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Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:46 am
by jeffl
Our weekly jam host told me tonite that our last little club gig spawned a couple contacts; I guess we're gonna do a benefit fundraiser for a couple local charities within a coupla months, which is cool, 'cuz that's been one of our stated goals as a jam group ( to benefit charities when we can). And, we're gonna be the host band for a regional jamfest, possibly at the local bandshell, which is a phenomenal place to play. I've played in that shell before and if you've never played in a bandshell designed back in the 30's, you've missed a treat. The acoustics are jumpy as a frog with a #6 hook thru the brainpan. I guess they decided without me (which is fine) that we're goin' amplified when we play the club every month too, which hopefully will improve the mix. I'm very surprised they came to this conclusion, but it's a wise one. I thought the quality slipped at last week's clubshot, primarily 'cuz we were playin' too loud acoustically. I couldn't hear a darn thing, and I was pushin' my harps beyond their intended volumes. I sense that the boys' reluctance to become a band is fading...partially I think 'cuz we've come together better than anyone probably expected. It's all fine with me...no difference as far as what I do, except maybe remembering lyrics better and learning titles and keys better.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:32 pm
by houserocker
Very cool Jeff. You guy's have the right idea, you just have to be careful not to let it snowball into something you never intended by gigging to much, keep it fun with as little stress as possible and enjoy it, that is how music is suppose to be! Thought the video of you guys was great BTW. :D


http://www.thehouserockers.net

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:32 pm
by jeffl
houserocker wrote:Very cool Jeff. You guy's have the right idea, you just have to be careful not to let it snowball into something you never intended by gigging to much, keep it fun with as little stress as possible and enjoy it, that is how music is suppose to be! Thought the video of you guys was great BTW. :D


http://www.thehouserockers.net
Sage advice Charlie, 'cuz the jams at our host's house have been very special. The opportunity to play regularly with decent musicians, in a large dedicated area, with the freedom to learn new stuff of any genre and say or do what you want...it's a rare opportunity that shouldn't be squandered. And one of the main dangers of playin' out more is that our de facto "bandleader" (he's got by far the most giggin' experience and chops) is infamous for goin' postal in previous band situations. He's been kicked out of practically every band he's been in for about 45 years-- and he started most of 'em,lol! He's lost it a coupla times with us, but most of us have known him for most of that time, so we kinda overlook or ignore some of his rants. In fact, at his birthday party down at the club last week, he started the nite out by gettin' us together and thankin' us for bein' so tolerant of him and accepting him with his shortcomings 'cuz he's really appreciated playin' with us and he feels more peaceful than he's ever felt in his life (I think his new wife of one year deserves alotta credit too though.) Seriously, my teeth almost fell out when I heard it.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:12 pm
by bluejay
Bubba, as to your "leader's" attitude, I think therapists call that "progress." 8) If he keeps getting better, you can charge him by the hour. :P

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:53 pm
by jeffl
Yeah Bluejay, I've definitely seen him mellow out over the last 15 years or so (He's had 3 significant blowups that I know of during that time), and I've really had to admire his patience with some of the mediocrity he's encountered. Even though he's gotten very pointed with some of the other guitar players about their inadequacies--for example, he'll occasionally stop in the middle of a tune and look at one of the players and say something like "What are you doing..?"-- I've seen him coach one of the younger guys all the way through a tune several times and then they're off & running. I think we all feel like we're helping to maintain a valuable local resource,lol! He's even been a help to me on keyboards, with just generally helpful ideas and observations. It's easy to laugh about him unless you're the victim of one of his nastier attacks, and then it's been hard for guys to get over...but in the case of our guys, everything's gotten patched up.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:24 pm
by jeffl
Our jam bunch is goin' through some growin' pains,imo. Our rhythm player (the most experienced gigger in the bunch, with about 45 years of it under his belt) seems to want to make this into a band instead of a jam group. The guy who hosts us at his house seems to like that idea as well. Probably a third of us are generally negative about that idea, and the rest are prob'ly OK with it, but we all value the experience we've enjoyed so far. When we played at our monthly club gig last week, the rhythm player ( Muddy's his stage name, and has been forever ) felt the necessity to play bandleader, to the extent that when I started to toss out a lyric-less blues jam on the piano he hollers over to me "No jams...just songs.", which I really didn't care about, but it pissed off one of the other guys. And then another time he tells one of the guitar players to sing closer to the mic...! The general consensus is that we all value playin' with this guy, but he's been kicked outa every band he's ever been in, and it's basically 'cuz the worst side of him comes out when he has to get serious about his product. My opinion is that the lack of pressure previously, and the nature of the group, has been the reason we've all gotten along, and that changing things could wreck the whole deal.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:27 am
by bigdaddy
If you go in to "band" mode maybe it would be best to elect a "boss." The boss should be the one most trusted to produce the best the band can be. Skinny is the boss of the band I am in. He is an unbelieveable guitar player and sings. He says what we play and when. He has introduced songs to me that I just can't get a feeling for and he respects that enough to just drop the song from the play list. Same with the drummer but it's only been a couple of songs dropped. The egos have got to be left at the door. There is no room for them. Sounds like you may be losing a fun thing but perhaps the new thing just needs some organization. Elect a boss and stick with his decisions. Everyone has to work it out and remember that the music is what's important. Good luck, from what you wrote, you're gonna need it.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:49 pm
by jeffl
I don't see us goin' to "band mode"; I don't think many of the guys wanna put in the time or effort, and older guys hate inconveniences, and let's face it..giggin' is alotta work, especially if you play on consecutive nights. I have nothing but respect for the guys who put themselves through that, even though it is fun. Oddly, last night neither the rhythm player or the guitar player who hates gigging the most were there, so we had a smaller group. They are good friends and almost always are opposite each other on any issue (it's like Ying and Yang). One of the other guitar players who usually just plays fills and comps took over the rhythm spot and blew me away. He's one of the younger guys in the group and it was the first time I'd really heard him drive tunes...we got into some hellishly hot stuff, and played alotta blues, and got into a Hendrix run too. It was more fun than I'd had in weeks. The kid was just glowing when the night was over 'cuz he got a chance to get his ya-yas out. Without two of the guitar players I got a chance to lead a buncha tunes on keyboard, so we did some Doors, Wilson Pickett, The Band, Talking Heads, Steve Earle, and a coupla my originals. I love it when guys are missing and the dynamic changes altogether. The group was so small comparatively (2guitars,drummer,bassist, and my harps & keys) that I didn't even mic the harp. It was just a good hot close quarters acoustic jam circle.

Re: Precipitated Opportunities

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:32 am
by bigdaddy
Consecutive nights are the easy gigs. Here in a couple of weeks we play one bar on Friday night and another on Saturday night. Them weekends are a drag becasue it's setting the PA up and tearing it down every night. It's not a big PA, one 10 channel mixer head, two 12 monitors, two 15 mains and speaker stands and mic stands but it's still work. I dig the idea of your acoustic jam, I bet it does feel good. Having fun is what's important.