L-R: Jeff Rutter,Ron Brandt,Paul Wood,and Jim Pilster.
At The Country House in Geneva,Il. 1997.
"The Two-Bit Oysters"
By Steve Malott
Tuesday, July 29th, my wife Doris and I went to see a band perform at the
"Country House" near Batavia. The band consists of Jim Pilster, Ron Brandt, Jeff Rutter, Paul Wood, and now Rocky Penn.
Members of other groups frequently join them.
Jim, Ron, Jeff , Rocky, and Paul are members of the 60's Rock Group "The Cryan Shames".
We met the Shames this summer at several summer festivals, The Shames show
is terrific and very much worth seeing.
We found out that the band (called "The Two-Bit Oysters") plays every
Tuesday night starting at about 8:30 P.M. They play 3 sets, and probably
finish about midnight. The band plays in the bar, and they have plenty of tables.
They do a mixture of acoustic music and humor, both improvised. Its difficult
to describe the show briefly, but here is an example. They were
playing "From the Beginning" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. They had
an acoustic guitar, bass, and conga drums (plus other percussion).
They reached the portion of the song where there is normally a Moog
synthesizer lead, and Jeff pulled out a kazoo. We were rolling on the floor.
According to Jim Pilster, he doesn't know what they are playing next until they
get into a couple of frames. Another funny song was where they Played "Wipeout" by the Surfaris
(an oldie), and the guitarist Jeff Rutter turns to Jim Pilster and shouts "Drum Solo".
Jim had to quickly improvise something with various percussion, The whole evening was like this.
We were surprised to see that the Country House, has no sign indicating that the band will be playing.
As a result, the audience was small.
They play in the bar, and THERE IS NO COVER CHARGE. The food and
drinks are normally priced and are good. Directions: Head South on
I-88 to the Farnsworth Avenue exit (almost at the Fox River). Turn
right to go north on Kirk Rd. The Country House is located at Kirk
and Fabyan Parkway.
Check them out. You will really like the show.
"The Two-Bit Oysters" An-Update!!!!!
After eight straight weeks of seeing the 'Oysters,you would think that we
had seen everything in their show. A few weeks ago Denny Conroy (The Cryan'Shames's original drummer) showed up and joined them on tambourine for one of their songs.Last Tuesday (Sept.16th) had more surprises.
Jeff Rutter was back to join Jim Pilster (J.C.Hooke),Ron Brandt,and Paul Wood. Rocky Penn (drummer for the Cryan'Shames, and Scramble) joined them to sing lead on five songs.The band jokingly refered to themselves as "High in fat,and low in taste".
The band played a number of new songs.They also played some of our favorites including The Shames's "If I needed Someone" and "Sugar and spice", Chicago's "Beginnings", and of course "Motorcycle".
The crowd was the largest that I have seen at the Country House.Doris and I initially sat around the corner in the dining room because all of the tables were taken.The audience included friends and family members of the band. At one point,the band played "Wipeout" by the Surfaris,and Ron Brandt did a unique,ad-libbed,"drum solo" which got quite a reaction from the audience.
I continue to be amazed by the energy of the band which is also exemplified in their other two bands: The Cryan'Shames,and Scramble.I enjoy going to their shows to listen to them whether it's the Cryan'Shames, Scramble, or The Two-Bit Oysters, and plan to catch Spectrums Show in the future. Each of the guys usually stop by to talk to us and shake our hand.These are shows that you never get tired of seeing!!Anyway,it has been fun seeing the
band,and in a way being a part of it!
--As a wise man once said:
"Good taste is timeless"
Two-Bit Oyster Update #3 ,Oct 22-Nov12
As I have mentioned previously,every week is different,and their music is
always fun to listen to.
Each week the band plays more songs that we have not previously heard over t
he past 13 weeks.The band is very versatile,and we are convinced that at the
rate they are going,we will hear every song ever written.At one point,they
played"dueling banjos"(out of "Deliverance") which phased into"Rocky Top".
One week they played "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams.Ron ,Jim,and Jeff each
week show "new lyrics" to popular songs that are sure to raise a smile among
The Oysters' have acquired a nice following of people who enjoy their show
each week.Their versatility is exemplified by their covers of songs by the
Rolling Stones,Crosby,Stills,Nash,the Cryan'Shames,and John Denver.
Jim Pilster (J.C.Hooke) sang a new version of "Wild Thing" by the Troggs,
taking the usual "liberties" with the lyrics.Jim,Ron,Jeff,and Paul enjoy
cracking each other up by inventing new lyrics to the songs.
The band has been playing with more energy,clearly enjoying the larger crowds
each week.Rocky Penn,the drummer for the Cryan' Shames,and Scramble has
reciently become a member of"the Two-Bit Oysters".
Be sure to catch the show,you won't be disappointed!
Also check out Scrambles upcoming show which will include Bob Abrahms from the
Two-Bit Oyster Update #4 ,Nov 12,1997-Jan 13,1998
By Steve Malott
The Oysters have been having larger crowds impart to the great dinner busine
ss.Sue Christenson and Cheryl Miller have been joining us for their shows each
week, and the band still plays with their usual high energy, covering many new songs.
Larry Coveny(vocalist with The Cryan'Shames)joined them at one of their show
s,and they did a medley of Shames' tunes along with some new songs.
They take their usual liberties with lyrics on some of their songs,and tell a group of jokes which makes the audience appreciate when they perform.As always,their shows are different each week.
Two seperate groups of women were having their girl's night out here,and were
clearly having a good time.The band picked up energy because of it!There was a
lot of singing along with songs,and several times limited dancing due to their not being a lot of room.
Different musicians continue to join them for their shows.Jim Dawson(Jimette),an Elvis impersonator did a set of Elvis songs with them and he was very funny.
We were told that the Oysters' have been extended indefinitely,and they are drawing larger crowds on Tuesday nights than on Fridays.
While Jim Pilster (J.C.HOOKE) and Rocky Penn were out of town there was no percussion,so Jeff Rutter,Ron Brandt and Paul Wood played a combination of acoustic guitars and bass guitar.
The Two-Bit Oysters wil be playing in Lincolnshire,Illinois on March 5th,1998.More information will be announced on this homepage.
Two-Bit Oyster Update #5 ,Dec 23,1997-Jan 13,1998
By Cheryl Miller
Hi- my name is Cheri Miller, and I am a regular member of the Two-Bit Oyster "fan club", or as I have jokingly called their show "The Tuesday Night Insanity
Club". I thought I would stick my 2 cents worth in and give an update on the craziest trio around!!
On December 23, there was a regular jam session on stage-with enough entertainment to keep the large crowd satisfied. Besides Jim Pilster, Jeff Rutter and Paul Wood, we were also entertained by Wes Davis, Charlie Prazma and Dennis O'Brien. Wes sang cuts from his CD,while Dennis tried to jump into a split position; almost not making it back on his feet.
The pre-New Years Eve(as Jim called it)show was to a small but LOUD crowd. Sue Christenson and I agreed it was one of the best receptions the guys have received.
On January 6, the crowd was also small, but that never stopped the clowning around. Some new songs were added- including "You Keep Me Hanging On" and "You Really Got Me"(The Kinks).
Of course We love it when Paul "serenades" us with Ronnie Rice's "I Will Always Think About You". Well, we know the Two-Bit Oysters will remain at the Country House for awhile more.
For those who haven't come to see them - do so! Tuesday nights will NEVER be the same. Though the harmony is great, the jokes can be a bit on the "colorful" side; Of course, Paul and Jim tend to add to the chaos at times.
It's a great way to spend an evening. All I can say
is I am proud to be a part of their "circle of friends" and am glad to be able to share my experiences with the rest of you. Till the next time- good bye.
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