It was great to play a live show again after being mainly in the studio for many months. I do miss playing live but I don’t miss all the packing and unpacking and cable spaghetti etc. I got to debut my new sax stand that a friend welded for me and still have to fine tune. It is nice to play for fellow music lovers and musicians, there were a few here tonight. Until next time…
New Year’s Eve at this new venue, I played for two hours and then Linda DJ’d into 2017. A few people told me that they hadn’t had so much fun in years – I love it when that happens! A great night. At the very end of the night some people requested country tunes and I “learned” how to two step. It’s not difficult, but it’s not easy for a NY raised guy, I’ll have to watch some youtube videos to get better.
I don’t know how many years I have been playing this annual craft fair with live music and I don’t feel like looking at my past shows online right now, but it has been quite a few. I have travelled all over the world and lived in several different cities and towns and I have to say that I feel very lucky to live where I do. People here are great and I hope the town doesn’t grow too much. I hope it never loses it’s specialness, the way places often do when they grow too fast and too much. This was a good day.
This was the second year of this festival at the one year old Abayance Bay venue, The Bowl. Linda and I were doing the sound again and it was a lot of fun to get up on stage and play through our large PA system. Doing sound and playing music really originate from different parts of your brain and overlap somewhere in the middle. Both require a bit of time to really get things dialed in and get into the flow and get to that effortless place where magic happens. Towards the end of my short set I was just getting there and would have loved to have kept on playing… I love doing what I do.
Back at the HA again this time the room I was playing in was loud and full of people talking because the weather was a bit iffy. I had a great night and HA was packed full of people. It gets a bit loud when there are so many people but despite ringing ears at the end of the night I was happy.
This was the 14th year for Linda and I doing sound and me playing at this fantastic art fair. We met an older couple from Texas that had a vendor booth selling really cool painted tiles. They said, “We’ve been doing this for 19 years and this art fair has the best music and the best sound of anywhere we’ve been.” This was a great lineup for music this year and I enjoyed being a part of it and of course playing. We had a rainy day on Friday but it didn’t stop the show. A clear plastic shower curtain on top of our board (no tent) and plastic on top of the speakers and no problems. It was nice to not be roasting in the heat, I loved it. The summers used to be cool and sometimes rainy here in MT five years ago – like old times.
I always love playing on this outdoor stage when the weather is great and it was tonight. We always get beef brisket and fried okra before I play and we probably will next time as well. There was a great crowd here tonight and I had a great time playing. The owner said that “you never know what this guy is gonna play next, I really like it” referring to my playing acoustic and electric, jumping from folk to reggae to rock, originals and covers. I do love changing it up as it keeps it interesting for me and the crowd and I love all kinds of music.
244 miles from home, a four hour drive but we were glad we made the journey to play at this lively town. A small town but everybody comes out and a bunch of tourists as well. We didn’t want to pay for a motel so we set up our tent in the yard of the bar manager and it was like old times when I used to tour around quite a bit. Slept pretty well despite there being a duck in the yard that got loud at times. I might have dreamt it, but I am pretty sure that it landed on our tent in the wee pre dawn hours of the morning. Played Friday night and then we had all day Saturday to be tourists in the town and sit in TommyKnockers and eat and drink and watch Portugal play soccer and the US as well after that. Then i played again Saturday night. My life is a working vacation for sure – lots of work but lots of down time and relaxing and playing as well, I love being a musician. Met some really interesting people in this town, a few New Yorkers and people from all over. I love Montana!
6/17/2016 HA Brewery, Eureka, MT
The second closest gig in my time as a musician – a 5 minute commute. I didn’t forget any essential cables or gear, but this would be the gig to do that on. A perfect day, lots of people outside and some inside as well. We set up the speakers so people in the other room could hear me. It’s kind of strange to have people who are in a other room or outside and can’t see me and I can’t see them clapping for me, I liked it, a change of pace. I had a great night!
6/15/2016 Downtown Farmer’s Market, Eureka, MT
It’s been raining so much and on the cool side this spring but I got a perfect day for playing outside at the Farmer’s market. The market continues to grow every year and I saw more vendors and more faces out and about. After being in the recording studio for months it is nice to be out playing live again.
5/21/2016 LCHS Auditorium“Only Love” CD Release Concert, Eureka, MT
Why is it that we only seem to really finish and get things done with a deadline? Well, I was still mixing and mastering my new release the night before the release concert. Work seems to expand to fit the time available. I made it though and it was a fun concert at the really nice auditorium in Eureka. Linda doing sound and projecting visuals on the big screen behind me. Sometimes it is more difficult to play for people you know than strangers, it is more intimate somehow. It was fun preparing for a full on concert with no alcohol or food or people talking like at a festival, bar, party or restaurant gig. I had people’s undivided attention and that is a great honor and responsibility and one that I would like to continue to prepare for and master. I am excited about my musical future. Thanks to everyone who attended!
I never know if I am more excited to play here on the outdoor stage or eat the fantastic BBQ. Actually, I am always excited to do both things. This was a great night, I brought it all, acoustic and electric, 3 amps and pa system, the whole shebang and the crowd was great tonight and I actually sold a few cd’s like I used to do before streaming became the thing. I am feeling refreshed and renewed and super excited about playing live music again even with all the packing unpacking etc. I was just doing too many, too close together. I am really enjoying spacing out my shows more and really looking forward to each and every one. Now it’s back to the recording studio for me and my gear, but I can’t wait to schedule more live shows soon, once I am done.
I played a solo set here at this great scene with a bunch of great people and also sat in on saxophone with Doug and Cal and friends. It was raining tonight so the party got moved from the fancy stage to the waterproof garage but it was a really fun evening and I had a great time. The rain stopped and people set up chairs in the driveway and really listened to the music and got into it, like people used to do before all the technology. It felt like traveling in time back to the 80’s or 90’s, I loved it.
This was our 13th year of doing sound for this great event. Time does fly and it seems like it continues to fly even faster these days, in the digital age. In the last post I mentioned that I was rethinking about how I want to make music after being a musician and sound engineer for the last 18 years or so. Well, doing sound means even more lifting and more gear to set up and break down and you do it all day and you set up and run cables for other musicians. I am a sound engineer second, but first I am a musician. I ended up doing sound because there was a demand for it and it helped pay the bills and I loved learning how to mix a band well and make them sound good. I loved how doing sound made me grow as a musician who now understands knobs and speakers and effects and eq and etc. I have often questioned if I should leave doing sound behind and just focus on playing, but Linda and I had a great time this year and we were even offered a raise for next year. So I think we will still do sound for the events, like this one, that we really enjoy.
I was looking at my past shows blog and noticed that in July of 2013, in the space of two weeks, I had ten gigs. Here I am in 2015 and this is my first past show post and it is already July. After being a professional musician (with a few side jobs from time to time, but no day job) for the last 18 years or so, I have been feeling the need to scale back on my live shows. I got a bit tired of all the driving, packing and unpacking and loading and unloading, setting up and then breaking down and then driving home late at night, usually, and eating at 3am because I am starving and then being foggy the next morning. I have always loved the playing part, and still do, I just needed a break to think about exactly how and where I want to make music. For the last year, I have still done some gigs but also worked in the forest to make some money and didn’t focus on music as much this past year.
This party was a fantastic reentry into playing live. As I was packing up and setting up in the 100 degree heat, I remembered why I needed a break. Once I was all set up, I changed my shirt and had a beer and then played for a fantastic and very appreciative group of people. They had a great time and danced and let me know they loved the music and even got me to play Wagon Wheel with them all singing along at the end of the night. I had a great time and remembered why I chose to be a musician and why a great gig is totally worth all the packing and loading and driving and etc., it was a great night. I love what I do!
This has become a winter tradition for me and it’s always a nice event to play at. Another year has gone by and I’m a little older and a little wiser and just a little bit fatter…
This was my last show of the summer and it felt like the end of summer as the cooler weather has already started to arrive. I love playing outside and tonight was full of tourists from everywhere. I have been feeling like I’m ready for a bit of a change in my life. I love playing live, but I am a bit tired of all the breaking down my equipment and then loading it into the car, driving to the gig, unloading and then setting up. Playing (this is the part I LOVE). Then breaking my setup down, loading it into the car, driving home, and unloading the next day, unless I have a gig. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and I feel like I want to take a bit of a break and get back into the studio more and not have to drive or load and just make music. I will tour again and play live again, but I’m looking forward to some time off to create and capture in the studio.
A mellow evening at a local distillery playing my music. I don’t usually like whiskey, but I had some that was excellent tonight. One large ice cube and fine whiskey in a glass leads to a good attitude for playing music.
Our car was vibrating on the highway so we pulled over and the lug nuts were loose on one of our tires. Problem solved, we hurried down to Whitefish to set up and tune up and eat some amazing barbecue and fried okra and relax for a few minutes before playing. Absolutely perfect dry, hot weather; hot but not too hot. A great crowd outside that actually requested my originals instead of “Freebird.” Kidding, nobody really requests that. They often say it, but we all know that is a joke. The request, not the song. Someone did seriously request some Skynard at the Biker rally and I did play them “Simple Kind of Man.” This was a super fun evening. I have been thinking about just getting off of Facebook but posting my show did bring some people out that wouldn’t have come otherwise and so I have to admit that FB still has value even though most of it seems like a giant waste of time to me.
Perfect weather for this great ever expanding farmer’s market. At least until the intense lightning and rain that only lasted about fifteen minutes but soaked me pretty good while I was trying to save our gear from being water damaged. We were running around trying to get musical gear under the tent, running for tarps etc. I love playing this event
Linda and I have loved doing this event and this was our twelfth year doing the sound all day for three days for almost twenty performers. I played two days as well. It is almost like a real 9 to 5 job for us except that it is almost more real. An hour and fifteen commute each way and eleven hours at the park with lots of heavy lifting. We get a bit sleep deprived but it’s worth it.
Our sound gear is getting old and there some ghosts in the machines that we had to deal with, but our gear made it without any major issues and the weather was great except for a bit of rain the last day. We tarped everything and got a bit wet but our gear stayed pretty dry and then it stopped and we dried out. I found some giant cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls to have with our morning coffee and eating it was like taking a psychedelic drug – it was so big and delicious and it made me so happy. The worst part of this event is at the very end when they pump out the port potties while we are packing up and we have to smell that smell. Nasty.
Another hot and sunny day and this time there was no shade. Linda had to set up a shelter for Sam (playing drums) and I. We were going to get there early and set up early and be all prepared to shoot video with good audio but the World Cup was on and we had to watch the first half and so we rushed a bit to be ready in time, I hate that, rushing that is. It happens more often than I would like. Playing with Sam for two hours was amazing. I play solo most gigs because I can make more money that way, but what a great pleasure to play with a great drummer. It felt like I was being played, effortless. I would turn and stare at my guitar amp as if something else was producing the sound. I was the one playing, but it felt so much easier than playing alone, the drums driving me along, that I wasn’t sure it was me at times. I remember saying, “I don’t ever want to play alone again.” Well, the women’s mud wrestling was supposed to start at 6pm but it didn’t start until almost 9pm. I played solo for another three hours. Time flew by quickly, though, I didn’t realize that I had been playing for five hours until I was all done and then I realized how tired and hungry and thirsty I was. A great time.
Another big party in Eureka. The stage was the porch of the house. A great crowd of people with lots of food and drink and Hawaiian shirts and two other musical acts – a fun evening.
A super hot and sunny day in June. Overlooking the reservoir I played on a beautiful stage done up with large timbers, Montana style. It was so hot I wasn’t sure lots of people would show up but they did and I was glad that I turned down the offer to play a wedding today despite having doubts at first. I played without a monitor which can be a challenge but it was outside and I could hear myself through the mains well enough. I got to hear The Little Smokies play some bluegrass music and caught up with some old friends.
My last outdoor gig of the season and it wasn’t ideal weather but I didn’t
get soaked either. In the ’40’s again and slight drizzle that never turned
into rain until after the party. I really had a great time playing as
people were really into the music I played and let me know it. I’d say it
was a very positive feedback loop.