With a trail of dust obscuring the tree-dotted landscape in my rear view mirror, I ask myself, “Where in tarnation am I going and will my 95 Civic rattle apart on the dusty old road, to what appears to be a hay barn in the valley below?” Lucky for me, my car complies with the potholes and tight corners, and snakes its way down from the more forgiving highway above.
I grab my straw hat and look back at the ‘ol girl left in the field to bake in the mid-day Bridesville sun. “Is that rear fender sagging lower than it was when I left home this morning? Nope, don’t think so. Gotta be a few rust-free contacts remaining on her frame to keep her rear quarter up”.
The Baders and my Nelson counterpart SonnyRod are in full-throttle set up mode, preparing for rehearsal. I rub my travel worn eyes in an effort to focus on the boys onstage after three long hours of dodging RV’s and Albertans on the opposing side of my windshield.
Everything is pretty much set up by this time and I’m the last to arrive. I’m thinking, “Sweet. But how many late excuses can I muster up before I’m replaced by another player? Hell, It’s worth the risk“ I conclude hopping onto stage into a cacophony of guitar licks and mic tests.
The squelch from a bad chord assaults us through the floor monitors below. SonnyKev frantically starts swapping instrument cables from the myriad of effects and modules at his toes. After a short hasty trouble shooting excersize, the web of wire changes shape and once again the monitors are silenced. Yes, a very typical set-up.
Rehearsal goes well and the on-stage mix is better than ever. We try a few new tunes with an ear to the mix and all concur that the house mix is good. It is our best guess and it’s unlikely that our mix will be challenged on this night.
I look through the flowers and decorations separating the stage from the head table and am immediately impressed at the work taken to decorate the barn. The stage consists of two flat deck trailers, jacked to level, with power supplied by a generator somewhere in the distance. I wonder whether the newly laid plywood and underlying lumber that expands across the entire length and width of the barn floor will stay or be ripped up to accommodate the intended purpose of the structure.
The Wedding guests arrive and we weave our way in the opposite direction on the one-way road. The girl, well she stays – I may have a better chance of making it home if she has a little well-deserved rest.
Rock Creek creek is colder than the typical start of August. We strip down and indulge her waters, but only for a short time. The chill from the frigid water and the setting sun, leave us cold and anatomically perky at the breast.
It’s off to dinner at the local restaurant and tears fill my already bloodshot eyes as I listen to SonnyRod recount endless highlights from his favourite comedies. I ask myself, “Have I missed out by not buying a satellite dish?” Gut-wrenching laughter draws the attention and quite conceivably concern from other patrons.
Back at our accommodations, we sit and recall the Yes concert that we all attended years ago. SonnyRod undeniably proclaims that it was 1993 with such confidence that he threatens to phone his wife, as undisputable confirmation of the year. SonnyKev states that it was in fact 1994. After a short awkward pause, and with lightning speed, SonnyRod draws a pointed finger and indignantly responds, “There you go!” There is no disputing SonnyKev’s facial expression: Sometimes Being so Right can feel So Wrong.
While the sun sets, the Sonny Boys take the stage. Following the first dance, the floor fills with dancers of all ages. At one point in the evening, SonnyKev is asked to auction meat as a money raiser for the Bride and Groom. He’s quite convincing as an auctioneer. A few yaba-daba-doo’s take me back to childhood memories of peering out of the family car window at the 40 foot Fred while we travel through Kelowna on our way to visit Grandparents in Winfield.
The party continues and the gig goes great. Everyone appears to have fun and our minds turn to the next gig, the Armstrong IPE, where Trash Country is revered by beer-swillin’ cowfolk.
And yes, I do make it back home. With all windows open, I crawl up the Nancy Greene Summit. Air conditioning engaged only on the downslope leg where the noticeable loss of horsepower from my Japanese power plant allows me to keep up with the line of Sunday morning travelers.
We played this gig as a three-piece: Russ, Chris, and Kevin. Setup and soundcheck from 1 to 3, a swim in the lake, chill at the Watermark, supper at the Breeze Bar and Grill, played until 1am, three encores, late-night meal until 3am.
…another year; another full crowd; no fights; great music!
Thanks to all who came out to party. We have a good time when you have a good time!
This was our most recent gig: a wedding near Bridesville, BC. Know where that is? It’s on highway 33 between Rock Creek and Osoyoos.
The wedding took place at a ranch. The bride and groom rode in on horseback, hitched up, got hitched, and rode out together!
The reception was in a haybarn. The entire floor area was built up using 2×6 and plywood to make a dance floor. We played on two semi-trailers that were backed up on the end of the barn! Great time!
Following sound check, we drove back into Rock Breek for a swim in the Kettle River and supper at the Gold Pan. Then some quick downtime at Fossen’s Guest Ranch, and on to the dance!
Tear-down was a bit dark, but wow…what stars!!
Thanks, Pete and Shauna!