Back to the Twisted Bull, friendly confines and armed with some new materials and fully rested. Friday night went without a hitch, the new songs sounded great. All in all it was a great start to the weekend. Nice to see familiar faces...Helen Wu (still crippled). But Pam, on the other hand is hobbled no more...now she can earn her keep again. Saturday night started out on a high note, big crowd expected! Brandy is here and is ready to party! (We love it when she gets loose!!). Shaky Sean is looking great in his Cookie Monster shirt that his 2 year old granddaughter picked out for him, what a great grandpa he is to wear it. DJ is sporting his ball cap backwards ready to ROCK! Jammin Joe was smoking as the night starts and kept the fire going until the last song was finished. Rockin Rusty is well... Rockin Rusty, keeping the baseline straight on (at least this time he kept his hat straight). It was nice to see "Stalker Couple" Greg and Darcy, Jammin Joe's bro Scott and gal pal, DJ's sister Laura and Brian, and Jamie and Dan (who were anxiously awaiting last call so Jamie could go home and tend to the "DISHES"). All the great line dance crew, Debbie Hurley (DJ's lost cousin) among others. Lot's of crowd interaction as the night progressed, the guest singers were steller and the men won the singing contest, although the band had a hand in that one. Brandy was whoopin it up on and off stage...she had a great time. Jammin Joe narrowly missed being sliced in 2 by Shaky Sean's falling symbol, thankfully no damage. Thanks to Pam, Wu and the TBull staff for help getting the gear back into the trailer...we sure appreciate it. Now it's a week off while the recordings are on. See you in a few weeks!
Stolen Horses Band finally gets a chance to rehearse some new materials! On the agenda is a new song from Dierks Bently..."Does Anybody Want To Have Fun Tonight?", Justin Moores's soon to be a hit "Bait A Hook", Kieth Urban's "Some Days You Gotta Dance" and tweaking Jason Aldean's previous hit "She's Country". It's amazing that the boys in this band can work on their own and bring it to practice and put it all together so fast!! As we run down songs, Rockin Rusty can always add color to songs by changing the words! (Usually blue in nature) It looks like we may have to start bringing a pair of heels to our shows as props for the Dierk's song...something about lifting her heels over her head? Shaky Sean says the Miller Lite tastes great...it helps him slow down She's Country. Jammin Joe phenomenal job adding his signature pickin to "Bait A Hook", Rockin Rusty says we should change the name to "She Can Cook"...(Rusty's always thinking about food". DJ's vocals on "Bait A Hook and Does Anybody Wanna Have Fun Tonight" came together nicely. WE DO need some practice if we start "Dierks song with the rendition of "Sweet Emotion"...just sayin. Great practice, looking forward to putting them in the set list. Brandy and Pam added the frosting on the cake...great dinner spaghetti with lemon bars and apple carmel pie. Everything is back in the trailer and ready to go, see you at the show!
Saturday September 24th ROCKED! First ever D Bar D Charity Ride to benefit the Spectrum Health Red City Cancer Center. The band arrived at the ranch campground to the smell of campfires and livestock. DJ went got to go for a horseback ride courtesy of "Cool Guy". But just like the story of the S.S. Minow (Gilligan's Island) DJ went for a 15 minute ride and almost didn't come back due to his guide getting them lost in the woods....we suspect that an adult beverage or many had something to do with the failure of the navigation...yet another Stolen Horses Adventure! Just as the band unloaded the gear under the roof, it poured rain! The campers that were being fed did not let this bother them and they sat down where they could to eat some great country style chow. Rockin Rusty's dad and wife were there all the way from sunny Florida, it was nice to finally meet them! Equipment was being set in place as the steady line of criminals led to the "jail". Everyone had to post bail to get out...This was another way, as well as a silent auction to raise funds for this event. Dinner was delicious although the band members and staff cringed as Shaky Sean heaped his plate with beans...quickly hoovering Stolen Horses Style. We would not have a shortage of gas on the ride home tonight! The band was in stride as Don and Diane finally got to relax and cut loose. The scene was amazing, bon fire, dancing, singing and a lot of HAPPY CAMPERS! In true Stolen Horses fashion the band always tries to get everyone involved and turn tonight was no exception as Shaky Sean invited one of the younger fans to join him and play Bob Seger's "Turn The Page"! Many people looked on and cheered as this future star was beaming with excitement! Many of the vendors on sight donated portions of their sales for the day to the cause, like Mustang Sally's Tack Shop who donated 10% of her sales for the day. By the way Sally is now a new Stolen Horses fan...We also want to thank Vickie Butler for giving the D Bar D our name. All in all the night was awesome and had a whole heck of a lot of fun, we hope to be back next year. We understand that the goal was exceeded almost 3 fold! Way to go!
Friday night we are back at the Twisted Bull...YeeeeeHaaawwww! Nice to see the great staff at the T-Bull again after a long Summer. The Stolen Horses favorite line dancers came out in full force to start the night on Friday and the band picked up where they had left off the night before. Nice to see faces from the casino crowd show up to support the band on Friday. It was family night for DJ, as his son Travis, girlfriend Jenny, his Mom and step Dad were there supporting West Michigan's premier country band! Helen Wu made her grand appearance on crutches and realized that both her and Pam had a lot in common....they are both gimps on crutches and have filed for "handicap" parking passes. Saturday night was the "Bachorlette Party" night as 3 different brides to be were in attendance looking for a party...and the Horses obliged with some ROCKIN country. We want to thank Travis and Co. for helping us set a record for tear down on a single night! Also thanks to Wu for the great food after the show despite her broken foot. Every one involved with Stolen Horses enjoyed the feast. Just a word of advice from Pam and Wu...don't drink and crutch just sayin.
The day started with a call from DJ to Shaky Sean. It wasn't looking good for DJ to be back in time for the gig. Shaky Sean SPRUNG into action sending texts to Rockin Rusty and Jammin Joe. The guys pulled together in true Stolen Horses style and knew what they had to do. Early afternoon the horses got word the "Master" DJ would indeed make it to the gig. Shaky Sean was pulling the band trailer but something felt wrong. He realized that he had the SMALL ball but needed the LARGER ball....(sounded like a personal problem to us) so he pulled off the expressway and quickly changed BALLS right in the parking lot. Rocking Rusty and Jammin Joe were already at the gig and raring to go. DJ made his entrance shortly before show time. The horses came out of the GATE and ROCKED the stage. Jammin Joe tried his hand at twirling Shaky Sean's drum stick....he really should stick to playing his guitar...poor guy. The stage here is a little unconventional...right behind the bar, you feel like you are right on top of the bar...WAIT we ARE right on top of the bar. The crowd was great. Lot's of people walked in and stayed which was great to see. We also noticed people at the slots tapping their feet and bobbing their heads to the beat. Jammin Joe broke in the stage by knocking over a cold glass of beer. As the night progressed the crowd became more energetic and boisterous! Rockin Rusty's version of "Watermelon Crawl/I Like Big Butts" turned a whole lot of heads. We had a great time and apparantly received word that we are returning to Gun Lake Casino on Tuesday November 1st.
Friday night we rolled into Otsego MI at the M89 Sports Bar and played a show. Great staff and good food. Slow but responsive crowd. The most entertainment came from Robin the tambourine girl enough said... After a quick tear down of backline equipment the Horses were once again chauffered by our "driver" Pam. On to Saturday afternoon...the band met at the Horse Master's house for the short trip back to Grand Rapids for Celebration on the Grand. After we arrived we realized the benefits of not arriving half in the bag like some othe not to be named acts. Our professionalism and energy did not go unnoticed and the Horses put on a SPECTACULAR set. After the show as our equipment was being loaded into the trailer DJ realized that the guitar he had picked up and was about to load into the trailer was not his....in fact to meet a star all you need to do is steal his guitar. Hunter Hayes was a GREAT sport understanding that it was an accident and even posed for a picture with The Stolen Horses Band. From there the band ventured back down to M89 Sports Bar for another show ending a long weekend.
Power in Croton was restored and Stolen Horses got the word that show would go on. The band arrived about 1 and started setting up. Set up went with out a hitch....no pun intended. As show time neared the discussion was all about the storm damage. Pam and her daughter Samara came in right before we played and well wishing hugs were plentiful. DJ's family came in and more hugs were exchanged with Lori...we were very happy that all were safe. The crowd got larger as the afternoon went on including Shaky Sean's boss Dar who was reluctant to come up on stage and sing when she was announced as the former Michigan State Karaoke Champion. She received a rave response from the crowd even as she turned to Shaky Sean and told him he was FIRED! Davey Carter from Mane Street as well as Tim Bengston came up and played a few songs with us. Our good friend Victor and his son were out in the crowd enjoying the music. All in all it was great ending to a troubled weekend.
.....Saturday morning was an adventure and not one that you would want to remember. Right around 9 a.m. a storm came through with winds about 80 mph hail and tons of rain. This woke Pam up as Jammin Joe and DJ still slept from the night before. All of a sudden there was a crack and Pam looked out the top of her window and saw a tree break off from about 50 feet up literally snapped it in half. She waited in anticipation and then her worst fears came true as the top of the tree smashed into her roof coming through her bedroom ceiling and livingroom. After a quick head count all were safe but scrambling for what to do next. The next hour was assessing the damage after the rain stopped and then a quick trip down to the Croton campground where DJ's sister Lori and Brian were camping in their pop up camper. When we drove in people were telling us about pop ups being smashed by falling trees, our hearts sunk even more when we found Lori and Brian outside of their smashed pop up. Minutes before a tree fell on the bed they had been sleeping on they had bailed out to run for cover. They were shaken up but ok. After we helped pack up a few things Lori and Brian followed us back to Pam's to look at the damage done to her house. DJ walked over to the Driftwood and came back telling us that the staff fired up a grill and was making all of us breakfast. Shaky Sean and Rockin Rusty received text messages from Jammin Joe telling them about the damage let them know that every one was ok. As the day went on and still no power in Croton the decision was made to cancel the show at the Driftwood.
The band rolled in to the front gate at 7 p.m. to the relief of the security/planners. They thought we had forgotten but...a horse never forgets. At first glance the stage looked rickety, especially with the deer head hanging on the back post...it was intimidating. We set up our gear with the sound of the rodeo in the back ground. The announcer was doing a great job keeping the crowd entertained. Sound check went well as the end of the rodeo was near. As soon as the last rider was finished and the crowd headed to the gates Stolen Horses KICKED up their heels and the show was on. It didn't take long to realize that this place ROCKED! Thanks to the organizers for having us...we hope to return next year! The ride home was full of surprises as well...after a half an hour ride north to Lake City and the nearest open gas station...the Horses were tired and DJ gladly relinquished the wheel to Pam. On the way home as the band was relaxing we encountered a suspected drunk driver who decided that the left side of the road was his as well as ours and a very near miss occurred thanks to some savvy maneuvering of the truck and trailer by our driver Pam. It didn't take long for us to get comfortable and fall asleep knowing that any problem could be handled. With the truck and trailer stored at Pam's house in Croton, Shaky Sean was off to his house. Jammin Joe and DJ opted to stay at Pam's because in a few hours Stolen Horses was scheduled to do an afternoon show at the Driftwood.
With the horses still missing Shaky Sean drove the trailer and band members minus DJ to Lake Odessa. If it wasn't for Rockin Rusty's fast talking Shaky Sean COULD have gotten a ticket for parking on the wrong side of the street while in the store for...well you know. Once at the park the layout from previous years had changed and so did the parking arrangement! Now the equipment had to be hauled (seemed like 2 miles) through rough terrain. DJ arrived exactly as the band hit the first note and the horses were off and running. The weather was fantastic and Cindy and Rachel were gracious hosts, and the line dancers from Grand Rapids were a great touch (even with a broken toe) as the band ROCKED the 2 hour show. Rockin Rusty was a big hit with all of the kids when he gave out complimentary horses while the band played "Save a Horse". Jammin Joe gained a new young fan as this 18 month old stood by the stage mesmerized by Jammin Joe's chicken pickin style...Stolen Horses enjoys seeing the young fans enjoying their music. The night ended with a full park search for Pam's sun glasses (she swears she left them on a speaker) Jammin Joe tried to ease her pain and bought her a new custom pair at the local truck stop...WAY TO SUCK UP JOE! This story to be continued in the next post so be sure to stay tuned.