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Messages - RichR

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Great Blues Musicians / Saw Hamilton Loomis last night
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:55:04 PM »
Had nothing going on last night, and heard that Hamilton Loomis was playing Knuckleheads.   Rightly predicted my wife would not want to go.   So, went by myself.    There was also a jam going on at another place in the bottoms, that  would be doable on the way home, so I put my guitar in trunk.

Anyone seen Loomis?  Very good.   A lot of funk and soul; along with some great guitar work.  He also plays a mean harp.  Harp mounted, with a mic on mic stand, so we walks over to the harp mic/stand to play harp.   Found out that he uses a vacum cleaner attachment for a harp holder.

Well, I have a new guitar to be jonesin for!   He plays a beautiful EB/Music Man, and it sounded great.  Its the one in this clip.  This is the same band I saw, except for a different drummer.  Early show, 7-10, so managed to stop by the jam at another place and get in on the last lineup.   A pretty cool Wednesday night.

Hamilton Loomis -- "Partner In Crime" @ BRBF in Peer, BELGIUM

General Discussion / Re: Guitar Center Contest: Bluesmasters
« on: March 27, 2013, 06:13:49 PM »
Downloded the backing tracks but have nothing worthy to record on so I wont be participating. Although I can play like Bonamassa now.  8)

So... you are telling me that if I download those backing tracks, I'll be able to play like Bonamassa?    I've been wasting my time doing all this practicing and stuff.  :-[

Can you say "squeal like a pig"?

Cool Jonny!  Looks like the banjo is coming along nicely.

Nice job on the dual Jonny video!

I saw part of it - what I heard was good. But I kept thinking ' do you really need ALL those guitars up there with ya?'

Yeah, he had a lot.   Surely he didn't need all of them.   

It is worth watching from start to end.   He opened with a solo acoustic guitar instrumental thing.  Then within a song or two, did a vocal.  And at the point of the first vocal song, I thought the high-thinness of his voice kind of spoiled it.   (I guess it is only fair that if you are that good on guitar-- you can't also have a perfect voice.)  To me, his voice just doesn't have any gravel, or gravitas-- pretty important for singing blues.  But as the show went on, I warmed up to his vox, too.

And the other instrumentalists were pretty cool and interesting.

General Discussion / Re: Guitar Center Contest: Bluesmasters
« on: March 27, 2013, 04:35:12 PM »
When I first started reading through 'how it works', I thought it sounded like a rehash of the original KOTB online contest-- they are encouraging you to rack up YouTube views and FB likes.  Of course we all know about the process of garning online 'votes' from all your friends, relatives, and make-believe friends and relatives.  Maybe the judges look at that. 

But in the end, the judges select the finalists, and the winner is picked by Joe.  I guess if you make the cut (top 10), they fly you to LA for the live competition between the 10.

I've had a couple bouts of contest-fatigue, and pretty much permanently burned out on the contest deal.  But it is an interesting approach.  They have eliminated the in-store judging-- some of which was plagued by cronism, and total ineptitude; at best extremely inconsistent, with some pretty dubious decisions.

I'll probably just watch from a safe distance.

General Discussion / Guitar Center Contest: Bluesmasters
« on: March 27, 2013, 03:39:53 PM »
Anyone seen this, and/or thinking about particpating?

Looks like the backers are all Joe Bonamassa tracks.

Do a vid of you playing over the backer and submit to YouTube.

Judging panel w/Joe B. picks 10 finalists.

10 finalists play live for Joe, and Joe picks the winner.


Great new Joe B. concert running on Paladia!  All acoustic instruments.  I especially liked the Swedish Keyed Fiddle, or Nyckelharpa.   Kind of push button violin.  The strings are still bowed, but the 'fingering' is done via pushbuttons on the side of the instrument.  The first tune that Joe sang had me thinking "OK, shut up and play yer guitar(zappa reference)".   But even the vox grew on me.

If you get a chance, see it!   A good use of an hour.

Here is what Joe's website says about the program:

Joe Bonamassa: An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House, to be released in March 2013, was recorded at the historic Vienna Opera House last July during a very special two-week long unplugged tour, played to a limited audience over seven exclusive European shows.  Varying from his predominantly electric blues shows, this presentation was an all-acoustic concert performance, making it a unique and very special show fans had been waiting years to experience.

Produced by long-time collaborator Kevin Shirley, Joe is supported on his vintage acoustic instruments by an eclectic assortment of craftsmen from around the globe. They include:  Gerry O’Connor, a music historian and traditional Irish fiddler from many generations of Irish music, on Irish fiddle, mandolin, and Irish banjo; Swedish multi-instrumentalist Mats Wester will play the Nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed-fiddle; Los Angeles keyboard maestro Arlan Schierbaum, whose extensive recording career focuses on organic instruments, plays accordions, celeste, toy pianos, and more; and legendary Puerto Rican percussionist, Lenny Castro, whose works spans genres and reads like a who’s who of artists, including the Rolling Stones, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Boz Scaggs, Toto, Stevie Wonder, David Sanborn, Avenged Sevenfold, Little Feat, Tom Petty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.

Your Gigs / Re: Back At The Winchester Inn
« on: March 27, 2013, 01:16:05 PM »
First night no tear down; second night no set up.   A cool deal!

General Discussion / Re: Nice Place You've Got Here!
« on: March 26, 2013, 08:46:02 PM »
Yes, Thanks Ken!  I know an upgrade like this is a lot of work, and takes a big bite out of your time, especially when things don't go smoothly.   Much appreciated!

General Discussion / Re: Tell me how you feel
« on: March 26, 2013, 03:02:38 PM »
I feel like I'm driving a car, and suddenly, an urge to floor it.  :)

Your Gigs / Re: My next trips
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:47:09 PM »
Gear I take when I drive is 2 amps (5-50 express and Ampeg Rocket) 2 sennheiser G3 wireless mics, battery-powered Behringer mixer, laptop, drum machine, assorted cables, stands, pedalboard, which is simple but not that small (I'm sure I could do better), and 2 fender 100 watt powered florr monitors (which can double as PA if a place doesn't have them. We're doing some churches, some bible schools, some prison stuff. My strat, and Denise's Stingray bass. And product.

When we fly, I'll take my Adrenalinn pedal, and everything that doesn't fall into the speaker or stand category including that little mixer. Denise will use a SansAmp bass pedal. I won't have my Ethos pedal until after I go to England, unless I can plead with them and get it sooner.  And I ship product usually.

As for Janesville Ken, pm your phone #. We are driving down the afternoon 4/6.

Honk you can see our schedule here:

That was it.  It was the Ethos pedal I was thinking of.   So, is this all a driving trip?

Guitars / Re: what if
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:25:44 AM »
I'm seriously having a problem coming down to a single guitar.

I'm right there with you on the '56 p90 Goldtop.   For a guitar to gig with, a reissue would be just fine!   

The guitar I'm most jonesin for this minute would be a small body Martin, like a 000-28, or an OM.

(By the way, if you get a chance to see the Joe Bonamassa Acoustic at Vienna Opera House-- don't miss it!)

But seriously, I have a fairly modest guitar collection, so many guitars I would like to add.   I could pretty easily crank out a list of 5 or 10.

Your Gigs / Re: My next trips
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:05:13 AM »
starts next week - 3 days in Minneapolis, then 1 day in Dyer Indiana, then 4 days in Raleigh NC, a day in Charlotte NC, a week in Atlanta, then a few days in the FL panhandle doing some internet TV.

We get May off, and go to England for 3 weeks in June.

July and August we're home, then go back to California in Sept, and back to Florida for Oct. Our only flight will be in June, everything else is on the road. No TSA.

Sounds like fun!  Are using the small amp/pedal amp setup you were assembling?   What gear are you flying?

Your Gigs / Re: Had a couple of 3-ways over the weekend!
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:03:06 AM »
Thanks all!   As fate would have it...   As I'm get used to the trio, to the point that I'm actually really having fun with it, I have people starting to press me about auditioning.   

This weekend, I had 2 different guys ask about auditioning.   They are both very good.  One guy recently quit a startup band, and the other guy is in a working band, but he prefers our songlist to 'all blues'.   When John first announced he was leaving, I would have jumped to get either one of these guys in for a try.  But now, I am ambivalent at best, about trying someone out.  These guys are both good players, and either could probably work out.   But I'm inclined to just pass on 'em.   I'll see what my bandmates are thinking.  I'm thinking our trio is real viable, and sometimes already sounding better than our 4 piece incarnation.   And the money...    x/3 > x/4.

Yeah Danny- my drummer is turning out to be a good singer, and he can harmonize easily.   We played the ZZ Top Waiting For the Bus on a gig the other night, and out-of-nowhere, came the harmonies on the "Have Mercy" parts.  It was Dennis, the drummer.  They were dead on and sounded great.    In his old band, their frontman-guitarist complained about doing all the singing, so they worked up a few songs with the other guys singing lead.   But the frontguy controlled the sets/setlists, and never called those songs.   Dennis is singing Cheap Sunglasses, and Them Changes with us now, and more to come.

Greg, the bass player sings some back up, but its iffy, and it pulls on his bass playing.   What I would call a tentative singer- desperately searching everyone's faces to determine if his vocal is sucking or not.   I'm looking for something(a song) to build his vox confidence with.

Your Gigs / Had a couple of 3-ways over the weekend!
« on: March 25, 2013, 04:31:38 PM »
Played 2 benefits with the trio over the weekend.   The trio thing-- I was really reluctant about it, as in "we have to get a replacement before our next gig!".    Now... I'm thinking there are very few replacement guys that would be better than just staying as 3.

A real good player was at our Friday night benefit, and I talked with him after our set.  Tony goes to a lot of jams, and is something of a hot dog player, at least at jams.   He recently joined up with a blues band, but quit them.   I told him the tale of my other guitar player quitting, and retooling as a trio.   He said, "If you are serious about getting someone else, I'd like to audition."   Man, in the early days of "John's gonna leave", I would have thought Tony an excellent candidate.  Now, I just don't know if I want to alter the course we seem to be on.  I am digging the scenery so far.

I'm really getting attached to the trio thing.   I am addressing my shortcomings and laziness, and it is working out.   I have made some big strides in playing/singing together.   And through the process of learning to sing another 20 or so songs.   My vocal chops are really improving.   The extra space on stage!  The additional simplicity of setup and teardown!   And I don't have another singer complaining that he can't hear himself well enough (yep, everything is ultimately my problem.)   And of course the 3 way split as opposed to 4 way!!!   The notion of being able to take a $300 gig and still make 100/ea, opens up some options.

It is making my playing evolve a bit too.  Since I'm always soloing over just bass and drums, I have to keep including 'reminders' about the chord progression and melody.   And being the only soloist, I have to try harder to bring in some variety, and work the build-ups.

We played a 2nd bene Sunday afternoon.   It was for a jam-fixture guy who died last month.   It included a lot of the local blues heavy hitters.   And, a lot of folks that I thought we're in a league above me--  They are only human, and not 'all that'.   We made a very good showing, including Still Got The Blues, Spanish Moon, True Lies, Old Love (we are not a 'shuffle in A' kind of blues band.)   We were with the best around, and sounded like we belonged there!

We have now trotted the trio thing out in front of lots of people I trust-- players, sound guys, etc.   And I am getting absolutely zero feedback about the band not being quite what it was (my fear.)   In fact, I think we are are least 'as good'.  And stepping into 'better' territory.    My mojo is intact.   Now I've got to get out and do some selling.  I feel good about my 'product' again!   I have scored a few gigs in the last week, so things are starting to roll again!

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