New Band Opp.

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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby bluesfyre » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:34 pm

Good goin' bud. There's nothin like playin live blues. Was the drummer drooling from both sides of his mouth?
:-)
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:44 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-23-05 AT 09:46 AM (EST)]>Good goin' bud. There's nothin like playin live blues. Was
>the drummer drooling from both sides of his mouth?
>:-)
Thanks BF: It wuz a first practice for him and me, so I think we were both on our best behavior! I've heard through the grapevine that this drummer has been kicked out of at least one band for drinkin', but I don't know how long ago that was. He wasn't drinkin' much at practice- only one or two,I think. My first steady gig,in the early 70s, was a hotel lounge thing, 5 days a week, and I learned not to drink while working, unless some good tipping customer wanted to buy you a drink- and,then you tried to nurse it. I know I'll have my hands full, learnin' a 75-80 song playlist (older veterans sure have big playlists), so mind-altering substances are not on the menu, at least during the ramp-up.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:14 pm

>Hope it works out for you Bubba, congratulations mate.
Well,it doesn't look like it is gonna work out for me...! Our frontman is getting the golden parachute from his company, and he put his house up for sale. When it sells,he's movin' to New England. So,we're a lame duck,with one gig lined up for Thanksgiving. I'm extememly disappointed,especially in the fact that we're now feeding a buncha Stones tunes into our setlist for the one gig. The good news is that because of this band, I've made some other contacts in the gigging community around here, and maybe that'll lead to something. At least now,a few other people around here have heard me play,and my name should come up if the right people get talkin'. Onward,and Upward.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:01 pm

Temporary life for my dying band.... One of my friends is a drummer in a band that's blowing up too (frontman also left),but they've got more gigs lined up in the next few months than we do, so we're merging our bands in the interim. They ditched their female singer,and their drummer and bassist came with us,so we gave up our drummer and bassist(who has another band goin' anyway). Tonite's our first rehearsal as the new lineup. When this is all over in a few months, we'll be left needing a guitarist/singer/frontman again,in which case,maybe we'll get the female singer back. So, we're back to a 5 piece, with guitar,bass,drums,keyboards,and my harp. At least there's opportunities to play.Yeeee-haaaaa!
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby mrbb » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:43 pm

>Well, I talked to the frontman for this new blues band I'm
>tryin' out for on Wednesday.... I like the setup. They still
>have their piano/organ player,and bassist, from their last
>band (a blues/rock cover band), as well as the
>frontman/singer/guitarist; they haven't found a drummer yet,
>but the rehearsals start Wednesday, and he's not callin' 'em
>rehearsals yet,which I like. Seems we're just gonna do some
>jammin' to see how the fit is, and they cancelled their last
>gigs with the old band, so there's no pressure to throw
>somethin' together just to fill a bill (whew!). The
>bandleader assures me that the farthest they're gonna get
>from the blues is 60's R&B, and that their keyboarder is a
>veteran with years of playin' with harpers under his belt (I
>don't think the harper has to actually be under his belt).
>We can stay in the studio until we get it right,before we
>start takin' gigs, and their ultimate goal is small venue
>concerts, and the instrument mix is stayin'
>guitar/bass/drums/keyboards/harp- so I think I'm gonna like
>it. I've only sat in with these guys once, and I think I'm
>on the right track here. Wish me luck,gang- I've been
>lookin' for an opportunity like this around here for a long
>time. There's only 4 working blues bands in all of
>Southeastern Minnesota.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby bosco » Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:52 pm

Bubba-

Sorry to hear about your band's implosion, but it sounded like it was heading in that direction with all the Stones tunes anyway.

Tonite's our first rehearsal as the new lineup. When this is all over in a few months, we'll be left needing a guitarist/singer/frontman again,in which case, maybe we'll get the female singer back. So, we're back to a 5 piece, with guitar,bass,drums,keyboards,and my harp.

Bubba, do you sing? Seems like most of the pro harpers sing as well, so they are the frontman. Next month it will be a year for my "new" band and my singing is what I have worked the hardest on over that period. I sing all day in the car, breathing from the diaphram, just like harping. I have really improved and now share lead vocal duties with our lead guitar player.

The breathing seems to come natural from all the harpin', but the phrasing is really what I am studying. Keeping phrases intact seems to be key so they retain their intended impact. Here's an example:

Wrong way- "You know I'll be (pause) in church next Sunday, save me from those double bogie blues."

Correct way- "You know I'll (pause) be in church next Sunday...etc.

The pause is only on the other side of one word, but it makes a huge difference in keeping the phrase intact. This probably all belongs in the singing forum, but as it relates to you (a harper) I'll post it here.

What I'm trying to say is, maybe you can get by without the chick singer, and it's much easier to get another good guitar player if he doesn't also need to be your frontman. None of the others sing? Bass, keys, drummer? If each guy can carry 8-10 tunes, presto, you don't need a lead singer. Sorry for the ramble...carry on.

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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:54 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-22-05 AT 11:56 AM (EST)]I usually sing backup vocals,and occasionally a lead,but my voice is prob'ly a 6,on a scale of 10,and it's always nicer to have a really good lead singer. The quality of the lead singer seems to be one of the things that separates headlining touring acts from the 3,4,5,and lower slots at fests. The bassist and I are the only other singers (besides the girl and the guitar player) ,and neither of us are great. Last nite,we worked with their female singer for the first half of the rehearsal,til she had to leave, and in the opinions of all who remained,the band was better after she left(And she's a really good singer,who's pretty and has a great body) . The drummer made a point of telling me to contact him soon,at the end of the rehearsal, so I have a distinct feeling that there could be an expulsion coming up.Any way you cut it, we're gonna need another guitar player in a few months,so we'll run with it this way,and maybe start casting about for a guitarist/singer soon.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby maxx england » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:22 am

Don't know if this is relevant, I can't sing anyway, if you don't feel 10/10 with your voice have you considered fx to beef up or modify it? Just a thought, ignore it if it is irrelevant.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby bluejay » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:05 pm

Way to go Bubba! BTW, our little jam together gave a nice boost to my next couple of solo practice sessions -- got into it enough I broke the same string I'd just replaced before our visit.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:30 pm

>Way to go Bubba! BTW, our little jam together gave a nice
>boost to my next couple of solo practice sessions -- got
>into it enough I broke the same string I'd just replaced
>before our visit.
Yeah,those little get togethers can be inspiring,Bluejay; this new band moved their rehearsal to tomorrow nite,so I can go jam with my bunch on the river tonite! I really would like to get over this "tryin' to find a band" phase, and get on to the "groovin'" phase. But,if it hadn't been for the first ill-fated,and soon to be aborted, band, there would have been no contact with these new guys,so that was a good thang.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:57 pm

First gig tonite with this new group. I gotta admit, I'm feelin' kinda tight about it,since the practice didn't leave me with warm fuzzy feelings. That's a good sign though- it seems like it's hard to back up great practices with a good first set. At least I'm playin' with a bunch of old vets, so I'm sure they'll make it easy on me.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby bluesmcgoo » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:52 pm

Good luck, Bubba!

Enjoy yourself. That's what it's all about.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:38 pm

Well,I learned a little lesson from the gig on Saturday nite: don't let anybody you haven't worked with before tell you how and where to set up yer rig. I went down there with my amp,and a 57 to mic it with. I wuz only scheduled to play the 2nd set,so I didn't set up aheada time,choosing to wait until the set break. The band wuz crammed into a small space flat on the floor. The bandleader told me not to worry about the space- they'd widen it out between sets. The break came, and he's bee-essin' with a guy at a table. Then he sez,"You don't need to mic yer amp; jus' set it on the floor (and he points to a 2 foot square spot by the emergency exit). I said, "You guys aren't gonna be able to hear it back there, and I won't be able to hear the mix in the monitors, and it'll feed back quicker." He said not to worry. Well, it wuz a disaster. Nobody could hear me, and I wuz outside the monitors, so I couldn't hear them either. When their other guest harper no-showed for the 3rd set, they asked me to play it, and I told 'em no thanks. I left. He apologized to me and said we'd work on it this Wednesday. I fealt like they made me look bad, and I didn't make them look good. It wuz a shame after a pretty decent rehearsal. Furthermore, I don't see how my harp fits in with that band, unless they add a buncha tunes to their playlist. I think the leader has ideas that he hasn't told his bandmates about, and I really don't like communication traits like that. Alotta stuff is gonna have to get out on the table this week, but, I'd say it's gonna have to be good if I'm gonna buy into it at this point.
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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby bosco » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:54 pm

don't see how my harp fits in with that band, unless they add a buncha tunes to their playlist. I think the leader has ideas that he hasn't told his bandmates about...

It's been my experience that musicians serious about blues know how to give a harper his proper stage space and the full respect his instrument deserves as an equal on the bandstand. If you don't get that respect, then you have to wonder why. When my band has cut heads or played a multi-band event I've had lot's of musos say "You don't need that amp up here, you can just play your harp through the PA." I always ask, "Why don't you just play your guitar through the PA then?" They usually get my point pretty fast.

Our rhythym player, who doubles as our soundman, has a personal rule that isn't negotiable. He insists on being at an event from the start so he can ask questions about the stage setup, monitor setup and logistics for later in the show. He wants to know what we're in for if we're the second or third band up. And his unwillingness to participate in a last minute setup has saved our arses more than once.

In hindsight, it looks like you should have set up ahead of time. I've done the break scramble setup and it's a joke. You usually have to settle for a less than optimum spot, are considered an unecessary nuisance by most and often have to go without micing. Too bad it turned out so poorly. You've really been on a roller coaster the last several months with these uncertain band projects...keep your chin up and don't loose faith! There's somebody out there that will appreciate you and your abilities, it just takes time.

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RE: New Band Opp.

Postby jeffl » Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:07 pm

Thanks for the enouragement,Bosco. I don't know that this bumpy start was a deal killer for sure,but it did enlighten me as to what some of the challenges are. The motivator for me (besides just workin' on my chops) is that these guys are very accomplished musicians,and are fun to work with,musically. The drummer is a truly gifted musician,versed in many genres of music,including jazz,rock,blues,marching band,etc; the two guitarists are very fluent, and the bassist(whom I've played with before) is on a par with them. I think the leader just needs to communicate with them about what direction he wants things to go, and make sure everybody's "in". The equipment stuff can be worked out,and I can get the communication I need outa him, now that I now what his communication style is ("laid back,non-confrontational"). He acts like he wants me in the band, so I jus' gotta make sure that the expectations both ways are discussed, and agreed to. And- I woulda set up aheada time, but the dinner crowd was still there, and they couldn't move the tables out yet; as it turned out, they never expanded the space for the band,and that was at the heart of the problem.
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