April will be a fun month!

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Dinsdale
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April will be a fun month!

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:06 am

I've been playing in a 5-piece group: bass, fiddle, cello, mando/clawhammer, tenor guitar/ukes/harp. All 5 sing. Plenty of bluegrass/fiddle/oldtime tunes, but pretty eclectic "Americana." Called The Dropped Notes. Sorry, no web presence as yet.

Cello plays a lot of Mike Block-ish chops and such. Makes a neat sound playing off/with the fiddle. I've enjoyed that it has forced me to work on my leads and my vocals. I've also enjoyed working up "arrangements" and trying to "perfect" tunes, rather than just banging away at jams.

We started playing a regular 1-hr "gig" at an old folks' home, third Sat of every month. Just nice to take it outside of our living rooms and in front of a (mostly awake!) audience. The old folks are certainly a forgiving audience! ;) A nice, low pressure way to get used to performing. We've put together 3 discrete hour long sets, plus a few.

In April, we have a couple of gigs at 2 different coffeehouses/lounges. One on a Friday night, another on a Sat. Gonna be fun playing for some folk under 70! And being able to invite friends/family.

No money involved -not sure if we'll put out a tip jar. We all have good jobs and are just doing this for fun.

Then, unfortunately, our mando/clawhammer/bass vocal is moving to Philadelphia sometime over the summer. Bummer, as we started off as just him and me. Plus, I love playing off the mando chop and the sound of the clawhammer. We've practiced a few times with the remaining 4 of us. We still sound pretty good - tho quite different than what I'm used to.

Going to be a fun April. Then, will be interesting to see if these couple of gigs have satisfied our urge to perform, or simply whetted our appetites for more...

flip18436572
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Re: April will be a fun month!

Post by flip18436572 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:12 am

Usually the urge for more comes quickly. Until it become too much more too quickly and you lose the freedom for doing other fun things. I love playing, but I also love creating art and hanging with friends and theatre and other peoples live performance, etc....

Have fun and keep playing and performing as long as it is fun. That has been my music mantra for the last 15 years. We added another player this winter and I told him up front, that as long as this is fun keep playing, but when it isn't fun anymore, let's talk about what we can do to make it fun again, or we need to get out.

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Dinsdale
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Re: April will be a fun month!

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:01 pm

Ooh - forgot one. 2 of us are playing with another small group for an Easter service at his church. Ain't No Grave; Preaching, Praying, Singing; May the Circle Be Unbroken; I Saw the Light... Fun stuff. And fun to play in front of a couple hundred folk in this big old church. These goofballs even have me bowing melodic leads on 2 songs! :o Forcing me to step up my game!

So April is going to be a busy gigging month for me!

Yeah - the biggest challenge is keeping it fun - not stressing other parts of peoples' busy lives, but still trying to present something we can be proud of.

Right now, the 5 of us really enjoy playing together,and really get along well. We seem to have really complementary musical tastes, and our schedules seem to mesh. When our banjo/mando leaves over the summer, I imagine we will try to see how the 4-piece sounds, rather than rush to try to fit someone new into our dynamic.

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Dinsdale
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Re: April will be a fun month!

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:52 pm

And not just April! Got a call the other day from a group whose bassplayer isn't able to make their St Pat's eve gig. This is a group I've always kinda lusted after playing with, tho their bassist is quite good (and a good friend of mine.)

Then, on Sunday I was at a potluck/jam, and ran into a clawhammer player I had been thinking about as a possible replacement for our current guy. He's an even nicer guy than I had remembered, and his playing was as excellent as I remembered, and he was VERY excited about the prospect of playing with us. I'll see what the other folk say tonight.

Things are going well for me. Hope you all are finding fun and excitement from your playing.

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Dinsdale
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Re: April will be a fun month!

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:26 pm

Dang - invited to play with another group at a record shop on April 14th. And the St Pat's gig wants us to play for FOUR HOURS! Apparently they think we are Phish! :lol:

Really enjoying this.

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