Friday 17-Feb-2006

Hey! Long time no blog!

Well, not strictly true - I do most of my daily blogging over on LJ at this point, but will try to do some summary or tidbit at least quarterly here...

If you've been keeping an eye on my performing and archive pages, you'll have noted I had quite a lot of gigs (nearly 75) in 2005: predominantly with The Gobshites, an occasional few with The Beau Roland Band, some misc. classical things, and, since the fall, solo fiddling sets once or twice a month at The Abbey (who would have guessed that the old townies at the bar, who usually clear out when the rock starts, are a secret Natalie MacMaster fan club?!) So what does this mean for 2006?...

Time to change things up!

Actually, BRB has been incommunicado with me lately - words about sending me new music to work on never followed through, I haven't been invited to recent gigs, they seem to have a mandolin player now, and maybe a new fiddler, and their last MySpace update removed mention of me... so I'm not counting on any action from that quarter at this point. And while The Gobshites have lots of gigs, which I mostly like, doing only the Irish Punk schtick is getting a bit stale for me - I was never a big fan of either genre, and with still mostly covers on the set list it's all sounding a bit alike.

So I made a few inquiries on Craig's List... the upshot of which is I am now a member of Rev. Bob and the Darkness, "Roots, Rhythm & Gothic Blues". The four current members seem like talented and reasonable guys, the music is original, and our first big gig is April 7th @ the Middle East Downstairs!

Actually, if it wasn't for that gig I probably wouldn't be working with them yet -they were processing the departure of their harmonica player and auditioning a number of prospects. But after having failed to obtain sufficient votes in their round one Emergenza competition to qualify for round two, they suddenly found out that they were awarded a wild-card slot! Since asking the harp guy to come back was not doable, I'm in and learning the songs we're prepping for the 25-minute set. Plus gathering accoutrements for a new stage persona - Old West Victorian Goth is a new one for me.

This move feels good so far - I am actually practicing between band meetings (on the few nights when not doing 3-set shows with GS...), trying to come up with new licks for this genre, etc. And it doesn't hurt that these people are serious about their music and not three sheets to the wind half-way through practice (which is also less than a mile from my office). I thought that I might find a use for my GT-3 again with them, but on revisiting it I now find that its tone quality is just not good enough: too artificial/shrill. So when I'm not using my own amp (there's a small Marshall I use there in the practice space, and for Emergenza they supply all the backline to minimize setup) I throw my separate Boss reverb/delay pedal on the chain.

Now the trick will be scheduling everything! I've already had 15 gigs this year and have 23 on the calendar, plus more to come with the Gobshites for St. Pat's, some pre-Emergenza warmups with Rev. Bob, and probably some NYC shows lin the summer with both. Plus Pete is talking with about a regular gig with a club to which I could literally walk from my house in Malden - that would be really nice.

And then there's my String Sluts side project... Mer and Angie have both expressed interest in continuing that and in writing new string quartet arrangements of local rock/pop songs. If we can get enough arrangements together, it would be fun to record a "String Quartet Tribute to Boston Music". Plus before running into Rev. Bob I had signed up for a 6-week Scottish fiddling class at Passim's that just started!

So it looks like this year will be busy - no guarantees when you'll get another blog here, so keep your eyes on my performing page and/or my MySpace page, and make sure you are on my mailing list!


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