Friday, October 17, 2008

uh-oh, Little Alley gig is over.

Well folks, it's been a good long run but my band is no longer playing at Little Alley. 80 weeks, nearly two years, and there have been some wonderful memories there. Please stay tuned and I'll keep you informed where to find us. That will be made much easier if you'll please click the widget up at the top of the page for ReverbNation, which will put you on my opt-in email list so I can take good care of you. I also maintain a schedule there. Thanks!

Oh, and remember to book me (as Santa, or musician, or both) for your holiday parties ASAP!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Music Report for October 16, 2008

Welcome back my friends, to the blog that never ends.

This week will see me playing my usual Friday night show at Little Alley, 7:30 to 11:30, with the Chosen Ones (Jon Schwenke, John McKnight). Hey, that's not a bad band name! And to think I was going to go with Persons Of Interest... Anyway, you already know the food is great and the drinks are great and the musicians are great, ya can't lose.

The next morning, I'll have the honor of taking Jon & John, plus Mike LeVasseur on keys, to play for Matt Mason's wedding. Matt is a former bass student of mine, a talented amateur (who ought to be getting gigs) and a gentleman; he also has a good stage name. Congratulations Matt, and best wishes to a happy life with your new bride, you have chosen wisely.

Saturday night I'll be fronting a great team at the Hard Rock Cafe down on Peachtree. Greg High, Spencer Kirkpatrick, and a drummer I haven't met yet but he's got to be good or Greg wouldn't have called him. That show is 10PM to 1AM, and is certain to "kick many buttocks" (in my best Borat accent).

So remember, folks, live people need live music. See you out there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wow, I used to be famous!

This is mildly interesting - I was on the amazing Internet Archive website looking for some of my uploaded tunes, pictures and such to do a bit of reorganizing, when I spotted a song I didn't remember uploading. I clicked it, and it's a recording of "Barney Google" from 1923 - I don't recall doing much studio work in 1923, so I looked further into it and found out that Georgie Price (aka George E. Price, which is even my correct middle initial) was a pretty big star in the '20s. See for yourself, right here - the relevant stuff is about 1/3 the way down. Add that to my resume as National Hero of Belize, a longtime cartoonist at The New Yorker, the very last soldier killed in World War I, a famously inventive locksmith, and a particularly loathesome wife-murderer in the 18th century. (Ironically, also a murder victim with a loving widow and, even stranger, a child also named George). I've been around.

UPDATE: It turns out I also played french horn with Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. Wish I remembered that.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I have an idea for you. Read this story, and imagine it as a movie.
There are some really, really stunning things in there, along with personal dramas and plot twists. Some key words: plastic explosives, murder, Iran, infiltration... there's plenty here to make a good movie. I'm thinking Billy Bob Thornton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Wilford Brimley, Nick Nolte and of course Tina Fey. Too bad Paul Newman couldn't be in it.

If you know how to write in screenplay format (I don't), this could be your big ticket. If Diablo Cody could do it, so can you. Remember me when you're rich & famous. A lot, please.

Repetition equals truth

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Double-barrel Fun!

This Friday was extra cool at Little Alley. I had my A-Team of Jon Schwenke and John McKnight, so things are already off to a great start. Then Marlyn Campbell joined us for several songs, that's always a treat. Then Heaven Davis came in and sang with us too, alongside Marlyn, but unfortunately couldn't stay long. Dang I love my job!

Red Salt is still cookin' along too, massively popular and often full. But don't stop trying to get in, you know it's worth it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Deregulation" - not working out as promised

Well, this is joy. My natural gas bill is way up, my investments are way down, and I'm learning that this is because of "deregulation". Eliminate the rules on how to treat customers and how to structure deals, and those wonderful CEOs and corporations will make life wonderful for everyone. Yeah, that's not such a good idea, is it?

As it turns out, voluntary self-regulation is about as effective as voluntary taxes or voluntary speed limits. Most especially for CEOs and other such entities, who are literally required by their job (if not their personality) to make as much profit as possible by any means they can get away with. Remember that key phrase - any means they can get away with. If it isn't explicitly illegal, they consider it OK. If it is illegal, they have to be really careful.

And yet there are still some people who just don't get it, still parroting the party line that deregulation is good. In addition, they actually want to put our Social Security into the stock market! Yeah, the stock market is a great "safety net", isn't it? I've lost about $20,000 in the last week alone, and I'm told it will get much worse.

Remember everything that's happening right now. The next time someone talks about how much we need deregulation, you should immediately realize that either he's an idiot, or he's hoping you are. Or both.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Palin Debate Prep Flowchart

I know that a lot of you out there have had actual training in Logic, so I present to you this flowchart (minus the usual symbols) representing Palin's "debating" technique (you know, where she ignores the moderator's question and talks about whatever she wants to). It's simple enough for her to understand it, so you can too. Enjoy.
(courtesy of

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Feeling GREAT! bzzzzzz

What a nice surprise - Greg High called today and invited me to come do his gig at Dailey's downtown tonight. Playing with Greg is always treat enough, but we were also joined by Sean O'Rourke and Spencer Kirkpatrick, so this was a night to remember. The song choices went all the way from the usual Van Morrison and SRV covers to much more unusual territory. I used my Variax's tricks to give "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" a banjo (which Spencer ripped up with traditional bluegrass and Nashville guitar chops), and a nice sitar for "Norwegian Wood". We got multiple requests for Jeff Beck (helzyeah!) so we did "Know What I Mean" and "Ended As Lovers". We hit a way uptempo version of "Moondance", and something else we did somehow morphed into Weather Report's "Birdland" except it was a bit confusing because we were in A instead of G at the time. Santana's "Oye Como Va" was a big crowd pleaser - Sean got a whole lotta Latin out of his drums, sounded like a whole barrio full of percussionists and my tone was, to me at least, exactly what I hoped for which brought out the best of my playing. Later, when we also did "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen", Sean did even more - I mean, DA-yum! When I cut him loose on the hogwild percussion section at the end, he was so complex and energetic and amazing that I could only hang on with Greg the best I could on our unison line and hope that I was on the beat I intended, because I was lost and not hearing anything I could pin down. Sean was like some multi-armed Hindu god. I was in way over my head. But when it was time to come out, everyone hit everything hit precisely where it was supposed to be, and sounded massive! Wow!

There was so much more - the "Secret Agent" medley, "Higher Ground", "No Matter What" and other fun & unusual diversions. My absolute favorite though, and I only ever get to do this with Greg, was when he asked me to do Deep Purple's "Highway Star". OK, if you're sure... We started together and, as it had been all night, sounded like a band that had been together for years. My voice felt strong, I liked my tone, and Spencer knew all of his parts too. I had that rascal pegged as a Nashville type, but he knows his rock. DAMN that felt good! If you haven't heard "Highway Star" lately, crank it up and imagine it with modern tones. It rocked the world in 1971, and it sounds even better with today's guitar tones. There were a bunch of Germans there (Dailey's is largely patronized by conventioneers) and they absolutely loved it. (Deep Purple are like gods to the Germans, maybe even more than David Hasselhoff).

Greg has played with me a few dozen times, and knows my material and mannerisms. He's a master on bass, and I think he kicks my ass on guitar too but he denies it. Sean is bigtime (toured with Sugarland for three years, been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine five times). I've only played with Sean a couple other times - a half night I sat in with him and Tak Nakazawa on Kathy Carllile's show at Fuzzy's, and a tasty but sedate New Orleans style jazz brunch with Greg Barrett at Copelands, so this is the first time he's really worked with *me*. And work he did. But the real gem of this show, to me, was Spencer - I'd never heard of him, we barely met, then started playing, and he was stuck to me like glue all night, never missing a thing that I could tell, even on my originals. We will meet again.

All in all, a night to remember. So I'm writing all this not just to share with you, but so that months or years from now I can read back over it and feel like this again. Tired, exhilarated, victorious. It should've been in front of thousands of fans.