January 2018

I really suck at this blogging thing, eh? I guess it just goes to show that I am keeping myself occupied with other things. Holy cow, I haven’t written anything since July of last year! This should be interesting (and long). So … let’s see …

Station to Station managed to book several dates throughout the fall of 2017. They were all bar gigs. No other festivals, and no private parties yet. Although, shortly after CarmelFest, Tim and Sarah met with Lisa Sauce (Blonde Entertainment) and Lisa agreed to take us on as an “official” Blonde band, but as a “second tier” act that could be offered as alternatives to her top bands when someone needed wedding or corporate entertainment. That project hasn’t played a show since December, but I’m sure something will fall into place this spring. You can view the promotional video I edited for this band here.

Meanwhile, the tribute project I mentioned earlier has come to fruition. John King and Ryan Wright formed an LLC, named “This Is:,” that was setup to launch various types of tribute acts. The first of these, which Tom and I are a part of, is a Doors tribute band. Ryan fronts the band, playing “Jim Morrison,” while the rest of us support him as the rest of the Doors band. Tom Padgett on guitar, Pat Finnigan on keys, Kenny Prescott on bass, me on drums. We worked all through the fall, working out a set and preparing a 60-minute show. The project finally debuted on Friday, January 5th at 8 Seconds Saloon. We opened for Henry Lee Summer, so we had a decent crowd. The show was a huge hit and we received a ton of compliments afterward. The Facebook page has some video clips, but Gary John Higgins did a multi-camera shoot of the entire show and we should be seeing a full length video sometime soon.

In addition to these projects, I was also invited to join another project that Tom had been part of, called Tommy Whiskers. This band consists of Brian Goodwin and Nick Lemmo from the Endless Summer Band, as well as Tom and Pat. Performing a set of tunes that Brian insists we call “Yacht Rock,” the mission of this band is to perform songs that audiences don’t typically hear from a bar band, and to please/challenge ourselves with songs that we’ve always wanted to play, or tunes that stretch our abilities a bit. The first few weeks were a test for me, putting my understanding of the Nashville Number System to use with a newly-discovered iPad app called 1Chart, to enable me to quickly chart dozens of songs I had never played before (and in some cases, never heard before). It’s been a lot of fun playing songs like “Peg” (Steely Dan) and “Rosanna” (Toto), and other tunes I’ve grown up with, loved, but never played. Right now, we are getting ready to rehearse songs from Frank Zappa and Jeff Beck, which are definitely off the beaten path of “pedestrian” music typically played by bands around here. And, Pat has asked us to learn “Fred” (Tony Williams), which will push me to my limits as a drummer. I’ll be lucky to do that one justice to get started. But, ideally, learning songs like this will give me incentive to woodshed some more on my chops and take my skills to new places in time.

All in all, the second half of 2017 was interesting, musically.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, November 29th, I woke up to the worst pain of my life. I was taken to the hospital, where I discovered that I am “full” of kidney stones. The following Tuesday, I had surgery to remove two stones from my UT, a 5mm stone on my left side, and a 3mm stone on my right. I *immediately* altered my diet the day after my ER visit and as of this writing (Sunday, January 28, 2018), I have lost over 30 pounds. Adhering to a “low oxalate” diet is tricky, but I have done my best. I finally get the results of my 24-hour collection test this Friday, where I will get some specific dietary advice. It will be nice to get down to details after I have essentially had to spend the last two months educating myself and modifying my diet to the best of my ability. I have had a nagging backache ever since the stents were removed on December 7th, and suspect it may not be muscular, as I once thought. Given my history of tendon issues, and a comment made by James Gilchrist (TORO), I think it may be tendon related. So, I have been treating it as such, with no significant improvements. I’m not sure what to do about it, and it is impairing my ability to enjoy my drumming as I should. I often have to take a muscle relaxant and ibuprofen just to get through a gig, and that’s not right. I am going to try some specific hot/cold therapy techniques to see if I can accelerate the healing process.

I am also in the process of getting approved for a home mortgage and will likely be buying a house sometime this spring. More news on that as things unfold!

That’s all I’ve got right now. Who knows when I’ll get around to crafting another update! ­čśŤ

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