wife Lolly and I first heard Dalton Reeds voice as we walked
to the racks of the Electric Fetus to pick up some CDs for her radio
show, The Sugar Shop. I am an Otis Redding fanatic and I stopped
and listened as Chained & Bound came on the stores speakers.
I thought hey, thats pretty good! We picked up the
CD and, after a quick listen, began plotting to bring Dalton to Minnesota
for a show.
a tape of his CD over to the Blues Saloon and told them I had just
heard a great vocalist that I wanted to bring up. Upon returning home,
I made some inquiries and somehow ended up talking to Daltons
co-producer Lee Allen Zeno. After a bit of explaining who I was and
what I wanted Lee told me to send along a tape of the Butanes and
said hed talk to Dalton to see if he was interested in performing
with us. About a week later Lee called back and said Dalton had looked
at the promo, listened to the tape and was interested in coming up.
I went back to The Blues Saloon and told them Dalton was ready, willing
and able if they had the money and a date for us. The bar manager
had listened to the CD and liked it but was worried that Dalton was
too unknown. I convinced her to give us a weekend a few
months away in September but the offer was only a plane ticket and
a tiny guarantee versus the door. I called Lee back and had to promise
him all of the guaranteed money, plus a few extra dollars out of my
own pocket, to confirm Dalton.
that we would have to promote this show to have any chance of personal
financial success so I began telling people about this great new singer
we had coming in. Lolly played the heck out of his CD (like she does
with every new CD she likes.) Everyone in the band was given tapes
of Daltons music to work on and we were on schedule for our
September weekend. Then the club had a last minute cancellation and
needed Dalton to cover the next Saturday - months before we would
be ready. I had already made plans to go to my class reunion that
Saturday, we hadnt finished writing charts or done any rehearsing
but we were told it was now or never. We also already had an early
show booked for Friday night so any rehearsals would have to take
place in the afternoon immediately after Dalton arrived in town. I
called to see if Dalton would OK the date change and losing the Friday
performance. He agreed to move some things around and, ready or not,
the date was set.
Dalton was to arrive I received a phone call around 6 a.m. Dalton
had arrived at the ticket counter only to find the Blues Saloon had
purchased a ticket from Lafayette, Indiana
to Minneapolis instead of Lafayette Louisiana.
I spent the morning straightening the situation out, got Dalton on
a later plane and picked him up at the airport. Because of the mix-up
Dalton hadnt eaten all day so on our way to his hotel he ran
into Burger King and picked up a quick snack. We had an early evening
show at Riverplace that I had to set up for so I called Dr. Bob and
instructed him to pick up Dalton in a few hours and bring him down
to the show - that was to be our rehearsal since he hadn't landed
until well after we had expected. Dalton arrived at Riverplace, well-rested
after a nap, and met my family and a large number of our friends.
We called him up to sing a few songs with us at the end of our show.
A good time was had by all.
afternoon our trumpet player, Adam Triplett, was frantically trying
to scribble out the rest of the charts we needed for that night as
we had a quick run-through of a couple songs at soundcheck. We agreed
on a set list for the evening and had to include a couple of songs
that we performed in the Soul Revue that Dalton knew but hadnt
sang before as well as a couple of standards the horns didnt
particularly know to fill out the night. Our promotional onslaught
had worked! The place was full as we played the opening set and when
we walked back to the dressing room there was Dalton; with a tie!
It looked slightly out place on him but he looked great. Our first
set went pretty well but we had packed the second set with a lot of
the songs we needed more work on thinking we would go over them on
the break. Instead, we drank beers and chatted as Dalton was relaxed
and told us to just go out and have fun and we'll all do the best
end of the night the club paid everyone in the band individually,
something that had never happened before so I knew something was up.
When I totalled up our pay it was much less than the 100% of the door
receipts promised me. The club then confessed they had been short
the last couple of weeks so they took what they considered their share.
I cursed them out, told them they stole my money and I have had nothing
to do with the club manager since that night. Dalton came up numerous
times after that but always used a band willing to work cheap. I continued
my friendship with Dalton, even visiting him for a few days in Louisiana
but we never played with Dalton Reed again.