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River City Blues Society, Goodfellas, Pekin, Illinois

 

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   Pretty Boy's Corner

August 5, 2010
   



Susan and I are up at 7 am. She goes for a walk. I go for a run. Back at the house after our walk and run everyone is starting to come around. It's a beautiful day although it is a bit muggy. It is nice not to be in a big hurry this morning. I get to play my ukulele for a while, Susan gets her nails looked after, and Laurie and Lisa tend to some errands before we head out to Pekin.

We get off to Pekin about mid-day which will take only 2 ½ hours. This is nice after our long drives over the last two days. We get to Pekin and check in at the Concorde Inn and head over to the club. We get to the club and Kevin, the soundman, is getting set up and we are greeted by Scott Gregory, the president of the River City Blues Society. Scott and Kevin are really nice guys and they make us feel really welcome.

Goodfellas is a large place with two full bars, a great kitchen, lots of arcade games, and a nice stage. This is an improvement over last year as we played at the Pekin Dome facility in a cinder block meeting hall with no bar, no kitchen, and no stage. As we are doing sound check we order some food. Kevin gets us tweaked in and we sit down to enjoy our food. It is about 5 pm and we play at 7 pm. We get back to the hotel, change, and warm up before the show.

Back at Goodfellas there is a pretty good crowd for a Thursday night. Bud and Rita have come from Plainfield. Our friends who we call the 'Traveling Blues Babes', Simone, Bobby, and Carolyn, are there. Laurie's former college roommate and husband, Kelly and Brian, are present and Laurie's former track coach from Plainfield, Kathy Kasmar is there. In attendance are also the stalwart River City Blues Society members and their friends. This is a fun bunch that has gathered and we are in for a good time. We play until 10 pm which is 3 hours so we are doing two 75 minute sets. All is going well and the response is good from the audience but we, in the band, feel that the sound is muddy and that the lyrics are not being heard.

Laurie is trying to find a balance between her vocals and guitar and I turn my bass down to cut down on the noise coming from the stage. As I play, I am using what I hear coming out of the mains as my reference monitor and not my stage amp. This is tricky and makes getting into the groove harder but when I know everyone is having difficulty hearing I try to bring myself down to help and then I rely upon the sound man to give the audience what they need to enjoy the music. I've had to do it before and I will probably have to do it again. Bass frequencies can make it hard to hear mid range and high frequency. They can be so dominant. The only other thing that was a bit annoying was to get to the kitchen from the main bar you had to walk in front of the band on the dance floor. This was distracting as the wait staff walked back and forth in between the audience and the band. I know if I was being distracted then others probable were being distracted also.

The evening goes well and we meet a lot of good people here in Pekin. We say our good byes to the all our good friends and family here in Illinois and head back to the hotel for some rest. Tomorrow we are in St. Paul, Minnesota at Wilebski's Blues Saloon which is about an eight hour drive from Pekin. See you in Minnesota.


 
 
 
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