Saturday, July 25, 2009

Boogie in Badgerland

Up in far north Wisconsin, where only the bears and hardy campers roam, is a nice little roadhouse called the Windsor Bar, owned coincidentally by our lead singer Rick's sister. Saturday last my band North of Nowhere played for the Windsor's grand opening, and a grand time was had by all. I must say, I haven't played that much music in one day since I was a kid - we played six sets, spread out between 3 and 11:30 PM; then we sat around the campfire with acoustic guitars and did some pickin' and grinnin' for another hour or so; we were a tuckered bunch when we all finally crawled into our racks at 2 AM or so. Here is a vid from the last set - that's Jarad on rhythm guitar, Rick on vocals and rhythm guitar, yours truly on drums, Max on bass, and on the far right, Chris on lead guitar. Thanks for watching, and keep on rockin'!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Welcome back, Constant Reader, to a little feature I run in the Summer called “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Last week was spent chillin’ at a resort called Fillenwarth Beach in Okoboji, in the Iowa Great Lakes region (ok, no snickering here…they are really big lakes, and they are great!). The area has a rich heritage of fine music, and since this was where I spent my youth, it still resonates with me whenever I go back. I had the opportunity to visit the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association museum and the newly rebuilt Roof Garden ballroom in Arnold’s Park, where one can find memorabilia of Buddy Holly’s appearance at the Surf Ballroom, and concert posters and other memorabilia from “The Roof” and other venues from the golden age of the great ballrooms across Iowa in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I saw a couple of great bands at the Roof, and was able to take in a performance by my high school buddy Mikee Cusack’s band, “FRB (Freedom Rock Band)” in my hometown of Storm Lake on July 4th. They only get together these days for that one gig a year, but they do have a new CD out called “Life is a Joy.” They have always had a rabid following in Iowa and it’s unfortunate that they don’t have the opportunity to play more gigs.

FRB in concert at the Sunset Park Band Shell, Storm Lake, IA, 7-4. Left to right; Eric Hovey on guitar, Mikee Cusack on guitar, Bill Hoft on bass. This venue, designed and built for oompah bands in the 30’s and 40’s, is a really lousy place for a r&r band to play – I know, I’ve been there and done that!

Richie Lee poundin’ the skins doing a credible version of “Wipeout”. He also did a killer Buddy Holly impersonation.

The Senn Menn appearing as part of the “Rock the Roof” concert series. I’m impressed that they’re still filling the joint after all these years!

Thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’!