Dealing with the blues, but can’t say as I’m suffering

Confession. I am not a blues guy. Which isn’t to say there isn’t a whole
lot of great blues out there. Songs I like by BB King and a host of other
artists. That said, given my choice? If the next year passed and no blues played on my Echo? Pretty sure I wouldn’t notice.

Which brings me to this. Playing the blues. Regular readers know I’ve been playing the guitar for a couple of years and while I wouldn’t say I’m good, I’m competent enough to have played on stage with pros and held my own (see the links below), and I play with a few different guys a couple of times a week in a late-start effort to get, well, decent.

Matt and Joe playing the blues in a home studio.

Matt and I playing the blues.

Matt is one heck of a player. He’s been in bands, he’s got more talent than I could fit on one of those upload stems they used in The Matrix, and plays several instruments. That kind of good. Not to mention, he’s blind, too, and Pam’s told me you’d never know it by looking at him. You damn sure wouldn’t guess listening to him jam. Anyway, Matt, as you may have already guessed, does like the blues. Quite a bit, in fact. And, he’s been showing me stuff. Mostly rock and roll related thefts from traditional blues, certain licks, run ups and run downs, you name it. And, while I am a product of the ’80s – a music fan grounded in goth and new wave, synthpop and industrial – this? This ain’t all bad. Are there any blues tunes that I actually want to play? I’d say two. I wouldn’t mind learning “Who Do You Love,” even if it leans far more toward the George Thorogood version. And one other, but no need to go on and on about that now.

The blues. Never would have believed , even when I first started actually getting somewhere on the guitar, that I’d wind up here, and certainly not playing any. Might be a little frustrating getting the hang of some of the techniques, but frustration I can deal with. As long as I’m not suffering the blues? Just going to keep at it.


Currently listening to: “The Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly

Spooky Bash V

I know, it’s early, but the way the dates fell, had to do our annual Halloween party this past Saturday night. And, while it was a little warmer than we’d hoped (thanks for nothing, Hurricane Matthew, so much for you sucking up some moisture in your wake!), things worked out pretty well. Was a little too humid for the fire to really get roaring, but, by the same token, we didn’t exactly need a fire given how warm it still is. The bug zapper? Boy did that thing get a workout! Thought at one point we’d snagged a dragon in there. Sounded like we were electrocuting Ted Bundy. Kinda fitting, when you think about it.

Rat on a stump being sawed in half. Creepy bat hanging from the front porch ceiling.

Changed up the front décor a little, and while it was a bit buggy to spend a whole lot of time outside, we did manage to do some guitar playing. Billy, James and I tried Proud Mary for the first time, with Margaret and James doing vocals. Our best? Uh…no, to be sure. But, November 5th is right around the corner and that’s James and Amanda’s baby shower (did I mention they first met up at one of our parties?), so we plan to be a little smoother on that one.

Skeleton hanging out with cookies.

So, our Halloween party is outa the way, but still got the Cape Coral Spooktacular comin’ up, and of course, Halloween Weekend at BackStreets. If I’m lucky? Sometime this week or next, I’ll finally be able to catch Blair Witch before it leaves the theatres. Here’s hoping…


Currently listening to: “Where the Wild Roses Grow” by Nick Cave & the Bad
Seeds (feat. Kylie Minogue)

Meet Lori

Mentioned a couple of weeks back, before I got sick, that I’d be posting pics of my new guitar. This, however, isn’t that guitar. Oh, it’s my new one, but it isn’t the Epiphone Wildkat Pam and my Mom and my sis & her family had chipped in for with Billy. The Wildkat had some serious problems, so Billy and I went back, spent about four hours testing out guitars, and I came home with this one. An Epiphone ES 335, which was originally in the $599 range, but which I got for around the same price as the Wildkat.

Joe, Billy & John Jamming

The thing is fantastic. Not only is it gorgeous, it’s an archtop, which I’d been looking for. (I chose this over a Fender Stratocaster, because I like the semi hollow-body better, and the ‘Strat felt tiny in comparison.)

Anyway, my other Epiphone (the one featured in the videos on my YouTube channel when we played Backstreets for my Mom’s birthday), is affectionately referred to thanks to the modifications Scott made for me, as The Halloween Machine. This one has no such modifications.yet. But Scott will be working on a significant one shortly, which is why I’ve named this cuddly 6-string Lori.


Sounds pretty nice, eh? And, yup, that’s F major ringing out (well, for me, most of the time.) This was Tuesday night at Billy’s, with John Fairfield on bass. This was only the second time I’d tried the song, and the first time John had played it since he learned it-back in 8th grade. Hence, some chords being called out as John didn’t have the tab. Fun stuff. Hopefully we’ll have a new song up on the channel soon, we’ve been working on a bunch of different tunes, and will get around to recording another before long.