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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Musical fun times in Northern California.

January 14th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Categories: Gig stuff · Music News · New Music Strategies |

Wow, I’m exhausted! The last three days have been pretty intense work-wise.

Starting with a gig Friday night at The Red House in Walnut Creek – it’s a fantastic venue: The Red House is a ‘health club for musicians’, the attendees pay a monthly subscription, and then get to use the rehearsal facilities, go to gigs, buy stuff in the shop, record demos and get music lessons in a really great facility.

The gig went really well – the onstage sound was spectacular, which always makes for a better show, given that we can play with more nuance, and Lobelia sang beautifully. A fine time was had by all, many CDs were bought, and we all went home v. happy.

Saturday and Sunday were really heavy on the work schedule – two 7 hour bass classes and a house concert.

The classes were less well attended than previous years, mainly because I pulled the classes forward two weeks this year due to scheduling, and a lot of people still haven’t really surfaced from christmas – it’s a lesson for future years re: planning, BUT the great thing is that the smaller classes actually make for a much better learning environment for everyone. The group of bassists who come along to these classes are such a fascinating, diverse group of musicians, all willing to learn, full of great experiences, comments, questions, and capable of making some really beautiful music. It’s a real privilege to get to teach them one weekend a year, and to see the progress from year to year.

The house concert at Looperlative Bob’s house was another really special event – Bob’s living room turned into a REALLY great lil’ venue, and again the audience was full of really really great people! One of the most exciting things about house concerts is that the audience isn’t ‘genre defined’ – they aren’t full of bass-geeks or ambient music afficionados or jazzheads or whatever. They are generally friends of the people putting the show on, out to hear something new, and it’s a such fun to play our music to a completely uninitiated audience. Again, it went over really well, and lots of CDs were sold too… (it’ll be interesting to see if CD sales at indie gigs remain high even after CD sales online and in shops die out – people still want the social currency of coming up and buying a piece of the evening, interacting with the musicians, and showing their support by doing that… there are clearly other things that can be sold, but I do think CDs will remain as ‘souvenirs’ of a great night out long after they cease to be the primary way of transmitting music from band to fans-at-home. Right now, CD sales are still a vital part of the indie gigging economy, so a HUGE thanks to all those who bought discs at the shows…)

So that was our weekend – busybusy, rewarding, exhausting, mentally taxing (staying focussed on a room-ful of bassists for 7 hours a day two days in a row is pretty challenging, especially given that I don’t work from notes, so have to keep the narrative thread of the day’s material moving forward whilst accommodating all the side-tracks that happen based on the questions people ask and the things they play…), and above all it was a great chance to catch up with loads of old friends and meet lots of new lovely people. So much fun.

Today’s a day off, tomorrow we drive to Southern California, and on Thursday, NAMM starts… hurrah!

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