Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's 2011 Eve at the Rancho Cordova Elks Lodge

This show was booked way back in February.  We were playing for the Rancho Cordova Elks and when they asked if they could book us for New Year's it seemed so far away.  After all, in February it seemed like we had just had New Year's Eve!  But, they didn't want to wait until everyone was already booked, so they booked us early!  We were happy to look forward to this show all year.

When we arrived, they had tons of fun decorations filling the room.  They had a full house and we were all ready to party til midnight.  

They had a table set aside for the band, and we got decorations and party favors too!!  All around the room the decorations were in all sorts of colors.  For our table they were all in black.  What an honor for them to think of us and even match our band colors!  AND....they set out hats for the guys....but for me....

They gave me a tiara!  Woo Hoo.  I wore it all night.


We have always had so much fun playing for the Rancho Cordova Elks and this night was over the top!  We were also blessed to see some of our band friends who came from other groups to spend the evening with us.  

The only time Steve ever takes a video is when he is not playing harmonica....and that always seems to be during Sway.  So I will play it for you so you can enjoy the dancers:

We love it when people dance.  It makes it so much fun for us.

 And this crowd danced all night long!  

During our breaks, we relaxed.  Michael brought a magazine. 

And he shared it with Steve.


This is Yvette (hope I spelled that right).  She is a very fun person and is always game for a line dance!!  We played one during dinner and she and her friends got right up and left their dinner to dance!


Dancing and more dancing!!  

Here we are playing around on stage.  I will miss dancing with Michael!


Here we are at the stroke of midnight!  


Towards the end of the show I could smell BACON cooking....mmmm I LOVE bacon.  After the show, they served a yummy breakfast.  Sooooo good!  

There was a beautiful Christmas tree.  We posed for a "farewell" picture with Michael.  When we first booked this show, none of would have imagined that this would end up being our last show together.  When we decided in October to split up, we all agreed to play together through the end of the year.  It was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions (for me mostly), but when it came to the end, we were all happy and looking forward to a new year of fun and music.  John and Michael have joined with Brian to form a trio and will be playing under the name Crystal Image.   Steve and myself have joined with three great musicians to form a new band that is called "Stephanie Farrell and the Wild Katz".  We will be continuing with same music we have enjoyed performing and look forward to seeing all the great people that we have met over the past two years.

And, that was it!  Our last show together and it was fabulous!  We all had a great time and it seemed like our audience was having a blast.  We are all still very good friends and we are all rooting for each other.  I'm thankful that our parting was happy.  I think that I would have been sad if it weren't for the Wild Katz, I'm very much looking forward to the new year and the new bandStay tuned, I will keep you posted about all the details!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lodi Moose Christmas Dinner Dance

We had a blast at the Lodi Moose! It was such an honor to have so many of our band friends come just to see us! The Lodi Moose has a huge hall with a very large dance floor, so it's a great place for a dinner dance. And the place was packed!!

We started with some soft music while they ate dinner and later on we really ROCKED them!

I chose to wear this dress, because I love it and I've only worn it a couple of times.

Someone came up and told me she has the same dress! I told her that this is my MOB dress. (Mother of the Bride) and she said hers was too!!! That was funny.

A lady came up to me and said that it was nice to see me smiling and happy. What? I think I'm always happy. She told me that I didn't smile as much when we were there for Halloween. Wow. That took me right back. She was right. I wasn't happy at all. I knew that I wasn't going to be in Crystal Image anymore and I was heartbroken. It's hard to smile and act happy when you are so sad. It reminds me how far I've come since then. And, I'm truly happy right now. Yes, I'm sad to see my time with Crystal Image come to an end, but I did everything I could to fix that and it was not meant to be. I love the guys without a doubt and I will miss them so much. So, I'm not sad anymore and I apologize if it showed, I never meant for that to be the case.

Brian was so excited to try out his brand new drum set. It's beautiful and he has every reason to be proud of it!

Michael says he will miss dancing with me on stage. I will miss that too! He always makes it so much fun!

I wish I was one of those people who could remember names!! I feel so bad when I can't. I remember this guys name, Tom Jones. Unless he was kidding. I said I wouldn't forget that! They are great dancers. And, I really mean that. I have videotaped them many times so you could see for yourself.

Karen and Deiter (I'm sorry if I spelled that wrong!). They are so sweet! And, they gave us each a Christmas Card. Karen said she would have baked us cookies if she hadn't broken her wrist. I'm sorry for her pain, but my waistline is grateful....I happen to know her cookies are very yummy!

John has caught a cold and was having a hard time singing. For the last set, he lost his voice completely and we scrambled to fill in. So, there was more Rock N Roll than usual....and they LOVED it!

Another fun couple who LOVES to dance!

Girlfriends! Barbara and Laura.

It was a sweet and special night, playing music for wonderful people, a Christmas blessing and memories that I will cherish.

The people here are so appreciate and complimentary. It makes all of us feel so special.

Well, what is a Moose Lodge without a Moose? You gotta love this pic!

And, the countdown continues. Only 3 more gigs to the final one.

Stephanie Farrell and the Wild Katz

We have a logo for our new band!  

What do you think?  We are practicing and getting ready to start booking shows.  All of us are really excited about our new adventure.  I hope to have a website with pictures for you to see soon.  I can't wait to introduce you to the band.

We have only 4 more shows with Crystal Image.  It's sad to see it end.  I am grateful to have something new to look forward to.

After the New Year's Eve show, John, Michael and Brian will continue on as Crystal Image and you can see their schedule on their new website:

Friday, December 9, 2011

I admit it....

I know that I have gotten way behind in my blog.  To be honest with you, the last month was a hard one and I didn't feel like posting.  Time has a way of fixing things and I'm anxious to go back and fill you in on the gigs over the last few weeks because we had some really great ones.  I'll post them by the date of the gig, so if you do come back, scroll down to see what has been added.

It's funny.  As we come to the end of our time together, our shows just keep getting better and better.  We are having a lot of fun and are meeting terrific people.  And, while it's sad that it's ending, it's also exciting that new things are coming.  Our new band has had two practices and it already sounds great!  I'll introduce you to the guys soon, you will love them!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I feel like I'm 2 different people

When it comes to music, sometimes I am completely confident.  I feel like I know how things need to be and what needs to be done to make them happen.  Then in a flash, I feel completely insecure and ask myself "what the heck am I doing??".  Have you ever felt that way before? 

And, then there is the fact that I am literally in two different bands right now.  Crystal Image, the band that I have been in for the past 2 years and my new band that is my future (we haven't settled on a name yet...any ideas?).  In Crystal Image, I know what is expected of me and I'm comfortable. 

The new band has members that are incredible!  These guys are PROS and it shows.  We had one practice and as I listened back to the recordings, I was amazed at how quickly they were able to make things work.  This is all very exciting.  I realized yesterday that I need to be careful what I say to people.  If I don't sound confident, I wouldn't want my new band to think that I don't have faith in them, it's myself that I have doubts I heard myself talking to someone yesterday and I realized that from this moment forward I have to have complete confidence because these guys deserve that.  It's not fair to them for me to be the least bit wimpy.  So there.   Enough of that!!

And then there is Crystal Image.  I am very glad that we had this amount of time to play together before it was over.  It's been a roller coaster for sure.  Jerry had to leave and a new drummer, Brian (who is very nice and an excellent drummer) took his place.  I had to accept that they had replaced me with another girl and I found that pretty tough.  And after all of that emotion, the replacement girl is now out of the picture.  If she had quit sooner, things may have turned out differently....but God knows best and I think that things are happening the way that they were meant to.  We (Crystal Image) are having some of our best shows EVER.  And we are having fun.  At this moment we have 9 gigs left.  

And while we are playing these 9 gigs, my new band is practicing to be ready to play asap.  So, it can be confusing.   I'm looking forward to keeping the songs that I have enjoyed performing for the past 2 years and adding a whole lot of new ones too!  Steve will be singing more (I think he's really good!) and our new guitarist is an excellent performer/singer/guitarist.  We hope to be ready to play mid January. We have another practice soon and I hope to have pictures and songs to put on a new website soon.  I can't wait to introduce my new band members to everyone!

If you are reading this...I thank you!!  I have made some really good friends over the past 2 years with Crystal Image and I look forward to keeping those friendships and starting new ones too!  


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Just a little over a week ago, I had no idea if I would have a way to continue to perform.  I put out the word that I was looking for people to join my band....and magically, 3 great guys showed up.  The are all 3 very talented PROS and super nice people.  We have already had our first practice and we are well on our way!  I can't wait to share more.....and believe me I will!  Thank you for checking in....gotta go play with my granddaughters right now...


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The next chapter....

Pause.  Deep breath.  Ok.  Here I go....I'm starting a new band with my hubby.  Is that crazy?  

I've been holding on to some hope for the past weeks that things would work out with my current band, but it's over for sure.  And, I don't want to stop performing.  That means we have to start something new.  

If you know anyone who is looking for a band, please share our information with them:  We are hoping to be ready to play in January.  (fingers crossed!)

John and Michael will continue as Crystal Image with new band members.  

I still love them both (and Jerry too!) and we are having a great time at our last few shows.  We are all still friends, really.  

I will keep you updated as we go along.....thanks to anyone who follows this blog....from my heart...I appreciate you!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Corvette Club Party

What a fun party....with a great group of people.  We had such a great time!!  

We were delighted to get to play on a really nice stage with plenty of room.  As we were setting up, this young man met Steve and as they got to talking, it turns out that he was visiting from Texas and really wants to get in to the music business.  He was so sweet.  He was really interested in all of our equipment and later on in the evening, I saw him watching our show from the door way.  I wish I could remember his name!

Before we started our show, they had a special surprise for the group.  A belly dancer performed and she was fabulous!!  Her name is ....wait for it.....Crystal!  How about that? 

She gave a wonderful performance.

And she even persuaded some of the guests to dance with her!

This is Brian who came in to replace Jerry.  He's a really nice guy and a really good drummer.

There was a lot of dancing and tons of fun.  But what would you expect from Corvette owners?  

It was such an honor to play for this group.  They made us feel so appreciated!

As the evening progressed, we turned up the Rock N Roll.

Doin the Locomotion!

They gave us the biggest compliment of all by staying until the last song.  It was one of those thoroughly satisfying nights for us.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A fun party and a sad goodbye....

We played for the FFA again this year.  It was last year at this same gig that we played with drummer Jerry for the first time.  We all had commitments through the end of the year and he became a permanent member of our band in Jan 2011.  But, it was at this gig that we all knew that he was the perfect fit for us.  So, that made this gig an anniversary of sorts.  

 And as fate would have it, this was Jerry's LAST gig with us too.  His parents need his help and he has moved back east for a time to take care of them.  We had the best time ever!  No sadness...just the joy of playing together for one last time. 

They offered us dinner, mmmm mmm mmm, very good!

We wanted to be all set up before the people started arriving, which meant that we would have to wait a while to play.  

The Weatherbys, very nice people!

Lots of dancing!

Our last band picture with Jerry.  We sure miss him!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Endings

It was interesting to play the Annex in October this year, because it was two years ago that Steve and I showed up to "jam" with John and Michael with drummer Mike Cline at the Annex. And what a great two years it's been. Practically every Friday and Saturday night have been filled with gigs.

And, now as we near the end of 2011, it's coming to an end.

After our New Year's Eve gig, Steve and I will no longer be with Crystal Image. We are truly looking forward to each and every gig that we have left this year (and we have some really fun ones).

John, Michael and Jerry will continue on as Crystal Image and we (Steve and I) wish them nothing but the best.

What does the future hold for us (Stephanie and Steve)? At this time, we don't have any plans musically, but we are open to whatever the next chapter may be.

We have a lot of private parties in the coming months and a couple of public shows, so please come out and help us celebrate the final chapter of a great collaboration.

We still have a bunch of really fun and happy memories to create.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A beautiful Wedding in a meadow

This was our last outdoor gig of the season.  And, it was a truly magical night.  

We got there very early so we could be set up before the guests arrived.  The couple was so nice to have rented a stage for us and we truly appreciated that.  They also had a dance floor.  Both of these are hard to install in a meadow with uneven ground, but the both worked out great.  

The ceremony was next to a pond and the bride asked Michael to play some acoustic music before the ceremony.  He is perfect for this.  If you haven't heard Michael sing James Taylor....oh's beautiful.  He was so thoughtful that his entire set told a love story and culminated in a song "And I Love Her" as the bride walked the aisle.  I get a little teary just remembering how pretty it all was.  I took a quick video clip of Michael singing and playing on my Iphone:

He did a great job, and I wish I had videotaped more of it. 

The wedding was held at a private residence and the guests arrived by bus, so there was a minimal of cars on the property.  We could hear and see a lot of different animals just across the fence.

The couple got married by the pond and had the reception across the road.  It was a beautiful setting for a wedding. Brittny was a stunning bride.  

 The are such a sweet couple

I have to say that Michael had superb timing.  He knew just what to play and when.  The bride trusted him to play what he thought was best and it just couldn't have been better in my opinion.

Pretty girls!

Doesn't she look so happy!

 The first dance. 

When the father daughter dance started, I looked over at the mother of the bride and she was crying so much that it reminded me of my own daughter's wedding.  Someone came up after and asked if I was related to the family.  I told him that I wasn't but that I am a "Mom" and I couldn't help feeling the emotion.  

Here they are dancing to "My Little Girl" by Tim Mc Graw, played on my ipod.

The mother son dance.  Such a special moment.

I just can't say enough about how pretty it was.  The tables were draped in black and white with red roses and candleabras.  It was very elegant.

The twinkle lights were strung all around the reception and as it got dark, it was so festive.  They did not have electricity out in this area, so they had generators for the lighting and the band.  We were a little stressed about running our equipment on the generators.  The alternative was to run a long extension cord across the road to the pump house.  The groom came over and let us know that the generators could barely handle the lights and he recommended the extension cord, which is what we did.  

As the night came upon us the folks started dancing.  My favorite thing!!

One really nice guy came up and asked us to play Tennessee Waltz.  It's one of my favorites and we did it for him.  He said that it was playing the night he proposed to his own bride and he wants us to play for their anniversary for 35 years.  Special.

We always bring our own lighting.  My invention!  We put our lights up high on our speakers with velcro.  One white and one red.  It's perfect.

A lady asked us to play some Greek music.  What?  We don't know any Greek music.  After a little discussion, Michael figured out that Reggae would do and we played "I Shot the Sheriff" while they did a Greek dance.

About halfway through the show, our music started to sound crackly.   Someone came up and told us that we blew a speaker.  That was freaky because one of the speakers is brand new and the other is nearly new!  We tested it all out a few days later and we couldn't find anything wrong with it.  We determined that it was probably the long extension cord going across the road and plugged in with the pump.  Anything else plugged in can affect the power going to us.

Towards the end of the night the buses came and picked up the folks and all that was left was the Bride, Groom and some friends.  We played one hard rock song after another and as they danced the dancefloor which was set on uneven ground started to come apart.  It struck me that they really did "tear up the dance floor!".

Packing up in the dark is always difficult.  We save our lights for last so they can help us see.  All of our stuff is black, so it would be very easy to miss something.  We pulled our cars up to help us see. 

It was a wonderful time.  I will miss the outdoor gigs.