Anything Goes

Wow.  What a great night last night was!  I love that place!

Ok so, when we pulled into the Bearsville Theater, it was pouring.  Cats and dogs type stuff.  We unloaded the equipment in the pouring rain.  Everybody was mucking in and helping out because part of the soundcheck was going to be broadcast live on the local radio station.  So, there was a time crunch.

Meanwhile, I wanted to get that volume pedal, and I had to try and get it before the sound check.  My friend Chris, from Woodstock, came and picked me up and we had lunch with Mike and Julia, and then went to a couple of music stores.  Cute stores, but they didn’t have the pedal I wanted.  I’m looking for either the Boss volume pedal, which requires no power supply, or the Ernie Ball volume pedal which does require power (batteries or otherwise) but supposedly does a little boost thing which is supposed to be nice.

When neither store had either pedal, Chris called his friend at a Kingston music store, and they carry both pedals but had neither in stock.  Hmmm.  I take these things as signs sometimes.

Anyway, we got back for sound check where we rehearsed Soul Food Man, a Mike tune I knew from the 2003 tour.  Then the radio guys showed up and we did a short interview right from the stage, and did Dig Further Down live on the radio.

After sound check, Chris and I went to his house for a little pre-show party.  He and his wife Adrian are very good friends that I rarely get to see, so it was great to actually see their house and hang.  Kelly was there too (yay) and I met lots of their local friends.  The food was great, company was great… just a nice way to hang before the show.

The venue itself is a wonderful place.  All built with light, natural wood, it has great acoustics and a warm vibe.  The room was packed when we went on.  We started with Suskind Hotel, which is a real rocker.  The band was tight and relaxed and playful.  We veered away from the setlist after a couple songs and never came back.

One of Mike’s friends who is a percussionist who designs and makes his own instruments sat in for a percussion jam with Todd (drummer) and Craig (percussion) and then Mike joined them on bass for a while.  That was a highlight.

Another highlight for me was Dig Further Down, the song we had done for the broadcast earlier.  It’s another real rocker that usually starts loud and just keeps getting louder, but last night, the jam at the end took a different turn and went to some really cool places before coming back for the big ending.  Cool!

In fact, all of the jams and solos last night went to some cool unusual places.

There’s always a balance, as a musician, that you try to achieve.  You always want to improve technically.  You want to have a large musical vocabulary to pick from, and you want to be able to play whatever you hear in your head, so there’s always this striving to play faster and more complicated, so you practice that kind of thing over and over, and build your chops.

But then, as an artist, you want to express, and ultimately, you want everything you play to express.  The problem is that sometimes when you’re well practiced, it’s easy to just spew notes without real concern for expression, just because it’s all under your fingers.

I’m reminded by one of my favorite quotes, “The best musicians know when NOT to play.”  And so with that in mind, my efforts lately have been to create expressive little melodies during the jams, rather than just spewing endless runs.  Mike likes repetative melodies.  He likes to repeat things, and then morph them a little at a time into something else.  Lately, the band has been doing that kind of thing really well. and last night, that concept worked better than it has all tour.  The jams were stellar!

After the show, a bunch of us went to The Pinecrest, which is a really cool little bar that’s part of a lodge type place and is open late.  Of course, this ISN’T where I had way too much to drink, and someone named Pumpkin Pomagrita DIDN’T buy me drinks and sit on my lap all night.  Just to be clear.

🙂

Tonight we’re at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA.  I’ve played this room a few times and it’s a great room.  I think I first played it with Bill K and Oteil and we had a blast here, so I’m very much looking forward to it!

Since I seem to end up at Starbucks a lot (like right now), today’s question is: what’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?  Of course, I always get something with caffeine, but let’s not limit it to caffeinated drinks.  Anything goes.

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17 thoughts on “Anything Goes

  1. I had the ethopian blend on my way home…it was nice on a rainy drive east~

    Great to see the band at that awesome venue that is now in the top 3 of my favorites. I love ‘dig further down’ and thought it was especially explosive. I also dug the band’s take on ‘the field’ in the faster tempo…very interesting. The rap song (not sure of the name) was fun & strong. And the very cool jams told quite a nice story.

    My only gripe is that it went by way to fast & left me with wanting more…hmmmm….

    Thanks & have a good show~

  2. It was an awesome show in a way cool venue. I’d never been there either and I’ve spent lots of time in Woodstock. The opener brought the funk big time. And things that make you go hmmm was fun!!! You make the guitar look so smooth and easy and Mike was killing the bass. I don’t think Ive ever seen anyone rip it that hard. Not even Phil Lesh. I did however think your solo vocals and Tom’s solo started out low and hard to hear at first but improved and I was right up front in front of your mike stand but not right on the stage edge (I was one person back). But of course at my age and after too many shows my hearing is not perfect!!

    It looked like you guys were really enjoying yourselves up there and isnt that what its all about?

    Review will be up soon on Coventry once i get the whole set list and my notes together.

    Travel safe the rest of tour!!! Wish you were playing Revolution Hall in Troy.

  3. I’ll try anything once. Occasionally one of the sweeter concoctions hits the spot. But I always come back to a (relatively) simple latte. Espresso and steamed milk with a minimum of foam. Ideally, it’s a triple grande (i.e. an extra shot).

    You’re making me wish I could follow you around the country…

  4. What a great show last night, thanks so much, wonderful venue, great crowd, and wonderful grog, I will be sure to see some shows there again.

    As for Starbucks, Chai Tea Latte.

    Thanks again, hope to see you play there with your other bands. The tour blog is awesome.

  5. Scott, We have enjoyed reading about your journey, especially today’s post. The things you were saying about playing technically, yet with expression, are exactly what I try to teach my music students. (Jenn is a private music instructor/folk singer/songwriter) … It IS quite an intricate balance! … Anyway, enjoyed the show last night. Bearsville was a nice place. It’s only been since Eastover, but miss Max Creek already. Hopefully show recordings will do until next time! 🙂 PEACE! Oh and Mark says Thanks for the picture! PEACE

  6. vanilla steamer with 1 pump chai, which can also be ordered as: no water 1 pump chai with vanilla ; b
    ~or~
    caramel macchiato which i haven’t gotten in a long time
    hmmmmmm…its like dessert in a cup

  7. Thanks for a great time in Bearsville, and of course the rest of the tour too. Since you asked, I like a soy no water chai latte. My friend Mindy likes to add a shot of expresso to that combo–but I haven’t tried that yet.

    Hope to get back on the train, um, or bus…to tour! See you soon 🙂 JB

  8. X…If yer into Tube Amps these days visit a store that carries Mesa Boogie and play through an ElectraDyne Combo… AMAZING. Mesa’s new amp…Cleans that make Fender jealous and although it’s a SINGLE CHANNEL amp it has 3 MODES! Ya gotta check it out! If you do this bring yer MC as ya won’t wanna leave w/out it! hahahaa. LOVE the Blog Scott!!!

  9. Enjoying your blog x – thanks for keeping it up-to-date!

    Glad your tour is going so well! As for your ?? – grande, non-fat latte with one splenda as the stand-by… grande mocha frappacino when I’m feeling decadent!

    Stay well!!

  10. Scott, you guys played an amazing show last night in Falls Church…and a much larger and energetic crowd than when you came through town with Billy last year (also a great show, even if the venue was empty). We had a great time and you sounded phenomenal last night – enjoy the rest of the tour.

  11. Fall and Winter: Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel and whipped cream.

    Spring and Summer: Caramel Frap.

    Fattening and most delicious. Some would consider this a dessert. For me, it’s a meal.

  12. Medium…….errrrrr sorry, Venti regular coffee with extra cream & sugar. BUT…… Dunkin Donuts rules when it comes to coffee. Starbucks is a second choice if I can’t find a DD.

  13. caramel macchiato – iced in the summer warm in the winter gets my vote…I am loving being able to follow this tour even though I can’t be there. Thanks Scott for giving us all this opportunity to see into this side of the music…

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