Where Have All The Spiders Gone?

Here I am.

So Where Have You Been?

 
Busy, I guess.

It’s been just shy of four months since my last post. Not too regular lately, eh, wot? I can, of course, claim the usual excuses. Lots of stuff going on and blah, blah, blah. I suppose between that and CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) that pretty much covers it.

So what’s been going on these four months? Glad you asked.

Family Affairs

 
Wendie has been diagnosed with, and successfully treated for, cancer, with a very good prognosis. Surgery only was required, no chemo or radiation. That’s a big “Thank You Jesus” for that one. She was actually trying to find the cause of some other issues when this was discovered. Had the other issues not bothered her this might have gone undetected long enough that surgery alone would not be enough. That’s another “Thank You Jesus.”

Our younger son has announced his engagement to be married. Congratulations, Andrew and Jana, and another big “Thank You Jesus.”

And we will be heading north in a few weeks to have a nice visit with Wendie’s family and some of our old friends. Looking forward to that.

Churchy Things

 
Still playing roughly two Sundays a month at New Song Church, and enjoying it more than ever.

The Edge Church has gotten off to a grand start. Their first service was on Easter Sunday. Not long before that they did a promotional event in Surf City called Edge-A-Palooza. Some of us from New Song went down and played a set. It was pretty chilly when we went on, but the day warmed up nicely.

And back to New Song, we had a video in the service this morning of U2 doing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. ANd when I sat down to do my new entry tonight I noticed the title of my last post was A Bit On (The) Edge. Coincidence? I doubt it.

Other Music-y Stuff

 
Yesterday Cold Biscuit Band played our first real gig this year at the Hilton Deck. It was notable for a few reasons. I think on most of the songs we sounded better than ever. Our new drummer, Laura, joined us on stage for the first time. We also had a guest guitarist, Landy (I hope that’s spelled right). I will fill in last names at a later date (like when I learn what they are). Landy will be filling in on those times (notably Fridays) that I can’t be there.

Landy may have even more opportunity to play with the band since I will be leaving after the first weekend in June. I’ve decided that it’s time to reassess my musical activities.

After our trip up north in mid-June I think I may start organizing a Christian Blues band. I’ll be setting up a page on my website in the near future with more information about this. As always, I reserve the right to back out of this before I get it started. It is, after all, a scary proposition. Pretty much every band I’ve ever played in has been one that has already been in business and I usually replaced someone who was leaving (or had already left).

Anyway, more on this at a later date.

First day of the 2011 Guitar Center King Of The Blues contest is coming up Thursday. I’ll be heading out to Raleigh to try one more time to get past the local store final.

In recent musical history I did a video for the GuitarControl.com contest. You can see that video here. This was a lot of fun to do, even if I wasn’t a finalist.

And not directly a musical thing, but I’ve decided to leave off my Share The Stage posts for now.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

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. . . But Look Who Checked Out . . .

When I titled my last post somewhat randomly, I had no idea that it would have led so well into the very appropriate and not-so-random title of today’s post some 13 days later.

Oh Tell Me Good Cap-Tane

 
The first news of the death of Captain Beefheart reached me yesterday on my facebook news feed via my friend Mark from Syracuse. The news prompted me to spend some time on YouTube looking for some more videos. I had already added I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby and Upon The My Oh My as favorites on my YouTube channel. I have since added the haunting Further Than We’ve Gone and the J.J.Cale tune Same Old Blues.

Rest In Peace good Captain.

Wished I’d-A

 
And that bit of news reminds me that I had always planned on having a Share The Stage sequence covering artists who are deceased – sort of a Wish I Could Have Shared The Stage With. I guess now is the time to embark on that. Captain Beefheart will be the first entry.

Who else? Let’s see. I would pick

  • Jimi Hendrix – need I say more?
  • Janice Joplin – she could really belt out the blues
  • Jerry Garcia – almost met him (I think)
  • Link Wray – inventor of the power chord – met his band once
  • Bob Bogle – yes, of Ventures fame
  • Duane Allman – saw him with Derek And The Dominoes
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn – whew!
  • John Lennon – just imagine
  • George Harrison – played some great licks
  • Mike Bloomfield – a great bluesman
  • Roy Orbison – the Voice of all time
  • Ricky Nelson – he was so cool as a teen
  • Bobby Hatfield – a Righteous Brother

 
I’m gonna let that end the list for now. I’ll probably do another set at a later time.

Sundays

 
Played the last two Sundays at church. I have this week and next week off, then it’s every other Sunday in January, starting with the first one. I love these opportunities. Last week I got to play with one of our other lead guitarists and had a great time doing that.

Biscuits

 
Still no gigs in sight for Cold Biscuit Band until next month at the Barbecue In Blue Jeans event.

We did have an informal practice with a few of us the other day and it was good to do that again.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Nameless

Sorry about that! I couldn’t think of a good title for this post and I really didn’t want to put it off until a title came to me. At least be thankful I won’t pull this little trick again.

Although I may just pull a new little trick just like it some other time.

More Nameless

So let’s just slather the shellac on the shingle.

Biscuits On The Q.T.

Man! The last gig the Cold Biscuit Band played was October 30th, and we don’t have anything booked (AFAIK) until sometime in January. Guess I’ll be pretty well rested up by then.

Back in the day in Syracuse the local morning newspaper ran a comic strip with no name. It was an odd little strip, offbeat. Anyway, I still remember opening the paper one morning and reading this comic. The first frame showed a fish who was lamenting the sad state of his stream. As the frames progressed he was talking about things like fishermen muddying up his stream. In the last frame he’s holding a banjo and says “Thank goodness for my banjo!”

I don’t know for sure why I brought that up, other than to remind myself that there’s always something to be thankful for.

Meanwhile Around The Corner In James City

Got to play at church again yesterday. Thank goodness for my banjo – er – guitar!

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

So I finished updating my main site. I’m quite proud of the banner image – a fine collage if I do say so myself.

And I started touching up my techno site. If you compare the two side by side you’ll see some obvious similarities. I’m thinking about how to spiff up the banner image on that site.

Although this isn’t the proper place for it, I think I’ll mention that I’m a step closer to preparing my entry for the Roland Guitar Synth Challenge. I now have one of those silly Cyclopean thingies peering at me from the top of my monitor.

I’ve discovered or been discovered by a few more old Syracuse area friends on facebook recently. Hopefully I’ll be doing an STS post soon and listing some of these good people.

And Speaking Of “Share The Stage”

The thought occurred to me the other day that there’s a side to my STS posts that I haven’t yet touched on. Let me remedy that right now.

Since the whole STS thing is me lifting up my ego and listing famous and not-so-famous musical artists who I feel should Share The Stage with me by inviting me to have a guest spot in one of their concerts, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I haven’t already shared the stage with some fine musicians.

It’s always taking a chance when you mention some people that you will forget to mention others. So we usually don’t take the chance. However, since I have now (thanks to Jim’s friend Duffy) been diagnosed with CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) I can list who I remember and blame any I forget to mention on my CRS (a condition which I just barely remember having).

So here in New Bern let me give mention to a number of people I have been blessed to make music with over the last dozen or so years. I list them here in alphabetical order (by last name). Bobby Acker. Dennis Albertson. Jennifer Alcock. Fred Bisel. Cheryl Bowen. Chad Brewer. James Brothers. Caleb Brumbaugh. Jared Brumbaugh. Mike Brumbaugh. Dave Cooley. Jake Corley. Jim Durham. Barry English. Bernie Farkus. Dickie Fraser. Mitch Galloway. Brian Geer. Jim Grant. Joe Haynes. Jessica Hopkins. Doc Horner. Herb Humphreys. Marty James. Pete Jenkins. Jon Johndrow. Carson Koonce. Clay Lassiter. Bob Lohr. Tony T-Bone Martin. Bill McKinney. Jimmy Merritt. Mark Millard. Andrew Miller. Ricky Nipper. Rhonda Nobles. Dana Outlaw. John JP Parker. Jesse Rains. Dail Reed. Chuck Reynolds. Danny Rogers. Ray Rouse. Julie Schilens. Jeff Severt. Chris Stilley. John Stilley. Carolyn Smith. Mike Thorsby. Sara Thorsby. Andrew Webb. Wendie Webb. Kevin Webber. Rhoda Webber. Ervin Whitehurst. Joy Whitehurst. Donica Wright.

Those of you who should be on this list but aren’t – please have mercy. CRS, you know. [And if anyone sends me names I’ll add them in.]

And I’d like to thank Planning Center Online for helping me to list pretty much everyone I’ve played with at New Song since we came back.

I’ll list some Central New York people another time.

All In All

That’s it for now. More later.

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.

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.