Moose Club / Hammys / Dundee Roadhouse

Busy weekend for the band. We started on Friday at the Moose Club. It seemed a little slow at first, but soon filled to a full-house. We played our usual standards and had a good night. Jerry Dabson rode with Gary and Jerry got up and did a few with us.

The Women of the Moose booked us on Saturday for a “Prom Night” which allowed us to leave our equipment set up – can’t beat that! Sad to say that Saturday night was not very busy. Personally, I feel the $10.00 cover charge was too much but that’s just my .02. We appreciate and thank all who stopped out. There are a few pictures and videos on Facebook.

We made up for it with a totally packed Hammys on Sunday afternoon. Cyndi revived “When Will I Be Loved” and it got a great response. We’ll probably play it more often!

I had an equipment ordeal this weekend with the reverb not working on my amp at the Moose and the volume knob sticking on my Les Paul. I played my Epiphone all weekend. Turns out the guitar just needed a good cleaning and I used it Monday. The amp has been fixed as of today.

I was a 4-nighter for me as I was the host guitarist at the Dundee Roadhouse jam on Monday. We had a good night with quite a few jammers, but it was a little late when I got home!
The 3-piece host band I played with (The Outlaw Legends) has a couple of dates in April as the band is off. And speaking of moonlighting – Cyndi has been quite busy doing solo gigs on Thursdays. Doug Brookins is quite the booking agent!

Cyndi is playing this Thursday at the Treehouse from 6 – 9.

Rainbow Bridge is back at the Countryview this Saturday from 8 – 12.

On a sad note: Chuck Berry passed away this week. He was one of my first guitar idols and I spent a lot of time listening and learning to play like him. “Johnny B. Goode” is a must-know for any electric guitarist! Always sad when a legend is gone.

Stop out this weekend and say hello!

GMB gigs / Barkleys

Holly and I made it to Bob’s birthday bash at the Prime Quarter last Saturday as the band was off. Good group and a good time. The only suspicious thing is that a handful of people including Holly, Cyndi, Bryan and Bob all got sick afterwards. Very strange.

The Gary McAdams Band played the following Sunday with Pat Betts on drums. Curtis “Chainsaw” from the Blues Creepers did a live recording of the band. I’m curious to how it turned out.
Just FYI – We’ve had a few weekends with a GMB gig but no Rainbow Bridge gigs, so sometimes I don’t do a post on those.

The Gary McAdams Band played this past Friday at Hammys and had a good night. This was the regular line-up.

Rainbow Bridge played at Barkleys on Saturday, which is the former “Spirits” bar on the south side. We had a great crowd and hope to play there on a regular basis. My fear was that it was going to be total “younger bar” and we wouldn’t quite fit, but it was a good mix of ages and we went over well. Thanks to Bob and Dawn for scoping the place out and setting the PA up early. Matt also set up early as he played guitar at an afternoon gig with Cary Farmer at the Willowdale. A mutual friend, Billy Barnes, was at the Willowdale gig and told me later at Barkleys, ”Wow, Matt can really play the guitar!” I think people sometimes forget that Matt was the other guitarist in the band for many years. He took over on bass when the band needed a bass player and since has made his mark as a bass player. He still plays his guitar at home. Matt and I have “switched guitars” on stage a few times at gigs just to show his skills – probably should do that more often! Also, our two new songs are going over well. No gig on Sunday, so I drove home afterwards.

RB has 2 nights at the Moose Club coming up this weekend and finish on Sunday at Hammys. Friday is a regular Moose dance night and Saturday might be a private party – I’ll have to check.

It’ll be 4 nights for me as I’m hosting a Monday night jam up in Dundee. We’re calling the trio “The Outlaw Legends” and I have a few more fill-in dates with this group. We’re not going to practice, but I’ve been learning songs and am looking forward to the challenge of playing trio.

Stop out this weekend and say hello!

Moose / Lucy’s / Hammys / New Songs

3 gigs for the band this weekend plus a Saturday practice. It was really busy for Cyndi, who played solo at the Red Zone on Thursday. We started at the Moose on Friday and had a good turnout. Last weekend at Countryview, we had a request for “Country Roads”. Gary knew the words and we pulled it off. We played it again at the Moose, so I guess we learned a new song!

We practiced Saturday afternoon and brought back “Your Love” by the Outfield and “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Steeler’s Wheel. Cyndi sings both of the songs, and they went over well both Saturday and Sunday. On the jokester side: Bob has said in the past that he would never play in a band with “clamp on” floodlights. I happen to own two and set them up to shine on his drums at practice. He didn’t notice them until I turned them on – the facial expression was priceless. We played at Lucy’s that night and had a good crowd. Bob had another incident when the band banner tape let go and the band sign fell on Bob’s head. You can see a picture on Facebook, and I guess we need stronger tape! Lucas Brookins was celebrating a birthday and sat-in for a few.

We finished off at Hammys on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and had a great crowd. I’ve been told it got a little loud which we feel bad about. It is a small room and we played some high-energy songs which are going to be louder. Gary always takes a listen out front when he’s not singing, and we ask people on break, especially musicians, if everything is balanced. It’s something we care about and don’t mind being told if it’s getting out of hand. But again, all said, it was a great crowd and a fun afternoon. Thanks to all who stopped out this weekend.

The band is off again this weekend, although the Gary McAdams Band is at Boxcars on Sunday afternoon with Tim Pogorelski on drums. This is the “reschedule” for the Sunday that was cancelled recently.

Bob has birthday coming up on March 2nd. Maybe we’ll get him some tape, floodlights, or a helmet!

Stop out Sunday at Boxcars for the GMB and we’ll see you there.

GMB @ Hammys / Countryview w/ Matt

The Gary McAdams Band started off the weekend at Hammys with the regular line-up. We had a little trouble with the mixer at the start but fortunately Gary had a spare. The bad news is that one giving us trouble was borrowed from Junior Moore. Gary and I both have the same mixer and have had trouble with both. Mine was sent back to the company it’s pushing two years now – I’m not happy. But it was a good night and good crowd. Tommy Larson and Phil Trumpy sat-in for a few. Cary Farmer was in the crowd but did not play, although he helped with the sound.

I had a Voight birthday gift certificate from Bob that I took care of on Saturday afternoon. Going to a music store is always a fun thing to do – I thanked Bob for the new strings that night.

Rainbow Bridge returned to the Countryview on Saturday and Matt was back with the band. Between off time and fill-ins, we hadn’t played a lot of our songs in a while. I did some reviewing, but have a lot more to do! We had a great crowd and a fun night. Jim, a friend of mine from the Sandtrap days, was out celebrating a 50th birthday party. Lucas Brookins, who, along with Dawn Richter helping with the PA, sat-in on drums for a few. This place seems to be doing really well with the new owners and we’re happy about that!

The Gary McAdams was scheduled to play Sunday at Boxcars but owner/drummer, Tim Pogorelski, took a last minute trip down south and didn’t make it back in time.
A little disappointing, but I headed back to West Allis after Sunday brunch at dad’s and got to spend the day at home.

Cyndi will be at “Off the Hook” on Thursday.

Rainbow Bridge has 3-day weekend starting at the Moose Club on Friday.
We’re at Lucy’s (Owl’s Club) on Saturday and then finish off the weekend at Hammys on Sunday.

I see we’re also running a “clearance sale” on our 40th anniversary t-shirts. Now’s the time to get one!
We’ll see you this weekend!

Birthday / Jazz Gig / Hammys w/Shawna

Well the big 6-0 is here – first member of the band in the next generation. No gig on birthday Friday so Holly and I went out that night to our favorite pizza place. I had lunch with my coworkers earlier so it was a good day for food!

I played a real jazz gig at a private residence on Saturday that was a lot of fun – challenging, but fun. There were four other players and I met three of them at the gig! It was a night of reading charts and jazz soloing which brought back all my conservatory training.

My step-son, Chris, gave me 4 scratch offs on Friday and 3 of them were winners! I had been looking at a guitar amp and took the winnings as a sign that it was meant to be. I picked it up Saturday afternoon and used it both that night and Sunday.

Cyndi played a duo with Craig Curtis (from Nashville) at Off the Hook so I was not the only one moonlighting this weekend.

Matt is still not feeling well so Shawna Moore Schultz played with us at Hammys on Sunday afternoon. It was advertised as Rainbow Bridge but it looked like the Gary McAdams Band with Bob! We played as many RB songs as possible and had a great afternoon. Thanks to all that stopped out and for the birthday wishes too!

We’re off again this weekend, although the Gary McAdams Band is playing Sunday afternoon at Boundaries from 3 – 7.
I’ll be co-hosting the Lucky Chance jam in West Allis next Monday night.

Again, thanks for all the birthday wishes and we hope Matt is back next time.

GMB @ Hammys / RB @ Countryview / Big B-Day Coming UP

Friday night at Hammys with the Gary McAdams Band was a good night. It was back to the regular lineup with Shawna Moore Schultz and Steve Dougherty. Laura Farnsworth was out and recorded a handful of videos that you can see on Facebook. Because this band is unrehearsed and most of my playing is improvised, I’m a little worried about something musically embarrassing getting posted, but everything has been ok – so far!

Matt was not feeling well this weekend so we had Denny Wayne fill in on bass at the Countryview. Denny did a great job, as usual, and we had a great night. There was still a crowd dancing to the jukebox after we were packed up! The new owners have done some great things to this place and we’re happy to be playing there. Denny’s other band, Two Left Feet, was playing down the hill at Lakeview. Denny told me, while on one of our breaks, that he ran down and played a song with them on drums. It’s funny because that’s something Matt would do! Lucas Brookins was out and also sat-in on drums for a few.

We’re off for a while now, although Cyndi is playing solo at Off the Hook on Thursday, the 19th.
Rainbow Bridge doesn’t play again until Hammys on Sunday, January 29th.

And, Friday the 27th is my 60th birthday so the next time we play, I’ll be in a new decade – yay…
I’ll probably try to get to a few more jams in our off time.

Stop out on the 29th at Hammys and wish the old guy a good one!

Go Pack!!

New Year’s Eve / Moose Club / Drunken Monkey

New Year’s Eve at the Moose Club was a good night. We usually play 7 – 10 on Fridays, so playing till 12:30 seemed a little late for us. I remember many a New Year’s playing 9 – 2 as the bars can stay open later. Not much to say other than it was a cold night, but we had a good crowd. I’ve been told they’ve already booked us for next year. Thanks to all who stopped out and brought in 2017 with us.

Since Rainbow Bridge was playing back at the Moose the next Friday, we left most of our equipment there. I had a jam-hosting gig in Milwaukee on Monday so I packed up and headed back after we were finished.

It was another cold night on Friday and we had just played New Year’s, so we weren’t expecting much of a crowd back at the Moose on Friday, but I was wrong! We had a great night and made an effort to play some different songs to try to keep things fresh.

Our first Drunken Monkey gig of the year on Saturday also went well. We thought the cold and being right after the holiday would keep people in, but again we were wrong. We had one of the better nights we’ve had in a long time. Dawn Richter posted a couple of videos on Facebook. Speaking of Dawn – she cut a couple of fingers in a knife-blade kitchen accident and required stitches. You can see pictures on her Facebook page.

We were scheduled to play Hammys on Sunday but the Packer wild-card game bumped us out. Tommy Larson was scheduled at Hammys next Sunday and asked Matt, Bob, and I to play but those darn Packers won and bumped out another gig!

According to the website, the Gary McAdams Band is playing this Friday at Hammys from 8 – 12 and Rainbow Bridge is back at the Countryview on Saturday also 8 -12.

Gary informed us that drummer and owner of Sound Garden Studios, Kenny Koeppler, had a heart attack recently. Gary recorded his CD there and I’ve jammed with Kenny a number of times. We hope he has a full recovery.

Stop out this weekend and say hello!

Hammys on Sunday / Off until New Year’s Eve

No Friday gig and the Drunken Monkey cancelled Saturday night, which left us with Hammys on Sunday. It was a cold afternoon but we had a pretty good crowd. A lot of people were there to watch the Packer game. We started after it was over, of course! While getting ready at home, I was thinking about what guitar to play and I thought about Paul’s guitar, but decided on my Les Paul. I turned around in the basement and hit my head on a low spot on the ceiling (which I’ve done before) and took it as a sign – to play Paul’s guitar, which I did. Yes, sometimes I need a hit in the head to understand things. Dawn put a couple videos on Facebook. It felt good to play again and we had a responsive crowd but it was a long drive home!

Holly had a birthday on Friday and we decided to go for a birthday lunch due to the snow that was coming that night. Holly, Erin, Erin’s mom, and I had a good time and I headed back to work afterwards.

The band is off now until New Year’s at the Moose Club.

I have a gig with the “Mary Jane Gang” in Sturgeon Bay on the 23rd. I might have passed this up if I had looked at a map first! The bass player and I are riding together so it might not be so bad. I also be hosting the Lucky Chance jam in West Allis the first Monday of the month. The 1st one was good, but we’ll see how this pans out.

We hope everyone has a good Christmas and New Year. We’ll see you in 2017!

Paul Chitwood

Paul Chitwood passed away recently in Yuma, AZ. I never took guitar lessons from Paul, but he taught me more about musicians, bands, playing and attitude than anyone I ever knew. Paul, and his then wife, Barb, were “on the road” musicians for 5 years. I was a teenager studying jazz at the Conservatory in Milwaukee when I heard his band was coming off the road and playing in Janesville – at the old Daily Double. I watched and listened and at first was not all that impressed – after seeing jazz musicians go up and down the guitar neck in a blink of an eye. Later, after talking with Paul I realized that when he played, everything sounded good: his playing of the song, his tone, playing fluid and smooth, and a command of many styles of music and guitar playing. After a rethinking of what it meant to be a “band guitarist”, it hit me that Paul was a fantastic player and doing exactly what needed to be done on every song. His approach to band playing became my model and it turned my head around. Paul also taught me “common sense” issues about bands that Rainbow Bridge has been modeled after. We use to go to their bar, the Raintree, every chance we could to see the band. I always sat right in front and studied everything he did. His fake pedal steel, mandolin style tremolo picking, and quite a few of his licks are things I use to this day. Getting to know him and seeing him play changed my musical life.

Paul also did guitar repair at the Bandwagon, which was owned by Voight Music. The pickup routing and the toggle switches on my red Les Paul are his handy work. I use to hang around after giving lessons on Saturdays just to listen to Paul and other players talk shop.

In my twenties, I wanted a motorcycle and Paul let me borrow Barb’s Honda 350 to practice. “Ride it around the yard, and when you’re comfortable enough, take it out in the street”. Barb, who had just passed the test, took me down to the DMV and ran me through the motorcycle road test. I practiced as much as I could and passed on the first try. Another debt I owe to both Paul and Barb.

Paul developed the reverb units that were used in first Peavey amps. He and an investor started O.C. electronics, just outside of Milton, to make the reverb units and ship them to Mississippi. Both Cyndi and her mom, Linda, worked there for a while. The early Peavey amps had a sticker in the back that said, “Built by the beautiful girls in Milton, Wis.” This is one of the main reasons I have stayed loyal to Peavey amps and play one to this day.

Paul went back to school later in life and became fluent in Spanish. He moved to AZ, where the band had played for years, and became a school teacher until his retirement. Before leaving for AZ, he gave me a guitar that he and friend, Fran Shackelford (RIP), had built. Fran told me to be sure to “take it out for ride once in a while.” I lost touch with Paul over the years but always called him on his birthday in January and we’d chat for a while.

I remember being a youngster taking lessons at the Gould School of music. One night, Paul and another local guitar legend, Lance Massey were in the building, along with local country legend, Jerry Dabson. I remember Jerry leaning over to me and pointing at Lance and Paul. He said, “If you ever get to where you can play like those two, you’ll be all right.”

Jerry was right and I’m still trying.

GMB Combo / Susie’s Bday / Countryview / GMB @ Boundaries / Holly’s Bday

Busy weekend that started on Friday night at Merrill & Houston’s in Beloit with the Gary McAdams Combo. This included Gary, Pete Olig, Tim Pogorelski, and myself. We had to fit in a tight corner and play soft, but it sounded good and was a great time. I really enjoyed the musical challenge of being the only solo instrument. Cyndi and Bryan stopped out and there’s a video of Cyndi singing “The Christmas Song” on Facebook. The strange part of the night was Gary, Pete and I all wore red shirts, which actually looked quite professional!

We played Susie’s 60th birthday on Saturday afternoon at the Moose Club. This was in a different room but was very nice. She had a good turnout and it was a great time. Happy birthday and thanks for having us.

The snow was starting for our evening gig at the new Countryview, formerly the Countryside. I think a lot of people stayed home not knowing how bad the snow was going to be later. Actually, I’m surprised we weren’t cancelled. The remodel job was really nice and we had a fun night. The place is really worth checking out and we have more dates booked there.

Still snowing and an afternoon Packer game, but Boundaries went ahead with the Gary McAdams Band on Sunday afternoon. This time it was Gary, Cyndi, Pete Olig, Pat Betts and myself. The band sounded really good and it was a great time. Pete and Pat are amazing players and it was grooving all afternoon! The crowd was a little thin and we wrapped things up a little early. I didn’t mind as it gave me a head start back to Milwaukee.

I was supposed to host a Monday night jam in Dundee, Wis that somehow got double-booked. Given the busy weekend, I didn’t mind, but I was really looking forward to playing with (a different) Pete on bass, as we really clicked at the Lucky Chance jam.

Holly’s birthday is Friday, the 16th and we just happen to be off, so we’ll be able to celebrate that night. Musicians are used to celebrating events on odd nights due to gigs, but this time it worked out.

I haven’t written my tribute to Paul Chitwood yet but will get to it soon!

The band is at the Drunken Monkey on Saturday night and then back at Hammys on Sunday afternoon. Stop out and say hello!