Finally!! The laptop is back and better than ever and I’ll be back on Monday! It’s been very, very frustrating trying to use my phone to do all of my work, but I finally got the parts, got the soldering gun and got ‘er done!
There are a lot of really exciting things going on and because of it, I’ve had to sit down and do something that I haven’t done in a very, very long time. I wrote two songs for a new project and I had a blast doing it. The next step is getting them recorded. For that, I am going to have to sit down with Joel and map out the arrangements. The one thing that I have been blessed with the last 15 years is being around people who can take my ideas and arrange them musically to pull out my thoughts and make them real. This time though, it’s not just for the band that the music has to sound good, but for a third-party that has contracted us for use in a very exciting new project….
One of the best descriptions of having good people around me was when I went to Joel with an idea that was a one time joke in Philly when Another Pint was touring . We melded When Doves Cry with Freebird when a bachelorette party came in and asked for Prince and a group of drunk college guys yelled out “Freebird”. It was a joke song that got a huge reaction live but I wasn’t sure how to pull it off and make it sound good in a recording. I handed it to Joel with a couple of notes and he came up with When Freebirds Cry. I have to say that I still laugh out loud when I hear Angel singing all of the harmonies like Prince did with When Doves Cry. Listen to them one after that other and realize that Joel used all acoustic instruments to pull of a funky song! It was just one of Joel’s masterpieces on that album. The other was Canyon Moonrise. The Colonel liked to play it live and it was always fun, but I asked Joel if he could make it sound like it would fit into Braveheart after the battle. I think he did it.
This time I have three songs that I want Joel to help me make magic with, two songs and one that is so off the wall that it has to sound good. After that, the rest of the songs that I want to do, should be easy!
Stay tuned and there will be updates on this project soon and I’ll be back to making videos on Monday.
I am still waiting on a single solitary part so I can fix my laptop. I’ve had a lot of time off and I should have known that as soon as I wanted to get back to making some videos that something would stop me. Now I’m a bit frustrated, but I think I should have everything figured out and fixed by this weekend. I am hoping that I get the laptop back together and working by Friday night because I have an opening of about 2 hours on Saturday to get something recorded, edited and ready for upload. I’ll be away from home all day Sunday with Amber and Sandy as they once again compete in the Warrior Dash!
Last year, I was not prepared for the awful mess they were going to make of my car when they were finished. They were completely caked in mud and it got everywhere! This year, I have my tarps ready and they will be covering everything!
This last weekend I was attended a great Jam at Joel’s place. We had most of the gang there and we had a blast! We were a little bummed because we couldn’t make it to the Henry Reed Memorial Fiddler’s Convention in Glen Lyn, VA. We’ve gone there the last couple of years and always had a blast. We are planning on being there next year, but we are taking it a day at a time.
On the subject of jams; if you get a chance to join one or start one, by all means do it. There is no single better way to learn to play music then with a bunch of others. It doesn’t matter if you only know a couple of chords, just find or start a group and you’ll learn together. I learned by performing in front of people. I was in a band as soon as I knew four chords and learned as I went. It was fun and it was the best way to learn, learn fast and learn correctly. In the beginning when I was learning how to find the melody of the song, I had to skip a few notes here and there to get the part of the melody I knew to fit into the timing of the song. As time went on, I got better and better at being able to sing a requested song that I had never done before and playing the melody on the break. It’s not magic, it’s just playing and not letting yourself say “let me do that over”. You just try it, move on and come back the next time. Now when I skip a few notes of the melody line, it’s because I want to. Sometimes it’s because I want to song to have a driving rhythm and sometimes it’s because the rests between the melody notes gives the song flavor and something for the listener to try to find and keeps it interesting.
Have fun, keep playing and I’ll see you all next week!
I had a great show last night with Joel Simpson. I love the combination of guitar and banjo! I especially love it when I am playing the banjo all night and don’t have to play guitar.
We were at a great neighborhood pub called An Seanachi in Blue Island, IL. It’s a great place and if you are ever in the area stop by for a pint. The pub is located at 2825 W. 127th Street, Blue Island, IL.
The weekend started out fantastic as Joel and I had so much fun. The only downside is that my laptop died on me. The upshot of that unfortunate development is that I can’t process any videos until I am able to get the parts to fix it.
I had planned to try to get the parts this morning, but instead of getting a couple of hours of sleep, I ended up in downtown Chicago with Sandy at the Color Run. Oh well, no rest for the wicked or the hungover!
I’ll be in touch!