Friday's show at The Bamboo Room was like some sort of freaky dream. Cutting to the chase - I had intended to go up there and keep the groove rolling until a suitable point for taking a break. But when the set was over, turns out that they were only expecting us to play for two hours and we had burned along 30 minutes past that with what we thought was our first set! Without barely breaking a sweat (okay, I lie, I was soaked to the bone), we were prepared to go back up there and keep going, but management said, "you did more than you had to." Nice to hear. But we wanted to go up there and play some more!
And it was weird, like musicus interruptus, to have paced myself and saved something for later, only to find that we weren't going to be playing any more. After saying "we'll be right back", I realized that we wouldn't - and that I hadn't gotten closure. See, when we perform, I like to acknowledge the audience as part of the whole affair - we're the car, we'll carry you there, but the audience is the engine - they're what drives us to perform, it's not just about us, we could be about "us" in the rehearsal space. What really makes each show special is that we share it with a group of people. Some we know, some we've just met. In any case, I like to keep a connection going, and when we're finished playing, I thank them, thank the venue, thank anyone who needs thanking and send them on their way with well wishes and positive thoughts. But this time, not knowing we were finished, I left off with "we'll be right back", which left me feeling sort of awkward.
The band was incredible - Bunky went off like fireworks; I love it when she improvises into the stratosphere, her scat on "Ring-A-Ding" was world class, but then again - she's Bunky. Randy was a monster as usual, taking a wicked, growly solo at one point. John laid in solid support on vocals and everything else he touched. I thought J.D. did fantastic - turns out later on he tells me that he was just about to fall off his stool because we went so long. Every time I looked at him, though, he was looking fit to swim to Australia!
So, we hung out and sold several copies of clear blue trickling, signed some cool folks up for the mailing list and heard a lot of "you're not going back up? that's what we're waiting for", which is just mind-blowing to hear. I don't know how to act around that, it's so humbling - so glory to God for gifts of music!
Got to hang out with Russell, the owner, for a long while earlier in the day and it was awesome. He's such a knowledgeable, interesting, down-to-earth guy, and he LOVES some music - his love borders on the Divine there. It was just a treat to make that connection.
When you play The Bamboo Room, they put you up in a block of rooms at a cute litle apartment building across the street from the block that the club is on. Reminds me a little of the "Three's Company" complex, an "L" shape with a little courtyard filled with plants and trees, chairs and an umbrella table (and a grill that we need to use one of these days.) It's ritual now to hang out there after the show, and then meet there again and commune in the morning over coffee and pastries. The best part of our road trips, aside from getting to play this music we've created together, is the hang-time that we get to spend with our dear friends, getting to know one another, enjoying the time given to us, this break away from the machinery of That Fleeting Life. It is its own reward.
And The Reviews Are Coming In!
clear blue trickling is already making a splash on Garageband.com where we've got a few tracks in the ongoing contest over there. Our Garage Page shows some of the reviewing history of the band (we've been there since the site debuted six years ago), but there's never been a response like the one that "Ring-A-Ding" is getting now. It's been voted "Track Of The Day" and is currently #32 on the Americana charts. It will hold this honor on Monday, June 27th and will be displayed on the Americana main page for 24 hours. "Ring-A-Ding" also received several reviewer awards in the Americana categories of Best Male Vocals, Best Female Vocals, Best Keyboards, Best Production and Most Original for the week of June 20th! Thank you to those reviewers, for all of the positive and negative, which was actually rendered as constructive criticism.
The "Amplified Podcast" this week features "Come On With Me" during episode #6. This whole podcasting thing has really blown up, and though it's heartily predicted that the "fadness" of it all will wear off eventually, the concept or something like it will be a trend to watch. Making your own music choices based on an incredible pool of resources. I like it. I like it so much that I now have a podcast called All Florida Indies which is exactly what it sounds like. On the first show, "Ring-A-Ding" is in the middle block of songs. Nepotism rocks.
Things are getting crazy - and we're big on the marketing wagon right now trying to let the world know about clear blue trickling while making the final decisions about what duplicating service we're going to use and whether we'll have an eight-page or a six-page booklet inside. These are the tough choices.