If you are anything like me, you look at
that name and got to wonder what we are in for. It conjures
up all kinds of images in one's mind. It could be
a funky-lowdown kind of blues joint or it could be some
kind of quirky-but-swanky place. Hmm. More shall be revealed
as I like to say.
We check in to the hotel, drop off our bags, and head to
Skip's Place. This club turns out to be some kind
of funky cool place. It is a bar with a stage in the middle
of the room, a pool table to the left of stage, and a second
story balcony. The sound system is massive and seems overkill
for such a small place. Up on the second floor is another
pool table with another bar. There is lots of ample seating
upstairs and downstairs where people can see the stage.
What really makes Skip's funky cool though is that
every square inch of every wall in the place has some kind
of old musical instrument hanging from it. There are guitars,
basses, banjos, dulcimers, sitars, drums, trumpets, trombones,
tubas, ukuleles, banjo-ukes, and lap steels just to name
a few. I spent about a half hour wandering around looking
at all this stuff. Some of it I wanted to adopt and take
home and put back in playing condition just because they
looked so interesting.
It turns out that Skip's Place has been around for
forty years and it has had some pretty big names in the
blues world play in it. Skip is still involved in the club
but his son, Steve, helps with the management. All the touring
bands, like us, have played there. Some of their photos
were on the walls. One that made me laugh out loud was a
promo shot with a guy with a seventies hairstyle. The name
of his band was the John Good and Plenty band. Sweet. Ooo.
Upon leaving the club to go back and change for the show,
Merle, the bartender tells us not to feel too bad if no
one is in the place as things have been pretty slow as of
late. Not what you want to hear. Any musician will tell
you that when no one is in the club you are playing it makes
for a very long night. Oh, well. We'll do the best
When we get back to the club we are in for a pleasant surprise.
The club has at least fifty people in it and more are coming
in. We find some of our old friends like Jim and Kaye, who
we met at the Slippery Noodle a number of years ago. Also,
many people who heard us in Napoleon, Michigan at T.C.'s
Blues Club, like Rolly and his wife are in attendance. Great
people. Thanks. You made the night happen. We played from
8 until 12 and everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves.
Kyle, our sound man de jour, did a great job of getting
us dialed in and he stayed attentive the entire night making
sure that there were no big goofs. Thanks, Kyle.
Back to the hotel at around 1 am and it seems that everyone
at Skip's Place is pleased with the job the band
did for them. Off to dreamland. We are in Berwyn, Illinois
tomorrow night at Fitzgerald's. Good night. Zzzzz.