Saturday, January 30, 2010

January -- We Start The Year Out Fine

Because we work so little -- by comparison -- in December, January, and February, I've decided to do one blog entry for the entire month of January 2010. But I'm going to cheat just a little bit.

There are several reasons why The Tim and Bob Show haven't done a New Years Eve gig. For one thing, we like to stay indoors and leave the highways to the drunks. For another, some of us find it hard to stay awake after 10 at night, never mind upright and coherent. Finally, nobody ever offered us one until this New Years Eve just past -- and since it was Vicki and Mara who offered us the gig, it was kind of hard to say no. It was a private party and we're not going into a lot of names, but we all had a good time, and had repaired back to Steve and Kathy's in plenty of time to bring the new year in with wine, snacks, and Singin' in the Rain.

The next morning we were off to perform at Patty Lou's restaurant for the fourth consecutive New Years Day brunch. It had been a good luck charm for us the last three years, and we were hoping for more. There was a change this year, as Patty has moved her wonderful restaurant to the historic Olmos Pharmacy [renamed "Bharmacy" since they offer adult beverages]. So we set up at Patty Lou's at the Bharmacy, and the joint was jumping. There were surprisingly few glitches from the evening before, and we even discovered that in coping with the interesting acoustics at the venue, we could enhance our sound. We decided to use only our monitors for amplification, and they worked very well. In addition to making quite a few new friends in Patty's new neighborhood, we were happy to see Tim and Bob Nationals Mary, Marcie, John, Sandy, Milton [and his mom], Rodney, Chris, Elizabeth, Emma, Florence, Chris, Lindsay, George, Alice, Mara, Linda, Vicki, John, Rich, and Steven O. Good music, good food, good company. Good karma? We hope so.

Our next performance was a full two weeks later. Once again it was the slimmed-down Tim and Bob Show that played Orderup at the Colonnade. They prefer fewer voices there, so Steve and I worked alone. It was fun, though, although we missed Mary Lou and Kathy tremendously. We debuted a couple of songs -- America's "Sister Golden Hair" and The Beatles "The Word." We also played a lot of our originals on the night. Tim and Bob Nationals Ellen, Meara, Lawrence, Margaret, Karen, Crystal, Casey, Jason, Meghan, Paul, Melissa, Phoenix, and Fiona showed up and brightened our night.

With Steve and Kathy busy with Fein Tuned and Kathy involved in her stage production, the band briefly reunited at First UU Church on January 24, and performed as part of their Sunday service. We opened proceedings with "Let's Work Together" -- the first time most of the church had seen Kathy play bass -- and finished the day with "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da" to a standing, clapping, swaying congregation. In between we performed our a cappella rendition of Johnny Mercer's classic "Dream." It was good to sing together and to do so before so many of our friends.

We finished up the month with an impromptu "house concert" for a friend of ours who is recovering from surgery. After a delicious dinner prepared by Tim and Bob National and all-around-good-gal Stanna, we played a 75 minute set filled with four-parters for several of our friends. The person we "aimed it at" enjoyed it immensely, and so did we. There's nothing like the four-part sound of The Tim and Bob Show if I do say so myself.

January was a long month, and we didn't get an opportunity to work together as a full band nearly often enough to please me. Our "outdoor season" begins in early March when we return to Beto's, and we'll have our usual contingent of gigs at venues who enjoy our full sound. Until then, watch for Steve and me at Orderup, and check out this website [link] to find out when Steve and Kathy are performing as Fein Tuned. And, if you stand on your tip-toes you'll see that February [or as we like to call it in South Texas -- Springtime] is almost here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Tim and Bob Show End of Year Review

This is NOT to be confused with a family history that's included in a Christmas Card, because it's not -- REALLY.

2009 was another successful year for The Tim and Bob Show. It featured some hails and some farewells, some memorable venues, some awards, much recognition, and even a Guinness World Record.

1. 2009, THE NUMBERS
The Tim and Bob Show played 64 gigs during the year -- 55 of which were paid. The was the 4th consecutive year we topped our previous year. We also performed at 24 different venues, six more than in 2008.

We played at three South Texas music venues for the first time: Mi Casa Tamales, Ciao2, and Sam's Burger Joint. We also bid farewell to the venue where we played our first ever gig: Fralo's Art of Pizza. Our "World Tour of South Texas" expanded out of state for the first time when we traveled to Western Hills Guest Ranch, in Ft. Gibson, OK. We got a thrill out of playing at two nationally famous San Antonio hostelries -- the St. Anthony and the Menger -- for the first [and hopefully not the last] time. On the same day we played at The Menger, we performed at what may be the final Houston Street Fair, a sad occurrence for San Antonio's foremost free music event.

For the third year in a row, we started the year at Patty Lou's Restaurant the afternoon of January 1. This good luck talisman would continue to pay dividends for us throughout the year. Later that month, we played at an open house for OASIS @ Warm Springs Hospital. We were treated wonderfully and had a great reception from the attendees.

In February, we created a special Valentine's Day program of music and poetry as a benefit for First UU Church of San Antonio. The money we raised that evening helped to make the church more mobility friendly.

In March, we did a gig at Freidrich Wilderness Park to salute the volunteers there that do so much to introduce Texas children [and their parents] to the diversity and beauty of Texas nature.

June saw us back at First UU Church for a benefit concert to support Pet Pals of Texas, our favorite charity. It was a wonderful night for us, raising money for the group and getting a chance to play good, raucous music for our loyal church fans. We never get tired of Pet Pals, nor their leader [and one of our biggest fans], Vicki.

July 4 provided our most challenging performance yet. Working at HEB Central Market is usually fun and easy: it's indoors, it's early in the evening, it's perfect. On Independence Day, however, they wanted us to play in their parking lot for four hours -- IN THE AFTERNOON. Mary Lou couldn't make it since she was recovering from surgery, but the three of us pushed on through four solid hours of triple-digit temperatures standing on asphalt, thanks in part to Rodney and his family who brought popsicles to keep us refreshed.

In August, we were off to Oklahoma to take up our position as 2009 Artist in Residence at SWUUSI -- The Southwest UU Summer Institute. This week-long event featured two full concerts, one special concert for children, and Steve and I conducting a workshop on songwriting. It was exhausting but tremendous fun. Later that month, we joined about 1800 other guitar pickers to support Voices of a Grateful Nation, an organization that uses music to help rehabilitate soldiers injured in battle. We took our guitars and arrayed ourselves in a ditch at legendary Luckenbach, Texas to play and sing and -- while we were there -- to establish a Guinness World Record for the number of pickers playing one song. As Casey Stengel used to say, "You can look it up." Well, as soon as the book is published, that is.

September found us performing three gigs in less than 24 hours. We began at Orderup's Stone Ridge location on Friday, the 25th, continued with a lunchtime gig at the St. Anthony Hotel, and then -- a few hours later, performing at the Houston Street Fair. We must be insane to do this!

As was the case in 2008, October was our busiest time, with NINE performances during the month, two of them fundraisers. In addition to our usual load of restaurant gigs, we played a National Night Out gig for the Adams Hill Neighborhood Association, a convention gig at the Menger Hotel, and did fundraisers in support of the Texas Music Coalition and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. We also made our radio debut on KSYM in support of the Texas Music Coalition fundraiser. We ended the month by dedicating our 30th and 31st gigs to our friends at Pet Pals of Texas, selling their merchandise, giving them proceeds from the sale of our stuff, as well as splitting our tips with them.

November and December were most notable for the marriage of Steve and Kathy's daughter Bethany, as well as a chance for our partners to perform with the Merrie Court Singers. November's main highlight would have to be the announcement of the Rammy Awards. We repeated as San Antonio's Best Cover Band, and our CD Take It Outside was selected Album of the Year. Once again, we're grateful to our fans and all the readers of The San Antonio Current for the awards.

The end of the year also featured something that is common in television, but perhaps not so much in music. The Tim and Bob Show has a spin-off group. Very early in the new year, Steve and Kathy will be performing around San Antonio as a two-person band called Fein Tuned. Don't worry, y'all; the band isn't breaking up. It's just that our partners aren't kept busy enough by their daytime careers and the two musical outfits they already grace with their presence. Mary Lou and I look forward to watching them perform

As for the Tim and Bob Show? Well, we're starting the year at Patty Lou's, and we already have restaurant and winery gigs booked through July, so Tim and Bob Nation will have plenty of opportunities to slake their thirst for good music.

Happy New Year from Kathy, Steve, Mary Lou, and Don