Blog - July 2017
July 30 - Tricks Wedding Reception for Andrea & Dave, Cheney Place, Grand Rapids

Tricks doesn't play at many weddings. We've done lots of weddings in our long history, but usually only one or two per year. When we get asked to do a wedding we say, "we are not a good wedding band, we are a loud rock band". Then comes the story about how the soon-to-be-wed couple actually met at a Tricks show. Or sometimes they say how many of their earliest dates were at bars where Tricks was playing. Or, sometimes we hear, "our friends are all rockers, so we want a rock band for a wedding". We usually try to talk them out of it by explaining, "your wedding is not just for you and your friends, it's for your family. You need a DeeJay who can play songs that your Aunts and Grandmas can dance to. If the couple is adamant enough about having a Tricks wedding reception, we finally have to say "yes". We won't absolutely refuse, but we do like to explain the shortcomings of having a Tricks wedding. Although, in recent years it has gotten easier for us to bring along mp3 recordings of that DeeJay kind of music. We put that on during our breaks, and everyone can dance to the "Cupid Shuffle", or some other modern version of the "Hokey Pokey" where everyone knows the dance steps.
Andrea works with Krystal, and she was the type to insist on having Tricks for her and Dave's wedding reception. Krystal and Rick also sang for the wedding ceremony which was inside a great old refurbished cabinet factory called "Cheney Place", just north of downtown Grand Rapids. Krystal & Rick had to learn a new song requested by Andrea for the bridal procession - "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perry. Krystal was happy to work on that song, since it is a key song in the Twilight movies. It's the song played during Bella and Edward's wedding. Whether you consider vampire weddings romantic or not, that song is a keeper; we've added it to our KaR Tunes repertoire for good. It really fits our vocal range and acoustic style. We've played "A Thousand Years" at several of our acoustic shows this summer, and the song is extremely popular.

Sunday Wedding Dancing

July 29 - Sandy Pines Annual Color Run / Brat Cookout / Tricks Concert

Talk about "Work hard, Play hard"! What a day this was. Almost as busy as the Dorr 4th. At least at Dorr we can partially set up the night before, because their stage can be locked up. Here at Sandy Pines, it's set up, play three hours of Krystal & Rick music, tear down, go home to rest for an hour, come back with the trailer, set up Tricks, play two and half hours, tear down and pack it up. We don't need to belong to a gym; we get some pretty good workouts power-lifting speakers, amps, and so on. The playing and singing in itself are a great aerobics work-out, involving lots of heavy breathing. I read somewhere that lifespan is above average for singers and swimmers - people who get good breathing work-outs. Did I mention that Krystal needed to pack one more thing into her busy day, so she ran the 5K in the morning? That lady is an inspiration to anyone whose motto is "Go, Girl, Go".
Perfect weather this time around. Last year it drizzled rain most of the day and we still had lots of fun. This time the weather was not too hot and no rain. A perfect summer day for the three big events: the annual "Sandy Pines Rainbow of Color Run", Dick's Market Brat Cook-Out with Steve in Charge, and a concert in the park with Tricks. Sandy Pines really does a top-notch job setting up events and activities for all ages, all summer long. Tricks and Dick's Market are glad to be associated with a class act like Sandy Pines Resort. They got it going on there. Such a chill atmosphere. Kids and families enjoying their summer vacation. We love being a small part of it all.

Brat Cookout |Tricks Show

July 4 - Dorr Independence Day Festival

It doesn't get more fun than this. Tricks was just a small part of the Dorr 4th, topping off several days of outdoor festivities. Dorr has always been the place to gather for the 4th of July. Their July 4th celebration was always bigger and better than many of the larger neighboring towns. The dwindling number of volunteer-minded people nowadays have made it a struggle to keep the tradition alive year after year. Deserving huge thanks is the Dorr 4th planning committee, which is made up of members from the Dorr Business Owners Association, The Dorr Moose, and Dorr Recreation Association. The core team is Bob Wagner, Melodie Niemczyk, Mike Devries, and Steve Dutkiewicz. Those four have been pounding the pavement, begging for volunteers and sponors, and organizing all the details since April. For the last two years, Rick Dutkiewicz joined to help with the webpage and facebook. See the page . That led to Krystal helping this year with the Poster design.
Back when Steve & Rick were growing up, we can remember the days when the parade was lots of horses, lots of bicycles, and lots of antique cars. All the local farm boys would saddle up their favorite quarter horse and come to hang out in Dorr all day on the 4th of July. The town organizers had to have a couple guys going around all day with a shovel and barrel, cleaning up the horse poop from the streets. The Dorr parade has always been the longest parade with the shortest route. The length of the parade is probably three miles, yet the route is only a mile and half. So, the first part of the parade is reaching the finish point while the end of the parade isn't even under way. All the joys of small town life.
Part of the fun is the food. The Dorr 4th Ox Roast is legendary. Back in the 60s, on the evening of July 3rd several guys would hoist a few big rounds of beef on a motorized rotating spit. They would stay up all night drinking beer and making sure the beef was turning over the fire properly. Each year there was a demand for more beef rounds to feed the crowds. The July 3rd evening turned into a bigger and bigger party, with live music to accompany the crowd that turned out to watch the meat cooking. Usually there was a Little League baseball tournament during the day. There were game booths set up by local churches and other groups to make money. Most were games of chance, with all ages participating. Of course, there was a beer tent and eventually bingo entered the picture. The food offerings had to expand to feed the growing crowds each year. The Knights of Columbus did a big chicken barbecue, but there were also lemonade stands, and all kinds of fair-type food. Food vendors got into the act, and what used to be just a pony ride merry-go-round for the kids expanded into carnival rides and inflatable bounce-houses for the little ones. All of this has slowed down in the best couple decades. People have so many more choices for entertainment these days, and the bigger problem is finding volunteers willing to donate some of their time and energy to the cause. What cause? Well, the fun time for everyone, of course. But all the proceeds end up going toward the Dorr Youth Sports Teams that are organized by Dorr Recreation Association.
All we can say about this year is that the perfect weather made this 2017 Dorr 4th one of the best we've had in over a decade. One helpful windfall was a last-minute addition of Family Fun Tymes Amusements, who came in with several carnical rides and food booths. You can see other details on the website. For now, thanks to all the workers, thanks to the crowds, thanks to our Tricks friends, fans, and families. Thanks to our friend Cal Klokkert from bringing us his Johnny Cash tribute show - Cal, you were a huge hit with the crowd, all ages. Thanks to our friend John Frederick for EmCeeing the Karaoke contest. Thanks to John, Rachael Pasma, and Rick for judging the Karaoke contest. Congratulation to 1st Place $100 winner Alicia Nulty. The call for 2nd place was so close, we had to make it a tie, and we scraped up an extra $50 to pay those 2nd place prizes. Congrats to Mike and Michelle for tying 2nd Place for $50 each. Sorry to Niki, who was excellent, but we didn't have a 3rd place prize. Also sorry to a few other really excellent singers in the Karaoke contest, you know who you are. We had a very hard time judging because there were probably six or seven (out of fifteen entrants) who could have been 1st place.
Thanks to the Founding Fathers who risked their lives to declare independence from British politicians and soldiers. Despite the fact that US politicians and US military try to make July 4 all about them, this is a holiday that is about Freedom from politicians, taxes, and wars. This holiday is not about the founding of the USA, the USA wasn't created until 13 years after the Declaration of Independence. This holiday is about family, friends, community, businesses, individuals, churches, civic groups, etc... How they can come together and have a family-oriented day full of fun and memories. (Rick's words, not Tricks band. My website, I can spout off once in a while.)
|Tom Pratt

July 1 - Jam N The Cove, Lake Allegan

Tricks "Party of the Year 2017" Contender
This one has a long story behind it. Hmm, where do I begin? I'll go to where all the good stories start; in the Tricks history pages. On Dec 5 of 2015, Tricks played a basement Christmas party for Keith & Sheila Dawson, including all of Keith's workers who help him in his contracting work . That party was such a blast, Keith declared, "we're gonna have to do this two or three times every year, at the very least a summer Tricks party and a winter Tricks party". A year passed, and in Feb of this year, 2017, Rick was at a neighborhood party (we do that a lot here on the lake), and Tim Miller said to Rick, "Keith Dawson says you're teaching him guitar". Rick's answer was, "yes, but Keith and I are so busy, we rarely get together for a guitar lesson". Tim said, "Keith is remodelling my house here on the lake". Rick said, "you tell Keith next time you see him that Rick says he's all talk. It's been over a year since Keith was shooting his mouth off about having two or three Tricks parties every year. And there's no party in sight". With his fingers punching his iPhone, Tim said, "okay, I'm texting Keith right now to tell him Rick says he's a liar". The next morning, Keith called and plans were made for this July 1 party on the cove. Once again, everyone had such a blast, now Keith is making plans for more Tricks parties. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, for this July 1 2017 party, the
afternoon featured live music at the favorite get-together spot for Lake Allegan boaters. It's a small patch of sandy beach. Keith invited some acoustic players for the sandbar afternoon festivities, starring the legendary Allegan guit-picker Jack Dailey, along with guitarists John and his son Keith, with Djembe drum accompaniment by Rick's son Jeremy.
The Tricks part of the day started at 8pm. It was balls-to-the-walls, only without the walls. Great job, band! We made sure to do all six of our Rolling Stones songs for Keith, since Keith Dawson is the master party organizer, and one of the biggest Stones fans around - it helps that Keith was born and raised in London, right around the time that the Stones were becoming the big thing in town. Thanks so much to Keith and Tim, and wives Sheila and Sandy, property owner Joe, and all the friends of Keith, Joe, and Tim who helped us lug our gear from the road down to the cove. Thanks to those who were there on Sunday while Krystal and Rick were packing a lugging back up to the road. Thanks to soundman Dave and drummer Steve. And Ozzy, you're the best. Thanks to our regular Tricks fans who came out to our Lake Allegan party. Thanks to our party neighbors from Indian Shores and Nethercutt Pointe, as well as those mysterious people from "across the lake". Thanks to all the Tricks virgins who got a great first taste of Tricks "Premium Rock". We are already talking plans for next year's Jam N The Cove.
Fun on Lake Allegan

TricksBlog - June 2017
June 10 - Allegan Eagles

Tricks broke the all-time Allegan Eagles Club attendance record for last New Years Eve. Based on that, we were told in no uncertain terms by Dave our Eagles booking agent, "the only problem you guys will have is where to put all the people who are going to be here Saturday night". We told Dave that June is not like NYE. June is full of people camping, grad parties, weddings, ball games, vacation trips, and backyard bonfire parties. On top of all that, this date was Allegan's Bridgefest; free bands, food vendors, beer tent, and fireworks down at the Riverfront plaza. Needless to say, Tricks didn't break any records this night. Although it was a very fun little crowd of party people. The place was 2/3 full, but not a lot of dance floor action. We had a blast with the people, don't get me wrong. Check out the pics for the fun action. We appreciate everyone who came out to our summer party at the Eagles. The funniest part was when it was midnight and we said, "one more and we gotta go". All of a sudden, the place really lit up. A dozen or so people rushed the stage and said, "you can't quit now, one more, one more". So, we did about 4 more and got done around 12:25. Another interesting highlight was a couple celebrating their (I think) 35th wedding anniversary. Sorry I forget the name, but they said, "our wedding reception was in Paw Paw, and you guys played for it". Rick recalled that they were friends of Dale Boysen, and during one band break, the girls all came up and had a tape of "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" that they wanted us to play, so they could do a little routine that they had worked up. Yep, grandpa Rick remembered those details. We also learned a couple love songs for the occasion, especially "Crazy Love" by Poco. Anyway, we told them that we actually learned "Paradise...", so we dedicated that song to the couple. We have all these special memories floating around there, where Tricks played at this or that party for someone's special occasion. You gotta love that stuff.
Thanks to the Eagle for having us. Tricks will be back for the Halloween Party at the Eagles on Oct 28. That will be a good one.
BTW, Tricks turned down the request to play at the Eagles NYE party, since New Years Eve falls on a Sunday night. Been there, done that, n a Sunday.
Allegan Eagles Saturday

TricksBlog - May 2017

May 19 & 20 - AJ's in Dorr

This weekend was a good illustration of the principle of dualism. Opposite extremes. We had about 15 people at AJ's on Friday, and we had a good 50 people on Saturday. Friday's small crowd seemed to be trying harder just because they knew they were the die-hard party people. Saturday we had a full bar right from the start, and no drummer for first set. Steve was at the hospital dealing with the birth of his fifth grandchild. It's a boy!. Steve showed up after the Tricks Trio did an all-acoustic set without him, not knowing exactly when he would walk in the door. We kept apoligizing to the full house, "sorry, our drummer is helping his daughter have a baby" and so on. When Steve finally walked in the door around 10pm, the place eruprted into applause. Steve said, "it made me feel bad and good at the same time". He knew he was sorely missed. So, we spent the next 3 hours making up for lost time, and the dance floor showed it. Very awesome night. Possibly best bar night of the year. Thanks to Amanda and Ernie and the AJ's staff for the great work taking care of our rowdy Tricks crowds.
Fri | Sat

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