So last night the Honky Tonkitis Blues Boys Band decided to do an impromptu practice on-stage at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall. Since we're playing the Symco Shakedown next week (check this thing out...it's going to be a great weekend of cars and music), and we have a two-hour set to fill, we wanted to test out a setlist. We also wanted a nice range of beers to drink while practicing, a stage that would fit the band, and a friendly bartender who could whip up some of the best Bloody Marys in the state. So, with little notice, off to Kochanski's we went.
It was great to see Andy Kochanski and find out that his Dale Watson show last week was a huge success for him. Hopefully, he'll be able to get Dale and his band to come back sometime soon. He's also looking into getting Wayne "The Train" Hancock to come in and perform. He's also working to become Milwaukee's only bar carrying Lone Star Beer (which, he does have on hand, although he ran out of it at the Dale Watson show, naturally).
So the Honky Tonkitis boys took over East K stage and, after a bit of tweaking, proceeded to perform a two hour set (with a short drink/bathroom break in the middle). It's the first time in a long time that we've played a set that long with tunes back to back and no talking or stopping between. Just tune after tune after tune. Pretty freaky. Wish we had recorded it. Especially since Bruce and Don have started to increase their harmonies. In fact, we started the evening off with our new three-part harmony version of George Jone's Why Baby Why.
We discovered that when we do a set like this we can pretty much play something like thirty-one songs with space to spare, which is good to know, since we need to fill that space next weekend. Song number thirty-two will probably be Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown (check our jukebox for that tune). We also brought back Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (check our jukebox for that tune) and we gave a trial run to our new tune, Bajingo Bajina. That one ain't ready to go yet, but Andy and the small audience of drinkers that just happened to be there got a listen to it. One member of the audience was heard to comment, "These guys are pretty good. Do they ever play out?"
So as far as the practice went, great. We got a chance to try out the setlist. We've got some tweaks and switches to make, and we know what songs have to be given some more attention. We're also toying with the concept of doing a monthly Thursday night practice show at Kochanski's, although we're not sure if this would be a positive or negative for the bar.
But the best part of the evening was getting our Bloody Marys. Andy K. makes one hell of a Bloody Mary, and four out of five members of Honky Tonkitis could attest to that last night. If you've never gone to Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall on a weekend to see a band or two, we highly recommend it. One of the best places in Milwaukee to see a band, especially when they've got the dueling stages going. And order yourself a Bloody Mary. They're not just for Sunday mornings.