Monday, March 29, 2004

Monday, March 29 - Today, I'm free of my media mooch duties and can spend a few days in music mode. The MapleBlues newsletter is at the printer and I've got that happy, tingly feeling that I get when I've just written a great tune. Of course, they all seem great at the moment of writing - sometimes they don't seem to retain the greatness after the initial glow wears off... I'm not sure about this one...David Baxter told me once that what I had going for me was a "point of view" and I guess it is a relatively unique point of view. People who know me realize I don't take myself too seriously and they shouldn't either. I think that may explain why I'm not taken seriously as an artist in the industry where I'm better known behind the scenes. Anyway, let me bounce these lyrics off you:

Dear songwriter, were you talking to me?

I missed that lyric, can you send a CD?

Sorry that I had to leave your party so soon

From one of those weasels, talking at the back of the room.

Your CD launch was a great success

Except for that racket from the VIPs and press

No one at the bar could hardly hear you at all

Not one of them weasels, talking at the back of the hall

You needn't have worried that someone might have heard

When you messed up the second verse

Flo had a story bout the blues in its glory

And he had us all so immersed

"No flash photography after the second song"

They want me to leave but I still don't have a picture to run

Allright I'll go to the back at the end of this tune, you'll have

One more weasel, talking at the back of the room

One More Weasel ©Blainco Music 2004

It's got a nice bluesy groove - skips right along. I worried that the melody was too familiar...but whadaya expect from an old blues guy? I've bounced the lyrics off a couple of people but the only person who was gung ho about it is my ex-wife and she doesn't care how much trouble I get into.

Last Sat - I'm Brian the Bassman again. I did spend half of the seventies on the road continuous - playing bass with all kinds of different bands. Never had a fixed address, which is why Long & McQuade's collection department would harass poor Tom Kelly, a country singer I toured with who had signed the rental contract as guarantor of sorts. He was not too happy to see me five years later and related all the late night calls he had received on my behalf.

I've had this great Fender Precision bass for a long time but didn't get many chances to use it lately, but this time I was asked to play with my Blues Society work-mate Matt Masters. He does that cowboy country thang and I was sure I'd be able to follow along. As it was, there probably wasn't a single tune where there wasn't a moment somewhere where I made a wrong move, and It's hard to recover gracefully when you're playing bass...but we had a real good time.

On the way to the gig, I made a real commitment to bass - I bought a bass amp. Despite several bass players' litany that to have a good bass sound you have to have a "the weight", I defied them all and picked up a lightweight Fender "Rumble" amp and it was perfect for that sort of gig. All I really wanted was an amp that would be as close as possible to the sound of a string bass - only a little louder. I think we've got it with this one. It must be the port that did the trick - and a little thought put into the design of the EQ.

And what a nice surprise to open Josie Miner's Talkin Music newsletter and see a picture of "moi" - and a nice quote "always a treat for the ears"...I'm going to use that! What a switch I have more of a perspective for the musicians that read their names in my newsletters (or not)... oh...I think I just had a pang of stress. It'll pass. I'm just waiting to see who I screwed up in this issue. It's at the printer now, and of course there was no proofreading, not even another set of eyes to go over it. And me wrapping it up at 4 am...

Last month I published two different dates for the big Blues Society event. The month before that in the jazz newsletter, I neglected to announce the new CD (and release party) of my own boss, Jim Galloway. In the Musicians' Association newsletter last time, there was some other screw up...It never ends. And one day last week, the jazz festival website displayed all the performances in the database as Sat, Dec 30th!

I swear, one of these days when I screw up *real bad* on all three at the same time, they're going to run me out of town on a rail. Then I can be a real "full time" musician!

The Saturday Before - Had a great gig with Mark "Bird "Stafford at Ziggys. A new place in my part of town. I'll be back on June 5, though Mark can't make it for that one. Of course, once I took the date, I found out about all kinds of cool music happening the same night, for example James Brown!

I remember getting a call one Tuesday afternoon telling me that the James Brown Band would be playing unannounced at the Silver Dollar that evening. James was in town shooting the second Blues Brothers movie and the band had not played with him for a while so they needed a run-through before the big shoot. It was amazing to watch. They went through the whole show - like clockwork - with all the chorographed moves and antics. Different members of the band and crew covered the vocals - some better than others. It was Ultimate Karaoke. I was rivited for the whole set (and they got an encore!)

OK, for any stakeholders reading this, I'm off to work on my album now (editing and exporting tracks - the dark and dirty job). A Bientot