Thursday, February 8, 2018

Lyric Open Mic February 8 2017

Tonight was the special Valentine's Day open mic.  My wife drove me to the venue and nothing says love quite like going out on a -33 C night and arguing about where to park.

A sparse crowd ventured into tonight's festivities so I was penciled into the 8:15 time slot.

I felt really nervous tonight and played stiff.  I was playing three new songs for the first time and didn't feel overly confident with them.  I felt like I was fighting the songs.  Two days ago I made a two hour Change Management presentation to a hostile crowd without breaking a sweat.  Put a guitar in front of me and I'm sweating bullets.

I went up after a really good act, ran through my Valentines day banter and launched into "Here Comes Your Man" by the Pixies.  In a total aged rock star moment, I had to pause and move my cheat sheets since they were in the wrong range for my my progressive glasses.  I plowed through the rest of my set and booked it back stage to the green room.  Chatted with a few of the musicians back there and hit the bar.  The coolest part of the night was that I overheard someone in the audience was whistling my original song (5 miles out of Jackson).

1. Here Comes Your Man (Pixies cover)
2. (Five Miles Out of) Jackson: Original
3. Sentimental Fool (Lloyd Cole cover)

Gate: ~ 75 persons
Bar Tab: Around $35.00 including tips
Stage Gear:Pink Wrangler rodeo dress shirt, jeans and my fab European ankle boots.
Guitar: Beige Taylor

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lyric Open Mic: Jan 11, 2018

I feel like I have over played the 15 songs in my set.  If I was traveling town to town its one thing, playing local open mics is another.  I would like to add a few new songs and am in the writing process.  I am learning a few new covers as well but  nothing completed that I am confidant to bring out.  Because this lack of new material, I wasn't planning on playing this open mic however one of my friends was hosting so I changed my mind and decided to go and play something.  I packed up my guitar and headed out into the -29 C winter night for the frosty confines of the old Lyric Theatre.

Lot's of really talented performers played tonight.  Everything from Rock to rap, country to bluegrass.  I went on at 10:45 and randomly chose the following songs:

1. Mercury Blues (Alan Jackson cover)
2. The Ghost in You (Psychedelic Furs cover)
3. Whiskey and Gin (original)

Gate: ~ 50 persons
Bar Tab: $2.00 for exactly one water
Stage Gear:Green and grey checkered shirt, jeans and my fab European ankle boots.
Guitar: Beige Taylor

Friday, November 10, 2017

Live at the Lyric, November 9 2017

Serendipity has a funny way of finding us sometimes...

The original plan for tonight was to play an electric set with a band.  Schedules didn't mesh and we were not able to connect for any rehearsals so I readied for an acoustic solo set.  I was about to go on stage but was bumped up to a later slot so I sat in the green room waiting my set.  Another musician came in and introduced himself and he asked if I would be interested in having him accompany me on drums.  We chatted for a couple of minutes and decided it would be fun.  One of the guys I was planning on rehearsing with was in the audience (Ed) so I asked him if he would be interested in joining us.  Suddenly, 10 minutes before my set, I'm going over the chords of three original songs that they have never heard and we are writing out cheat sheets.  Ed then figured Dan, a guitar player should join us as well. Why not I figured and in less than 15 minutes I went from preparing for a solo acoustic show to hitting the stage with a four piece band.

Set List (all originals)
1. Devil Woman
2. Breathing Ether
3. Excuse Me Amelia

Gate: ~ 60 persons
Bar Tab: $40.00 plus tips (I bought the band a round and two persons bought me drinks so the tab is subject to error).
Stage Gear: My fabulous black dress shirt with white dots, jeans and these fantastic brown European ankle boots I bought last month.
Guitar: Beige Taylor

Band: Greg - vocals and acoustic guitar
           Ed - Stand up bass
           Dan - 1930's acoustic guitar
           Ryan - Drums

This was the first time I've played these songs with a full band.  It was great seeing them come to life and having three really sharp musicians throw their own parts in as well as Ed contributing to the stage banter.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Show Notes: Lyric Theatre October 12, 2017

I prefer a vinyl LP to a CD or especially an MP3.  I like the warmth and the crackle of the needle as well as a distinctive side one and side two.  Kind of like watching a live band play two sets when I think about it.
Photo Credit: Matthew Lieberman

Tonight's set was songs from my record collection.  My slow alt-country version of Mercury Blues went over much better at the Lyric than it did at Houston's Pizza two weeks ago.  Different crowd, different tastes.  "The Ghost in You" naturally segued its way into "52 Stations" and then I finished off with Television's "Glory."  This was the first time I played "Glory" live and wasn't sure how it would go over.  It seemed fine and was fun to play.  I even managed to throw in little bits and pieces of solo riffs here and there.

For my solo acoustic shows I've been mining a slow-core alt country acoustic vibe and I'm really starting to hone in on it.  Had lots of compliments after my set.  I was also approached with an offer by a band who asked if I'd be interested in playing a set of my originals with them.  If we can arrange up a couple of rehearsal dates it should be fun.

Set List:
1. Mercury Blues (Allan Jackson cover)
2. Ghost in You (Psychedelic Furs cover)
3. 52 Stations (Robyn Hitchcock cover)
4. Glory (Television cover)

Gate: 50-55 persons
Bar Tab: $34.50 plus tip

Fabulous purple,black and silver collared shirt
Slim fitting Jeans (inky blue)
Black desert boots
Blue Takamine Guitar

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Show Notes: Houston Pizza Lounge September 30 2017

The Houston Pizza lounge was packed on a fine September Autumn day.

A pic of the stage from my bar stool.  I did consider
pausing during my set for a selfie.
Its a strange feeling going to open mics by myself and sitting alone in a crowd.  There is a certain tension that builds inside me but if I intend to play more solo acoustic shows outside of open mics I need to get used to this feeling.  With a band, there is a instant group to hang out with and draw from.  As a solo singer songwriter, it takes a lot of internal fortitude to sit in a crowd by yourself, quietly waiting your turn to play.

When my time came I tuned up, adjusted the levels to suit my guitar and broke into a slow, finger picked version Alan Jackson's "Mercury Blues."  I received a small smattering of applause and without any further adieu, broke into the Psychedelic Furs "Ghost in You."  I had two more songs in my set but the crowd wasn't really into my song selections so I said a quick thank-you and made my way back to my bar stool.

The songs of the day were predominantly true to form country western, blues, 60's classic rock and kids movie songs.  The kids movie songs probably went over the best.  Way better than say an alt country version of Mercury Blues or an acousticized 80's pop song.

Crowd: 32 persons
Set List:
1. Mercury Blues
2. The Ghost in You

Bar tab: $32.75 plus tip

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gearing up for Fall 2017

I've been keeping a low profile over the last few months.  I have not recorded anything since April and I have not played live since June but have been keeping busy.  I have a new set-list ready of songs ready to go this fall and some sketches for another E.P. which is what I am going to write about today.

I've been mining my current post punk psychedelic sound for a long long time to some moderate success (i.e. I got a small royalty cheque

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Show Notes: Houston Pizza Lounge June 24, 2017

This was the first time I played live without having anyone along for moral support.  The P.A. System quit working prior to my set so I played in the middle of the lounge and was two feet from the small audience.  It was one of the most nerve wracking things I have ever experienced.  My guitar playing was struggling so I really reached out with my my vocals and just let them fly.  I think I did okay.

Set 1:

Mercury Blues (Alan Jackson cover)
Ghost in You (Psychedelic Furs Cover)
Whiskey and Gin (original)
Shine (Junkhouse Cover)

Set 2:

Devil Woman (original)
Knocking on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
Allure (original)
Excuse Me Amelia (original)

Audience: 7 persons set one
                  11 persons set two