Decatur Blues Society
at the Decatur Club Ballroom, Decatur, Illinois
| July 20, 2010
forget to check the alarm clock in the room and it goes off
with a roar at 5 am. Boo. I get back to sleep though and get
up around 8:30 am and eat some breakfast and go back to the
room to catch up on some correspondence and practice. It rained
all morning but it cleared up around 11 am. Hope it stays
this way for our short 45 minute drive to Decatur.
We get to Decatur and check our bags in at the hotel which
is called the Decatur Conference Center run by Holiday Inn.
It's a huge place but deserted. Walking around the complex
was like walking around a ghost town. Lots of empty rooms
and for some reason they put us all in the back on the second
floor where the air conditioning in the hallways is turned
off. I get to my room and it is hotter than a pistol so I
turn on the air but little comfort is coming from it. Oh,
well. I hope it gets better but for now we're off to
the venue to set up and sound check.
The venue is the Decatur Club which has been around since
1887. We are playing on the second floor in one of the ballrooms.
It has wooden floors with hard walls which makes it a bit
of a low end rumble. I'm glad the sound man, Dirke,
chooses not to run the bass or drums in the p.a. It makes
it easier to control the room volume. Laurie's guitar
is in the p.a. and, on hindsight, we should have had Tommy
in the p.a. too. Dirke was very confident and capable which
is always appreciated by a touring band. Thanks, Dirke.
Don and Julie Wright, the head of the Decatur Blues Society
treat us really well. The band is fed a sit down meal by the
Manager of the Decatur Club, Jeff. The band, except for me,
is treated to steak with all the trimmings. I eat vegetarian.
I get a wonderful pasta dish which they made two, thinking
that Susan, my wife, who is also vegetarian, would be there
also. She comes in two days. Yay! I take the second in a carry
out for tomorrow for lunch.
We go back to the hotel to change and warm up for the 7 pm
show. My room is still hot and I'm having apprehensions
about whether I can stay in this room. I shower and get ready
and fortunately I don't have to stay in the hot room
too long. Hope it is cooler by the time we get back from the
We arrive at the Decatur Club and find that the room is filled
quite nicely. Laurie's parents, Simon and Bobby, and
Brian, a former schoolmate of Laurie's are in attendance.
As we walk in Laurie gets a round of applause and this crowd
seems like it is ready to rumble. We kick off our set and
every tune gets a loud response but they were really won over
when Laurie does her walk-around solo in 'Living in
a Man's World'. I love how we do such a great
job of dynamics in this band. It takes the listener on an
aural up-and-down roller coaster ride. We take a break and
the cd and t-shirt sales are brisk. Everyone wants to meet
Laurie and I get some really nice people offering me complements.
We start our second set and it seems that from one song to
the next keeps climbing to a new climax. We finish with 'I
Speak the Blues' then an encore of 'Crossroads',
the old Robert Johnson tune done our way.
So far on this tour, this has been one of the healthiest blues
societies we have encountered. It is less than two years old
but it has already done so much for blues in the community
and its membership is very strong and growing. Thanks and
good luck, Decatur Blues Society. May we find you in such
good shape next time we pass through.
We get back to the hotel after a quick stop at a mini-mart
for some after gig snacks. My room is still oppressively hot
so I call the desk and ask to be in another room. They send
a security person over who verifies that the air is not working
and they move me to a room nearby. Aw. Relief. Now for a short
night's sleep. It is an early day tomorrow because of
a six hour drive to Angola, Indiana.