HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Saturday morning it felt more like early April than mid-May. I was slated to work the three o'clock slot in an all day music jam to raise money for the American Cancer Society at the Foster Bar in Foster.

Rather than do something intelligent like give them a telephone call to see if I was working indoors or out, I instead assumed we would be playing outside and dressed accordingly. Accordingly for a 70 year old man is long johns, a tee shirt layered under a long sleeve shirt and a hoody over all.

After making a run to the bank to take the lose change I keep in a jar on my bureau, I made for Foster in a light drizzle.
I had been looking forward for a long time to doing this gig as work has been hard to come by and truthfully, I haven't keep up my guitar playing and the callouses are gone.

When I got there, the very solid duo you see pictured, Dayne and Dana, were performing to a slowly building crowd. This picture was taken around 2:30PM, so things were just starting to roll.

I went on a three o'clock and did a good 45 minute set on the Gibson J-45, mic'ed through the board as I prefer the much "woodier" sound I can get that way, rather than plugging in electrically. I still haven't heard a pick up made for acoustic guitar that doesn't make the guitar sound "tinny".

I was happily surprised when my good friend and keyboard wizard Tom Wieseler arrived and asked if he could sit in for my set. Another of my pals and fellow musicians, Tim Keilholtz, volunteered to play bass so I had a Hell of a good time working as a trio.

This time around, I did something I haven't done in months and months. I had a couple of boiler makers with Wisconsin's two most consumed libations: brandy and beer. I was feeling no pain by four o'clock and even though my fingers hurt, I grabbed the J-45 and played rhythm backing one of our best songwriters, Billy Krause. Fortunately, I only live about seven miles from the bar, so I made it back safely without having to walk a straight line.

The wholE experience got me thinking about how much I would like to put the band back together again for one last and very final band tour.

I would get my old Chevy panel van repainted bright red and lettered "The Big Tamata"and would rename the band as such.

Well, a guy can dream.

I want to say a special thanks to Sandy Bowe, Jane, and the crew at Foster's Bar for the love and generosity in their hearts to do a fund raiser and also to think of me to be a part of the day.

I hope I get a chance to do it again next Spring!


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