Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rich with Autumn's Gold

The Tim and Bob Show's one busy weekend in November was the 20th and 21st of the month, where we welcomed in the Christmas season and bid a brief adieu to outdoor performing.

We began at our traditional "Third Friday" gig at Orderup at the Colonnade. In the past, this venue has seemed almost like Party Central for us, and Friday was "one of those nights." There were Tim and Bob Nationals new and old on display, and we were almost embarrassed by our riches. Matt, Debbie, and the ever-charming Seth were there, as were Casey and Pam. A huge crowd featuring Kathie, Marguerite, and Peter were there. Dylan was also in attendance with a friend. With them were Christina, Ryan, & Aaron, and Rob & Kimberly. It was also a distinct pleasure to see Paul and his daughter Fiona [Bug]. Fiona overcame her innate shyness to perform on percussion with the band and to pronounce her belief that "Steve is cute."

This performance was notable for a couple of reasons. We resuscitated our Christmas repertoire just in time for Friday, and Kathy's rendition of "Santa Baby" and Mary Lou's take on "The Man With the Bag," were big hits, as was the girls' work on jingle bells for "Jingle Bell Rock." We also saluted the 100th anniversary of Johnny Mercer's birth by performing our a'capella version of "Dream." Casey said that even the servers stopped talking while we sang this beautiful song. Finally, at the explicit request of Seth -- who wanted to hear something with kazoos -- we did "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da." It was a great night, and we thank everyone for coming out.

On Saturday, we motored our way up IH10 to Boerne to perform for the second time at Mi Casa Tamales. Once again we enjoyed the ambience of this location -- we love playing under the sheltering oaks -- and the incredible food. I hear that the margaritas are "cherce," but as long as they have Shiner Bock on draft, I may never find this out for certain. As was the case in October, the chill air and the full college football slate kept attendance down, but we do appreciate having Hillary & Brian, Larry, Jean, and Jason & Megan, who joined us for the first time. We had plenty more music in us when the customers started to drift away, but we're looking forward to getting back there in the Spring. Good food and great people deserve good music -- and we got plenty of that.

That's it for us for November. We'll see you for a somewhat abbreviated December schedule. Until then, check out our website for our "End of Year Sale" bargains, and TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"The Days Dwindle Down ..."

It's fitting to begin a blog with a line from "September Song," since September weather in post parts of the United States is just about what we experience here in South Texas in mid-November. And so it was that on Friday, November 13, we played our last Beto's Comida Latina gig of the year -- outdoors ... on their patio ... and [for the first set and a half] in tee-shirts!

We had a good-sized crowd in attendance for our regular "second Friday" performance, and it was filled with friends old and new. Veteran Tim and Bob Nationals Bethany, Matt, Hillary, Brian, Dick, Dave, Martha, and Marcie were there, and we made several new converts. Marcie's new/old friend Sandy was pleased to hear us. Hillary's co-workers Rene, Willy, and Diana attended. Josie and Amelia [and their parents] loved our music and requested "Sweet Caroline" and even Dan and Tara [from Phoenix] stopped by to fortify themselves with Mexican food and beer prior to their participation in San Antonio's Rock 'n Roll Marathon the next day. I guess this is why Beto's keeps asking us back. We bring in the business for them.

How was the music? It was sensational, and thank you for asking. We debuted the Hollies classic, "He Ain't Heavy; He's My Brother" which features Steve on lead vocals and Kathy on bass. Steve got a chance to tear off a bunch of searing guitar solos, and we got all sorts of compliments over our rendition of "Mustang Sally."

Before we knew it, we were breaking down our equipment. Beto's doesn't have music on the patio In December, January, or February, but we're pretty sure we'll be back in the Spring. We hope to see you when we get there.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Of Friends & Families, Beautiful Brides, and Go-to Girls!

Things have been really crazy for Steve and Kathy recently. Now we're not talking actually insane [although there are times ...], we're talking about frantic, frenetic, exhausting times. All of that has been coming on top of all of life's usual craziness: jobs, unexpected remodeling, the aches and pains of ... uh ... the decade they share, and the "robust economy" we're all navigating. And, all of that is on top of all the busy-ness associated with The Tim and Bob Show -- the gigs, the fundraising for our favorite causes, the accumulation of new repertoire, the strange family they're partnered with in that particular enterprise. It's enough to drive a normal couple LEGITIMATELY insane. Well, there's two things to be thankful for: (1) They AREN'T a normal couple, and (2) The crazy times are gradually returning to a more manageable level of insanity.

For the last several months, a central part of Steve and Kathy's life has been getting ready for the marriage of their daughter Bethany and her guy, Matt. Now, Mary Lou and I don't have children, but for some reason, both Bethany and her twin sister Hillary love us and we love them right back. We'd do anything for these beautiful, willful, talented, compassionate, passionate young women. And so it was that the first week of November would culminate in the wedding of Bethany and Matt. And that wedding would help restore a bit of normality to Steve and Kathy's every day life. That's assuming that being in a rock 'n roll band can be described as "normal."

Weddings mean family gatherings, and this was going to be the case for this wedding. Kathy's parents -- Irv and Muriel -- flew in from Florida to attend. Steve's parents -- Herb and Bertha -- arrived from New Jersey. We know them all, and enjoy their company. It was especially nice to see Herb and Bertha, because it meant that "Bert" was healthy enough to fly. And so, we gathered at Steve and Kathy's house on Thursday afternoon for an impromptu "house concert." Irv and Muriel had heard us play before -- Muriel on multiple occasions -- but Steve's parents had only heard our recorded voices. Almost all of the equipment was being stored at our house for the duration of the wedding week, but there was enough for everyone to hear Kathy's new bass chops, Steve's new guitar, and some solid four-part harmony. Everyone enjoyed it, and that included Mary Lou and myself. As it turns out, when you love people, not only do you love their children, you also wind up loving their parents.

More family was on the way, of course, in the form of Steve's sister Faye , her husband Arnold and daughter Ilana, Steve's brother Jeff, Jeff's wife Monica and daughter Madeline and son Robbie. They missed the concert, but they were there for the main event.

And what a main event it was. My father always told me that there was no woman so beautiful as a bride on her wedding day, and -- face it -- Bethany had a HUGE head start. Mary Lou got to the church around 4:30, which was a good thing since she had custody of the wedding dress. I arrived about a half-hour before the ceremony was to begin. The womenfolk were all hidden away, of course, so I had a chance to talk to Matt and his dad, Steve, as well as long-time Tim and Bob National Marcelo who was in the wedding party. Everyone looked great, especially OUR Steve, who was wearing a tux for only the second time since I met him. There was a bit of nervousness around, so I decided to walk into the sanctuary to get a seat. Bethany's choice of music consisted of about six songs, two of which were Tim and Bob Show songs. I couldn't have been prouder.

Finally, it was time for the wedding. The grandparents and parents entered, followed by the bridal party. Bethany's twin Hillary was beaming as she strolled down. Finally, Bethany entered on the arm of her father. It was an amazing moment for everyone, and I was overcome with emotion seeing my partner so incredibly happy. Reverend Bret took over then and vows were exchanged and readings were made. At one point in his discussion of Bethany and Matt's voyage to the alter, Bret referred to Matt as Bethany's "go to girl." The male attendants were, somehow, able to keep things together. And then, suddenly, we were introduced to Matt and Bethany as husband and wife.

Mary Lou and I led Muriel and Irv down to Southtown for the reception at the Blue Star Art Gallery. We chatted with dozens of people, and exchanged stories. We did a lot of hugging there, especially with Steve, Kathy, and Hillary. Long before the party began to get rowdy, I exercised my "old age option" and Mary Lou and I drove home. It was a memorable night.

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Part 4 - Tim and Bob's Pet Pals Weekend

October is so chock full of performances, that we're not going to report on each gig individually. Rather, I'm going to put them in several small groups throughout the month. And here is the last of them:

Back in September, The Tim and Bob Show dedicated an entire weekend to fundraising for Pet Pals of Texas. We designated a Friday night and a Saturday night to promote this wonderful organization. We planned to give half our tips to Pet Pals as well as a cut from any CDs or tote bags we sold at the gigs. Well, as it turned out, the only largesse that weekend was provided from above. We had been suffering a prolonged drought, and only around 9 inches of rain had fallen in the first 8 months of the year. It was looking like stage three water restrictions were inevitable. In the six weeks beginning just before our Pet Pals weekend, however, almost SEVENTEEN inches of rain fell. Everyone was happy about that, of course, except for The Tim and Bob Show and Pet Pals, since both our planned gigs were outdoors. Further frustrating us was that the "designated Saturday" on that weekend was to be our debut at Mi Casa Tamales in Boerne.

Well, we were able to re-schedule Mi Casa and, as luck would have it, it was again going to be the second gig in a weekend. Presto: Pet Pals Weekend Redux! Would the weather have an impact? Yes it would. Something even rarer than rain visited South Texas for what was also Halloween weekend -- AUTUMN. Yes, highs in the mid-70s, lows in the mid-40s, crisp cool breezes, and lovely blue skies. The Great San Antonio Thirst had been slaked, now it was time for some rock n' roll!

One concern, however, was whether Pet Pals of Texas's president -- and Tim and Bob's biggest fan -- Vicki would be able to join us. She did make it out with Linda for a few minutes after we had set up on Friday, but she was seriously under the weather, and missed both performances. Kelly and her family represented the organization and gave us some Pet Pals tee-shirts to sell and some brochures to distribute before they left.

Our Friday gig was at Orderup's Colonnade location -- a long-time favorite of ours. We had a nice turnout of veteran Tim and Bob Nationals -- Casey, Karen, and Matt -- and initiated two more members into the cult ... er ... club: Karen and Mary. Mary had performed with Mary Lou and Kathy on stage, but this was the first time she'd seen us perform. There were also a lot of folks new to our music, and they were as generous as our friends. It was a good night and we got good responses from everyone.

On Saturday, we were able to make our delayed debut at Mi Casa Tamales. Sandy called us and asked us to start a little early, as she was unsure of how cool it would be out in their patio later in the evening. And so we started at 6:30 instead of 7:00. In addition to competing with trick or treaters for attention, we also had to fight the allure of University of Texas football, Oklahoma football, PLUS Notre Dame in the Alamodome -- all while we were playing. For good measure, the San Antonio Spurs were also on television. Despite this, and despite the slightly chilly evening, the crowd size surprised and pleased the folks there. Tim and Bob Nationals Martha, Dave, Casey [AGAIN!], Mara, Hillary, Brian, Jeanna, Sarah, Sheri, and Roy showed up just to hear us, and to support Pet Pals. They were very generous with their applause and their contributions. The hits of the evening were Kathy's bass playing, Steve's scorchers on the Beck, ML's wailing, and the final 2009 performances of "Monster Mash."

We were very pleased at our debut, as was Sandy. We're coming back in November, and we hope to feature there for a long time.The food is wonderful and, so I'm told, the Margaritas are fantastic. I wouldn't know. Since they have Shiner Bock on draft, I'm unlikely to give anything else a try for a while.

After the gig was over, Steve and Kathy followed us home so that we could stow all the band equipment at our house. They have family coming in for their daughter Bethany's wedding on the 7th, and they needed to clear the space. As long as they were over anyhow, we broke out some wine and snacks and sat around our dinette for a good hour or so chatting and laughing about the band and our adventures. What with work and theater and wedding and the odd illness, we'd gotten out of the habit of ending our gigs this way, and it was nice to do it again.

As for Pet Pals, well we'll be doing more fundraising for them in the future. That's a certainty. It's a worthy organization and we all love Vicki as much as she loves us. As of this writing, I'm not sure what the total income for them will be, but it was increased on Sunday morning when Tim and Bob National Larry, who was unable to attend either gig, gave me a contribution at church. Good times.