Sunday, March 15, 2009
On the Road Again
Early Saturday morning -- well, early for musicians anyhow -- The Tim and Bob Show retraced the route of our favorite road trip: up US281 for the two-hour jaunt to Pillar Bluff Winery in the bustling metropolis of Lampasas, Texas. Bustling, did I say?
Anyhow, we experienced a few sprinkles as Steve and I picked up our rental van from the SA Airport. We're in a strange position down this way. We get so little rain, we hate to complain about it when we do, but the previous evening's gig had been canceled by what we fervently hoped was the last of a three-day downpour that amounted to more than two inches in the immediate San Antonio area, and nearly four inches in some places over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone -- just as our prolonged drought was threatening us with water-use restrictions. There were about 15 more drops of water as we loaded up the van with our musical equipment, folding chairs, and road trip necessities like cheese, grapes, crackers, water, a well-thumbed crossword puzzle book, and a bottle of the elixir of life for both Steve and me. For the uninitiated, that elixir is commercially known as Diet Dr. Pepper.
As usual, Steve was at the wheel as we motored up. Eventually the raindrops disappeared, but there was still heavy overcast, dark skies, a bit of north wind, and temperatures in the low 40s. And ... we were heading north. When we arrived at Pillar Bluff, we noticed that Gill's covered event area was devoid of the tell-tale earmarks of impending partying. When we stuck our noses inside, we discovered that the wind, damp, and cold had convinced Gill to move the performance space inside -- that is in the cask room and in the patio out back where cases of wine are stored. We figured to have more space to play in the latter area, but were unsure how it would be an improvement over the wide open covered ring-shaped space we have grown used to in the past year. Well, we hadn't seen what Gill could do with opaque plastic sheeting, a rickety step ladder, and alligator clips. [Note the picture above!] Once he was finished, we had a good windbreak behind us, and a propane pedestal heater to warm the cockles of ... I guess, everything. By 2 o'clock we were ready to play.
The crowds remained small throughout the day, but they really paid attention to what we did and were appreciative of our efforts. With Kathy being cast in a show, and with Mary Lou just a month or so away from a visit to her family in California, we knew that we wouldn't be able to play a whole lot more gigs with a full four-person compliment, so we pretty much threw everything we had into performing. About midway through our second set, we established a firm connection with the folks who were seated near us and in the next room. From then on, it was party time at the winery. Sure-fire crowd pleasers like "Locomotion," "Mustang Sally," and "Pretty Woman" got people rocking, but I believe it was the performance of our original four-parter "It Ends; It Begins" that excited people the most. Mary Lou and I left the stage to Steve and Kathy after that one for a bit of rest. We didn't get any, though, because once folks realized that this was an original tune and was available on our CD, the two of us spent most of the short break selling CDs and saying "thanks" to the folks that dropped money into our tip jar.
The good party atmosphere continued right through to our traditional last song "Bye-bye Love." We had to interrupt our break-down of equipment to shake hands with the remaining Pillar Bluff customers, and pose for some snapshots. Wow, what a day. All of us sounded good in solo vocals, duos, and in our four-parters, but if there was a "star of the day," it had to be Steve's new baby -- his Epiphone electric. All our rockers sounded harder and edgier whenever he wailed away. Great day.
What made it an even nicer day was the fact that Joyce and her friend Tom drove down from North Texas to see us. We had met Joyce on our first visit to Pillar Bluff last year, and it was the first time we'd seen her since. She told us she'd planned her whole weekend around our performance. That was very nice to hear. We also discovered that we weren't the only people to drive up from San Antonio. Steve and Sandy drove up from Schertz and brought their friends Trish and Angie. We also made some new friends in Amy, Rick, Vi and Stephanie.
What could possibly top off a day like this? Well, Gill invited us out to dinner in what appeared to be "Historic Downtown Lampasas'" ONLY restaurant. Along with Gill's wife Peggy, his brother Bill, and his sister-in-law Susie, we enjoyed a great meal in Eve's Cafe -- a funky little place with friendly wait staff and wonderful German-themed food. Bill, who is also a Vintner, brought along a sample of his most popular wine (Petite Syrah, yum), and we each had a glass. Wow. Texas wines are wonderful.
Finally, we were off, retracing our steps through the Hill Country and back into San Antonio. Although we were all exhausted, nobody came close to closing their eyes. Since Steve had left his night driving glasses at home, I was chosen to pilot our rental van back home in the dark. Believe me when I tell you that EVERYBODY stayed wide awake at that frightening prospect.
Where next for the unstoppable Tim and Bob Machine? Check out the "upcoming gigs" section of our home page. And while you're there, go to our guest page and Tell us what YOU think!.