Biscuits And Chili

Hey, gang. Head on down to Havelock today and tomorrow for the Havelock Chili Festival.

Hot Chili And Cold Biscuits

 
That’s right. Spice up your hot chili with an earful of cold biscuits. Cold Biscuit Band will be playing from 5PM to 9PM tonight, and from 12:30 to 3:30 PM tomorrow.

This annual event is held at Walter B. Jones Park. Plenty of hot chili and wings will be available, and there’s even a drive-thru available for those who like to get their chili on the run.

Oh, yes, and don’t forget the cold biscuits. There’s only going to be about a half dozen of those, but they are long lasting and good for sharing with your friends.

Post Your Chili Experience

 
If you have a good time at the Chili Festival don’t forget to post about your experience on the Cold Biscuit Band Facebook wall.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

A Funny Guy

OK. My first Share The Stage nominee (mentioning Esteban in the first post in this series doesn’t count – nor, in fact, does mentioning him in this post) is actor, comedian, musician Hugh Laurie.

Is There A Doctor In The House?

 
I’ve enjoyed watching Mr. Laurie as an actor and occasional musical attraction on the TV show House, where he ably plays the lead role, Dr. Gregory House. I became more intrigued when I did a little online research for a disease that was mentioned several times during a Christmas season marathon, and discovered that Laurie is British. Or as we would say in New Bern, “He’s not from around here, is he?”

Stu’s Dad

 
And it was recently pointed out to me that the man played the father in the Stuart Little movies.

N’awlins Blues

 
But what finally prompted me to consider him as a Share The Stage kind of guy was the blurb I saw recently in Pro Sound News that mentioned he was in the studio working on a CD of New Orleans blues. That is just too cool! I don’t buy new CDs often but this one is going to be on my short list.

New Orleans has popped up on the horizon of my life a few times in the last couple of years, beyond the obvious Katrina reference.

A number of months ago, as I was prepping for my run at the 2009 Guitar Center King Of The Blues title, I got an email from an old friend and co-band member, Paul Sammarco. Paul and I were in a band called Captain Nathan back in the early ’70s, playing a number of gigs in the Syracuse area. Paul now has a record company in Houma, LA called P & J Records. Check out his website and buy some CDs. Mention my name when you do. I’m trying, Paul.

And earlier this year we started attending New Song Church, a church we had been a part of when it first started and then had left for a long season. Coincidentally, the first week we attended was also the first week for the new pastor, Danny Rogers. Danny and his family moved to New Bern a few years ago from the New Orleans area.

But I Digress . . .

 

This Could Be Fun

 

So, Mr. Laurie, you are the official first entrant in the 2010 Share The Stage program.

Mind you, I don’t have all that many gigs, so you’ll need to line one up and then let me Share The Stage with you. One song, a dozen, it’s your choice. You’re in charge. You da man!

I spent some time last night on YouTube searching for musical performances of yours, and found a lot of really funny stuff. I was not aware of your comedic enterprise, not spending much time these days watching late night TV. Too Long Johnny is priceless!

If you’ve found this post you can certainly look around and see a little of what I can do on guitar. I’d enjoy it. How about you?

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Share The Stage

There are a number of artists I would love to share the stage with. I once wrote a series of blog posts on this idea. I’ve decided to pull it out of the closet, dust it off, and put a new pair of jeans on it.

Once Upon A Time

 
I used to have a free membership in OnlineRock. At one point they offered a free blog to members and I took the opportunity to enter the blogosphere. A promotional was mentioned that I promptly forgot about. They were going to monitor the blogs for a while and decide who was making the best and/or maybe most interesting use of the thing.

As I say, I promptly forgot about the promotional. That is, until I was notified that I won. The prize was pretty neat for the time – a 2G iPod. I still have it.

So what did I do to win this prize? What was the ongoing theme of my blog? I developed a list of 11 artists who I thought should invite me to appear as a guest at one of their concerts. I will probably not mention all 11 artists today, but I probably will eventually reveal them all.

When OnlineRock eventually did away with the free blogs, they let us all know and advised us we should archive our posts elsewhere if we wanted to save them. So I did that with mine.

A year and a hard drive crash later I can’t find them any more. Such is life.

So Now What?

 
As I mentioned above I’m pulling this dust bunny out from under the bed and giving it a makeover.

Over the next period of time I’ll be posting now and then about an artist I would like to share the stage with. I expect I’ll hit on all 11 from that original list, and I’m sure, Lord willing, that I’ll have a number of new names. Some of these names will be familiar to you. Some won’t. I expect I’ll probably mention some people from back in Central New York along with folks from around the country and around the world. Some of them may surprise you. Like, for example, Esteban. He was actually the seed that germinated into the entire concept. One commenter asked, “Would you play the guitar?” (referring to the Esteban models). I replied that I would play the guitar and I would wear the hat!

Format? What’s That?

 
I developed a pretty consistent format on the old OnlineRock blog when doing these posts. I see no reason to treat the subject so formally these days. Some posts may just have a title and a name. Some may be short stories. Hopefully none will turn into novels.

I had fun with the idea back then and I’m a-gonna have some more fun now.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Guitar Synthesizer Challenge

It came to my attention a couple days ago that Roland is sponsoring a guitar synthesizer challenge. The object of the challenge is to produce a video of original material featuring one of the many guitar synths that Roland has made over the years and put it up on YouTube. Deadline for entry is (just before) midnight on the 31st of December.

GR-30 Time

 
If you recall from an earlier post I have a Roland GR-30. So I’m going to try and make a video of myself and the GR-30. Since I’ve been gigging with it a bit lately I’m somewhat in shape for the challenge. By mid-December I should have something together.

SoaringSpider on YouTube?

 
So I’ll obviously need to set up my own YouTube channel, rather than using the Cold Biscuit Band channel. OK, done: here is my channel. I’ll most likely post some interim non-entries before I do the final work.

And Another Bird Goes Down

 
I also have had a BOSS RC-50 Loop Station for over a year now and don’t have a lot of experience with it under my belt yet. So my secondary goal in working through this challenge is to use the looper in my video as well, and thereby gain some experience with it.

Documenting The Process

 
A couple days ago as I was updating my main web site I was reminded that I’ve had a blog through my host for a few years that I set up to be associated with my music technology website I started and have left idle for quite a while. So I’ve decided to use that blog, SyntheSpider Stuff, to document my progress in this challenge. So after today look there for the most current updates on my progress.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Wetness and Faces

It’s been a wet week here in the east.

Thursday Night Drive

 
My drive home from work Thursday night was a little out of the ordinary. I drove through over a dozen spots with standing water completely covering the road, and a couple where the water looked like it was flowing across. It took me over a half hour to drive some five miles or so along roads with very little traffic. Maybe you have a pickup or an SUV but I have my little pirate car, a Toyota Yaaarrrr – is!

Our street had water across it in a couple of places, one just a couple houses away. Later in the evening when the rain finally tapered off to a misty drizzle, some folks were splashing around in the water up there. Our dog, Susie, who normally won’t even walk on wet grass, decided to wade through the driveway next door. Our little girl is growing up!

By Friday most of the standing water was gone from the parts of New Bern I usually see.

43 and 55

 
So we went for a drive this afternoon, heading west on state 55. Over in Fort Barnwell I took a right, thinking on heading through Vanceboro and taking 43 back to New Bern, but ran into several roads that were still marked as closed. We decided to ride down one and verified for ourselves that the road was totally impassable to wheeled vehicles. We did eventually hit 43 and drove through Vanceboro, but it was just a challenge to get there.

Our prayers go out to those whose lives have been affected by the flooding. A little standing water on your street doesn’t seem like much when you see houses that have been sitting in what amounts to a small lake for a number of days.

On The Band Front . . .

 
I decided after our two weeks of YouTube stardom (our three videos have seen about 140 plays in that time) that it was time to do Facebook. So you can now write on our wall. We have a couple of pix up there from a gig we played at the local Harley-Davidson dealer back in the summer. Hope to get more up there soon.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Sassy

A Week Ago Sunday . . .

 
. . . one of the ladies at church mentioned she was looking forward to the next time I played because she wanted to hear my sassy guitar.

So Yesterday . . .

 
. . . I got the opportunity to play again. And one of the songs we did, ala Lincoln Brewster, was Everlasting God. Hopefully when I kicked in the wah it got sassy enough.

But Seriously . . .

 
I really appreciate the way God works. He’s given me a talent for guitar that I have sometimes developed, sometimes squandered. Lately I pray I’ve been doing more developing, and using for Him, than squandering.

And I know (and I have to remind myself about this quite often) that it’s not about me, but all about Him. And the glory belongs to Him, not to me.

But He does so love us, and occasionally He sees fit to have someone slide on up to us and give us a pat on the back, or a smile and a kind word, or a compliment, and we can go on our way feeling just a little better than the moment before, feeling that something we’ve done has reached someone else, has brightened someone’s day, or at least a moment, and in return they’ve brightened ours.

At one time I felt that if someone payed me a compliment, especially for something that I’ve only been able to do through the power of the Holy Spirit, it was necessary (and sufficient, as they say in the math world) to point to the sky and say “He did it.” Never take the compliment for yourself, because the glory is His.

But I just don’t think that way anymore. Yes, sometimes a compliment is an opportunity to witness to the power of the Spirit or to the sacrifice of the Son, or to the love of the Father. But sometimes I think you need to take a compliment as an earthly prelude to a heavenly “Well done.” And just say “Thank you” to that person.

And if it’s not the time to turn the moment into a witness, well, it is a time to say, in your mind, “Thank You, Lord.”

So: “Thank You, Lord, that someone appreciates the display of the talent you gave me enough to call it sassy.”

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

An Abraham Thing

A Blast From The Past

 
Back in 2004 I wrote an article for my main website titled It’s An Abraham Thing.  I did a minor update to this item in 2005.  The item was about fasting, and about music ministry.  Well, actually, it was about fasting from the music ministry.

Jump ahead to yesterday.   I had a Really Bad Day at the day job, and was feeling pretty discouraged.  Just before I packed up to go home I noticed an email that was sent to me by someone I don’t know.  The email’s subject was “abraham thing” which of course reminded me about the article mentioned above.  Here’s a condensed version of that email:

abraham thing [condensed]

 
Just wanted to tell you that I came across your blog about the music ministry and abraham and I really enjoyed it. I have been going through something similar in the last few months. Mine was different in that God started telling me in Oct 2009 that He was going to take me out of my comfort zone and was wanting me to leave my church. I dragged my feet, convinced myself it wasn’t the right time, etc etc… Then one day last month I was praying and listening to some music and God spoke to me and asked me “why I was asking Him because I don’t do what He tells me to anyway” BIG WAKE UP CALL. I decided right there that I was going to do it. I even compared it [to] Abraham and Issac. . . . That very next Sunday I was at a new church . . . the entire sermon felt like it was for me . . . [it was about how] the more we do self will instead of God’s will it’s like . . . pulling away [from God]. I can see that so clearly now. . . . So I am taking it day by day and was very encouraged with your story . . . how I came across it was a plan of God’s. A friend sent me an invite to a revival with Joe Sneed and I googled him online because I had never heard of him before and there was your article. The one and only one that I happend to read. God sure does amazing things! . . . With God all things are possible.

What Goes Around Comes Around

 
And so something I wrote at least partially as encouragement for myself some 5 years ago encouraged another person, and that person sent me an email about it that came just at the right time to encourage me. Isn’t God good?

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

YouTube Rock Stars

News Flash! — Cold Biscuit Band Takes YouTube By Storm

 
This last week I got some video files of the Cold Biscuit Band performing at the Hilton deck party in July. After previewing them I thought it was time to put the CBB on YouTube, so I set up an account and did a few uploads.

You can check out our channel at YouTube here.

On The Deck

 
Cold Biscuit Band played the Hilton deck party yesterday. This is one we were originally not scheduled for, but a few weeks back we were asked to play this extra one. And this was New Bern’s 300th Jubilee weekend, so the town was full up with people.

We had a great time on the deck.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

And One Week Later

Something new this weekend.

At Church

 
Imagine my surprise Thursday when I showed up at church band practice only to find out that we weren’t going to have a keyboard player Sunday.

I had just mentioned not that long ago that I was using a lighter setup at church than what I use on the Biscuit gigs. But with no keyboards on Sunday I ended up taking my full gig rig, sans amplifier (the Blues Deluxe Reissue I use there belongs to the church).

The Sunday morning practice went well but the first service music was a train wreck. ‘Nuff said there. Second service went much better.

Will I use the full rig again at church? Don’t know just yet. We pretty much always have a keyboard player so it’s not like I need it to broaden the sound.

Coming Up

 
The band will be playing twice this coming Saturday. Early afternoon we’re playing at a private party for a couple of hours. Later on (5-9) we play the Saturday Deck Party at the New Bern Hilton. These are always fun, and this will probably be our last one this summer.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

After the Weekend

It was a good weekend, relaxing but busy.

All Shook Up

 
We went to the Hilton deck party on Saturday to see my friend’s band, the Shake Doctors. I was impressed. Individually, they are all talented musicians, and they played well as a band. I recommend you go see them if you get the chance.

About half the songs we heard them do are ones that we in Cold Biscuit also cover. Wendie liked some of their renditions better than ours because she could make out the words when they do them.

And speaking of Cold Biscuit, we’re playing at a club in Havelock this Friday. Looking forward to it.

Several Hours Later

 
As promised in the last post, we went to Lillington to worship with son Drew at his church. Enjoyed the worship, and Drew did some nice guitar work with the praise band. Had a meal at Western Sizzlin’ and then headed for home. It was a glorious sunshiny day.

This Sunday I’ll be playing at our church. Love it when that happens.

Soaring Spider Site

 
Spent some time Monday updating my main site. That’s something I try to do from time to time. One of these days I’m going to do a total makeover on it, Lord willing.

One of the things I did in the update was to add a link to this blog.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.