2014 4H Rock Creek Gig
Last weekend, TSB played for the Rock Creek 4H Club’s annual fundraiser, dinner, and dance. This year marks my 14th anniversary since my first gig with TSB playing for 4H’ers and their generous families and supporters. So much has changed over the years, yet so much remains the same.
As we set-up I couldn’t help but remember years playing with Brother Jeff, and later buddy Rodi to my right. And now, our newest member, and formidable guitarist Jonny B is plugged in somewhere at the end of a tangled mess of chords looped unsystematically and haphazardly at my feet. Chris at his drums, pleading typically for ‘more me in the mix’. And Kevin at my left, power-poised and barefoot in front of glowing stage lights, hot bulbs warming his cold drink.
After sound check, TSB took to the field at the Rock Creek fairground ball diamond to toss the ‘ol ball around. A traditional pre-gig activity dating back to 2000. I recollect heroic dives, grinding face-first into the Rock Creek turf, ball firmly in the webbing of an outstretched glove. This year I caught most balls… I think.
But yet a break in tradition this year. Dinner at the Prospector Inn, a historic wood building filled with stuffed creatures, as colourful as those slumped over the wooden bar top. (Is that Uncle Jesse?) And a surprisingly good dinner. Upon exiting, I pondered how this building had survived so many years without burning down, like so many other saloons in the early 1900’s.
Like previous years, an early pre-gig arrival ensured that we caught the latter part of the auction that serves as the significant fundraising event for the evening. Young cowboys and cowgirls stood in their red 4H shirts and jeans in anticipation of the summons of the auctioneer at stage front. Each child was auctioned-off to the highest bidder for what I’d imagine would be back-breaking work on one kind of ranch or another. As ever, final bids were impressive and reflective of a community committed to supporting its youth.
Once the lights dimmed and we played our first tune, dancers of all ages hit the floor. Kids as young as ten years old (with obvious technical training in country dance) swung each other around, faces beaming with youthful bliss; a contrast to my musical compadres!
We deviated from our typical pop/rock-driven set list, inserting classic country tunes such as those by Clint Black and George Strait. A musical departure that certainly challenged us to recollect lyrics of a hurtin’ kind.
Finally, our night ended with a night at the Arosa Ranch on the Anarchist Summit, west of Rock Creek – our preferred accommodation when playing in the area. Once again, the accommodation and hospitality of Marianne & John allowed us to wind down and relax before waking to a tasty European breakfast.
As ever, fun times for all! Thanks 4(H) having us back and see y’all for year 15! SonnyBoyRuss.