I fell you what, I have this one acquaintance in my musical world who really is, just by his nature a gas light specialist. I’ve known him since high school and I accept who and what he is. I try to maintain a friendship with him which at times is not easy. I accept him. I know what he is so in that way he’s like the snake that I can see clearly and avoid entanglement with.
The problem with a gas lighter is that they derive some sort of perverse pleasure in firing you up with False compliments designed to gain your confidence so they can pull the rug out from under you right when it suits them to charge their own ego. Needles to say this is super frustrating.
As I move into my 50’s I have promised myself I won’t accept this sort of behavior and I have even cut a few folks out of my life who were long time acquaintances. I say acquaintances because they were only masquerading as friends.
Yet in my sincere desire to be an open book and a friend to all I found myself following another path that turned out to be a rabbit trail. Only this time the wasted time turned out to only be a matter of weeks before I recognized the old patterns. While it’s upsetting to waste any time on a person who doesn’t really deserve or appreciate it, I’m just being the open book I’ve always been and trying to be the glad handed collaborator always willing to spread the joy of creating good music.
Metaphorically speaking, I’m done wasting my water and casting pearls before swine. That’s just wasting my pearls.
I am so grateful to have one true blue musical friend in my life right now. He knows who he is and I thank God for him on the regular.
The rest is all about making the moves that matter. Getting beck active in church and Delilah, Delilah, Delilah.
Our first real gig is in the books as we laid down about 2 hours of acoustic rock at Loafers and Legends in Badin last night. As fate would have I, it turned really cold that evening and the normal customers did not seem to be out in force, however at least 15 family and friends came out to watch us and that was really gratifying. Speaking just for me the meal I had on our break was delicious. That place has found themselves and excellent chef I must say.
Zak brought his usual enthusiasm and energy along with 5 or 6 spectators making him my kind of band mate. When new are 100% on the same sheet of music, the sky is the limit and I think we are all ready and willing to do the work to get there.
The absolute best part of the nite was the fact that my family could be there. Mom and Summer came out and brought the light of my life, Delilah who did pretty well with all the excitement. She was bopping to the music and seemed to enjoy the food and was just generally having a great time. I like seeing that and painting those memories for her. She gets music and has paid lots of attention to music since she was an infant.
As far as the performance I’d give us a solid B+. Zak is so new with us we just haven’t had enough of those acoustic practices, but individual talent shewn through and kept us up there standards-wise. Actually, Not just that. Harrison and I spend most of our work time together working on new material or learning the DAW in my studio and tweaking that whole setup out. We have only recently turned out attention to recording. I was in good voice and Harrison as always was particularly impressive on the leads.
I want to document the sheer serendipity that occurred when a young fella walked into our store about a month or so back and asked me about how one goes about recording with my friend Eddie Snugs at his studio. We talked for a few minutes about music when I realize that apart from being 25 years apart in age we did indeed have a quite a lot in common. I brought them upstairs to my create space and stood there for an hour showing them my film making clips and the deep crevasses of my original Youtube channel.
Before they had left I invited him to the recently started band’s practice that Sunday to play some keys.
Since then I’ve logged in often to better get to know this wild man force of nature that has entered my life. I’ve literally never encountered a 25 year, half my age that I have so much in common with. I’m talking generally interests, passion for music, taste in movies.
I’ve already looped him into my first official producing gig on Ansel Brown’s new record and he’s been a major contributing force to that.
You know, I had to let someone go recently who really proved themselves to not have my best interests at heart and a break a continuous cycle of (at the very least emotional abuse) from a person I considered a friend for 17 years. This was a person I only really had one or two interests in common with. God’s timing is always perfect.
You’ll be hearing more about this talented young man as the posts come I am sure. For now I am really grateful to be working with such a generally nice guy and talented musician. Working with people like this just makes me better.
God is great and I just wanted to post and express that.
Here’s a little something we put together last night. It’s only half finished so take it for what it is.
After a pair of Reflexology sessions, 1 Friday night night and 2 Saturday morning, I hopped in the new Ford Edge and headed to Faith for a short but backing vocal session at Snug /Records studio. Anytime I can get a moment in the studio it is a pleasure. This time especially so as we are getting down to some of the finer choices on backing vocals.
So this is an idea that I’ve entertained for a long time as a method to assemble and band that actually knows how to play my songs. As a singer/song writer I’ve found it difficult in the past to keep a group of musicians engaged. Nobody is getting rich on original music around these parts. Onthe contrary it basically costs you to have any sort of band or any duo or trio assembled. The gigs just aren’t there and essentially all opportuities revoled around playing covers. All save for one very special venue. I’m talking about Little Tokyo Lounge.
Putting In All Together
I’ve found the players, so now what do I do? Well, it takes time, that’s the first thing. Everyone I know that plays music has to work an actual job to make a living and just doesn’t have tons of good ole fashion time to do the work. I needed to find a way to make it fun enough for folks to hang in there for 8 – 12 months really, really be able to nail these songs live. Talent is everywhere but talent + commitment to a project is tough to come by.
So after reaching out to the owner of Little Tokyo Lounge to ask aboutt he idea of playing on a night they don’t usually have bands and approaching things like a series of concert […I don’t even know what to called Little Tokyo, Restuarant and venue sure, but I just thing it’s so doggone neat and one of a kind all that seems short shrift to say]. The idea being that if we perform there monthly that in a short time the tightness and execution will improve vastly. Each memeber baiscally has to be professional enough to do the real work for practice on there own.
Today we got together to see if we could get through the tunes. We did. Although more refinement is required by all of us, the basics are there and we’ll be live in action on the 29th of this month. We’ll have myself on guitar and vocals, Chris on the drums, Daniel on the bass, Paul on keys and Tony on percussion, harmonica and flute. I’m still seeking an acoustic player and 2nd backing vocalist but this is where we’ll start. Come see us!
The timing had to be just right to pull off a weekend trip to Nashville to record my second solo album. With night school two nights per week a full 1.5 hours away from home, I knew I’d be sliding into the experience a little frazzled. Read more “Nashville and Beyond”
Because working to make rich bankers richer is a soulless, thankless endeavor, As well as for other reasons, I’ve decided to leave the Information technology field for good. Thankfully, I insured myself against this time when IT contract opportunities have become fewer and further between by launching my wife into the Nutrition store business over a decade ago. That business has absolutely flourished in the past 11.5 years.
I don’t want to speak out of turn but I think all the players have agreed to the monicker of “The Branches” or perhaps just “Branches” as the name fpr the church praise band. Even calling it “praise band” puts us in a box I’m not sure that we fit in. I know there is interest in playing outside of church at retirement homes or other funcitons and the way we are hammering weekly practices, I believe it can be done if God wills it. Maybe it should be called, “Guys who love playing christian themed music together.”
I’ll generally try to capture some sort of media here each week to capture our progress. We don’t always have the perfect performance in the actual service which is not entirely unexpected since we learn the songs one day and play them the next. In the case of this week, right before the service we played , “Back To The Cross”
and “Using My Bible As A Roadmap”
a little better so I am sharing the mps as well as the video.
Last night Joel and I performed for the first time, at least my first time at Trail House in Indian Trail. I really liked the venue and it was quitely lively for a Thursday night. The room was great for sound and the levels were a breeze to set. I hope to be back there again at some point in the future, either solo or with a full band. The crowd and staff really treated us well. We’ve been pretty serious about the rehearsal and I think was well reflected in the first set particularly. Good crowd feedback and great energy. Read more “An Amazing First Concert at Trail House”