TuF Enough

Summer dwindles down.  Can it already be the end of August?  I feel like I hardly enjoyed this summer enough.  This week was out of the norm for us.

Tuesday afternoon, I had to drive down to Southern Indiana to handle some business for my sister.  The drive wasn’t too bad.  I only hit a couple of slow spots.  I decided to take my friend, Kay, up on her offer to stay with them.  Since my plans had some space in it, it would give me an opportunity to catch up with her.

I made it to her house by 7:00 (CST) and found them already settling in.  Her husband, Don, had to work the next day so he and Elvis, their dog, toddled off to bed.  Kay and I moved from the back porch to the front porch.  The full moon was blazing away out there and it was almost like daylight.  We sat out front until talked until midnight.  Then we finally called it quits and went to bed.

The next morning, my door was open a little bit.  Apparently, Elvis came to check in on me before I got up.  Kay and I went to breakfast at Budroe’s Bus Stop in Henryville and then back to the house to wander around.  The entire time, we talked up a storm.  My jaws hurt from so much exercise.  It’s really good to catch up Kay.  We’ve been friends since the 7th grade.  Somehow when we get together, it’s like we haven’t really been apart very long.  Nice to have friends like that.

I took care of business and headed on back home.  I always stop at the cemetery to visit my Mom and Dad.  I missed a rain shower by minutes, apparently.  My paternal grandparents are in the same cemetery along with a great uncle and a great aunt.  Can’t come through without saying I miss you.

Again, the drive wasn’t too bad.  Traffic was moving and only a few crazies out.  The close calls were few and far between.  I rolled into the house about 8:30.  Then it was time to go into work the next morning.  Too bad.  Friday was proving to be a particularly trying day.  But once again, I survived to enjoy a weekend.

Saturday was Little Bear Rib Fest.  You know the best part of that?  Trampled Under Foot was in town!  Yeah!  Rich ended up with a sinus headache and probably coming down with an allergy attack.  He stayed home to make sure Sascha wasn’t lonely.  I drug Rick out with me.  We got to the venue, parked in the mall lot, and walked down to the sounds of blues in the air.  Our first mission was to scope out a good place to sit.  We got about three rows from the front and just a little right of center.

Then we wandered off to get some BBQ.  This event was bigger than the one in our town.  There were about 6 booths set up from area BBQ restaurants.  That gave you a pretty good selection.  I scoped out the beer tent hoping for some good brews.  However, I was disappointed to find out it was all Miller products.  Well, water would do to wash down the BBQ. What happened to the Revolution from the McHenry event?  Someone should tell them that they were missing out.

The first band up was called Red, White, and Blues.  It was a pretty loose and dressed down group.  The sound wasn’t bad, but they weren’t as good as I had hoped.  Then came 7:00.  Indigenous took the stage.  The name has been around for a while.  Mato Nanji, the leader, is a Nakota Indian from South Dakota.  The original band started out with Mato, his brother and sister, and a cousin.  Over the years, it’s come down to Mato and a couple of other guys.  I’ve enjoyed the music produced by Indigenous.  I think their current lineup is missing some of the quality and strength from earlier on stage presence.  I still enjoyed watching Mato play the guitar.  He is a Jimi Hendrix style player and can do it well.

Then came TuF.  That’s Trampled Under Foot.  The Schnebelen Family Band, if you will.  We first saw TuF last year at the Cincy Blues Fest.  Since then, they have become my favorite blues band.  Danielle can sing so beautifully and has one of the strongest voices I have ever heard.  Nick is an award winning guitar player.  Kris is a rock drummer who carries the blues to a strong beat.  What can I say?  It is my favorite blues band!

Rick hadn’t heard them live before.  He is forced to listen to them around the house since I blast their music out while I’m working.  He has a new appreciate for the band.  Of course, it does hurt that Danielle is easy on the eyes in her short dress and heels.  They played many of my favorites and then came the encore.  Since the band takes their name from their days as a Led Zeppelin cover band, it is fitting to pay tribute to the name and sing a Led song.  They did “Rock and Roll.”

We gathered up our stuff and headed to the both to have them sign my copy of “Badlands.”  I convinced Rich to pitch into their Kickstarter to help produce the album.  We went down to the listening party in Kansas City back in June.  It meant we got to hang out at their home base, The Trouser Mouse, and listen to the tracks with a select group of people.  It was kind of cool.  Reminded me of my days in Louisville with the band I used to follow there.

Danielle, Nick, and Kris signed the cover.  With no more reason to hang around, Rick and I headed home.  It was a pretty cool evening.  Sitting out under the stars on a clear and warm evening was great.  Listening to TuF and Indigenous were priceless.

Oh yeah, and we worked on the front door this week.  The weather has taken its toll on the door.  It was faded and beat up.  Then we found out we had bees nesting in the cracks under the door.  This meant that Rich had cut and take apart the siding and wet wood.  He finally got it all cleaned out and the bees exterminated.  Then he put in the filler pieces and gaps.  A new face was put over all of the hard work and he sealed up any gaps.  Now it looked great.

I sanded down the door and stained it a nice Pecan finish.  After that dried, I applied the urethane to protect all the hard work.  It really glowed like new again.  All it took was a little elbow grease and some great products.  Now my door is a thing of beauty again.  It’ll look better with a front porch, I think.  But that’s coming down the road sometime.

Back in the spring, I had some petunias starting to come up in the cracks of the patio stones.  I hadn’t planted them, so it was a surprise to see what was happening.  I left them all to come up.  It turned out to be plants from last summer’s petunias that I had put into the deck boxes.  With some leftovers, I had filled in a couple of bowls that I placed on the edge of the patio.  Somehow, seeds or sprouts got out of the bowls and got into the cracks of the patio.  It was a great surprise and they have added a little something out there.

I guess my summer hasn’t been too bad.  We still have Labor Day weekend and then one more vacation.  Rich and I are taking off for the Smoky Mountains.  A little hiking, sightseeing, and trying to catch up with friends in the area.


Rich doing repairs under the front door.
Rich doing repairs under the front door.
My refinished and refurbished front door.  Thanks, Rich.
My refinished and refurbished front door. Thanks, Rich.
Last year's petunias coming up in the patio.
Last year’s petunias coming up in the patio.
Rick with the weight of Sascha's world on his chest.
Rick with the weight of Sascha’s world on his chest.
Indigenous on stage.
Indigenous on stage.
Mateo Ninji from Indigenous rocking out.
Mateo Ninji from Indigenous rocking out.
TuF belting out the blues.
TuF belting out the blues.
TuF in the limelight on stage.
TuF in the limelight on stage.
Danielle singing "It's Man's World."
Danielle singing “It’s Man’s World.”










Night at the Circus

In the spring, I was planning my summer activities.  One of these would be to attend the Peter Frampton Guitar Circus.  It would be a blast from the past sort of thing in one part.  The other part was to see B.B King.  I’ve not taken an opportunity in the past to see B.B., but always wanted to.  This was going to be that opportunity.

I convinced Rich to go with me.  We had seen Frampton last year at Ravinia.  It was awesome.  The first half of the show as Frampton Comes Alive.  The second half was the music Frampton likes to play.  That made the second the one to hear.

After looking at the venue, I discovered that Two Brothers brewery was supplying the beer on site.  After some discussion with Rich, I decided to have Rick go also and be the DD for the return trip.  Rick said he was for it.  So I got online and got a ticket.

Friday afternoon came, finally.  I stopped work at 2:00 and started getting the guys in motion.  Chairs were gathered into the back of the car.  I found my paperwork for the tickets that we would be picking up at Will Call.  We hit the road a little after 2:30 for the trip down to Aurora.

The trip seemed to take forever!  Rush hour traffic had started and the way through most of the towns on our route were crowded.  In Batavia, we jumped from one road to the next that would take us down to Aurora.  One of our concerns had been about where we would park.  As we got down to the area of the venue, we saw signs for the public lots and event parking.  My plan had been to use the Metra lot.  As I got there, I was in luck.  An Event parking sign was posted.  It was only $5.00.

This was a good stroke of luck.  The lot is located across the street from the venue.  Also, Two Brothers Roundhouse restaurant is located on the backside of the lot.  We planned to have dinner at Two Brothers and then walk to the concert.

We were seated and drinks were ordered.  We looked through the menu and determined what we would have to eat.  Most of the brewpubs do what are called small plates.  These are like samplings of dishes instead of a full dish.  Rich and I picked a couple of eat as our dinner.  Rick opted for a burger and chips.  Rich finished his first beer and ordered a second and I got a sampling of another beer.  One of the people from the bar delivered the beers to us.  Not long after, our server brought the same thing.   She left it at the table free of charge sine they would only dump it out anyway.

After dinner, we headed to the car to collect our chairs and make our way to the gates.  We crossed the highway and joined the crowd on the sidewalk.  Immediately, we ran into a friend from work.  I hadn’t seen Sharon in a couple of years.  We talked quickly and then we moved on to pick up our tickets.  Rick’s was available in the first booth.  Rich and I went on to Gate 1 to pick up ours.

The crowd was all waiting at the last booth to enter the park.  We entered at Gate 1 where there was hardly anyone.  That was great.  Rich and I stopped at the beer bracelet booth.  You can’t get a beer without one.  Then we stepped up to find out where to sit.  It turns out that we were sitting in the benches.  This meant we didn’t need chairs after all.  The usher said we could sit anywhere, but the first 5 rows.  We found a row that gave us seats right at the very end.  We were only 13 rows from the stage.  How cool was that.

While waiting for the show to start, Rich and Rick went to check out the souvenir table.  Rich came back with a cool B.B. King shirt.  Rick hadn’t purchased anything yet.  I went in search so I could buy my own.  I also got a B.B. King shirt while Rick settled on a Frampton Circus shirt.  Well, it was time for the concert to start.  Rick and I got back to our seats and already had to scoot someone over to make room for all three of us.

The first act was Sonny Landreth.  I hadn’t heard of Sonny before seeing him on the bill.  He’s from Louisiana and plays guitar with the same Louisiana s sound as Tab Benoit.  Sonny was very good and had a great sound.  His band was very good also.  We saw Peter and his band come out to the side of the stage to watch Sonny.  They seemed to be enjoying the music and watching his technique.

Next up was what I had come to see.  The roadies rearranged the set for B.B. King.  The band tuned up and got started with the first tune.  There was a brass and horn section as well as the guitars and drums.  After the first song, B.B. himself was escorted to the stage.  For a man of 87, he moved pretty well.  He came out to great applause and took his seat.  After playing his seat and joking with the audience, he called for Peter to come to the stage.  He got Peter out there and they played, “The Thrill is Gone.”

B.B. would get to the end of a stanza and call for the band to play quietly.  Then he would turn to Peter and say, “But not you. Keep playing!”  Then he would threaten to cut guys from the band, even Peter, for not doing what they were told.  They went on like that for quite a while and we all laughed.  Pretty soon, B.B. finally had enough fun and ended his set.

While they changed the stage around for Peter and company to come on, we walked around.  The bench seats were not very full while the immediate seating outside of the benches and the grassy area further back were full.  The bathrooms were, of course, the hopping areas of the park.  Everyone seemed to be standing in line.

The show started up again.  Peter Frampton and his band came on.  I won’t bore you with those details.  But if the opportunity arises, the band and audience make it a great show.  After a couple of song, Peter brought on Larry Carlton.  Who, you ask?  Larry is the guitar player’s best guitar god.  Larry was absolutely wonderful.  A tall older gentleman, I had never seen Larry before.

Later, Rich did a search and it turns out that Larry has written many hit TV show songs, like Hill Street Blues, and is a session player on many, many albums.  I was surprised to find out that he played the guitar solo on Steeley Dan’s song, “Kid Charlemagne.”  As Frampton like to say, this was a circus and he was the ringleader.

The songs rolled out.  Peter brought out his son, Julian, to sing some tunes.  Julian’s pretty tall.  Peter joked about shrinking when his son was around.  Julian does a pretty fair job of singing.  He definitely did better when Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick came to the stage.  The second song was “Surrender” from Cheap Trick.  Rick threw what looked like an album cover out from the stage.  It sailed up, over the crowd, and headed right for Rich.  He put up his arm to protect his face.  He knocked the projectile to the ground and then scrambled to pick it up.  He handed it to me.

I tried to see the cover in the dark.  It was the Frampton Comes Alive cover from some 35 years ago.  Wait, it was signed.  The lights came up enough for me to see that Frampton and Rick Nielsen had both signed it.  Cool.  It felt like there was something inside.  Rich assured me it was just cardboard though.  Everyone around us were thrilled and sad that they hadn’t gotten it before Rich.  I sat holding the cover the rest of the night.  Kind of hard to clap when you have something you don’t want to drop.

Frampton finally got around to playing “Blackhole Sun,” which is Rich’s favorite song from the last concert.  It’s a pretty cool rendition.  The night’s music ended with a version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”  I love this version.  In all, the guitar work was great.  The evening was fun, loud, and worth the effort.

So the show was over and it was time for Rick to drive us home.  After all, Rich and I had been drinking some really good beers during the evening.  We had only gotten part of the way home when Rick announced he had to stop.  However, no stores or restaurants were open.  It wasn’t even midnight!  We were close to my friend, Kim’s, place.  I texted her and she was still up.  We stopped by and Rick took care of his business.

We finally made it home.  Sascha was really glad to see us.  It was about 1:00 before I could fall asleep.  It was a good day though.

As a footnote:  Rich decided to get the cover framed with our tickets for his bar area.  We took it over to the shop we usually use for these things.  The guy was very impressed that we had Rick Nielsen signature.  We’ll get it back in 10 days.

Our view of the stage
Our view of the stage
B.B. King coming out on stage.
B.B. King coming out on stage.
B.B. and Peter Frampton doing "The Thrill is Gone."
B.B. and Peter Frampton doing “The Thrill is Gone.”
Rick Nielsen, Julian Frampton, and Peter Frampton on stage.
Rick Nielsen, Julian Frampton, and Peter Frampton on stage.
Frampton doing "Do You Feel Like I Do".
Frampton doing “Do You Feel Like I Do”.