Saturday, February 26, 2011

We love ELKS!

Last year, John and Michael played for the Rancho Cordova Elks as a duo.  And, they loved the duo....OF COURSE!  John and Michael alone can seem like an entire band!  When they wanted the duo back, we decided to bring the entire band, because this is the only way we want to play.  All of us together!!  This was a surprise for the Elks, a little "bonus".   And, they were so happy!

They have a wonderful, spacious stage with ...wait for ELK!  Woo Hoo!  Jerry and the Elk got along fine.  

We played a variety of music for the people and when it came to line dancing.....they were awesome!

This is Bob and he was our Host.  I wish I could remember his title, it was pretty fabulous!  Bob was insistent that they book us for New Year's Eve.  What?  It's only February!!  Didn't we just have New Year's Eve?  Let me tell you that Bob is pretty persuasive.  We fell in love with the people, they made us feel so appreciated.  I can't imagine a better place to ring in the New Year.  So, we booked it!  Thanks Bob.

I hope that we will be seeing lots of the RC Elks before New Year's Eve, we had a great time.  After the show, we visited with Elmer at the bar and he is a fun and funny guy.  If I lived closer and wasn't booked every weekend I would want to be a member and go every weekend.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Band Practice

I've probably told you that this band does not practice.  We play a lot and that doesn't leave a lot of time to devote to getting together.  Besides, Michael and Jerry are in Sacramento and John, Steve and myself live in the foothills.  Steve and I meet with John every week, but that is more about learning from John than it is about band practice.  We are so grateful to continue to learn and grow and have someone who knows SO much to teach us.  Steve is learning to play guitar and I am learning the bass and we are both continuing to grow as singers.

Michael and Jerry are seasoned performers and they don't need to practice all the time.  Last week we DID have a band practice to incorporate a bunch of new songs into our show.  John gave the songs to Michael and Jerry ahead of time to work out their parts.  Steve and I worked on our parts with John.  All that was left was to get together and put all of our parts together.  

John is in charge of our music.  We all agree on that.  It's not that the rest of us don't have opinions or ideas, we all do!  And John listens to all of us and most of our desires are added in to the show.  We are just so lucky that John knows how to make it all work and still give us all what we want.  It's kind of a miracle to me.  

We all had songs to work on and we all had things to add in to each song.  I am amazed at all the wonderful things that are going on in each song...each instrument...each's such a collaboration!   And, I am so excited that we are going to get to enjoy DRUM solos!  Woo Hoo.  How fun!  As usual, our songs are from many different eras and genres.  We are a variety band after all!!

So here we all are in John's living room with all of the equipment (I wonder what his neighbors think?).  John is organized and has a list and we all follow along working out the kinks along the way.  I think that we all figured that this would probably be 4 hours or so.  We took a break a couple hours in and tried to order pizza, but everything was closed.  We all voted to power through and finish our list.  All in all, we were there for over 7 hours!!  Yep.  That's the truth.  We were all tired and HUNGRY (at least I was!).  

I think that the most incredible thing to me was that here we were all tired and probably cranky and we all just worked through and got along up until the moment we drove away.  I appreciate how well everyone gets along.  I, for one, really look forward to seeing everyone when we have a gig.  Someone recently asked us what our secret is for staying together happily.  I told them that I knew the answer...find the right people.  We all just like each other.  And, we all do our part to make this band work.  It's a group effort.  

What did we get out of our 7 hours?   I made you a little "sample" of the new songs we worked on.  You will be hearing these at our upcoming shows.  I hope you like it:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Benefit for Paula Manson

Originally, John was going to perform solo for this.  When I was telling Steve about it he really wanted to join in.  So, we both joined John for the event.  We played as a trio, and of course we missed Michael and Jerry.  We only played a short set and were followed by two really great musicians, Bruce Dixon and Manny Sosa.  They both play acoustic guitar and sing.  It was just great!  We provided the PA system for everyone and it all worked out great.  Manny showed up pretty much "last minute", because Scott Berian had to work.  That was really classy of Scott to find a replacement and nice of Manny to do it.  And, poor Bruce, he really wasn't feeling all that great, but he still sounded terrific.  It was a great effort by everyone.  And, it was a successful event.

This is Louise, a friend the we know from Volcano Telephone Company.  It was her lovely daughter, Melanie who organized the whole thing.  We should all be so lucky to have a friend like Melanie!

There was plenty of food!  And, the goodies were mmmm mmmm good.  This guy was great at handing out the treats.  You simply could not say "no".

Here is Melanie, the organizer of the event, with Paula.  Paula has cancer and is having a difficult time, the benefit was in her honor.

Lot's of prizes!

We'll call this the musicians table.  That's me with Manny and Gwen.  Gwen wrote a great article and posted some pictures and video on her Facebook page, "Amador Music Hub".  Because we played as a Trio and not our entire band, I took the liberty of wearing something non black.  Well I wore mostly black.  When I saw the pictures, I remembered why I don't wear this jean coat.  Ugh.  I did not like the way it looked at all.  Anybody want it?

There was a guy wearing this hat.  My hubby, Steve, was very taken with this hat.  He asked the fellow where he got it so Steve could get one for our son who also served in the Navy.  Sometime later, they guy simply took the hat off and gave it to Steve.  I will tell you that he was very touched....and he will not be happy for me to tell you this...but there were tears involved.  (no worries...he doesn't read this blog I'm safe).  Some people are just so nice.  

The raffle went on for a long time, these girls were so precious and excited to hand out the prizes.  No one at our table won anything...darn.  But, that's not why we were there anyway...right?

It was a great experience, we had a wonderful time.  And, it's always a treat to hear other musicians play. And, we were happy to be able to help with such a good cause.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hotel Leger...we're back!!

All of us in the band look forward to playing at the Hotel Leger.  It's such a fun place, very unique, the folks are all so friendly and nice and it's close to home.  

We never know what to expect at the Hotel Leger, we've had a hip hop crowd one night, pirates it could be anything!!  But, this particular weekend was very stormy.  In fact the power at our house was out for four days!  I actually got ready in the dark!!  Scary!  

When we got there, it was pretty quiet.  I wondered if anyone would come!!  

This sweet couple came.  They are getting married and wanted to hear us before booking us for their wedding.  They drove all the way from the Roseville area.  And, YES!  Wear are going to play for their wedding.  It's gonna be great!  Meet Britnny & Nathan:

Susan and Cyn came with a friend!  I was worried about Susan driving home in the weather...but she is a country girl and can take care of herself!!  LOVE IT!  These girls love to dance....I love to dance...we all love to dance!

We met some new ladies who joined us for dancing....they made quick friends with Susan and Cyn and hopefully we will see them again!

Another couple came up from the valley to see us....I didn't get a picture though..darn.  They had only seen us as "Hippies" before, so they were surprised that we had an entire different show.  Yep.  Sometimes we are Hippies, sometimes we are an Oldies band, sometimes we are Rock N Roll!  This night was ALL about the Rock n Roll and DANCING!

Here is a little taste for you:

These girls have been here fact, I think we sang happy birthday to them last time!!  They are both so pretty and they can really DANCE!   Oh to be young again.  The girl in the white loves to sing and she seems to know all the words to the songs!  I love that!  She joined in with us for a few choruses.

You know...these days us girls don't really need to wait for a guy to ask us to dance...we just dance with each other!!  So, it's kinda brave for a fellow to get out there!

They stayed to the very end and we decided to take a group picture.  The guy who took the photo had just a few and maybe even a couple too many, so that was fun, he kept taking "joke" pictures!!  He he. 
But in the end he took a great shot:

Til next time....we will be back at the Hotel Leger March 26th....See you then!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stockton Singles....dancing!

I love this group.  I know I've said that before...but it's true.  They are always so nice and so welcoming.  Each time we show up it's like seeing friends again.  We play special music for this group...lot's of oldies and some wonderful standards.  We love this music as much as we love Rock N Roll....and hey they like Rock N Roll too!!

One of my favorite parts of the evening is just watching everyone dance.  They dance so beautifully.  And, because the room is dark with a glittering disco ball over head, I can ever capture it on film.  This last time, they turned on the lights before we were finished.  So, I grabbed my camera and video taped the dancing.  Enjoy:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We love to play for private parties.  This party was a retirement party in Manteca.  When we got there, we found out that there was easy access to the stage from the back.  And, what did we find in the back of the building?  This great mural!  Steve set the camera on a timer so he could be in the picture too.
The decorations were spectacular!  The person retiring was a high school teacher in the ag dept and an avid race car driver.  All the decorations were race car related.  

The stage area was great!  It's nice to have enough room, sometimes we are really crammed in to small spaces.   

We got there way before the guests.  We didn't want to be setting up while they were eating dinner. There was a lot of time to kill before we played, so we went out to eat.

At a VERY fancy place!

And the part we LOVE...playing music!

Somebody came up and grabbed Steve's camera to take this picture.  They could probably tell that he is hardly ever IN any of the pics!

There were people coming up to the mic to tell funny stories about him and give him presents.  

There was a lot of dancing!

Several people came up to tell John that they remembered Crystal Image from the 1970's.  He played in this very hall back then and they were there!!  How cool is that?

At the end, they started popping all of the balloons.  That got a little wild!  There were a LOT of balloons!

Great show!!

Great people!!