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KaRTunes Blog - June 2019

• June 1 - Tricks Trio with Don Welsh at Iron Bridge, Allegan

This was the fifth Iron Bridge show to get rained upon in 2019, driving us to Plan B = "Have fun indoors instead of in B's Beer Garden. It's all just as good, since no one wants to party in the rain. We had a great lively crowd, thanks to the good food bringing in the dinner crowd. Don Welsh sang his five songs with us. We had some Tricks "Inner Circle" there to hear Don. They gave him overwhelming approval, not surprisingly. Now there is talk of having Don join us at the 3rd annual "Jam N The Cove" party coming up July 6. We'll have to find a rehearsal date with brother/drummer Steve, and he's a busy guy during the summer months (making brats and all that).
Once again, I can't say it enough - thanks to Rich & Melissa for keeping live music in your business plan. Thanks to our die-hard Tricks core for driving a bit to hang and bang with us. Thanks to our Allegan area friends for making our "First Weekend of the Month" Tricks Trio plan a success. Next two months, it will be First Friday - July 5 and Aug 2 - because we have other gigs on those Saturdays.

KaRTunes Blog - May 2019

• May 25 - Tricks Trio at Terese's B-day Party, White Cloud

Therese aka "T" is a good friend of Kim & Duane Lewis, the folks who have us play music for their annual party every year up in Irons, usually around Duane's birthday or Labor Day Weekend. Shortly after last year's Kim & Duane party, Kim told us to reserve May 25 for a surprise 60th birthday party for T up near White Cloud, about forty miles south of Irons. We knew that T was a regular at Kim & Duane's parties, and we knew that lots of the same people would be at Terese's b-day party. That meant one thing for us; Dancers! Kim & Duane are the athletic types, and so are their friends, so they love getting up and getting down with the band. We always have the best time with those dancing crowds, because it gives us something to bounce our energy off from. The Terese b-day party crowd did not disappoint. Thanks to everyone for sharing your energy with us. We are honored to be part of family & friends milestone events. We much prefer playing at birthdays, weddings, grad parties, and anniversaries to playing at bars and restaurants. It's always an honor to be part of the warm fuzzy feeling marking an important event or milestone in the lives of friends and family. Celebrate Life! That's what it's all about. Music expresses the feelings we can't put into words, and dancing is a way to show our joy and friendship.

KaRTunes Blog - May 2019

• May 24 - Tricks Trio at Oak Grove Tavern, Irons

This is our annual "Memorial Day Weekend Kick-Off" show at Oak Grove. The theory is - we do a Friday night show for all the folks who are just arriving Up North on Friday. Cars need unpacking and camps need setting up, so many folks head for the Oak Grove for dinner and to meet up with friends. Always a fun time at Oak Grove. Part of what makes it interesting is that the Oak Grove plays the music loud. Tricks Trio is plenty loud, but Rick the owner insists on piping our sound through their house speaker system, with big 15" Peavey speakers in all four corners of the room. They like to rock out.
Thanks to Rick the owner and his staff for doing such a good job serving up dinner and drinks. Thanks to Kim & Duane for coming out to dance with us. Thanks to Tara & Tommy Phelps for providing a cabin for the band to spend the night. We consider Irons our "home away from home" during the summer, since we usually do five or six shows up in Irons during every summer. It's worth the drive up there.

KaRTunes Blog - May 2019

• May 4 - Tricks Trio wsg Don Welsh at Iron Bridge Sportsbar, Allegan

We were supposed to be outdoors on the deck, but thunderstorms were looming. No matter. We had a blast playing our first ever gig with guest singer Don Welsh. Krys & Rick have worked with Don in the Cabaret Band Show the last couple years. Because of Don's outstanding singing voice, his friendly demeanor, and his hard-working team attitude (and because he lives right here in Allegan), we invited him to come out and rehearse at our house on Lake Allegan. Don gets along with Rick, Krystal, and Ozzy because he is not satisfied with "good enough". He wants to keep working to improve our performance, and there is no end to that process. Because Don always sang Bob Seger songs in the Cabaret Band Show, we wanted to hype his singing spot as a "Bob Seger Tribute". But, at the first rehearsal we already decided we wanted to go beyond the "Bob Seger" limit. We brainstormed on a short list of songs that we all wanted to add. After another rehearsal or two, we settled on five songs for starters, with the idea that we might add a few more to our "Don" repertoire as we found time to rehearse. The short list of five starter songs were 3 Seger tunes, "Old Time Rock n Roll", "Fire Down Below", and "Night Moves". Two non-Bob songs that we were excited about doing were Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Blue On Black" and Bryan Adams "Summer of '69".
We want to thank owners Rich & Melissa, along with their staff, for giving us the chance to do regular monthly shows in Allegan. Without that regular show, we probably wouldn't be able to add these special nights with Don Welsh singing. Thanks to all our friends and Don's friend who came out for our "Tricks Trio +1" debut.
Yes, the camera is probably packed away in some guitar case, cable bag, or who knows?
No images from this fun and fantastic night with Don at Iron Bridge.

KaRTunes Blog - April 2019

• Apr 6 - Tricks Trio at Iron Bridge Sportsbar, Allegan

We wheeled and dealed with Rich & Melissa the owners, and we firmed up our plan for a Tricks Trio schedule that includes "First Weekend of Each Month" for this summer at Iron Bridge Sportsbar. When the Iron Bridge opens B's Beer Garden for summer business, we'll be out there rocking the deck whenever the weather permits. Sounds nice, eh? - Celebrate each new month with a Tricks Trio show at Iron Bridge. We wanted to make it "First Saturday", but we waited too long to firm this up, and we got a few First Saturday shows elsewhere. Most notably, the Tricks Jam In The Cove annual party at Lake Allegan, and the Tricks at Sandy Pines annual outdoor show - First Sat of July and Aug, respectively. So, we'll be doing Tricks Trio at the Iron Bridge on Friday of those weekends. Good enough! Hopefully we can get the idea spread around, and we'll be seeing some Allegan area friends there on a regular basis each First Weekend. This Apri's First Saturday was very lightly attended, with only about a dozen people there all night. There were several other "big events" going on in town that night. But, what the heck? We can have a fun time with two people or two hundred people. It's just better for the bar if we get two hundred. They can't pay us if we don't draw in at least a couple dozen people who are spending money on food and drinks.
As far as the music show? We had an absolute blast. Rick, Krystal, & Ozzy have been getting together and working on new classic tunes to add, so we don't bore ourselves or anyone else with the same ol' - same ol'. This night we tested the waters with Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" and Weezer's "Hash Pipe". Fun stuff. The small group of people there were in the mood for dancing and cheering on the band. We responded in kind, with some high-energy work onstage. Thanks to everyone for coming out. Thanks to Rich & Melissa and the Iron Bridge staff; we appreciate your work.

KaRTunes Blog - March 2019

• Mar 22 & 23 - Allegan Cabaret Band Show - Weekend #2

Weekend number two was no let-down. Friday I think the band was at its best. The smaller crowd on Friday was very lively and vocal. We were confident and aggressive - just what is needed in a band performance. Every night is a pre-party "Meet and Greet" downstairs, and the entire night is like a big happy family reunion. Thanks so much to Allegan Area Arts Council for doing the food and drinks. That's lots of work. Rick is on the AAAC board, so he had to make cookies both weekends. I saved a few for myself at home, for that late-night snack after getting home.

As expected, the final Saturday was a packed house, nearly sold out. The balcony had to be hot. Dean turned on the air conditioning for the 2nd half of the show. I think the band was better on Friday, because we're getting tired and worn down. That said, Saturday had lots of great moments. During a few of the songs the band was feeling exceptionally tight and dynamic - gotta love it. The singers really came through. We finally got this show figured out, and now it's time to leave it all behind. We had a wrap party with pizza and dancing over at the Eagles. Thanks to Mike Villar for the pizza. Thanks to Dean Michaels for bringing this benefit show to Allegan - for 34 years.

Fri |Sat

• Mar 15 & 16 - Allegan Cabaret Band Show- Weekend #1

Rehearsals actually started in November at Krystal & Rick's living room, with just the core band. Greg and Rick on guitars, Jeff on bass, Dean on keyboards, and Bill on drums. Bill is the newest member of the Cabaret Band Show. Rick and Bill have been in several bands over the years, starting when they were teenagers. We consider Bill to be one of the best drummers in West Michigan. After a couple living room get-togethers, we moved to the Catholic Church basement in Allegan. Those rehearsals included most of the singers in the cast. In February we moved to the Griswold Auditorium for the full stage set-up where the show takes place. At the same time, Krystal was hard at work designing and laying out the program. She also did that cool Cabaret sign for the backdrop. Lots of work to go around for everyone.

Cabaret always brings out the town, like a big block party or family & friends reunion. Everyone comes to support Wings of Hope Hospice and Allegan Area Arst Council. Many cast members have their own cheering section, and everyone seems to know everyone else. Friends and family come from out-of-town for this annual celebration of music and love. There has always been a "Meet the Cast" party on the final night of the show. But this year, we have a pre-party each night. The Arts Council sells food and beverages and the lower level of the Griswold Auditorium turns into a fun party.
Add up the food, beverage, and ticket sales, with local business purchases of commercial spots in the show and ads in the program, and several thousand dollars are raised for Hospice and AAAC. Everyone knows this fun show is all for a good cause. The music covers many genres, from 1940's "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrews Sistes to 2019's Grammy Song of the Year, "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. And everything in between. Tricks members Rick & Krys were featured in several numbers, including "The Heart of Rock n Roll", "Pinball Wizard", "Locomotive Breath", and "Shallow". In between the feature numbers, there are hilarious song parodies advertising local businesses - raising lots of money for Hospice and AAAC.

There is way too much going on in the Cabaret Band Show to describe in a few paragraphs. The eclectic mix of songs and parodies keeps the band members on their toes. We're switching instruments as fast as we can. The singers are switching costumes and juggling props for the funny commercials. It's a two and a half hour work-out that leaves us all weary, hungry, and thirsty. Most of the band, singers, and stage hands go out to a local bar after the show to eat, drink, and laugh, recounting the little adventures that go along with such a large stage production. Special thanks to all of our sponsors who paid for ads. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets in support of Wings of Hope and AAAC.
Thanks most of all to Dean Michaels, our producer, Emcee, keyboardist, saxophone / flute player, all-around errand boy, complaint department, and stage hand. Without Dean this would not happen. This is Dean's 33rd year directing and driving the Cabaret Band Show. One weekend down, one to go.

Rehearsal |Fri |Sat

• Mar 2 - Tricks RKO Trio, Iron Bridge, Allegan

Rick, Krystal, & Ozzy love rocking with our mighty Alesis drum machine. Steady beat, takes up little space, never argues, and doesn't want pay. We love playing with drummer Steve, but when Steve can't make it for one reason or another, we gotta keep on keepin' on. You know the drum machine uses actual digital recordings of real drums, right? That's why it sounds pretty dang good. And it's good enough to jam and dance to. Next best thing to the real thing. We are talking to owners Rich and Melissa about bringing our party rock music to the Iron Bridge every First Saturday of the month. We already have a couple conflicts with that, but we'd like to make it a general rule so everyone knows that "First Saturday" = "Time to Rock with Tricks Trio". This first Saturday show turned out quite well. Not a packed bar, but we had a couple dozen people, and lots of them wanted to dance. Most of them had dinner and drinks, so that helps make the owners happy. Thanks to everyone for coming out on a bitter cold night, we love helping you heat up with dancing and jamming, eating and drinking. Thanks to Josh for cooking. Thanks to Melissa and the rest of the Iron Bridge staff for tending bar and waiting tables. Thanks to RIch for having the goal of having regular live music every weekend in downtown Allegan. It's not an easy task, and we appreciate you and Melissa for all you do to give this old town a place where young and old can eat, drink, dance, and make merry.

to K&RBlog Late 2018 (Jan - Jun)