Tag Archives: Norwood Park Fest

Jim Steinkraus. Thanks for being a Poochamungas




Norwood Park Fall Festival 2014. L to R: John Joyce, Don Zaloudek, Anna Fermin, Jim Steinkraus, Frank Izzo, Rich Rankin. photo by Betty Boduch

Norwood Park Fall Festival 2014. L to R: John Joyce, Don Zaloudek, Anna Fermin, Jim Steinkraus, Frank Izzo, Rich Rankin. photo by Betty Boduch

Last summer because of music I had the opportunity to play at Lollapalooza with a bunch of great Chicago musicians on the Kidzapalooza stage.  One of the fine folks who played keyboards is a great guy by the name of Rich Rankin. He was backing all the Chicago Kindie Musicians at this event and is a regular member of Laura Doherty’s band and produces her CD’s. When we were at the rehearsal he says to me “You know Jim Steinkraus.”  Jim is the first alternate guitarist for the Poochamungas recommended to the band by bassist Don Zaloudek.  Pete is our regular guitarist but because of life he can’t make some gigs so I call Jim who is awesome. Always has a smile and a story to tell. A gracious man who is fun to be around and enjoys playing. Rich then told me he got into music because of Jim Steinkraus and what a great guy he is and how they are related.  So later that year, at another gig, my keyboard player Alton is unavailable due to life.  I make a call to Rich who agrees to fill in.  It also happens that Pete is also unavailable so the call goes out to Jim.  Wouldn’t you know it that at rehearsal we find out that this is the first time these two guys are playing on stage together! There was a lot of laughing and a good time had by all both at the rehearsal and the gig.   Music had brought us full circle once again. Which is why most of us play. The social interactive aspect of creating something good together for a moment and then it’s gone. Never to be duplicated.  Jim created many of those good moments in his life. He is a man never to be duplicated. Jim Steinkraus passed away yesterday to the shock of the many people who loved him. The evil that is cancer took another one of the good ones much too soon.  I remain grateful to the fact that in Jim’s lifetime I got to share the music.  Jim was an amazing person and he will be missed. Thanks for taking a moment to play with us Poochamungas. It will be cherished. God Bless.

Post Norwood Park, Halloween and new Halloween song!

Well we went and played Norwood Park Fest and all in all it was a very good time.  Everything was a little late but no real problems.  Joe Love of Imposter Radio was awesome filling in on lead guitar as was Anna Fermin filling in on vocals.  Along with the usual suspects Alton, Don, Frank and myself it made for a strong set.  The only thing I was disappointed in was that they held the dog parade in front of our stage. Which was great!  What better than a dog parade in front of a stage filled with the Poochamungas and all the kids right there.  It was perfect.  The problem came after the Dog Parade when they had this money drop for kids.  Not in front of the stage. Nope.  Back on the other side of the fest.  So all the kids left!  So hopefully we get to play again next year and we rectify the situation.  My hats off to the Norwood park Fest people they really did a great job on such short notice.  All the bands were great. Fast Eddie, Handsome Dave and the Ravens, My friends Strain Busy Sky and the headliner Imposter Radio (Joe Loves Band).  If you get the chance to see any of these bands go and do it.

Looks like we are back at the Bethel Community Church for our annual Trunk or Treat performance.  It’s always a great time and every year Original Poochamungas Shawn returns to play with us for his one performance of the year.  With 30 to 40 cars parked and decorated, bonfires and hot chocolate what is not to like!  The church has been supportive of the band and this is our way of saying thanks!  It is a really great way to do a lot of trick or treatin’ in a very short time! It’s on October 31st and the the band and the festivities start at 5:30PM!

So we have a date that we are going to try an return to the studio and included is new song for Halloween.  It’s a song about old Mr. Scrooge and if he didn’t like Christmas he sure don’t like Halloween!   Hopefully it will ready for performance for the Trunk or Treat!  If it’s ready before Halloween I’ll be sure to make a copy available for all the faithfull readers!

Norwood Park, school strikes and CD news

So this Saturday, September 22 at 3pm we are going to take the stage at the Norwood Park Fest welcoming in the Autumn season.  Lots of great music, things to do for kids and food and beverages for the whole family.  It’s taking place at 6088 N Northwest Highway, Chicago, IL next to the Metra station.  Please stop on by and stuff a scarecrow or watch the dog parade but don’t forget the Poochamungas are rocking the stage at 3pm!  A list of bands is below.

Today the teacher’s strike ended and I am happy to have my little girl back in school.  She is happy as well.  I hope cooler heads prevail and the true best interests of the children are put first.  I tend to trust the teacher point of view on this as opposed to the politicians.  We have an Excellent neighborhood public school and I am thankful for the staff teaching my child.  May she have a productive school year.

Last but not least we are to start mixing the CD this month back at Kingsize and still have one more track to record.  Hopefully the schedules of all involved will synchronise and the world comes together in peace and harmony.  Or at least we get the last song recorded.

First day of school, recently added gig and life in general

So yesterday was my daughters first day of school.  She was quite excited as her new teacher was the assistant teacher she had last year.  She got out of school and told my wife in the car the Second grade is funner than first grade!  I am glad she is quickly making the adjustment to the new school year.  My hope is that classes continue beyond this Friday as the Chicago Teachers Union may go on strike on September 10th.  Hopefully the teachers and administration can figure it out and cooler heads prevail and the kids stay in school.

So the last gig we had got rained out.  The St. Helen Carnival was a no go for us.  We were ready but alas no one wants to get electrocuted for their art. A total dissapointment.   But late last week I got a call from my friend Phil asked if we would be available to play at Norwood Park Fest.  It seems another friend Joe mentioned us and Phil called immediately.  Joe plays in a great cover band called Imposter Radio and Phil sings for Strain Busy Sky.  Both are excellent and worth coming to see.  Its Saturday, September 22 starting at noon.  When we go on stage will be announced soon.  Stay tuned and come on out for a great time!

So that where things stand right now.  The CD has been on an August break due to the fact John and Alton have been taking time for their families and what not…SLACKERS! (not hardly)  Hopefully we return to the studio soon to record one more song and get to editing and mixing.  So stay tuned…