Steve Drzewicki Band In Fontana, CA
The Steve Drzewicki Band from Michigan made their second appearance at the Sons of Italy Hall in Fontana, California the weekend of March 29. They wowed us the first time they played there last year and they wowed us again. They are a fantastic Polish band, mixing in a bunch of Buck Owens music (Buck created lots of polkas) to the delight of everyone.
But let’s back up a bit. The band joined Gail & I at our country club home in Palm Desert (near Palm Springs) on the Thursday and Friday before the dance weekend. Stanley Kowalski and Bill Treichel entered the house with accordions pumping out Polish tunes while Tom Reder accompanied them on clarinet. Gary Mueller jumped on the piano and, voila, we had first class entertainment. The music poured out onto the golf course which drew a few quizzical looks. These guys were in heaven. Steve Drzewicki told us that this has been the coldest winter in Michigan that he can ever remember. It was 4 degrees when they left. Unfortunately we were going through a bit of a cold spell – it was 75 degrees during the day. Susie Mueller and Dorothy Treichel joined their spouses for the trip. While Steve and Doug Lull were playing golf with me on Friday, the girls went shopping in Palm Springs. Saturday the music started, the dance floor filled up, and the band kicked it into gear. Stanley was in the zone on accordion. Steve was rocking on drums. Gary and Doug wowed us with trumpet. Gary brought us to our feet with his fiddle playing (there were a couple of memorably lightning fast numbers that set the place on fire). Mark Durocher backed up on bass. Bill shook the bellows and the place was jumping. The band started early and played an extra 20 minutes. It was so good that no one wanted to leave.
A couple of notable local musicians, Stan Blout & Bob Patocka, joined them for a couple of numbers. Both play Cleveland-style Slovenian in local bands, but they grew up on Polish music and did a stellar job. But I’m sure their left arms hurt on Sunday from shaking the bellows.
Sunday picked up where Saturday left off. Both nights ended with the entire room filling up the mosh pit in appreciation of the music.