The Band I Left (Part II)

Part II of my brief journey with a band that never got off the ground.

I’m not sure how this band is going to work out.  Maybe I’m over thinking the whole situation.

The guys are good people.

The keyboard player is very genuine.  The bass player has a touch of being full of himself and I’m not quite sure how big of a bull shitter he may be.

We had rehearsal the other night and we recorded it.  The quality of the recording is good enough that I can use it to learn the songs and their arrangements.  Getting the feel of the songs is easy, it’s the arrangements that I need to hear a couple of times.

Listening to this recording a couple of things stood out.

The vocals are not exactly high quality but compared to most bands I worked with in this area they are not bad.

The keyboard player has a decent feel for the music but plays very, very, very simple parts, not much more than some chords.

Since I’m not very familiar with original recordings of some of the songs we are covering I can’t tell if he is improvising the short leads he plays or if they are copied from the record.  I’m pretty sure they are an attempt at copying the record or I would be hearing more improvised riffs.  It’s either that or he is extremely disciplined to play just basic chords.

The bass player isn’t too bad.  I would say he’s adequate for the situation.

On some of the songs we actually hit a groove which surprised me since we only played together two times.  The grooves seem to come on the really simple songs.

I thought that this simple trio may work for helping me define a simple tasteful style.Pearls3

As simple and open as most of these songs are it leaves me lots of space to work.  Years ago I would have been trying to fill as much space as I could, especially in a trio,

But now the key is for me to learn when a space is open for me and then fill it (if it needs filled) with a musical and complimentary riff.

Now here is where my main concerns lie.

The Craigslist ad said that the band had to cancel “booked” gigs due to the departure of the drummer and guitar player.  I took that to mean that the band was a working band.  I took it to mean they had at least 4 good sets worth of material.

After this second practice I realized they had about 20 songs they were working on.  That’s not even two sets of material and they certainly don’t have these songs “gig” ready.

Then the bass player tells me a story about how the previous guitar player had been working on some parts of these songs for eight to nine months and still could not get them right.

Now I start wondering, eight to nine months and you don’t even have two sets of material but you had booked gigs?

Next the bass player starts telling me how he will get us a New Years Eve gig (it’s mid October) and he’ll get us some warm up gigs in December.

A bit of doubt about this situation has started to creep in.

I hope he’s correct, I think I could make this work.

I know that if by the end of November, which is about six weeks away, we don’t have any gigs lined up and don’t have at least three sets of material I’m done.

If the progress is slow I’ll be looking elsewhere.  For now I’ll still keep reviewing the musician’s classified ads.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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