This past Monday was the first day of school in Southern Nevada, and like much of the country the whole city was buzzing with the anticipation of the new school year. Sunblock, coolers and board shorts gave away to notebooks, pencils and jeans and the new school year wokeup the 200,000+ students of the Clark County School District in the early hours of the 25th. I was very happy to accept an invitation to the Alexander Dawson School located on the far west side of Las Vegas to perform for an assembly for the faculty, students and their families and to serve as a high energy start-out-the-gate for the 2014-2015 school year.
The facilities were immaculate, the students well behaved and engaging and the faculty was very helpful and happy to have me performing for their educational community. It was a great afternoon and rumor has it that I will be back sometime during the school year in full workshop mode. This is very exciting as they have top notch educators at the helm of their music technology and choir programs. I have a few ideas about the workshop that I haven’t implemented that I need to bounce off of them, but if it takes off…man….it’s going to be a very special time at the Alexander Dawson School!
Some of you may have seen the new banner I put up this week. Over the next couple of weeks there may be a few changes on it: added/changed dates or locations. There are a number of lines in the water that my team and I are following up on. Feel free to post it on your own Facebook page, website, blog, Twitter. That organic level of support is always great to receive from friends and fans of my music.
You may have also noticed the Electro Voice logo on the banner. The support they are putting behind the tour is amazing! Electro Voice has been a champion of my music for a number of years now and I am beyond thankful for their support. When I first started looping 5 or so years ago, I started out with an old mic I picked up somewhere. When the day came when I needed a solid, reliable mic that meets and exceeds all of my needs, I didn’t know where to look. So I did what anybody would do: I tried out e-v-e-r-y mic at the music shop. At the end of the day one stood out that was the perfect cross section of meeting my needs on and offstage, value and price point. That day I left with the ND767 mic and haven’t looked back since! If you looking to get into the vocal end of things or need it for your horn, drum kit or school music ensemble, give the ND767 a look…and a listen!
This next week I am going to putting up Volume 2 of my ‘How to Make a Pedal Board.’ If you remember a few weeks ago, I posted a blog about the construction of my new pedal boards. My old rig was close to six feet long, and now I have to smaller boards are far more portable and easier to get in and out of venues. I will need to take a few pictures of the new rig, and the new equipment I have added to it! Very exciting stuff and next level gear.
Hope as your summer starts to come to a close that you look back on it with great memories. I know my summer was fun and full of a lot of leaps and bounds. Keep an eye on my website for tour dates and info as it comes in. Thanks for all of your support….See you soon. Oh by the way….in just over a month, I will be on the road!
Las Vegas ,NV
August 29, 2014
Good evening all. Sorry I was of the grid for a little while last week. If you can imagine a guy standing on a train station platform and a bullet train going by and and grabbing hold of it and it whisking him away over the horizon in a fraction of a moment….that almost sums up my week and in it’s own sweet way…I am that guy on the platform and hurried off into the distance.
What started out as a simple Twitter message amongst two artists took hold and blossomed into something incredible that I was able to share with friends and fans, and forge new ones from the opportunity to do something good for the live looping community here in Las Vegas. Mike Why, a vocal loop artist based out of Pittsburgh, PA and I connected over Twitter and messages lead to phone calls, phone calls lead to him rolling through my neon soaked city and the idea for a shared night of music came into consideration. It took about 24 hours, for the time, place and venue to be secured with an individual here in town who has championed my music for over ten years.
Within a few days the line up came into focus: Daniel Park, a fixture of the live looping community who plays regularly up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Rein Garcia, whose organic grooves were much approved by a packed Hard Rock. Eric Ita, who is very much in the Ray LaMontagne vein of music. Mike Why, who is a gentleman and a excellent performer, Donzo’s Cosmos, a multi instrumentalist who makes live looping and compostion look easy and effortless.…and myself.
So how can you get six artists into a three-hour spot with varying degrees of equipment, rig size, PA needs, and backline requirements and keep the night running smoothly? Well……that was the best part of the night.
Each artist had their own friends and fans there, many of which were mutually shared between different artists, but everybody worked together in helping each other load in and out and everybody stuck around to listen to each other! Quick sidenote: We all have been there before, maybe an event, or an open mic where you are late on the bill and by the time you get up to play there is bartender, the sound engineer and a bored waitress standing in the corner. I’ve had nights like that, more than I want to admit to on my own website!
The transitions were seamless, and a streamlined sound-check between each performer, insured that each of us could sound the best we could that night. At the eye of this storm was Frequency Entertainment’s very own Rick Duarte. The Gibson Acoustic Asylum Showcase has been going on for a number of years with Rick at the wheel. The event is a reflection of Rick himself: multi-faceted, positive, supportive, talented and a level of professionalism that can be admired from any leading figure in any profession.
I can recount my own experiences on and off stage that night and even go play by play and quarterback my own performance, but that will be only one small facet of the night. Instead, I am moved to write about the level of camaraderie between not only the artists, but their own fans they brought out. No clicks, no groups, no dividing lines. One collective positive whole of humanity who for one night came together to cheer on their friend, boyfriends, cousin, fellow artist or looping teacher(!).
Nights like this are the nights that you remember when you might have a bad day at work, or a night in the studio when it is hard to find the intimate familiarity in your own music. It is nights like this that are hard to translate into social media…outside of “Wish you were here.” I have my own hopes that the fans and friends that came out knowing that they were part of something special that night. That only half of the magic came from the stage, the other half was culled in the audience and presented in cheers, applause and ready hugs and handshakes when the show was over.
With closer associations with the looping community here in Vegas and around the country, my own hope is to pay this forward in other avenues. Not only as a performer, but also helping other loop artists find a spot to perform here in Vegas. With any luck, there is just enough of the magic left over from last Monday, where they can use that to make their own night of whimsy and music…..and reflect on the magic *they* left behind.
Just Alliance's Blog
Thoughts, ideas and musical musings from this Silver State Loop Artist.