Friday, June 14, 2013

Learning Music. Rehearsals. Progress. Voice Lesson. The Dark Side.

Brain is feeling a little fried right now, but in a good way. Much going on.

The remaining 2 weeks of June before leaving for all of July with Rick Hornyak will be a whirlwind.

In addition to Deak Oak practices twice a week, I'm scrambling to learn 25 or so originals and about 30 covers. If we nail everything in Tuesday and Wednesday rehearsals next week, I'll have the last mid-week of June free to head to the coast and see my family for a few days. Ocean of Stars rehearsal is slated for Wednesday, and more on that in a minute.

But just picked up a recording session playing bass. A friend Jason Patten is doing an album at a new studio in Dripping Springs. Originally I was talking to him about playing guitar. But he got Ulrich Ellison on board, who then suggested me as a bassist \m/,

Only 9 songs, but with the startup disc in my brain nearly full I'm kinda seeing Mac warning screens in my psyche, heh. Jason, Ulrich and myself got together last night and worked on 7 songs, and it went very well. Ulrich is acting as musical director and doing a fine job of it, fun working with him. We'll have Monday day writing/rehearsal and Tuesday evening as well, with studio time around the 22nd-23rd.

So yeah busy as hell, but enjoying the challenge of it.

On Monday I had a voice lesson with the incomparable miss LZ Love. Amazing local soul singer who is unfortunately moving back to California soon.

Wow. Learned much I didn't know about the mechanics of singing (tongue placement, jaw position, and don't clear your throat so hard you could damage your vocal chords). And that was the first 5 minutes.

By the end she had me singing 'Amazing Grace' like a Gospel singer. Just wow. She helped give me a much-needed shot of self confidence with my voice and singing (5 years of instrumental music...) and I was already feeling and hearing improvement at Rick Hornyak rehearsals soon after. Just wow!

Thank you LZ!

Ocean of Stars got together this past Wednesday, bringing in Tom Coyne as an auditioning bassist. He has played with Ric Furley (drums) for years, so that is already a plus. Also, he has amazing ability and is a monster on stage. He did really well and it sounded really, really full with the addition of low end. We'll be getting together with him next week as well.

Also sax player Derek Rodriguez just got a mini-mixer to use as a pre-amp to bring up the level of his effects pedals. It did and it sounded awesome. Really digging the way this band is taking shape.

Also had a gear "yardwork day". Had a laundry list of things that needed fixing or modification. Got my 95 Les Paul Studio out of storage, it has been sitting in a case since the repair of the second head stock break... 2009 maybe? I had harvested it for parts at the time, gutting the pickups and anything useable.

So when it was repaired again, I haphazardly wired it back up. So that needed to be remedied. Currently has an old Super Distortion in the bridge, as I translplanted the Rio Grande BBQ into the Paul Stanley Iceman which resulted in the recording of RED RIVER DAY CARE. I thought the SD would sound awesome, but it sounded thin when I took it to Ocean of Stars rehearsal that night. Maybe I wired it wrong. Or maybe I should start looking for another Rio Grande.

That, and I set up the LP best I could. Did some intonation work on the Paul Stanley Iceman. Switched the speakers in my two Marshall cabs. Had Vintage 30's in the bottom cab but wanted to use my slant cab again, so swapped out the G-75's in it (which I have yet to re-install in the bottom cab, gotta get on that).

And somewhere in between, went to Strange Brew last Friday for Will Taylor & Strings Attached performing Pink Floyd, including 'Dark Side of the Moon' in its entirety.

Just, wow. Still collecting the fragments of my blown mind. Triniti, Jake and I were constantly picking up our jaws from the floor. Will is an amazing violin player, and had a top notch ensemble of guitar, upright bass, B3 player, cello and a soul singer. Definitely learned a lot watching him. He is running the show but he is not the star.

Kudos to Strange Brew for establishing themselves as a legit music venue. Great place and a great show!

So yeah. One more cigarette and time to start working on 15 covers.

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