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Monday, March 12, 2012

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

OK, I admit it. I missed you. But I'll take better aim next time. (rim shot) Lots of Blue news in the three weeks since the last note (time flies like the wind) (fruit flies like a banana) (three weeks and I don't have better material than this??)...
TONIGHT!! (Fri) It's The Hub, Bub, 4th & Main, Sparkle City USA, monthly GEEEEZER Gig. This is our 7th gig this year. It will be the 4th different rhythm section! (next week will be the 5th!) The guys who set the beat, the drummer and bass player, are the guys we call the rhythm section. Since becoming a sexagenarian in mid January, the combinations have been The Chief/Mark; The Chief/Muddy; John/Muddy, tonight: John/Mark! That's right, Mark has stopped in Waterloo for clean clothes, and to play The Hub, before literally catching the train to continue to avoid winter for another 2 weeks. (Really, I almost liked winter this year (almost is the key word there) Cold enough to kill the bugs, warm enough to not fall down and hurt myself) (I did a lot more of that back in my drinking days) So welcome Mark back, celebrate TGIF with pizza by the slice, adult beverages, great house sound system, nice dance floor and people who don't act their age. What's not to like, right Avis? Oh, and Avis' husband Bob playing the on-fire green guitar behind his head while playing his new red trombone to the tune of the Green Bay Packer fight song while doing the shing-a-ling with his wife on the dancefloor. Now THAT you've got to see. Show time's 6p, we play til 9:30, you'll be home for the 10 o'clock news. Cool...
Jeff really bears the strain when we have musical chairs in the rhythm section and really deserves all the credit for keeping the band on the right page song to song. Fortunately, we've got some really great substitute players that are helping us keep it going. These days, one of the biggest "band leader challenges" seems to be staffing. Finding the top notch players that The Blue Band is known for, that love the music we play, and will do it for the money I can afford to pay, (as well as schlep the gear!) is getting to be more challenging every month. This is going to get even more complicated in the next couple of weeks. Al is having some on-going health problems. He is also part of the music faculty at Coe College and state-wide high school band educator/judge. His jazz disc made the national jazz charts last month and there may be new doors opening for him. All of that adds up to Al asking to be more of a part-time player in the group. Well, JAZZ. (four letter word) He's scheduled to play tonight at The Hub and next Saturday at the River Music Experience in Davenport and then has promised to play the dates where less travel would make it easier on his health. Al has been a HUGE presence (rim-shot) in our group for four years. He actually codified our horn charts. Because of that, his presence will be with us even when he's not on the band stand. I'm really going to miss hearing him play that trumpet, but most of all, we now need to find a new choreographer! Jeff and I both like the one guitar/horn section sound that we've got going on these days, so help spread the word that we're looking for a second horn guy (trumpet/sax/TROMBONE)...
Speaking of Jeff, he posted this on our website chat page the other day: After 40 years and over 5000 gigs the old Flying V has been determined to be in pretty bad shape. One repairman told me it was basically unfixable. Got a second opinion from the guys in D.M. who seemed to think they could bring it back to life. It's still in the shop. Will know more in a week. Would appreciate a good thought for it. I know it's only a material thing and your energies could be directed to more important things but am hoping it still has some life left. Thanks. JP. Blue People, Let's face it. That Gibson Flying V is part of Jeff's body AND soul. How many notes do you think he's coaxed out of that guitar? Say a little prayer to get the V flying again...
Next Saturday, we get to be part of the all day St. Patrick's Day music celebration at the River Music Experience, 2nd & Main, in Davenport. We get the GEEEEZER Gig hours again (isn't that great?) 7-10p. I'm hoping to be the guy in the Kiss Me I'm Iowaish t-shirt, and that's no blarney (rim-shot)...
In the last three weeks, we've added a few more dates to the appearance calendar including being asked to play a wedding of some longtime friends in Denver Colorado in September! It would really be cool if we could string together a few more dates while we were out in the high country. If you know people out there, put in the good word! And speaking of putting in the good word, please keep telling your local festival entertainment committee about us. For that matter, what about a garage/block party in your neighborhood this year? Plain and simple, we need the work, keep spreadin' the True Blue word, it's too late to stop now (http://www.theblueband.com/contactBob.htm)...
Saturday night's Backtracks radio show is a LIVE edition of the program (http://iowapublicradio.org/studio-one/backtracks/) If you have advance requests (that always helps me find the song and get it on the program for you) just reply to this email or call during the show, 800-772-2440, ext. 5. It's a one-man operation, so I answer all the calls myself in between producing/engineering the show and trying to find requests in the library. If you get thru, let it ring, I'll answer asap. The toll free is good anywhere in the lower 48, you can listen anywhere in the world via streamed audio at www.iowapublicradio.org.
I'm really excited about being part of the fundraising team on Iowa Public Television next Tuesday when they air Elvis '56, the documentary about The King, during their Fundraising Festival 2012. The show airs 6:30-8pm, get out your checkbook and make a generous pledge to IPTV so I can personally say thankyou, thankyouverymuch...
One sad note. Long-time Blue Person Julie Morse succumbed to brain cancer this past week. The Blue Band played Julie & Ken's 25th wedding anniversary. They were there for The Blue Band's 25th Anniversary concert at IPTV. Our hearts go out to Ken, his son Jason, and all family members...
Tonight will be this season's last GEEEEZER Gig in the dark (daylight saving time starts Sunday morning at 2am. I'll be there to welcome it back, will you?) See ya on the Blue Highway, rub yer washboard tie to the tune of On The Road Again, CAKE would be a great way to welcome Mark back, (but gas money in the tip jar would be more appreciated!) spring has sprung and love is in the air. Share it. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

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