By Theresa Cernoch Parker
The Moravians are still abuzz about their summer tour in Wisconsin and Iowa with the SqueezeBox Band and Jim Busta Band. The guys had a great time and it proved to be a love/love experience between the band and polka crowds. Thanks to all polkabeat fans who sent donations to help pay for expenses. Donations came in not only from all over Texas, but also California, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Ohio, Florida, Montana and Minnesota!
Polkabeat visited with Moravian Matt Matous about the trip. See more photos.
What was your favorite venue?
We enjoyed every event that we played at. There wasn’t a single place that didn’t accept us with wide open arms. As far as our favorite place, one night we played at a restaurant/bar called The Mint in Protivin, Iowa. Earlier in the day we played a street performance outside of the Billy Clock Museum in Spilleville, Iowa. Both of these performances were solo performances by The Moravians, however both Mollie B and Jim Busta sat in with us. These performances were scheduled literally two days before we played there and the turnout was phenomenal. They were small Czech communities and it felt as if we had not left Ennis, Texas. Everyone was friendly and accepted us as if we were from Iowa our entire lives.
What were the crowds like?
The crowds reminded me of traditional Texas crowds. There were diehard polka lovers, however there was not as much youth at the dances. Everyone was cheerful and they gladly talked to us. Everyone definitely knew their local polka music and it was very neat to bring our experiences and describe our local bands and styles of music.
Was the tour what you expected? Name three things you learned.
I can’t even begin to describe how much we learned on this trip. Narrowing it down to three specific things is rather difficult. However I believe the most important thing that we learned is that there is a lot more to polka music than just Texas. There are numerous styles and numerous ways to go about doing things. Some things that are acceptable in Texas and are most common, such as wearing jeans and boots to events, are not common in other areas.
We learned how to adapt to different environments in order to perform to the best of our abilities. Mollie also taught us how to interact with crowds and people. I can’t think of anyone better than her at being friendly with people.
We also improved astronomically musically. We became better musicians throughout the entire trip. We grew closer together as a band and family and owe an enormous amount of thanks to not only Ted and Mollie, but also to Mollie’s entire family and to the entire Jim Busta Band. Their guidance and friendship made our tour greater than we could have ever expected.
We didn’t quite know what to expect, but we were never disappointed with anything we did nor with anyone we met. Mollie went above and beyond to make sure that we had fun. On an off day she even took us tubing down the Upper Iowa River. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience and we made great friends that we hope to keep for the remainder of our lives.
What surprised you the most?
The shear amount of generosity that was given to us. People took care of us, and taking care of seven boys is no easy task. We had excellent hospitality, and as I said not a single person that we met was rude or even a bit mean to us. We received nothing but praise, and I know that if I personally ever get the chance to go back I would do so in a heartbeat.
I also want to extend great thanks to you Theresa, and everyone at polkabeat for helping us with this trip. We had an enormous amount of donations that came in from all across the nation. In all honesty if it wasn’t for your efforts, we would not have been able to make this trip financially.