Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Difficult, Rewarding, and Courageous Weekend

What should have been two fun gigs on an unusually warm mid-March weekend, turned out to be a trial for the members of the band, but one that left us stronger and more committed to continuing to grow as a group.

Friday Night's gig was at Wine Styles on Huebner Road. We were playing at a fundraiser for PetPals. The fundraiser, named Yappy Hour, was designed to help PetPals continue to provide help for elderly and disabled residents of South Texas to care for their pets. We started playing at 6, and it became obvious almost immediately that Steve's cold or allergy was going to play havoc with our gig list. Steve was a good soldier, but the weakness that comes with nausea, throbbing headaches, and lack of appetite added to a raw and scratchy throat was more than he could bear. On the fly the four of us began to revise our plans. Kathy's two-song mini-set grew; Mary Lou sang lead on The Beatle's Birthday for the first time ever -- in front of a live audience. Don increased the number of songs he was to sing lead on. Steve hung in there with his guitar, but by the time the night was over, he could barely talk. We trust that our audience didn't notice any drop off in quality. At the end of the evening, we'd helped PetPals increase awareness of their mission, as well as helping them out financially. The event was well attended, and a good time was had by all. We were a little concerned about the fact that we had another gig the next night, but we were hoping that Steve would bounce back. It was not to be.

By the time we got to Water Street Oyster Bar, Steve felt confident that he could play guitar, but he knew there was no way that he could sing lead, nor could he sing harmony for more than a line or two per song. After working our way through a hastily revised first set, the girls set to work to find every song that Don could sing lead on, that Don could sing with Mary Lou, and that Kathy could sing without Steve's voice. Somehow we managed. Don even provided the harmony to a song of Kathy's that Steve usually helps out with and Kathy sang Steve's harmony on Crazy Love -- like Mary Lou the night before -- winging it for the first time before an audience. There to listen to us on the night of our long-awaited return to Water Street was Katie, Cathie, Kyle, and Kyle's parents. We think we made some new friends as well, including one of our youngest "dancers" Cameron -- who literally boogied before he could walk.

So, unlike most nights, we were pleased that our audience didn't know anything special was going on. We were pleased that our repertoire has grown enough and that our confidence in each other has grown enough that we're capable of putting on a professional performance with little or no planning. The only casualty of the weekend of illness was our next gig. Convinced that the only thing that could get Steve's voice back was rest, the group reluctantly agreed to cancel this Friday's gig at OrderUp. Thanks to David for being so understanding of our plight. We're looking forward to getting back there real soon; and we're looking forward to having four strong voices in the band again. Until then, forgive us if we're just a little bit pleased with how we coped with the weekend and perhaps more than a little bit proud of ourselves.

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