Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ups on the Sundays

I slept in... well, short enough to catch Sunday Morning on CBS. Then, Michelle & I met some friends for the matinee showing of "Run, Fatboy, Run." It was pretty good. A little slow, but good.
We got a couple things at the grocery & then I went to the studio. I unloaded my car full of gear & cleaned the studio for about an hour. It really needed it.
After returning home, Michelle & I played Scrabble & two rounds of Yahtzee! I won Scrabble & she won one round of Yahtzee!
We had our frozen Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza. It was wonderful.
I'm 9 for 12 in our Marshall Tucker pool for the tournament. It will all come down to the final game I'm sure.
I cleaned the basement. I messed it up quite a bit this week learning all of those tunes & changing things on my pedal board. The bed is a welcome place right now. It won't take me long tonight. I'm off!
Listening: "Crying Today" by Dolye Bramhall II from 'Smoke Stack'

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Decatur, GA

I'm just glad that it's over... not in a bad way though. I busted my ass learning tunes this week. 3 rehearsals for 4 shows. All but one song was done by ear - which means that I knew the tunes. I wasn't reading them. That makes it easier to brush up on them down the road for another possible gig. All three sets went off without a hitch (barring the usual ones, i.e., late starts at Eddie's). Matthew Kahler, Emily Kate Boyd, & Adrianne all brought their A game. The late show started at 9:30pm & the final note was strummed around 12:45am. I can't complain about any of it. Except maybe the hauling of all the gear (then again, I fell very fortunate to be able to play all of these instruments - so I try to brush it off).
Bang up job everyone.
Listening: "Wild World" by Cat Stevens

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grayson, GA

Michelle & I hit the court again this morning. I love basketball. I forget sometimes that I have skillz (that's right, it's with a Z). I spent most of the morning learning Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's quite a bitch of a tune. I left the house around 3:30pm to beat Atlanta traffic out to the suburbs.
I played with Bobby Yang & His Unrivaled Players tonight at Grayson Elementary School. It was a show put on by the Grayson PTA. Bobby called me on short notice to play. I haven't played with him in 2 years. It was quite the show. Over half of the tunes I had never played before. It was fun though. I was home by 9:45pm. I'm physically beat. It's time to rest & get ready for tomorrow.
Listening: 'Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings' by Counting Crows

Thursday, March 27, 2008

... & another rehearsal

Michelle & I went & shot basketball this morning at the new outdoor courts in Grant Park. It was a great way to start the day. I had rehearsal with Adrianne & bassist Will Robertson today. It was pretty squeaky. At most, we ran a song twice, as the others were spot on. I also found out this week that the best sounding reverb pedal is the Boss DM2 Delay pedal. Digtal reverb pedals sound like crap. Analog delay set to high repitions (almost infinite feedback) are a great alternative to spring reverb.
Michelle & I didn't do much today. We made a pound cake tonight. We watched the NCAA tourney. We sadly found out that 'Lost' won't return until April 24th. Also, the tourney is messing with CSI as well. I guess it's just par for the course.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wiltsey, day two (among other things)

I got up bright & early (gimme a break, 8am is early for musician). I was in the studio by 9:15am mixing Brian Wiltsey's tune that we recorded on Monday. It was done before lunch time. I then - had lunch - at Doc Green's again. Nick Niespodziani met me at the studio to borrow a guitar from me & play me some of the new Y-O-U record that he is working on. I'm excited. It sounds really cool.
I made non-vox mixes for 4 of Jesse Ruben's songs. His manager needed them to pitch to TV shows. Typical.
I also started recording a new version of one of my tunes for the record. I've been pondering over this song called "Validation." It's a good song, but I don't think that the version that I initially recorded goes with the rest of the record. So I have started rerecording it to be more like the others. It went pretty well (so far).
Michelle & I had dinner at Little Azio's on Moreland & we went to Target to pick up a couple things. We also bought our 'sunburst' for our house (our Grant Park sunburst). You'd get it if you lived here.
I also learned all of Adrianne's tunes for Saturday night. I may brush over them again before I go to bed. I felt very good about today's productivity rating.
Listening: Counting Crows new album 'Saturday Night & Sunday Mornings' - I highly suggest it - one of two of the best major label albums of the year (the other being Sheryl Crow's 'Detours') - I guess it has something to do with the Crow thing - Are the Black Crowes releasing an album this year?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kahler & EKB rehearsals

I showed up at Mark Cobb's house around 1pm. We had a good day of rehearsals with both groups. Mark & I will be performing with both on Saturday night at Eddie's. You should come out. It's a pretty solid line up. 3 CD release shows in one night. It's hard to beat for the price of admission. Hell, just come on out to see how many instruments I had to lug up the stairs at Eddie's. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Brian WIltsey (impromptu studio session)

I had today booked in the studio to work on my stuff. Brian Wiltsey called me a couple of days ago to work on something for him. It was a co-write that he did specifically for a new artist named Ty Stone on Kid Rock's label. It was a rockin' tune. The most rockin' that I've worked on in a while. I played drums, bass, electric guitar, & Hammond. Brian did the rest. His vocal was done in 3 takes. That's it. He did 10 minutes of singing & everything was copasetic. I left mixing for another day. I love Pro Tools. I bolted for the door 4pm. We had dinner & I started learning the Emily Kate Boyd & Matthew Kahler records. I spent a couple of hours on that & am about to tuck myself in the old "sleeper."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I was off the bus & in my own shower by noon. We left for Michelle's Mom's at 3pm. 4:30pm was Easter dinner; which was fairly casual. The their Easter baskets while we hid the eggs in the front yard. It was a wonderful day. I really can't complain. It's just nice to take a little time off. I hope you enjoyed your day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reading, PA

Ah the ever present cloud in Reading, PA. It's not from pollution... it's just drab here all of the time. It's the anti-San Diego. We pulled into the Sheraton around noon. We stayed & played at the Sheraton. We played the 25th Anniversary party for Schlouch Construction. I don't care how reputable the company may be, I'm not hiring anyone with the name Schlouch.
Anyway, I haven't bought any food this whole trip. That means that I've been eating the food that I brought on the road with me. It's been kinda nice knowing that I am constantly doing something good for my body... as opposed to the fast food assault that I had been so accustomed to.
The gig was awkward, but then again, most private shows are. The playing was right on but the audience response was less than normal. You kinda have to forget about the audience in situations like that & just "have fun with the boys on the stage."
And we did. Consummate professionals all.
The tourney is getting fun to watch already. I love NBA basketball ever since Dominique was the man. However, I'm diggin' the March Madness for the first time since Laettner was the man. Now, in becoming a man, I can't believe how young some of these guys are. Most freshman were born in 1989 - back when Joe Dumars was the man.
Listening: "Sound Opinions" podcast featuring Greg Kot & Jim DeRogatis. It's a show on every Sunday on Chicago Public Radio hosted by a music writer from The Sun Times & a music writer from The Tribune. I highly, highly suggest it for serious music fans.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Red Bank, NJ

Reading, research, NCAA tournament, rest, listening, hypothesizing, conjecturing, & such. I sure do a lot on the road sometimes. I have a busy week ahead of me this coming week. I'm really psyched about the idea of finishing the record. However, my schedule may keep me from working on it in the next week.
We played the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. It was quite a set. Good nights are happening more often than not. The Two-Rock Custom Signature Reverb is holding up quite nicely. Every note was a joy tonight.
Unbeknownst to me, but knownst to Brian WIltsey, Kevin Smith is from Red Bank. Kevin Smith 'Clerks' Kevin Smith. I had no idea. They actually filmed 'Clerks' here in Red Bank. Had I known, I would've visited his comic shop (at least for the T-shirt).
Listening: "Love is Free" off of Sheryl Crow's new album 'Detours'

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Washington, D.C.

And we're on the move! The bus left Spartanburg, with band & half the crew in tow, at 9:30am. We drove all day to Washington, D.C. with few stops. We played a little over an hour for XM Radio's X Country. It was a fun, acoustic set. It's always best when you can hear everything. I was completely at home. I'm so used to playing acoustic guitar, I was so comfortable.
Anyway, we were on the road a few hours later & I fell asleep in the bunk. Around 1:45am we rolled into Red Bank, NJ. It's time to really hit the bed hard.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Preparing for Departure

Well rested & ready for whatever. Michelle went to work & dropped our "house guest," Alex, off at the groomers. I went & picked him up just before noon. He looks very distinguished.
I then went to the grocery to lick up a few things for Michelle & myself. I made more brownies today. I made them for the guys on the bus. I also prepared my food for the next 4 days. I'm trying to keep my road spending down to a minimum. It's rather easy in our state of travel. There's usually food at the gig & it's easy to 'keep' food on the bus (with the fridge & all).
I also restrung my Everett acoustic & my Les Paul. I got them both fairly road ready. This is kind of their send off for the summer. I'll just leave them on the truck & we'll fly with them.
Michelle & I had dinner at Cantina La Casita in East Atlanta Village. It's the first time that we've been back since we had our rehearsal dinner there over a month ago. She dropped me at the Atlanta airport at 8pm. The bus showed up soon after that. After a couple stops, about 4 hours later we rolled into our Spartanburg hotel for a good night's sleep. See you on the other side

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Day to Do

Not much sleep last night. We got up fairly early. Michelle went for a doctor's appointment early this morning in Snellville (which, for those who don't know, is about a 45 min. - an hour trip from our house considering traffic). Don't worry, she's fine. We stayed in Snellville for a little while & ran errands. The boys, our Schnauzers Pete & Charlie, attended the trip with us. Before we left, we ended up leaving Charlie with Michelle's Mom & taking Michelle's Mom's dog, Alex, home with us. I guess that's how we shake things up around here. I think we're also taking him to the groomer tomorrow as well.
I spent a couple of hours at the studio tidying up for some of the other sessions that will take place here this week while I'm gone. I also made some mixes of my music (for quality control purposes). I'm still not done with this record - but I'm awful close. It's kinda hard doing it all on my own, but at least it will be all me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Workin' It

I spent 9+ hours in the studio today. Marty Kearns engineered me playing Hammond on one of my tracks. Then I engineered him Hammonding on some of his productions. It was a good day. I'm awful close to being done (knock on wood). I don't want to jinx myself though. I really like this record.
Michelle made minestrone for dinner. It was tops. I've been watching the new HBO series 'John Adams.' It's a little "speechy" but it's still good. Giamatti is a pimp!
Listening: My New Stuff

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Dawgs did WHAT?!

We left Atlanta for Snellville around 11am. We spent a few hours organizing our storage shed (my former studio) for a move. It was pretty messy back there.
After that, we went to Loganville for Michelle's neice's 9th birthday. It was an expected type of party. I played pool with Michelle & we ate hotdogs. As a matter of fact, I ate 5 hotdogs.
In sports news the Georgia Bulldogs came out of no where to win the Men's SEC Basketball Tournament. For all four games that they played in the last 3 days - they had been the underdog. They really messed up NCAA tournament bids for 4 or 5 at-large teams. Congrats Dawgs! Way to crash the NCAA party!
Listening: 'Live at The Fillmore' by The Allman Brothers

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Surveying the Destruction

Michelle & I rode around today to see how much damage was caused by last night's tornado. It was pretty depressing. There was another set of storms that ran the length of I-20 today. They touched down on a couple of short occasions, but due to the concentration of development in Atlanta, the damage was much greater from last night's storm.
I put a few hours in last night at the studio. I mainly did some singing & some percussion. The closer I get to finishing - the more that I want to try different things.
Listening: "Smile" by Sons of William

Friday, March 14, 2008

Atlanta Gets F*%*ed!

I felt like I could still sleep another 2 to 3 hours. I got up anyway. I wanted to go shoot some hoops today but it rained most of the day. Michelle & I ran as many errands as we could. I watched "Dan in Real Life" as well. It was great. I had to wait until 6:30pm to go into the studio. Y-O-U was in there this afternoon to work on their new album. I spent about 3+ hours doing overdubs on my new record. However, while I was cutting a tambourine track, the power went out.
Atlanta was devastated by high winds, thunderstorms, & a couple tornados. I waited for the initial storm to pass, locked up the studio, set the alarm, & slowly drove home. There's another storm coming our way (even as I type). We're very lucky to still have power here at the house. I drove past some crazy stuff on Boulevard.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dinner for Two

I came off of the bus by 10:45am possessed. I showered, dressed, & went shopping. I went & bought groceries for the meal I was to make tonight. I started cooking around 3:30pm. I made barbecue sandwiches with mac & cheese (made from scratch). I also made soup & brownies. I'm not good at cooking but I don't suck. We'll have leftovers for a few days too.
Michelle & I went to look at houses in our 'neighborhood.' Grant Park is awesome, but kinda expensive. We'll see where we are in few years though.
That's really it. We watched 2 hours of 'Lost' tonight. What an unusual day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Johnstown, PA

I spent all day resting. I brought my food. Which is different from 'the way things were.' I brought my granola for breakfast & my soup for lunch. I watched a lot of ESPN today. I also watched a great deal of Food Network. I'm kind of inspired to cook regularly - not because it's convenient, but because it's better for you & because it's good to know how to do.
Anyway, we opened for Montgomery Gentry tonight. It was my first gig with the Firebird & the Two Rock amp. I couldn't have been happier. I don't know why the Two Rock sounds so good & I don't care. I'm just happy that it does. The Two Rock is perfect for the MTB gig. It isn't, however, perfect for Shawn. The 65 London is perfect for his kinda thing.
Anywho, we're on our way home. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NARAS meeting & gone...

It's been a few months since I attended a NARAS board of governors meeting. We didn't have a meeting in December due to holidays. I was absent in January due to all of the cruises that I worked on. They didn't have a meeting in February due to the Grammys. It's just been a while. They had officer speeches today. We'll be voting on our officers on the board next week.
I met the bus tonight to head to the Philly area with MTB. It was good to be back on the bus tonight.
Not much else to report. It feels weird. It feels like the year is finally starting... 3 & 1/2 months in.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Case of the MUNDAYS

Nothing much to report. I did a mix change on Shawn's tune. I also made mixes of 4 or 5 of my new tunes for listening purposes. I dropped Shawn's tune off at Russell Carter's new office (near the studio, actually). It's an awesome building. Michelle & I made a stop at Target this afternoon. Then I did some computer work after I found out that my Alaska trip got cancelled.
Then Michelle & I attended our HOA meeting. It was pretty boring. It's amazing that they even accomplish anything during those meetings.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Last Minute Studio Stuff

Shawn was asked to write a song for a movie on Friday. Well, he did it & we recorded it today. It was kinda thrown together, but it may be the best recording that I've ever done. It's simple & good.
After I mixed the tune, Michelle & I went to Shawn's house for his birthday party. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet Shawn's new dog: Jack Kerouac. He's a beagle - probably a year old. What a day.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Decatur, GA

Michelle & I went to see "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." It was okay. It was a million times better than that stinky turd we saw yesterday. I cleaned out my closet today. I filled two bags with stuff for Goodwill.
Day two at Eddie's was even better. We played two shows tonight. Some of Michelle's family came to the first show. I opened up the second show. I played my ukulele on a song. It was different.
Shawn turned 40 today. I feel like my "30" milestone will different. I really don't care about getting older. I just like livin' & learning. I've learned so much since I was 20. I'm gonna know everything when I turn 40.
Listening: "Rake" by Townes Van Zandt

Friday, March 7, 2008

Decatur, GA

I saw the worst movie that I've ever seen today. Don't bother going to see "10,000 B.C." I won't even dignify it with a revue.
I played the first of 3 shows tonight with Shawn Mullins. It was his unofficial CD release tonight. The CD isn't officially released until next Tuesday. It was great. Matthew Kahler opened up. I ate beef sliders & mac 'n cheese at Eddie's. It doesn't get much better than this. Oh yeah, we played pretty well too.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

More of the Same

I bolted for the studio this morning. I was really excited about adding to the record. I would've done more last night, but I got physically tired & I wanted to get home before Michelle went to sleep. I did get a lot done.
I had lunch with Michelle at Doc Green's. I then brought my new Firebird to a repairman. He notched some slots in my wraparound bridge. The guitar is usable now. It stays in tune.
After I got back some one was using the studio. I only had one track to play that was direct recorded. Otherwise, I would've gotten someone else's drum tracks all over it.
Michelle & I went to Junkman's Daughter to get Shawn a birthday present. His 40th is Saturday.
We also had dinner at Little Azio's on Moreland.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Few Things Here & There

Michelle & I went to Snellville today. I had lunch with my Mom & sister. We came back home & I went to the studio for a few hours. I played electric guitar on a handful of tracks on my album. It's starting to shape up. I can see it coming together somewhere off in the distance.
The new Firebird is awesome. I need to get a repairman to notch slots in the wraparound tailpiece. It's not holding tune very well right now - but that easy repair will fix that lickity split. Also, the volume pots are wired wrong. They work but they've been placed in the wrong spots on the guitar. I wouldn't put up with it if it wasn't such a good guitar in the first place. It will be one of the best guitars that I own. I don't know why I have never owned one of these guitars. I guess I was raised on Les Pauls, Strats, & 335's. You use what you know.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I got up early & made the flight from San Diego to Atlanta. I spent most of the flight playing "In-Flight Trivia." The new accommodations on planes are great: a TV for every seat, satellite TV channels (real-time TV), on-demand movies (for a charge), & games. It almost makes a middle seat tolerable.
When I got home, I went to Midtown Music to pickup my new guitar. I traded a few guitars & some $$$ for a brand new Gibson Firebird III. It's one of the Custom Shop beauties. It fits into my collection quite nicely. I've been toying with getting one for months now. I played it for hours. I'm really, really happy with it.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 3, 2008

San Diego, CA

I'm on an eastern time schedule. The hotel was in the middle of a beautiful nowhere. So, to eat, I was forced to have room service. My bowl of granola, milk, & wheat toast was $20. You do what you can, I guess. I relaxed a great bit today. The trip took it out of me last night.
Our gig was at Sea World for Mitsubishi. It was a pretty good gig. Everyone was a little rusty, but we had fun. I'm starting to realize how much we rely on the vibe of the crowd. Tonight, the crowd was good, but it's still a private party. It doesn't have as much magic as a theatre. I don't know why.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lazy, lazy for being so boring...

I couldn't get out of the bed today. Or at least my PJ's. I was in them until 4pm. Michelle & I had dinner together & then she saw me off at Atlanta's Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport. You'd think that I've had enough flying this week. No matter. I was on a new 757 with the TV in the seat in front of you. I watched the end of the Rockets/Nuggets match up. I've been getting increasingly excited over the NBA. The recent trades have energized a dozen or more teams. Even the Hawks aren't winning or great, but they are now, at the very least, watchable. They haven't been watchable since 'Nique suited up in the early '90's.
We're staying at a beautiful hotel here in San Diego. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. See you there.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just another Saturday... at home?

I don't spend too many Saturdays without a gig & at home. I was lucky enough to have one. Like the quiet before the storm. I got up a little sleep drunk this morning. I'm finally over jet lag & the sinus infection that I've had. I'm still using Afrin to breathe though. I like breathing.
I returned Mark's equipment to him & consulted him on his new studio. He's built a nice facility in his basement... at least it WILL be nice.
Michelle & I met our friend Emily Brown for lunch. I love Doc Green's. We then went to see 'The Other Boleyn Girl.' It was pretty good. I knew the story already. However, I thought it funny that the made it seem like all of the movie's events happened over a year or two. It was actually more like 10-15 years.
Anyway, I'm gonna try & stay up to watch Wilco on SNL.