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Wilebski's Blues Saloon, St. Paul, Minnesota


   Pretty Boy's Corner

August 7, 2010

Up the next day, Susan goes for a walk but I'm feeling too warn out to go for a run. We meet most everyone in the breakfast room. We are greeted by the sound of one of the patrons retching into a bucket in the lobby. He either had a bad case of the flu or he took or ate something that did not agree with him. Finally the desk calls 911 and they pick him up and take him to a hospital. I hope the poor guy is alright. I go back to the hotel room and watch some TV while I play my ukulele. Plans are made for Laurie, Lisa, Susan, and I to go check out the Mall of America and to visit Ted at the new Wilebski's Blues Saloon.

At around 1 pm we drive Big Mama over to the Mall of America. If you have not been there, it is purported as being the largest indoor mall in the United States. It is near the Minneapolis airport. It is huge. Susan and I have been here before and it took us several days to see the whole thing. Once inside we immediately get lost. There is an amusement park inside which includes several roller coasters and a ferris wheel. We all are hungry, so we search for a place to eat. We tried the Twin City Grill but it was very crowded so Susan and Lisa go off to find another restaurant. Susan calls to say they found the Napa Valley Bistro which looks pretty good. Laurie and I get lost for several minutes trying to find it but finally we locate it and have a nice meal. It is funny that we have to drive several thousand miles to eat at a place that has a Californian theme. Perhaps this is a new theory developing.

After lunch we walk around a bit but we all know that we are too tired to see the whole mall so we get a little dessert at a Toll House Cookie vendor and head back to the van. We drive over to Ted's new club that used to be called Club Cancun. There is a big remodel job going on and we find Ted inside who greets us warmly. He is proud to show off his club. The stage is huge with a tall ceiling. The backdrop of the stage is a mural with the Wilebski's Blues Saloon logo painted on it. He also has some painted panels that he is going to put on the front of his building that will depict the blues genre and style. He has a lot of work to complete but it will be nice when it is done. He hopes to be open the following weekend. I hope he gets it done as Jimmy Thackery is coming in to play. Ted expresses apologies for the inconvenience of the sudden venue change and hopes that we will come back to play in his new club someday. Laurie lets him know that we are grateful he did not cancel on us even though it might have been a hardship on him. Ted is a standup guy who has been involved in promoting the blues for many years and we are happy to have met him.

We say our goodbyes to Ted and he lets us know he will be there most of the night tonight at Valentino's. We head back to the hotel get some dinner and rest before the evening's show. Susan and I get some Subway and eat back in the hotel room. I'm still feeling a little warn out so it is nice to get a bit of rest before the show.

We head back to the club at about 8:15 pm. Jeff, the soundman, told us the night before that he was going to improve the p.a. situation at the club for tonight's show. When we get there, there is no Jeff. When he finally arrives it is after 9 and he has brought with him two self powered monitors, one of which he has dropped outside the club. To top it off he is wearing a plaid shirt with plaid shorts that do not match. I tell him, "You know you are a real soundman when you can wear two kinds of plaid". When he tests his monitors out only one is working so we go with just the one monitor. Without the humongous monitors we were using the night before, the sound is more tolerable. Quite a few people have gathered and the room is quickly filling up. Jeff tells us that we do not need to start until 9:30 pm. Apparently Jeff has the authority to call the start and stop times. Who knew? So, we kick back and visit folks before we play, many who we recognize from the night before. Not a bad sign when you have repeaters. Cool.

We play our first set and we get dancers right from the start. The dance area is very small, and is between the band and the PA speakers. It only takes a few couples to block the view of the band but everyone still seems to be enjoying the music. We play our usual two 75 minute sets with a half hour break in between. Ted comes up to the mic before our first break and gets the audience to applaud our show. It looks as though this night's crowd is a little stronger than the Friday night's crowd. We play our last set with a lot of intensity and our audience is glad they came. We finish with a bang. We get Big Mama packed and then Laurie and Lisa go off to find Ted to get paid. Ted comes through, and hopes that we will plan to come back. This just shows what a class guy Ted is. I know he had to have taken a loss on the weekend, but he stuck to his word and commitment. Thanks, Ted.

It starts raining just as we finish loading Big Mama and by the time we get back to the hotel it is pouring. I'm glad the rain waited. We get back to the asylum, I mean, hotel around 2 am and rest for a few short hours before we need to do a 14 hour drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne is a layover spot and a no play day. We will stop at a hotel in Cheyenne before we head out to Salt Lake City to play at Pat's BBQ.

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