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KaRTunes Blog - September 2018

• Sep 22 - KaR Tunes at Jack's Harvest Fest, Indian Shores, Lake Allegan

Krystal & Rick are always on call for local parties out in the Allegan Forest, especially for the party neighbors around Lake Allegan. With live music on call, people get ideas for annual parties. Especially for those people who consider Lake Allegan their "Up North" cabin get-away. And that's a good thing. We prefer playing private, family & friends events, instead of the usual bars and restaurants. If I had my way, ... I'm just sayin'. We seem to have the most fun when we play music in backyards, garages, and basements. It's not the number of people who show up. When you have a huge crowd with hundreds of people, the party breaks up into sections, with many people oblivious to the live music excitement. With a small party of a few dozen close friends, the entire scene unites into something that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Everyone is either dancing, singing along, watching the dancers, or heckling the band. Even the break music gets attention. For this party, I knew the majority of the age-group would be people who are into 80s music, so I went to Amazon and bought about 20 "Party Hits from the 80s" to use for break music. Our little group of dancers were even dancing to the break music. I like that energy.
Thanks to Jack for putting this party on. (The 2nd Annual and possibly last Jack party, as he looks at moving to Florida.) It really felt good to celebrate the first day of Autumn with our close neighbor friends. We'll be thinking of this beautiful evening when we're shoveling snow in a couple months.  Thanks to everyone who came out for some singing, drinking, and dancing around the campfire. We sure love you guys.


• Sep 14 & 15 - Cowboy Weekend In Irons, Mi

This is our 2nd year doing music for the Irons Cowboy Weekend. Really, it's nearly a week-long party with horses. People start to arrive as early as Tuesday, and there is a free "Survivors Breakfast" at the Oak Grove Tavern on Monday morning. Cowboys, cowgirls, and horses converge on Irons for several days of trail-riding and horse contests, with plenty of parties, dinners, and socializing. Krystal, Rick, & Ozzy brought the Tricks Trio music to the Friday evening "Cowboy Dinner" at Oak Grove Tavern. After all that Friday night music fun, we had to get up early Saturday and get the big Tricks band set up on a trailer, for a noon show. That live Tricks music is for Saturday's Wagon Ride. Wagons drawn by horses or tractors make their way down the 2-track back trails, starting in Irons at the Oak Grove Tavern. About 3 miles east of Irons, the "Half-Way Point" is our friends from Dorr, the Fifelski family, long-time owners of the gas station on the corner in Dorr. With the Dorr Business Owners connection, that makes a lifelong tie between the Dutkiewicz family and the Fifelski family. When Steve & Rick were young kids working in their dad's grocery store in Dorr, the Fifelski kids were working in their dad's gas station. In fact, Steve and Tammy used to come up to Fifelski's Irons cabin back when they were teenagers. So, this is all one big family and friends get-together. There were over a hundred horses and several wagons at the HalfWay luncheon at Fifelski's. Free hot dogs and beer for lunch.
After last year's Cowboy weekend, the facebook page only had one complaint that the Halfway band didn't do enough country. That motivated us to add some more country and southern rock during our last winter break. We added Zac Brown "Toes", Shania Twain "Man, I Feel Like a Woman", Skynyrd "What's Your Name", among others. BTW, there were plenty of horse-lovers who weren't necessarily country music lovers. But anyway, we felt a lot more welcome this year than last year (even though last year was pretty cool). Not sure if we want to do another year. We might ask instead to play music for the famous Irons "Flea-Roast / Ox-Market" weekend during July next year. Give the cowboys and cowgirls a break from the hard-rocking Tricks music.

Thanks to the Oak Grove and all the volunteers who make this event possible. Thanks to all the cowboys and cowgirls for making us part of your family. Be sure to look at the photos from Saturday - from set-up to tear down - and by the last few songs we were dying in the hot sun.

Friday Cowboy Dinner - |Saturday Wagon Ride

KaRTunes Blog - August 2018

• Aug 31 - KaR Tunes at Lynx Patio Party, Otsego

Labor Day Weekend! Everyone wants to have a patio party. Owner Jim Szilagyi likes throwing special events at the Lynx Golf Course Clubhouse / Bar / Restaurant. They do lots of weddings, anniversary parties, and golfing events, but sometimes they just want to have a good old-fashioned party with dinner, drinks, and dancing. This Party on the Patio featured live music from Krystal & Rick, and a special dinner of local Sweet Corn, BBQ Ribs, and BBQ Chicken. Even though the weather was about as perfect as you could ask for on a Labor Day weekend, we had a very small crowd. It was about 15-20 people, mostly friends of the Szilagyi's. I gotta say, "Small Crowd / Large Fun". We couldn't have had a funner time. Lots of great interaction with the group, including plenty of wild dancing action. We had a fantastic sunset, with the Lynx patio facing west, over the beautiful greens. By the end of our 3-hour show, we were spent. Even though the humidity was a lot more tolerable than some of our other Sumer of 2018 outdoor partieas, the humidity level was still draining our energy. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of dancing going on. A good time was had by all. Thanks to everyone for coming out. Thanks to Jim and the always-wonderful Lynx Staff.

• Aug 25 - KaR Tunes at Steve's Brat Cookout, Dick's Market, Dorr

The forecast was calling for intermittent showers until mid-afternoon. Since the Brat Cookout was 11am to 2pm, Steve set up a nice canopy tent for us to play under. Wouldn't you know? It ended up not raining at all. A bit windy on and off, but that's what microphone windscreens are for. We played straight through except for a short break in the middle. Lots of great compliments from friendly people. "Didn't you play at Sandy Pines"? Sure enough! "I remember seeing you at Hilliards bar, I hope you play there again". Yep, we will. This really is a community get-together for the little town of Dorr. A social event for families, neighbors, and friends. 600 brats were served in less than 3 hours. At $2 per brat, the store is pretty much giving brats away. The highlight was getting Steve up there to sing Zac Brown's song "Toes" - "I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand. Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today, life is good today". No left-overs, no rain, lots of happy faces and happy tummies. Life is good today, and that's a win-win for everyone, workers and attendees. Thanks to Steve for having us. Thanks to all the workes. Thanks to the good people of Dorr and fans of Dick's brats.

• Aug 18 - Tricks RKO Trio, Kim & Duane Lewis, Irons

Summer isn't complete without some chill time in Irons "Up North" Michigan. "It was summertime in Northern Michigan", as the song says. We've been doing live music at Duane's man cave since before he built the man cave. Maybe next year I'll explain the entire history of the Kim & Duane involvement with Rick & Krystal (and eventuallly Ozzy). If you look through the KaR Tunes history pages, you'll see the dates of various parties for Kim & Duane, including a couple parties in the backwoods of Kaleva (north of Irons), one big party in Holland at the Holiday Inn, and at Duane's Man Cave since 2012. The Kim & Duane crowd have also been regular attendees at the Phelpstock bash out in the woods, just East of Irons at the Phelps cabin. There's a lot more to the story, but that's enough for now. Just check out the picture album to see what fun we have. Yard games, dancing, eating, drinking, ... just chilling Up North in Irons. The way it was meant to be.

• Aug 11 - KaR Tunes, AHS Class of 1968 Reunion, Lynx, Otsego

Great turn-out for Allegan Class of 1968 /50 Year Reunion. A beautiful evening for this event. We actually set up two sound systems, one indoors and one outdoors. Our plan was to play dinner music indoors for the first set or two, then take it all outdoors on the patio. We never used the outdoor system. It would have been a great plan except the crowd didn't really cooperate. They were having a mighty fine time chit-chatting like long-lost friends. It was heart-warming, to say the least. Staying indoors made this only our 2nd indoor show of the summer. We got a lot of kudos and compliments from the crowd, but only a few songs got the dancers out there. We sometimes have to admit that it isn't all about us. This one was all about the reuniting of old friends. There were lots and lots of stories to tell, and we can't blame people for not having time to dance. It was a very nice party, that's for sure. Thanks to Vicki Brower and the committee for your planning work, and for having us as part of your milestone event. It was an honor to be part of this happy occasion.

• Aug 7 - Tricks Acoustic Trio, Kollen Park, Holland

We've done many of Holland's "National Night Out" events in Kollen Park. Ozzy & Doogie planned on doing this one as the Dynamic Duo, but Krystal came back early from her hiking trip. So, we made it a Tricks Trio. Krystal says she didn't want to miss this fun day. It's all about a park full of kids having fun - lots of free activities and games and food. The highlight events are the Marshal Arts demonstration, and the Pie Eating Contest. The funnest part is that there are usually a couple pies left over, and they give those blueberry pies to the band. But seriously, folks, those karate kids and pie-eating kids are a blast to watch. They barely need us for entertainment. The pie contest - you have to be there. People are all gathered around, cheering on their favorite kids. After the kids, they put some cops and firemen up there to get pie in their faces.

KaRTunes Blog - July 2018

• July 28 - Ozzy & Doogie's "Band X" show, Iron Bridge, Allegan

When we set up our summer schedule with Rich & Melissa the owners, we told the that Krystal would not be available for this Saturday show. But, we assured them that Doogie & Ozzy would bring the rock n roll to B's Beer Garden, no problem with or without our Krystal. And, it was as fun as we thought it would be. Like our last Doogie & Ozzy show, we had less than twenty people hanging with us, but that doesn't stop us from having fun. It was less hot and humid this time, and that was a nice break. One thing cool is, without Krystal there to call the shots, Ozzy takes command a lot more than usual. He was calling out the tunes, and not holding back. We ending up doing a lot of our more difficult tunes with the drum machine mercilessly pounding the beat.

• July 4 - KaR Tunes, Dave & Anita Wedding, Glenn

Just a few weeks ago, Rick got a phone message, "my wife and I have heard you sing several times, and we wondered if you could sing for our wedding". Calling back, the first question was, "what's the date of your wedding"? Dave said, "July 4". Rick said, "July 4, ... this year"? "Yes". "Hmmm! Krystal and I are playing in Dorr until about 2pm. What time is the wedding and where"? Dave anwered, "Not anywhere near Dorr, ... it's in Glenn". Rick started coming up with suggestions for other live music, but Dave wouldn't take no for an answer. He said, "well, we might not need you for the wedding ceremony, because I have a homemade song that I'm going to sing. Can you still play for the reception, later on in the afternoon"? "Sure, I guess, let's get together and see what we can plan".
As it turned out, we quickly got out of Dorr around 1pm, after doing a one-hour set for the July 4 Ox Roast lunch-time crowd. We hurried home and changed into nice clothes, and made it over to Glenn Community Center in time for the wedding. And what a great, touching, romantic wedding it was! Dave and Anita each have a special-needs daughter. That's how they met; both Dave and Anita work for Special Olympics and other charity events. Anyway, the entire family, along with the family dog, were up front for the wedding vows. They have a special ring ceremony after the "normal" wedding rings. Each of the four family members got a "family ring" to celebrate the union of Dave, Anita, and the two girls. (The poor dog didn't get a ring, but he seemed very happy about the proceedings.) I have to admit, I never got teary-eyes so many times during a wedding ceremony, and we've played at about two hundred weddings. Dave's song during the bridal march, "I Got My Wish", was too much to hold back tears. Then the ring ceremony was so touching, I don't think there were many dry eyes in the place. We sang "Angel Eyes" for the bridal dance, and Dave & Anita invited the two girls to join in the dance. Again, tears were a-flowing.
Thanks so much to Dave & Anita and all your family & friends for letting us be part of this milestone of love in your life. We love love.

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.

to K&RBlog Early 2018 (Jan - Jun)
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