Friday Night at the Red Dog
Well, Ohio experiences snow, sleet, and freezing rain during the day. Consequently, the bar is very empty. Six Shooter plays to four people (not counting friends and wives). They seem to like us. We sound good. Our stage volume is a little loud, and Dave can’t really hear himself. Dave also discovers that he hurt his wrist last night carrying things up the steps. He should be fine. Kevin’s nephews come out of the gate HARD and build a pyramid of shot glasses (previously filled with whiskey). This provides some comic relief as the band openly talks with the crowd. The in-between song banter is again loose and free (after all who cares NOBODY IS HERE). The band lets “Steve the Harmonica player” on stage for a quick jam session. It was OK, but not overly impressive. All of the friends are partying hard, and having a good time. Jeff Aul, Mike Pisani, Sean McCloskey, John France, and new tech Jeff Fritchley have come out to support their Graphic Enterprises buddies (note: John put in his notice this week).
Due to the make of the bar, Dave is standing on part of the stage that is also under the lowest part of the ceiling. Smoke congregates around his head. His vocals are taking a beating. He is still trying to recover from a free coke that tasted like a mixture of dirt and rust. During a stroll off the stage, Dave is asked “Are you really playing or is that a tape?” by some drunken wench in the pool room.
The band finds inspiration as Kevin whispers that one of the Red Dog’s regular bands is checking us out. Tammy has told Kevin to “show them up.” As soon as Dave hears this he takes it up a notch on the guitar. Kevin’s singing goes to a new level. It’s time to show off. Dave smiles as he is having a pretty good night on guitar.
The band stretches set four out a bit as they field some requests from the floor. One such request from a very “happy” Jeff Aul is to play “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw” by Jimmy Buffet. The band (again – who is going to hear it?) launches into this song (after a quick 10 seconds to dust off some cobwebs) they haven’t played for MONTHS. We pull it off nicely. Everything is really sounding good. No complaints from the crowd. The crowd has increased as the band watches a couple bump and grind through numerous songs. Dave thinks “get a room.”
The night ends, as we all hope we can sound this good when there are actual people in the bar. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. John is kind of disappointed (as is the band) of the low turn out. John remembers when the bar was so packed it would take you a half hour to get to the bar. Dave talks to Tammy on his way out. She says she had a good Friday night (?!). Oh well. Again the boys get to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Tomorrow is Saturday and we can all sleep in.
Saturday: January 25-Red Dog
Well, there are more people in the bar, and it’s a good thing as there is a general lack of heat. Kim Allen, Heather Davis and Anthony Pansera show from Graphic along with Jeff Fritchley. Kevin’s Mom takes her front row seat. The bar actually has some people, but still far from packed. It’s snowed more today, and the roads are now getting slick.
Gremlins show up and possess the snake and board. It’s time to retire this mess of cords and duct tape. Chuckie does his best. From time to time a speaker cuts out. Oh well, what ya gonna do? The band gets to watch “Johnny Disco” strut his gold chains on the dance floor as he twirls and grinds.
Except for an interesting rendition of Aint’t Goin Dow ‘Till the Sun Comes Up” which included the second verse twice, everything goes smooth. Dave has brought a boom box to tape tonight’s performance. He takes a listen in between sets and determines that it sounds like a tape that has been made on a boom box in the back of a bar. It gives a general idea of how we sound.
Unfortunately, many of the patrons leave after the second set (they had complained about the lack of heat). The band takes a vote a decides that the Red Dog has the most hideous bathrooms on the planet. Nothing beats the pungent smell of urine.
A wench strolls in for the last set and grills Dave about the song list. He talks with her for a while and figures out that she is pretty shit-faced (way to go sherlock). She apparently likes the band “Sierra” and wants to know if they are playing tonight (hello?). Oddly enough this wench dances to everything we play. The band winds up the night with Fast as You and the usual “Dave going back to play his guitar behind the bar” with Mary the barmaid. He comes back in and the band brings the volume down. Dave and John are on the dance floor. With Miss “Play some Brooks and Dunn” behind him Dave asks, “Are you ready to blow the roof off of the this place? To which she replies, “Sure.” Inspired to rock this bitch’s face off Dave pulls out all the stops, and the band concludes the night with a thunderous roar. We’re becoming a well oiled machine on stage.
The band tries to book another gig beyond the date next month, but is put off by Tammy who says she “didn’t bring her book.” They stroll out of the bar with their $600. for the weekend.
As the band tears down Tammy puts back up the flap (from Thursday), and the room becomes an ice box again. Dave reflects on just how far the band has come in the past year, and realizes with Seth coming on, it will be a little different. A new phase is on the horizon. It turns out Seth can play the harmonica. Dave is waiting for Seth to pull a fiddle out of his butt and crank out The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Sure things will be different, and that’s scary. However, it has so much potential to be great.