Last month, my antique Tyrolean upright bass was returned to me after a complete restoration by Bill Merchant. The bass is about 150 years old and was long overdue for an overhaul. There were too many cracks to count, warped original bracing, a loose neck, old fingerboard and amateur repairs, etc. Now it plays and feels like a dream and I will eventually post a new video with it.
Also, last month I received my custom Lemur Music case for my travel bass. The case is made of corrugated plastic and only weighs 19 pounds. With the bass it weighs 40 pounds, making it underweight at the airport. I'll check it like any other luggage. The bass, by the way, has a removable neck and comes completely apart enabling me to travel with it easily. I'll eventually post a video showing how it all works, too.
This months highlights are a couple recording projects. One with German guitarist Elias Meister and one with songwriter Sam McTavey. Elias has written some nice instrumental tunes with electric and experimental elements. I'll play electric bass with effect pedals on that and also with Sam. His band has been rehearsing a lot for this debut record.
Next month I look forward to a trip to California with Josh Kwassman's ensemble. This will also be the maiden voyage with the travel bass, so check back again to read how it went.
Happy spring, finally!
This month I'll have my birthday on the road with Brad Cole and Philip Sterk. We are heading down to VA, NC, and SC to play some soulful Americana in a trio format. Brad will be on lead vocals and guitar, Philip on pedal steel and myself on electric bass (the upright won't fit in the car).
Check my calendar page for specific details. Brad and Philip will continue on to Nashville without me due to prior obligations.
Also this month will be a couple fun shows with the band Walking for Pennies. Straight up pop with a hint of Americana. They chose that name to reflect on the hard times living in NYC and doing whatever it takes to pay rent. In this case walking dogs for extra cash.
Next month I look forward to recording the debut record of Sam & the band. Sam McTavey and his band have been rehearsing hard to fine tune his songs for recording so it will no doubt be a good time.
Till next time….
Hello! Feels like I just wrote my Feb memo. Time sure does fly.
Last month my highlight was attending and playing upright bass at the International Folk Alliance in Toronto. About two thousand bands, songwriters, performers, promoters, and dj's gathered for four days of music and networking. It's a crazy good time with music lasting until the sun comes up. I had the pleasure of playing about 13 showcases with my friends Brad Cole, Erin Sax, Jesse Terry, and Mike Aiken. It's a great deal of running around from room to room and trying to get there on time to either play or listen, especially wheeling around an upright through the crowded halls. My favorite new discovery there was Rachel Sermanni. The is a Scottish songwriter and is the real deal, you'll be hearing from her.
This month I look forward to breaking in my newly acquired '69 Fender Mustang short scale electric bass. It is candy apple red with competition stripes and matching headstock. If you're a Fender fanatic you know what I'm talking about. I'll be using it on shows with Rana Farhan, Walking for Pennies, Hands Off My Sister, and Sam McTavey. For detailed information check out my calendar page.
Next month I'll be spending my 40th birthday on the road with Brad Cole. Joining us will be Philip Sterk and his pedal steel. We will head down to the Carolinas on our first road trip with this trio. Good times ahead.
Hello! The big news for me this month is I now have a real Kay S-9 upright bass I can travel with. Whether it be airplane or car, traveling with an upright is no longer an issue. Here's how it works: the neck of the bass is removable with a single bolt. I lessen the string tension, take down the bridge, remove the tailpiece and slide out the neck. It then all packs together in one lightweight case making it underweight at the airport. Therefore it will check like regular luggage. The case is being made right now by Lemur Music. I'm very excited to test it out but more so having my own instrument anywhere I go, and being available for new opportunities. I will at some point this spring make a video on how it all comes apart and packs up in just five minutes.
This month, among many local gigs, I look forward to the annual Folk Alliance in Toronto. There I will be playing upright bass with Brad Cole, Erin Sax, Jesse Terry, and Mike Aiken on their showcases. It will be a great time of running around playing, meeting, and jamming with new people. And not getting much sleep. Also this month will be my debut gig with the Sam McTavey Band. We've been rehearsing a lot for the upcoming record and will give it a test run at Spike Hill in Brooklyn on Feb 12. For complete schedule check out my calendar page.
Next month I look forward to a cd release show with Hands Off My Sister. The alt country/Americana band will drop the record March 22 at Rockwood Music Hall in NY. Also next month are a few fun shows with my friend and Iranian pop singer Rana Farhan, including a concert at Duke University.
Thanks for reading and I hope you come by here again soon,
Happy New Year! I'm excited for the new opportunities awaiting for this year in NY and beyond. Some promising things on the horizon so I will update as they happen.
Last month I had the pleasure of meeting and recording with my new friend Angela Shella. She's a very soulful r&b/gospel/jazz vocalist and is preparing her next record. She lives in North Carolina but was in NY for family reasons so she found me through this website because she really wanted the sound of an upright bass (can't blame her). I look forward to hearing what she does with that session.
This month I'm rehearsing vigorously with Sam McTavey and Josh Kwassman. Sam's band will be recording his debut full length record probably in March. And Josh's group is preparing for the APAP conference. APAP is a global performing arts marketplace for artists and industry people to unite and network. While there I'll also be playing a few sets with the Jammin Diva's.
Also this month I'll be playing electric bass with Jesse Terry at Rockwood. Jesse is super talented and picking up steam in the folk rock scene around the country and I hope to be able to do more with him.
Next months highlight will be Folk Alliance in Toronto. There I'll be backing up Brad Cole and Jesse again on upright bass.
Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you have a great start to the year.