Sunday, November 28, 2010

Callahan's 11/27/10

I like performing in this club in Auburn Hills, MI. The crowd really pays attention to what we're doing, and it's always packed. Good food, too (I had a pizza). Joe Maddox was killing the drums, and Bill was thumping through the provided bass rig (which was a good thing they had it because of the damage done to his personal rig last night was too much to fix quickly). Duke's guitar sounded great through the P.A. and I could actually hear myself with ease! There was an opening act, "The Flying Crowbars" who sounded good as they ran through their set, too!
On Stage at Callahan's

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stagecoach Barn 11/26/10

I spent my birthday performing in Richland, MI on a bitterly cold night. We loaded in and had some dinner. The, once the show began, got two songs into the night when I saw Bill's bass rig had fallen forward due to vibrations and landed on it's face, which broke his cables and input jacks. He quickly re-configured his set up, then the night went by smoothly. Duke's CD has been delayed (again) but he had the first copies of it with him tonight. It looks good, and I'm sure it will be huge for him. Once again, some odd dancing and a few strange people, but mostly great Duke fans out for a good night.
Stagecoach Barn

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Key Palace Theater 11/24/10

Our trip to Red Key, Indiana, was bitter-sweet for Duke's annual pre-Thanksgiving Day show, due to the recent passing of the owner (and long-time friend of Duke's) Charlie Noble. We were happy to be there and perform in one of the coolest venues around, but it was sad without Charlie. That said, we had a good night, considering it was raining/sleeting most of the evening, which scared some folks away. This will be one of those gigs I'll remember for many reasons, but mostly for the idea that the venue for the blues which Charlie brought to life is still letting the music continue his memory. I wish his family all the best!
Duke Tumatoe at Key Palace Theater Dan Holmes at Key Palace Theater Joe Maddox in Key Palace Theater Bill Ritter in Key Palace Theater Across the stage in Key Palace Theater

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bob and Tom Show 11/24/10

Kristi was back this week, and I once again invaded her side of the desk with my keyboard, which she very graciously lets me do each week. Tom (jokingly) introduced us as "Dan, Duke and Steve....I mean, Bill Ritter". We played through the song and listened to Chick announce the segment, "Things We Learned On The Show Today", which they've been doing for a few weeks now. Like a bullet-point presentation of the morning's show, as rattled off by Tom.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Static Shack 11/23/10

Mix of the songs I recorded last week is going great! I think I've got plenty of tunes to put together a really good representation of how I sound when it's just me and a piano. Alan is a trooper, marching through one of my songs after the other. Next for me is maybe the hardest part; choosing which tunes to release!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Leroy's Hot Stuff 11/20/10

Leroy's Hot Stuff
Originally uploaded by Dan Holmes Group
Joe Maddox's mom took some pictures of us in Porter, IN tonight at the great Mexican restaurant/bar, Leroy's Hot Stuff. Great crowds of Duke fans showed up, which made the evening fun for us to perform. I had a chance to talk with several people who were excited to see me play, and then sad when I told them I was moving to Texas. By the second set, everyone took Duke's advice from earlier in the evening to "Get Loose". Lot's of dancing and singing randomly during the second set!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Porter's Oyster Bar 11/19/10

Crystal Lake, IL has a venue where Duke's fans like to congregate. This restaurant was packed full of long-time Duke-lovers, which made the show worth the five hour drive. We set up in a corner, under a big-screen TV (which was off, thank you) and played two 90-minute shows. Afterwards, Bill and I drove to our motel (in Merrillville, IN, about 2-hours away) while Duke took Joe to Gary, IN and then drove himself to Indianapolis. I didn't get to bed until about 6:00am...rough night of driving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bob and Tom 11/17/10

Kristi Lee was absent today from the show, so I hope she feels better soon. Bill, Duke and I performed for Bob, Tom and Chick, and of course, the rest of the listening audience. Good show today! My only wish is that we would have a bit more time to stretch out what we do. I really love performing.

Howl At The Moon 11/16/10

Everyone On Stage!
Originally uploaded by Dan Holmes Group
I took the stage in downtown Indy with Joanna, right after Jeremy and Jay's shift ended. We started at 9:45 and played for eight people until 10p, at which point they all left. We ended up using the rest of the night to work on new material and practice some band set stuff together. It was productive, just with no people to perform for.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whitey's 11/13/10

We arrived in Burlington, Iowa about four hours early for our show, so Bill and I decided that we'd set up, and then go find somewhere to hang out before we had to be back at the club. After driving around for about a half hour, we realized that Whitey's was the only place open we'd want to be. So, we headed back and hung out until showtime. A great crowd, good P.A. guys, a friendly bar staff and some delicious pizza were all waiting for us before the end of the night. Joe played great, as always, and Duke helped Bill with his dance steps. The only down side was the five-hour-plus drive home after the show.
Duke Tumatoe at Whitey's Bill Ritter at Whitey's

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speakeasy 11/12/10

Rock Island, Illinois has a cool old venue for comedy and interestingly odd acts, and I suppose we fit into both categories. We had a good time performing for the showcase crowd, and it was great to have another early night to get some sleep. The sound man, Bret, took some pictures of us from the booth near the ceiling while he was running sound. Duke and I both sold some CDs and I think everyone in the crowd left happier than when they arrived, so we did our job!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Penguins Comedy Club 11/11/10

In the once-flooded basement of a club with a sign which reads "Piano Lounge" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, now resides a comedy club where we presented a special blues show. The people were great, and we were given such a warm response, I wished our show would've lasted longer! I hope we are invited back because it was fun having a stand-up comic open for us, and then getting a chance to perform for a crowd who was there to listen. Smiles all around!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Meridian 11/10/10

Bill Ritter and I performed as a duo this evening at The Meridian, a very nice restaurant located in Indianapolis at 56th and, well, Meridian. This was our third year performing for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (where they jokingly call us the Funky ITLAs). I had a good time taking many songs Bill and I haven't played in a long time and reviving them with a swing feel or as an extended groove tune. Of course, they always take good care of us, and tonight was no exception. Steak, potatoes, cheesecake and a magician were waiting for us when we took a break. That's right. Magic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bob and Tom 11/10/10

Comedian Bob Biggerstaff looked on today as Duke, Bill & I performed the NFL song on Bob and Tom show. Kristi was out, so Gunner took this picture for me. Lots of people running around in the studio today, too. I'm not sure who they were, but they were watching us from the observation window, unbeknownst to me. I reached over for something and saw eyes in the dark watching me...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Static Shack 11/9/10

Alan Johnson and I begun the mixdown today of the songs I recorded yesterday. They came out really good, and I think I have some real gems! I love the way the piano sounds at the studio, so bright and in-your-face. We barreled through about 15 of the 30 tunes before our session ended. Soon, I hope to have a bunch of tracks to pick and choose from to release before year's end!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Static Shack 11/8/10

So today I went into the recording studio with two goals in mind; first was I needed a good recording of me performing my songs as a solo piano player for promotion purposes when I finally end up in Texas, and secondly, to possibly have a new product on iTunes before I have a chance to record full-band versions of my new songs. All-in-all, it went great. I tracked about 30 tunes (played and sung live) in four hours (with the help of Alan Johnson) and I'm coming back to help with mixdown tomorrow! Yay!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zydeco's 11/7/10

Superfan Jason Henry showed for brunch and took some pictures for us in Mooresville today. He has made it out to several shows, and always requests "Prayer" from my first CD, so today we played it for the first time in years. Deb always takes great care of us, and today, she let us watch TV during one of our songs until the crowd asked for it to be turned off. Live music on a Sunday morning makes me ask only one question: Are You Ready For Some Football?!?
We love you, Deb!
BTW - The food, as always, was amazing. If you're reading this and you've never been to Zydeco's, go there as soon as you can! It's so good....
Zydeco's Brunch Crowd

Olde Downtown Tavern 11/6/10

Our Stage Setup
Originally uploaded by Dan Holmes Group
After the show in Lawrenceburg, Bill and I drove to Ikea in Cincinnati to pick up a new couch for his house, and then we headed straight across the state to Bedford, IN for our evening show. The stage looked great when we got everything set up, and our lights did a nice job hanging from the trusses the bar had. This was the first time we'd been back since November of 2008, which was the gig I played after getting back from my route 66 trip. Duke had some fans out, and we played until 1am. Daylight savings time gave me one extra hour of sleep before I needed to head to brunch in Mooresville...
Duke in Bedford, Indiana

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hollywood Casino 11/5/10

As we loaded our gear into the casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, we found out that there was other entertainment performing before we took the stage. Apparently, an Elvis impersonator did his show just before the Johnny Cash impersonator who was performing just before us. We took the stage with the best Duke Tumatoe impersonator in the business, Duke Tumatoe. He sounds, acts, plays guitar, and sings just like Duke, mainly because he is Duke. On our break, we saw a Kid Rock impersonator as well as a super-buff Paul Stanley clone. When we finished, a Rod Stewart look-alike took the stage. Very odd night.
A night at Hollywood CasinoA night at Hollywood Casino

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Howl At The Moon 11/4/10

It was super-packed at Howl in Indy tonight. I played lots of great tunes! People were actually requesting some fun and different songs like "Take Me To The River" and "I've Just Seen A Face". First set, I dueled with Joanna, second set with Jeremy, and the third set with Jay Jones. The weather was kinda cold and wet, so I didn't think anyone would be out, but I was wrong. Dollar beer night will make everyday seem sunny and bright.

Bob and Tom Show 11/3/10

Today was my first Bob and Tom show since I went to Texas about three weeks ago, so it was good to see everybody again. Bill, Duke and I performed the NFL song, then rushed out. For some reason (construction, mostly) it took me over an hour to travel from my house to the station, a trip which usually takes about 35 minutes. I walked in, played the song, and I was back in my car within 20 minutes. Whirlwind performance!