The bus leaves around 4am, right after Saturday’s show at The Ringside Café in St. Petersburg, FL. I’m still not sure if that qualifies as Saturday night or Sunday morning, since none of us will have gone to bed yet. What goes on in these “vampire hours” is one of the things I’m looking forward to learning on my first road trip with The Lauren Mitchell Band (The LMB). It’s about a 14 hour drive. I’m sure Lauren, The Boys, and I will do some serious bonding while we’re stuck in a van until we either stop for gas or reach our destination in Memphis. I’ve never been on the road with a band, and I have to say that I’m rather excited. I wanted to share a few thoughts before we hit the road for 7 days. The Lauren Mitchell Band is heading north to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Just the fact that they have been invited to participate makes them winners, and I am thrilled to be along for the ride.
And what a ride it’s been so far …
About 2 ½ years ago, I helped organize a fundraiser for Breast Cancer at the Flying Dog Café. I put out the word that we needed a band to perform at the 4 hour event and offered to build a website for the group that would donate their talents and time. Well, not 10 minutes later, I got a call from a young lady that I knew about, but had never seen perform. Lauren Mitchell jumped at the idea. She had just completed putting her band together and they had played a few shows around town, but were still getting their feet wet as a group.
A week later, I met Lauren in person for the first time at the “Dog” to discuss what was involved in building a website. Lauren had her plan, and I had mine! That was our first of many rather interesting meetings! The fundraiser was a huge success and shortly thereafter, The Lauren Mitchell Band had their first website.
Working with Lauren has been a wild ride. It has entailed many hours of hard work, plenty of laughs, and lots of bumping heads, (or locking horns – we’re both Taureans) because of different points of view. We’ve even shed a few tears. Lauren had a dear friend who I became pals with, Kim Foy. She and Lauren were so close, Lauren called her “Mama” Kim. Kim was the glue that kept Lauren and I working together on her website. There were many times that we could have easily gone our separate ways. But no matter what, Kim would stop me mid-sentence and say (in her lovely Louisiana drawl) “Sande, just take a deep breath and keep calm.” Sadly, we lost Mama Kim this past April, but Lauren and I both know she’s still with us. It’s almost like she knew that if Lauren and I could work through the tough times we would end up in the situation we are now: great friends and business partners. Something special happened after Kim’s passing. It is hard to explain, but I know that everyday, Kim is looking down and keeping both Lauren and I “in line!”
It’s rare to have a client who feeds my creative side like Lauren does. Not to mention the inspiration I draw from Lauren’s drive. I have never met a single person who works as hard as she does, and who is willing to keep trying in order to achieve perfection in her vision. She is non-stop from morning till night. She’s a go-getter and doesn’t give up until she gets where she needs to be. My team has taken the website from a simple shell to a professional tool that is viewed by thousands every month. In late Spring, after the details are worked out, we will begin work “from scratch” on a brand new Lauren Mitchell Band Website. It’s going to be something very special because Lauren and The Boys deserve to have the best with all the latest technology.
Lauren has pushed me to do things that I never would have dreamed I would be doing. I’m privileged to be able to work with Lauren on a professional level and more importantly to be able to call her my friend. Lauren complimented me while we were at Church the other day, “Look at You!” No Lauren, “Look at YOU!”
So stay tuned, Sarasota! I’ll have more from the road. It’s going to be a memorable and exciting trip.