Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at Copperopolis

Halloween landed on a Sunday....and what a beautiful day it was. Copperopolis Town Square is a lovely community. They had the whole town decorated and loads of festivities for kids and adults.

They had the band in the gazebo right in the middle of the square.

This set up was a little tricky because of the shape of the gazebo. I wanted to be sure that you could see everyone in the band. We set the speakers outside of the gazebo and that helped a lot.
When I took this picture, I saw something in the that Michael?? What is he doing??

He's so funny! And,'s Steve:

The kids were great....lots of fabulous costumes. I don't know how they were able to judge it!

This little girl was beyond precious:

The guys really got "in to" their costumes. Michael Bowers was our drummer again for this show, and his make up was just as great as the day before:

I wore my Elvira costume again...and yes my hair did get bigger each day. And, my makeup ended up being different each time. Do you like my spider necklace? Read about how I made it on my other blog:

We were all a little worried about the weather and we tried to be prepared for it to get cold after dark.

It never did get all that cold, so we were all just fine. We had a great time.

I love this picture that Steve took. You can't plan something as great as this shot. I just love all the expressions!

They had a really great turn out. I've never seen so many creative costumes.

Look at this one....a TORNADO!

Now...that is using your imagination!

It was a truly magical night!

The best Halloween ever!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

10-30 Gold Country Lanes

And the Halloween fun just kept on coming!! Saturday was the Gold Country Lanes. This picture we took in front of the wonderful banner that they had for the event. I wanted to post a picture on Facebook to invite everyone to come to the PARTY! Michael B. was our drummer that night and his makeup was CRAZY (in a good way).

I never even brushed my hair the whole weekend. It just got bigger and bigger. Even when I washed it, I just left all those tangles in there. And, the makeup....THAT was fun! I will admit that glitter makeup is very itchy and I do not recommend it!

Michael S. was back with his scary red eyes.

Our favorite part is the dancing! Whenever Mary and Dennis show up...they dance! Love it!

Mary, me, Carolyn and Michael S.

Nicole Ryan and her hubby. Great costumes!! I heard they had a wild party just the night before!

I loved this lady. She was clapping and singing along. That is what makes it so much fun for us!

Suzette and Susan. They looked fabulous!!

Good friends, Steve and Susan Mc Morris...hey, where are your costumes??

This couple had great costumes.

Here is the costume contest.

Me and Susan....what fun! She loves to dance as much as I do!

A friend, Marlene and me.

Here is a very very tall guy....or at least his costume is a tall guy. It's Marlene's husband, and Virginia.

Oh my gosh, I just loved this lady. She was really dancing and having fun. I think her and I could have danced all night!!

My dear friend, Virginia, came toward the end of the show and she even came up and sang with me!!

That was about the funnest Halloween I ever had....and it wasn't over yet....more to come!

Friday, October 29, 2010

10-29 Stockton Singles Halloween

We had a terrific Halloween weekend. 3 shows in 3 days!! Friday night we played for the Stockton Singles club. We always have a great time there.

We all came in costume and I was very impressed with what the guys came up with.

I was Elvira (sort of). John brought lights and they really added to the mood.

John was Dracula.

Michael was something spooky. He had these two red "eye" that were blinking. It was pretty cool.

We had a special surprise. It was Sandy's birthday. So, they called her up for a special announcement.

It was a surprise proposal!!

And, she WAS surprised!!

And, very happy!

There were so many great costumes. I hardly recognized anyone!

I love the Potato Heads!

Very scary!!

They had a great potluck and invited the band to join in . What a special treat!!

And, of course....the dancing! With the addition of twinkle lights it was magical.

Can't wait to do it all again!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you ready?

I'm getting my Halloween Costume ready....are you? I'm so excited and I can't wait. What are you going to be? I'll give you a couple of hints for my costume:

Are you going to be scary? OR Funny?

My daughter, who is a flight attendant, brought me this little goodie from her last trip. She bought it in an airport story and I just LOVE IT, and it goes perfect with my costume:

Steve still needs to find a hat for his costume....hope he didn't wait too long. John, Michael S and Michael B are getting in to the Halloween spirit and I can't wait to see their costumes! I've heard what they are planning and it's going to be awesome. We have 3 gigs and we'll be in costume for all of them. We are playing Friday at the Stockton Single
s at the Stockton Elks, Saturday at Gold Country Lanes in Jackson and Sunday in Copperopolis at the Towne Square. Can't wait to see you!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A weekend off

Last Friday it just felt like something was different. Well, it was. We didn't have a gig. The entire weekend without playing. I took a look at my calendar and we haven't had a weekend off from playing gigs since April. Wow. Can that be true?

Back at the first of the year when I took over booking the band, I knew that John and Michael wanted to play every weekend. And, I felt compelled to make that happen. John also told me that I would learn more and faster if we were playing a lot. So, it seems like our music went on “fast forward” and just stayed there. I can remember wondering to myself if this was what “I” wanted.

Did I want to never, ever have a weekend free to do other things? Yes, I did turn down a few spontaneous things along the way, but nothing major. I did take a weekend to spend with my Mother in Law to take her to her 64
th High School Reunion, but the band played without me.

Now that I have had a weekend “off” and this weekend too, I know the answer for myself. I also want to play every weekend. I just miss it. John always says “I'd rather be playing” and now I know for sure that I feel the same way.

So...I'm digging in and working on getting our schedule full again. December only has one Saturday open, so that's good. November has openings, but it's hard to fill dates that are close. Most places book off in to the future. And, booking is a time consuming treasure hunt. I call and call. I email and email. I send out press kits and cds. I talk to some people who are nice and some people who are not. Many places only book people they already know. Even having a referral doesn't work in a lot of cases. Like all treasure hunts it all seems worth it when you find the one booking that works out and we end up playing for and having such a great time. The very best bookings are the ones that ask us to come back. It's validation for our band and our music and it is what makes it all worth it!

We get a few requests to play for free or for very little money. This is difficult in many ways. First, our band is a business. We all invest our time and we invest our money in equipment and gas etc. Even when we get paid our asking price, it's not really all that much after you figure in all the time you put in. It's a labor of love for sure. But, we do want to make money. So, if we play for free then it's costing us money. We are literally “paying” to play. And, if we play for less than our asking price, is that fair to those who pay the full price? It's a dilema. And, at the same time, we know that times are hard and we want to work with people to fit their budget.

We find ways to save money, like not hiring a drummer and using the drum machine. All of us prefer having a live drummer. But, it's an easy way to save the customer money. Many times we end up paying our drummer more than any of the rest of us, just to have a live drummer. I always think it's worth it, I love the sound of a live drummer. And , the drummers that we play with are really great guys. Because they are not always available, we are always on the look out for more! On the other hand we have played many shows with the drum machine and no one even noticed. I remember one time when a drummer was in our audience and HE didn't notice. That was interesting!

I know that the opportunities are out there for us and I will find them! And when I do, I will share them with you! In the meantime, here is another weekend without music. I'm going to find some fun things to do and I'm going to enjoy the time off, because if I have my way weekends without shows will be rare if not non existent in the future.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Last Farmer's Market of the Year

It was the perfect day for "Music in the Park". We played the last Farmer's Market of the season, at least it's the last one for US. The weather was just right. Steve had to work, so it was just the 3 of us (me, Michael and John), for the most part. Steve joined us at the very end. Here is a real treat! Dennis and Mary came to hear us play. We met this couple at the Schoolhouse Jams last year and we just LOVE them!! They came to our Hippie New Year Party and even helped us with tickets. And, they have helped us many other times! They are truly a part of our band "Family". It really made our day to have them there.
And, they brought Dennis' brother. I'm almost sure he told me his name is Thunder. Now, get this....they met for the first time EVER....YESTERDAY!! Is that incredible or what? They are both adopted and they got in contact on.... wait for it......FACEBOOK! I love stories like that.
This is how John says Hi. John signs his emails with "hugs" and in person it's REAL hugs. Dennis and Mary with Dennis' brother and his family visiting from Chicago, with John. I love to watch Dennis and Mary dance:

Dennis graciously took some pictures for me. I love the picture above. As we were performing, I had such a feeling of peace and happiness. Behind me was the idyllic scene above with small children playing soccer and moms watching. In front of me was the Farmer's Market and all the wonderful people there. When we finish a song we could hear clapping way off in the distance as the FM people showed us appreciation. And, of course we all came home with fresh VEG!! The Farmer's Market has a special place in my heart as it is the place where I first started performing with John a year ago. It was a special time and I will always remember it fondly. I wrote about it here.
We try out our new songs here and I also get to play more bass. It's a great place to practice a little.

And, to top off a perfect day, a fellow musician, Scott Berrian dropped by and listened to a few songs. Scott is a terrific guitar player, song writer and singer with his own band Sin Nombre. They just released an album. I wonder if he came by because of my LIVE Facebook post? Hmmmm.