We made our way into Slovakia over the densely wooded mountain called Malý Polom. I watched the passing wooded vistas from my open car window and breathed in the fresh, crystal clean air. I almost thought I was back in another place I love so well – the Colorado Rockies. A common theme in most of the songs on Big Blue Moon is the idea of searching for home. Perhaps because of the familiar mountain landscape, I felt at home on our drive from Czech Republic to Slovakia.
Tomas is Slovak and he had promised me a taste of traditional cuisine so we stopped along the was at a small café for ryndza halušky. There, in a spacious cabin restaurant set just off the main road, I gobbled the dish of gnocchi-like potato dumplings and sour but savory sheep’s-milk cheese. It was delicious!
Nové Mesto nad Váhom is an hour outside of Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, and we played tonight in the Blue Note Jazz Club and Restaurant in the heart of town. Down a blue-lit staircase is a large room with tables and banquettes and a big bar on the far end. The stage is right in the center. The club seems brand new and could easily be mistaken for a swanky spot in Los Angeles or Dallas.
And our new friends came to see us play! Vera and Eva from Veseli (Café Pierre) were there, along with fans that had seen our show in Brno. After our two sets, I had a great time giving an interview for a local newspaper. Journalist Martin is an avid jazz fan and through his lovely translator, Sylvia, he asked me interesting questions about my study of jazz and my journey to Slovakia. I wanted to hang out with them all night, but our 5:00am departure the next morning pushed me to say goodbye to Nové Mesto. Onto our last show in Switzerland!