Friday, June 3, 2011

First Friday and THE MOVE.

Hey, everyone!

It's been quite some time since I've updated Keith Jones and The Makeshifts blog, so I figured I should do that. I want to talk about a couple things we've been doing lately, and the inevitable move to Florida that I (and consequently, The Makeshifts) will be making in a couple weeks.

In the past six or so months, I have had the tremendous opportunity not only to play music (if that's what you want to call it) at many of Columbus' Swing Dance events, but also in Cincinnati for one of their monthly dances.

Today will be The Makeshifts' last performance in the tri-state area for some time,(August) due to my move to Florida. We'll be in the beautiful town of Vevay, IN, performing at their monthly First Friday Festival. Vevay is one of my favorite towns to play in, and we generally have a terrific turn out, so I'm looking forward to it.

About my move to Florida - I will continue to perform in Florida once I find appropriate musicians, and I will also continue to perform in the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana area. Just much less frequently.

Our August show will be part of the Cincinnati Lindy Exchange weekend. I encourage every swing dancer out there to sign up for CincyLX! This is the second year for this event, and if it is anything like last year, it will be a fantastic time. Here's the CincyLX website -- --- Go figure, right? If you're not a swing dancer, and don't wish to be, you should show up to the Sunday dance, anyway. (HINT: THAT IS THE ONE THAT THE MAKESHIFTS WILL BE PLAYING)..

Some other very important links..

Olivia Suttles' swing dance blog called Generation: Swing. We were featured in this recently. Well written. Consistently updated.

Vevay Main Street's Facebook. This page contains a lot of info on the current happenings in Vevay, IN. There's a lot to do in Vevay.

CincyLXs Facebook Page! Get details and updates on CincyLX and other Cincinnati Swing events!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Attention all Festivals!

We're currently interested in playing at you. To all Ent. Directors: Please contact us right away! We offer competitive prices and are very professional and family friendly. Our focus is to authentically recreate the 50's. It's like a trip back to 1955! If you'd like to see if we're right for your event, you can visit our website at

To book us, call 5868232700


Monday, October 4, 2010

Crazy weekend.

Why were Dave Johnson and I in the back of a police car this weekend? Well, if you think we were trying to imitate celebrities by getting a DUI, you're wrong. We were actually just warming up and getting a ride as my car got towed into a nearby parking lot.

For those of you who are not familiar with my vehicle's list of ailments, here is a convenient list of its aesthetic problems and their causes...

Dented Back Passenger Side Door - Kentucky Text Girl.
Dented Back Driver Side Door - Drunk bar lady.
Dented Front Driver Side Door - 14 Year old's thrusting power.
Removable Hood - Duke's of Hazzard Slide
Cracked Windshield 1 - Duke's of Hazzard Slide Casualty
Windshield Frame Damage - Duke!
Cracked Windshield 2 - Frame damage.
Missing Passenger Side Mirror - Unsuspecting Deer Head
Dented Roof - Upright Bass Groove
Dead Tail Light - ???

After a great Friday in Vevay, Indiana playing at First Friday and Cuzz's, and an interesting Saturday and Sunday in Detroit, Michigan, we were pretty excited to get back home and sleep in a familiar environment. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen.

After getting off the highway to get gas, and realizing that the gas station was, in fact, not right off of that exit, (scary, huh?) we decided to let the GPS direct us to the gas station. As I neared an "intersection," I was told to make a right, so naturally I did. Little did I know that this was not the "road" that ol' Spot (yeah, we named the TomTom)was talking about. No, it was a train track.
Before I could react, we slipped down into the gravel. It may have been only a few inches deep, however my car sucks (never buy a Kia) and only has about 3 inches of clearance between the ground and frame. We were pretty desperate to get off of the train tracks, for obvious reasons, so I had Dave Johnson go out and push the car. I revved the engine, but to no avail. Naturally, I revved harder, hoping to make some sort of progress. Then I heard an explosion and DJ yelling "Ow". Of course, I did what anyone would have done in that situation. I laughed at Dave.

Apparently a rock flew up and hit him in the knee. That was pretty funny. Anyway, we expected to see a blown tire, but instead we saw a blown tire AND the fender sticking up at a 90 degree angle. This didn't make any sense at first, then I remembered that Kia's dent when you breathe on them . We were still stuck on train tracks. I guess it was time to call 9/11

As the phone was ringing we were pulling all of our equipment out of the car, just in case the worst did happen, and it did obliterate my Kia. I kind of wish it did. As I was talking to the 911 lady, she told me they were going to stop the trains. Naturally, it was about that time that I heard one coming. I was pretty freaked out, I'm not going to lie, but lucky for us, the train was going down the east/west track, and we were on the north/south track.

Anyway, to make the rest of this long story short... The cop came, and he was a great guy. There were some pretty shady guys who towed our car that charged us an outrageous amount to go two miles. We were pretty desperate though. We ended up having to stay in a hotel and get a new tire by taking off my rim and taking it to the used tire place. The tow cost us more than the hotel room and tire combined. We made it back alive, minus a fender.

The things we go through to play music....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hotel Marion after James Dean Fest.

On Friday night we played at the Hotel Marion in, you guessed it, Marion, Indiana. It took forever to get out of Cincinnati, so my dreams of stopping at Popeye's were entirely destroyed. After the 3 hour drive, (we knew we were getting close when we started to see hot rods everywhere) we pulled in around 7:30 to find that we were playing in the "fancy room". That's good, 'cause we liked the "fancy room."

We had a pretty rowdy crowd. Which is always good. For anyone out there who intends to be an audience member at any point in the future, your applause and cheers are really what drives the band to have "energy". It's a symbiotic relationship, it is. We ended up doing a few songs more than once because of requests. Hot rodders are awesome.

With the way things are going right now, it looks like we may be getting even more work in that area. We're looking forward to it.

Thanks to everyone for coming out and to Brad Koonz for filling in on upright bass.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Driving to Marion.

There's something about driving 100s of miles every week that makes me wonder how I'm not dead. 3,000 pounds of steel hurdling across the highway, bound by nothing but the driver inside. I'm such a lucky guy.

Tonight we'll be heading to Marion, Indiana. James Dean was born right by there. Consequently, they have a James Dean Festival every year. This James Dean Festival is this weekend. There are car shows, food, music, all that good, old fashioned festival stuff. We're playing at a place called the Marion Hotel, which is pretty much a stone's throw away from the James Dean Festival, so heck, we might stop by.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Goal right now.

Being as most of the festivals this year have come to an end, and submissions don't start until January for the majority of those festivals, the goal right now is pretty simple.

Get out there as much as possible. Get even more stage experience than we already have, and start making a name for ourselves in the area. So expect to see us around this area quite a bit for the rest of the year. We hope to see everyone at our next (semi) local date. We'll be playing First Fridays in Vevay, Indiana about an hour down I-71. (October 1st), then Cuzz's Bar directly after.

Vevay is a great little town. I've spent a lot of time there in my younger days... a year ago... There's a good restaurant down there called Roxano's. Try their Mexican breadsticks. They're ridiculous...LY good.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The Makeshifts..

This is the Makeshifts blog!

We're a band out of Cincinnati, Ohio. We play rockabilly, swing and 50's rock and roll. This blog has been created to document ours, and our businesses progress, for the posting of videos and just for some simple thoughts and expressions. My first post will be a little video I made just sittin' around...