Rick's Rap - December 2005
O.k., I haven't been here for a while, and this is a catch up session.
On the 7th of November, we got together at Eric's and did one last basement tape in preparation for the demo taping. Eric and Bob wanted to get together the next week and go over the tunes again, but I was insistent that we were as ready as we were going to get, and although individuals were free to practice as much as they felt like, I wasn't going to be part of another group effort until the actual taping. I posted the basement tapes on "Rock Creek Unplugged".
On the 19th we all assembled at Bob's brother in law's place, a fella named Dave who has a studio built into his home in Lusby, Md., and proceeded to lay down tracks. Dave really knew his business, and I think he did a great job, especially since he didn't charge us anything. We hung around at Dave's until we had done as much as we could reasonably do in terms of getting the basic tracks down. Dave said after he had a chance to do the mix down, he'd get us a copy. Since the following week was Thanksgiving, I suggested that we not get together again until the 28th.
On the 28th, Bob had cd's of the mixed down demos, and we listened to them through Eric's basement p.a. Eric was quite critical of the mix. I thought it was fine for a demo. Later I listened to it through my home stereo, and I thought it was great. The only problems I could find were with the performances, not the recording or mixdown. Since Eric has been very clear that he doesn't want to go back to College Perk again, I suggested that every other week, or every third week, Bob and I do the open mic night instead of rehearsing. This seemed to upset Eric, and Bob said that for right now we would continue to rehease once a week. When we got back to actually rehearsing, I insisted on taping the tunes. The results have been posted.
Last week Bob was mostly on travel. We had a tentative agreement to try for rehearsal on Thusday, but after checking the weather forecast around noon, I wussed out and called it off. As it turned out, the impending storm held off long enough to where we would have probably been just fine.     .... Oh well ....
Tomorrow night the NRPS are scheduled to be at the State Theatre. David Nelson and Buddy Cage are still with the band, but apparently Marmaduke isn't going on the road these days. The weather forecast is pretty dismal (wintry mix ... freezing rain ...), but my plan at the moment is to break out the all wheel drive and go for it. I guess that shows where my priorities are, huh?
We got together at Eric's place the day before yesterday. Eric is still campaigning for a different demo. He gave us each cd's to listen to and think about.
The music nazi, that's me folks, insisted that we keep plodding on with trying to make a fairly decent basement cassette recording of each of the tunes in our proposed unplugged set list. We weren't really in the mood for it, it was mostly a pretty tedious struggle, and I didn't have all that good of a feeling about the results. Last night I mastered them for the web and posted them, and I was surprised to find that they were just "crackling with energy". Go figure. ( Check 'em out).
12/19/05 - ..... Eric's basement, 0730, continue on with Rock Creek Unplugged .....
Well, it was an interesting night folks. Eric's suggestion for a modified demo cd was not favorably received. We continued on with making the basement tapes, and we had some real problems catching a flow. After 2 tunes Bob stepped out for a cigarette, and Eric used the opportunity to explain to me how pointless he felt what we were doing was. When Bob came back, Eric said "I was just telling Rick ...", and I broke in and said "Don't leave me alone with him again. If you do I'll hunt you down and kill you". I had passed the point of sarcasm, and was homing in on the cusp of rudeness, when Bob spoke up and with smooth and soothing dulcet tones returned us once again to a facimile of civilized behavior.
We recorded one more tune and called it a night (and for that matter, a year).
This morning Eric sent us an email saying that he will not be continuing on with what we have been doing. As soon as I get a chance I'll post the tunes from last night.
I've just posted the tunes from what is probably our last ever recording session with Eric, and I'm just amazed. Emotionally the session sucked swamp water, but the tapes are just fine.
It's a shame that this phase of our little enterprise has come to an abrupt close, because it's evident to me that we were really on to something. At the rate we were going, even with all the emotional crapola, in another three months we would have had a fine demo, and four good sets ready to go.
At the moment at least, Bob and I plan to keep slogging on. Who can say but what this won't turn out to have been the appropriate action to have taken at this point?