On July 19, Polka Tom Haslett, who broadcasts on KCAA 1050 AM from Loma Linda on Saturday mornings and 247PolkaHeaven, threw another wingding party at his home in Escondido, California which is 40 miles north of the Mexican border. This is Tom’s second annual polka party – it takes at least 2 parties to enter the annual category – and he has committed to a third.
A tent shaded the partygoers and the dance floor while the garage hosted a bar and gobs of food. We were entertained by the Gruber Family Band (GFB) and the duet of Ginny Mac & Kent Shores. I’ve written often about GFB, who always provide a wonderful mix of dance music that delights the crowd. They motored 500 miles from Northern California the night before, played the gig on Saturday into the wee hours, and motored home on Sunday after 4 hours of sleep. During their set, GFB got everyone on the dance floor to do the Freeze dance, a repeat performance from last year. The band plays a tune and when the bell rings, you freeze in whatever position you’re in. When the horn blows, you resume dancing. Michael & Martin Kramar, who perform with the band, participate in the dance while Toni and Peter Gruber play the music. Everyone freezes in interesting positions. Having warmed up the audience with the Freeze Dance, they kept everyone on the floor for a circle dance, which is a great mixer.
Ginny Mac used to perform with Brave Combo (BC), one of our favorite polka bands. This is the first time that we have seen Ginny outside of the BC cocoon. She served up a superb mix of jazz, Country Western, classics, and International music crossing many styles with Kent Shores accompanying on guitar and Michael Kramar of GFB backing them up on drums. Ginny produced her 4th CD (“On the Street Where You Live”) with Joey Miskulin and many other noteworthy performers – the CD should be available commercially soon.
Party on for next year!