This month we reconnected with AJ Fountain from the Colorado based folk jam band A Brother's Fountain to talk about the next installment of their Only Music series — a collection of experiments involving the power of music. We last spoke to AJ and the band in 2019 when they went on a musical expedition to South Africa with no money, food, or outside support whatsoever. All they had were their instruments, the clothes on their back, and an unbreakable spirit and determination to put the power of music to the test. They even stopped by the Playing For Change Foundation's Imvula Music Program in Gugulethu along the way. Check out more about that trip here.
The Fill Me Up Tour
This next installment of the band's Only music series is called the "Fill Me Up Tour" which will take the band on a road trip into the Southwest USA from May 7th until June 5th, 2021.
What fills you up? This is a question we asked ourselves after a long and lonely road that COVID-19 put us all through. Now, the world is opening back up, and we want to be filled back up, and know there are many who could also use a pick-me-up. This road trip will be filled with all of our favorite people (insert: best friends, strangers), activities (insert: climbing, rafting, backpacking, camping, busking), and some good old fashioned spontaneity (insert: costumes, random acts of kindness, pranks).
-AJ Fountain, A Brother's Fountain
What's the purpose of the "Fill Me Up Tour?"
The concept was based on the premise of us wanting to explore our friendship in an intentional way and in the 1979 RV we had bought. We didn't really want to pursue this trip in the traditional tour sense, with gigs lined up, so we had the crazy idea to play a pop up show every time we would need to get gas for our rig we affectionately call Ole' Boy Georgie. All along the way asking ourselves and others what actually fills us up in life? And furthermore, are we actually filled up right now, because we found a lot of us are a little off with the Covid epidemic happening across the world.
How did you come up with that name?
It was the perfect mix of what we actually had to do, loads of fill ups on our 28 foot gas guzzler, and what we wanted to ask ourselves and others, what fills us up in life?
Why did you all decide to take this tour across the Southwest USA?
The Southwest USA was the perfect spot for us on this trip because we are at least vaguely acquainted with some of the areas after having lived in Colorado for 10+ years and taking voyages to explore the surrounding states. We knew a bit of the epicness of places like Zion, Taos, the Grand Canyon, and Flagstaff, and were eager to explore more.
Where in the Southwest USA will you be traveling?
The trip is mostly outdoor recreation based as this is what we love. We're hitting New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. So cities like Taos, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, and Moab. Basing our destinations largely around the most accessible places for our rig, and great places to camp, hike, backpack, raft and climb.
How will you decide where to stop to participate in activities and/or perform a pop-up concert?
We have an approximate itinerary that details all of the stops we'd like to hit and how many miles we need to go on each day, but we are definitely looking to stay open to opportunities to busk on the streets, play in local establishments, or jam with other musicians, in addition to our pop up concert at every gas station stop. Also trying to leave ample time for stops to see various vistas and roadside attractions.
What instruments will you be bringing?
We have our Ovation guitar and bass which are durable and awesome. A djembe, briefcase kick drum, and whatever instrument the different bandmates bring as they come for different portions, which will include a banjo, mandolin, saxophone and cello. We will do one battery powered amp for the bass, but the rest acoustic at the gas station concerts.
What do you hope to take away from this tour?
I'd like to stay open to what all could be learned from the journey, but foundationally I'd like to grow closer with my best friends and bandmates, play music for people pumping their gas and try to brighten their day a bit, and explore the beautiful landscapes and nature we are blessed with in Southwest USA.
How can we follow your journey?
We'll be doing stories and going live on FB and Insta to keep folks updated.
Be sure to follow A Brother's Fountain on their journey and join us next month as we follow up with them to hear all about their trip. In the meantime, tell us, what fills you up?