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KaRTunes Blog - Late 2019

KaRTunes Blog - November 2019

Nov 10 - KaR Tunes at New Holland Knickerbacker in GR, REI's "Pray for Snow" event

Here's something out of the ordinary. A gig for Krystal & Rick, and it's not in Allegan County, not even close. Being the maniac hiker / camper that she is, Krystal jumped for joy when REI opened their new store in Kentwood earlier this year. REI is an "outdoor recreational equipment" store and co-op. Krys suggested REI as a good place to work for our friend Sherri who just moved back to Michigan from Arizona. After getting a job at REI, Sherrie returned the favor by suggesting a fun gig for KaR Tunes at the Kentwood REI's first annual "Pray For Snow" party event at Knickerbacker on Bridge Street in Grand Rapids. REI is famous for these parties where outdoor winter enthusiasts get together to offer burnt sacrifices to the winter weather gods, with prayers for lots of the white fluffy powder for skiing, snowboarding, and all the things that winter athletes like to do. The party was on the Knickerbacker patio, with fires for roasting twinkies as burnt offerings (read the history here), along with reps from Cannonsburg and other outdoor sports venues. It was all so interesting, with those young healthy jock-types making the scene. It was just barely warm enough to play guitar outdoors for three hours. And guess what? We got a mid-November mini blizzard the next few days. An amazing amount of snow for mid November. And then the gods showed who was really in charge by taking all that snow away and giving us no snow for all of December. Be careful what you pray for.

Nov 2 - Band X at Iron Bridge

We keep the name "Band X" reserved for any gig where it's not really "Tricks" and not really "KaR Tunes". That means when it's just Rick & Ozzy, we might call it "Band X". This time we had no Krystal; just Rick, Ozzy, & Don. So, it was obviously a "Band X" show. Mysterious and curious, eh? This was our "First Weekend of the Month" party, which has become our tradition at the Iron Bridge. This Saturday was right on the heels of our big Tricks Costume party at the Allegan Eagles last Saturday, and a big Iron Bridge Karaoke / Costume party Friday the night before this live show. Guess what? We had a tiny crowd. Just a few regulars and a thankfully a table full of our neighbors celebrating a birthday. Since 2020 has Halloween on a Saturday night, we've already booked Oct 31 for next year's Tricks / Costume Party at the Iron Bridge.

KaRTunes Blog - October 2019

Oct 12 - Tricks Trio + Don at Indian Shores Harvest Fest Party, Lake Allegan
The past two years we did a KaR Tunes acoustic show for our neighbor Jack's Harvest Fest party with our Indian Shores party friends at Lake Allegan. Jack has moved south, so he handed the party torch to Charlie and Erica Kimber. Rick suggested to Charlie that we move the party up a notch, and make it an electric Tricks Trio party. Even though Jack had a much bigger garage, we managed to throw a very exciting party, with lots of great food, drinks, and dancing. Bringing in Don Welsh for some top-notch guest vocals made the party even better than just a plain ol' Tricks Trio party. Charlie says he wants the entire Tricks band next year, but Rick told him that his garage and yard don't have the space for a foll-blown Tricks extravaganza. Charlie relucantly agreed to repeat the 2019 plan when we get around to fall of 2020. But, he's still trying to figure out a way to have the big band for an Indian Shores party. We'll work on it.

KaRTunes Blog - September 2019

Sep 1 - Tricks Trio + Don, Bonnie Party, Irons

Tricks Trio has played for Tommy & Tara Phelps more than a dozen times over as many years. Besides a couple pool parties at their former home in South Haven, we've done ten "Phelpstock" parties at their property out in the backwoods of Irons. Now that they have a new place near Fennville, we're playing parties there. What does this have to do with Bonnie's party in Irons? I'm glad you asked. Bonnie is best pals with Tara and Tommy, so she has been at most of the Tricks Trio and KaR Tunes parties hosted by the Phelps clan. After living up in Irons for many years, she is moving back south to Wayland. It's only fitting that Bonnie threw a "Bon Voyage Bonnie" party for her family and friends.
We were into the "Work Hard / Play Hard" mode after setting up, playing 4 hours, tearing down, packing up at Kim & Duane's the day before. We took our whole band set-up a few miles SouthWest of Irons, and did it all over again. No wonder we're in such good shape (yes, I'm joking). By the time we do all that gear juggling and playing music, we end up with about a six or seven hour work-out without much break time. We work so others can play. That said, I gotta emphasize how much we appreciate being party of these family & friends get-togethers to celebrate life's milestones. We love our work, no matter how much it hurts the day after. Thanks to Bonnie and all the helpers who put her party together and helped clean up the next morning.

KaRTunes Blog - August 2019

• Aug 31 - Tricks Trio + Don, Duane & Kim, Irons

Way too much fun doing this party for Duane's birthday every year up in Irons. These are the party people who like to dance. You know how much that gets us fired up. Even better, we had Don Welsh onboard to sing his ten songs with the Tricks Trio. We added 3 new songs to our Don repertoire last Wednesday. Tom Petty "Runnin Down a Dream", ZZ Top "Sharp Dressed Man", and the very challenging southern rock tune, Molly Hatchett "Flirtin With Disaster". Even though we only had one rehearsal session for those three new songs, we pulled them off pretty well. For each of the three new songs, we kept saying, "that was the first time we ever did that song in front of people". Those songs were good, and they can only get better. We hope to have a rehearsal with Steve and do those 3 new Don songs at our upcoming TRICKS party down in Schoolcraft. All part of our continuing plan to keep things exciting for ourselves and our regular fans. We know you don't want to hear the same ol' same ol' every time you come and see Tricks.
Thanks to Kim and Duane for having us once again. I've lost count, but I think this was our 8th annual party for Duane's birthday up at their place in Irons. Thanks to everyone who brought food. And of course, THANK YOU DANCERS!

Aug 24 - Dick's Market Brat Cookout

We always get a choice from Steve. We can either play the kielbasa cook-out in early June or the brat cook-out in late August. I'm glad we picked this Brat Cook-out because the kielbasa cook-out got rained upon, while this brat cookout was the most beautiful Saturday you could ask for. 700 brats were grilled and gone in 3 hours. Disclaimer: if you want to know the exact cooking procedure for the best brats, you have to pre-cook the brats in a half-inch of water or beer in a cake pan for an hour in the oven at º275 (turn them after a half hour). All you have to do then is brown them up on a hot grill for a few minutes. I hope I got that right.
As busy as Steve was during the cookout, we were happy that Steve came up and sang Zac Brown "Toes". Fun for all. Thanks to everyone who came out with family and friends for this town get-together. Thanks to Steve and all his helpers. You can't beat Dick's meat!!

• Aug 2 - Tricks RKO Trio, B's Beer Garden, Iron Bridge, Allegan

Way back in March, we talked Rich the owner into giving us the first weekend of each month for a Tricks Trio show. Preferably Saturday, or Friday if we had a Saturday already booked. After playing indoors for the first weekends of Mar, Apr, May, & Jun, we finally got a nice outdoor show for the first Saturday of July. This is our 2nd outdoor show at B's Beer Garden. And it was just too much fun. We had lots of neighbors and friends show up to hang and bang with us. And dance! We also were happy that Don Welsh showed up to sing a few. Krystal's gal pals showed up to celebrate Jamee's birthday, so that's where the dancers mostly came from. Thanks to everyone for a great time. Thanks to Rich & Melissa and the Iron Bridge staff. A great party place in downtown Allegan. What a concept!

KaRTunes Blog - July 2019

• Jul 27 - TRICKS, 44th annual Camp-O-Rama Otsego Moose Campground

After Tricks played for last year's Halloween party at the Otsego Moose, the powers-that-be asked for a couple shows in 2019. The only date we could get to line up was July 27, the annual Camp-O-Rama party at the campground in the woods behind the Moose Lodge. We heard about this party before, but weren't sure what to expect. We were booked to play from 9pm until midnight, but we got there extra early for setting up. We were all set to go a little before 8:30, so we started playing immediately after they did a bunch of drawings for their silent auction benefitting the Moose Lodge. From the first song we had lots of dancers. How cool is that? That kind of participation always fuels the band and keeps our energy level high. We also love it when the crowd is all ages, from little kids to elderly grandmas and grandpas (might as well, the band is all grandparents). We gave them our best danceable hits, from our rock and country collection. Then we brought out our secret weapon, Don Welsh to sing some Bob Seger, Bryan Adams, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and Ted Nugent. Those Don songs are getting tighter and tighter with all the summer parties we are doing with Don onstage with Tricks and Tricks Trio. We were told to contact the South Haven Moose and the Fennville VFW who had people there at the party. Who knew that in our latter years Tricks would be playing very few bars, but lots of parties and VFW, Legion, and Eagles Clubs? I never would have thought it possible. To me (Rick), club bands were whimpy bands playing 50s and 60s boring music and lots of country. That's not true in this day and age. Those club members really like to rock and they like to dance to the 70s and 80s songs that Tricks is all about. You can do Ted Nugent and Ozzy Osbourne and Mettalica songs, and everyone shows their love with lots of hooting and hollering and dancing. Thanks to everyone, thanks to the Moose committee and volunteers. Hope to see you again soon.

• Jul 20 - Tricks Trio w/Don Welsh, Phelpstock South, Fennville

Tommy's annual birthday party moved its location from Irons to Fennville. Tricks Trio (with Don Welsh guest vocals) played live rock n roll in the modernized horse stable at the Phelps place, 3 miles south of Fennville. All Tricks friends and family were invited, and we had a few surprise guests. You know who you are. It was BYO drinks and potluck party food, but there were all kinds of food and drinks for the taking.
The band was scheduled to play from 8-ish to 11-ish. We actually played from about 6:30 until 11:50. Ozzy & Rick were trying out the new mixer / speaker situation, and an Ozzy & Doogie soundcheck at 6:30 turned into a mini jam-session soundcheck. Before Krys or Don were even there, Ozzy & Rick started in with Stones "Sympathy for the Devil", walking around (with cordless guitars) and even outside to hear what the sound was like. That led right into "Locomotive Breath" and then "Hey Jealousy". We were itching to jam in the hot muggy weather. Actually, the weather worked out pretty well. After recent days of 90º+ and high humidity, we had a quick & windy storm in the early afternoon, and that lowered the humidity and took the temp down from the 90s to about 80º. No rain during the party. That made it nice for everyone wandering around, playing cornhole, and digging into the food and drinks.
Like I always say, family & friends parties have always been our favorite thing to play music for. The main thing is the connection and memories. Our twelve (so far) Phelpstock parties are like historical markers where we can look back and say, “remember that year when we ...”? I wish more families would do parties with live music. They don’t know what they are missing. Party guests get so excited. The live music makes it more of a "happening" and a special “event”.
I could go on, but I’ll spare you my blather. I think “Party of the Year” says it pretty clearly. Thanks to everyone who came out, especially those who drove a distance. Thanks to the Phelps family, especially Tommy & Tara. Thanks to all the friends who helped prepare for the party, cleaning up the grounds & the building, making food, fetching tons of ice and drinks.  Last but not least; THANK YOU DANCERS! See you in December for the Phelps "Ugly Sweater" Christmas party.

• Jul 5 - Tricks Trio w/Don Welsh, B's Beer Garden, Iron Bridge

It's a busy Independence Day week, mostly because of Dorr's Sesquicentenial. It's also the first weekend of the month. That means it's time for Tricks Trio to rock the Iron Bridge. This time we finally got to play in B's Beer Garden, with nice hot and humid weather, but no rain. Five rain-outs in a row is enough. Now let's crank up the heat for summer outdoor pleasure and pain. We once again have our buddy Don Welsh with us to sing his classic rock hits. We also did Ted Nugent "Hey Baby" with Don again, and it was the bomb! We were extra happy to see Tom and Fran at our show, since Fran has been in and out of the hospital way too much this past year. Thanks to Rich & Melissa for doing the never-ending hard work to keep the Iron Bridge going. Thanks to everyone who came out for our Friday night "1st Weekend of the Month" jam party.

• Jul 1, 2, 4 - Dorr Festival

The Legend of the Dorr 4th of July Celebration and Ox Roast
According to Steve Dutkiewicz, President Dick’s Market

Steve talked Rick into being on the Dorr 4th of July planning committee a few years ago.
Rick has provided sound for the main stage in Dorr's South Park, for many Independence Day Celebrations.
We've also had Tricks on that stage dozens of times over the years. But this was the next level; they wanted someone to do a web page for their schedule. They also wanted small sound systems for events during the week of July 4th. Lots of this and that. Lots of wishes for bigger and better things, but always lacking a bit in the money and volunteers needed for that "wanna-do" list of possible events.
This year was Dorr's Sesquicentenial. That's 150 years. It all started as an excuse to play some baseball. Later on they added a parade and the Famous Dorr Ox Roast. Then they added live music, pony rides, gambling games, a beer tent, and so on. Check out what Steve says about his history with the Dorr 4th of July Celebration, especially the famous Ox Roast.

Jul 1- Flag Raise & Family Softball

Amanda Winters from Centershot Gun Range was in charge of the "Free Family Fun Night".
We started with a salute to the flag (no one had the key to enable us to lower and raise the flag),
with the American Legion at the Dorr Veteran's Memorial. After that, it was free hot dogs, cornhole and softball. Because it was hot and humid, most people grabbed their free hotdog, chips, and pop, then headed for home. We ended with a few people playing cornhole and about 30 people engaged in the family softball game. To make the ballgame entertaining, we employed the services of a Mr. Don Welsh (yes, that's our Tricks guest singer) who is a regular ballgame announcer for Allegan ball teams. Don did the play-by-play, as well as calling the pitches and plays from behind the backstop. We had no other umpires, so it was good to have Don making those calls. At one point, there was a slide-in at 3rd base. Don said over the mic, "I can't see what happened because of all the dust, someone else will have to make the call". The shortstop yelled, "he's out". Then the catcher said, "he's safe, that's his brother, and I'm their mom." Good call, mom! Lots of family fun.

Jul 2- Vets & Pets

Jen Aalderink was in charge of "Vets and Pets" night on Tuesday. "Vets" because we had Silver Star Café Food Truck, the only Veteran-owned food truck in West Michigan. We also had Blue Star Mothers. Blue Star Mothers of America provides support for mothers who have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces. And we had Dorr Vet Clinic, the local Veterinary service. "Pets" meant that people could bring their dogs and cats down to the park to socialize with other pet owners. We also had the Allegan Cat Lady, LuvnPupz adoption agency, and Chow Hound Pet Supplies. There was a demonstration by Deputy Blair and his dog Edo from the Allegan Sheriff's K9 Unit. The big highlight was the Pet Costume Contest, with 4 prize packages donated by Chow Hound Pet Supplies. The winners were:
Decade Theme - Tyler Breen and "Thor"-ghostbuster/decade
Holiday Theme - Abby Scheiner and "Whiskey"--4th of July theme
Patriotic Theme - Ashly and "Summer"
Rockstar Theme / Best Dressed - Karmen, Vern and "Mr. Chew"

Jul 4- Ox Roast Lunch Music

The big day featured the usual parade at 10:30am, with the Flyover by WWII airplanes. What a fantastic sight! After the parade, everyone crowded down to the park for some Ox Roast Sandwiches, Chicken BarBQ, vendor food, bingo, carnival rides, and lunchtime music provided by Cal (Johnny Cash) Klokkert, Krystal & Rick's KaR Tunes, and a Karaoke Contest hosted by DeeJay Zaynee Hobdy. Most people grabbed some food and went back home. It's a long parade, and everyone is hot and sweaty. Good thing it's not REALLY hot, like last year.
Krystal and Rick were judges for karaoke (not many pics because we were busy judging). We had 12 contestants, and most of them were really good singers.
$100 First place - Jamie
$75 Second -
The singers were so good, we had to double the third place prize

$50 Third - Renee
$50 Third - Nicky

KaRTunes Blog - June 2019

• Jun 28 - Tricks Trio w/Don Welsh Oak Grove Tavern, Irons

This was the "best ever" Tricks Trio show at the Oak Grove Tavern in Irons. For one thing, it's the "Flea Roast and Ox Market" big weekend for the town. Everyone who has heard of Irons has heard of the Flea Roast Ox Market. All kinds of people converge on the town for a 3-day weekend, with most action happening in the park. When people get tired of Country Music and Fair Food, they come on down to the Oak Grove to get a steak and some rock 'n' roll. So, the place was mostly full, most of the time. Another thing to make it the "best ever" show at the Oak Grove was the fact that our one-and-only guest singer Don Welsh was kind enough to take a trip up to Irons to sing with us. We managed to find a bed for Don and Angie at the Phelps Cabin #1. Final thing to make this the "best ever"; the Tricks Trio is hot, tight, and well-rehearsed after doing 7 shows in the past couple months, along with several get-togethers in Krystal & Rick's living room to work on our Don songs.

Thanks so much to the Oak Grove staff and owner Rick for showing us the love. That love comes right back to you. Words cannot express our appreciation. Just to show the kind of love we get; Rick the owner said to Krystal as we packed up after our show, "we have some good bands play here, but it's like they are doing a job. You guys come here and act like it's a special event, interacting with the crowd, and giving it your all." We put a lot of effort into making our show a bit of a sporting event, with each band member and with the crowd, especially the dancers. Thanks to our usual Irons dancers, Kim & Duane, and all the other dancers. It was hot and humid, so it wasn't the best dancing weather. But, when you got the music in you, you gotta shake your thang. Right?

• 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 Early 2019 (Jan - Jun)