Rakiye and the Ring of Fire

Nothing like jamming with local friends from Banja Luka, Bosnia (Srpska Republic) to our favorite American down home songs like: “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Ring of Fire” and even “country road”.  Yes it was a fun way to end our time with the band members from the Banja Luka Tamburica Orchestra and the rock band, Grasshoppers from neighboring Kotor Varos.   The triple bill was a real highlight for us on our beginning tour of Bosnia.  We arrived via Zagreb on Friday night and settled into the famous Hotel Bosnia in Banja Luka. It feels like winter now (even snowed tonight) and it’s much colder than it’s been in any other city over the last two weeks.   The others even pulled out the silky drawers to keep them warm (I’m toughin’ it but probably not for long).

We played 2 songs with the Tamburica Orchestra then did our own RVSQ “rock and roll” set.  Then Grasshoppers rocked it with their set.  They did a fierce cover of Bob Marley’s “I shot the sheriff” but had to change the translated words to “I shot the mayor” since sheriffs don’t really exist here in Bosnia!   Dina suggested they try some Tom Petty which is a great idea so we’ll have to keep this conversation going.  It was at the cast party (well it was really the after party but with juice, cookies and pretzels in a small rec room, so it reminded me of my middle school cast parties),  was where the beauty of real musical bonding took place.  Especially when the guys from Grasshoppers took over and sang song after song.  Alisa took out her fiddle to join in.  The national alcoholic beverage of choice appeared–well two of them really–Turkish coffee and Rakiye and then it was a party!

Tomorrow we head to Sarajevo and I’m looking forward to it.  Alisa handed me an historical fiction novel to read before we left about the famous Sarajevo Hagaddah.   We found out from our US Embassy liaison (her name is Sunshine and she really is a ray of it!) that the museum where it is housed  is closed so we can only see replicas of it. That’s disappointing.

Here’s a photo of Grasshoppers doing sound check. I love the backdrop!

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