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KaRTunes Blog - Late 2020

KaRTunes Blog - October 2020

Oct 10 - Doogie & Ozzy Show, Tanya's 50th at Darren & Tammy's, Martin

About seven barn / backyard parties ago, we played at Darren & Tammy's beautiful backyard for Jane's birthday party. Only about a week after that party, Darren and Tammy requested that we come back and play for Tammy's sister Tanya's birthday on Oct 10. We told them that Krystal would be up north that week, but Ozzy & Rick would love to do the party as a duo electric guitar show. The standard answer from Darren turned out to be, "whatever you want to do". What time should we start? "Whatever you want". Can we set up a day ahead of time. "Whatever you want". Are we going to play outdoors like we did for Jane, or will we set up in the barn in case it's windy or rainy or cold? "Whatever you like". We're accustomed to having rules and direction. So, here we are without Krystal to guide us, and with Darren saying, "whatever you want". We felt like a ship without a rudder. We ended up setting up right in the doorway of the big barn, so we could flip around and aim indoors if the party came inside. Turns out, it was a beautiful clear October evening, with 70º temps and enough breeze to make it sweatshirt weather. Lots of family and friends, with plenty to eat and drink.
The Doogie & Ozzy Show was just about perfect for this backyard campfire party. We did around three and half hours, between 6pm and 10pm. We kept it mellow about half the time. And we rocked it as best we could without our Krystal there to inject her energy. It was nice during our last set, the remaining partiers dragged the portable fire pit stove right in front of our "stage" and we felt like part of the family. Thanks so much to Darren and Tammy for being great party hosts. Thanks to Jane for financing the live music. Thanks to everyone who brought food or special drinks. Thanks to Tanya for celebrating your party with "half a Tricks band" and all your friends and family. Thank you dancers!

KaRTunes Blog - September 2020

Sep 26 - RKO Tricks Trio, Trap Shack 2nd Annual Fall Fest, Indian Shores, Lake Allegan

And another garage party? This one was right in Krys & Rick's backyard. Well, in the neighborhood here on Lake Allegan. Actually, this was the 4th annual fall party for the Indian Shores party people. The first 2 years were put on by our neighbor Jack, and it was an acoustic show by Krys & Rick's KaR Tunes. Jack moved to Florida last year, so he handed the party over to Charlie & Erica who lived right across the street from him. Charlie insisted on bringing it up a notch, so we made it an electric guitar rock n roll party for 2019. It was the Tricks Trio with Don Welsh singing his best Bob Seger-style classics. This year for 2020 we were sad that Don is too busy to work with Tricks Trio any more. But we made the best of it and a good time was had by all. Sadly, neighbor Jack has passed away, but he would be proud to pass on this tradition that brings together neighbors, friends, and families to celebrate the end of summer with eating, drinking, and dancing.
Thanks to everyone who brought a dish, thanks to our young percussion girls, and thank you dancers. We are honored to be part of this annual "Love Your Neighbor" party. What a great neighborhood.

Sep 18 - RKO Tricks Trio, Jay's 50th Birthday party, Lake Macatawa, Holland

This was another last-minute booking and another garage party. I'm detecting a pattern. We actually have another garage party coming up next Saturday, and then we have two more barn parties in November. Just a few weeks ago, Rick got a call on his phone "this is Alyce, please give me a call". Must be a wrong number; I don't know anyone named Alyce. Then there was an email from "Alyce", so we thought that we'd better give her a call back. She named the person who referred her to Tricks, but that name didn't sound familiar either. Turns out it was someone who had seen Tricks at Sandy Pines. I'm glad we had her party date open. These last-minute barn and garage parties are helping to fill our fall schedule up just a bit. At least with the Rick, Krys, & Ozzy Tricks Trio. We miss playing with our drummer Stave, but thankfully we have one barn party in Schoolcraft with Steve and then the annual "Ugly Sweater Party" for Christmas at Fennville VFW. But for these Tricks Trio shows, we have to rely on our Alesis drum machine which has no mercy in the tempo department and isn't that exciting to watch.
We were happy to play for a group of Tricks virgins because it makes it a challenge to win them over. We know we've got them when we have dancers. it took a couple sets to get the dancing action going, but we finally had them in our power. When quitting time came at 10pm, we ended up playing an extra half hour because the dancers were having too much fun. Our host Alyce Bareman even got into the action, with some air-guitar jamming with Ozzy. Ozzy seems to have that effect on people.
Thanks to Alyce for hiring us, thanks to Jay's friends and family who turned out for his party, and thanks to the dancers for getting over that initial shyness.

Sep 12 - RKO Tricks Trio, Doug Dreyer 60th Birthday, Doug's Barn in Borculo

This was another last-minute party plan. Doug called Rick only about 10 days before his Sep 11 birthday. Rick jokingly said, "do you want to hire my band"? Turns out that was exactly Doug's idea. He didn't want a huge party like his 50th Tricks party. He has a small polebarn just west of Borculo and he thought that would be okay for a Tricks Trio party. Just enough room outside for car parking and a campfire as well. Steve's drums were left out of the plan because it would be way too loud in the little pole barn. With the "Rick, Krys, & Ozzy" Tricks Trio, the sound was just perfect and we were able to leave room for some dancing action. Friends and family turned up with some great food and drinks. And talk about dancing action. Doug and Darcy lit the fuse by getting out there to dance as soon as the band started. That gave everyone the dancing bug, and we pretty much had dancers for every song, ... and we played four and half hours, with only two short breaks. We really miss playing our song list. On the drive to Borculo, Rick told Krys, "I want to play as long as possible; until we run out of gas". The reason we wanted to play long? Because we like all of our songs and don't feel like skipping any on our setlist. Too bad we have enough songs for nearly seven (7) hours. So, we still barely played half of our tunes. We started at 7pm and by 11:30 we were starting to run short on energy. The dancers kept right up with us, but they were slowing down a bit, so we ended the show at 11:30pm. We were all feeling our age.
Thanks to Darcy & Doug for the great party. Thanks to everyone who brought a dish and drinks to pass. Thank you Dancers!

KaRTunes Blog - August 2020

Aug 29 - Ozzy & Doogie Acoustic Show, Dick's Market Brat Cookout
The original plan was for a Krys & Rick show, but Krystal has her priorities - she's in Georgia hiking the Appalacian Trail with Stacy and her two teenaged boys. So, it's the Ozzy & Doogie Show to the rescue! Steve had such a good turnout for June's socially-distanced Kielbasa Cookout, he decided not to reduce his usualy 800 sausages that get made the night before. When he reduced the number in June, he ended up running out of Kielbasa about 15 minutes before 2pm finish time. We had steady traffic for today's Bratwurst cookout, but Steve ended up with about 100 Brats left over - which go onsale at the Deli's Hot counter. Which proves the old adage: "you can't figure people". Or, the way Rick likes to word it, "as soon as you think you have people figured out, they will show you how wrong you are". Anyway, we had a great day, nice weather, a good bunch who sat down and hung out to chat and listen to our music show. Thanks to all the workers, thanks to Dick's loyal customers.
Saturday Lunch Time


Aug 5 - Tricks Trio, Rich Green Memorial, B's Beer Garden, Allegan

Probably the saddest occasion we've ever played for. It marks a milestone in so many ways. Lots of questions surround Rich Green's death. We know he was killed by a gunshot, but the exact details are a mystery. At first it was reported as a suicide, but now the police are investigating Richie's death as a homicide. No matter how Rich died, he is gone from our lives. We have to move on with our own lives by remembering Rich and saying goodbye. He loved his live music, and he loved hard rock but he also loved all kinds of classic rock, blues, and country. He always wanted to have live music 3 or 4 days a week, even though it didn't always work out that way. For the past four years, Rich & Melissa Green's Iron Bridge Bar have been prominent on our Tricks schedule. Rick played acoustic solo shows on the deck every other Thursday during the summer. Krys and Rick played their KaR Tunes show there on many Saturdays. We eventually made it a regular thing to do a Tricks Trio show at the Iron Bridge Sportsbar on the first Saturday of each month. We even did a couple Tricks shows with Steve and his big drumkit. We had plans to do a big Halloween party with the big Tricks band this year, but it looks like the bar might be up for sale. Things are very uncertain, but Melissa told Krys last night, "I can't run the bar without Rich". They were truly a "work hard / play hard" team, a lot like Rick & Krystal. That's why Rich & Melissa's Iron Bridge Sportsbar was so important to us. We are NOT going to play every bar in every town. We pick the bar that suits us, someplace where we can feel the LOVE, and we stick with that place. That was the Iron Bridge. That will be the memory of Rich Green, as far as the Tricks band is concerned. Much love to all the friends and family. We only know Rich & Melissa as our "bosses", but they were the best bosses ever. No head games like so many other bar owners and managers. They say, "rock n roll is a vicious game", but it doesn't have to be that way if you have good people to work with. That was our relationship with Rich & Melissa. We're sorry if it's the end of an era, but we will look back and cherish our times working with Rich & Melissa and the entire staff and regulars at the Iron Bridge Sportsbar - you all made it the best "live rock n roll" bar Allegan has ever had.

KaRTunes Blog - July 2020


Jul 25 - Tricks Trio, Phelpstock 2020, Irons

The weather was perfect for our 14th annual party for Tommy Phelps' birthday. We never expect more than a couple dozen people or so, because it's pretty secluded up in the Irons backwoods. The party goes from Friday through Sunday, with friends and family usually camping overnight on the Phelps property. This year Tommy & Tara have a new pavillion that they built in the middle of their property. It's on the "Meadows" trail, so we are calling it the "Meadows Pavillion". With electricity, a roof, and a fire pit, it's a perfect location for a party. We were happy to set up our music equipment on concrete, intead of dirt or gravel.
On Friday, birthday boy Tommy made steaks for the dozen pre-party people. And then we had a sing-around-the-campfire with Krystal & Rick doing a couple hours of light tunes. Saturday was kayak day for Krystal, Tara, and Terry on the Little Manistee river. Krys got back around 6pm, just as Rick & Ozzy were setting up our Tricks Trio stage. Unlike the usual "best ever kayak fun time", Krys had a rough ride on the rocks and stumps, even tipping over once and losing some of her stuff to the rolling river. Tara said, "when Krys said 'I'm sorry I'm not having fun', I knew she was telling the truth, because I've never heard those words from her before".
We all got situated and got some chicken and brats cooked up and gathered for eating, drinking, and dancing at the Meadows Pavillion. We only had about twenty people, but we had a fantastic time playing music and partying until midnight. It was especially cool that Kim & Duane showed up. They host our other annual Irons party with Tricks Trio, but they just recently decided to cancel. It was also cool to see Rick the owner of the Oak Grove, where Tricks Trio usually plays a few times each year, but sadly not this year.
Thanks to Tommy & Tara and family & friends. It doesn't get much better than this.

Jul 23 - Tricks Trio, Fenn Valley Winery, Fennville

Last year Fenn Valley put an announcement on their Facebook page that they were looking for live music. Several friends sent the link to us, and we sent Fenn Valley our songlist and website link. They booked us for this July date, and that was back in December. After the COVID cancelations started happening to ALL live music, we kept an eye on this date. We saw Fenn Valley plan a couple live music shows, only to have them canceled at the last minute. After having the same thing happen to us for several bookings, we weren't going to be surprised if this one got canceled. It was very cool that Jamee from Fenn Valley stayed in touch with us by email, telling us to plan on doing the show. We've been doing Tricks Trio rehearsals in our living room and on our patio, every couple weeks or so, just to stay tight. Finally, the day of the show came. We went a couple hours early to set up, and the weather was 100% beautiful. Jamee our contact came out and introduced herself. She said, "we are sold out for this show, and it's the first time we've ever sold out, but it is a limited seating show". As she walked away to leave us to our setting up, she said, "play loud and play proud". Wow! That's always good to hear.
The crowd was very enthusiastic and receptive. A beautiful setting for live outdoor music. We only played two hours, but we were tired and sore after that short work-out. When we were young (just a few months ago), we regularly played four hour shows on Fridays and Saturdays, and we got sore and tired, but not like this. We are just plain out of musical shape. 
Thanks to Jamee and the Fenn Valley Winery staff for having us. Thanks to our friends who showed up to support our premiere show here in the Vineyards. Thanks to Brenda and Krys for taking pics. We hope to be back here very soon.

Jul 11 - Tricks Trio, Jane Bykerk's Birthday Party, Martin

Just a few days before Jane's party, we got a call from Cap'n Craig inviting us (Rick & Krys) to Jane's party. It was close by in Martin, so heck yeah, we'll be there. Craig said, "Rick can bring a guitar if he wants, but it's not necessary". After a quick call to Ozzy, we called Craig back and asked if it was okay if we do a free Tricks Trio show for the party. it was Craig's turn to say, "heck yeah"! With a beautiful evening on tap, we set up in the backyard and played for about three hours, with a couple dozen close friends and family there to dance and party with Jane. Like we always say, it's the family and friends milestone parties that we love most. We were honored to be part of this super fun time, even though we did kinda invite ourselves. Craig & Jane, we love you guys.

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