Monday, October 31, 2005

Playing, Writing, Planning

Been working in D-D-a-d tuning, which is different.

A snippet of song lyric from the 29th:

Well, I'm heading out west
just a little depressed
have some things I want to get off my chest
gonna do it on the road

I need to clear my senses
and take a little ride
let the beauty of America
cleanse the pain I feel

well the mountains were tall and the ocean was wide
but the Santa Ana winds left me cold
when it came time to move along
a voice offered these words of gold

if you can't find what you're looking for here
then you probably don't know what you're looking for

© 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Me and Joline

Originally uploaded by dreadmon.
We sat around for a while today and explored some different textures. In the Dulcimer 2000 book that Ken laid on me, the first tune is in D-A-A#-D - a very minor and discordant tuning that's better suited for fingerpicking than open-strumming. Still, the darkness of the notes and a set up that allowed me to lock in bright major thirds on the bass and treble strings made for a fair ramble through emotional territory.

Then, I tuned her down to D-A-A and went off. Jigs, shanties, classical, the rhythmic chordal stuff that I really love getting into because it's like melodic percussion. You're hitting rhythms and you're hitting this minimalist series of notes, like The Edge of U2.

It was a good day for caressing Joline - she's got a bad bracing inside somewhere, knocked loose on one of those "oops, didn't see ya there" kind of falls, now she buzzes at certain frequencies, but that's just a little something in her personality that I've learned to live with.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Song idea - recorded Friday night. No words yet - but they'll come soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Show Cancelled

Our Miami shows are cancelled - thanks to Wilma. Thanks for nothing! But in the local area here you can still catch Mohave on Brighthouse Channel 98 at 11 pm on Friday, October 21st. The Livewire episode will debut just after midnight tonight at 3 am.

To everyone staring down the barrel of yet another hurricane, we pray that she slows down and chills out - please be safe out there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Here We Go Again....

We are the rainmakers, bringers of rain. Cripes. From the looks of things, our two Miami shows this weekend are being threatened by Hurricane Wilma (I don't care how big a wind it's packing, there's just something so very un-scary about a hurricane named Wilma) and we're set to make a call on whether we're going or not by tomorrow night.

I'm really glad that I decided to cancel our trip to Key West, because we would've had to start traveling down that way right about the time that Wilma is knocking on all the doors down there. Again, I pray that everybody will be okay - we sure know the drill here in Florida by now - and all I can say is BRING ON THE END OF HURRICANE SEASON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

More news to come...

Monday, October 17, 2005

A rockin' day and night

And we were up late watching video from last night's show at Hard Rock - then slept in a bit today in preparation for the trip out to Flagler Beach for tonight's show. (well, officially last night's show, since it's morning time now. Oy.)

It was a quick trip, 90 minutes or so. Did the radio interview with Uncle Mike from WHOG 95.7 FM in Daytona, which went smoothly over the cel phone, though I wish the whole band had been there. We were supposed to do the interview yesterday, and right about the time we would have received the phone call, all of us would've been present. Sa la vie, I squeezed as much into the bit as I could - and from what I can gather via those who heard it, it came out great - we'll have some tidbits up on the website and blogs once we encode the copy. Uncle Mike was very cool and said he'd be down at Finnegan's Beachside for the show.

We had a nice dinner at the Flagler Beach pier, in a cool restaurant with windows overlooking the pounding surf - then made our way back over to the club to set up. Fred, the sound guy, showed up about fifteen minutes before our start time and we had done a little microphone placement and sound checking before then. The vibe from the club was telling us "rock it out" and being that WHOG is a classic rock station, it was sort of a no-brainer to cut up the edge a bit. Fred said not to mic my amp cabinet, which is the first time I've ever done that - so I had to cut way up on volume to fill the room - but we were going for "rock out" - so everything about the set was pretty aggro - we opened with "Flip Side" and ended with the Ryan and Stacia trilogy, where I got out and danced with a lady during the break in "Caught."

The band was phenomenal - everyone adapted once again to our environment and the crowd was really very encouraging. Sold a couple of CDs afterwards, and Crystal, one of the managers on-duty definitely wanted us to come back and play again on the upstairs stage, which was a sweet thing to hear. We also met another guy named Caesar who wants to book us in Daytona and St. Augustine - and Pete and Lynn, who we gave a CD to, because they requested something that they could play for all the bars that they know. Pete is a bass player and a sound/light engineer - so given that the band has allocated a number of CDs for that kind of promotion, it was a no-brainer again to give them one. Jannette drove from Orlando to see the band, proving beyond all shadow of a doubt that she's one of the band's truly devoted extended tribe members. How can I explain just how dear it is to us that someone would drive 90 minutes to come to a show? That's incredible - and we're glad to have spent time with her last night at Hard Rock Live and tonight (last night, there's that looking at the clock goin' "ohhhh's early") in Flagler. Many props to you Jannette!

And now, at 2:42 a.m. - I'm going to get a head-start on my Monday work, because nothing would please me more than getting caught up on business so that I could record a new demo tune this week. That's the goal. Much love and thanks to everyone who came out to Hard Rock and to Finnegan's Beachside - huge thanks to Uncle Mike and WHOG - it was nice meeting him after the interview - special props to Dan and his band Stemm Cell - also the Flying Popes that went on last - the bar was wonderful, the people incredible - we're just super-blessed to have these kinds of gigs - and I can't wait until next week when we hit Miami for the weekend. Six hours of music-playing stretched out over two days. Sweet! These little 45 minute sets are just a tease compared to being able to stretch your legs out over a three hour block of time. That's when we really get to have some serious fun.

Peace and unity, y'all - be thinking about November 11th - reserve that time, drink tickets are ready, we're going to pick them up tomorrow. We'll send them to you! It'll still be five dollars to get in, but with these tickets, you'll get a free drink when you get inside - which means that they're basically free tickets! (Given the price of drinks these days.)

But for now - g'night and God bless!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


If you get the reference in the title line, then you know what's to follow. Sort of.

Just got back from the Hard Rock Live show and I've got to say that we had a blast. As a band. This was a step-above from the last HRL show, and I wish Vision TV had taped this show and not the last show, but that's what we tend to do - we get better, and don't really go backwards. It was a comfortable night, comfortable on that stage with our material, and everyone felt it. Yesterday, Bunky called me with a provocative question: "what are you wearing?" Actually she wanted to know what the band was wearing, but she played it like Bunky does - fresh as a morning muffin. Anyway, I thought of the angels wings that she had sewn and rigged for our now-cancelled Key West Trip, so I thought that wearing the wings at Hard Rock, during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal out there would be a sort of pre-Halloween bit of fun. We had discovered at last week's Deland festival that wearing a solid unified color really worked well for our stage show. So that, plus wings would definitely set a surreal tone.

We're the band that makes you think "what the hell?" We're comfortable with that.

I tugged my rig down to the dressing rooms after we loaded in, wanting to dial in my tone for the night and not try to do it on the fly after the first band was done. The wings were a subject of brief discussion, from trying to figure out how they would work without getting in our way in technical fashion - to comments about how they would stylistically either be cool or dorky (I'm cool with dorky - and it covers all the bases.) In the end, we all ended up wearing them, though Randy couldn't get his set to agree with the outfit he was wearing (logistically, pinching, chafing and otherwise crowding of digits and limbs would be a no-no for a costume.)

It all worked out to great effect, having just watched the video. It was a brilliant addition to the show, thanks Bunky!

The set went great - I tried to find the balance between leaping-about for show, and applying restraint and technique to the deliverance of music - a happy balance. Everyone delivered magnificently - John adds so much in his delivery, answer-backs and leads that identify our tunes - as I said during the show, Randy is M.V.P., providing more than he seems to be - Bunky is a dynamo, J.D. deserves his new title and laid out incredible rhythms. I escaped unscatched - I'm happy with the progress I've made vocally, and also presentation-wise. Goddamn being a late-bloomer, but it's interesting to see how I'm trying to catch up.

The vocals on "Positive Vibes" were insanely good - we moved at a good pace - and it's always great hanging with the HRL crew, especially my old friend Bob and Megaphone guitarist Paul Smith. It's a small circle, Orlando - but full of interesting and talented people. Tomorrow, we head out to Flagler Beach for a show - and WHOG will be interviewing us for the 8pm show. I don't have particulars here - I'm still coming down from the dang show, and can't find *&@%#%$^! So, more tomorrow - until then, peace, love and beautiful energy to everyone who came out, bought a CD and hung out with us for the set. We missed those who weren't there, and hope to see you at the November 11th powwow at AKA Lounge. We're already providing rides to people who don't have cars to get there. Let us know if you need a way there! It'll be a great event for everyone, and we hope that connections will be made between many different tribes that night.

And on that note - to the pillow, Marcus! Talk to y'all soon!



Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Sweet Day

We knew it was going to be a long and exciting day, we just didn't know how long and how exciting. Our first set at the Deland Original Music Festival was scheduled for 2 pm, but got pushed back a bit due to a late start. No worries - we're always flexible when it comes to festival shows - and we knocked out four songs before our set was cut short, due to either weather (it was starting to rain) or a desire to catch up the schedule. We knew we had another slot later in the evening to lay out some of our material - so we packed up our gear and hung about until the awards ceremony at 7 pm.

snackdaddy took the first award for "Best Video", which stoked me - since I directed it! The guys like to give me a lot of credit for the video, but without them, there would've been no music, no inspiration, no palette to work with. They were the divine guidance and I'm terribly happy for them!

Not long after the announcement, stage power went out, then after a short while, it returned and the award for "Drummer of the Year" went to our very own J.D. Fosse! He was very stoked, pumping his arms in the air and giving Erica a kiss before heading off to collect the award, a very slick black music note on a wooden base. I believe he totally deserved the award - he energized Mohave upon joining in October of last year, so he's certainly made a difference in this band. It was a nice anniversary gift, I think. (His first show with us last year was the Deland Original Music Festival.)

We were finalists in ten categories, and they whipped by us one by one, so I began to think that maybe one award for the Mohave crew would be the end sum - and I was fine with that. Regardless of whatever notices we might have gotten, ultimately the proof is in the music that we take on the road with us.

And then we were announced as recipients of the "2005 Band Of The Year" award and my mouth dropped open. Given that it's a people's choice award, the effect was very humbling, yet mixed among the "oh my God's" and "unbelievable's" was a fair amount of celebration as the band walked up to the stage as a unit and paused for the cameras.

Our second set was longer and slightly more satisfying, rounding out to about 45 minutes and ending the evening for some of us, while others (well, Jae and I) continued to trek around the festival. We ended up at the Artisan Inn, hanging with funkUs as they brought the party on, and I joined them on-stage a couple of times to sing some blues along with June Watts, the widow of Noble "Thin Man" Watts.

A couple of folks I met through the day had commented that they saw me playing dulcimer and wanted to get back into the instrument, which warms my heart more than getting any kind of award. The mountain dulcimer is such a great instrument, I think everyone should have one. So when people get inspired to follow-through, I feel like my work's properly been done.

It was a beautiful day and evening - always a little like a high school reunion, seeing old friends from old and current circles - partying on and hearing great music. We sold some CDs and passed out tickets for next week's show at Hard Rock Live. By the time we got home, it was something like 4 pm, lord have mercy!

But well worth every minute.