Grape Stomp ’14 *

(* Or 4 consecutive days with BAT . . .)

Editor’s note:  No videos were taken during this four-day extravaganza.  It may have had something to do with PETA standards . . . or more likely that the venues were just too raucous with fun seekers having a good time.  All performers herein have videos on YouTube – some taken by me, and others that are good.  Don’t hesitate to visit there!

DAY 1

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[OK, this is not the Grape Stomp.  But our four days of Magical Musical Tour began on Thursday at Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale with the return of Bat Bennett.  You may recall we did a similar four days straight with BAT last spring?]

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[Now old friends re-unite!  🙂  ]

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[Boogie and sing along!!  Even if you’re old!!]

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[Brenda . . . BAT says all he does is sing and play guitar, Brenda does all the rest.]

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[The place was abso-tively packed – thanks to Jeanne and Ken for saving us a seat!]

DAY 2

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[The Grape Stomp began Friday morning.  The Mel Lamar Trio was the lead-off group, and we planned on attending.  The weather reports were for a nice day.  About the time we were ready to leave, it began to rain . . . and then hail!  All the while this was happening, the Weather Channel was still reporting ZERO per cent chance of precipitation in Alexandria??  “The Stomp” has had its share of bad weather – we thought the hex was on again!  After the rain stopped there was still a chill in the air when we went out to see BAT at 4:00.  Since he and Brenda live on the road, we wondered whether they had clothing for the occasion – I guess a wool serape did the trick.]

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[The temp was in the mid-40’s.  It was occasionally misty.  But we’re a hardy breed up here.  There was a good turnout!  A little red wine, a poncho, a sweatshirt, and Doug’s Kettle-Korn and we were good to go!  Three hours with BAT to begin a weekend at the winery.]

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[BAT never takes breaks – but we had a little moisture come down from the sky so the grounds crew rolled out the tarp and we all ran for cover.  Then we warmed the cockles of our hearts with cheese and broccoli soup in a Panera bread bowl (Mmmmm, nice hot soup!).]

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[So, during the rain delay, while we were hiding out under the porch roof, a hockey mom and hockey grandmom stopped by to say their hockey daughter/granddaughter, now in college, and one of her teammates had a vendor tent where they were selling their homemade products.  The supervisor models one of their products, an infinity scarf, done by “Crocheting for College,” owned and operated by Kalley Kragenbring and Alia Kopischke (yeah, the Special K’s, and of course you remember Alia as the one who makes us pizza at the winery all summer).  They sold out all their inventory before the end of Day 2!  🙂  ]

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[As luck would have it, I found a shot from 2012 with both of them in it!  That’s Alia (13), on the left, with Kalley (10) as they rush the Fergus Falls net – both were scorers.  🙂  ]

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[BAT pretty much plays everything sans any visual help.  But late in the evening someone requested “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel.  If you know the song, it’s not lyrics, just a bunch of people’s names and events strung together.   So Brenda fired up the iPad, and away he went – did a great job too!]

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[ . . . and put bread in my jar.  Yeah, it works with everyone.  😉  ]

DAY 3

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[Professor Anthony Miltich led off Saturday morning outside.  This was going to be a long day.  Multiple venues and with the weather still a tad on the chilly side, we felt we were on an all day portage.  From venue to venue, we had to carry our jackets (if not being worn), our seat cushions, hats and sunglasses (just in case), my camera bag, her purse, the wine bottle and two glasses, and a partridge in a pear tree.  At one time a lady pointed out to me that I was dragging my jacket on the ground . . . ]

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[After just a bit with Anthony, it was into the barn for Harper’s Chord . . . Roger, Jill, and Paul. ]

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[Everybody inside and out was on a one-hour rotation with two other groups.  Greg and Tom from the Salty Dogs had just finished their first set inside.]

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[Roger and Jill]

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[I didn’t leave the music venues much – but I had to go check on the stomping!  This was about as close as I could get and I think it went on all day.]

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[Back inside, the irregular crowds were just starting to shuffle in.  It was still morning after all.  By mid-afternoon, you couldn’t swing an empty wine bottle in here.]

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[Top, Greg is checking out the group for the first time; bottom, the supervisor prepares for her first Facebook posting.]

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[This is Stephanie and Jenny (Jenny is the one with the name tag that says “Jenny”).  They are the daughters of the HQ, and all are high ranking officials in Skads Travel, an enterprise in those twin big cities several miles south of here.  They were at “the Stomp” selling travel packages in conjunction with Carlos Creek Winery, with the first this November, a river cruise in the Sauterne region of France.  Where do you want to go?]

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[And here we are with their mom, the HQ, at the very same winery at some point in the distant past.]

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[Harper’s Chord is done inside, rush back outside for Patchouli.  A pretty good swath of all our favorite groups were here, so it kept us on the move.]

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[Julie and Bruce will be back at the winery on October 4 . . . but their winters in Florida can’t be far from their minds!]

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[Love it when he zones out . . . ]

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[Julie appears to be in that special music place as well.  😉  ]

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[Oh, to be in Naples . . . (warmed by their heat lamps).]

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[County Road 34 in the background.  Dead stop for about 5 minutes as the crowds were trying to pour in.]

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[Julie just beams when Bruce takes off on one of his riffs.]

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[Well, welcome back Anthony!  (You know it was chilly – he never wears a hat).]

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[Having completed their set, Bruce was munching down on what appeared to be an ostrich leg while visiting with Bill, one of their super fans.]

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[We’re leaving Anthony to go back inside . . . again.]

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[Oy, the frivolity!]

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[We hadn’t seen the Salty Dogs yet.  Greetings to Annie, Erik, Tom, and Greg, the local representatives (I believe Josie Nelson was also originally scheduled to be here, but she had a writing gig in the Cities).]

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[Where the excitement never ends . . . ]

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[And Greg’s way out in right field.]

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[And here comes Roger, Jill, and Paul again . . . sometime during all this the supervisor got an eggroll-on-a-stick and I got a burger (Mmmm, burger!).]

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[Couple of Paul . . .]

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[Couple of Roger . . .]

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[And so on . . .]

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[And a Jill series . . .]

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[And this must have been bringing it on home with “A Natural Bridge.”  (Well, we did get their CD, autographed, for the Skadsbergs for all their travel help.)]

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[Hey, remember this guy?  Venue number three was for the wine club members, or as “Weakie” would say, the A-listers.  😉  Thank goodness, I believe the people here recognized he had a tip jar!  🙂  ]

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[Rockin’ ‘n rollin’ in his stocking feet.]

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[The supervisor and informed tv.com]

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[Go, Al!]

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[Back inside to finish up there with the Salty Dogs . . . (we left bread crumb trails wherever we went).]

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[Danced to by the conductor of the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (and high school orchestra) and I would guess a close personal relative . . .]

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[And by local Super Music Fans . . .]

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[And then it was back outside again to wrap it up with Patchouli.  A mere 8 1/2 continuous hours of music, music, music (why yes, I was getting a little punchy by then).]

grapestomp'14[The winery owner, Tami Bredeson, on the right with friends and family enjoying the show (photo pilfered from her Facebook page).]

DAY 4

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[Sunday at noon, our old buds from Fargo, Tucker’d Out . . .]

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[Ryan, John, and Lynn for what often is their one annual visit to our fair shores.  Always well worth the wait as we work their CD’s regularly over the course of a year.]

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[The Brothers Trelstad, John and Lynn; and Ryan with John.]

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[A double header for Ryan because bass players seldom get any ink.]

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[Annie joined the boys on occasion.  She also played with the Salty Dogs and the Waybacks (didn’t see because there’s only one of me), thus setting a Grape Stomp record for having played with three different bands at the same event!  I don’t know if she won any awards or anything?]

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[Then we wrapped up the day, the weekend, with BAT at the golf club – not part of the Grape Stomp – but we pretty much went there non-stop.  The Alexandria Golf Club was celebrating the end of its first century – next summer we celebrate its 100th birthday.  BAT sent us out with a bang!  🙂  ]

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.  ~  George Carlin

Up next:  It’s Homecoming Weekend, for Pete’s sake!

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