Monday, May 11, 2009
Steel Pennies Westcliffe Retreat
This past weekend, three of the Steel Pennies (Dave, Rob & Kathy) trucked down the road to meet the 4th--Terry--in Westcliffe, where he lives part of the time. Logistics was the topic of intense discussion at practice on Thursday. It was finally settled that we would travel in Rob's truck.
Westcliffe is very beautiful. The mountain range view from Terry's front porch is spectacular. It's no wonder he and Peg decided to retire there.
Dave and Rob and I loaded up in Rob's truck on Friday and headed out for a weekend of two gigs. Overall, the weekend turned pretty much into a band retreat. We practiced on Friday and Saturday to nail things down for our shows. We had computers going nonstop: analyzing the set list, copying pictures, and staying in touch with our fan base.
Terry and his wife, Peg, showed us incredible hospitality. When we weren't playing music, it was like we were staying at a spa. There was a lot of good food involved.
After our arrival on Friday afternoon, we did a practice in preparation for the 3 set show in the evening. It felt a little hectic. We only played some of the songs once. Our previous show on Wednesday night in Superior was only one set, so there were suddenly a lot more songs on the agenda.
In the evening we headed to our first gig at Pizza Madness in Westcliffe. That one turned out to be a challenge. The sound system was a mess and caused a certain amount of stress when the owner of the restaurant and the sound man couldn't figure out how to make it work right. They never did, all night.
We persevered in spite of it. Those three sets were something; there was one song that we had never played together before. We got through it.
The next day, we were back at it, working to improve our set list and hone in on the songs to make the two set show in the evening run smoother.
We took a break in the afternoon for Terry to give a tour of his property on this "mule." The guys came across a rattlesnake. Luckily for the snake, Terry had forgotten to take his shotgun along with them.
By now, we were pretty skilled at loading and unloading the truck.
Terry had put out the word to his friends and they packed the place for our show on Saturday night. The proprietress, Marnie, treated us like we were stars!
Overall, a great trip. It helped us to focus on our music and gel as a band. Yee Haw!