I’ll be performing with the group “The Swing Set” on June 24, 2011. This is a band led by Larry Fletcher that is a top notch authentic swing band. Great horn players and it is a blast to play bass with them. Super charts as well!
This week (6/11/11) the focus is on the Panama City POPS 4th of July show at Pier Park on Panama City Beach. Quite a bit of music and variety. A couple John Williams Pieces (The Star Spangled Banner, Band of Brothers and more), end of the 1812 Overture by none other than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Stars and Stripes Forever, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and our end of season blockbuster the ABBA Medley Arrangement.
Steve Gilmore came by and we are working on sectional rehearsals. We have played most of this before but we both know that there is only one real rehearsal before the performance and we want to be ready.
Additionally, the band leaser with the Go Big or Go Home Band has given me an entire book of songs for his group. So that goes in the mix as well. Lots of shedding to do!
I stumbled into some interesting thoughts after my gig last night. I was hired to play bass at a Memorial Day event in Appalachicola. The gig went as well as one could expect. We had a relatively new line up on stage with Steve Cosper on guitar and Luke Pinagar on keyboard and Flugalhorn. Dr. Hulon Creighton (sax), Joey Kirkland (drums) and Jeff McBride (vocals) rounded out the group.
For the 2nd time (ever!) I had taken Ableton Live on my MacBook Pro along with a small mixer and an Akai Mini keyboard on stage to add some synth bass lines to the group. I also had my IPad 2 I-rigged up to use as a tuner. I actually got a fringe benefit from the IPad setup since the I-rig allowed for me to use various IPad musical instruments on stage.
That is where my problems (and the solutions I am pondering) began.
We did the very simple but great tune – Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye. The bass line can be quite simple, yet very effective. So, on the fly I tapped the tempo into Ableton Live and recorded the bass line for the verse. I know that Live allows for tempo nudging but no matter how many times I recorded a midi bass line and tried to be in sync with the band I was always out of sync with the band.
That was a real education in live Live use.
I am sure I have a lot to learn about using Live live but here is what I have come up with so far. It all comes down to what is being used to synchronize the group or in other words, where is the Clock information originating?
Tonight I had a guest at the studio house. Thomas Pickels and Jamie, both of whom work at Lietz Music in Panama City came by for a while. Thomas contact me by Facebook and wanted to know if I would play on some tracks he is putting together for a CD. He emailed some tracks over and I gave ’em a listen. Good playing – in tune, in time and well recorded. But something was missing. So I asked him to drop by and pick a bit. I met them at my office and steered us all over to the studio. You know, you never know what is going to happen when you invite a player over. He carried in his amp and guitar and got situated. We listened to the tunes he sent in LIVE and talked for a bit. I shared a few of the current compositions I’ve been working on and I think LIVE blew Jamie’s mind (he said he was going to learn to use it so he could demo it better at Lietz). Then I said hey, enough of the computer – let’s play!
Since I began upright bass one book has remained on the stand the entire time: F. Simandl’s New Method for the Double Bass BOOK 1.
Another frequent visitor to my stand is Bassist Francois Rabbath: Nouvelle Technique De La Contrebasse Vol.1. I love how he quickly introduces musical concepts (loud/soft, complex beat divsions, appegios, etc.)
I went to see the Panama City POPS Orchestra 9 years ago. I was reminded of my years of taking violin lessons from my grandfather, Eugene Goldflies, when I was four years old. As a child through high school I played in the school orchestra. But after I graduated I only played electric bass. Flash forward to the early 2000’s… I picked up a Zeta Crossover EUB (Electric Upright Bass) in Pasadena CA. The fretless sound and the comfortable scaling of the neck made for great playing experiences and an easy transition from the fretted bass.
Continue reading 2006 – present: PC Pops
In Memory of Dr. Hulon Crayton.
Update: Hulon passed away early in 2015. He was a good friend, a successful musician and the joy he brought to so many will be remembered and missed. I had the good fortune to work with him on his smooth jazz projects.
Dr. Hulon Crayton (the artist known as Hulon) had formed the On Call band with Dr. Keith Banton, many years ago. I was asked to play with them. Hulon and Keith split into two bands and Hulon kept on going with On Call with another bassist. I in turn focused on my double bass chops and began playing with the Panama City POPS Orchestra.
Continue reading 2007 — Hulon with On Call
Rockin’ Blues with the Healers. The band is still an area icon for the blues and is lead by Kelly Hundley. At the time Boogie Tracks Studio owner JJ Crews was playing drums with the group. JJ was a smart, solid and innovative drummer.
We recorded a CD with the band – one of the few times that the band recorded. Kelly is a phenomenal performer and showman. His playing is very natural, flowing and intense. I had an original tune on the CD – Gutbucket. I’ll get it on the site asap!
Oddly enough I do not have a lot of photos from this era. Here are a few photos.
Lou, Gary, David, Chet, Woody, Hank
The Filter Kings: a high energy southern blues band reminiscent of the Allman Brothers complete with dual guitars, a screaming Hammond organ, and a great rhythm section centered around talented dual percussionists and a cascading bass. So who were The Filter Kings?
The group “The Filter Kings” was formed after the breakup of another group called “The Nerve” lead by the creative and talented John Allmet. After the break up the Hank, Woody and Chet were somewhat unsure what to do and I suggested we keep on jammin’. So, we did and the Filter Kings were born.
We played a lot of beach gigs here and there. We were joined from time to time by Gary Allman. Gary Allman bears an uncanny resemblance to his cousin Greg Allman. Not only physically but also in performance. Playing a Leslie Hammond Organ, Gary captured the essence of southern blues.
We also were fortunate to have former Gatemouth Brown guitarist Luther Womble (Blue Lou) sit in from time to time. Luther was (and still is) is one of the south’s great blues guitar players.
Other band members included:
Hank Barbee, then age 22, was the other guitar player for The Filter Kings. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Hank picked up the guitar at 11. He had spent the past two years playing lead guitar in The Nerve and recording and promoting the Band’s original self-titled CD. Self-taught, he describes his early influences as old blues, bluegrass, rock-n-roll, and jazz–all of which still show in his playing today. The surging rhythm and soaring melody of his playing are a perfect blend for the surging nature of the band.
Drummer John “Woody” Woodward, then 26, comes by his musical talent naturally as both his parents played. He began his musical career with piano lessons before switching to drums at age 11. Woody played with the band On Four for 6 years, and in April 1990, they opened for Meatloaf. Also a member of The Nerve for two years, Woody’s energetic drums bring an intensity to the band that the other members describe as “focused” and “pedal to the metal.”
Chet Miller, then age 26, born in Opelika, Alabama, is the band’s percussionist complimenting the band’s rhythmically focused sound with what he defines as “organic improvisation.” Behind those congas, bongos, and assorted hand percussion lurks a mind that is quick, surprisingly well-read, and sublimely in tune with the groove around him. Chet abandoned a successful career in banking to join The Nerve and live rock and roll, and his playing reflects his pursuit of transcendence.
Here are a few tracks from the Panama City Jazz Fest held at the Martin Theater. We were joined on this gig by the phenomenal saxophonist Craig Duran.