit Wines tasting room on Friday and got some Huckleberry wine. If you want your share of this local treasure, better go get it now because it won’t last long.

Gig and T are back getting The Landing ready to open. Still looking for a cook.

The Gateway has been open, going strong already, and One Shots stayed open at least a few days through winter. Both of these places have scheduled the usual slate of live music you’ve come to expect in Harrison. Most of the live music around the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene is listed at, so check it out. If I hear about it, I post it.




Kathy Herrell at the Avery Gift Shop filled me in on town news while I was delivering books last Thursday.

Moon Pass is open

The snow had to be scraped away so the road might still be a bit of a muddy mess, according to Kathy. Probably should consider taking a 4×4 of calling ahead to check on conditions.

Lodging Prospects in Avery this Summer

There is remediation of soil going on outside of Avery and the crew will be there for at least four months. As a result, rooms will be next to impossible to find, but there are still some vacancies in the suite over the gift shop, according to Kathy. If you are a cyclists planning to ride the Bitterroot Loop, better make your reservation quickly if you want lodgings in Avery. You might alternately consider Spring Creek Cabins on the Joe toward St. Maries. You can find contact info and links (when available) at and also on the Lodging page on the website.

Avery Trading Post Opening This Weekend

The Trading Post will open on Memorial Day weekend but give them a few days to get their food order in.




April 28 Updates on the Rail Trail

Bitterroot Coffee House on Hunter is open 7-2 Tuesday through Saturday. The place is for sale. I’m touring Mullan – checking for updates for the 2012 Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes Unofficial Guidebook before the big printing May 2. The windows on the Johansen weaving studio are covered with drapes. Coyote Cafe is open. The Museum is getting ready to start up for the season. A sign on the door lists volunteers’ phone numbers.

bitterroot coffee house Mullan Idaho

The Bitterroot Coffee House flanks the picturesque city park in Mullan, Idaho

They don’t want to buy six guidebooks at the cafe. I remind April they make money on the books but Michael says no. They seem tired. She is thinking of going into real estate. I tell her Joel Skousen, who builds bunkers for rich people, just released a book about the best places to be during the coming shtf scenario. The Inter-mountain West made the list. Seems like a good real estate niche in an otherwise frumpy market. The Shoshone News Press is laying on the counter. headline says Mullan Museum board will meet next week. I need a new vendor for the books here. Maybe the museum, even though they’re closed on weekends.

Gary at Mullan House, the swanky new lodgings a few blocks east on Hunter Street, told me last fall he wants to carry some books. April says his place is doing very well. She thinks it would be good to put the books there. He’s got guests this weekend she says. I go there, but nobody is around.

I never mentioned the c-store on River Street in the book. It’s right along the Bitterroot Loop, between the Trail of the CdA and the NorPac.  Riders could stop there for water and snacks before heading up the hill to Lookout.  Margaret at the Polla Mart doesn’t know if they will be open through summer. The Lucky Friday Mine is shut down and people aren’t paying their bills. The shoplifting is bad. I mention that more people are starting to ride the Bitterroot Loop and that business owners in Avery say hundreds of cyclists rode through last year.  Avery is experiencing a mini revitalization. Magaret once sold bulk oil but that went down the tubes too. She says David got hit in the head last year by his friend who was goofing around. There was alcohol involved. Now David has two steel plates in his head and his speech is a little off. Crazy mountain boys. He can’t do mechanics now that he’s been hurt. Plywood covers the shop windows. Rusty barrels outside. At this point, Margaret thinks about how to get out of the business gracefully. The coffee house is for sale, she says. Then an afterthought. What is she doing here anyway? Her family is in Texas, aren’t they? Why did they move here?

Margaret doesn’t know if the Coyote Cafe will be open this summer. They had to close down for a while, due to a refrigeration problem. I ask Margaret what she thinks is going to happen to our nation in the next year or so. She alludes to the fall of the Roman Empire. I agree, but maybe we can sell a few books and bottles of water before then. I could give her a little plug in my book, I say, if she thinks the store might stay open. She is ambivalent, and tired too, and thinks her place is too far from the trail head. The riders never make it up that far.

Mining Display in Mullan Park, and of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

Mining Display in Mullan Park.

I usually see Mullan for what it could be: a picturesque little old mountain ski town with intriguing spaces and cheap rent for artists. Since I promote the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, I take pictures of happy things. The orange and yellow leaves in the park in autumn. The Bitterroot Coffee House, church steeple against a backdrop of snowcovered mountains. Now I’m seeing hard times. After leaving the Polla Mart an urge overwhelms me to take pictures of dilapidated buildings. I clock the distance from store to trail head. It’s .3 miles.

I stop in to see the cook at the Coyote Cafe. There’s a rumor you might be closing up. What’s up with that? As far as he knows they’ll stay open. I’m taking pictures of the old Steel Workers Hall and a guy comes out of the museum across the street. “You must be involved with the museum?” I say. Butch Jakobson proudly introduces himself as the president. He is a Finn who loves local history. He’s got quite the old photo collection and is collaborating on several books. He’s working with fellow Finn, Don Heikela of Harrison, on a project, and with Tony and Susan Bamonte on a series about the goldfields, corridor of wealth. Give pause to the great wealth of the mighty Coeur d’Alenes. Whatever riches came out of these mountains rolled through the sluice box and took root elsewhere. There are mining company legacies like parks, pools, and bowling alleys. The peasants, for the most part, are still peasants and now things are falling apart. Would Butch like to try some books on consignment? He thinks so. A bright spot in the reality show.

To see more images check out the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes Riders Facebook page.

Downtown Mullan, Idaho

Downtown Mullan Idaho

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