Friday, September 30, 2005

Back From Seattle

Jae and I are back from the Pacific Northwest where we've been on working vacation since last Saturday. It was a beautiful time and the city was lovely, all sunshine and blue skies, nothing like the weather that you're always hearing about. I took my walnut dulcimer Angelique with me and walked from one end of Seattle to the other, playing on the steps of the courthouse across from our hotel and taking her into Kells Irish Pub, where I did a little impromptu jig-playing display for Hamish, the bartender, one of the owners and a couple of servers. (I was encouraged to come back and perform with one of the regular acts, but we had a full plate of activity that evening.)

Upon returning home last night, we hit the ground running and have stirred up quite a bit of new activity for the band, while more than likely cancelling our appearance at the Fantasy Fest parade in Key West. We've just picked up two shows in Miami, October 21st and 22nd at Tobacco Road and Titanic Brewery respectively. This double-shot of shows begins on the same night that Brighthouse Channel 98 debuts the Livewire program at 11pm that features Mohave at Hard Rock Live, with a repeat four hours later at 3 am. By then, we should have our DVD of the performance in hand, so it's not a terrible bummer that we'll be hours away in another city, unable to view it.

There are some other developments coming down the pike, which I'll confirm as we know more. Right now, the band is set to gather tomorrow for a rehearsal and a photo shoot, also a chance to distribute goodies that we brought back for everybody. It's good to be back!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

CDs are HERE!

The title says it all!

Excitement is mounting....

As of 8:47 a.m., clear blue trickling had been scanned and loaded onto a UPS truck destined for my doorstep. I'm trying not to be anxious, but every deep roar or rumble sends me scrambling to the window, peeking through the blinds in search of that familiar chocolate-brown truck. It took a little longer than we expected to get here, but the wait is pretty much over. Starting with our next show in Deland on October 8th, Mohave will have its first new album in four years available to the general public. Not a special "advance" copy - but the real deal.

And then, things are going to pick up, pace-wise. We send some of those CDs to CD Baby, where they will be made available through the store and also through an extensive Digital Distribution channel which will have the album in Apple iTunes, Napster, MSN and other places where a song can be bought ala carte. Review copies are being sent out to the local media, finally, and Jae and I are taking some to Seattle with us this weekend. A few more local stores will also have them in stock, so we're stoked!

The band will also be excited tonight when I show up with an armful of jewel cases. The requests have been staggering - seems like everyone wants a piece of this one!

Tuesday night's rehearsal was a great turning point: I told everyone that since J.D. came on board, we've been working to build our potential set list back up. We now know enough tunes to play well over three hours, pushing towards four. With that benchmark behind us, the next plan is to fine tune the songs we've got, even as we push forward with new material. So Tuesday found us working on "Breaking News", the theme song for a movie of the same name that begins shooting soon here in Orlando. We also worked on "Monsters At The Garden Wall", a song inspired by the July 7th attacks on London, demoed earlier here and already requested by some of our extended tribe! Both songs sound killer - I can't wait to debut them for an audience! We also worked on "The Miner and His Music" and "The Irish In Me", detailing harmonies and arrangements. This is where the work gets gritty, as we deconstruct the music and tighten up the loose bits. I told the band that I was pushing myself, demanding better of my performances, and I expected the same from everyone. By seeking improvements, I said, I was by no means criticizing anyone for what they were doing, in fact, every person in the band has risen to the occasion in co-arranging the songs. But, like an athlete in training for the Olympics, what you did yesterday is probably just a small step towards the shape you hope to be in. And it was generally agreed that we're in training for the big leagues right now. Time to "get game."

Planning for the CD Release Powwow is speeding along as I'm beginning to hear from some of the artists who will be providing thematic paintings to coincide with our event. On board so far are Diana Ferguson, Barbee Cain, Kelly Muniz, Liz Watkins and possibly Carl Knickerbocker! The art exhibit, which will convey images of the southwest along with spiritual and tribal essences, will run from November 4th through the 18th with a meet-and-greet with some of the artists on the night of the event, November 11th.

And planning for our participation in the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade continues as well. Once again, if you have any ideas for our float, themed "Angels and Devils", please send them to us! If your idea is used, you'll win two V.I.P. passes to the pre-Powwow media gathering!

That's all for now - we'll have some more exciting news shortly - thanks for coming back to read this blog - remember, there are four other blogs from the band members, links are located in the column to the right!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Speedbumps On The Interstate

Can we add four hours to the day? Don't make me manage this. I'm ADHD and I just stopped taking the medication in an attempt to engage the issue holistically. Making it to the end of a sentence is a chore, but the rewards are far greater at this point than the piles of flaming mental dog poo that I step in from time to time. Hey, if I can't learn to function without those pills, then what happens when the pill population dries up? You've gotta depend on what you got.

The band had a nice, busy weekend that was hurricane-free. Ophelia backed away from the coast, leaving the Daytona Beachside Live festival mostly indoors on a beautiful day, but still a fun time. I love all the people that showed up, stayed, left, came back and brought friends. One person even pitched us through their LiveJournal. It was a really good show for us, the second since getting back from summer break. Since there was a gap after us, we were encouraged by the crowd to go thirty minutes past the end of the set, which was awfully sweet of them. I put new strings on Halycon Friday then stored her mostly in air-conditioning because we'd be playing inside. If we're playing outside, I try to keep her at the same temperature so that there's no expanding and contracting of strings, which causes chaos if you don't have a spare handy.

Problem was, I guess, that I was playing next to a big bank of lights, which heated things up a bit, meaning I spent the bulk of the night asking the band to cover for me while I played the tuning game (thankfully not audible). Other than that, I think the show went great. Everyone was truly masterful and dynamic - it was one of the best sets we've ever played!

Leu Gardens was likewise, beautiful, with just a wee bit of tuning issues. Lisa Firestone was wonderful, it was good to see old friends again and some of our extended tribe. The set went off terrifically, J.D. knows how to work it quiet as much as he can rock it - we played with joy, restraint and artfulness. During "Nine One One" though, I must've channeled more emotion than I was prepared for and I lost it to the point where I knew I couldn't hit the note, had to wait until I had forced composure again. I kept my eyes closed, I don't know what people were doing, but it was a sudden, glaring emotional note in the middle of a pretty risk-free set. Bunky said she sort of lost it too, and then I asked her to solo. This brought a giggle - I wouldn't have tossed her a solo if she was all choked up too - that's just wrong.

We're being played on Celtic Music News Podcast #35 this week, that's pretty cool - I wonder how they heard about us?

Nominations for the 2005 SSA Awards have been announced and voting is now open!

Mohave received nominations in 22 categories including Song of the Year, Band of the Year, Most Unique Style of the Year (after taking home the trophy last year in this category) and Recording Artist of the Year! To everyone who nominated us, Y'ALL RAWK! The awards presentation will be held on October 8th at the Deland Original Music Festival.

We're still waiting on the CDs to return from duplication; I know. We're sucking our teeth and getting a little agitated too. Called down to Total Tape Services today and spoke with the head of the company - who said that they should be shipping today, so keep your fingers crossed that they'll be here. Before the next show.

J.D. alluded to some drama in his recent blog post and there has been some friction of late; no doubt in part generated by my newly discovered drugless state. But our circle of love is strong when we're playing the music and all always seems and feels and is well when we're there.