Thursday, December 19, 2013

Troubadour of the Bouncing Red Chair, Tommy Foster, Now Lead Singer of Tribute Band, Echoes of Pink Floyd, w/ America's Biggest Laser Show. @MonaLakeBob

We've all taken note of Tommy Foster, the troubadour who sings on the ledge of Hobo's Tavern Fireplace Thursday nights, North Muskegon. Bob Scolnik, County Commissioner, Military Captain and Cultural Leader has taken note of Foster too, placing him in the coveted position of third act at his 2013 Concert with Friends, a late fall tradition in Muskegon. That third act selection worked great for Anisa Hayes, who opened for Kansas and REO Speedwagon after her turn as the third friend.

Foster has many friends in Muskegon County, and Kimberly Harsch, leader of the White Lake Arts Council reached out to me after seeing Echoes of Pink Floyd's show at the Crofoot in downtown Pontiac. She was excited for Foster and his prospects and made sure the Captain heard the alert. The Crofoot is another one of those "harbinger" stages, and a turn performing upon it makes for a good sign. After all, didn't Neko Case and the New Pornographers show up at the Crofoot during a recent barnstorm through Michigan?

And her word proved true as ever. See our local guitar hero singing Roger Water's lyrics in these pictures at the Echoes of Pink Floyd Facebook Site. Notice that he's dropped the bouncing red chair for plenty of green lasers, reportedly the biggest laser show in the nation. Tribute Shows are huge today, and the practice of impersonating a famous band has gone upscale, with tribute bands showing up on the stages of art centers and casinos. 

For example, The Fab Four have performed on the stage at Forest Hills Fine Arts Center and Rain, a leading Beatles Tribute Band, has taken the stage of the Frauenthal. The brewmaster of Saugatuck Brewing Company once booked two Jethro Tull tribute acts for his performance hall, including the splendid group, Silver Pipe.

Tommy Foster's future is so bright, he's gotta wear shades, especially with those lasers blazing. I caught up with Foster a few days ago, and he shared the following conversation with your Captain. Before I point us towards the transcript, let's talk about what's next for Foster, who travels to Jackson's Michigan Theater January 25th for a performance in the lovingly restored historical theater

Hey, who else thought that the Frauenthal is a lovingly restored historical theater? We can honor a local troubadour who has taken his music to the next level, right? Let's put Bob on the Job.

In other news, Scolnik has hired Tom Sadge as Neil Diamond for his New Year's Eve Revels. Wonder if Scolnik thought of hiring a double, with Rich Burkholder of Cash Diamond, a Grand Haven favorite son.

Tommy, are you a member of Echoes or an opening act. Kimberley Harsch suggested I take note.

Art, I am a member, doing lead vocals with acoustic/electric and lap steel guitar duties as well.

There's something about that third act at Concert with Friends. Once a musician reaches the third act with Bob Scolnik, the career takes way way off. So it seems with you. Kimberley Harsch sounded very proud of you! I'll have to look more into schedule and all but to have done the Crofoot is a real plum.

Thank you. I appreciate that observation, and am trying to stay positively challenged to learn and develop after 24 years of playing. The Crofoot was a good experience to have.
Bob Scolnik was a treat to work with as well... I enjoyed that venue just as much, perhaps more.

Of course, you are aware. Bob Scolnik loves impersonators. Hires them for dinner parties, like his New Years with Elvis at the Old Pontaluna Country Club, now Oakridge Golf Club.

Tommy, is this a chapter out of your life as an artist as a young man? Foster Kids. In other words, was Tommy Foster gigging at the Red Rooster north of Muskegon State Park as early as 1994, 19 years ago?

Arthur, yes. It was a band my brother and I played in for a few years, though James Joyce was not a heavy influence. : )

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