Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Retrospective

2012. Man this year came and went.

I've always felt that time seemed to run fast while on tour, which can feel like time-travelling. But this is the longest break I've had from music-related travel in a few years.

But anyway. This year has had it's ups and downs, but not as much as recent years.

This has been a pretty good year.

Even with this year being a long break from travel, the time home has been very well spent. Triniti and I moved into the Hobbit Hole in January. After being more or less uprooted since Nov 2009 during my separation, I and we finally have a home. Have lived with and stayed with some amazing people, but this is our space. And that's a really good feeling.

Did some cool shit. Recorded a session with J Yeunger from White Zombie, and got to record with Frenchie Smith. Wanted to play guitar more, so played gigs with Shandon Sahm, Thunderosa, an Ironclad reunion as well as many performances with Timothy Abbott & Arcana Mundi. And still busy playing bass full time with Eric Tessmer Band. Did a weekend of shows with JT Coldfire as well, very fun.

Did the RPM Challenge again this year, released a new solo album "Leap of Faith" as well as re-released "Ocean of Stars." ETB has busy locally and been getting good shows at the Saxon Pub and recorded a forth-coming live album there.

My birthday at Headhunters in September was an absolute blast! Feel so greatly blessed to have so many beautiful and talented musical friends and family in my life.

My thumb feels much better since being in a brace for a bit back in March. Still having forearm/elbow problems but working on remedying them. Had a very likely case of West Nile Virus over the summer. That kicked my ass. But in general I feel in good health, even if gaining a little weight. That or my jeans shrunk.

Dealt with some personal ups n downs, and seems a lot of friends have lost friends recently. But in general I feel good mentally as well.

So this wasn't too bad a year at all. I will gladly take more like it.

In the meantime, goals for next year: get Ocean of Stars up and running as a side-project. See what ETB has planned and plan accordingly, new album etc. Continue moving onwards and upwards and just make good music. Or as good of music as I can, heh.

Adios 2012

Weekend recap.

Quick recap of this weekend, 2012 retrospective coming in a bit.

Had a really good holiday vacation with my family. One of the longest visits I've had in a while and one of the longest breaks from gigging as well.

Was hoping a 10-day break from playing would help my elbows/forearms but no dice. But did figure out that using my cellphone while laying down isn't helping at all. Damn you, Angry Birds Star Wars. So at least I know that.

In the meantime saw Kymmie, the Chinese medicine doctor Triniti has been seeing. Did acupuncture and suggested some dietary changes. Turns out ingesting a lot of foods which cause inflammation. Also that I need to add certain oils as part of the problem is my tendons are drying out.

Jumped back into the saddle with 2 nights gigging, my hands and arms felt pretty good.

ETB Friday at Friends was pretty damn good for it being cold. Really good crowd, and we felt pretty in the pocket considering we hadn't played in a week and a half. Fun set.

I need to always pay attention to the little voice in my head as I'm setting up that asks how long has it been since I'd changed the batteries in my wireless unit... Sure enough was in the middle of Armadillo Strut and about to go outside for a ciggie (mid-song) when the batteries cut out. Had to go back onstage to plug in direct. Then wait for a part of the jam where I can run to my bass case for more batteries. Got them changed, but should have done that before we started, heh.

ETB Saturday at Saxon Pub was also a really good show. Really good crowd, Seth Walker had the placed packed during his set before us. Most of the crowd stayed.

We definitely bring a different energy to shows like the Saxon. We all know that this isn't a long set on 6th Street, this is a paying audience that knows they will hear great music at the Saxon Pub. So let's deliver.

And we still keep it loose, no setlist this time. Just played for 2 hours straight. Which almost feels short since I'm so used to 3+ hour nights. But mixed it up and did "Right Place, Wrong Time" which we hand't played in forever, ended with "Taildragger". "Are You Experienced" felt really god as well. Had a lot of good friends in attendance, and seems everyone left happy.

A really good weekend of playing music, very glad I am able to do what I do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

ETB makes History last weekend, the music and the damage done (to my body)

So last weekend was a long one for ETB.

A long Thursday night set at Friends. A double on Friday (3 hr sets and Friends and BD Riley's), then a long set at Saxon Pub Saturday.

Seems counterproductive and even overkill to play that much in your home town -- thinning the crowd, over-exposure, etc. Why would people pay $10 to see you at one place when you play for free at other places weekly?


1. We don't promote our shows on 6th Street. We play to foot traffic and a few friends that come out. Allows us to play several shows a week, and still have a great turnout for gigs like Saxon Pub. Bills don't pay themselves, and this allows us to make a living by playing all the time, even if staying close to home.

2. Shows with a cover charge (like Saxon Pub) we play a different show than the 6th Street shows, and you get to see us in a reputable venue on a real stage with a great sound system. The 6th Street shows are more laid back and loose (no setlist), while we keep it tighter for places you pay to see us.

Not knocking places like Friends and BD's in the least. But hearing ETB through a high-dollar PA run by a reputable Front Of House engineer with awesome lighting is a different experience than a place where the PA is smaller and we set up mics ourselves.

So yeah.

Thursday played for 3+ hours with a short set break. Friday an early set at Friends (7:30-10:30). Then a brief break where we tore down gear as fast as we could amidst the terrible and loud DJ music that comes on right when the band quits, rolled it 2 doors down, then set up to play for another 3 hours at BD Riley's. Then Saturday we played for about 3 hours at Saxon Pub, as we started at 10pm and there was no midnight band. All ETB.

We try not to do that too much, but again. Bills don't pay themselves.

So I was in energy conservation mode most of last week.

Thursday went alright, decent set to a decent crowd. Got to leave our gear at Friends which was really nice. Rolled in Friday and my green winter hat was still sitting on the sub that's on my corner of the stage. Nice! Early set at Friends went well, slow to build but it built. Our good friend photographer Clayton Hodges was out, great to see him.

Photos courtesy of Clayton Hodges

We joked about playing whatever set we played at Friends earlier backwards at BD's but we abandoned that, as we couldnt remember what we played anyway (no setlist) but we battled through our fatigue and tore the place up. By an hour/half in BD's set my forearms and hands were starting to ache. We ended slightly early cause Rob's body had given out by then.

Yeah bass is tearing up my hands/forearms/elbows/neck. But I can't imagine playing drums the way Rob does for as long as he does. But he is 8 years younger than me, heh.

So we really had to rally for the Saxon Pub show. Especially because before we had added the early Friday set at Friends last minute, we had all committed to helping the ETB Merch Girl Extraordinaire, Loranda, move into her new place.

Holy Aching Body, Batman.

We survived, and despite being dead on our collective feet it felt really good to help her for all the help she's given us over the years.

So then we had to play one more long set at Saxon. And we joked about having a terrible sweater contest, but Eric had no luck finding entries for him and myself at Thift Town. But he HAD hatched a plan to make History that night...!

Saxon Pub had a great crowd that night (aforementioned non-promotion of free 6th Street shows, and heavy promo of gigs like Saxon). We actually took a set break that night (aforementioned no midnight band, all ETB after 10pm).

Getting back onstage Eric waited for the right moment to plug in his new quesadilla maker.

That's right. Eric Tessmer was going to make a quesadilla onstage at the Saxon Pub. We had promoted that, so we HAD to deliver. Fuck the sweater contest.



During "Sissy Strut" Eric prepared the tortillas and cheese on one of Rob's floor toms during the drum solo. It was awesome, and caught on video by Triinti Young:

I had some of it, and it was delicious. And yeah, people are still talking about it!

Good times.

So yeah. Sunday morning I was wrecked. Neck ached from headbanging. Forearms and elbows stiff, hands sore. The fingertips of my right fore- and middle fingers felt like I was trying to finger-fuck a stove burner, and the calluses looked as if they were skin grafts from the bottom of an old man's feet.

But this is what I feel most of the time, just less severe.

I have an acupuncture appointment with the Chinese medicine doctor Trin has been seeing (who is also the sister of Bobby from Honky, keeping it in the family). I'm getting worsening Tennis Elbow on my left arm now (have sought medical treatment for it in my right elbow years back). And wtf, Tennis Elbow? I don't even own a racket!

Left elbow feels stiff when I've kept it bent for too long (i.e. when I sleep). Reaching out and grasping an object with any kind of weight results in sharp pains. On my shoulders where all the forearm/finger muscles attach has similar aches and sharp pains.

Pretty much anything I do with my hands/arms that doesn't involve playing bass for 3 hours hurts. And from years of headbanging my neck sounds like wrenching a sheet of bubble wrap when I stretch it out.

Yeah, I will be going in to my acupuncture appointment with a laundry list of ailments. In the meantime I am glad I have 10+ days off from playing due to Christmas holiday, and we got a big bottle of Zyflammend on the way down here. There's only so much Ibuprofin you can take every day, and Zyflammend works on repairing joints as well as easing inflammation.

Keep you all posted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mon Dec 17, 2012 -- Last Gig (Before The End of The World)

No I do not in any way believe the resetting of the Mayan Calendar will bring about the end of the world or the end of civilization as I/we know it.

But just in case the world DID end this Friday, here is how my last ever musical performance played out:

Pulled up to Friends on 6th Street for the ETB monday residency about 8:15pm. Eric Tessmer helped me load my gear into the venue. Sitting outside the front door on our merch tubs, I had him sign the picture of him and a kid from Dallas whose parents took him to see Eric at Sundown at Granada a few weeks back. He signed it: "Keep the Dream Supreme."

As he signed it one of the local street sketch artists poised himself to draw either me, or Eric, or both of us. There are two of them. One is Art Randall, who Trintiti and I have several works from. He is awesome, great style, and quick as a flash. Then there is the other guy, who is not so much.

Stood outside with Eric waiting for parking to open on 6th Street so I could stow Goldie Hawn, smoking a cigarette, sketch artist working for almost a full 10 minutes. And I thought it was the Art Randall guy until I saw his sketch. Totally was the OTHER guy. Art Randall is more Ritchie Havens-looking now that I recall. It was Eric and I, just our heads/shoulders. And we looked like Beavis and Butthead. Dammit.

Oh well. Gave him a few bucks (for art classes) and found parking around the corner.

Kind of slow crowd-wise starting off, and we took our time loading on. But started to slowly fill after we began the first set with "Love is Taking It's Toll" by Anders Osborn. Felt good in general, we were definitely still tight from our long weekend of shows (another post for another time, which will include ETB's history-making set at the Saxon Pub...). But I was still feeling the effects of so many long sets in such a short amount of time.

By now our friend and Amplified Heat roadie Moses Blues had made an appearance. Always good to see him!

Halfway thru whatever funk Muddy Waters song we do my fret hand started to go tingly. Not good. My elbows/forearms have been problematic as of late (will go more into detail in aforementioned post for another time). But was able to shake it off and go on, and was not a problem for the rest of the set.

By the first crowd walk the place was pretty swinging for a slow Monday night. Eric managed to park his '49 International ("Olive Oyl") right in front of Friends after I pulled my van around the block, which is good for the show because I have taken to climbing into the back when I'm out smoking a cigarette mid-song. Works every time.

When we were done with that one our friend Dave Scher came up with his iPhone showing the stop-watch function: "You guys were playing for 28 minutes and 33.9 seconds!!!"

Yeah that sounds about right, heh!

Things started to slow down crowd wise in the songs that followed. Which was good cause we were all still recovering from the weekend and could use a breather. Caught up with our friend Kelley Premeaux (tattoo artist) and got talking outside to Gary the bartender about tattoos, tattoo studios and artists. And of course Trin has only been working for Republic Tattoo supply for 2 weeks now which was more than enough time for me to brain-fart on the name of the company, much less tell him about Kelley. Well shit.

By the start of the second set our good friend Roberto Balderrama stopped by. He's a really good dude and true music-lover. We need more people like him.

Second set is by now a blur. You play for 3 hours without a setlist and it becomes hard to remember exactly what you played. "White Room" by Cream is sounding stronger. Some guy tipped us handsomely to play "How Many More Times" by Led Zeppelin, which is incorporated into our walk-around. So we did that section again. And we finally closed with "Love Is Taking It's Toll" again, only this time we decided to play it completely different, and did it as a chill jam. Fun.

All in all my last performance before the end of the world was typical for a decent Monday night. Got to see some good friends, got to make some good music with some good people, got to assist in helping a kid in Dallas Keep the Dream Supreme, and had a rather terrible final portrait of myself and Eric drawn.

Adios world, you've certainly been fun, and what a ride.

I plan to spend Final Friday at the beach in Corpus Christi with Triniti, her son and GF, not giving a fuck. If the Gulf of Mexico starts to recede, I've lived on the coast long enough to spot the warning signs of a Tsunami. If some big meteor or something flies over head, I'll try to get pics of it.

Other than that, I plan to drink a beer or three and relax. And strongly urge the rest of you to do the same.

Take care and rock on, Danny G

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ETB in Dallas last Saturday

Eric Tessmer Band ventured north to Dallas to play Sundown at the Granada Theater.

This gig was a bit of a wild card for us, we hadn't played Dallas in a year and we'd never played the Sundown stage. Needless to say we were unsure how the turnout would be as well as how much money we'd be returning home with. But we hoped for some good spillover from the Monte Montgomery show on the main stage. Eric made the trek up a day early, so the rest of us traveled in my trusty van Goldie Hawn.

Like any trip north on I-35, a stop at the Czech Stop in West, TX (exit 353) is MANDATORY. The way up and the way back. It is an institution. Amazing colaches!

Granada Theater is in a trendy part of Dallas. Valet parking part of town. Had to kill an hour hanging in the parking lot before the Sundown stage was cleared from the dinner crowd. The Sundown stage/venue was very nice and upscale, but in a good way if that makes sense. We've had bad experiences playing upscale places in the past, but the vibe was very different there.

Pulled up to load in and suddenly there were two employees helping carry gear. Wow, that is awesome and a rare treat... help! But here's the kicker: they weren't just designated load-in guys. This was Mike the owner, and Nick the sound engineer.

Yeah. I had to do a double-take as well. This is unprecedented. I have never been in any band playing any venue where the owner and front of house guy helped the band load in. And they were very nice and very professional. Again, just wow.

We were slightly concerned about the size/shape of the place and our overall sound level (loud as fuck). But the state of the art sound system quickly put our concerns to rest. I looked around for the sound board and only saw a cashier station: Nick was operating sound via an iPad. Technology!

We were slated for 2 70 minute sets starting at 11pm. We started at the appropriate time. The venue sounded amazing and the place quickly filled. Before we knew it we'd played an hour and a half. And it was even MORE packed. We were destroying the place, and the crowd LOVED us. So we nixed the idea of taking a break and blew the doors off the place until 2am. 3 hours straight. And Mike the owner was sitting by the side of the stage most of the night. Needless to say we made a really good impression.

So the gig was an overwhelming success, we will definitely be back, and we walked away with the equivalent of my rent per man. Amazing.

The overnight drive back was uneventful save for a pesky headwind, which was jostling around my fully-loaded van like an empty tallboy. Helped me stay awake. I was usually on overnight drive shift on the ETB tour last summer, so no problemo there.

And of course, we stopped at the Czech Stop again. It's open 24 hours!

Shandon is back, last gig with Arcana Mundi

Busy weekend last week.

Thursday had a double header, my last gig with Arcana Mundi and then Shandon Sahm doing a Sahm Covers Sahm set at the Continental Club. The ETB show in Dallas the next night is a story unto itself, stay tuned (writing it out after this).

Wednesday had final rehearsal for the Shandon show. Jim Ortiz of Amplified Heat was able to make this gig, first time playing with him in Shandon's band in probably 2 years at least. Good to jam with him again! Have been playing shows with Amplified Heat since they were Blues Condition back in the Southern Gun Culture days. 12 years. Wow.

Where the hell has time gone?!?

Gig Thursday evening with Arcana Mundi I was retarded late in showing up for, and for that I felt and still feel terrible. Very unprofessional of me. Got there just in time to set up for the first song. Played all electric that night to save time.

There was an African guy named Abraham assisting in setting up the PA, good friends of the percussionist Brannan Lane. He went to the front of Sahara Lounge and returned brandishing an instrument I'd never seen before and which he built himself. Looked like a cross between a sitar and banjo with aspects of the harp. Employed by holding it against the front of your lower abdomen like a large phallus and plucking the strings with both thumbs. He told me what it was called, but I couldn't understand due to his rich and musical accent.

It was the damndest thing I'd ever seen, and sounded absolutely beautiful.

Without any introduction Abraham launched into a song, singing and plucking the contraption. The rest of us joined in. I don't know what the song was called or what Abraham was so passionately singing about, but it was in C to A minor. We wished we could have had him sit in for the rest of the set!

Which rest of the set went off without a hitch, has been really good playing with Tim and company. But alas I must clear some of my schedule to put Ocean of Stars together, something I've been putting off for far too long.

Arrived later at the Continental Club to catch most of The Bluebonnets' set. This is the all-girl rock brainchild of Kathy Valentine of Go-Go's fame. She produced the last Adrian and the Sickness record (B.F.D.) and I've seen her before, but never met her. And I've been wanting to meet her as a player, rather than just another random crowd member who is "good friends with Adrian and Heather."

Talked to her briefly after her set, she was really cool and took time from wrapping cables to chat a bit and get a pic with me so Triniti and I could send it to my sister, who was a huge Go-Go's fan back in the day, just to blow her mind!

Set with Shandon went really well! Good crowd, and good to be back onstage at the Continental Club. How long has it been... probably since I was in the Mother Truckers. Even saw some familiar faces from Truckers crowd, spillover from the earlier Whiskey Sisters (Teal from TMT) happy hour set, whom I had to miss due to my earlier Arcana Mundi gig.

Doug Sahm tunes are damn fun to play.

Even more fun when sung by Shandon, his youngest son, in full glam rock getup: silver high heeled space boots, silver pants, black feather boa, and some makeup which lasts about halfway thru the first song. And he OWNS that shit. I don't know how he does it, but he does it WELL. You are laughing your ass off, but WITH him. He pokes fun at the early 70's glam thing but also portrays it so passionately that he also rocks your world with it. Respect!

Great fun show, so great to play with Jim and Shandon as well as Gary from Beaumonts (drums) and newer addition bassist Tony (also from Beaumonts). Even got to do a little head-cutting with Jim during near the end of "She's About a Mover." FUN! Good times with great musicians and great people.

Loves my crazy rock n roll life!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ETB Live Recording, etc etc etc

Busy weekend after a really good Thanksgiving holiday with my family and Triniti.

T and I bought a suitcase record player (Califone 1010AV) from a guy on craigslist en route, a very good purchase for $30! Spun records the whole time we were down there, believe we just started a new holiday tradition at my folks' place \m/,

Drove back to Austin Friday afternoon for the ETB live recording at Saxon Pub that evening. Can't wait to hear it, tho I must admit we felt slightly off. Didn't have the same magic as the first round, we hadn't play since Monday, and we also played some things we don't ordinarily play. Plus we were all probably still dopey from massive amounts of tryptophan...!

See how it sounds! Either way, we have plenty of material to choose from for the forthcoming live album!

Tho fighting a headcold and a hangover Saturday afternoon, T and I ventured to Cheapo Discs who we just found out will be closing end of the year. Well played, Mayans. Well played. Seems most of their good vinyl is gone but still found some good shit. Bumped into our friend Moses Blues as well, so that was cool.

Saturday night ETB played BD Riley's, was very crowded for the Notre Dame game. Don't really care about football but was cool being there and just vibing on the crowd. They were very happy about how it was going, and very loud. Was hurting my head at times, as I managed to contract a head cold.

Set went very well, felt more together than Saxon. Decent night all around.

Monday had practice with Shandon Sahm for our Thursday Sahm Covers Sahm set at the Continental Club. Line up still shuffling at time of practice but looks like Jim Ortiz of Amp Heat is available for guitar and we'll have a keyboard player too. Sweet! My ex-SGC bandmate Amber Lucille is on standby to fill in guitar for Jim if need be. We'll see who shows up at practice tonight, heh.

Looking forward to the show, we share the stage with Kathy Valentine's (ex-GoGo's) band The Bluebonnets. And looks like my old Mother Truckers bandmate Teal Collins' new project Whiskey Sisters is doing happy hour that night. If I didn't have an early set (and last show) with Arcana Mundi I'd like to make it early for that.

ETB monday residency at Friends was understandably slow, weekend after Thanksgiving and all. But we still played 2 great sets and rocked the faces of those in attendance.

Today getting shit done, should probably practice some of the Sahm Covers Sahm stuff, have bass strings that could be changed but don't need to right now.

Also need to re-attach the Dietz faceplate to my bass cab (people keep asking what it is), and look into modding my tremolo pedal to where I remove the depth knob (never use) and replace the rate knob with either a fixed resistor or trimpot (existing knob too touchy to be useful), and make that fucker switch-able. The trem pedal kicks ass as a solo boost as well, and if I can go from Trem to boost at the flick of a switch (and make it to where the trem rate doesn't change if you breathe on the rate knob) that would make my life much much easier.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Houston, and Formula 1 weekend in Austin

Wow. Just wow.

Last night ETB played a 4 1/2 hour set at Friends on 6th Street to a packed house that stayed packed for the entirety of our set. Probably the longest set I've ever played and the best night we've ever had there. The crowd was great, enthusiastic and very well-behaved (as in free of the douchebaggery and entitlement that has unfortunately descended upon my fair city for F1 weekend).

Plenty of that going on right outside the bar tho. Towards the end the door staff had an altercation with a father and son whom they'd asked to leave. Which they weren't happy about. And quickly turned into a wrestling match outside.

Gotta hand it to Friends, their door staff is great. Take no shit but in a professional way. It devolved into a prolonged scuffle outside which drew quite a crowd before the cops finally intervened. The door staff brushed themselves off and went back to work and were soon laughing about it, rather than being worked up and waiting for someone else to step out of line.

As for said douchebaggery, there were plenty of dumbasses who for some reason always lean on or climb into the back of Eric's 1949 International pickup truck. Taking pics and admiring it is one thing. But using it like playground equipment is just flat out disrespectful.

Anyway. Yes, great show. Eric's parents were in town and he announced that many times, as well as admitted he was toning down his use of profanity as to not disappoint his mother. Awesome :) Amazing show and we all made rent+

Good times!

But yeah, Formula 1 weekend. Lotta people in town for that. Traffic is crazy. Been woken up by helicopters every morning, as the sky is buzzing with them like migrating birds. Whisking the big whigs to and from the Circuit of the Americas and for joyrides around town. At night I wonder if they congregate in the HEB parking lot with the grackles and poop on peoples cars.

Made for a lengthy drive to Houston on Friday as we had to drive towards the track. On an ETB road trip, you can always tell who is driving, as they are the one not updating FB and Twitter the whole time, heh!

Traffic was backed up almost all the way to Bastrop. So weird driving through the Lost Pines area now. Last year was the worst drought in Texas history and most of Bastrop County burned out of control for almost a week in the resulting wild fires. Driving at dusk through the burned remnants of a Ponderosa Pine forest is apocalyptic to say the least.

ETB at the Scout Bar in Houston was very good as well. Great venue they got. Been awhile since ETB ventured to H-town and we had lots of fans in attendance, and had the best crowd despite being second band on a 4-act bill. And a short blistering 45 minute set. Needless to say, we made a really good impression.

Spent much of the night catching up with our Houston fans. Good to be in a band that values its fans and gets validation from their appreciation for all our hard work, rather than playing with a bunch of people who constantly need their egos stroked.

Without fans, a band is nothing. Remember that, musicians. Even when they treat you like somebody when you are really nobody, do not let it go to your head. EVER.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cancellations. Decisions. Moving forward.

So the big Eric Tessmer Band show Threadgill's World HQ on Oct 26, which was the make-up date for Eric's Biblically rained-out birthday show back in August, was cancelled the afternoon of due to cold.

The first real cold snap of the season had descended the night before over Central TX and temps would be in the low 50's at set time. Statistically they tend to lose money when temps fall below 55 degrees. Just wished they would have discussed it with the band before pulling the plug.

Needless to say we were not happy. Another $100 on promotions and posters blown. Rent for November now gone. This would hurt ETB terribly as a band and as individuals. Fuck. But nothing we could do about it. Even tho Threadgill's has a fire pit and usually for the first cold snap people LIKE to go out as they finally got their winter coats out of the closet.

Incensed as we were, we didn't want to burn the bridge with them. Even tho we had good reason to do so. It felt reactionary at the time, but I'm glad we did it. We enlisted our fans to let Threadgill's know how THEY felt about this last-minute cancellation. Which they did, in droves. Felt good to know our fans were behind us and showed their support for us. So we'll see what happens with the aforementioned venue.

In other news, I have decided it is time to move on from Arcana Mundi as guitar player.

It has been fun and a good experience, but after almost a year I've realized that it is taking away too much time that I would like to spend focusing on Ocean of Stars. Tim was very understanding, and didn't seem too suprised either.

So it is all good with him n the band, and I will be honoring bookings through the rest of Novermber, save for the 16th benefit at the Elk's Lodge which I will be in Houston with ETB for.

As for Ocean of Stars, I have been talking to a bass player and she is very excited to be a part.

Will be getting together with her soon to start going over bass lines prior to bringing her in with a drummer. Don't want to make a formal announcement until it actually happens. Feels like the time is right and the planets are finally aligning for it to finally start coming together. It's only been 4 years that I've been wanting and trying to get this project underway.

Eric Tessmer Band will be gearing up for our 2nd round of live recording at the Saxon Pub on Friday Nov 23. Should be a great show, as weekend right after Thanksgiving is usually sold out there. Sweet!

Poster for Nov 23. Photo by Triniti Young, poster by yours truly.

We've been plowing forward best we can without a van or any other pieces in place save for ourselves, our merch seller, and an occasional publicist. Gigs in Houston and Dallas coming up. But a slow time of year is upon us as well.

Last Monday Friends residency turnout was not so bueno. We got called into Friends for Wednesday as well, which we jumped at. Better set, really good crowd. Friday at BD Riley's went very well as well. Ebb and flow to the crowd, but the people there had their asses handed to them on a plate. We were on fire and they loved us.

And we appreciate their appreciation.

Its a much better feeling to play to fewer people who absolutely love the music, than a larger crowd with a rather lukewarm reaction. Makes you feel like you're doing something wrong.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Down time, recovering from a busy weekend, and a shooting.

Recovering from ETB's Monday residency last night at Friends, wow that was amazing. But will get to that.

Today resting my body but been very busy on music related matters.

Charting out songs from 'Leap of Faith' album for use with Ocean of Stars. Putting that together has been very slow going, but at least when I'm bringing players in I will actually know how my own songs go. That will be a big help.

Also looking into album reviews.

Sending some my CDs to Rank And Revue Magazine, whom I used to be affiliated with as a photographer/writer from 2004-2006. That felt really good to be a part of back in the day, and I only stopped working for them because it was eating into time I wanted to spend working on my music career. Checking the website looks like a lot of the same faces. Awesome!

Anyway. Last night ETB @ Friends was pretty goddamned epic. Friends has been leaving the side window open for a certain amount of the night the past few Mondays and it's been helping our crowd immensely. If people can hear us from across the street, they will come across the street and check us out. You can't really hear us from across the street (or from the next block) if the window is not open.

Win/win. Hopefully they've made a peaceful compromise with APD about the noise. Tired of us getting the club slapped with a warning, or worse.

So yeah.

Friends filled up fast, and stayed packed. We played hard and loud for more than 3 hours straight before finally taking a break, the crowd was that good and we didn't want to lose them. We even got a request for "Armadillo Strut" which is usually a second-set tune, and even a face-melting 30 minute jam with "Green Diamond pt 2" thrown into the middle for some Pink Floyd-esque mellow psychedelia didn't scare the people away. Wow.

Got back up there and threw down even harder. Scott Kelly was in attendance for a few tunes. Do yourself a favor and look him up. It was almost 2am when we finally ended the night. We usually stop around 1:30. Then a guy from "an oil company" asked us how much for one more song. Eric asked me, I threw out $100 as a nice round number, and oil guy gets onto the mic and takes a collection from the audience for $100 into the tip jar for one more song. Wallets appeared like startled bats. Amazing!

We were totally spent, but still got back up to play "Little Wing" again. Knocked em dead. Great night!

Photo courtesy Felicia Molandes:

And I'm still scratching my head as to how the fuck we get away with playing as LOUD and as HARD as we do on 6th Street of all places. We play with the same volume and intensity as any band on Red River. But we do it on 6th Street, and pull in weekend crowds on a Monday night of all nights. We're probably the loudest band on 6th Street. And Eric has comparisons to Stevie Ray Vaughan, yet we play no SRV songs. Crazy! I don't know how we do it, but it's amazing that we can.

In other news the weekend was busy as fuck all. Which is good. Really good. Two gigs a night, two nights back to back. Good to be working that much, this has been a great month financially.

Last week Friday Arcana Mundi did an early set at the Elk's Lodge off of Barton Springs. Tim and Brett (backup vox) are members. We played well, tho I was feeling rushed as hell (had to run home before ETB @ BD Riley's later on).

In our constantly shifting line-up we had Brannan Lane on Percussion, but Mark Epstein was unavailable for bass that night. It's fuller sounding with Mark's bass and occasional guitar, but not having him there makes MJ Torrence (keys/vox) and I rely more on each other as well as Brannan's percussion, as well as alter our playing to fill out the low end a bit. Sometimes we don't even have Brannan either, and MJ and myself are on our own. Those gigs are a really fun challenge.

Hit it and quit it, I had to pack up and run before the set was over (we started late, but the people there were digging it).

Was able to park on 6th before the barricades, across street in front of Chuggin Monkey rather than on same side of street anywhere near BD Riley's. I'll still take it.

Setting up we realized Eric had forgotten our tip bucket (a big metal washtub with band stickers and TIPS in sharpie) so we had to convert one of Rob's drum cases into a make-shift tip jar. Worked like a charm.

Played a great set, really fun show. Made some good money as well, which is always good. Loading gear into my van at the end of the night -- I left it parked where it was, as manuevering through the still blocked-off street is like driving through a herd of cows -- I heard it.


Gunshots. 4 of them, and close. And due to the acorns that have been dropping on our metal patio roof for the past month, I had no reaction whatsoever. Look around and see lots of people ducking for cover.

Behind me at the corner of 6th and San Jacinto, cops with guns drawn arresting a girl as she got out of her car and immediately on the ground. Didn't know what exactly happened or who fired. But decided it was time to go. Ambulance on the scene and crime tape going up as I left for home.

Read the story online next day. Girl pulled out from parking on 6th Street, hit 2 people, and was speeding towards an officer. Who fired into her windshield. Wow.

Here's the latest:

Saturday double header was an early ETB set at Friends, then rush over to Hole in the Wall for a set at the Amplified Heat tour kickoff party. Again Friends was good now that they've been leaving the window open. Wondered if the fact that the UT game had just started would negatively affect our crowd (people watching the game are going to stay put rather than walk around checking out bars). It didn't. Was decent most of the night and then very good by the end of our 3 hour set.

Then the pack-up-as-fast-as-we-can shuffle. Hoping the UT football game by now ending wouldn't negatively affect parking for Hole in the Wall (situated right across from the UT campus). It didn't.

Good to see the Ortiz Brothers and wish them safe travels. Amplified Heat is hitting the West Coast for 3 weeks. Check them out, you will not regret it.

It's so weird to do a 40 minute set with ETB. We do so many marathon 3 hour high intensity sets, we're just getting warmed up after 40 minutes! But to cram 3 hours worth of energy into a 40 minute set really takes a lot out of me. Those short sets are more tiring to me than a 3 hour set.

Crazy. But I guess it's like being a distance runner trying to sprint. That, and already having played a 3 hour marathon previous to our 40 minute sprint was a recipe for fatigue. I was beat. Add onto that 2 shows the previous night. Sunday I was dead. But felt good still, if that makes sense.

Photo courtesy of Moses Blues:

Eric, Rob and I really have something special. We can feel it. The audience can feel it. It's a really cool thing to be a part of. And being a variable in the equation that converts a humble blues-rock band into a force of nature is really special too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ACL Fest recap

Sort of.

So back in August or so Triniti won two 3-day passes to ACL Fest at a benefit ETB played for the Without Regrets foundation at Threadgill's World HQ. So as the festival neared we both downloaded the ACL iPhone app and checked the schedule.

And unfortunately, neither of us had ever heard of about 90% of the acts... But hey, Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)! The Black Keys! Neil Young! That should worth the price of admission right there.

Neither of us had ever been to ACL fest. Mainly cause could not afford too. And as I get older bigger and bigger crowds are starting to get to me. Just going to HEB on crowded day is enough to make me want to just leave the cart mid-aisle and just get the fuck out of there. People all standing in one spot and looking in the same direction = cool. People all moving around in different directions and at different speeds and bumping into each other = anxiety. So we took that into consideration, and with a short list of acts we actually wanted to see cemented our decision to not spend a whole lot of time there.

Both days began and ended with much walking and finally cab fare. We live too close to drive and park, but just far enough away to not want to walk the entire distance. So by the time we got to Zilker Park on Friday evening we arrived just in time to catch 2nd half of Patterson Hood's set.

Good shit. Roots-rocky, not as heavy and dark as much of the DBT catalog.

Trying to meet up with Tim Abbott and his wife Tracey proved to be a challenge. Tim's directions to his location seemed less archaic every time we read them, and I had to recheck the texts several times. Crowd was huge, and many were carrying flags or banners so others in their group could see them from a distance. Genius. Made me think of old school Roman battles of something. Insane amount of people. But we wandered around and still no Tim.

Passing the HUGE pecan tree (again) to the right of the main stage, we laughed hysterically at one particular banner: the biggest pair of tighty whiteys either of us had ever seen. This set of drawers could have been rigged to a ship mast and used as a sail. Enormous! Turns out, Tim was sitting under it and hadn't realized it, hence him not mentioning to LOOK FOR THE UNDERWEAR. Under where? Exactly! So we caught up then got into position to catch the Black Keys.

Which we had never seen before, and I was mostly unfamiliar with their music tho have been hearing about them for years. They were good, I dug them, but not enough to go purchase their entire catalog. Maybe I was just tired and done with the crowd at this point and broke from paying $7 per tall boy. We left before the end of their set. Sorry guys...

Saturday it rained almost all day, causing is to stay in and wait out the weather and miss some earlier acts we might have wanted to see. But we WERE going to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse come Hell or high water. And that is exactly what happened. We saw Neil Young, I mean.

The rain stopped and the sky cleared as we left the house to walk until we caught a cab. Got to Zilker Park in time to navigate through the festival-grounds-turned-huge-mudpit-from-the-all-day-rain and the crowd and get a good spot for NY. Thank Crom for Doc Martens. Many were wallowing through the sleep in flip-flops or even bare feet. Blech!

Attempted to get as close as we could, got claustrophobic after 30 seconds and headed back to the outskirts. Yeah, there was the occasional obstruction of the camera crane, but fuck it. We could BREATHE.

Which we did a lot of during his set, or not. It was hard to tell. All I know is that is one of the most moving musical performances I have seen in a long time. I mean, just, wow. Neil's guitar tone was gorgeous, Crazy Horse fucking brought it, everything sounded better than the albums.

Waiting for Neil Young and Crazy Horse to begin

The Man Himself

I hope that I will rock that hard when I am their age. Holy shit, they looked like a buncha old fuckers getting their High School rock band back together, but I shit you not, the passion they brought schooled the Black Keys and kicked their whippersnapper asses right off the stage. SCHOOLED. And so was I. As a professional musician, I was absolutely blown away. "The Needle and the Damage Done" had me moved to tears 3 chords in. "Cinnamon Girl" was heavy as fuck and gave me chills. It would have taken plastic surgery to get the smile off my face the duration of their set. Neil Young will live forever. It is up to YOU if you see him before you die. And we stayed for the whole set.

iPhone video by Yours Truly

Next day we could have gotten there early to catch Gary Clarke Jr and support one of the few indigenous talents to actually play the festival which bears the city's name. But after walking 5+ miles and spending as much on cab fare as we did on over-priced beer, we took the day off. Yeah we missed The Stooges. Yeah we missed the Chili Peppers. I regret missing the Stooges more, as the Chili Peppers haven't released anything that has moved me since Blood Sugar Sex Magic. Fuck it, a much-needed day off. And it was great.

So Austin City Limits Fest recap:

Acts seen: 3

$7 beers consumed: 6 total

Total number of credit/debit cards we found on the ground: 3

First night we found a Platinum Visa Credit Card on the way out. So we called the number on the back and cancelled it for the owner. Yes, good people do exist in this world still. Second day on the way in 2 young shitfaced drunk girls walked by, one of them leaving a trail of debit cards and dollar bills from her open wallet like a trail of bread crumbs. I gathered her wallet contents while Triniti flagged them down and then tried to explain to their near-incoherent selves what was happening:

"Lady, your wallet was open and all your shit is falling out."

"No, I got my wallet right here." (brandishes wallet and spills more contents)

"No lady, your shit is falling out, credit cards, money."

"No, I got my money right here in my wallet." (brandishes wallet and spills even more contents)

It finally took Triniti holding each individual content in front of the drunk chicks face, then placing said item one by one into said wallet, then struggling to close said wallet for said drunk chick before said drunk chick may have finally noticed what was going on. Or not.


Busy weekend, and Forever Town studio report

Howdy all.

Have a busy weekend starting tonight:

Arcana Mundi plays the Elk's Lodge at 7pm. Then ETB rocks BD Riley's 10:30 til close. Tomorrow night ETB picked up an early set at Friends 7pm til 10pm, then we share the stage at Hole in the Wall with the mighty Amplified Heat for their tour kickoff party. ROCK!!! Gonna be fun, I will be tired come Sunday morning, but bring it on!

Also been promoting the upcoming ETB show at Threadgill's World HQ next week Friday, Oct 26. Here's the poster I whipped up:

Figured a Halloween sort of theme would be good as its the weekend before Halloween. Was either The Exorcist or an old Frankenstein poster which would also have been tits. This is the make-up date for Eric's birthday party which was rained out in a downpour of Old Testament proportions. I have never been so soaked in my life as I became in the brief time it took me (with help) to get my gear into the van which was parked nearby. Crazy. Let's hope history does NOT repeat itself...

In other news, I have wrapped up bass tracking on the Forever Town album at the Bubble. What a great facility, and Frenchie Smith has been awesome to work with. His teenage enthusiasm for all things ROCK def helps in keeping the energy level up and positive, especially on a day like Wednesday when I spent 12 hours non stop finishing up 8 tracks.

By the end of that day I was admittedly exhausted and was having trouble wrapping my brain around the groove of a particularly involved track. So Danny Ramsay stepped up and recorded the bass line himself with a pick, knocking it out in 2 takes. Nice. I had no qualms about that, mainly felt bad for my own frustration. And watching him play it the bass line and groove finally made sense to me. Everything is a learning experience, and whether or not you choose to learn from it is up to the individual \m/,

Frenchie and Donnie, manning the controls:

Jayson Ramsay checking out the sounds, as Danny Ramsay gets some cool video:

Bass rig:

Frenchie's dog Agnes, official mascot of Bubble Recording

Of course I tagged the bathroom Walls of Fame:

Looking forward to hearing the album!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gearing up

Lots to prepare for.

Doing my best to promote ETB's sorta last minute idea of recording our set tomorrow night at the Saxon Pub for a live album. Last minute yes, but very good time to. We're playing Saxon enough to finally be comfortable with the stage, last few gigs this week we've really felt on top of our game, and it sounds amazing there. Win/win/win. Be great to finally capture the energy of our live show and have a limted edition disc to help raise funds for the new album.

Eric should be en route back from New Orleans, where he went Tuesday night after our HAAM benefit set at Sam's Town Point to play a show down there as Anders Osborn's lead guitar player. That is awesome and will lead to bigger things for him and ETB as well. Awesome!

Anders and Eric

Also prepping for recording the Forever Town album starting next week with Frenchie Smith. We're getting together tonight for rehearsal with the man himself overseeing. Been running through the music alot yesterday and today to keep it tight.

HAAM Benefit on Tuesday was a blast. Thanks to Loranda Stuart for putting together such an awesome night of music and being so involved in HAAM. If not for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, none of us in ETB would have any medical help. Sam's Town Point is also a great venue, so go check it out.

Courtesy of Loranda Stuart

ETB Monday residency at Friends was pretty epic, one of those nights where we were on fire and played almost 2.5 hours before finally taking a break. The crowd stuck around for it and we melted faces the rest of the night. Definitely a good night compared to others the past few months as APD is cracking down on the noise ordinance and Friends cna no longer have the windows behind the stage open. We really depended on our sonic spill-over to get foot traffic in the bar. A few people will come in and leave cause it's too loud (for them) but most people don't seem to mind. Hearing music with your ears is one thing, but feeling it in your BONES is a whole nother experience. Then of course some drunk pissed on the side of my van at the end of the night. Buncha savages in this town...

ETB also had a great set in San Antonio for the Sam's Burger Joint annual block party. We played a blistering 45 minute set and that was it. Wow! So used to playing long sets that we're just getting warmed up after 45 minutes! Had a great crowd and great response on the indoor stage.

Photos by Sonny Saenz

And continuing on this note, ETB also had a great show at the Saxon Pub last Saturday. Good times with good people, we felt great and played great. Rob's first show back with us since getting back from a brief Norway tour with another project. Reunited and it feels so good, heh! The poster Eric made for this show has been selling well, particularly on this night.

Having a large variety of cool posters on sale at the merch booth is definitely helping our sales. The new T-shirts are doing well as well. Having a new disc, and a live album no less, will be a great boon to us. We're still selling 'Green Diamond' which is more than 2 years old and was a completely different band.

Pretty cool that we have been working elements of "Green Diamond II" and "III" into "Armadillo Strut," that'll sound awesome on the live disc \m/,

Arcana Mundi had some good sets last week as well, we finished out our Wednesday September happy hour residency at Gypsy Lounge and had a Dunn Brothers Coffee set previous to the Saturday ETB Saxon show.

The band is really getting tighter, and I'm liking my Epiphone Valve Standard as an amp over the Marshall Lead 12. Just warmer sounding. And thought my Phase 90 was going out, making weird crackle noise on guitar rig all of a sudden. But fixed that right before Dunn Brothers set. Turns out having the acoustic guitar EQ with Treble and Brilliance maxed out was causing interference with the pedal. Weird. Dialed some out and problem solved, and saved me $50 from having to buy another one \m/,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So much to catch up on.

I've really been slacking on this blog.

Not that nothing is going on in my life, quite the contrary. But my laptop has been having some issues, its really hard to type anything longer than a few sentences using the Blogger iPhone app, and some personal reasons as well.

Busy busy busy.

Continuing to have a full gigging schedule, 2-3 shows with ETB every week and Arcana Mundi has been doing 2 happy hour slots a week as well. Have jammed with the Dead Oak guys twice since my last post. Have been going over Ocean of Stars material with drummer Ric Furley. About to gear up for recording the Forever Town album with Frenchie Smith, have two rehearsals next week been overseen by the man himself. I also turned 38. And today I was offered the position of Musical Director for Runic Productions who will be doing the Spirit Chronicles paranormal investigations series. I mentioned that earlier this year on this blog, it fell through initially as things sometimes do. But was back in contact with them this weekend, met with them yesterday on the way back from vacation on the coast and before the ETB monday residency.

I will do several recaps of specific things and time frames, rather than list it all in one novelesque post. Still have yet to go through most of the pictures as well.

So yes. Things have been very busy and have had lots of ups and downs as of late. When I am feeling down I'd rather not even discuss it with people, let alone post about it here. Lets just say that being a working musician or any kind of professional artist has an inherent struggle against the soul-crushing aspects of this occupation.

As the above list shows, I have a lot going on and a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be proud of. However, I will need to keep it real for the rest of this paragraph, as the point of this blog isn't just the day-to-day activities of a working musician, but also the side affects of this particular profession. No big revelation, but I am struggling financially. I have good months, and I have very very lean months. Can barely keep up with bills. Buying food even on a SNAP card is more stressful than dealing with the crowds at the supermarket, hoping to the Gods of Bargains that we dont go over budget as that will affect bills. Doing constant financial gymnastics to stay on top of things and keep a little gas in my van. And it weighs heavy on my psyche. Part of me is proud of my career, the other half feels like an almost total failure because I am 38 years old and can barely pay my bills. Which snowballs as it gathers mass from other related worries and leaves me in a pretty bad mental state. But then something good happens, like the music director position, and suddenly all is right in the world. My bills will be paid when I have the money and that's that, worrying won't help. I just need to keep in mind I've pretty much taken a vow of poverty for the betterment of mankind. I'd have thoughts of getting out of this business if it wasn't the only thing I've really wanted to do with my life.

I didn't choose Music. Music chose me.

So that being said, I had a really awesome birthday celebration at Headhunters last week Sunday, and a pretty awesome birthday weekend all around. Which will have it's own post. I really needed that. Good to know how many good people and great friends and amazing musicians I have in my life. In my early 20's I'd read Jack Kerouac and wish that I too had this amazing group of friends to draw inspiration from and vice versa and have all these crazy adventures together. Well, this has sure as fuck come to pass. None of us are really famous like the Beats were, but Goddamn it our lives, stories and adventures are no less worthwhile.

Much love,
Danny G

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dead Oak track, and other stuff.

Check this out.

Few months back I did a bass recording session with the band Dead Oak with J Yeunger of White Zombie fame engineering. Fun stuff, good to get back to some of my stoner rock roots.

Here's "Wizard Sleeve"

Forgot to post, got rough mixes awhile back and been so busy I've barely had time to listen to them. Pretty darn cool sounding \m/,

Also check this out, poster I made for Eric Tessmer's birthday show this weekend:

I'm pretty proud of it, heh

In other news, did the ETB Monday residency last night at Friends. No noise ordinance problems, but the closed windows did make for a smaller crowd. Go figure.

Right before we started I saw a movement on one of the EV's in my bass cab. It was a huge cockroach. It then crawled into the vent in the cab. Boy is that thing in for a ride. I'm thinking it survived, as those fuckers can survive anything. I never did see it. If still in there, I hope it doesn't crawl out into my van.

In other news, I'm putting together my birthday shindig at Headhunters next month. Talking IRONCLAD reunion so that's cool! Also asked Adrian and the Sickness, waiting to hear back. Keep y'all posted.

"The Music Lesson" by Victor Wooten

If you are a musician, get this book. If you love music, get this book. If you love to read, get this book.

Music is Life.

Just, wow.

I feel like a different person after reading this recently. There are many Music lessons as well as Life lessons in this book. I was able to apply many of them to my Life and Music immediately. Others will work themselves in over the course of my Life.

I already want to read it again, but we gave our copy to our good friend Ric Furley for his birthday. We will buy another, read it, and pass it along to someone else. Buy another copy, read it, repeat.

Busy week last week.

Still resting up from that one even tho it is now well into this week.

4 gigs. 2 noise ordinance warnings. 1 house party.

ETB did our Monday residency at Friends. Good crowd. 3/4 thru along came APD with a noise meter. The wondows were closed, which has been negatively affecting our crowds. I saw the cops and signaled to Rob to bring the level down. So we all "tucked in" and got really quiet, heh. No dice. Friends was still popped with a warning. Fucking hell.

Tuesday night ETB did a weird not-very-private-but-in-fact-totally-open-to-the-public party at BD Riley's, a weird night for us there. Decent night so far. Windows are open allowing foot traffic to hear us from across the street, which greatly increases our crowd. Sure enough, I'm out smoking a cigarette during a walk-around jam (wireless units are awesome, I highly recommend them), I look over and see APD with a noise meter. I run over to Rob and get his attention, and I signal to tuck it in and lower stage volume. We do this. Venue still got a warning. Windows were then closed. Son of a bitch.

Friday ETB played our good friend Lisa's house warming party, setting up in her living room. Good times, intimate gathering (most of guests in the kitchen behind us... maybe the cops are right and we are too loud, heh!). Either way it was a good set and it sounded pretty darn good in there to boot. High ceiling helped.

Video and photos courtesy of DaveTV, ETB performing "Smokestack" by Doyle Bramhall II

After our noise ordinance violation warning-less set in a fucking tightly packed neighborhood, Trin and I loaded up my gear to catch a rare Hognose set at the Triple Crown in San Marcos, 30 miles away. We barely made it, and glad we came out.

Hognose are good friends of mine, have been hanging out with them and playing shows with them since the Southern Gun Culture days in the early 2000's. We were even labelmates briefly. So I haven't seen Hognose in I don't know how many years, but I have seen the Hognose guys several times as their alter-egos The Beaumonts. Trin had never seen Hognose, and loved them. She commented how weird it was to not see them in character as The Beaumonts. HA! Awesome.

Again, pics to come.

Without Regrets Benefit, etc

Time Warp again.

The Without Regrets benefit at Threadgill's on July 28 was an overwhelming success. What an amazing show for such a great cause. Great sets by The Soldier Thread, Vallejo and Friends, and ETB blew up the stage for a blistering hour + set.

The event raised more than $7000. Awesome! Triniti talked to the benefit sponsors, donated a Reiki session as a raffle prize, and talked about Concerts 4 Cures and Without Regrets joining forces for a future benefit event. At the end of the night she won 2 weekend passes to Austin City Limits Fest from her single raffle ticket. Amazing! Now to submit my essay on why I should be her date ;)

Photos courtesy of DaveTV

Photos courtesy Triniti Young

And this was the first show I played since reading "The Music Lesson" by Victor Wooten. Which will be a post unto itself.

Other things that happened since this amazing event...

The following Friday (Aug 3) I dusted off my Marshall JCM800 full stack for the first time since IRONCLAD several years ago to join Thunderosa onstage at the Dirty Dog! That was a blast. I didn't know all the songs but Mike the bassist was instrumental in cuing me for things I couldn't slop my way through, heh. Good times and good-time loud rock n roll. Hopefully more guest lead guitar slots with them to come. Pics of the night coming soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Been a good coupla days

Gettin lots done and been seeing some great music.

Wednesday had practices with Arcana Mundi and Thunderosa both fall through. So spent the day rewiring and fixing things.

Got my stricken tricked out Crybaby working again. Swapped out a faulty switch probably a year and a half ago and been dead ever since. Thought it was gone for good so was going to harvest parts to trick out the new one I just got from AJ (Thunderosa). But checked switch wiring and I'll be damned. Bonehead-wired it. No woinder it seemed dead. Had that remedied soon as the soldering iron heated up.

Also for shits and giggles added an IC socket to my Marshall Lead 12, so I could swap out op-amps and dial the tone to taste. Really digging it, and sounds much better now that I'm not using fucked up instrument cables with it, heh. Used it for Arcana Mundi's inaugural warm up gig and it did great even tho I was using it more as an acoustic amp. Bought it from South Austin Music a few weeks back.

But the power strip on my pedal board died shortly before set time so that was next on my list. Replaced old (ground connector broke off months ago) with a new one. However no room for my wah pedal on the smaller pedal board I use, and also noticed my already iffy daisy chain power cable was getting iffier. Well crap.

Also looked into tweaky pickup selector switch on Paul Stanley Iceman. Might just have to rewire it again, or just totally rewire the whole guitar, as over the years that thing has had more surgery than Joan Rivers' face. For another day.

Had the night off Thursday, as ETB gig was cancelled for a private party at Friends. So went with Trin to see The Beaumonts and The Hickoids at Hole in the Wall. Good times! The Beaumonts are old friends from the Southern Gun Culture days, they used to play heavy rock as Hognose and did some albums with Arclight Records. As that wound down they for fun started a parody of an outlaw country band, singing some of the most offensive and hilarious country lyrics ever conceived by the human mind.

Then it started to take off. They've since opened for the likes of David Allan Coe, and Ray Wylie Hubbard loves them. Hell yeah, good for them and good to see them as well, been awhile. Their drummer Gary also drums for Shandon Sahm.

Caught a good portion of The Hickoids set but spent much of it catching up with all of our friends there, as I was too rapt and laughing my ass off during The Beaumonts set to make the rounds earlier. Good stuff, good times, good people and great music!

Last night we went downtown to Lucky Lounge to see our good friend Ric Furley play drums for our other friend, singer Deann Renee. More good times with good people playing great music. Deann has an amazing set of pipes, and Ric owns it as always. Towards end of the set got an invite from the Forever Town boys to head to Beauty Ballroom for a showcase of some of producer Frenchie Smith's bands. Sweet! And to think we were contemplating heading home early, heh.

Decided best course of action was to get me a slice of pizza, as I'd forgone dinner in order to get to Lucky Lounge earlier to catch more of the Deann Renee set. But change of plans, and I was getting a headache from lack of fuel. Found a meter at 7th and Trinity, perfect! Hoboken Pie on the way to the venue. Didn't help my headache but at least some something to keep me going. But then it dawned on us... Beauty Bar (which we were walking to) had closed. Where the hell was Beauty Ballroom?!?

So we mapquested it, shit. Off Riverside, 2 miles away. So we abandoned out parking spot and headed south over the river. Very nice place, never been there before. Burning Avalanche onstage when we got there. There was an old hippie doing the old school overhead projector oil/light show. Oh my God was it fucking cool to see that in action by someone who obviously knew exactly what the hell he was doing.

Caught up with Frenchie and Danny and Jayson from Forever Town. Wanted to stay all night or at least catch part of Scorpion Child. But my damn headache prevented either. Well shit. Big show the next evening and dont want to overdo it and get sick.

Tonight is the big Without Regrets benefit at Threadgill's South. We close the night out after The Soldier Thread and Vallejo. Hosted by our good friend B-Doe from KLBJ-FM.

A great lineup at a great venue and all for a great cause. #STOKED

Monday, July 23, 2012

'Leap of Faith' album review

Got my first review for 'Leap of Faith' courtesy of!

Danny G 'Leap of Faith': Pressure and Time

by HP Taskmaster

Leap of Faith is the second full-length from Austin, Texas-based multi-instrumentalist Danny Grochow – aka Danny G. His first outing was 2010’s Ocean of Stars. Like its follow-up, Ocean of Stars was recorded over the course of February’s 28 days with Grochow as a participant in the RPM Challenge to create an album from scratch in a month’s time. No word on whether the extra day he got from 2012 being a leap year gave him a leg up on Leap of Faith, or whether the title is a reference to that, but the fact remains that for being put down on a digital eight-track in a month and for Grochow having played guitar, bass and drums as well as recorded himself and done the full art layout on his own, it’s an impressive feat. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but I don’t think perfection is the idea in the first place, and for what Grochow is playing on Leap of Faith’s six tracks, the kind of self-contained, humble production actually fits really well. Something too overblown wouldn’t work, but the atmosphere on even more active material like “Rare Earth Metals” is intimate, and while the flirtations with psychedelia on opener “Leap of Faith: Symphony in D Standard” don’t really come across with the swirl reaching as far into space as it otherwise might, Grochow is more than able to get his point across, his effectively layered guitar leading the way there and almost at every other point on the entirely instrumental album.

It’s a better headphone listen, as proximity of volume seems to push the songs more to the forefront of consciousness, but part of what makes Leap of Faith work through speakers is the chill factor, that you can put it on and let it zone you out while you listen. That may not be the most in-your-face approach, but the Brant Bjork-style grooves on “Leap of Faith: Symphony in D Standard” or the later “Give us the Key” make it seem like laid back was Grochow’s intent all along, and it’s something these songs have in common with Ocean of Stars. It’s not that the music doesn’t get heavy – “Rare Earth Metals” has more dynamic range on both ends than it might immediately seem following the skillfully played nylon acoustics of “Luna en Sombra” – but that even when it does, the production allows for a consistency of atmosphere. There’s only so far it’s going to go, and indeed, only so far it wants to go. Grochow, whose main gig is playing bass with the blues rocking Eric Tessmer Band, shows a clear love of guitar. Maybe that’s a way for him to shake up his routine, but he’s obviously capable of using the instrument, electrically or acoustic, to set and build ambience. Leap of Faith is solo without being self-indulgent and engaging without losing its underlying lonely sensibility – a surprising balance that deepens the listen. It’s not definitively rock, or heavy rock, but vaguely progressive and an honest-sounding exploration. Somewhere else, some other context, a drumless song like “Krim: The Sound of Kali” might be bedroom-type neo folk.

That song, the closer, reaches nine minutes exactly, and the next closest is the opener at 7:50, but even shorter material like the penultimate “Give us the Key” (4:39) or “Rare Earth Metals” (5:42) has time to breathe and space for some development and progression to take place, and Grochow, though he’s working alone, puts that time to solid use. “Rare Earth Metals” starts out with a chugging riff that serves as the foundation on which the melody is gradually introduced, the drums following suit in straightforward fashion. Curiously for his being a bassist professionally, Leap of Faith isn’t especially heavy on low end, and even its most weighted stretches feel airier than they might were the tones coated in heavy rocking fuzz. Still, there is something heavy underneath all those subdued atmospherics; Grochaw’s minor-key lead in the second half of “Rare Earth Metals” feels like a nod to something more aggressive than bluesy, and I can’t help but think of Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask” when I hear the ringing tones just about 10 seconds into “Leap of Faith: Symphony in D Standard.” But if he’s working at all with those kinds of influence – and it could just as easily be me reading into it – he’s doing so in restrained fashion, and “Give us the Key”’s rolling groove is about as thunderous as he seems to want to get.

No complaints on that front. The form and the methodology seem to suit Grochow well, and Leap of Faith ultimately benefits from the freshness of its component tracks, all of which were written as well as recorded over the course of that same month earlier this year. Whatever it took Danny G. to get to the point where he went from “zero” to “album” in the span of four weeks, it was a worthwhile excursion, and while I’d wager the more difficult part than the actual recording was writing, mixing, assembling and the rest of what goes into making an album – he seems pretty able to handle his eight-track here, and since it’s not his first time making a record like this, it’s safe to say he has some experience with it – the efforts have still produced endearing results. It isn’t a landmark album, but it wears its humanity on its sleeve, which is rare for a digital self-recording/self-release, and there’s a lot of arguments put to bed quickly by, “Well it was written and recorded in 28 days.” I might be intrigued to hear what Grochow could do with a band behind him, someone either playing bass or guitar and someone on drums in a power trio, since that seems to be what parts of the album are looking to recreate, but I guess that’s a different project altogether. Don’t write it off as impossible, though. We already know Danny G. likes to take on a good challenge every now and then.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Busy is good.

Last week the ETB Saxon Pub gig was awesome, great crowd even though we played there the week before as well. Also the Forever Town gig afterwards at the Dirty Dog went great! Still had plenty of energy reserves left even after the previous blistering 2 hour Saxon set. Finally met and chatted with local producer Frenchie Smith afterwards, really good guy.

ETB @ Saxon,photos courtesy of Dave TV

Forever Town @ Dirty Dog, photos courtesy Triniti Young

Health-wise have been up and down. Sunday and most of Monday felt blah, but not as much in the past. Can't remember if I posted about it, but my retired-nurse mother did some research on my weird symptoms and theorized I am getting over West Nile Virus. Cool, hopefully my first weird tropical disease \m/, Had the ER doc actually TESTED the blood they drew 3 weeks ago I would have known that sooner...

But felt much improved after the ETB Monday gig at Friends, which is saying something. I felt better *after* playing for 3 hours than I did before. Tuesday and Wednesday felt great! Had practice with Arcana Mundi Tues in prep for our inaugural warm-up gig at Kick Butt Coffee tonight.

Wednesday afternoon I had my doctor appointment via HAAM that I had set up the week of my ER visit. Wow, wish the ER visit had gone as well as seeing this doctor. And of course I was feeling fine at the time, go figure. But they took more blood, and will actually be testing it this time. If they find something I will hear from them in a few days. If nada, will hear about it when I receive the results in the mail. See what happens.

Wednesday eve I jammed with Thunderosa, who I will be joining for occasional shows on lead guitar. God it felt good to play. AJ is very interested in drumming for Ocean of Stars as well, so it will be more of an energy trade, as neither can afford to really pay the other for their time, heh. Keep y'all posted on that.

After Thunderosa practice went with Triniti to Headhunters for the BugGirl Euro tour farewell show. Good times with good people, another one of those awesome family reunion type deals. However... No sooner had BugGirl taken the stage that my energy level dropped like a damn rock. Fuck fuck fuck. I sucked it up and had as good a time as I could, but not long after their set we had to say our goodbyes and head out. Dammnit, thought I was over this shit...

Woke Thursday morning from weird dreams and still felt like shit. Went back to a fitful sleep and again woke up feeling like shit. But things turned around shortly before heading to MJ Torrence's for final Arcana Mundi practice and felt fine rest of the day, which is good cause ETB was playing in Killeen that night. Which was a misadventure unto itself. We took my van Goldie Hawn, as I recently had $2700 in radiator and front end work, and just got a new (used) tire to replace the old one that you could practically see the air through. Drive to Killeen uneventful. Get to club, Jokers Icehouse, and began loading onto the outdoor stage. The booker seemed confused. Turns out they were double-booked. Some TX Country band they were "paying a lot of money for". Wow, what are we, chump change? So we could either play an hour for free or just go home. We chose the latter. Not sure where the oversight/miscommunication was, but that shit sucks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Checking in again, and double-duty this Friday

I've been neglecting to update this Blog as of late, and I'd like to apologize to my 2 or 3 faithful readers, heh.

Just because I ain't writing about it doesn't mean nothing is going on.

Health has been up and down, been more than 2 weeks since my better-safe-than-sorry ER visit. Have had good days and bad days. Friday felt like complete and utter shit all day prior to an ETB 9pm prime-time slot at the Saxon Pub. We had my good friend Ric Furley filling in for Rob, who was booked for the Street Light Suzie CD release party.

Felt like I was dragging ass, but we had an AMAZING show with Ric. No preparation other than a brief conversation pre-show to discuss the set list, and pretty much ended with, "Well, we'll just play whatever. You'll be fine!" And not only was Ric fine, he knocked the shit out of the PARK. It was an all covers set since we weren't able to get together with him beforehand to go over originals. No matter. It all felt new and fresh, and Ric absolutely killed it. Awesome!

After the show my energy level was back such that Trin and I went to Headhunters for a much needed-family reunion. Don't get to spend much time there anymore, but great to see so many people I used to see all the time. Too many to list, you know who you are. And if you dont remember, it means you had a good time \m/,

Saturday ETB played a private event in Boerne TX outside San Antonio. We played in a 100 year old school house which now served as a Unitarian Church. I gotta tell ya, if church gigs could ALWAYS be like that I'd do the church-player thing! Great fun and good times, crowd really dug it. Small intimate room that sounded great. Even had the hymn bulletin board on one side and a very very VERY weird rendering of Jesus on the other. Creepy even. I quipped to the crowd, "This next song is called 'Hymn #105'." Heh! By the closer (Voodoo Child) we had everyone on their feet dancing, revival-style. Hell yeah!

Sunday awoke feeling great despite the energy expenditure of the Boerne show. But then I went from great to utter shit in less than 10 minutes. That was weird. Could feel the color draining from my face as if the lifeforce was draining from my body. Had to cancel on Arcana Mundi practice and stay in bed. Fuck fuck fuck.

Monday awoke feeling better, but could felt I could easily go either way at any time. Arrived at Friends after a line a severe storms blew through and still felt iffy by set time. The show was pretty decent despite the thinner crowd due to rain, but still a good night tho.

Yesterday morning awoke feeling ready to take on the world with one arm tied behind my back. Awesome! Spent the day doing some rigorous and involved work on the Hobbit Hole in prep for more rain headed our way. That felt really, really good. I really hope this trend continues. I have a doctor appointment for next week Wednesday, which means I will be feeling fine by then most likely. But better safe than sorry.

Still have an enlarged lymph node on back of my neck which has receded quite a bit but still there. That, and feeling bad wouldnt be so bad if it was something I could put my finger on: body aches, stomach issues, headache, etc. But the whole "I don't know what is wrong other than I feel like total crap for no reason whatsoever" is very much a drag.

In other news I practice with Arcana Mundi in a few hours, and tomorrow is the 3rd and final rehearsal with Forever Town, whom I will be playing bass for at the Dirty Dog Friday night. There music has been a challenge to learn, albeit a very welcome one. I like challenges! A lot of subtle intricacies to their music, no way I can just bullshit my way through it. Which is good.

Plus, checking my bank records yesterday saw a $7.53 payout from ASCAP. Whoah!!! My very first mailbox money!!! Thank you direct deposit for making it very anti-climatic, heh. Guess I'll have to save a screen shot on my phone and print it out so I can hang it on the wall or something. Checking the ASCAP website it doesn't tell me what it was actually from, other than it was owed to me from January of last year. Fuck it, royalties!!!!

That, and ETB picked up the Friday 9pm slot again this week due to a cancellation. Sweet! Danny G double duty this friday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Illness. Crickets. Heat.

Quick update, been awhile. Much going on.

Finally feeling myself after being sick with some viral something or other. Monday felt terrible, but I've certainly felt worse. Before gig Trin noticed what looked like flea bites all over my back. But not fleas or she'd have them too. "This looks like a rash... You should go to doc tomorrow. " Well shit.

Barely made it thru Monday residency gig. Got home n rash worse. Trin talked me into going to ER as a precaution. Obvious illness plus mystery rash equals get it checked out. But am fine, aforementioned viral something or other. This afternoon walking dogs realized I was feeling good, and felt excited about it as if I'd just gotten a new effect pedal and couldn't wait to try it out. Wow, must have felt that terrible.

ETB did a quick Balcony Tv thing today. Last week was slammed, 5 gigs including a double header last Friday.

Anyway. Make sure you look into your pint glass at the bar before taking a drink. On Monday took a few swigs of water before noticing the cricket floating in it. They ate everywhete right now. That certainly didn't help me feel any better...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Week in Douchebaggery:

Wow. The obnoxious behavior of certain drunks never ceases to both amuse and sadden me.

1. Friday night ETB was playing BD Riley's.

At one point while our merch person Beth was walking the crowd with email signup sheet and CDs, 2 guys went up to the merch table (set up by my side of the small corner stage) and were looking at our stuff but also playing with our little Gumby figurine. We have several weird knicknacks on our table, sort of like merch mascots. Gumby was given to us by a friend in Boston while on tour last summer and has been with us ever since.

So in between songs one of the guys, an Englishman, starts asking me questions.

Him: "Do you like Oasis?"

Me (perplexed): "Uh, do I look like I like Oasis?"

Him: "Well, I guess not, heh! What DO you like?"

Me: "Led Zeppelin"

Him (slightly offended): "Oh, well, uh, I'm from England and..."

Anyway. After this exchange I see his friend plonk his finished pint glass on top of our CDs, grab Gumby and walk out the door.

Since I was using my wireless unit, I went out the door after him. But had already lost him in the crowd, 6th Street was blocked off and I hadn't bothered to remember what his shirt looked like. Went back inside and asked Englishman, "HEY! Where'd your friend go?!?" He replied, "Uh, that wasn't my friend."

Well shit.

And it wasn't so much losing Gumby in such a manner, tho Lord knows we've had some good times partying with him, but just the overall level of disrespect.

Say you are in your office at work. Now picture a drunk comes in while you are on a business call, puts his pint glass down on your folders, grabs your stapler and walks out.

2. ETB Monday residency at Friends.

Being this was a Monday and National Holiday turnout was good. Set going well, fun show.

While we are playing, I see a drunk guy stagger in. He stands and looks into our tip bucket, then weaves to the bar for a beer. Then he comes and plops himself down on the stairs on the front of the stage.

Now sitting there isn't the problem. It's the reason you are sitting there: posing for a pic, cool. having a blast and taking a seat there to really feel the music, cool. plopping your ass down because the stairs are as good as any bar stool and not even realizing a band is playing, not so much.

We all looked at eack other mid song, shrugged, and shook our heads. We go into a walkaround, and guy eventually gets up. At one point I make my way back onto stage and Rob gets my attention: "Hey, Loranda (our merch person that night) just stopped that guy from messing with the tip bucket." Well shit.

I hop offstage and ask Loranda about it (mid-song). She said he grabbed a dollar out but dropped it when she stopped him. Then he made his way to the back of the bar. So I told the door guys about it and gave a description of him, asked them to please escort him out.

But skinny drunk guy saved them the trouble, soon as I told the doorstaff the scoop he reappeared outside, and came up to me as I stood playing bass on the sidewalk.

As I went to remove the cigarette out of my mouth so I could tell him how I truly felt about him, he attempted to grab it from my mouth. I slapped his hand away and looked him dead in the drunken eye:

"Get the fuck out of here. If you ever try to steal from us again we will beat the shit out of you."

He stood blinking stupidly when the 2 doorstaff put a hand on each of his shoulders and told him to get on his bike and ride.

I mean literally. His bike was against the building by the door. One of the door guys had to pound on the seat with his fist to get it back to the right angle. Then skinny drunk guy went pedaling off into the night.

So yeah. Shit like this makes it necessary to watch a few episodes of Cosmos to restore some of my lost faith in human potential.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Wow, I took a vacation from this blog. Much going on and been going on. Right now listening to my track "Brief Ties To Space" as I posted the link on Twitter and checked it to make sure it worked. ETB played Triple Crown in San Marcos last night, not a huge crowd but the people there dug it. Trying to remember if I last played there with Velvet Brick in 05/06, or if the Ryan Bales Band had ever played there. Looked for Southern Gun Culture stickers but didn't find any, SGC played there many times in early 00's. Cool place, good to be back. Just came back from several days on the coast seeing family and relaxing. Much needed vacation and awesome visit. Played my first gig with Shandon Sahm in about 2 years at Varsity Bar on Cinco de Mayo. He forgot his stage clothes and did the gig in silver space boots, sunglasses and his underwear. It was awesome. Also the Pearl Agency was overwhelmed by ETB's booking needs and we will not be working together. Looking into other avenues to go forward with summer tour plans. Residency ETB gigs have been hit and miss. Weird time of year. Also did a bass session with stoner rock band Dead Oak with J Yeunger from White Zombie engineering. That was fucking awesome, and J is a really great guy as are the Dead Oak cats. Huge White Zombie fan back in the day, was worried I might geek out a little but he's as humble and easy going as any other of my musician friends. Tonight ETB plays Headhunter's patio. We'll be playing probably a mix of stripped-down and full bore, depending on the crowd. The stripped down has been going over VERY well, might be a cool change for a louder music venue like HH. Sunday we play our good friend Seace's birthday par-tay at the Dirty Dog. That should be fun. Hope to see the eclipse before we go on.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

South By Sort-Of Report: Day 3

Friday March 16, 2012

Finally found myself downtown in the SXSW maelstrom Friday evening. ETB set time 8pm, and Rob was already there to play with Street Light Suzie right before us. Quick set change, nice!

So Eric and I make a pass by Headhunter's to recon load-in situation. Most downtown streets are blocked off to some degree, which can often help or hinder musicians trying to get gear into the clubs.

SO we pull around to Headhunter's on 8th Street/Red River, when so help me God, we snag the Holy Grail of parking spots for not just Headhunter's, but in all of downtown that night. We were beside ourselves with our good fortune. Usually parking and getting gear to the club was a clusterfuck and a half. But now, not only are we parked, but we can leave the gear in the van until we are ready to load in. Brilliant!!!

And we load in soon enough, cause Street Light Suzie finished about 20 minutes early. Wha wha WHAT?!? A multi-stage venue during SXSW with bands all day and night, and the show is actually running AHEAD of schedule? Holy shit, maybe the Mayans are on to something.

So we leisurely set up, as Rob's drums are already onstage and the show is way ahead of schedule. Then launch into an unrelenting 45 minute set that quickly fills the place. Great set, great crowd. Ripped my strings off and everything. Then we loaded the gear in the van and hung out for a bit.

Eric and I got caught talking to some drunk guy at the bar. Always interesting to hear the career advice from fans or hobby players to actual working musicians. This guy was in a band, and he told us for about 30 mins of all the things we were doing wrong and what he thought we should be doing. My reaction was mild amusement at first, then slight offense, then pity.

Him: "You guys play WAY too much! You're oversaturating! You should play maybe 4 shows a year! My band has been waiting a year to do a show, make the fans wait!"

Me: "Oh really?" (Mild amusement)

Him: "SERIOUSLY! Why do you guys play so much?!? You should stay in a practice to get it tight, then do only a few shows a year!"

Me: "So... what do YOU do for a living?" (slight offense)

Him: "Oh, I work with my brother..."

Me: "Well there ya go" (pity)

Him: "But my band is the #5 Metal Band in Austin!" (according to ReverbNation, but he didn't say that, and I had never heard of them. He pointed out the sticker on the wall and the logo was illegible)

This went on for a half hour.

So we go outside to maybe have a High Life on 6th. Wow, who set up the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show out here? I bet with the money used for that they could have trippled the size and effectiveness of HAAM. But that would help the Austin musicians too much rather than the tourists that will post pics of the lasers on their Facebook. But the streets were absolutely CLOGGED with people.

Anyway we came back. I thought about crashing the Small Stone Showcase (I wrangle my way in every year somehow), but I had some life things to attend to and alas was not able to make an appearance. Plus the streets were already crazy packed. How would they be at closing time?

Well, let me tell you:

Tia Carrera, whom headlined the SS Showcase, was loading their gear at the end of the night. When who else but actor Bill Murray pops his head into their van and asks what they're up to. They are loading gear, they ask if he wants to help. He said sure. So Bill Murray himself helped Tia Carrera load their van after the show.

His cameo appearances in real life trump his cameo in "Zombieland" apparently.

South By Sort-Of Report: Day 2

Thursday March 15, 2012

During the day the only thing of consequence I can recall is ETB got the call from Headhunters offering us the Friday 8pm fill-in slot before the Small Stone Records Showcase

Wow, that's convenient. Had also just found out SS Showcase was on Friday instead of Saturday, and was planning on being there anyway. Sweet, we get to play too \m/,

Taking SXSW easy for once was awesome. Good gigs landing in our laps is also awesome.

(Ha! I just had to cross-reference my own damn blog to see if I had written about anything this day. The everyday excitement I call my life and music career.)

That evening Trin and I ventured a half mile Trophy's to catch our good friends Sabbath Crow at the Whoopsy Magazine Party. Good times with good people. SB sounded great tho was hot as hell on the inside stage. Caught some of Black Earth out back as well. Been playing shows with Black Earth since the Southern Gun Culture days 10 years ago. We got caught up with a lot of good people that night: J and Kristin from Sabbath Crow, our friend Corri Mava, talked with Ving from Black Earth for awhile, havent seen him in a few years. Good times, good people.

That is one definite undeniably good thing about SXSW for the players who live here: it's like a big family reunion. And felt a pang of regret for missing the Red Eyed Fly kickoff on Tuesday.