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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Blog posts coming soon, but first, some video…

January 25th, 2009 · Comments Off on Blog posts coming soon, but first, some video…

Steve Lawson at a house concert in Newport BeachWell, our concert tour has come to an end. Will blog about the amazingness of the whole thing soon, but first, here’s a lil video that Geoff Hickman took at the inauguration party/house concert we had down in Newport Beach, with the lovely and amazing Kerry Getz, which also featured Jason Feddy, Matthew Von Doran, Seth Horan, Ed Sheets and a whole load of hugely talented Hawaiians:


Steve and Lobelia Live in Newport Beach, Ca. 01/20/2009 from Geoff Hickman on Vimeo.

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News

gig at the Found Theatre, Long Beach

January 23rd, 2007 · Comments Off on gig at the Found Theatre, Long Beach




Alabaster Rhumb at the Found Theatre

Originally uploaded by solobasssteve.

Lovely gig last night – the wonderful Kerry Getz organised a post-NAMM gig for her friends that were in town – me, Rodney Branigan, Mary Coppin, Vicki Genfan and the amazing Alabaster Rhumb – I saw Alabaster play last year, and in the same way that when I first heard Tom Waits I thought my speakers were broken, when I first heard him play, I thought he was taking the piss. I soon noticed that no-one else was laughing, and adjusted my perception of what he was doing, and realised he’s a genius. One of the most original talents I’ve seen in ages. And last night I got to hear him do four songs, all of which were great.

As was everyone else on the bill – Vicki and I have done three gigs together this week now, Rodney and I have been sharing a house, Mary was new to me, but wonderful, and Kerry was her usual magical self. All in all, a great evening. we each played four songs, two sets with three artists, playing alternately. Rodney played a lovely solo on one of my tunes, and a fine time was had by all. More please!

Anyway, check out all of them via their sites linked above… Vicki may well come and play with me in Santa Cruz next weekend

Tags: Music News

NAMM over for another year

January 22nd, 2007 · Comments Off on NAMM over for another year




Me and Lee Sklar

Originally uploaded by solobasssteve.

Wow, a crazy NAMM weekend – very little time for anything outside of NAMMness, hence the lack of blogging, but a great weekend nonetheless. One of the things I did this year that I always forget to do was to take a few pictures with people I like, such as this one with Lee Sklar – Lee’s an incredible bassist, and very very lovely man, who has been very complimentary about what I do for a long time. A great bloke and an amazing musician. go and check out my other Flickr photos for some others, including one of me with Alex Webster, the bassist from Cannibal Corpse – a lovely friendly guy who bought a CD and I gave an impromptu lesson to… completely at odds with the utterly sickening lyrics on a lot of their stuff… Never judge a book by it’s cover, or a bassist by the twistedness of his band’s album covers (sensitive readers are advised not to do a google search on CC’s album sleeves)…

OK, let’s catch up on the last few days – Thursday daytime was spent playing on the Looperlative and Accugroove booths, then the evening was The NAMM Bass Bash, where I was playing with Trip Wamsley. I was told it started at 7, but I got there at about 6.30 and TRip was already on stage playing!! So I set up next to him and joined in – we did a rather cool spacey version of Behind Every Word, which went into a huge sprawling ambient thing that briefly morphed into Radar Love… not sure what happened there. Still, Trip was on top form, playing beautifully. The rest of the evening was spent with friends – Doug and Vida, Claudio Zanghieri, Jeff Schmidt, Todd Johnson and Kristin Korb (whose duo set was amazing), Steve Bailey, Gary Husband and others… Much fun.

Friday day was more playing for Accugroove, Looperlative and Modulus, and in the evening a bit of a bass player hang for dinner with Peter Murray, Claudio Zanghieri, Dave Freeman, Chris Tarry| and Yves Carbonne – all great musicians and lovely people. Then late night I drove up to Hollywood to see Doug Lunn and Alex Macachek play with Terry Bozzio’s trio, which was excellent as always.

Saturday back at the show, yadda yadda, and in the evening was invited to play a house concert with the delightful and truly wonderful Vicki Genfan, which as with most of those kinds of gigs involved playing gorgeous music and wonderful people in a great house. What a fun night!

And today, the last day of the show, demoing the Looperlative, playing with Claudio at Modulus and catching up with more friends that I hadn’t seen over the rest of the weekend. All good nothing bad.

So all in a great time – here’s a partial list of the lovely people I got to catch up with, albeit briefly in the case of some of them – Claudio Zanghieri, Peter Murray, Kerry Getz, Anderson Page, Chris Tarry, Dominique Di Piazza, Hadrien Ferraud, Jonas Hellborg, Markus Setzer, Trip Wamsley, Jeff Schmidt, Gary Husband, Vicki Genfan, Thomas Leeb, Doug Wimbish, Yves Carbonne, Stu McKensie, Scott Panzera, Todd Johnson, Kristin Korb, Jake Kott, Mark Wright, Bob Amstadt, Lowell Packham, Jerry Watts, Doug and Vida, Lyle Workman, Jeff Campitelli, Lee Sklar, Leo Nobre, Alex Webster, Lynne Davis, Ron Garant, Justin Medal Johnson, Ed Friedland, EE Bradman, Bill Leigh, Terry Buddingh, Jean Baudin, Jeremy Cohen, Max Valentino, Norm Stockton, Joe Zon, Seth Horan, Marcus Miller, Monster, Steve Bailey, Alessandra Belloni, Joe Perman, Muriel Anderson, Alain Caron, Tony Levin… the list goes on and on, and I’ll add to it if you email me and remind me that we met and I’ve left you off – it’s 1am and I’m getting sleepy!

So, NAMM over for another year, lots of follow up to do now for gigs, teaching and new friends. All good nothing bad.

Tags: Music News

Yet more time-zones…

January 16th, 2007 · Comments Off on Yet more time-zones…

So, I’m now in Newport Beach, California, staying with the oh so lovely Kerry Getz. Flew here from NYC yesterday, and am, it has to be said, in love with New York.

Spent the last few days in New York being v. lazy and ill. Walking in Central Park, going for dinner in Greenwich Village, going to see Jeff Taylor then Ron Sexsmith play, but having to leave Ron’s gig due to feeling really rough (sad, because he was great… the support, Kim Taylor, was utterly magical too), having lovely times with S & N in their Manhattan palace, taking L. to the hospital with suspected Strep throat, but finding out the expensive way it was a non-serious and pretty much untreatable viral infection requiring salt water gargling and rest, cooking dinner for S, N, L and Janek, playing through a load of Janek’s songs with him on guitar and voice, me on bass which sounded v. lovely, going to see Chris Tarry‘s amazing band featuring Keith Carlock on drums (one of the greatest drummers I’ve ever seen) with L. and the lovely Susan… so much done, while not really doing anything, in a great city, with cheap cabs and 24 hour subway (that’s transport not sandwiches).

And here I am in California, got a gig tonight in Santa Barbara, and then tomorrow i need to a) finish my column for BGM, and b) submit my tax return and pay my bill! eeeek…

but for now, New York, I miss you – California, we’re old friends, so you’d better for on good form…

Tags: Random Catchup

A day off

January 18th, 2006 · Comments Off on A day off

didn’t have any gigs or recording or NAMMing to do today, so had a mellow day pottering up the Pacific Coastal Highway – that’s Highway 1. It runs all the way from San Diego up into Oregon, I think (maybe even to Seattle – anyone care to put me right?) – I’ve driven it from LA to the Bay Area before, but never the bit below LA. As I was staying just south of Long Beach last night, I started there and headed slowly up the coast.

There were some lovely bits and some really grim bits – Seal Beach sounded like a nice place, but turned out to be largely just some hideous Naval war machine thing. then there was LA harbour – Steve Brown, if you ever need a location for some kind of post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland for a photo shoot, that’s the place!

and I got all the way to Venice Beach which I know quite well anyway.

Throughout the day I was phoning all my southern california chums, catching up and arranging where and when to meet up. Eventually got through to Kerry Getz, who I’ve played with in London before now, and so we were able to catch up this evening, which was lovely.

And now I’ve found that the house next door to where I’m staying has an unsecured wireless connection, so that’s how I’m online now! Gotta love untech-savvy peoples!

Soundtrack – Francis Dunnery, ‘Man’ (I’m struck once again by what an incredble album this is – the tunes and vocals are outstanding, Frank’s guitar playing is an glorious as ever, but the real revelation is Matt Pegg’s bass playing – some of the most amazing singer/songwriter bass playing I’ve ever heard – his sound, his phrasing and his choice of style is so unlike anything else I’ve heard before. Definitely one of my favourite bass albums.) The rest of the in-car tunage from the last few days – Juliet Turner, ‘Live’ (another glorious album); Foo Fighters, ‘The Colour And The Shape’; OST, ‘Bugsy Malone’; Scritti Politti, ‘Cupid And Psyche’.

Tags: Random Catchup

Festive Fives Pt 2

December 25th, 2004 · Comments Off on Festive Fives Pt 2

Films (again, in no particular order)

School Of Rock
Harry Potter III
Dodgeball
Meangirls
Shrek II

Soundtrack – right now, some me-loops. Before that, Duran Duran, ‘Greatest’ (a pressie from me to the small person for Christmas); Kerry Getz, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’; Top Banana radio’s non-stop christmas hits.

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a gigful week

September 30th, 2004 · Comments Off on a gigful week

so that’s two down, one to go of this week’s gigs… actually three down if you count the Masterclass on Tuesday afternoon as a gig. Anyway, Tuesday, yes – set off early to pick up Rob Jackson from Cambridge, nice lunch, drive to Leicester. The masterclass was at Leicester College, arranged by access to music – marvellous organisation who put on clinics, tours, resource music colleges and run courses of their own. Great people to be working with.

So Rob and I did a clinic for a bunch of bassists and guitarists, talking about technique and looping and the industry and running your own business as a musician and all that stuff. Seemed to be very well received.

Off to the venue – The Looking Glass – in Leicester. Unloaded into a really groovy little cellar venue room. Out for a bite to eat with Jono from Access To Music, back to set up for gig. sometime around now, a piano player started playing in the bar upstairs, clearly audible in the venue downstairs… uh-oh.

Rob went on, played beautifully, did valiant job of ignoring piano-monkey upstairs (who, to be fair, was only doing his job…) A request to the barman to ask him to turn down didn’t appear to make any difference to the sound level, and it proved to be a big distraction during my whole set. At least for me, if not for the audience, especially when play-me-the-song-I’m-the-piano-man started banging his foot out of time with me and himself… not ideal conditions for a gig, and as a result, I didn’t play particularly well. Still, very warm response from the audience (which was not a bad size considering the gig was booked at the weekend…)

Very nice to see a friendly face or two there (thanks Phil)

Wednesday – Rob dashed home to tend to Rob-things, Kerry Getz arrived back, nice lunch, then learn Kerry’s tunes for gig that night. Kerry’s tunes, it has to be said, involve more key changes than this bassist is used to – I do all that repetitive looping nonsense, I’m not used to four or five key-changes in a tune! Still, I’m a pro, so it’s not hard, just a novelty, like combining the mindset of a jazz gig with music of a top-class singersongwriter gig. Anyway, Kerry’s songs are marvellous, so the songs weren’t hard to pick up – they make sense, which helps.

Drive down to The Bedford, in Balham, meet The Small Person and a rather drunk The Cheat there. Also on the bill are Cathy Burton and Dan Wheeler – good chums of long-standing – and it turns out the Johnny Berliner (his real name, not some obtuse JFK/donut reference) was on in the same venue as me at Edinburgh, in a children’s show, and gigging in the late night cabaret venue too! It’s always nice when someone wanders up back-stage and says ‘I was listening to your CD yesterday!’ – don’t happen all that often, mind you, but when it does, it improves that particular day by about 7 or 8 happiness/smugness points on the Saint and Grievesy happiness/smugness scale.

Acoustix at The Bedford is run by one Tony Moore – Tony used to run the Kashmir Klub, near Baker Street, which was in its time one of the most important and influential venues in London, due in no small part to Tony’s passion and enthusiasm for making top quality acoustic music available in nice venues to appreciative audiences. He’s tireless in his support for such things, and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. A good man, for sure.

Kerry and I are on first (after Tony’s own song opens the show), we play Ocean In A Bottle, and Suspended in December (as an insight into the way my brain works, I wondered quite how the theme of the song would change if the title were suspenders in December, imagining that to be a rather cold and impractical clothing choice for such a time of year…) All goes well.

After us, Cathy and Dan, play, followed by Johnny Donut, Sarah Slean (fab canadian piano playing singer/songwriter person – at the Borderline tomorrow night), and a couple of others (sorry, didn’t write down names…). All good stuff.

Second set, order changes, we’re on second last, first song is duo – Julianne – another fine song. Second one Kerry does on her own, and half way through a recurring problem with the battery compartment on her guitar kicks in and the guitar cuts out. Cue me getting back on stage to hold the battery in place for the rest of the song… very odd, but funny nonetheless.

Tonight Rob and I are in Colchester at The Headgate Theatre. I’m looking forward to this one, as it’s a lovely venue – I’ve no idea how many people are going to be there, but whatever, it should be fun.

Before that, I’m trying to sort out final details for a couple of gigs in the US at the end of October (I’m heading over for a wedding, and taking a bass with me), and also the last couple of gigs with Michael Manring.

SoundtrackJuliet Turner, ‘Burn The Black Suit’; Nick Harper, ‘Blood Songs’; Andy Thornton, ‘Victims And Criminals’; Micheal Manring, ‘Thonk’; Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now’.

Tags: Uncategorized

General Update

September 24th, 2004 · Comments Off on General Update

…please salute the general…

Anyway, what’s been going on? On the 16th (the day of my last blog post) was my gig at the Troubadour with Andy Thornton. Andy’s very very good indeed, singer/songwriter bloke, and all-round top man. That was lots of fun except for one thing – one of my MPX-G2s decided to stop working before the show – the Lithium battery that keeps the sounds in the memory had run out. Badly Drawn Boyo dropped into Sound Control to pick up a MIDI cable so I could copy all my sounds across from the other machine, but there’s some weird machine ID thing that I couldn’t work out on the gig, so I had to do the gig with one G2.. bugger.

Further investigation reveals that the battery is SOLDERED to the circuit board inside – WHAT ON EARTH IS THE REASONING BEHIND THAT??? That makes no sense at all – why on earth not spend the extra 2p that it would cost to fit a little housing for it (like you get on Computer motherboards) so that it was changable. No, instead, they solder it there. So much for pro-level gear. What balls. Grrrrrr. For that matter, why on earth isn’t it rechargeable anyway??? what’s with having batteries running out in stuff that spends most of its life plugged in???

Alright, calm down, deep breath – I know you’re just as irate as I am about all this…

Day after Troubadour gig was the Greenbelt workers party – that’s not like the Polish Workers Party, not political, it was an actual party – lots of drink and nibbles etc. Except that I got lost on my way there and missed the nibbles. ah well. Much fun was had, and the curry afterwards made of for the lack of nibbles.

Day after that (saturday) was Paul and Angus’ birthday party – Paul was thirty-something, Angus was one. So clearly what they wanted to get out of a party was very similar… :o) Angus being my God-son, I provided the music for the evening, by playing an extended duo improv set with Harry the Cellist – I’d not played properly with Harry for a long long time, so that was a real treat.

On Monday Kerry Getz arrived – Kerry’s a fab singer/songwriter from California that I met at the Kashmir Klub a couple of years ago, and who has helped arrange gigs for me in the US before now. She’s over here for a few days doing some gigs, so she came to stay chez Steve/Small Person. Tuesday was sightseeing with Kerry, followed by a trip to see Ross Noble… again! The Small Person and I went the previous week to see him, and despite tickets being £25, it was worth the return visit – yes, he’s that good. Possibly the funniest 2.5 hours of my life.

Yesterday, BJ Cole came round for more jamming/recording/musical exploration – BJ, as has been said here many times, is an incredible musician, and a very nice bloke indeed, so lunch and noodling with Mr Cole is a very fine way to spend a day. We got some top stuff recorded, so hopefully I’ll stick some up in the Street Team Stash before too long…

And last night The Small Person and I went over to Rickmansworth to see Jenny Eclair’s one woman show, ‘The Andy Warhol Syndrome’ At The WatersMeet Theatre. We saw this at Edinburgh, and it was very very good, so went to see it again. Was very nice to see Jenny again, after meeting up a couple of times at Edinburgh. I’ll not say too much about the trip to the pub after, other than to say that a copy of a certain ex-mrs Peter Powell’s ill-fated autobiography, which was previously on the shelf of said pub, is no longer there, and may or may not be on the shelf of a considerably more successful writer… A book that flops that badly is a rare prize indeed… ;o)

Onto the weekend, and tomorrow I’m up to Edinburgh for the day to record the music from the Greenbelt Festival communion service – the music that we played live was all just bass and drums, but I’m expecting they’ll be adding a little more for the recording… I could be wrong though.

soundtrack – Kerry Getz, ‘Little Victories’; Pierce Pettis, ‘Great Big World’; Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now’; Todd Johnson/Kristen Korb, ‘Get Happy’.

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Road Tales Pt 1.

February 4th, 2004 · Comments Off on Road Tales Pt 1.

As you may be able to tell by the time this is posted, I’m jetlagged. very jetlagged. Two hours sleep, then wide awake. It’s 4.38am, and I’m trying to think of things to do, listening to Muriel Anderson’s ‘A Journey Through Time’ (Muriel’s great, and will hopefully be coming to the UK in April…), and chatting to Trip on MSN.

So California stories – flew in on Sat 10th, and got the SuperShuttle to Anaheim, where I was recording a record with Kofi Baker and Ned Evett. Got set up and crashed out.

The next three days were a mix of hanging with Ned while Kofi taught, and then recording all evening – as late as my jetlag going that way would allow us. the material was largely improvs, most of which we then played again in some sort of structured way to see what came out. It’s now all in the editing – some great material was certainly recorded, but the wheat and chaff need separating! Kofi and Ned are both marvellous musicians, so it was a lot of fun to do, and a bit of a challenge to be back playing complex rythmic twiddly stuff after lots of ambient noodling…

then, NAMM – huge trade show in Anaheim, music gear manufacturers, dealers, distributors, journos and players descend on the convention centre, in a desparate attempt to do business. the makers are trying to hawk their wares – some by just making good stuff, others by getting porn stars to stand around on their booths, or lame 80s has-been rock stars doing signings… normally means the product isn’t worth looking at.

I was playing for Modulus and AccuGroove, and doing a show report for Bass Guitar Magazine, and catching up with lots of old friends – it’s one of the downsides of being a bassist is that there are rarely more than one of us on a gig, so we only meet up in airports and at NAMM… Also got to meet up with lots of friends from talkbass, the dudepit, churchbass, TBL, the lowdown, and my street-team! the now annual tradition of dinner with David Torn, Doug Lunn and Vida Vierra was as marvellous as ever, and playing at the Bass Bash was a blast, as was my gig in the lobby of the Marriott next to the show (ah yes, solo bass goes loung-core…)

NAMM ended sunday, on monday trip and I drove to Costa Mesa for a coffee house gig lined up for us by Bob Lee – nice little coffee shop, played outside, Seth Horan turned up and did a couple of tunes and was wonderful. Trip’s set was marvellous too, and his ‘did I suck?’ question at the end was so laughable it almost warranted a kick in the plums. Lots of friendly faces turned up, including Fred Hodson from Talkbass (thanks Fred!), Kerry Getz and Jason Feddy. Crashed at Kerry’s house, and on Tuesday morning Bob Lee showed Trip and I round QSC, and they lent me a poweramp for the tour (the AccuGroove powered cabs weren’t finished in time for the tour, so I took a pair of passive ones, and used the QSC amp, which sounded great.

Tuesday afternoon was the gig at CalArts with Andre LaFosse, which went well, and included a marvellous duo version of MMFSOG. Then off to see Vida and Dani for a few days. I’ve probably spent 3 months total in California now over the last 5 years, and this was the first time I’ve been to the beach! Took a walk along Venice beach, wandered around book shops and record shops, and soaked up the atmosphere. Also took a walk round the Yogananda peace garden in Santa Monica which is a beautiful inspiring place, where I’d be spending a lot of time were I living nearby…

Wednesday night went to see Abe Laboriel playing with 3 Prime at the Baked Potato – a trip to LA wouldn’t be complete without either seeing Abe or going to the BP, and as always the band were amazing.

Friday started with breakfast with Jimmy Haslip, and was followed by the long drive to Santa Cruz, which was even longer due to it taking two hours to get out of LA! But got to Rick and Jessica Turner’s place late evening, and talked for hours. Some tours are all about heavy gig schedules and travellings. Others are all about the people you meet. This was a people tour – the gigs were great, but it was the friendships, talking long into the night, eating lovely food, plotting world domination that made this trip special. I travel half way round the world and get treated like family, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Saturday (24th Jan we’re up to), was dudepit clinic day, at Bob Streetteam’s house – 11 guys, lots of a basses, and a day of talking and thinking about music, and playing some stuff to demonstrate a few concepts which will hopefully keep the guys going til next year. Bob did a sterling job of organising and hosting the event – well above and beyond any expected level of support from a street-teamer. I’m constantly amazed at people’s generousity. There’s plenty of dark stuff going on in the world, and while governments are going about their f-ed up evil business, nice people are running counter to it, demostrating friendship and grace that makes you smile at the world, and gives you hope.

Sunday was KPIG day – Michael Manring and I playing solo and duo on this most wonderful of radio stations.

Next couple of days are spent shuttling backwards and forwards between AccuGroove world HQ (Mark’s house) in Cupertino, and Santa Cruz, catching up with more old friends and hanging out with the Turners and Muriel Anderson.

Then the ‘big’ gigs – three dates with Michael Manring and Trip Wamsley. All three gigs went really really well – loads of friends turned up, Trip and Michael both played really really well, we all sold CDs, had a blast, played some very cool trios and a tasty cover of Bruce Cockburn’s ‘Pacing The Cage’ each night. Each gig afforded us more time to see friends – staying with Bob Streetteam, and Mike Roe was great – and to play lots of fine music to lovely people. The Espresso Garden show was sold out, with lots of people unable to get in (fortunately they were able to stand by the door and listen, but still…)

Then, the long drive back to LA, introducing Trip to the delights of Prefab Sprout on the way, back to see Doug, Vida and Dani, out for Doug’s birthday, a trip round socal delivering gear back to its rightful owners, and a deep sleep.

Sunday, departure day, started with a dance class – no, I didn’t dance, much as I’d have liked to – I was part of the percussion section, which was more fun than one should have on a sunday morning. Doug dropped me at the airport, and after 74 levels of security checking, got on the plane, and fortunately sat next to a fascinating woman called Gael, and chatted for most of the way home, pausing to watch ‘Whale Rider’ and ‘School Of Rock’.

A great trip – possibly my fave trip so far to the states. some great gigs, new family, catching up with old friends, fun at NAMM, great contacts for the future, and a sense that all is not lost with the world despite the crapness of so many things from Dubya to the Dean Girls.

Doug, Vida, Dani, Rick, Jessica, Elias, Trip, Michael, Kelly M, Dan, Wally, Mark, Suzy, Bob A Kelly A, Mike, Kofi, Ned, Kerry, Bob L, DT, Seth, Becca, Jimmy, Anderson, Gael, Keith, Muriel and any others who’ve slipped my mind momentarily – many marvellous friends old and new, thankyou all. (good lord, three weeks in LA and I’ve come back an unreconstructed hippie…!)

And now it’s 5.23am, I need sleep. badly.

more on Tuesday’s gig with Theo soon…

Soundtrack – Muriel Anderson, ‘A Journey Through Time’, Mike Roe, ‘Say Your Prayers’, Luca Formentini, ‘Subterranean’ – three lovely friends with three lovely albums.

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Karmic Response

September 18th, 2003 · Comments Off on Karmic Response

One of the many bass discussion groups I contribute to on the net is www.thedudepit.com – a site set up by Steve ‘dude’ Barr, who runs the Vintage Bass Trading Co. partly as a place for discussing gear, but also as just a hang out on line. As with most forums like this, it’s the ‘off topic’ section that attracts the most posts, and is where people actually get to know eachother (that and the chat room) – the off topic section at The Dude Pit is titled ‘Al’s Nudie Bar’ but fortunately actually rarely features any nudity; it’s more just an indication of where Dude’s head is at… :o)

Anyway, the amazing thing about the dudepit is the sense of community that has built up there – there are guys on there who are going way out of their way to help people out, supporting eachother through bereavement, gear theft, house fires, storm damage, and the in the latest case, through one of the guys being hospitalised seriously with no medical insurance. Now, as we know, in the horrible medical scenario that is the US, people without medical insurance get hit with hefty bills. In the case of Ray Duke – the pitter in question – who’s a pro musician making a living in bar bands, function bands etc. the bill came to $26,000!!!! WTF???? How on earth does that happen????? Anyway, there’s a thread about Ray’s situation in The Pit, where people able to pledge money to help the guy out. I’ve chatted to Ray a few times in the chat room there, and he’s a great guy (not that that should really have much bearing on whether he gets help or not but anyway…) – if you feel like pitching in, however much, I’m sure it’ll be hugely appreciated to help out with his bills. As a fellow pro bassist, and one who were I living in the US would probably also be without medical insurance, I have a great deal of sympathy with Ray, and just hope that somehow we can help him out, and in so doing, help the bass world out. Being a pro musician gets harder and harder the more crass the industry gets, and a knock like this can finish a guy off.

In other news, had a great fun gig last night with Tess Garraway – this time, Seb Rochford joined Joss, Tess and I for the show, which was another creative improv night. We hit some real highs in the set, and gelled with Seb straight away. ‘Twas another tiny crowd, and methinks Tess and the venue are going to have to get the promo sorted out fast if this kind of vibe is going to continue…

And then today, we took the aged feline off the vets for his regular check-up (given that he’s 18 it’s a VERY regular checkup) – we already knew that he has chronic renal insufficiency, but with his diet and some meds we’d had it under control. However, his blood test today showed that the urea levels in his blood are way high, so they kept him in and put him on a saline drip. This was rather harrowing, cos the poor little guy doesn’t like the vets at the best of times, so to be put in a cage there and for us to leave him was seriously freaking him out. We went back and visited him this afternoon, which was nice, but he’s not well at all, and the long term prognosis is not good. Please say a prayer for the little guy, should you feel so inclined.

here he is –

Soundtrack – right now, Denison Witmer, ‘Philadelphia Songs’, before that John Lester, ‘Big Dreams And The Bottom Line’; Kerry Getz, ‘Little Victory’; Nik Kershaw, ’15 Minutes’; The Choir, ‘Wided Eyed Wonder’.

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