Joni's Journal
2006 - page 2
Saturday night, Oct. 28, 2006 - Sitting here, the night before our last show at The White Elephant, thinking about the past 4 1/2 years and how far we have come. I am so excited about the move to Jack's, but also a little bit nervous. We so badly want to get the music series back to our "roots". Back to where we started (or as close as possible, because we will never be able to go back to how we started). Slowly we have digressed from the small, intimate acoustic shows that were the "norm" back in 2002 & 2003. Although it was a really cool idea, there was alot of liability in the early days... BYOB being the biggest problem, as well as the liability attached to us using the apartment clubhouse week after week - thank goodness no one got hurt or nothing got broken. Our move to The Horseman was a lifesaver at the time. That last show at the apartments was CRAZY! I think we had about 120 people in a room that held about 60. I remember that the air conditioner froze up and quit working. We had to put a sign on the front door saying "sold out", which made alot of people angry, but there just wasn't any more room to put any more people. We had people sitting on the floor, even the front "foyer" area was packed! I remember how I was nervous about the move to The Horseman. Would everyone still come out? Would the musicians be happy with a new set up? How were we going to book musicians every single Sunday? And how would I be able to "cater" dinner every week?? We went from having a show every 2-3 weeks to every single Sunday, and it worked out just fine. We gained alot of new "patrons" and lost some, too. Although it was just a once a week show, it turned into an (almost) full time job for me. All of a sudden I had to find musicians to fill the Sunday slots, usually 2 headliners and an opener. That is approximately 12 musicians per month. Then, throw in trying to figure out what to serve for dinner and how many people might come to the show, as to not order too much or too little food - 4 to 5 times a month! It's a nightmare! (Thank goodness to the restaurants that have given me discounted rates the past 3 years. I would have never been able to feed everyone and still have money to pay the musicians). Just as we were getting to the point of "burn out" at The Horseman, Jason and Traci Tighe offered to let us use The White Elephant on Sunday nights. Although nothing really changed - I still had to book approx. 12 musicians a month and figure out menus- it was a welcome change. The White Elephant was smaller and brought back some of the intimate feel we had lost at The Horseman. With the move to The White Elephant, we lost some of our patrons and gained more new ones. We've had a ton of great shows the past 2 years at TWE. The Stoney & Bleu Halloween show is the first one that comes to mind. Stoney showing up as "Dargon" and staying in "character" the whole night was hilarious. I still listen to the cd we recorded at the show, and laugh alot! I am so glad we got alot of the shows recorded on CD's. Another great memory is of the Brandon Jenkins Benefit. I still can't believe we raised over $6600 for Brandon & his band in one night!!! I am proud of the fact that we have been the ones to "introduce" many musicians to the Fort Worth fans. In fact, several of the guys were pretty new to the Texas music scene when we first started booking them - Stoney, Randy Rogers, Brandon Rhyder and Sam Baker, to name a few.
Now, as I sit here reminiscing, we are about to enter a new chapter in the history of the Clubhouse. Tomorrow is our last show at The White Elephant. On Friday, I ordered dinner for the show for "the last time". Since Jack's is a restaurant, we will no longer be serving dinner with the show. Jack has made up a "Clubhouse menu" that they will offer on Sunday nights. I was up there this evening and he showed it to me. They are going to offer everything from chips & queso and other appetizers, burgers, sandwiches etc all the way up to steaks and seafood dishes. I had dinner up there tonight and it was delicious! Jack is going to email me the menu and I will put a link to it on our website so everyone can see the food choices. It'll be something for everyone. I am so excited that I no longer have to figure out menus from week to week!
I really think that Jack's is the answer to "getting back to our roots". The room is amazing. The sound system is amazing. I absolutely love the outdoor patio with the two fire pits. The bar area is set to the side, so hopefully the "talkers" will sit in the bar or outside on the patio, leaving the main room for the listeners. The Clubhouse saying still prevails... SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, LISTEN! In fact, Jack and I were trying to decide tonight where the perfect place for the banner will be - for the "newbies" that don't know the rules! The staff at Jack's are all very nice, too, and can't wait for us to get "moved in".
I am still in shock that we actually have a sponsor!!! How cool is that?! Nathan Cross and the gang from Southern Thread are so supportive of our shows. They have made it possible for us to be able to give the musicians a hotel room, as well as us pay for the sound guy. This puts more money in the pockets of our musicians, which not only makes the musicians happy but I am thrilled. Most everyone knows that "the Clubhouse girls" are not in this business to make money off of the artists. We do it because we believe in them and want to help them further their careers. Thanks to Southern Thread for helping us make that possible.
We realize that it is hard for the fans to make it out every Sunday, but I have got some killer shows booked in November and December, so you're just going to have to get up off the couch and join us! I've posted directions to Jack's on the calendar, but it's really easy to find. Parking is great, too. You won't have to park blocks down the street... unless we have a REALLY big show, in which case, I won't promise that you can find an up close spot!
We are hoping that everyone else is going to love Jack's as much as we do. They book Texas/Red Dirt music on Fridays & Saturdays, and many of our "guys" have already played there and they all love it, too.
We know that we've made the fans follow us all over Fort Worth, and we are hoping that we have found our final home at Jack's. We are really excited to be making this move and we think everyone else will feel the same. In the mean time, come out tomorrow to The White Elephant and help us bid them farewell and thank them for a great two years.
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Monday, November 6, '06 - All I can say is WOW!!!!! The show last night at Jack's was amazing!!!! The entire day, clouds loomed in the sky, just waiting to "rain on my parade". At about 4:45pm, I just couldn't sit still any longer and so I headed down there a little earlier than I had planned. When I got there, Jack and his staff were getting everything ready. Jack was out on the patio sweeping it!! When I went inside, I was surprised to see the "lay out" of the tables and chairs. At first I thought it might not be the best way to set them up, but as the evening went on, I realized Jack and his people knew what they were doing. The main room seats approx. 80 at the tables. There is seating for another 15-20 people in the bar area and there is a little, cozy area in the back that has 4 more tables. I would be willing to bet that at least 3/4ths of the people that came to the show last night ate dinner there. It was a great night not only for Jack's, but for the Clubhouse. People started lining up out front about 5:40pm (twenty minutes before the doors were supposed to open!). By 6pm, we had a steady stream of people, lots of familiar faces, but alot of people that were new to the Clubhouse series, too. As people were ordering dinner, Jason Eady took the stage for a wonderful opening set. We love him!!! It is really exciting to watch how his career is growing. Walt, Susan & Brandon took the stage shortly before 8pm. As everyone that knows me knows, I try my damndest to run on time. I HATE it when things run late. Kurt South did a great job as our "sound engineer" for the evening. The sound was wonderful!! Walt, Susan & Brandon played "all the favorites". Brandon closed out the show with a special song that he dedicated to our friend, Rob Davis, who was in the audience with his mother and father. Rob is on leave from Iraq (arriving in Ft Worth on Saturday) and chose to spend some of his quality time with us - and three of his favorite musicians in the world! Brandon sang "Mr Soldier" - and it was beautiful. A perfect closing song for a perfect evening!
Now - on another note - my good friend (and fellow Clubhouse girl) Amy, has just recently moved to Fort Worth. She found a great job in southwest Arlington and decided to move into a cute little apartment over off of Bryant Irvin & Hulen. She has only been there about 1 month. Friday before last, we went to dinner (me, Amy and her little girl, Emily) and I headed on home. When I got home, she called, telling me that when she and Emily got to her apartment, it had been burglarized. RANSACKED AND ROBBED of all of her electronics ( TV's, computer, DVD player, VCR etc). In the middle of the day, no less! What is really crazy about the whole thing is that her apartment was towards the back of the complex, on the second floor of one of the buildings. NO WAY was it a random break in. There are plenty of "low life" looking characters that just hang out around the parking lot all day - NOT WORKING - that we suspect. The cops came out and made a police report. It took three days for her to get her broken window repaired. Basically the management in the complex blew her off. 3 nights later, there was a "hold up" in the parking lot of the apartments. 4 guys held guns to a pizza delivery driver's head and stole his money. NOT EXACTLY the kind of place you want to live
or raise your child. If that wasn't enough to make her want to get the hell out of Dodge, she calls me one morning last week to tell me that when she went out to her car to go to work, her car had been broken into. To make a long story short, she moved out this weekend. She is going to live with a friend, and is going to store her remaining "stuff" in my huge garage. She made the comment that there was a "silver lining" to the whole thing... at least she didn't have a heavy TV, computer, etc to have to haul down those stairs and over to my house. Bless her heart. So, anyway, she and Gwen brought several loads of her stuff to my house before Amy had to leave for the Clubhouse show. Gwen got a friend to help her and continued moving until Amy was able to leave a little early from the show and go back to help them. As I was leaving Jack's at about 10:40pm, Amy called and said they were heading to my house with the last loads (3 vehicles full of mattresses, dressers, her couch, etc). At any minute, the clouds were fixing to let all hell break loose! There was unbelievable lightning and thunder. Just as I pulled up to my house, they pulled into my driveway. In a very rare show of GOOD LUCK for her, as soon as they pulled under the carport with her belongings, it came a torrential downpour. We were able to unload everything without getting anything wet, thank goodness.
I thank God that Amy and her daughter are out of that apartment complex. It could have been much worse. At least no one was physically hurt. It took years for Amy to acquire the things that were stolen in an afternoon. Now she is starting all over. I wish I had an extra TV - or a computer - or DVD / VCR players that I could give her. Maybe someone reading this knows of an extra one that isn't being used. I know Amy would be very appreciative of some help. Maybe we need to have a benefit for her! We do it for the musicians when they loose everything - why not???? The least we can do is take up a collection or ask our friends if they have any electronics they aren't using. If you know of anyone that might could help, let me know! You can email me and I will get word to her. Afterall, we're all in this together.

Again - thanks to everyone that made it out to last night's show! I have a link on the front page, asking for any comments, suggestions, etc. to help us make this the best acoustic venue in the state of TEXAS!

Last night, when I was sitting in the back of the room, listening to the music, I had a Deja Vu moment... it was the same feeling as the old days, at the apartments, listening to good music with great friends. I truly think we are on the right track of getting back to our roots!! And I am so happy!!!! And I can't wait for next Sunday!!! See you there!
Wed. Nov. 15th, 2006: Sitting here at work, eating lunch and in a bad mood cause it is 50 degrees outside and the wind is whiping around at over 35 mph. I have been on a real "healthy" kick the past couple of months. For probably the first time in my life, I am not eating JUNK. In fact (and if you know me very well, you've already heard all about this), I haven't had a soft drink of any kind in over 7 weeks - not even a diet drink! This amazes me. I was hooked - bad. I am trying to follow a "low glycemic" diet, eating fruits, veggies and fish/chicken. Again, if you know me, you know that this ISN'T my usual food choices. I am really surprised to find out that I actually like more vegetables than I thought (although I have eaten a ton of green beans, mainly - you should try the green beans with almonds at Central Market's "food to go" - they are delicious!) I have been doing a ton of walking - at lunch and then again in the evenings when I get home from work, as well as "exercising" every evening after work. I am beginning to see that it is working - finally! Hopefully, I will be able to keep up the walking as it gets colder outside, but I'm not going today. Too cold and windy for me!

The past two Clubhouse shows at Jack's have been
amazing!! We love Jack's and we love the staff! Everyone is so nice and appreciative of us being there. The waitresses are great and they have all told me how much they love working Sunday nights, even though it used to be their day off. I love the fact that when I go home (after spending several hours there) my clothes don't smell like smoke! Since the "main" room is no smoking, the area for the smokers is in the bar and they must have a great ventilation sytem because it's not even bad in the bar area. And have I mentioned the bathrooms??????????? All I can say is they ROCK! Spotlessly clean and just absolutely beautiful. And the toilets are the kind that flush themselves :)
I will be the first to admit that I was beginning to get burnt out at the White Elephant. This is the thing that I needed to get excited about the Clubhouse shows, again. And I AM EXCITED!! We have some great shows coming up! I also think that alot of the "patrons" of the Clubhouse are excited about the move, too. I asked for comments from people that were at the first show and we got alot of great "kudos", as did Jack's and the staff.
Our website is really staying busy too! Yesterday we had 357 hits! 357.... I can't believe it! That is alot of people "checking out" what we do!!
We're looking forward to this Sunday's show with the Sidehill Gougers, The Dedringers and Larry Hooper. They are all young and very talented musicians. They always put on a great show! If anyone sees Jonny, tell him we left the couches at The White Elephant - so no naps this Sunday night, though ;)
I am starting to book shows for Jan., Feb. and March so if you have any suggestions,
let me know! I try really hard to bring the musicians that everyone wants to hear and am always looking for "new music".
I'm also going to try really hard to keep up the "picture pages" from the shows. I've had alot of people tell me they love seeing the pics and missed that we weren't posting them as much the past few months. Guess it's the next best thing to being there. Speaking of "being there"... we hope to see you Sunday!

Guess I better get back to work, patients are knocking on the door to get in!
Friday evening, Nov. 17th: Fixin' to head out to Billy Bob's to see Stoney!! It's been awhile since we've seen him so I'm excited! We've got great seats and I'm gonna try to remember to take my camera in tonight. If so, I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
as promised:
Mackenzie couldn't make it 'til the end...
They put on a great show, as always! Billy Bob's was pretty full and it's always fun to hear a large crowd singing along with Stoney!
One of the latest editions to the Billy Bob's wall of handprints....

Stoney
and
his kids- CJ & Avery!

How cute is that????!

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Dec. 17th, 2006: Today is possibly our biggest show of 2006! It's also Matt's birthday party and Allene's graduation celebration. I am waiting for Jack to come by and pick up my extra folding chairs and I will be heading down there. I can't wait. I love Stoney & Travis and I love parties!!