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'Next stop, Djibouti!' Three Day Threshold check in from a tour of the Middle East

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No, not the Cambridge venue, the actual Middle East.

Earlier this month Celtic/bluegrass bandits THREE DAY THRESHOLD traveled half-way around the world to perform live for US troops stationed in Djibouti, Qatar, Kuwait, and other base locations within the Air Force Central Command Area of Responsibility. While official tour stops are classified, this week we reached out to KIER BYRNES to report back on the experience and share some photos, which we've posted below. Our boys and gals celebrate a true homecoming on Tuesday, February 22, when Three Day Threshold perform at the Lansdowne Pub's Harpoon Americana Showcase with Shadwell, Coyote Kolb and others. Buy 'em a few rounds. 

Here are the re-posted reports from Byrnes, with photos taken by Three Day Threshold's Evan Gavry and Emily Holman (the top photo is from a souncheck -- they swear they played for troops).  

February 2, 2011
God Bless the Rains down in...I can't believe we are here! As David keeps saying over and over with amazement, "we are in F'ing AFRICA!!!" We had a bit of difficulty getting in; not all the band or all the instruments got in at the same time due to the snowstorms in the Northeast United States. But, the troops here have all been great and majorly supportive (real fun to hang out with too). In addition to the hundreds of really cool service men and women we have met so far, we got top meet the commanding officer of the base and his executive officer which was pretty neat. Anyhow, hope to share more stories later; big props to Dan and Susan of the AFE for all their help!

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February 4, 2011
Shake, Shake, Shake! Shake, Shake, Shake! Shake Djibouti! With the riots going on in Egypt, it’s a real interesting time to be in Northern Africa. We had to make some adjustments in our itinerary due to security reasons as there have been some residual protests in downtown Djibouti. On a lighter note, the shows have been going over real well and whenever someone says the word "Djibouti," we still crack up like teenagers. Met some more cool troops; we want to give a big shout out to the servicemen at Fort Lemonier who loaned us their rifles (thank God they weren't loaded?!?!) and let us hang out in the turret of the Humvees. Also, big thanks to the navy guys who are taking us out on a boat patrol tomorrow and the K-9 unit who graciously allowed us to be attacked by their guard dogs.

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February 7, 2011
It’s about 3am. We are directed to cut in front of a long line of very young Indian girls at the Kuwait airport waiting to get through customs. We didn’t give it much thought as to why we were whirred past this group, as it was so late and we were all over tired. However, the following afternoon I skeptically listened in as locals told stories about how the sheiks would fly in young girls and boys (pointing out the group we encountered earlier that morning) to use as sex slaves. Kuwaiti laws and religious beliefs allow these certain privileges to their male citizens, as masters of their house. At our hotel, I witnessed how men and women were indeed treated very differently. Most women, including those in our band, were required to cover their bodies and weren’t allowed access to certain places. I’m glad the United States has a presence out here, if for no other reason than to show the merits of democracy and equal rights and hope fully positively influence the people of these multinational theocracies.

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February 8, 2011
A lot of these guys have been away from home for a long, long time; even some of the reserves are on their third or fourth tour of duty. We give them, if only for a moment, a feeling of what it’s like to be back home. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping these guys out; especially since it is they who have already given so much of themselves in the name of freedom and democracy.

One side note: as some gigs have been in a war zone, the troops have to carry their weapons on them everywhere they go, including while watching the show. I’ve played a lot of shows in my life, but man, never have I been so determined to keep the crowd pleased.

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