Lifting Face

I have been threatening for some time now that I was going to give my main site a facelift. Over the last week I’ve been working hard on that.

Before And After

Here’s the obligatory Before and After shots.

oldsitesmall newsitesmall

Actually, the shot on the right is not “After” but instead is “In Between.” I’ve still some styling to do.

The main reason I’m going through this is that the new site will be much easier to maintain and update than the current one is. I’ve learned a lot of HTML and PHP since I started working on my first site, but now I’m reaching for the easy button.

Catching Up

I just figured out it’s been over two weeks since my last post. Guess I took a little vacation. There’s been a lot going on, as usual.

Cold Biscuit Band played the big Halloween dance at the James City VFW. The turnout was light, but we had a lot of fun. And there was an upside to the small turnout. You see, the VFW is one of the few places you can go around here where smoking is still allowed indoors. I usually refer to the place as Smoky Joe’s. Well, with the smaller crowd there was noticeably less smoke in the air. And to me, that’s a good thing. Mind you, I still had to shower and put my show duds in the garage when I got home, but at least the pirate car didn’t stink.

This last Sunday I had the chance to play at church again. Love it when that happens!

Lately we’ve had some tough times. But we’ve had some huge blessings as well. God’s in control!

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

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SyntheSizing Spiders

It’s been a long year this week!

SyntheSpider

 
I finally got around to revamping the SyntheSpider website. As mentioned in an earlier post, I set up the SyntheSpider Stuff blog to document my progress in the Roland Guitar Synth Challenge. That blog is an offshoot of the SyntheSpider site, and the site was in sore need of a facelift and update. I also took the opportunity to begin moving the gear pages I used to have on the SoaringSpider site over to SyntheSpider. I’ve been a busy little spider bee.

In His Service

 
The Lord was gracious. He allowed me to play at church this morning. With all that’s been going on recently (a lot of which I don’t share with the public) I really needed that this morning. There is something about playing in a worship service that you don’t get playing at an event like last week’s chili festival.

Sally From Syracuse

 
Back in 1998 we sallied forth from Syracuse (and you probably thought I was going to talk about the famous song by Stu Nunnery!) and ended up here in New Bern. As much as I don’t miss dealing with the bitter cold and the snow and especially the slushy mush that’s in the streets and driveways and parking lots so often during the winter, I truly do miss old friends.

So in my copious spare time the last week or so I’ve been tracking some of those folks down on facebook. It’s been a lot of fun. And I see I’m not the only one who’s been through a lot of stuff through the years.

I mentioned earlier that my Share The Stage series may have some of the Syracuse folks in it. I’ve been keeping a list and have several names from Central New York to add in.

And speaking of STS, it’s become obvious to me that I won’t be able to devote a separate post to each artist. I’ll be doing them in batches of from 1 (which I guess ain’t really a batch) to some number larger than that (sorry if I’m not being vague enough).

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

That Was The Chili That Was

That’s right, folks. The 2010 Havelock Chili Festival is now a tasty part of history.

Yesterday’s Chili

 
And Cold Biscuit Band had a great time. Friday’s four hours went really well. I had to attend to some very important business Saturday and missed the first two hours, but really enjoyed the last hour.

And Tomorrow’s Biscuit

 
The next gig is the 30th at the VFW in James City.

And we’ve been told that we’ll be doing the Chili Festival next year. Cool Beans!

And More Faces

 
I’ve been strolling down Memory Lane for a few hours today, looking up musician friends of mine from back in the ‘Cuse. It’s been great touching base with the Kane boys (current members Lou and Mike, and past members Harold, Tony, and the road crew), the Morrissey brothers, Mark D., and a few others.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

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.