Friday, December 19, 2014

Quick update

Busy busy busy, which is good good good.

Last weekend swung through Arizona with Thunderosa, hitting San Angelo TX on the way out.

Llano TX

The run was a blast, and a resounding success. Thursday in SATX was ok, slow night but fun. The AZ gigs rocked, as they are singer/guitartist AJ Mancabelli's old stomping grounds. Was great to get to share the stage with old friend Mike Mihina's band Love Mound in Tucson, and share the stage with him in AJ playing as Big Mean. Awesome times with awesome people!

San Angelo TX to Tucson AZ: 720 miles. Ouch. Drove straight to the venue.

West TX

El Paso TX

The Bashful Bandit, Tucson AZ

Tucson AZ the next morning

The Airplane Graveyard, Tucson AZ

Triple T Truck Stop, Tucson AZ. Recommended

En route to Phoenix AZ

Big Mean: AJ Mancabelli, Mike Mihina, Danny G at Chopper John's in PHX

Setting up for Thunderosa, photo by Kim Radke

AJ on the bar at Chopper John's

Good times. Mike Mihina, Drew "Deathproof" Underhill, AJ Mancabelli, Everett Dolgner, Danny G

Drove straight back from AZ, stopping again in Tucson on the way back to see more of AJ's friends.


Tucson is the most metal city ever.

Moonrise somewhere in the desert

Got back into town at 8:30am Monday morning. Had 4pm Ocean of Stars rehearsal that afternoon.

Tuesday night was the benefit show for local bass legend Appa Perry at Skylark Lounge, who recently had a stroke and is just about back to 100% (!!!!!!!) but is still stuck with some hefty medical bills.

What an amazing night of music, and definitely an amazing showing of love and support for Appa, as well as a meeting of Austin music royalty. Gary Clarke Jr with Eve Monsees, missed Carolyn Wonderland. Local blues legend and master Alan Haynes, etc etc etc. Appa sat in with damn near all the bands.

Gary Clarke Jr and Eve Monsees

Gary and Appa

The Man Himself, Appa Perry

Alan Haynes and Appa

I got to play some bass as well with Ulrich Ellison (filling in for his wife/bassist Sabine Ellison), and was joined by our good friend Andy MacIntyre. Good friend and bandmate Adrian Conner in attendance, as well as Loca Maria from Maria's Taco Express.

Just, wow!

Wednesday night was the Gypsy Lounge show with Ocean of Stars.

A resounding success!

Radio came aboard to help promote the show. Good friend Loris Lowe of KLBJ-FM asked if I'd swing by Tuesday night for an interview for Local Licks, which due to the Appa benefit I had to regretfully decline.

That same day Laurie Gallardo of KUT-Austin asked for some music as she was featuring Ocean of Stars and myself on the Austin Music Minute. Wow!

The show was well attended for a Wednesday night in mid-December. PetCatMan opened the show with their experimental soundscapes. Very avant garde and Pink Floyd esque at time.


OoS had a very good crowd and welcome reception, and we played a very strong set. My confidence (which has been admittedly up and down for quite awhile) in this musical experiment is now through the roof. Just wow. I have really assembled an amazing grouping of musicians :D

Ocean of Stars, photos courtesy Kristy Duff Wallace:

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive too! A good friend had this to say: "Just, WOW. This is the most amazing thing you've ever been involved in... the music is like something out of a dream!"

Holy shit.

But didn't get to have much time after our set to mingle, I then had to play a set with Thunderosa haha!

Tho OoS was the main attraction for the night, people stuck around for some fist-in-the-air rock n roll. Great set, as we were still hella tight from the weekend! Fun times!

Will post pics from the above events very soon.

In the meantime, I need to walk Nacho, pack and take a shower in prep for Thunderosa in McAllen and Laredo TX this weekend, and coming straight back Sunday to play the Saxon Pub with Deann Rene.

Gotta run!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December, and beyond

Had rehearsal last night with Adrian (and the Sickness).

That was a blast. Knocked the rust off some of the stuff we don't play very often and some of the harder songs. Playing in San Antonio Friday at the Tonic Bar, and we'll be playing all night.

Even tho there were some flubs, in general holy shit we sounded tight! Good to play with Adrian and Armando again as always! And hopefully we don't get rear-ended again at speed on I-35 like we did last time we played there...

The following week Ocean of Stars gets together mid-week to prep for the Dec 17 gig, then I will be covering some ground with Thunderosa that weekend.

Thurs Dec 11 in San Angelo at the Deadhorse, then hauling ass to play the next night in Tucson at The Bashful Bandit, then Saturday in Phoenix at Chopper John's. Then haul ass right back to Austin that Sunday, have hopefully another OoS rehearsal that Monday.

The kicker for the Thunderosa run is for one (or hopefully BOTH dates), AJ and I will be backing up our good friend Mike Mihina for Love Mound as the rhythm section. Mike is a top-notch individual, and a bad ass musician.

I first met Mike on the Southern Gun Culture 'March To The Sea' New Orleans-to-Los Angeles run in 2003. SGC played Tucson AZ with Love Mound and Solid Donkey. Great line up. Have been friends with Mike as well as Julia from S.D. ever since.

Reconnected with him in 2006 when Love Mound played during SXSW 2006, and consequently met AJ for the first time as he was drumming for Mike. I was putting together Ironclad at the time and asked AJ if he wanted to play drums. He never got back to me hahaha. A year or two later, Ironclad played with Love Mound again during SXSW in 2007-ish? at a record store which I can't even remember the name of now, but it was a great place and a great day party show.

Mike also came out to the Adrian and the Sickness Tucson show back in May. We talked about me doing some guest guitar tracks on the new Love Mound album, which I of course agreed to like a motherfucker!

We are still talking about that, and it will happen very very soon. Keep y'all posted!

The week after the break-neck AZ run is the Wed Dec 17 Gypsy Lounge show that Ocean of Stars is playing.

Which by promoting the show I inadvertently filled out the bill. Photographer/musician Ricardo Acevedo asked if his project PetCatMan could open, I replied it isn't really up to me but pointed him to Nancy LaBarbiera who offered us the date. She put them on the bill at 9pm before our 10pm. Then AJ asked, I directed him to Nancy, and now looks like Thunderosa is playing after OoS at 11pm. And I will be playing bass, as I and my bass rig will be there anyway. Hahaha.

Thursday Dec 18 I'll be playing with Heather Bishop for a Mobile Loaves and Fishes benefit/event. Then Friday and Saturday I will be playing the Rio Grande Valley with Thunderosa, in McAllen TX at Smokin Aces on the 19th and Laredo TX at The Cold Brew Rock n Metal Bar on the 20th. Then hauling ass back to Austin so I can play an afternoon set with Deann Rene Band at the Saxon Pub on Sunday the 21st.

Then probably spending the entire week of Christmas with my family. Returning to Austin to play with Sean Evan and the Very Handsome Band Saturday Dec 27 at Pat O'Brien's in San Antonio.

Busy busy busy. No plans yet for New Years Eve, but my schedule is certainly open.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekend with Bleu, Thanksgiving vacation (sort of), Final Whskey Sisters show, Back to business

Had my first official weekend with Bleu Edmondson Nov 21-22

Before that played with Eric Tessmer Band at The Roost on Wednesday Nov 17.

THAT was a blast. Awesome venue and great sound. And we were tight as hell from the previous weekend of shows, so felt like we were on fire. Played some older stuff we didn't play the previous two sets either. Pretty good crowd too, which is always awesome. Fun set!

Rig that night:

Didn't get to have an official full band rehearsal before the weekend with Bleu, but got together with Hec Rivera to run the material with him. I wanted to be tight, and not still be relying on my notes to make sure I didn't miss any turns.

Friday night in Ft. Worth at Whiskey Girl Saloon, a wild west bar in the Stockyards area of Ft Worth, sort of a weird Western themed area. Good sized place, and Axl the sound engineer was just an awesome dude.

Set was really good. Crowd seemed a bit lukewarm, but they were digging it. I was still a little rusty on things but didn't have to consult my notes onstage --  and couldn't even if I wanted to. Am still in glasses after the lost weekend of gigs and emergency van repairs, and I take them off when I play for fear they will fly off my damn head heh!

Weather turned slightly colder and shittier for the drive to Canadian TX (I had to look it up on my phone, waaaaaaay North Texas by the Oklahoma Panhandle.

I was fighting a headache/hangover for the entire drive. Had my fun after the show but didn't go overboard. It was probably the whiskey at the hotel room with Clint and Hec that did it...

The Stumblin Goat was a pretty cool place, seems to be a rather new(ish) venue. Owners and staff were very nice and glad to have us out. FOH engineer was very apologetic as there were problems with the sound that took quite a while to finally sort out. So instead of getting some rest at the hotel for a few hours before the show, we hung out at the venue and had dinner there.

Before doing so I found myself puking in the toilet from drinking the night before. I don't always get sick when I drink, but when I do it's very late in the afternoon the following day. Weird. Did feel better tho! And sure as hell took it easy as to not have a repeat on the 8-hour drive back to Austin the next morning.

But our set went very well, finally getting a feel for the music. Great response too. As per the crowd, it was really good, and Bleu had a very keen observation: "There were more young people than older people, so there must be something cool about this town."

True that. A lot of the small-towns-I've-never-heard-of-before typically have an older population, as the young people go off to college and never return other than to visit family.

And maybe this bottle opener helped:

Good show and a good weekend all around. Kind of bummed that we're done for the year... I was just finally getting a good handle on the music hahaha!

And again, the staff of Stumblin Goat was all top notch. A good place run by great people. Stayed for awhile after hours and after load-out just hanging out. Lots of complimentary T-shirts, hats and coozies as well!

Had some celebratory drinks in Clint's room with him and Hec, but didn't overdo it as we had an 8-hour drive back the next day. Took lots of pics on the way back, as there was little to do:

North Texas. It was 38 degrees when we left.

Red River. To the East, the border line between Texas and Oklahoma.

Evidence of an old brush fire

Gas station stop. And talk about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre...

Lots of depressed little towns along the way. Anson TX is one of them.

We made it back into Austin area around 4pm, made really great time and great driving/ass-hauling by Bleu, even with the wind tossing the van around like an empty tallboy. And it was also 80 degrees when we rolled into town. WTH? It was upper 30's when we left! Oh yeah. Texas.

Then to wake up bright and early Monday to prep for my parents coming up from Corpus to retrieve me and Nacho for a few days + Thanksgiving with them. Also made arrangements to have all the van repairs done. They will be helping with that, and I will hopefully be able to pay them back when Bleu's schedule kicks in for next year.

Had a good visit, tho was still trying to get work done down there. Still scrambling to find bookings for Ocean of Stars, but email is having less than stellar (see what I did there?) results. When the van is fixed I will have to go to these places and meet the booking agent in person...

Got back into Austin in time to go see the final Whiskey Sisters show at the Continental Club with Heather.

Awesome show, rather cathartic, and packed to the fucking gills. Good to see all those friends and musical family under these circumstances one last time. I ventured to the front a few times to get pics and video, but would have to retreat to the back soon after. It was THAT packed.

Pre-show hug:

If you don't feel something when watching this video, check your pulse. You might be dead.

Was hoping there would be an after-show get together for drinks but that did not materialize. Josh and Teal packed up their gear and headed home to begin the drive to California forthwith. Glad I caught them outside, or I might have missed saying goodbye to them altogether. Pete the Beat was there as well, and we talked of jamming some time soon \m/,

Said goodbye to Barbara, Lonnie and Phil, and many of the slightly bewildered fans and friends. This is a huge group of people who will now have nothing to do on Thursdays... :( So I made sure to invite as many as possible to the Ocean of Stars show at the Gypsy Lounge on Dec 17th ;)

And speaking of which, posters have been ordered so I can start the groundwork of promoting the show and getting the name out there. Printing these up as generic 13x18 posters.

And while I was at it, made a mockup of album art for the EP. Even tho I'm nowhere near being able to print copies.

And since I was on a roll, made another logo

Feels good to be busy (or at least trying to be) with my own original music. It has been far FAR too long...