Category Archives: Gigs

What a night!!

Once in a while, you get a special lining up of the stars and the gigs are amazing. That was tonight! I first played a National Night Out party with Dean Harrington and Tom Schaefer, and it was wonderful – nobody listened too much, and we had a gas playing whatever we wanted! Then I went and finished off the night with Patty and the Buttons, Sam Miltich and Richard Smith at the Dakota – UNBELIEVABLE!! I was definitely the weak link in the guitar section, very happy to play mostly rhythm and listen to the band NAIL IT!! Best job in the world, folks, and it’s *mine*!

A great “thank you”!

I played for a group of mature singles awhile ago, and I just got this wonderful note in the mail: “[T]hanks for the wonderful musical program you presented to (our) Singles 50+…The feedback from those lucky enough to be present to hear your performance was glowing and warm! I receivers both personal comments and emails about how much folks enjoyed the program – the songs you chose and your jokes and storytelling made for a thoroughly fun and delightful evening. It also was such a treat to enjoy your acoustic presentation as compared to the occasionally overwhelming electronic amplified sound…Once again, thanks so much for sharing your time and talents with us! Have a wonderful summer!”

I have to say, that letter has nearly *made* my summer! I’m so happy that I was able to meet the expectations that they had.

This weekend (so far!)

Man, what a weekend it’s already been! Last night in Grand Rapids with the jazz workshop students, Tim Kliphuis, Sam Miltich Gary Schulte, Matthew Miltich and Martha Larson – then, after a quick 3 hour drive home, a duo with Dan Newton, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival with the Southside Aces, and back across the metro to play with Dan and Cafe Accordion Orchestra!! And tomorrow still awaits with the Aster Cafe with Patty and The Buttons, and allah permitting, Sea Salt with the Mill City Hot Club and Tom Schaefer…musical nirvana…

A busy weekend!

I had a great weekend of music! It started Friday night with a duo gig – I got to play with Daddy Squeeze at Salute in Rochester, MN. A few folks drove quite a way to come see Dan/Daddy, too! On Saturday the Buttons (less Patty, plus Dave Michael of the Southside Aces) played a private party in a beautiful backyard near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. That, too, was a blast, even with the mosquitos! Sunday was another of our ongoing Buttons appearances at the Aster Cafe – in our 4th year! And later that evening I played a solo gig for a group of singles in New Brighton. I miss those solo gigs when I don’t have them – it’s so nice to be able to play whatever I feel like, and it’s such an immediate connection with the audience.

Father’s Day

I had a great time with Patty and the Buttons in Lanesboro for and Art in the Park event. When we left Minneapolis, it was still spitting a bit of rain and the sky was pretty dark, but by the time we hit Rochester it was glorious! We got to sit in the gazebo and play to a very attentive group, and during our break, I got a piece of *great* blueberry pie! We even had a few couples up dancing!!

Wonderful Wedding!

The ’53 Swingbillies played a wedding gig last weekend and had a *blast*!! We started out with a bit of bluegrass – usually reserved for the Mark Kreitzer Band – and a few people danced a bit. Then we decided to break out some traditional swing tunes, and the dance floor got  packed, and it stayed that way for the rest of the night. There were many highlights, but the best (like most wedding dances) was the first dance for the couple. What a great job we have – we get to help people’s happiest day be even more fun!!

'53 Swingbillies

’53 Swingbillies

Great gigs, with great folks

'53 Swingbillies trio

I’ve had a very exciting couple of weeks! This photo was taken at a National Night Out event in Minneapolis. I was joined by Tom Schaefer on fiddle and Dean Harrington on guitar. We played some swing, some gypsy jazz, some bebop and some Western Swing, and about 10 minutes after we finished, the skies opened up! With some help, all the PA and band equipment got safely stowed, but it was quite exciting!! I also played with the Daddy Squeeze band in River Falls, WI. It was a gorgeous night, right by the riverwalk.

I’ve been really lucky to meet some of the world’s finest players, and guitarist extraordinaire Richard Smith is one of them. If he’s not the best Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed style player in the world, he’s far ahead of the guy in second place! I got to join him, along with my good friend Jon Garon (of My Favorite Guitars) at a house concert, then again with Jarrod, Tyler and David Walker from Florida – also fabulous pickers, and great guys. We’re going to repeat tonight, then it’s on to Larryfest in WI tomorrow and Friday, where I also get to play with the one and only Clay Hess! What a ride!

Welcome to My Gigs Blog

'53 Swingbillies trioWelcome to my new gigs blog. I want to share news about upcoming gigs, stories about memorable gigs (both positive and negative!) gigs I’ve been to as an audience member, etc. So, here goes – my first paying gig was way back in 1968 (if memory serves..) I was in a band called the Disciples, and we had learned five or six songs. I don’t remember who thought we were ready to play, or who hired us, but I distinctly remember playing those same songs over and over again. Awfully embarrassing! What is the first gig you remember?