Heinicke and his friend, Marita of Tillamook, Ore., travel all over the region to dance at Dixieland music festivals. One such festival, four or five years ago, was where they first came across Tom Rigney's music.
“He played the last set on Sunday (of the festival),” Heinicke recalled in a recent interview. “We danced to the last number he played.”
Dancing that late at a festival is quite an accomplishment. “By that time you've got spaghetti legs, you're so tired,” Heinicke laughed. “You have about 30 hours of dancing, in all.”
The former South Bend mayor and long-time educator expressed surprise that such a well-known group, with such a huge following, would appear in small-town Raymond. “They were lucky to get him,” he said of Sunday Afternoon Live's board. “He's very much in demand, very much in demand.”
Tom Rigney & Flambeau travel all over the world with their mix of Cajun, zydeco, R&B, blues, ballads and jazz. Their 2013 schedule ranged from Sacramento and other California sites to Paris, Belgium and a cruise on the Mediterranean.
Sunday Afternoon Live was able to schedule the group through block booking with other area venues such as Port Ludlow. SAL's chairperson emeritus, Virginia Carlson, said the local group has been trying to get Rigney here for seven years, ever since she and others first heard him at a booking conference.
“He's totally different but extremely dance-able,” Heinicke said of Rigney's music. “He plays some very touching, feeling waltzes that he has written, beautiful waltzes. He plays the violin and can change it into fiddle because he plays the Orange Blossom Special, which is country-western. Then he'll play Cajun music.”
The key to all Rigney's music, for Heinicke and his friend, though, is dance-ability.
“I have never heard him play one piece that wasn't dance-able. And the floors are always packed when he's playing.
“I couldn't go, I don't think, if I had to sit and just listen. It would kill me almost not to dance.”
Reminded of the upcoming performance at the theatre, Heinicke said, “but there's room to dance. If that band starts playing, my feet are moving.”
Tickets for the upcoming Father's Day performance are $12 in advance at three locations, Sagen's in Raymond, South Bend Pharmacy, and the Raymond Theatre at 323 Third St. Tickets also can be ordered by phone, 875-5831; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail, PO Box 221, South Bend, WA 98586; or by PayPal online at www.sundayafternoonlive.org. Tickets on the day of performance are $15.
Sponsors for the performance are Ekone Oyster, Campbell Kids and Karl Heinicke.
For those undecided about attending the performance, Heinicke suggests: “Go. If you don't like him, don't go the next time. But if you go there, you'll be there the next time. He's very good, very entertaining.”