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Friday, July 22, 2011

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

In The Blue Band's 30 year history, we've done a lot of tough and dumb things. This week's challenge is certainly the toughest and the dumbest in quite a few years! Five full gigs in four days, the first three in just a little over 24 hours time and includes driving at least 350 miles (we'll probably hit 700 miles by the time it's all over on Monday) And we're our own sound company for three of those gigs. But at least the heat is predicted to cool down to 90 degrees! Hop on the truck (a cube van named Larry) and let's get goin'...
It's been a few years since we've had the opportunity to be part of Mason City's Up In Smoke BBQ Festival. This is a nationally sanctioned, two-day, BBQ contest with vendors from all around the country. Music starts at 5pm, Blue Band 7:30-11:00pm. Let's see; world class BBQ, great music, and beer vendors, in a beautiful city park (East Park) What's not to like? Find a complete schedule and list of BBQers at http://globegazette.com/bbqbash/
By the time we get all the sound system loaded out in Mason City, it should be Saturday morning. YIKES! Stage call in North Liberty (suburban Iowa City) is 10:30 Saturday morning for a noon start-time at the rescheduled North Liberty Blues and BBQ Festival! (breakfast BBQ?) This is our 3rd year at this fabulous, family friendly event. It's usually held over Memorial Day weekend, but Mother Nature's temperamental display of rain, wind and hail got in the way this year. (Ms. Nature has been "difficult" all year hasn't she?) Organizers and the city of North Liberty have gone way out of their way to reschedule the event and to invite as many of the originally scheduled bands as possible. One of the many things that I love about this event is it's commitment to Iowa based bands. Friends of ours including Kevin Burt & The Instigators, David Zolo, and Ellis Kell are all part of the entertainment schedule. Get more info on the activities of the day at http://northlibertyiowa.org/bluesandbbq/activities.html Bring cake donuts for breakfast!...
But wait, we're not done on Saturday! After the last note in North Liberty, we put it back in the truck and race back to Sparkle City for Diana Smith and Phil Maass' 5th wedding anniversary celebration, at The Hub, 4th and Main in Cedar Falls. Diana used to sneak into the Crows Nest (under age) in Iowa City to catch Blue Band shows in the early 80s (we're talkin' the FIRST Crows Nest on Washington St. where our second vinyl record Real Time/Bar Time was recorded) and Phil traveled with us as the full-time soundman and stage manager (he was dubbed the Road Worrier) for a decade or so. He is still our go-to guy with any kind of sound/technical questions. Phil has recorded, mixed, edited, mastered and co-produced all of the New Years Eve recordings over the years. In short, these two are about as deep Blue as you can get. I'm an only child, but they feel like brother and sister to me. I don't go to many weddings. I went to theirs. To celebrate their 5th anniversary, they're throwing a party and inviting everyone to come. They're asking for NO gifts, but will donate any and all free will offerings to the NE Iowa Food Bank. Nonperishable food stuffs are also welcomed. Great people, great cause, (donations to the Food Bank are tax deductible so bring your checkbook) food, fun, dancing, cans of pork'n'beans, and maybe Bob Guthart will bring the green guitar and play some songs. I'm assuming someone will bring Anniversary CAKE! What's not to like, right Avis?? AND it's Geeezer Gig hours! We play 7-10pm...
But wait, there's more! Every year we auction off a night with The Blue Band in benefit of an arts organization. This year's benefactor was the Gallagher/Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. We play a private party for the auction winners in rural LaPorte City on Sunday evening (sorry, you need an invitation for that one, but consider making a bid next year and maybe we'll play YOUR garage!)...
And that brings us to the 5th gig in 4 days. Monday, we play The Wayne Mc Cracken Memorial Evening of The Blues. I am told that Mr. Mc Cracken loved all kinds of music and was fond of our band. His wife honors his memory by sponsoring a music performance each year, outside, on the lawn of the beautiful Grace Methodist Church, 37th & Cottage Grove, in Des Moines. This is a free show, all ages welcome. The church will offer food, snacks, and soft drinks/water for sale. We play 7-8:30p. Bring the kids. Bring the Grandkids. Bring CAKE!...
If we survive this run, we'll see yas Fri. July 29 in Ottumwa for Live at 5 and Sat. July 30 at the annual Bix Street Festival in Davenport. We have restocked the temporarily sold out XXL t-shirts (we've got a BIG following) (or is that a following that's BIG?) and for the rest of the month, you can get a 30th Anniversary T-shirt AND the Iowa Public TV History of The Blue Band 2-DVD set for just $15! How do we do it?? VOLUME!!...
I was surprised by how many people emailed after last weeks note saying that they too had experienced the ridiculous pain of ingrown toenails! Those suckers hurt don't they? I seem to be making slow progress in recovering from having that nail cut out, but I regressed on getting my taste buds back this week and dropped 2 of the 4 pounds that I had gained back. Old age ain't fer sissies...
I also had promised the announcement of the New Year's Eve entertainment for this year's gala. Drum roll please. bdddddddddddddddddddddddd SPLASH! Along with The Blue Band, favorites Matt Woods & The Thunderbolts and Joe and Vickie Price will be joined by Six Ways To Sunday (they brought a great following with them last year) and the slide guitar playing farmer from Fort Dodge The Erick Hovey Band plus Iowa R & R Hall of Famer, reggae/bluesman Tony Brown, and piano man Tom Gary. New Year's Eve is on a Saturday this year (just 161 days from today) so I'm investigating having some entertainment on Friday in case you want to join us for the entire weekend. Reservations at The Hilton Garden Hotel are now being taken, find a link to the hotel and/or phone number at http://www.theblueband.com/newyear.htm HAPPY BLUE YEAR!...
I had wanted to let you in on the thoughts regarding the continuing longevity of the Blue Band after this 30th anniversary year, but it's 4am and since this is the last night in the next four where I can get a full night's sleep, I gotta go. More on that next week. (moron next week?) See ya on the Blue Highway, rub yer washboard tie to the tune of The Bar-B-Q Shuffle, wish Diana & Phil a happy anniversary, book your Holiday party NOW, (I know, it's hard to think about Christmas when the "feels like" temperature in 103, but there's only 154 days til Christmas) and always know that we love you. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

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