We kicked off our month with a jaunt to Columbus, Ohio for the Columbus Arts Festival on June 3rd. This was the band's first time in this city. There are pictures on our FANS page. The stage & lights & sound were excellent... or so we thought. Turned out, Camari's vocals weren't in the mains the entire show. I wish someone had let me know. I would have told the sound guys. Oh well... At least we could hear her on stage in the monitors! Columbus is a cute city. Camari seems happy there and that makes me happy! It would have been nice to have booked other gigs in the area, but we were unsuccessful. After perusing local papers, it seems the scene is all about alternative trios and I also get this sense it's a lot like NYC - really hard work to get gigs that don't pay, impossible to get gigs that DO pay! We did meet a cool horn player (in the band before us) who plays in a funk band. I contacted him shortly after our trip and he confirmed my suspicions about Columbus. I don't know if it's worth going back even though we made fans and I feel bad not giving fans the opportunity to see us again. But it's a long drive! By the time we got to Columbus, we were definitely getting on each other's nerves! Thanks to all of Camari's friends, family and colleagues for coming out to the show. The best part of the trip was that I started writing lyrics for a new song (because we have a tendency to argue politics in bn9, and that's what the song is about.)
On June 5th, we played the Triumph Brewery in New Hope, PA. I didn't do enough promotion, so I'm sorry if you're a fan and didn't get a flyer. I was so busy with... well, with being a musician... that my promoter hat blew off. Anyway, cute place, the Triumph. Really nice. The weather could have been better. Jeff told us that night that he was convinced he is the "rain man"... every gig he did with us up to that point was RAINY! But that changed later this month, and I'll tell you about that later! He did a great job... smokin' solos. The sound guy, Joe, was excellent. Truly. The acoustics in the Triumph are challenging and this guy had no issues at all... he even knew how to mic Jeff's Leslie cabinet. And we could hear our vocals in the monitors beautifully, which always makes for a better performance. When I can't hear myself, I'm overly cautious. I don't take chances. I don't riff, I don't wail. But when I can hear myself, I have more fun because I can try different stuff. I'm sure Sheila, Amy & Camari feel the same way. Marco even had a monitor for a change and actually asked the sound guy to turn him down in the monitors! He's so used to NOT hearing himself. The manager told me afterwards that he wants us back, so that's awesome! Thanks to Charlie & Glen, Bob Conner for coming all the way from Harrison, NJ and taking pix, Jason for the pix, Warren & Marie, Dave & Kyle (Kyle unexpectantly brought harmonicas and hopped up on a couple of songs), and big hugs to Seth, Mike and Eric for having us over their house after the gig. It was nice to be able to chill out on a couch for a few after performing.
June 9th - Empire State Building... Bob Conner came by. It was fun! Difficult to control volume in there because we performed in the lobby which is made entirely of marble. Really not much to say... I know that it sounds impressive that we played at the Empire State Building, and it was nice to do a lunchtime set for the tourists and workers but nothing special went down. We played well!
June 12th was a killer. We had to be in Central Park at 7:30 am for the New York Mini Marathon sponsored by the Circle of Friends, a group dedicated to help people quit smoking. So all the smokers in the band were given a mandate prior to the gig - NO SMOKING ON BAND TIME! Nicotine fits abounded, but the band played really well! Everyone does need to quit smoking. The weather was perfect and the run was crowded this year! I saw my friend Jennifer... she was doing the run. That was neat, I haven't seen her in a while. There were a lot of photographers and people with video cameras this year, but I have no idea who was taking our picture. Also, a singer from American Idol and some people from some other reality shows were there (America's Next Top Model and The Apprentice). They gave us lots of water which was fantastic because we needed it that day! We had another gig later - in Salisbury Maryland! So we came back to Concussion Studios, dropped off the gear we didn't need to bring to MD, picked up Sheila's car and drove to Jeff's house in South Jersey. Sheila & Amy then got in Jeff's car and we left Sheila's car at his house and we drove to MD for the Delmarva Chicken Festival. We got there in time and I didn't think we would. They had a trailer for us, which helped immensely. We had packed food and we had our water from the marathon. So we got to change and eat in peace. The stage was great and so was the sound system. The crowd was thin and we had a tough time winning them over... I guess they didn't know what to make of us. It got chilly outside, too. But it was fun. We got home late and everyone was completely wiped out!
We played in the afternoon from noon to 2 on June 16th at Rutgers University in Newark. They were having a summer barbeque for the students and invited us to perform. The student activities office made some really nice posters promoting our show. I should have grabbed one before we left. Amy couldn't be with us that day, so we hired Doreen Younglove for this gig. It was a beautiful day for a barbeque. Fortunately, we found a spot in the shade to set up, because while beautiful, it was hot! This gig was a LOT of fun. I mean really, really fun. The weather was so nice and because of the set up, we all dressed kind of casual, so I personally was very comfortable. I love the heat. This gig was booked relatively last minute, too. I loved it!
The Munchaba Lounge in Levittown is such a cool place! We were fortunate enough to get a booking there on the 25th along with a bunch of other chick bands. I believe there will be a write up about it in Good Times magazine, but I am having a hard time keeping up with press. This month was just super busy. I loved it, but I got very confused at one point as to who the hell I am! I want to JUST be a singer. Tired of having to go to work, too, to pay the bills. It's just annoying! But necessary. But annoying. I basically have THREE jobs (tutoring, singing in band and working in office) and I'm not so happy about that. ANYway, I finally met Taryn, the woman who runs Munchaba, in person. What a cutie, man, and so sweet! I had heard of Lourds but never seen them live - they were really good, and the lead singer of Neeto, the first band, had the coolest voice. I wanted to steal that voice from her! It was nice to see the people I've met on the LIMC list and meet new ones in person, like Robin, who booked us to join her on a show at the Muchaba in September. We all look forward to returning. The show itself was scary because Sheila got all screwed up with directions (she got them off the Munchaba website, even though last time we played there, I announced ON THE MIC that we got lost following those directions... and I had called Sheila last time and told her the directions were messed up and guided her to the venue. Like I said, June was busy and all of us had a hard time with memory and keeping things straight!) Anyway, she missed about half the set. It was stressful for me. I had a hard time concentrating. I was distracted and worried. But the audience didn't seem to mind and we got some great compliments afterwards and sold CD's. I told the audience that she also had the percussion bag, and Dave, the guy who put the show together, let me borrow a tamborine. That was cool! Sheila did great once she made it, too.
Last month, I wrote that our show in Altoona was one of the best and that if I quit after that gig, I would have been satisfied. NOT SO. Because I would have missed the Great Tastes of Pennsyvlania Food & Wine Festival at Split Rock Resort. This gig was the best ever. Seriously. I wish you could have come, if you weren't there. We opened for the headliner on the main stage. He offered to let US headline on Sunday the 27th, but after Saturday the 26th's gig, we realized that since he had so many fans present, he needed to headline both days! It worked out great. The headliner's name is George Wesley. I insist that you go to www.georgewesley.com and buy this man's CD. Not only is he incredibly talented - plays keyboards and guitar equally well switching between both during his set while singing in the coolest raspy soulful voice - he is incredibly kind. And incredibly POSITIVE despite much adversity in his life. So I strongly suggest you check out his stuff and grab his CD and more than anything, find a way to see him LIVE! He and his music created a beautiful atmosphere. We were set up on a hill with a great lawn where people relaxed and ate and drank wine. Many got up and danced, too. The weather was perfect. It was just an awesome festival and because of the positivity, we performed well, especially Jeff who is really stepping up to the plate on keys (and Marco, as usual, holding us all together and working really hard to keep Jack on top of things... Jack is a little, well, I don't want to say anything. Have a conversation with him yourself!!) Speaking of Jack, on Saturday, a very very drunk woman passed out behind the stage. Security came an hauled her away, but apparently, she walked off with Jack's fleece jacket containing his room key (with a $25 fee attached to it if you don't return it!) And he actually got it back! The police found the poor woman on the side of the road and called us at 5 in the morning to tell us. They then dropped the jacket off at Split Rock (we stayed overnight there) and everything worked out just peachy. My mother came to this show for the entire weekend, too, with her friend Jane. Jane apparently didn't want to leave, she had such a nice time! Mom did, too, and I think she took some pictures which I'll put up on this site soon. And I really HOPE Jack recorded our last set on Sunday because George got up and jammed with us. It was so fun, I almost started crying. It was the way music is supposed to be. I get so frustrated so often. This gig has eased that frustration and it might actually last longer than a week this time!
Our last gig this month was on the 29th in the Village Of Montebello. We were the first band to play at their 2004 outdoor summer concert series. I was nervous at first because the audience consist of older people and young parents with little kids. But they liked us! We sold quite a few CD's and I signed lots of autographs for kids. During our calypso song DANCE DANCE DANCE, one of the adults started a conga line with the kids... the kids were aged 4 to 8. It was so cute, I could hardly concentrate on the song! Jenny and Rob played with us on alto & trombone. It was a great time. The weather was perfect. At the end, the man in charge asked if we would consider them again for next year. Uh... YEA! No brainer!
I still don't know what time we go on next week at Hogs & Heifers! Please check back and please CALL THE VENUE because I don't have a good feeling about it!
Remarks? Comments? Please put 'em in our guestbook
Letters from the past:May, 2004
August, 2000 (from Marco)