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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Guitar Adventures! How it all began.

 In late 2010 I received an email from an old friend , CJ Danson(drummer extrordinaire!). "Do you know any guitarists available to commit to a working band here in Mexico....no jobbers!"
 I had know Chris for years having met him back in Chicago where we both played in  bands and had kept in 'loose' touch over the years so I was aware that he was living and playing music in Mexico with the band CRIMINO. I had seen a video of them and heard a few of there tunes and I was impressed.
I was informed that Bryan James, their original guitarist had moved on to form his own group and they need a replacement.
 At the time I was playing several nights a week hosting 'Jam' nights and as a backup/rhythm guitarist in The Mitch Clark Band, but I was also holding down a full time day job. I think Chris sent me the original email 'fishing' for someone but not expecting my response. I stared at his message for a minute and responded...'how 'bout me?'
 Five minutes later  my phone rang and CJ and I were discussing what they had going on down in Mexico. They had just released an album and really wanted to keep up the momentum they had built up to that point. There were no guarantees or promises, no delusions of grandeur, just the straight opportunity to head down there and see what we could all do together. They had the material, the equipment and the transportation(that's a whole other story) to book and play gigs all over and I would have free lodging as long as I was there.
 If I was to say I wasn't a little apprehensive I'd be lying! I'd have to quite my job, give up all my current steady gigs...not to mention SCARY Mexico!!!!!
This was the first of dozens of calls CJ and I had over the next month or two. I began to really get excited by the prospect and somehow couldn't get it out of my mind. I just kept thinking about 'regret'. If I didn't go do this I'd go to my grave wondering 'what if?'
 Our conversations continued and at about the middle of January 2011 I wrapped up all my loose ends (quit job,quit gigs) in Florida. I packed up my little silver Hyundai hatchback with 4 guitars, two amps and all the accouterments that go with them as well as much clothing as would fit and in early February 2011 I hit the road!
  The trip was quite interesting......... 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Eight months rocking out around Mexico

Hi there folks!
 My name is Mark Skey. I am a guitarist(among other things) that just returned from one HELL of an adventure touring and playing Rock & Roll and Blues with the band Crimino. The band is comprised of Americans that have decided to make Mexico their permanent home and I was was very honored when I was offered the guitar slot by my old friend,CJ Danson ,the drummer. I obviously did NOT reside in Mexico when this whole adventure began and it's a long, wild and pretty interesting story as to how it all came about. In the following series of blogs I plan on telling the whole tale, from the very first email inquiring about 'musicians needed' to the actual trip....I DROVE from Central Florida all the way to Chapala(State of Jalisco) in Mexico. I will detail how it all came together, from intensive rehearsals to great shows all around that beautiful country. My 'Mexican' experience  changed me in a lot of ways. It certainly gave me a new and profound respect for the people,surreal scenery and culture of the great nation of Mexico and I hope that in the context of my 'rock & roll' adventure there I can perhaps change folks view or at the very least 'educate' people a little on a place that is very misunderstood right now due to extremely 'if it bleeds it leads!' U.S. media coverage. I am not attempting to ignore or deny the very real issues Mexico now has, but I feel that there is SO much more to be discussed concerning a country so close to us and with such a rich heritage and culture.
So folks, I hope you'll tune in from time to time and catch up on my journey. At first I had some serious reservations about sharing this tale, as I felt it may come off as self servicing. I discussed it with several friends and associates and with many laughs and some genuine disbelief(although it's all true!!!) they assured me it might make for a fun read and might even change an attitude or two towards 'scary' Mexico. 
 So like I said.....
       Stay tuned!