Slice of Life: A Bit of Woodsheddin’ with the Band

My rock and roll band — Duke Rushmore — has its first official “gig” coming up on Friday at a local brewpup. It’s a short gig, only two hours long, and so we are working to tighten up our two sets of music. We want to make a good impression, and we have invited the owner of another establishment to come watch us play, in hopes he will hire us, too.

Yesterday afternoon, we spent about three hours working on the songs. I have to say, I think we are as tight as we have ever been. The sets flow nicely, although we continue to make some adjustments, and there is nothing like a performance in front of a live audience to help a band find some focus.

Duke Rushmore Logo

I am the saxophone player, and a back-up singer, and we are playing one of my songs to end the night. We’re most a cover band right now, but I keep pushing for more original material. For now, we are just establishing ourselves as a rock and roll, danceable band, and I think we fit that bill pretty nicely.

Our gig is the night before St. Patrick’s Day in Holyoke, which has a huge concentration of Irish and pseudo-Irish people, and one of the largest St. Paddy Day Parades in New England. We suspect the brew pub might be packed by people flocking home for the parade (and needing a respite from being home with their family), and we have included a few mandolin songs and even renamed our original song from “Champagne, Whiskey and the Rhythm and Blues Tonight” to “Irish Whiskey and the Rhythm and Blues Tonight.” Have you ever seen that Blues Brothers scene where the band goes into a country bar and tries to play the blues? Yeah, we don’t want that to happen to us.


We have one more practice tomorrow night, and then we are rarin’ to go!

Peace (in the rock and in the roll),

PS — if you are in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on Friday night, come on down to the Paper City Brewery from 6-8 p.m. The admission at the door gets you free beer and some rock and roll. And be kind to the band!


  1. This is too cool! I hope you share about your band’s big night in a future post!
    Scheduled performances – like deadlines – are amazing for creating focus. There is a renewed purpose in practicing and revising to get it all just right.

  2. Wow – have a great time. This is so exciting for you all! And I knew exactly what Blues Brothers scene you were referring too. The Blues Brothers is my husbands favorite movie and was required viewing if we were going to marry. 🙂

  3. Wish I lived an hour away instead of eight. I would definitely swing by for the performance!

    I always wanted to be a singer in a band. Even took voice lessons in college. Alas, I don’t think that’s in the cards for me anymore.

  4. Sounds like a busy time. It also sounds exciting wish I could listen. You catch the excitement, the hesitation in your writing. Performing is like a roller coaster. I am sure you will be a hit.

  5. I loved how you set this up on the TwoTeachers website. I had to read more. How cool that you are in a band. I love your humor toward the end of your piece. Good luck Saturday night!

  6. This is great, Kevin! And two hours sounds like a LONG gig to me. I’m happy to hear that you’re still performing and writing songs. Wish I could come up and hear your set. My nephew’s going to be in MA for college next year, maybe he’ll get to hear you play!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *