Sunday, April 15, 2007

Woodie Alan update

Been busy with Woodie Alan. We played at a party Friday night, adding bass and percussion for our first quintet performance. It was cool. The bass picked things up pretty well, though it was mostly a live rehearsal. The percussionist was a Mexican guy who was a little annoying at times but really good on a few songs. I think I’ll keep the bass guy and move on from the percussionist.

Next week, we play at the stone Boat, a great bar downtown in Ritan Park. So this is moving forward and I hope it stays fun. Being the bandleader and calling everyone, juggling schedules, etc is not the fun part. I brought my Epi 335 and amp and plugged n for a few songs the others night and it was fun to play some electric guitar, which is a whole other ball of wax.

The Friday gig was pretty classic. We needed a PA. Woodie found and rented one and they showed up with this huge 24-channel board and four giant speakers. We could have played an arena. The PA guys also brought four sound men/hangers on plus a floozy girlfriend with her own lawn chair. They all smoked cigarettes and looked bored for hours.

We paused for dinner, which Dave and I sat and joined as guests. Woodie, the other two musicians and the myriad sound guys, along with a couple of friends who appeared, were hanging in this little alcove. They didn't get any food until someone noticed late and sent some over. They drank and drank and when we finally went back on stage, they were all pretty ripped. They played fine, just a little rambunctious.

Woodie kept yelling from behind me, “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” which I hadn’t put on the setlist. So I started playing it, and Wood played the harmonica intro and solo he usually does, then jumped up and started singing, full belt into his harmonica mike and stumbling around the stage. Chinese people can’t hold their liquor. It was funny.

We played until we were forced to stop by neighbor complaints – remember that giant PA, and it was a courtyard restaurant in an old hutong.

Anyhow, any time we play a gig worth mentioning, I will do so.