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KaRTunes Blog - June 2018

• June 30 - Tricks RKO Trio, Anna Hestera Grad Party

Did I mention that this is the peak of the summer's sticky weather? OMG! We thought our Friday night at the Lynx was hot and sticky. This grad party for Anna Hestera came on a day that was downright oppressive. This was a party full of Krystal's friends from work, because the party was put on by Krystal's longtime co-worker Dina and husband Jon. But, even though our friends wanted to dance to add energy to the live music show, it was asking a lot. You can see in the pictures; everyone is nice and shiny from sweating. This type of show gives meaning to our motto, "Work Hard / Play Hard". You gotta force yourself to have fun.

• June 29 - KaR Tunes, Lynx Patio Party

This was the peak of sticky weather. Even at 7pm, it was still about 93º and very humid. The event was a "9 and Dine" golfers' dinner. Rick called Jim the owner a couple days before, and we taked about the hot sticky weather. Rick said, "maybe we should plan on doing an indoor patio party". Jim said, "golfers are tough folks, I think they'll want to hang around outside and watch the sunset". Well, as it turns out, of the ninety-some golfers there, only about ten were hanging out with us on the deck. We also had our friends Tom & Fran, with Krystal's dad Don. And we were pleasantly surprised by Rick's son Jeremy and family showing up. Other than that small bunch, we had very little action on the patio. The inside was full of people eating and drinking, but they were tired from being out on the golfcourse in that sticky heat. Golfers are tough, but they need a break from the heat when they're done golfing. Sometimes people need to chill - literally! We have a couple more Lynx events coming up this summer, and we'll see how those events turn out. It's always fun at the Lynx, and they have good food and a very pleasant atmosphere, with a beautiful sunset view from the patio. Sometimes people want to stay in the air-conditioning.

• June 23 - KaR Tunes, Sandy Pines annual Classic Car show, with Steve's Brat Cookout

Sticky weather again. Pretty good turn-out for this annual car show at Sandy Pines. Steve thought he would give the Brat Cookout a try at this event. Krys & Rick added their music for the people who were there to check out the cars and get a good brat & chips dinner. Thanks to Steve for hiring us. The Dick's Market Brat Cookouts are always fun. I know it's a lot of work for Steve's crew. The classic cars were an added touch that made it even more fun. Being Sandy Pines, we were in golfcart heaven again. Lots of people were hanging around in their golfcarts; sitting there eating their brats and watch us do our live music show.

• June 16 - Band X: Ozzy & Doogie's Dynamic Duo, Iron Bridge Sportsbar, Allegan

Krystal's Birthday today! She is gone up north all weekend with hiking gal pals. That leaves the boys to play with no boss-lady in charge. We truly miss having Krystal's energy onstage with us, but this show demands that Ozzy & Doogie rise to the occasion. Just about the hottest and stickiest evening you can imagine had people staying home in droves. B's Beer Garden only had about 15 or 20 people hanging and banging with "Band X", our newly chosen name for the Doogie & Ozzy duo. We've used the name "Band X" a few times for Tricks side-project shows. We considered calling ourselves "The Tricks Duo", or "Tricks' Better Half", or "Tricks Guitars". Krys suggested bringing back the "Band X" name, which we only used before when our drummer buddy Skip Herrema sat in for Steve on the drum kit. Anyway, we had an absolute blast playing out on the deck in the middle of downtown Allegan. Despite the sticky heat, we had some people getting up and dancing with us. Early hours, 7pm to 10pm, might need to be reconsidered by owners Rich & Melissa, because we had the most people there while packing up at 10:30, after playing an extra half hour. I suppose you can't blast the jams outdoors after the noise ordinance time limit, which is usually 10pm.
One thing cool about the Band X duo is that we have the pressure of flying alone, with no Krystal or Steve to help with lead singing. So, it's all Rick songs. Ozzy helped push the setlist all night long; we weren't going to by shy about doing some hard rockers. Ozzy called for some of his favorites; Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy", 3-Doors Down "Kryptonite", Black Crowes "Hard To Handle", Stones "Sympathy For The Devil", and Deep Purple "Hush". Rick requested some hard-rocking with Deep Purple "Smoke On The Water", Jethro Tull "Locomotive Breath", Dire Straits "Money For Nothing", and Skynyrd "Gimme 3 Steps" and "What's Your Name". Just because it was a small crowd with major heat and humidity, that wasn't going to stop us from rocking B's Beer Garden harder than it is accustomed to being rocked. We even had to request some talcum powder from the pool table inside, to help slide our sweaty fingers across our guitar necks. (Did I mention that I inhaled a mosquito or two while singing? Pass the ketchup.)
Thanks so much to our little fanclub who braved the heatwave to have fun with us; Fran & Tom, Paula & Mark. Thank you dancers! Thanks to owners Rich & Melissa Green for the valiant attempt at keeping live music going in downtown Allegan. We know it's not easy. Thanks to the Iron Bridge waitstaff for looking good and doing the job right. We'll be back with Ozzy & Doogie's "Band X" on July 28. And we'll be closing out the summer on Sep 1, another Saturday evening at B's Beer Garden, Iron Bridge Sportsbar.
Hot Sticky Saturday

• June 6 - KaR Tunes at FMCA Regional Conference, Allegan Expo Center

A rather odd gig for Krystal & Rick. Our friend, Allegan Cabaret Director Dean Michaels set us up with this FMCA Regional Convention, at the brand new Expo Center at the Allegan Fairgrounds. It's a regional meeting for members of "Family Motor Coach Association"; hundreds of motor home enthusiasts, mostly retired folks. On Wednesday, they had a business meeting, and then KaR Tunes played for an hour and half. It was probably the only time we ever played for a bunch of people in folding chairs, sitting there without any drinks or anything. About five hundred people from Michigan and neighboring states, as well as Canada. We really felt the love, and when we were done, we got several offers to do live music at motor home parks around SW Michigan. The biggest offer was from the National Chairman, who invited KaR Tunes to play at their National convention, Aug 2019, in South Dakota. We're thinking about it... Here are some images from Wednesday night at the Expo Center.
Wednesday at Allegan Fairgrounds

KaRTunes Blog - May 2018

• May 25 - Tricks "RKO" Trio at Oak Grove Tavern, Irons

It's a long story how we got here, but you can find that story in various places in these Tricks History pages. We started out with a small annual party about 12 years ago. Now it's grown into five gigs every summer. This year in 2018 we have two gigs at the Oak Grove Tavern, two "Man Cave" parties, one for Tommy Phelps and the other for Duane Lewis. Then comes the newest Irons gig, and it involves the entire big Tricks band, with Steve and his "real" drums. (I say "real" because, ... You know that my drum machine uses all recorded samples of real drums, right? I'm just sayin'.) Anyway, that Tricks gig is Sep 15 this year, and it's the "Wagon Ride Half-Way Lunch Party" or somethink like that. A highlight of the week-long Irons Cowboy Festival Week, where all the horse people take control of the town, trails, and tavern.
Back to the main point; Krystal, Ozzy, and Rick selected this Friday night for a show at Oak Grove, because it's Memorial Day Weekend, and we like to welcome the "Up North" summertime season with a Tricks Trio jam-out party. Rick the Oak Grove owner is very cool about booking us whenever we like, since he mostly has the local-yokel bands, same-ol' same-ol'. He is also partly in charge of the Cowboy Weekend, and booked Tricks for the Wagon Ride Halfway party show.
This year Rick the owner decided to have us play 6pm to 10pm, instead of the usual 8pm to midnight. Because people are just arriving for their "up north" weekend, and after dinner and couple drinks, they are ready to get back and set up their cabin or campsite. Turns out, we had a decent crowd at 6pm, but things were fizzling out a little during by about 8:30. Then a little after 9pm, we got a big influx; a few tables full of people who were eating dinner. At the same time, who should drop in but Kim and Duane Lewis, who are all about the dancing action? Head-banging with bassman Ozzy is one of Duane's signature moves. So anyway, when we got to our stop time at 10pm, the place was hopping. It was very hot and humid, and we were all feeling the wear of the drive, the set-up, and the four hours of bringing it. Right when we hit 10pm, and we were all saying "thank God we're done", our good old pal, Rick the owner comes up and says "can you guys play a little more"? It's not easy to say no, so we took ten minutes to catch our breath, then we played another five songs. Except for Duane and Kim, we didn't have many dancers all night. It was too hot in there. But, all that heat and humidity seemed appropriate for a "Smash Bash Welcome Summer" party.
Next year I bet we make the band hours 7pm to 11pm. That makes sense. Thanks to Rick, Tommy, Kim, Duane, Tara and kids, and all our Irons friends. Special thanks to the Phelps family for providing a place for the band to crash.
Saturday Up North

• May 10 & 24 - Rick Doogie Solo Acoustic, Iron Bridge Classic Car Thursdays

Slightly last-minute booking for 2018 - Rich Green, the owner of the Iron Bridge Sports Bar is hosting Classic Car Night every Thursday during Summer months. For many years, there has been a Classic Car Night at Deano's 50s Diner on M-40. With the closing of Deano's, the car people need a new place to gather to compare notes and show off their work. B's Beer Garden at the Iron Bridge is the perfect spot, because it is surrounded on three sides by parking lots. Plenty of room for classic cars and motorcycles. Rich asked about getting some Doogie tunes every Thursday, but we had to tell him that all of our 1st Thursdays are taken by Holland Village Inn Pizza, and every 3rd Thursday is taken by GR Village Inn Pizza. Rich grabbed up all the other Thursdays until Novermber, so this is my new home for this summer. It's so nice to have a steady acoustic gig, like my seven years doing every other Sunday at Hilliards Corner Lounge. It keeps the chops up, and it forces me to add new songs to my repertoire, because otherwise I get bored with myself.
The first Thursday Car Night on May 10, we had 3 cars and 15 people. It ended up being like a living room concert, and we all had a blast. The second Doogie Car Night on May 24, we had 5 or 6 cars, and about 20 people, so things are looking up. Again, that second night was so much fun, I ended up playing three and a half hours, instead of the two that I'm booked for. All it takes is two or three people out there saying, "one more, one more", and I'll go all night. Or, I'll go until my fingers and hands start to fail. I sure won't run out of songs. I have enough songs in my head for about seven hours, and that's without any music stand or cheat-sheets. I say, "I don't want the song on a chart, I want it in my heart". No music stands or backing tracks for me, thank you. I'm into minimal gadgets. "Not that there's anything wrong with t
May 24

KaR Tunes Blog -March 2018

• Mar 15, 16, 17, 23, 24 - 33rd Annual Allegan Cabaret Band Show

This was Rick & Krystal's third time doing the Allegan Cabaret Band Show. It was the 33rd show in all. We thank the director, Dean Michaels, for inviting us and keeping the Cabaret going all these years. This year, the show raised $16,000 for Allegan Wings of Hope Hospice, $6,000 for Allegan Area Arts Council, and $1,000 for Allegan Children's Museum. This show is so huge, you have to see it to appreciate it. There are about 15 singers that handle lead and support vocals for nearly 40 songs that make up the show. The back-up band is 5 guys; Dean Michaels on keys, sax, & flute, Greg Howard on electric, acoustic, and slide guitar, Rick Dutkiewicz on electric, acoustic, resonator guitar and ukulele, Jeff Clearwater on bass guitar, and Don Pabis on drums.
Song selection and rehearsal start in late January, so we have only about 7 weeks to prepare for the show. Besides individual and smaller group rehearsals, the entire group gets together every Mon & Wed evening. And the band guys get together every Saturday morning. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears go into the preparations. Dean Michaels shoulders the brunt of the load, spending hundreds of hours traveling around and hammering out the plans and details. Dean enlists lots of helpers, but ends up doing a lot of the legwork himself, besides being the band director, keyboard player, and MC for the show.
I guess I could go on and on about all the contributions from everyone involved, but that's way too long to rattle on, even for me. Special thanks goes to the volunteers from Hospice, AAAC, and the Children's Museum, for help with tickets, ushering, concessions, and other details. Special thanks to Marsha Halloran for putting together the buffet for the pre-show parties on the two Saturdays. Special thanks to our soundman Gerry, who does an amazing job making the show sound professional.
This year was advertised as the Final Cabaret Band Show. The show takes up nearly a quarter of Dean's year, and he ends up neglecting his family and his day-job as a construction/contractor fix-it man. So, the plan was to have a very cut-down version of Cabaret next year, possibly playing the show in some smaller venues. But, the demanding public had other plans. The requests and demands to keep the show going was overwhelming. By the beginning of the 2nd weekend of Cabaret, Dean had decided to give in to the clamoring of the masses. The show must go on! Next year's March dates have already been reserved at the Griswold Auditorium. We will push on. Dean is also looking into doing some of those smaller shows he was pondering. It's possible that "Allegan Cabaret On The Road" will be playing some shows as early as this summer.
Thurs Rehearsal
|Fri Opening |Sat |Fri |Sat

KaRTunes Blog - February 2018

• Feb 24 - Tricks RKO Trio, Gentleman Jack's, Fennville

This was interesting. Tricks has several years of history at Sue's Sidetrack, between Fennville and Pullman. The new owners call it "Gentleman Jack's", and they're having regular bands every Saturday night. That pretty much leaves out the possibility of doing the big Tricks show there, but it's perfect for the Tricks Trio. We had a small crowd that was mostly people we invited, Krystal's Allegan friends, Tommy & Tara Phelps' family get-together, and a few old Sidetrack pals from the old days. They have that huge dance floor, and it's hard to fill it up. But, we did a pretty good job. We plan on being back here soon, with the Trio. Thanks to Gentleman Jack's owners and staff. So far, so good. We hope you can make this work.


• Feb 17 - Tricks RKO Trio, Holland Elks, Polar Plunge Benefit for Special Olympics

We're hoping this is just the first of many gigs here at Holland Elks. Thanks to Duane and Kim Lewis for hooking us up. This Polar Plunge is an annual benefit for Special Olympics. This year they raised over $40k and they had 97 people who dove into the cold water to get pledges from their friends. Great work, everyone! By the time we did the musical after-party, most people were heading home after a long afternoon. We've been asked back for next year's Polar Plunge, and they say they want to move the time up in order to keep some of the afternoon crowd here. The Tricks Trio did okay, though. We had a bunch of our friends and fans who showed up to support the band and the event. A highlight for Rick, Krys, & Ozzy was the chance to take our new "winter break" tunes on a test drive with the drum machine. All the new tunes went very well, I'm glad to report. "Pearl Necklace", "Heart of Rock n Roll", "What's Your Name", "Money for Nothing". But, the biggest new dance hit was the Shania Twain, "Man, I Feel Like a Woman".
Thanks to everyone for coming out to our first Holland Elks gig. Thanks to the Elks people for having us. We hope to be back soon.

KaRTunes Blog - January 2018

• Jan 6 - Rick Doogie solo Acoustic at Iron Bridge, Allegan

Krystal is out for the day, x-country skiing with her gal pals, and I get a last-minute call from Rich Green, the owner of the Iron Bridge. With only a few hours notice, I managed to get the word out to neighbors and friends. Add that party bunch to the snowmobilers seeking warmth, food, and drink, and it turned out to be a nice Saturday night shindig at the Iron Bridge. I was able to mix in some of my more obscure tunes with the popular stuff, because this crowd was open to anything and everything I was dishing out. I did my Counting Crowes and Matchbox 20 for neighbor Tim Miller, because it's all about the 80s and 90s for Tim. I brought out the Babicz guitar because it's been a while since I did a gig with that awesome-sounding instrument. It seems to have a piano-like quality to its sound. Ringy, deep, and clear.

KaRTunes Blog - December 2017

• Dec 31 - Dinner & Dance at Lynx Clubhouse "Lodge"

Wow! What a great way to wrap up 2017! Jim Szilagyi (read about Jim when he bought the Lynx just five years ago ) his Lynx staff really know how to put on the ritz. It was a sell-out dinner crowd with about 65 being served a sit-down plate dinner of 5 courses. Jim and his wife Pam had the place decorated to the T, and there were plenty of waitresses on hand to keep all the tables well-served. And the dancing! Wish we had some better pictures. Krystal had the camera and was kept busy rocking out the tunes with Rick & Ozzy. But, you can get some idea from the few photos we have. A big highlight was having several couples from Sharon’s Dance Studio in Kalamazoo. Se see them regularly at Lynx dinner/dance events. Those people really set the dancefloor on fire. They have such a fun attitude and they love dancing so much; it really inspires everyone else to get out there dancing as well. Our KRO Trio had all we could do to keep up with all that dancing energy. At many shows and events, we're used to being up there doing all the work. But not this night.
We did an early count-down to 2018 at 9pm EST. We actually had a clock displaying the time zone 3 hours ahead of EST. Oddly enough, it took some doing to find a time zone that is 3 hours ahead of EST time at this time of year. Most southern Time Zones are observing daylight savings time, so that throws things off a bit. We found only one small area in the South Atlantic that is 3 hours ahead of us at the stroke of New Year's midnight. Jim found a clock online that displayed the digital time for King Edward Point, the capital of the South Sandwich Islands. He piped that through one of his big-screen screens near the dancefloor. Just before that clock showed midnight, we stopped the music and let everyone hoot and holler as they counted down to New Year 2018, GST (South Georgia Time in South America). The balloons were flying and the noise makers were squeaking, as everyone hugged and kissed. We sang "Auld Lang Syne", and then went into Allison Krause "When You Say Nothing At All", a suitable love song for dancing in the new year. A beautiful sight to see all those friends and lovers holding each other.
The true meaning of every New Year's Eve celebration is the recalling of all the good and bad of the previous year, with hopes that we will bring forward most of the good and leave behind much of the bad, with a little help from our friends and family. Thanks to everyone for getting together for this highly meaningful get-together. Special thanks to those who had to travel a distance to get here. Special thanks to Jim and Pam for the awesome decorations that provided the perfect ambience for such an occasion. Thanks to the Lynx staff and chefs for great food and drinks, along with fast & friendly service. Thanks to Jim for having us. Thanks to Sharon's Dance Studio dancers, and all of you "regular" dancers. You light up our life. We love all of you and are honored to be a part of such a great event.

to K&RBlog Late 2017 (Jan - Jun)
to K&RBlog Late 2018 (Jul - Dec)