… in Birmingham! Wow. We had a great show there! Oteil and Jess were there, which was awesome and intimidating at the same time.
Mike had asked me a couple days prior if there was anything about the band I would change. I came to him a couple days later and said I’d like to see more dynamics (volume changes) in the music.
So prior to the show, we did a couple of jam exercises (we do these often) that revolved around dynamics. First, we played Follow The Leader, where one member would control the volume of the band. And then finally, we did an “eyes closed” exercise where we all followed the natural dynamics of the jam.
This made a huge difference in the way the jams and solos went. I’d venture to say that during the first set we almost overdid it. (Or maybe we were nervous with Oteil leaning over the rail listening attentively.)
But second set was amazing. It had everything. We got loud, we got soft. We were complicated, then simple. It was one of my favorite sets so far.
On the bus the night before, we worked out vocal harmonies to Gillian Welch’s Time The Relevator, and we spent the break running the vocals over and over. So when we opened the second set with it, it was totally under our belts, and it was deep. The vocals were gorgeous and the jams went way in and way out at the same time.
Afterward, we hung out at the club drinking with some locals, and then started the drive to Memphis.
Yesterday, we had a day off in Memphis. I’ve never been here before and this was one of the one’s I was looking forward to.
Memphis is on the Mississippi River, and I’m told that it used to be a stop on the way from the deep south to Chicago. As a result, there are a ton of blues clubs in town. There is one street, Beale Street, that is like a mini New Orleans where they close off the ends of the street, and you can walk from bar to bar with your drink. We saw a couple of bands (it was really dead down there last night) and ate some good barbeque.
Tonight we play Minglewood Hall. It’s a nice room with a very large stage and large sound absorbant curtains hanging in the back. Rachel bought an oriental rug for my side of the stage which also helps too. Sound check sounded great in there, and the room was empty. It only gets better with people in the room.
Today’s question: What cover song would you like to see our band perform? We’re always looking for interesting material. Oh, and we started learning another of my originals today. Of course I can’t tell you which one!!!!