Sipping a Blue Moon (in a glass with an orange section because it’s Bridgette’s house and she says so), I am waiting for the next song, then John starts the familiar guitar riff. He’s only been singing Born On The Bayou for a few months, hoping to get up the nerve to do an open mike. I quickly find the page in the white binder that has the lyrics of all the songs Mobius Jones has covered in the last year or so. And we and I sing along. Then I take a peek at the other songs. When these guys are jamming, they really will take any request that we come up with. There is an extensive set list, and they can jump into most anything. I envy this gift. They bought me a guitar a couple of years ago and it still sits in the corner of my living room. I can only really play three chords and am currently a one hit wonder with Traffic’s Dear Mr Fantasy, which they play every time just so I can practice. I try to convince myself that’s enough. A great song is just three chords and the truth.
Perfect afternoon, sunny and hot. Music blaring from the speakers on the deck overlooking the rolling hills. Banquet tables overloaded with the most delicious food and delectable desserts, and coolers full of ice and drinks underneath.
And here is a pic of me, who was smiling this hard the whole day!! Bands On The Run, a concept that came to fruition on July 17 of last year, was the icing on a cake we had started to bake months before. One night while we were sitting around lamenting the lack of gigs for our bands, a thought surfaced. What if we created a gig? A venue where our favorite bands and then others connected to them could play and be heard and appreciated! We quickly searched for a facility that could contain all of this fabulousness and found Skyline Lodge at Highland Forest. The Band Wives jumped in planning food and fun, two of our favorite things. The guys practiced and curated their playlists for their respective bands and then songs to be performed as a supergroup, including the iconic Wings tune Bands On The Run. And we promoted the hell out of it! If you build it, they will come. And come they did! So many friends and family, people I didn’t know and friends I hadn’t met yet, all who showed for the same reason we did, to enjoy music, food, and fun.
Starting us off that day were two of the guys from the band Drink The Punch. Recent college grads Brad Bargelski and Andrew Nicholson had some unique covers and gave us the edge that only the young and hip can bring. One of the great thing about budding musicians today is that there are thousands of songs from over the past 60 years that can be covered and reimagined and mashed up and these two performed them like a boss!
Day Ja Voo took the stage next. Known for their great harmonies and the many America tunes they cover, they put together a perfect playlist for a sunny afternoon. We all know those yacht rock songs from the 70’s and these guys can evoke nostalgia just by playing the first few notes of each beloved tune. Whether CSN (and sometimes Y), The Eagles, or the Traveling Wilburys, the harmonies are spot on. Audience members are constantly singing along and they always have an extra tambourine handy.
Mobius Jones Band also worked hard to bring their best to the crowd that afternoon at Highland Forest. From All Right Now by Free to Message In A Bottle by The Police to No Matter What by Badfinger, these guys rock it out. When they played Rock This Town by The Stray Cats, there was a full scale zumba inspired dance by several Band Wives and their zumba friends. led by their instructor Jesus. Several audience members joined in and it was bigger than Michael Jackson’s Thriller!
Then it was time for the Band Wives to shine. Joanne (wife of the drummer and MJB lead vocal singer Eric) and the other Band Wives performed the classic 80’s We’ve Got The Beat, accompanied by her husband’s band). Getting the guys to back us up took a lot of cajoling, since the guys were leery when any of us are looking to perform with the band, anyone even suggesting it earns the nickname Y0ko. This performance was about as much of the spotlight as of the women could handle, singing back up and doing some basic choreography; we are better suited for sitting in the audience playing percussion instruments and yelling, “You guys rock!”
Open mic was the last act on the bill, with some blending of the three bands (more than just the blending that happens because Bryan is in both MJB and DJV), and then special guests, like yours truly! I made my guitar debut playing Traffic’s Dear Mr. Fantasy, thanks to my guitar teachers Jeff (from DJV) and John (MJB) and Brad, who also played with me on the song. Tonia got up there and sang some Creedence, and Beverly got up there with her ukelele.
As the day came to an end, there were songs not played and food not consumed (the Band Wives are notoriously famous for cooking too much!) We gathered enough money to pay for the venue and donate any extra to the local food bank (along with the food we had collected for that purpose.)
This year Bands On The Run 2 will be at the Onondaga Yacht Club on August 19. Mobius Jones and Day Ja Voo will be back, along with other musicians looking for a fun time. Admission is free, just bring whatever you want to drink and a dish to pass. This year we will be collecting funds as well as new and gently used items that can be used to set up new households for two local charities that help the chronically homeless A Tiny Home For Good http://www.atinyhomeforgood.org/ and In My Father’s Kitchen http://inmyfatherskitchen.org/.
If I have made this sound irresistible and you would like to join us for BOTR2, message me and I will get you the deets. Rock on!
Sweet voices rang out: “You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise. I thought by now you’d realize, there ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.” No instruments, just voices, singing in perfect harmony. It was a bold artistic choice to start the song this way and my breath caught in my throat as I listened. And who pulled off this performance? None other than one of my bands, Day Ja Voo. One of the strongest skills in their wheelhouse, their harmonies, were showcased when Day Ja Voo first performed Seven Bridges Road, a vocally challenging song by Steve Young, then moved to Lyin’ Eyes.
The guys were invited to participate in Tribute Tuesdays, a music series at The Ridge, a golf course and restaurant in Chittenango, NY, near where I live. This song was just one of the many amazing musical moments that happened last Tuesday night. I would like to take this moment to thank Melinda for her hospitality and her great staff for excellent service. Julie and Lexie were amazing! Now that she has listened to both the Van Morrison and the Eagles tributes, I think Lexie is finally realizing that she does know classic rock! I have been to The Ridge several times for musical performances, including other Tribute Tuesdays for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and I just love the venue. Unfortunately, I have been out of town for one of the most fun shows they have, Ridgestock, and hope to make it out there next year . My sister and friends went last month and thought it was a spectacular day of music, recreating the music and covering the bands of the original Woodstock!
It has been too long since I have posted a blog. I have no excuse, and yet I thought I had many: too hot, too tired, too busy, not feeling it…and none of them are good enough. This is a new month and it is time for a new Band Wife (that means me!).
This gorgeous sunset picture was taken at Scusset Beach and is just one of the many memories I have of this summer. I went to Cape Cod last week with my nephews Nick and Diego and, being teens on their phones for much of our time together, renewed my interest in social media and reaching out to everyone, so here I am committing to 2 blog posts a week for the month of September,
I will be improving the website, writing more blogs, and tweaking my brand with help from my consultant, Linda Lowen at Always Wanted To Write. More about her to come as we continue on my journey!!
Follow me and I promise some fun stories of my escapades this past summer and reports of all the great things that the bands are doing!! These guys have been playing and practicing all summer and want to share their music with you all, party people!!