Brace for impact in 3.. 2.. 1..
That’s almost 10 days of straight gigs with a couple double headers! With COVID bans lifting and the arrival of Spring, it seems the garden was prepped for a wild bloom of gigs! You know, just working on my garden metaphors.
But before we get lost in the immediate future, a little review is in order..
Rey Soto came into The Grove to work on his album on Monday and Friday. We have now finished recording all 10 songs and are in the process of finalizing productions and mixes. We’re not too far away from completion now! I am excited to be adding his tunes to my locally Grove-grown playlist that I play for my break-time music at gigs.
Tuesday had me at Republic Garden & Lounge again!
Another good night! It didn’t pop off quite like it did the first night, but we got close for a while. It’s like playing a game now. Trying to figure out the environment, what songs to play, and how to play them, entice people in and convince them to party with me. I was still coming down from the high from last Tuesday and I tried to kick it in to 4th gear too soon and realized I needed to draw people in with more relaxed/chill vibes and build up the energy more gradually as the energy of the room grew by the numbers. Perhaps, not to deviate too much from the current energy of the room too much.
Another pearl of wisdom granted to me by gigging over and over again is the ability to recognize patterns and sift through the night with patience. If I arrive at a place with a handful of guests who leave not long after I start playing, it doesn’t bother me like it used to. When a musician sets up and starts playing, it’s almost bound to be an abrupt shift in the environment for those that were already there. Every gig has a potential and my job is to realize that potential to the absolute best of my ability every time. I gotta say I’m killing it right now!
I got the first batch of the new “I am a Beautiful Frankenstein” shirts!
Let me know if you wanna order one!
Thursday Open Mic had a good showing! Zac Crump was back out for the first time in a while. He will be guest hosting on April 15th when I’m at a corporate event in Savannah. Joe Fisher made his debut at my open mic! Joe (often referred to as 80s Joe) is an excellent singer and musician who has been at it for a long time and is usually gigging. It was great to have his support of the open mic. Sean Dolby and Heather Rogers came and hung out and Heather carried about three numbers on the stage. Sean and Heather and I are going to be putting some work into an experimental trio that combines Sean’s DJ background with my acoustic style and Heather’s singing and see if we can’t deliver a musical experience that’s tasteful and unique.
Friday was a long one. It was a full day with Rey in the studio and then I had to get out to Columbia for a rehearsal dinner at Main Course on Main St. This was a last minute booking and I learned three Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas songs in the 20 minutes I could find to do it. Almost from the moment the guests started arriving, you could feel what a good energy the group had. I very quickly relaxed and was excited to see how the night evolved. I patiently played with happy energy as people took time to get comfortable in the room and start spreading out and moving toward the music. Again, where I used to be bothered when people distanced themselves from the stage, it’s now much easier to recognize as people just being anxious about dancing and settling in to their new environment.
The Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas songs were smash hits and got people on the dance floor early. After speeches, I eased back into it and then ramped up the energy and people started throwing requests at me. At this point, if I’ve heard a song and am familiar with the melody I will do my first ever play-through of a song on stage right then and there to appease a request. There came a moment at about 10:00pm where I had a bunch of people on the dance floor and someone requested Sweet Home Alabama. I was a little nervous this one would be a dud because I’d botch it having never played through it and only remembering the hook. I pulled up a chord chart on my iPad and started playing. I couldn’t remember the verse melody until I was partway into the opening line and then I got it. I sang the you know what out of that song. The energy of the room magnified like 5x and the third time through the chorus felt like the energy was swirling around and I was surfing it and playing with it and raising it even more. It felt like if it went any higher something was going to explode! After playing Sweet Home Alabama and experiencing the highest energy I’ve ever experienced as a stage performer (which is saying something because my home team audience at my Beautiful Frankenstein show was off the chain and if you were there you know what it was like), I literally just told them, “I have no idea what to do next.” They laughed in understanding. There were some requests made and I took a few guesses on song choice with some success, but that was the climax of the night. Sweet Home Alabama. This gig also taught me that keeping the energy of the room good and keeping people dancing isn’t all about high energy songs. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” slayed in the prime of the evening! A foolproof staple “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse just didn’t hit like it needed to. What an incredible gig. The title image is a shot I took after packing up. Thank you Lisa for picking me to play for your event!
Saturday had me at Goose Creek Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market from 9:30am-1:30pm. I didn’t get back from Columbia till 1am so I was running on low and it took me a minute to recalibrate from rehearsal dinner danceathon to springtime morning market by the lake. I was trying to turn all the vendors into club dancers for the first 15 minutes. Not really, but sorta!
Today, I’ve got band practice 1-4pm and likely practice with Heather and Sean at 7pm.
My break-time music for all my gigs now is music recorded in my studio. It currently features a number of singers from Long Beach and Nathan Douglas, Fleming Moore, and Joe Cook. If you’d like to be on that playlist, come record with me! I’m starting to reliably create some very clean productions.
Thanks for your support! Like/share/subscribe! I look forward to sharing news of continued progress next week!