Out & About – December 2020

By: Rachel Rocks

Wow. What a crazy November! I hardly saw any music, but I did survive a Covid scare and Pneumonia. It was a whirlwind of a month and I’m glad to say I’m still alive!

I’m very glad I decided at the last minute to go the last half of Dirtstock 2020. It was an event put on by the Colt Wilbur Band, benefitting the Wilbur Race Team. It just so happened to be on Halloween night, so there were lots of people dressed up and ready to party. The winner of the costume contest was my friend Gloria. She dressed up as the “Party Girl”. She was a Red Solo Cup, and she had balls that people could throw into her “cup”. It was hilarious and so original, I’m glad she won!

I got there in time for Road Case. The event was held outdoors at the Mechanicsburg Men’s Club, so there were plenty of people, and lots of dancing! It was awesome to see so many people dancing and having a great time! The fire pits were blazing and everyone was staying warm under the spectacular full moon. I’m so glad that Road Case has been able to keep rockin’ the masses. I’ve seen them play at quite a few outdoor events in the last few months. Anytime these guys take the stage it is always a rockin’ good time! Road Case does an amazing job at playing your classic rock favorites that you don’t hear everyone else cover. Chris and Clint’s guitar skills definitely help push them to the next level, mixed in with Ed and Jeff on the backline, and last but not least the other Chris belting out the vocals, it is a rockin’ show not to be missed. Throughout the years I’ve seen lots of different band members mix and match to form new bands, I’m glad this group of seasoned musicians got together because it is always a show you don’t want to miss.

Next to the stage was a very special performance by American Posse. These guys and girls only dust off their instruments for very special occasions. It really helps bring the crowd to the show when their performances are so far and few in between. On this night that had a special addition to the stage, Kyler, Steve and Shelby’s daughter was playing keys and singing along. Even though they haven’t been on a stage in quite a while, they didn’t miss a beat. They kept the party going and the dance floor packed. Kyler and Shelby singing together with their amazing harmonies was something I’m glad I didn’t miss!

Last, but definitely not least, the Colt Wilbur Band took the stage. Even though the air was getting a bit chillier as the night went on, the Colt Wilbur Band kept the dance floor smokin’. I’ve seen the Colt Wilbur Band consist of so many different musicians, but the current line-up is by far one of my favorites. Wally DeWall and Ronnie Rhoads flanking the sides of Colt with Don Carr holding them all together on the drums, is just a perfect combo. With Colt, Wally, and Ronnie all taking turns on lead vocals it really adds depth and an overall entertaining flow to their show. The Colt Wilbur Band has their debut album, Heart of Stone available for purchase. It’s going to be a long, cold, and lonely winter. Don’t forget that there are a lot of our favorite bands that still have merch for sale! You can help local bands by buying their merch, downloading their albums, and just watching their videos on Youtube. Need to buy a special gift for the rocker in your life, consider buying them MUSIC… LOCAL music.

On November 12th after a very stupid trip to Wisconsin I wound up very sick. I wouldn’t have gone to Wisconsin, but of course back at the beginning of this craziness we found ridiculously cheap flights online, and we booked a trip for 6 months later thinking this crazy Pandemic would be gone. Even though we knew Wisconsin was a hot spot, our cheap flights were non refundable and non transferable, so we thought, if we are cautious and take all of the precautions we will be fine.. WELL.. let me tell ya.. even though we took lots of wipes, hand sanitzer, etc.. we were in fact not fine. I came home with what wound up being Pneumonia, but my Covid test came back negative. I think it was probably a false negative due to all of my symptoms, so I still treated myself as positive and quarantined for 14 days. I can tell you that at one point my life got pretty scary. Luckily a breathing treatment at the hospital was all I needed, and I didn’t wind up getting admitted. This crap is no joke. Please stay safe! Please have the mindset that this crap can get you around any corner!! I know I am personally on red alert. Now that I have pneumonia that makes me high risk, my lungs are weakened for 6-8 weeks. Not being able to breathe is no fun, and it’s not something I want to happen again.

After quarantining for 14 days, Derek Henry was playing in my backyard at Newfangled and I couldn’t resist, I snuck out for a bit to see him play. It felt so good to be out of my house. It was literally my first event out. I didn’t even go out for groceries I had them delivered! Derek had a decent crowd enjoying his music. It’s hard for me to only see Derek playing as a solo act, it makes me miss the full rockin’ Observe the 93rd shows and even Dead shows! But I’m also very proud of Derek for adjusting to what life has given us and I’ve seen his confidence grow as a solo performer and that is pretty cool too. Newfangled and all breweries and small businesses are struggling so much. I’m glad to see them at least still supporting live music, we just all have to get out there and support them too. Honestly gift cards to any of these businesses scares me a bit, but you can always stock up on beer at your local brewery, instead of buying it from a convenience store or grocery store.

This Thanksgiving was very weird for everyone. I was on the end of my quarantine and chose to stay home and away from my family. I wasn’t even going to make a Thanksgiving Dinner. Then, I heard about the Rothrock Foundation tried to hand out 200 meals to families in need. Unfortunately, some of the families didn’t show up to the pick up points to get their food, so the Rothrock Foundation had some extra meals to get rid of. They luckily were able to give some to the Food Pantry in Middletown, but a lot of food banks can’t even take donated food because of Covid, so he still had some extras. I gave him a call and got a box for me and my family. It was EVERYTHING you needed for a complete Thanksgiving meal, the Turkey and all the fixins, even a pumpkin pie! When I brought the food home, I knew it was a lot for our family, so then I invited over a friend’s family because I know they were also not planning on making a meal. Thanks to the Rothrock Foundation 9 people ate a fabulous Thanksgiving meal.. well I had to cook it, so maybe not “fabulous”.. lol.. but it was delicious and very unexpected. The Rothrock Foundation is currently looking for families that are in need for Christmas. If you know someone that needs a little extra boost this Christmas, check out their website, www.rothrockfoundation.org.

Another shout out goes to another small business, The Blue Sky Tavern, just opened in the old Field House/Klinger’s building in Etters. Ideally they didn’t want to open their business in the middle of a pandemic, but they were already working on it back before this all started, and since they had so much money already invested, they had no choice but to open. They are doing everything they can to keep their business clean and Covid compliant. They are wiping down high touch services every 15 minutes, if not more than that. Their food is absolutely FABULOUS! I had bourbon-soaked peaches and waffles for brunch, and it was so good! I had a friend with me who is Vegan, and even tho they didn’t really have anything on the menu for her, their chef, Fred, came out and personally talked to her and figured out a delicious meal for her too. She said it was one of the best meals she’s ever eaten at a restaurant! They are also trying to support other small businesses. If you shop at a local store within 5 miles of their business and you bring the receipt in during lunch or brunch, you get 10% off your order. It is a great way to support the community and each other. They made some beautiful changes inside, and they definitely plan on supporting live music in the near future. If you are looking somewhere fun and new to try for lunch or dinner, check out The Blue Sky Tavern in Etters.

When you are thinking of gifts for your loved ones this Christmas, please don’t forget the little people.. the small businesses in your community and beyond. Most bands and businesses have websites with merch, music, and so much more. Get online and support those that need a boost. When you’re hungry consider getting take out from a local restaurant. If you’re brave and need a night out, get out and go to a restaurant before they get shut down again!

Hopefully we will all get through this Pandemic together. Please make sure and check on your friends and family. Depression is very real, and it will be a long, hard, lonely winter for a lot of people. A simple text, message, or better yet a phone call can really make a difference for someone. Feel free to reach out to me at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Thank you all for reading my article every month. Thank you for continuing to support the PA Musician Magazine. All of your support has meant so much to us. Don’t forget another great gift you can get your favorite musician or business, is an ad in the PA Musician Magazine!! Please SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC and LOCAL BUSINESSES.

[All photos with this article by Rachel Rocks]