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Rick's Rap   - March 2004

      03/01/04

      I've checked with every drummer I know. For one reason or another, none of them is available as our full time drummer, but I don't think we'll have a problem coming up with a sub if necessary. We've run an ad on MD Party, and in the Washington City Paper.

      Rick, the guy who sub'ed for us at Brady's, is co-hosting an open mic night at the Backstreets Cafe in Rockville on Thursday nights. Barb and I checked it out last Thursday, and it looks pretty good.

      Eric has made up set lists for the next Brady's gig, and I've posted them. We're scheduled to rehease on the 14th to cover some tunes we haven't done yet.


      03/12/04

      Last Saturday, March 6, we auditioned a drummer, fella by the name of Lloyd. He already knew most of our material, and he was an outstanding drummer. He also sang harmony and lead. There wasn't any adjustment period, we sounded like we'd been playing together for years. No down side at all.

      I remember thinking, "This is too good to be true". Unfortunately I was right. After further consideration, he concluded that he couldn't realistically commit the time that would probably be required to be our full time drummer. On the positive side, we now have another source for a fill in drummer should the need arise, and he'll check with a bass player and a guitarist that he knows, to see if they might be available for fill in work.

      This weekend we'll rehearse with Doc and learn a couple of new tunes. The following weekend is what may be our last gig at Brady's. After that we'll continue on with the search for another drummer.

      Last Tuesday, March 9, Bob, Lukas, and myself did an open mic at College Perk, just to take the acoustic thing out in front of an audience and see how it felt. Before the performance I was pretty nervous, the first time that's happened to me in years. As soon as we got in front of the mics, however, I calmed right down. Bob wasn't nervous at all, but as soon as we got in front of the mics, he got nervous. Go figure. The crowd was really young. At one point Bob said "These people could be our kids." I said, "Nah, I'm pretty sure I would've remembered."

      Nervousness aside, things went well, and I think this acoustic thing is gonna work out just fine.


      03/20/04

      Eric just dropped by with the third, and with any luck, final mastering of the new demo recordings and I've just posted them.

      See you all at the gig tonight.

      (mostly) Dead Gig #12

      Brady's (now O'Meara's) Irish Pub, Manassas, VA

Set 1         Set 2
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Brown Eyed Girl
Next Time You See Me
Knockin On Heavin's Door
Tribute to Elmore
Good Lovin
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Unchained Melody
Franklin's Tower
Kansas City
U.S Blues
        Bad Moon Risin
Take it Easy
Race is On
Wonderful Tonight
Honky Tonk Woman
Friend of the Devil
Iko Iko
Big River
Can't Help Fallin in Love
Deal
Round & Round
Not Fade Away Medley

      Yeah, that's right, there's only 2 sets listed here. After the second set, we were told to pack up and go home. Major Bummer, dudes and dudettes!

      When we pulled into the parking lot, my first thought was "Where's Brady's?", and my second thought was "Where in hell is a parking spot?" The place is now owned by a DJ named O'Meara, and it's called, oddly enough, O'Meara's. It was absolutely packed to the gills. We had to wait until 8 o'clock for the place to empty out enough to bring our equipment in and set up.

      Eric had made up the setlists and he stacked the opening sets with as much conventional material as we could muster, and packed most of the jam material into the last set. The theory being that true Dead fans would stick around, and we wouldn't drive off the regular crowd right off the bat. Who knows? It might have actually worked if we'd actually played, y'know, the last set.

      During the third song in the first set, some guy that looked like Willy Nelson walked into the band setup and started mumbling incoherently into Bob's mic. A couple of burly characters dressed like members of the management came up and tried to talk him out, but he was in no mood to leave. Eventually one of them took him by the arm and led him away. We just kept playing while all this was happening.

      For some reason the on stage vocals were muffled and prone to feedback. We didn't have any problem keeping the overall volume nice and low, but we certainly had problems with tempos, grooves, and energy. A few times Bob just took a mini vacation on stage and quit playing guitar all together. Whenever that happened I tried covering both rhythm and lead. A few tunes came out rather nicely, somehow. "Big River" may have been the best time we've ever done it, and "Round and Round" definitely had some life to it. Unbelievalble as it may seem, we actually got some postitive comments from folks that were obviously deadheads.

      ... all in all not one of our stellar experiences ...

      As we were leaving, we said our farewells to Doc. I'm not sure how he felt about the evening. I know that whenever I leave a band, I always feel better if the last performance is a good one. Oh well.

      ... an interviewer once asked Kreutzman about the Dead's experience at Woodstock, and he said, "Well, it's kind of nice to know you can blow the most important job of your career, and it doesn't matter much" ....

      Barb took some pics. I don't know if we'll get around to posting them or not.

      Bob, Lukas, and myself are planning to hit the open mic night at College Perk this Tuesday, and barring notification to the contrary, I'm going to try to start scheduling drummer auditions this Sunday.


      03/29/04

      The open mic went pretty well. It was spring break so there was ample parking, but the place was still reasonably crowed. I don't know if we get a good reception because we actually play well, or because the usual fare just sucks. Either way I don't much care, this suits our needs at the moment, and if I really wanted to know, I'd have to stick around and listen to the other acts.

      Well, of the 15 or so people that responded to the ad for a new drummer, five said they were interested in actually getting together to see how we sounded. Of those five, when I emailed them to schedule meetings, two changed their minds, two said the following weekend worked better for them, and one didn't get back to me. I scheduled the one for Sunday and notified the other members of the band. Lukas told me he wasn't available Sunday. I briefly tried to reset things for Saturday, but that didn't work out, so I stayed with Sunday, and just told people we wouldn't have a bass player. On Friday, I got another response from a guy that said Sunday worked for him, so we had two people to check out.

      Both of the drummers Sunday were really good. It's too bad Lukas wasn't there. Since he's easily the best musician in the band (not to mention by far the youngest), I would've been really interested in his opinion. Bob's reaction was "Let's take them both." If I didn't know him so well, I would've thought he was kidding.

      Next Saturday we'll check out the remaining two candidates, along with anybody else that responds to the ad this week, and strikes me as promising.

      After the second guy left, we stuck around for a while and talked about agents, booking, practice schedules, and a chick vocalist. If anybody wants me to remember what they said, I figure they'll be willing to tell me again.

      ... Last week I told my wife I'm afraid I'm losing my mind, because I just can't seem to remember things. She said "Does it seem to be getting worse?" ...

     

      Stay tuned,

Rick

               
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