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Doogie Music Blog - December 2010

Dec 3 & 4 - Odd Side Ales premiere gig -

Rick Doogie & Krystal at Odd Side Ales
Rick Doogie & Krystal Break into Grand Haven Downtown scene - This venue was suggested by my sister-in-law Ali. Odd Side Ales is a new Brewpub in the old piano building in downtown Grand Haven, right by Portabellos, across the street from the old Grand theater. The owners are Chris and Alyson Michner. After Chris lost his accounting job in 2009, he decided to take a crack at his life-long dream of owning a microbrewery. The Rick Doogie solo music career story is similar; only a couple months after Chris lost his job and started planning his microbrewery, I did the same with my music career. Everyone always told me I should make music for a living, but I always retorted, "I want my music to be a fun thing, not a job". I found out that the way to make my music "job" fun is to keep adding new tunes to my repertoire and new venues to my calendar. Enough about me; this venue in downtown Grand Haven is a perfect fit for the Rick Doogie show, with or without Krystal.
On Friday, we had Krystal along for the show. You know Krystal always makes it a more lively time for everyone, and better looking as well. On Saturday, it was Rick flying solo, digging deeper into the Doogie song catalog. Both nights had similar crowds. The room holds about 50 people, and it was mostly full, with maybe 10 people right up in front getting into our music show, and the rest of the crowd mixing it up with great brews and chit-chat. Some dart-board action. And people brought their own food in. This is a big thing that makes the whole evening like a picnic or a pot-luck. People brought crock pots, pizzas, cakes, and party snacks. I was impressed how much this "bring your own food" idea makes the whole scene more congenial and festive for everyone. It feels like a family reunion.
The drinking selections were unique home brews. Odd Side Ales keeps about 15 beers on tap, with prices ranging from $3.75 to $5.00. They also brew their own root beer.
Most of the crowd was younger, 30 and 40-somethings. Lots of applause and enthusiasm for the live music, and even some dancing. We were on the receiving end of lots of compliments, especially about our song repertoire - I like that! We really mixed up the song selections, and kept it interesting. I have some new songs that I've added recently. I think the biggest new "hit" is "Story In Your Eyes" by Moody Blues. The live music hours are 9pm to midnight, and they close around 12:30. Nice early gig.
Thanks to Roger for stopping in. Thanks to Ali for telling us about Odd Side Ales, and thanks for showing up with friends on Saturday. Thanks to Heather and Matt from bringing the gang on Friday night. Thanks to Rob and Jamie for coming all the way from Fennville. It helps to have ears out there, and smiling faces. Thanks so much to Chris and Alyson for having me, and thanks to the great wait-staff for an excellent job, keeping the party going. What a class act you have going on! Cozy place, very warm & friendly. Hopefully, we'll be back.
Fri & Sat

Doogie Music Blog - October 2010

Oct 30 - Rick & Krys, Halloween Party at Curve Inn, South Haven -

Halloween at the Curve Inn
Back on Father's Day in June, Rick did one trial Sunday afternoon gig at the Curve Inn, and it was a good "foot in the door" for South Haven. Now came the chance to really show our stuff, with Rick & Krys providing music for The Curve Inn's annual Halloween / Costume Party. Pat & Sue, the sisters who own the Curve Inn, keep the Halloween decorations up year-round. So, Halloween is their big "theme" party of the year. We knew it would be fun, so we made sure we lived up to the occasion. We went as Sexy Catwoman and Chunky Batman, and we brought in a few extra Halloween decorations of our own. The food was absolutely fantastic, or so I was told, because there was nothing left when we were done singing at 12:30am. We did get some of their homemade beer / cheddar soup, and it was yummy. The Curve Inn takes pride in making all of their own special sauces and salads. A big favorite on the menu is the wood-baked pizza, from a pair of brick ovens out in their courtyard. See the picture for the food spread. An $8 ticket to the party got you the all-you-can eat buffet, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, cash prizes for best costumes, and Krys & Rick's lively acoustic music show (with a bit of drum track for dancing).
We had lots of dancers for our acoustic rockers and romantic ballads. We even played over a bit, due to crowd demand. Sue handed out door prizes, which were bags filled with all kinds of special surprises; t-shirts, beer can coolers, light-up drink cups, - cool goodies you get from beer vendors. The costume judging was done by secret ballot. You got a ticket when you entered, and each costumed contender was given a number. You voted by writing the number of your favorite on your ticket and putting it in the ballot box. You got an extra ticket to vote with every time you bought a drink. Hmmmm, good idea, I like it! Better than the long drawn-out "vote by applause" method. You'll have to check out the pictures for some of the costume action. The $100 prize for best costume went to our friend Rich's girlfriend Denise, who is a regular at our Phelpstock party in Irons every summer. Denise was dressed up as Elvira. There was a $50 prize for runner-up, and $25 for third place. Great fun!
Thanks so much to Tara and her girls, who were dressed up as "girls". Thanks to Rich and his table full of fun. A highlight of the night was an unexpected visit from our pal from the Douglas Woodshed, and former bartender and a great singer, Sue Bee. Good to see you, Sue Bee, and next time we'll get you up there to sing something - I didn't know you were still there, and then we were done - very confusing and chaotic gig with all the door prizes and costume contest. But, fun as heck. And we did a great job. Thanks so much to Susan and Pat and their great staff. What a wonderful place and a great party! Thanks to everyone for being in the "spirit" of the occasion and dressing up.
Sue and Pat's business has been severely hurt by the smoking ban, and they don't have live music on weekends any more because of it. But, Pat told me that they might do a special Saturday music in Jan or Feb. I'm hoping we can come back and sing again at the Curve Inn.
Saturday Costume Party -

Oct 3 and Oct 10 - Rick Doogie, Hilliards Corners, Sunday Afternoons -

Rick Doogie & Tom Northrup
Solo Sundays! (Tom with the curly hair!)
Rick has been trading off with Tom Northrup, doing about every-other Sunday afternoon, from 3pm to 6pm. And, it's high time we say a word or two about these Solo Sundays. The original intention of having music on Sundays was to have some entertainment to attract the bikers that stop in when they are out riding on Sunday afternoons. I think the biker crowd has been a bit slack this summer, due to the massive road construction projects blocking 18th Street at Dorr. But! ...
I gotta tell you. Although the Sundays at the Corner are very laid-back and not massively exciting, it is always an interesting mix of clientele. We get the local yokels who want to belly up to the bar with a few buddies and have a beer or two on Sunday afternoon. Usually the ball game is on the TV. We get families coming out for early dinner, with little kids running around the pool tables and dance floor, and loving the music. We get old couples on limited income, stopping in for good food at low prices at the Corner Lounge. We get people coming in to sit with their beer at the Keno machine and bop their heads to the rhythm of the live music. And, ... We get the bikers who seem to go for the musical variety that I put in my Doogie show - they like country, rock ballads, Pink Floyd, you name it! All in all, a very nice live music venue. Perfect location at the crossroads. Great big barn of a building - beautifully remodeled with tender loving care by Owner Eric and his dad. They have new booths, new stage, new bathrooms, new windows, and the new carpetting is coming soon.
I need to have a few words from Tom Northrup about this gig. It's a gas, if you ask me. But, Tom is an old pro at this solo music business. So let's hear a few words from him. Tom was with the Frau Brau band, and used to play here when the place was called the "Hilliards Royal Knight". And now Tom plays piano all over Western Michigan, in piano bars and restaurants, in G.R., Kalamazoo, and all along the Lake Shore. I asked Tom to share Sundays with me, so I wouldn't have to do Sundays every week. Tom does a great job; unlike the Doogie Show, Tom can do requests 'til the cows come home.
I don't get pictures of Hilliards Sunday afternoon very often, because I'm usually alone. No helpers like I get with Tricks.
Tom Northrup here..... !!!..... One of the coolest Sundays I've spent at Hilliards (truthfully) was to sit and drink and watch Rick jamming out. He obviously rocks when he's with Tricks, but his solo show is also a two-thumbs-up performance. He's stripped down and bare bones, which allows the subtle nuances of his abilities to come through. He coaxes the songs out of his guitar, and if you can't appreciate that...... well then you can just sit and drink cheap beer, dang it!
I've enjoyed playing the Sunday shows, and I've been blessed in having many good friends come share in the festivities! One observation, which is really cool, is that the requests have such variety. Much of the time they are quite unexpected, which adds to the randomness of the day's playlist. My old school country tunes really get a work out here, which is all kinds of fun. It's certainly not the same old Hilliards corner from the Royal Knight days. It's a much brighter atmosphere, smells good, and the food is great too! Come see us play and "Get Your Live Tunes on Sunday Afternoons! Oh, and sing along too! I sound best when 20 or 30 people are trying to drown me out!

Doogie Music Blog - September 2010

Sept 12 - Rick & Krys at The Grillhouse -

As the sun sets, there's dancing at the Grillhouse Courtyard!
Rick & Krys did an acoustic gig at the Grillhouse about 9 years ago. It was a drunken and wild Thanksgiving Day Eve, Wednesday night. I think it was a bit too wild for the dignified setting of the old Grillhouse "Rock Bottom" bar. So, we haven't heard too much from the Grillhouse since then. I think we did a "Tricks Lite" gig with Steve on electronic drums. I don't recall when that was. Anyway, we're trying to get back into playing at the Grillhouse occasionally, either as the Rick & Krys duet, or the Rick Doogie solo show. This Sunday evening on the Courtyard was a great "re-introduction". Marsha the Grillhouse owner also owns a wine shop in downtown Allegan, and Krystal is a good customer there. Marsha keeps saying she wants to get some more Rick & Krys music out at the Grillhouse and the Rock Bottom Bar. I expect that we will play some weekend nights at the Rock Bottom during this winter season, while Tricks is on winter break.
Rick mostly played solo for the first set, and then Krys came up and livened up the show. We had a courtyard full of people, all ages, wining and dining friends and family out on a beautiful and sunny Sunday evening. They have these cool "rocking booths" that are on sliders, so you can sway to the music while you eat - or not. Beautiful setting, and even some kiddie play equipment on the lawn. We even had a few dancers right at the end of the show - I don't think they have dancers very often on the Courtyard.
We'll be a happy to play out at the Grillhouse whenever they ask us back. I have to tell you this tidbit: The Grillhouse gained national attention when they won a spot on the Channel's "Steak Paradise" top ten list
. Pretty cool!
Thanks to Marsha and Brian for having us. Thanks to the hard-working wait-staff who have to keep running in and out to keep up with the food and drink orders outside. Thanks to all our good friends who showed up on this beautiful sunny Sunday to support another new acoustic adventure. See pictures of fun in the Courtyard.

Labor Day weekend "Triple Play" - Doogie at Holland, Tricks at Dylan's Party in Plainwell, Rick & Krys at Irons
Sept 5 - Rick & Krys at Val & Brian's 35th Anniversary Party -

Val & Brian Grant . . . Happy 35th! . . . What a cool party in the woods!
It seems that Rick and Krys have a growing fan club in the Irons area. The story goes like this: We've played music for Tommy & Tara Phelps' annual bash in Irons "Phelpstock", for the past 4 years. Rick's Trendway friends Linda and Kim always come to the Phelpstock party, because Kim has a place in Irons. Each year, it seems, Linda and Kim bring a bigger bunch of fun people to Tommy & Tara's party. They love to dance, I can tell you that. Well, a few weeks after Phelpstock this year, I got a call from Val Grant asking if we could play at a party in Irons for her and her husband Brian's 35th Wedding Anniversary party. We only had one possible opening, so they shifted the date of their party to Sunday of Labor Day weekend. They also shifted the party to their friend Tommy's (another Tommy) place, "just down the road" from Irons.
It turns out that "just down the road" can mean 30 miles when you're Up North. The party was actually in the woods just east of Kaleva
. They led us through the back roads of the Manistee National Forest, until we were driving on a grass path back to a "primitive" camp site with several tents and campers. There was a big pond, a camp fire, lots of coolers, and fishing rods, and a handful of people. We got out of our car and I said, "do we have electricity, or are we just going to sing with the guitar around the campfire?" They said, "oh, someone's getting the generator right now." Okay. So, we set up in the grass, with lots of drinks being passed around. The featured drink seemed to be "Duck Farts", which is made of Bailey's, Crown Royal, and about five other liquors. Yummy! But they are dangerous because you don't realize you're drinking such a strong drink.
It was close to sun-down, 7:30 when we started singing. About 25 or 30 folks were gathered around the campfire, to honor Val and Brian Grant's 35 Wedding Anniversary. It didn't take long for the dancing to start. I told you this bunch likes to dance. We didn't care that we had a grass stage, and they didn't care that they had a grass dance floor. Very fun. The weather was cool enough for sweatshirts, but it was beautiful out there in the woodland setting.
The highlight of the party was when Val handed out memento gift-packs to all the gals. Each lady got a pink hat, shot glass, and coffee cup. They all had a "kissing lips" logo on them. I'm not sure if there was a special meaning to the pink lips or not. But that was a very nice thing for Val to do for everyone. What a very cool bunch of people. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the music. Lots of dancing. Lots of love songs dedicated to Val and Brian.
Another "highlight", or maybe "lowlight", for me was almost losing my voice completely after the first ten songs or so. I've been very busy the past few weeks, and all this performing is a big test of my stamina. At the beginning of our 2nd set, I could barely squeak out the lyrics, much less sing pretty. I put out the emergency call for lemon slices or peach schnapps, my old "sore throat cures" from way back. My throat wasn't sore at all, it was just fatiqued. But, anyway, we came up with some lemons and some peach schnapps, and everything was fine for the rest of the night. Don't ask how my voice is today. Grandpa needs his rest. I'll be all better in time for the next gigs on this Saturday and Sunday.
Thanks so much to Val and Brian for hiring us to do this ultra-cool party in the woods. We had a great time, and felt like we made a bunch of new friends. Thanks to Tommy for having the party on his property. Thanks to everyone who brought food and drinks and firewood. Thanks to whoever brought the generator. Thanks to Tommy Phelps for putting us up for the night.

... and >>>>

Sept 3 - Rick Doogie at "Last Beer-B-Q of 2010" New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, Mi.

Some crazy chick got up and was shaking her new red tambourine.
The weather was very windy and cool outside, so the Beer-B-Q "on the deck" was moved indoors. What ensued was the "funnest ever" solo Doogie show - or dang close to it. For sure the funnest bar or restaurant acoustic gig. Some of the acoustic party gigs would be hard to beat. The crowd was all revved up for Labor Day Weekend. There was plenty of applause, friendly heckling, and hooting and hollering for the entire three hour performance. It's dinner time at the New Holland Brewing Co., so the crowd is all ages. That always makes it interesting.
What really made the evening extra special was a bunch of Rick's friends from Trendway showed up - current employees and ex-employees from way back. Most notable would have to be Jeff & Kelly Berg, who met at Trendway and got married in their back yard with Rick & Krys providing music for their wedding ceremony and backyard reception. Jeff & Kelly were there with their son Jordan, and that was the first time we have seen the Berg family in probably ten years. Another pair that rarely gets out to any Doogie shows is Robin and Doug South, who also met at Trendway and got married with Rick & Krys singing for their wedding ceremony. Wow! That really made for some good love song dedications at the New Holland gig. There were other TW friends, but I gotta keep it short - I could go on and on about the cool Doogie friends who appeared from Doogie's Trendway past. I guess I also have to mention that Ed Elzinga was there, because Ed is our "Cable Guy" for the Tricks band (actually "cable repair guy").
We also had a contingent of Rick & Krys neighbors come over from The Carp Republic of Lake Allegan. Those people are always kinda wild and crazy. They were dancing, even though there was no dance floor. That's just wild!
Thanks to our friend Sherrie who came all the way from Rockford with her friend. Thanks so much to Dave the sound guy. Thanks to Lyndey for hiring me back, and thanks for the bonus free New Holland t-shirt. Thanks to Shaun for introducing me to Lyndey in the first place. Thanks to Krystal for helping sing some songs, getting the crowd stirred up, and for taking pictures. Thanks to the new friends at New Holland Brewing Co. Lots of people coming up to give positive comments on the Doogie tunes. I appreciate the support and encouragement. Very Cool! Thanks!

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