Leftovers can be a good thing. For example, leftover chili can be better than the first day it was served. A local threesome believes the same could be true for musicians.
"Last year was a bad year for bands in Tiffin. A lot of the bands that had been together for a long time Rusty Vinyl, Booze Brothers and a few others dispersed and went different ways," said Tim Berry, local guitar and bass player.
When half of the Booze Brothers decided to split from the group after more than 23 years, the two remaining players, Berry and Tom Kastner, had a dilemma. The band was booked for 18 more shows. Rather than cancel, they decided to find a drummer and form a trio.
As it turned out, Reverse Side also had disbanded, leaving drummer John Reino without a band. He agreed to join Kastner and Berry and perform the remaining gigs as a threesome.
"We called it The Leftovers because we didn't actually want to use the Booze Brothers name. We didn't think it would be fair to the people out there," Berry said. "Booze Brothers did their last job Nov. 23, and we picked up John about a week later."
Berry said Reverse Side played for a few years in the 1960s, broke up, and reunited in recent years before splitting a second time.
Although Booze Brothers had been doing 1950s and '60s music, Leftovers has shifted to '60s, '70s, a few '80s tunes and some country.
"John likes doing country music, and Tom has played a steel guitar as long as he's played regular guitar, so we're going to incorporate that into the show," Berry said.
The Leftovers typically plays for fraternal organizations, such as the Moose, or military organizations. Berry said those groups are closer in age to band members.
The Booze Brothers' final Tiffin job was at the Eagles, and Berry said the place was "just packed."
"There was actually people crying because over 23-plus years, they followed the band faithfully. It was like losing part of their childhood, like losing a kid," Berry said. "When we went back in there as The Leftovers, with John Reino, they advertised it real good. ... And the place was packed again."
Also, the musicians now have new material to practice. Berry said he thinks the Booze Brothers was getting burned out "doing the same songs week after week." The trio did keep some Booze Brothers selections in order to have enough music for their existing jobs, but after that, they replaced most of them.
"When you're a three-piece, you can go into these places and charge a lot less money, too," Berry said.
That makes The Leftovers more affordable for clubs that may be struggling to follow the liquor and gaming laws. Berry has done plenty of charity concerts, as well.
Earlier this month, Leftovers played a benefit at New Riegel American Legion in place of the Booze Brothers, who had provided music for that event for the past 19 years.
Berry said the musicians enjoy sharing their talents more than earning money.
"It's for the love of music. I like looking down there at the crowd, seeing them dance and having a good time. I feel like we're doing our job. I know John feels the same way. He said 'I don't care if we make anything. I just like to play.' He likes to sing," Berry said.
Reino, who owns Reino's Pizza and Pasta, has family members who can help at the restaurant when the band has a Saturday booking. Berry works at Penske in Clyde, and Kastner works at a factory in Carey. The music gives them a break from the work week and reconnects the musicians with their youth.
"I've been doing this since I was 13 years old. I started actually playing the week after the Beatles were on the 'Ed Sullivan Show.' I got my first guitar and started playing," Berry said.
About six months later, he became a member of the Perceptions, one of the earliest rock bands in Tiffin. The Leftovers realize their best years are behind them. Berry said they consider this effort "the last rodeo."
"Tiffin's a great town for music. There's a lot of bands and everybody supports everybody else. We've got so many good bands in Tiffin right now. It's unbelievable - a lot of good musicians, still having fun," he said.
Those interested in booking The Leftovers can email bbband1951@hotmail.
com or call (419) 547-3012.