Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another fun Winery Day at Jodar!

What a life!  Saturday found our band at Jodar Winery in Camino.  This wine tasting room is set beside a beautiful lake.  They have a large lawn area and gardens all around.  On this day the winery sponsored a golf tournament and this evening was the celebration part.   The people at Jodar are so nice and make us feel so welcome.  And, they make truly wonderful wine!!

It's  a challenge band to set up on grass.  Our drummer needs a level area and John with his keyboards needs a level area.  Last year, when we played here, John ended up on the cement and was literally behind a bush.  This time, Steve brought plywood and we could set up any way we wanted.  To make room for the folks we are on the upper lawn area.  

Michael was born to entertain!!

A beautiful Saturday, dancing on the lawn, fine wine, great BBQ, live music....pretty perfect!

Sitting by the lake, just taking it easy.

I did say BBQ, right?  They fed the band!!  That is always a great thing, and this was some yummy food!



And more dancing!!

There was NO limit on the fun!  As I walked around during our breaks, I met so many nice people.  The were so complimentary to our band, and those comments just mean the world to us!  Thank you!!

Mr. Rock N Roll!

And a few slow songs to get close and romantic to.

We are already looking forward to coming back to Jodar Winery August 13th for another "BBQ on the Green!

To everyone at Jodar Winery....THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!  We appreciate you for having us back!  See you soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011

On Top of the World

We were so lucky to be invited back to Fitzpatrick Winery this summer.   The view is spectacular.  The winery is up on a high ridge and the owner, Brian, built a lodge out of huge logs. And, it's an Inn, so you can reserve a room and stay the night!  

There is an enormous deck that wraps around and there is a brick oven in the corner.  They host Brick Oven Pizza Night on Fridays and have live music all summer. 

I was looking forward to introducing Jerry to Brian, because I thought they had a lot in they look alike.  See if you agree:

As they got to talking, they found out that they are both from New Jersey!  In fact, they went to the same high school one year apart and they know a lot of the same people. How incredible is that?  

Now a word about the Pizza.....mmmmm mmmm mmmm!  Is that a word?  I'm drooling just thinking about this pizza!  If we weren't playing every Friday, I would be at this place every chance I had!  They gave the band pizza and we got to try several different ones.  For ME the salmon and goat cheese was THE ONE!  Add to that some wonderful Fitzpatrick wine and you have a party of flavor!!

There are just moments when everything stops and I get to soak it all in.  This night my camera battery wore out and the video wouldn't stay on.  So, I just made an effort to take it all in and live in the moment.  There were so many times that I just looked out over the view as the sun was setting, and we were doing what we love....making music....this made for a truly magical night.  

This is John with Gary and Betty Overstreet who came all the way from Vacaville to see us!  They are the nicest people!  Just having them there made us all so happy.

Of course, there was dancing!!  We made a lot of new friends that night.  

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We just played and played and had a blast!

This was the cutest little girl!!  She was dancing and dancing!!

 Thank you soooo much to the Fitzpatricks for having us out and treating us so special!!  We are really looking forward to coming back Friday  August 26th (which is also Jerry's Birthday...shhhhh).

Hotel Leger...change is good!

The Hotel Leger has new owners, I think I told you that last month.  The week before our gig, Steve and I stopped by on our way home from the Folsom gig to see my friend Susan, hang out and enjoy the band, Groove Union.  Their drummer was Rich who played with us in Tahoe last summer and we laughed about getting lost in the wee hours of the morning in search of a place to eat pie!  We danced and had a good time.  But, I was pretty worried about the fact that they changed the place where the band played.  I mentally tallied up the equipment of the band that was playing and figured that we have about TWICE the amount of equipment.  How on earth would we fit in there??

I had serious doubts.  We even came early to try to figure it all out.  Well, change IS good.  The new space worked out great!  And, because they moved the band, people could walk out on the side porch and take in some of the summer air.  It also made the dance area seem HUGE.  The whole place has a fresh feeling.  You can tell that there have been changesGood ones.

New Owners, Daryl and Tracy Zellers got in on some dancing!

Mary and Dennis stopped by.  Aren't they so sweet!  

We had two big windows that were wide open.  It really brought the outside "in".  Kind of a 'magical' summer night feeling.

We had a wonderful night.  We saw lots of familiar faces.

And this dog really wanted to join the band!

My son and Amber came out for the evening. 

And, we played and danced the night away! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pine Grove Farmer's Market and Happy Memories

Playing for the Farmer's Market in Pine Grove for opening day was a sweet and special day for me.  An anniversary of sorts.  It was just two years ago that John asked me to learn to sing songs for this very same day.  I still don't know why I said yes to that, but I did.  I remember being pretty embarrassed that day.  I learned a bunch of lyrics to songs and I didn't have any cheat sheets.  I also had to learn harmonies and melodies.  Some songs I had heard before, some were completely new to me.  I had to purchase a microphone and a stand.  I couldn't decide what to wear (whatever makes me look the skinniest of course!).  The whole day was a blur.  I survived.  I kept showing up each week for the entire summer and it got easier.  I ended up joining John in some gigs in different capacities, singing a little here and there.  Later that fall, Steve and I joined John and Michael for a "real" gig.  Then a couple more before the end of the year.  When the New Year came, we were coming to all of their gigs.  Just a little over a year ago, I remember being at one gig that was about 3 hours long and I sang one song, and that was it.  As we did more and more gigs, I learned more and was put in to the show more.  When the next Farmer's Market came up, the four of us and Sarah played once a month in addition to our weekend gigs.  I always enjoyed the relaxed, informal feeling that we had at those gigs.  And, these were the things that were going through my mind last week when we returned with our entire band and played in the park.  

It's two years later and I'm not afraid all the time anymore.  My "new" comfort zone is the band.  Everyone in our band is supportive of each other, personally and musically.  This is my second "season" of playing gigs and I am having the time of my life.  I've met so many terrific people and I've been blessed to play at some pretty great places.  Sometimes we are playing a song and we are all having fun and the weather is beautiful and the people are having fun....those are the perfect moments.  Playing in the park for the Farmer's Market was certainly one of them.

We sent out our email list and invited our band friends to come out to the park and enjoy the afternoon with us.  We were surprised and delighted to see the folks arrive and stay, that makes everything so worthwhile.  

Mary and Dennis, such great friends!  And, wonderful dancers...
Diane and her husband, we played two times at her house for a private party.  In fact, it was at her house that John, Michael, Steve and myself played our first gig with just the four of us!  

These friends saw us the week before in Folsom and brought their husbands spend the afternoon.

Ginger and her friends came out.  They are also involved in the Music in the Park series, which we will be playing for in just a few weeks in this same park!  And, later in the summer we will be playing for the Camp Out for Cancer that Ginger and her husband are part of organizing.  It was wonderful to have them there.

And of course, there is the FOOD!  What is better than fresh veggies, grown locally??  MMmmmm.   Delicious!

Michael made his guitar "talk" to me.  I think what his guitar was saying wasn't nice and sweet, but it WAS fun....

I'd like to see 2 guitars arguing...that would be great!

What is it about a sweet song that makes me want to sing with my eyes closed?  

We are busy this summer and that's a good thing.  However, it makes it too difficult to play the Farmer's Market every week or even every month, so this was it for this year.  When we first booked it, it was supposed to by John and me alone.  I truly hoped that the whole band would come and enjoy the day together and they did without hesitation.  

We didn't wear our black signature clothing, we just wore whatever we wanted to.  Truth be told, I'm happy in the black.  It makes for a lot less stress deciding what to wear!

I will miss the Farmer's Market this summer. But, I am truly looking forward to some pretty great places that we are playing at and I hope to see you there!
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

2 Wineries and a Festival!

What a weekend!  It was as near to perfect as it gets!  We love outdoor venues and this weekend we had 3 in a row!

First, Elizabeth Spencer Winery asked us to play at the last minute and we hopped in our cars and headed to Napa (Rutherford) to play at this beautiful winery.  The weather was perfect and we had an awesome time!

Next we played for Sierra Ridge Winery out on the lawn.  It was a beautiful night and the view there is spectacular.  We weren't sure if we would end up playing to an empty lawn or not.  What a pleasant surprise to see so many of our friends there!  We sooooo appreciate all of you for coming out and enjoying the night with us.  The wine was flowing and there was dancing on the lawn up to the last encore!  

Here is a video with some clips from the evening:

Saturday we were at Historic Folsom for 2nd Saturday.  It was a sunny day so we brought umbrellas and that was a life saver!  A friend of the band had a professional video being made and offered to take some video for us that day.  It wasn't the best gig to video, the sun was really bright and we were in sunglasses.  The wind was blowing my hair all over the place and the background was just a brick wall.  But, is video and we did our best!  

They had us on a flat bed that was at a slight angle, so it felt a little dizzy to stand there.  And, there was an opening in the front half that I was afraid my shoe would get caught in, so I wore different shoes than I had planned.  The girls will understand this.   And....right at the beginning of a song, Steve dropped his harmonica and Yep! it went right through that opening and down under the stage.  To top it off, he was needed to sing harmony on this particular song.  So, Michael set his guitar down and crawled under the stage, retrieved the harmonica and got it to Steve right before his solo.  How's that for Teamwork.

Santa Jerry had a friend stop by to listen to the music.  Notice any resemblance? 

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Yes, it was a wonderful weekend, we had a great time and are looking forward to a summer FULL of fun gigs.  Hope to see you at one of them!