Well, after a very nice Mexican dinner, we went BACK to the chocolate shop. I had another liquid raspberry truffle and it was just as good as the first. It’s kind of strange, having that kind of chocolate experience, knowing that there’s nowhere at home to get that kind of thing again. It’s kind of sad. ::sigh::
Anyway… after chocolate, we played our show at The Orange Peel. I thought the show went well, but the room was very boomy sounding, surprisingly. The room was mostly wood, and I expected a warmer sound. The stage was wide, and I felt that we were kind of spread out. Mike is using a stadium sized bass rig, so in one sense, it was good to be off axis and away from his bass cabs. However, when we originally designed the stage setup, we made it so that Mike and I would be nestled in between the keyboards and percussion with the drums behind us. I felt like we were too spread out to get that nestled feeling.
The boominess of the room made my guitar sound pretty thin. I decided to take advantage of a modification that was done on my Vibrolux. I bought the amp only a few months ago, and it had been modified by someone already. There’s an extra volume control in the back, and I’m not sure how it’s wired, but it allows the amp to break up at much lower volumes. A couple songs into the set, I turned this control up a little bit. The result was a rounder tone that had more body within the context of all the sound in the room.
The band played great. We really concentrated on writing a relaxing set list, and even though we veered from the list after two songs, we did play a very nice, relaxed set. Jeff Sipe sat in with us for Walls Of Time and for Can’t Stand Still. Jeff was with the original Aquarium Rescue Unit and now plays with Keller Williams. He’s one of the nicest guys I know, and just kills the drums. Amazing.
My friend Karl was there. Karl used to see Creek back in the early 80s and lives down here now. After the show, a bunch of us went to The Emerald Lounge for a funk jam. They asked me up to play and I sat in on The Chicken. Todd was on drums for that, as well as a bunch of the Rubblebucket folks. (Rubblebucket is Craig Meyer’s main band and they opened the show.)
Then Mike showed up and they had him play what I think was a free form funk jam. Much fun was had, playing, drinking, and chatting it up with the locals. I saw quite a few people who I knew there, old fans and whatnot.
I thought I would create a couple of new sections to the blog, the first of which is:
Today’s song: Another Door
Another Door is one of Mike’s originals from his Green Sparrow CD. We use this tune as an opener quite often because it’s peppy, has a great dance groove, good harmonies, an interesting middle section, expandable guitar solo/jam, and a big ending. It makes a great first impression.
The tune starts with an expandable introduction that has us all playing this triplet type pattern for a few bars and then we all stop for a percussion solo. We do this repeatedly until I give the cue to start the tune, then we do an intro and right into the first verse and chorus. The first chorus has 3 part harmonies on a couple of lines, but then the second verse has me harmonizing with Mike all the way through. The second chorus is fully harmonized, and then we go into a composed middle section. This section has a written lead melody that I do, which is kind of a warped “ZippityDooDah” melody, with weird extra beats in it. While I’m doing that, Tom is playing these carnival type organ lines and Mike is doing contrapuntal lines on the bass.
After the composed middle is the guitar solo, which is more of a jam than a solo. We jam out on a I IV progression for a while and eventually, I cue us back to the introduction line and we do the third verse, in harmony, and out to a repeated chorus which turns into a keyboard solo/jam. Then on cue, we do the ending tag.
I love this song. It’s in Ab, which is a challenging key for the guitar, and I have a low harmony, which is also challenging. There are a lot of words but they flow and tell a great story. The harmony is fun because the words go by fast and because it’s fun to match Mike on the timing and inflections. The “zippy” section is cool because it warps a very common melody and plays with your sense of time.
One of the coolest apects of touring is getting to check out some great places. This tour is taking me to a few places I’ve never been, but always wanted to go. Asheville is one of those places. I’ve been hearing about it for years and always wanted to check it out. Another is Memphis, and another is Toronto. Today’s question is: what city have you always wanted to check out?