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After quitting his full-time job to pursue his passion, Seattle-raised singer, songwriter, guitarist and author Alex Rasmussen took to the streets and stages of America to share his music--a unique blend of folk, rock and reggae fueled by the adventures and heartaches of a nomadic spirit. Between solo gigs and shows with his band "A Lovely Ruckus", Alex performed over 150 times during 2017, spending most of the year on the road. Now, in 2018, he has found a home-base in Nashville where, between tours, he is constantly writing and working tirelessly to refine his craft. 

Find Alex's band, "A Lovely Ruckus", on Spotify and iTunes. 

Alex's novel, Coloring outside the Lines, is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Coloring-Outside-Lines-Alex-Rasmussen/dp/1519624735

A Lovely Ruckus 

2016 has been amazing!
We've played over 100 gigs this year--from Seattle to New Orleans and a few places in between.
And, as awesome as 2016 has been, 2017 is shaping up to be even better.

With the band moving into this new and exciting year, we will also be taking on a new name. 

For a time, the name Alex Rasmussen and The Road was representative of this project but, as we are growing and evolving as a band, this is so much more about a collective unit than it is about me. 

When Geli and I were in New Orleans in October--heading one afternoon to do some busking on Royal street--we passed a man smoking a cigarette who told us to "make a lovely noise". At the time, I had been ruminating on new band names, and that line of his stuck with me--a lovely noise. I played around with it a bit and, after getting the approval of the band, we came up with our new name:

A Lovely Ruckus

We are currently working on switching over all of our social media profiles and, as of January 20th, will have made the full shift. 
Our album, which we will be recording next week, will also be released under this name. 
Once the album is recorded, Geli and I will be embarking upon our South for the Winter tour of Arizona that will help us start the new year with a bang--and hopefully a bit of sunshine. 

Thank you all for the support and love you've given us this year.
We can't wait to Ruckus with you in 2017!

Next Stop: Paradise 

Since returning from the Road, the band has been super busy playing gigs and working on new material. 
During some of our down time, we were able to scope a few studios in the Seattle area. After considering our options, we have decided to record our next full-length album at Paradise Sound in Index--at the base of the Cascades near Steven's Pass. 

The month of December will be spend rehearsing and playing gigs all over town. Early January we will be tracking this album, which will hopefully be released early this spring. As soon as tracking is finished, Geli and I will hit the road again for a two week run down to Arizona's wine country. 

Once we return home, we will have a month to put finishing touches on the album before we head back to Austin for the South By Southwest music festival in March. 

We have a busy few months ahead, and we couldn't be happier!

We'll keep you posted as the band rolls forward. 
 

Ball of Glass 

Hey all!
We have some very exciting things brewing.
In the coming weeks, we'll be filling you in. 
For now, here's a video for our song "Ball of Glass", shot beneath some cedars by camera-master Wyatt Olney. 
Enjoy!

Tales From The Road - Final Chapter (Arizona) 

After Utah, Austin, New Orleans, and many stops in between, Geli and I had thought we'd seen it all on this tour. But nothing could prepare us for the beauty of Northern Arizona. 

Before we made our way toward Sedona, we parked the RV in the Scottsdale area for two days. Casino Arizona has a large vehicle parking lot where they allow folks to land for a few days in hopes that they will wander into the casino and spend a bit of cash. Geli and I decided to join the mobile neighborhood. 

We arrived on a Tuesday night and woke the next morning with the blazing sun. After a bit of breakfast we hiked Camelback Mountain—an elevation gain of about 1,300 ft in just over a mile. Hiking may not be the right word to describe this entire trek, as parts of the trail require you to scramble up the sandstone boulders on all fours. This, combined with the almost 100 degree heat, made our journey to the top challenging, yet very rewarding. 


After lunch and a nap, Geli and I zipped over to Sip Coffee and Beer where we did a bit of office work--making booking phone calls and maintaining the band's online presence. During this time, we were told that Sip would be hosting an open mic later that evening. After our office work was done, we grabbed the instruments and played. The Scottsdale music scene was very communal and supportive. And the performers were all very talented. 

The next morning Geli and I played the 9 o'clock slot at a farmer's market in the aptly named Sun City. We enjoyed a warm reception—pun intended—while the big ball of fire in the sky beat down on us. After about an hour and a half of jamming for the snowbirds (many of them from Seattle), we decided to call it a day. As Geli and I were leaving several vendors showed their appreciation for the music by sending us home with some fresh local food. After we got back to the RV—which, remember, was parked at a casino—we pulled out the camping chairs and ate tamales, covered with fresh salsa, in afternoon heat. A very hillbilly-esque picnic. 

That night we played at the Rockbar in Scottsdale. The staff was great, and several folks came to see us who had heard our music via various online promotions that the venue had sponsored. A few folks from the previous night's open mic even came out to show their support. A great gig all around. 

The next day we loaded up the RV, kissed the casino goodbye, and headed into the hills. We parked the rig at a campsite with a beautiful view of the red rock about 20 minutes from Sedona. Then, following the advice of several folks, we headed up into the old mining town of Jerome, Arizona. After chowing down on some delicious barbecue, we wandered into a music shop where we met a local songwriter who invited us to his gig at a nearby winery. We drove down the hill and found the spot—an old bank converted into a tasting room, owned by the singer of a very prominent rock band. The place had old teller windows that sat behind racks of wine and a vault that had been converted into a merchandise room. 


The next morning we rose early to climb Bell Rock—600 feet of crimson sandstone and limestone. The ascent was led by a retired New York attorney named Peter who, at 74, has made it his mission to take as many folks to the top as possible. There were 9 in our group, including a very brave 10 year old from Scotland named Vincent. By the end of the sometimes stomach-turning climb (don't look down!), all of us in the group were high-fiving, hugging, and snapping pictures. Crazy how quickly nine strangers can become family. 

After descending from Bell Rock and grabbing some lunch, Geli and I decided that we were up for a second dose of red rock adventure and ventured out to Boynton Canyon. We hiked two and a half miles in—Geli with violin on her back and me carrying a burly guitar case. Definitely more of a workout than I'd anticipated, but well worth the pay-off when we arrived at the end of the hike and had the sandstone cathedral to ourselves. Geli and I cooled down for a moment before picking up our instruments and playing a short set for whatever ancient spirits may have been in attendance. Though we could have stayed and played for hours, the few stars twinkling in the darkening sky ushered us up the trail. We hustled back to the car as bats whizzed past our heads and light became scarce. By the time we found the Corolla (thanks to Geli remembering a few crucial forks in the path), it was completely dark. We celebrated our narrow escape from the canyon by heading into Cottonwood to hear some live music. Between a not-so-polished Johnny Cash cover band, a rock group in a grimy biker bar, and an acoustic guitarist dressed like Jack Sparrow, we had a pretty eventful evening. 

The next morning we hit downtown Sedona to do some street performing. While setting up our case on a busy sidewalk, we were instantly shooed away by an angry (and possibly sexually frustrated) shop owner. We set up further down the sidewalk—in an area free of bitchery—and played for a couple hours, making a good chunk of money and being joined at one point by a few women from a local gospel choir. 

After packing up, Geli and I headed to a nearby winery to watch a Phoenix songwriter play a set. She sounded great. On our way out of the place, I shook the manager's hand, and have since booked a gig at the spot for late January. In an age of doing everything by computer, I'm still a big believer in a good ol' fashioned handshake. Worth a thousand emails. 

That night we packed up and started heading north. The next night we hit Park City, Utah where we played a brewery and hung out with a few friends. Two days and about 900 miles later, we were home making gumbo for my roommates in Seattle. In case you've read the New Orleans blog, you'll be happy to know that we put fake cockroaches in the stew—a perfect ingredient for any Halloween-time supper. 

Geli and I have since played a few gigs here in town and are settling back into Northwest life. Wrapping up a tour is always bittersweet. We've had so many amazing experiences over the last month and, though it is nice to be home and see so many familiar faces, the road is already calling us—begging for the next adventure.  

Tales From The Road - Chapter 3 (New Orleans) 

Woooweee! 

What a week it's been. 

After a 22 hour drive from New Orleans to Phoenix, Geli and I have parked the RV in the parking lot of the Arizona Casino—a place where, during my 7 AM trip to the bathroom, people were still stuffing pennies into slot machines, chasing the dream. 

Our week in New Orleans was packed full of experience—good and otherwise. 

We first spent two days camping in the swamps of Lake Charles, Louisina—very close to the Texas border. Two days of friendly locals, mind-blowing bayou landscapes, scaly wildlife, and late-night campfires was a perfect introduction to a state that neither of us had previously visited. 

Geli and I also discovered that if you stuff peanut M&M's into a cooked marshmallow it makes an extremely tasty snack. We call them M&M&M's. 

Side note: Don't wear flip flops while walking through the grass in Louisiana, unless you'd like your toes to be feasted upon by hungry demon-bugs. 

After our two days in the swamp, Geli and I zipped over to New Orleans where we parked the RV at the Segnette Bayou, unhitched the Toyota Corolla shuttlecraft, and headed into the city for an open mic at Buffa's backroom—an old red-walled lounge that I imagine, back in the day, used to be filled with cigarette smoke and shady characters. 

I know two people in New Orleans—a magician who travels the country on his motorcycle and the best-dressed songwriter in the country. Within ten minutes of sitting down at this open mic, the magician walked into the bar. (Sounds like the set-up to a joke, doesn't it?) Considering the size of New Orleans, and the fact that neither of us knew that the other was in town, he and I saw this to be quite the coincidence. Geli's old roomate—who also lives in the Big Easy—joined us, and we all played music and listened to a series of talented and charismatic performers. 

The next day Geli and I tried our hand at busking in the French Quarter. It was a hot and sticky afternoon; after hitting a few spots, we didn't make much money; so we decided to call it for the day and explore that very interesting and historic side of the city. Once we'd seen a few bands and eaten some crawfish, Geli and I headed to Neutral Grounds coffee where we played a set of original music for a small but attentive crowd. 

Friday was our tourist day. We learned a ton of cool facts about the city on a walking tour of the French Quarter that ended in one of New Orleans' above-ground cemeteries—a very creepy, but very cool place. Corpses are left in these elaborate tombs for at least a year and a day. After 366 days of “slow cremation”, boiling in the Louisiana sun, the body will have decomposed enough to make room for the grave's next guest. Let that image sit with you for a bit. 

I'll wait. 

After wandering through a few cemeteries, Geli and I headed out to the swamp where we hopped into a fan boat with a buncha outta towners and were whisked through the canals by a very colorful (and very toothless) local. We saw a few alligators in their natural habitat and even got to hold a baby named Fluffly. I wanted to eat him, but Geli advised against it. 

The next day we played a very lively gig on Frenchman Street at The Apple Barrel Bar. The highlight of the three hour show was a merging of a bachelor and bachelorette party. The tension was high between these two groups, and Geli and I felt that the only way to release the steam was to guide the bachelor and bachelorette through a dance-off to the tune of “Billie Jean”. With their friends cheering them on and singing along, these two battled it out for a few minutes. At the end of the day, the bachelorette came out on top; though, the bachelor would never admit it. 

The rest of that night was spent wandering around with friends, checking out bands in various venues and on the street. Andre Lovett—a Seattle musician who had recently relocated to N'awlins—joined us for a while. He's the world's best-dressed songwriter, whom I mentioned earlier. Even in the sweltering Southern heat the man was rocking a full pastel-colored suit and bowtie. Style for days. 

After Geli got her tarot cards read by a woman on the street, we braved Bourbon street for only a few moments before we ran into a group of drunk college kids who tried to start a fight with us. We had stepped out of the way of their buddy who was hunched over on the street, thinking he was going to puke. Apparently, if you drink a beer upside down, it cures hiccups. One of his angry buddies had explained this to us—slurring speech with nothing behind his eyes—and told us to stop judging them. 

We laughed, told the group they were crazy, and moved on. 

The next day, Geli and I tried our hand at street performing again—Royal street this time—and had much more success. Geli even lent her violin to a girl who was in town for her sister's 21st birthday so she could play the birthday anthem for the special gal while we sang along. 

We decided to take our hard-earned cash and go get some gumbo at ####### (the name of this establishment has been censored to protect the guilty). This place came highly recommended by Geli's friend, who had shown us pictures of it underwater during Katrina. Geli and I sat down at the bar and watched the Saint's game with a few locals. When the my gumbo—and Geli's artichoke soup—came out, I had only chowed down on a few bites before I noticed a strange sight in my spoon—looked like a shrimp with some of the shell still on it. I didn't think much of it and bit into the little guy. 

The taste revealed that it was not shrimp. 

I quickly spit the unknown creature into my napkin and headed swifly for the bathroom when I recognized it. 

Cockroach. 

When I returned from a thourough mouth-rinsing, the staff apologized profusely and gave Geli and I anything we wanted to eat or drink for free. After sterilizing my mouth with a few shots of strong whiskey, I ate the rest of Geli's artichoke soup. She had lost her appetite; though, in between sips of daiquiri, she did muster up the courage to eat the fries that were soon set in front of us—investigating each bite very carefully. 

After our eventful lunch Geli and I played one more open mic and, the next morning, hit the road for the two-day drive to Arizona—where we've landed and are already having a blast. We're loving the sunshine, and can't wait to tell you all about the last leg of the tour. 

Until then, check your soup. 

You never know who may be hiding in there...

Tales From The Road - Chapter 2 (Austin) 

Hello! 
Writing to y'all from a coffee shop in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 
En route to New Orleans, ​Geli and I have decided to park the RV beside the bayou at a nearby state park and enjoy a day off.  

Our week in Austin was fantastic.  
Great food (beef ribs the size of your arm), friendly folks, fun gigs, and a healthy dose of Texas sunshine. 

After parking the RV at Geli's sister's apartment complex (thanks, Erika!), we decided to hit Barton Springs--one of Austin's many Colorado-river-fed swimming holes. We cooled off and caught up with some friends before enjoying a few tacos and heading to our gig at the Lustre Pearl--an old house converted into a happenin' bar. The gig there--hosted by friend and songwriter Aaron McDonnell--was great, with Geli pulling double-duty, jamming on tunes by both Aaron and myself for the entirety of the three hour set. 

The next day, we enjoyed a hike through Austin's greenbelt before heading to a gig at Redfin on the outskirts of town. We played on the patio stage while the sun slid to sleep and folks chowed down on tasty Texas seafood. The staff and crowd at this place were amazing. Geli and I sold quite a few T-Shirts and CDs.

On Friday morning, Geli and I traveled out to Dripping Springs--in the Hill Country--to play Homespun Kitchen and Bar's 2nd annual Oktoberfest. Despite battling a bit of wind and rain, the outdoor gig went well. After the sun came out, and we ate some tasty burgers, Geli, Theresa (a good friend, pictured above), and myself decided to hit the Deep Eddy distillery. We sampled a couple paddle-fulls of their vodka before heading back into Austin to hit a Texas dance floor and do some boot-scootin'.

Saturday was a much-needed day off, used for relaxation and exploring the city. As the sun set, we waited in vain for a huge swarm of bats to fly out from beneath the Congress Street bridge. We'll have to catch them next time. After that Geli, her sister, and I went to a local theater for an improv show. Then we caught a jazz band's set at a cool underground club. 

Sunday Geli and I did a bit of busking on South Congress street--serenading folks as they stood in line for tacos and ice cream. After making a bit of money there, we jetted to the east side of town where we played a sunny farmer's market to a crowd of very appreciative folks. The staff paid us with a huge bag of fresh produce, which we've been living off of for the past few days. 


Transitioning between cities is always bittersweet. We had a blast in Texas. Great to play so many successful gigs and hang with such great people. But now, camping on the swamp in Louisiana, we're already immersed in a new and exciting world--complete with alien-looking flora and reptiles galore.
And, as I scratch one of my many bug-bites, I'm excited to tell you all about it. 

Tales From The Road - Chapter 1 (Idaho, Utah) 


Greetings from the Road!
Alex here.
Geli and I are about a week into our month-long run from Seattle to New Orleans and back. So far, the tour has been a blast.

The trip kicked off last Wednesday, the 28th, at The Anchor Pub in Twin Falls, Idaho. We set up and played to a group of folks on the patio before settling to chow down on some tasty food and hang with a group of locals around the fire. That night, we (Geli, her two dachshunds, and myself) slept in the RV in the parking lot behind the bar. We woke the next morning and stopped to check out Twin Fall's famous bridge on the way out of town. This monster towers over the Snake River and is frequented by brave base-jumpers who travel from all over to leap from its vertiginous heights. 


That afternoon we landed at Jordanelle State Park, right outside of Park City, Utah. We parked the RV beside a large reservoir, flanked by hills turned tie-die red and yellow by changing autumn leaves. After setting up camp we took the car off the trailer and jetted into Salt Lake City for our first gig in the area at The Green Pig Pub. We played three hours worth of music for a crowd of awesome people. One very enthusiastic group--led by Salt Lake Steve--was feeling particularly loose and danced for the last hour of our set--singing along to the cover tunes they knew. They even demanded a few encores.

The next day we enjoyed an afternoon in the Park City sun before meeting up with the rest of the band at Park City Brewing to play a pre-wedding party for some Seattle friends of ours. The two-hour gig was a blast, also characterized by excessive singing and dancing--including a twenty-person conga-line that grooved its way around the inside of the brewery. 


The next two days in Utah were amazing. Geli and I played the processional for a wedding in the Wasatch mountains before zipping down to Moab to explore Arches national park. The next day we drove through the rest of Utah, Colorado, and most of New Mexico--where we took an Albuquerque hike along a canyon peppered with hundreds of Pueblo Indian petroglyphs. This canyon was also home to a very speedy jackrabbit and an army of large black beetles that would stick their butts in the air when they would feel a human walk by. 


Now, after a morning run along some southern New Mexico fields, we're once again packing up the rig and getting ready to hit the road, bound for Austin, Texas. 

Ohio 

We are very excited to share this video with you.
It's a cover of "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young--written about the Kent State shootings of 1970.
We've added a second verse to document current struggles between American citizens and those in power. 
Filmed and edited by Wyatt Olney. 
Enjoy!



 

Heart of Gold 

Last week, the boys and I went down to the Snoqualmie River and recorded a few videos for our new Youtube channel. 
Here is the first: Heart of Gold by Neil Young. Thanks to Wyatt Olney for filming and editing the performance. 
Enjoy!

Coming up for air 


Hey all, Alex here.

These past few months have blown by in a blur of performances and productivity. 
Several shows have featured "The Road", but I've been focusing largely on solo performances as of late. 

I've been bouncing all over the state--from the peninsula to Monroe to Auburn--playing taprooms and wineries, even hitting the "first" Starbucks at Pike Place Market every Sunday (when there's not a gig elsewhere) to get my weekly dose of busking. There are many more shows on the calendar in the coming months, including the first few dates of an October tour that will take me from Seattle to New Orleans and back. I am very excited about the current state of things. This momentum is intoxicating. 

In band news: The Road and I will be recording a new 5-song EP in mid-July, once again engineered by bass-player-extraordinaire, Chase Baldwin.
Keep your eyes out for this release sometime in August / September. 

Until then, check the calendar for a date near you as we continue full-speed ahead!