WMNF Live Music Showcase

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This Friday, we were on WMNF-FM 88.5 Tampa radio for their live music showcase. When we were on the show last year, one of our band members couldn’t make the show so we had about a day to scramble and get a set list together. This time, we were ready.

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WMNF’s cable wall. There are a lot of cables there!

This is the first radio show with our new bass player, and it was being filmed for the station’s YouTube channel as well as for live streaming video.

The show went well, and was a nice and relaxed interview and performance, as we know many people at the station. This was to promote a show later in the day at Tampa’s Skipper’s Smokehouse, which is a blues hotspot on the West Coast of Florida. We tend to get lumped in a lot with blues shows and festivals (jazz, too), but those descriptions are not quite accurate.

The gear in the cases before the show.

The gear in the cases before the show.

Waiting for soundcheck.

Waiting for soundcheck.

The gear I used was my Ernie Ball Silhouette Special, a Fractal AX8 amp modeler (direct in stereo) and an Ebow. Not a lot to carry, which I really like.

The 2 guitars used for the show. I only used the blue one. Note the Ebow.

The 2 guitars used for the show. I only used the blue one. Note the Ebow.

The Fractal Ax8, setlist, and WMNF's tangle of cables.

The Fractal Ax8, setlist, and WMNF’s tangle of cables.

The show later that night went well, and the Fractal AX8 sounded positively massive through the monitors on stage. We went ampless again, which I really like. I can control the stage volume much better, and my ears don’t ring for days. I also don’t have to lift heavy amps anymore.

On the road to the gig!

On the road to the gig!

Looking out from backstage.

Looking out from backstage.

My view looking down at the gig.

My view looking down at soundcheck. 

 

 

 


That time I was in Guitar Player…

Well, the first time, anyway. I was the last person to appear in Mike Varney’s Spotlight column, which was the springboard for many great players. I grew up reading Guitar Player, over all of the other guitar magazines. When I was young, an older friend gave me a stack of issues from the 70s and early 80s. Those were some  great sources of info. I learned a lot of music, and about a lot of guitarists I never would have known about (and no other magazines were covering). There were some really in-depth interviews, in a way that modern music journalism simply doesn’t do anymore. So the first time in the magazine was sort of a big deal for me. Here is the article.

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The Current Rig (2016)

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I realized I don’t have many gear pics on this new site (though the old one was filled with them). I am going to concentrate more on what I use now, although if I am asked about what I used to use, I will certainly answer.

This article revolves around what I use for Julie Black as I will cover my acoustic rig and my guitar/looping rig as I get this site up to speed. This year, I have really made the move to working ampless, which is remarkable when you consider that most blues and jazz guitarists (the genres were are thrown in) are some of the most traditional in their gear choices. My decision has to do with the advances in technology, monitoring, and the fact my is that I need to protect my hearing and my back. I don’t miss carrying an amp around, and honestly I have never heard better on stage. But let’s start with the guitar:

Music Man Silhouette Special

My #1

My #1

This is my favorite guitar, and the one I use at almost all Julie Black shows. The most interesting thing about it is that it has  scalloped neck (see the title pic). The reason I love this was written about in another article I wrote for Seymour Duncan. Basically, it allows a really light touch with the left hand with very little tension. The pickups are a Custom Custom in the bridge, and an Alnico II Pro in the neck. The 5 way switch has interesting wiring, which I also did an article about. I will eventually do another article about it.

#2

#2

This is the 2nd guitar I bring to every gig. It is a USA-made Music Man SUB1, with a textured flip-floppy paint color called Cinnamon. It is made of poplar, and is a little heavier than the other Music Man, and has a very mid-focused sound. The pickups are a Jazz and Custom 5- both scoopy-sounding pickups to make up for the tone of the wood. The volume control has a hidden Fender S-1 switch that splits the coils of both pickups.

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From the guitars, the signal goes to the Fractal AX8 Amp Modeler. It is a wonderful device which contains the amp models as well as the effects & looper. Currently, my 2 favorte modes in it are the Friedman Dirty Shirley, and the Fender Twin. The board is a Pedaltrain Fly, which is fairly rare (the soft case is amazing). I control the effects with a sadly discontinued Mission SP-2 pedal.

The signal goes (in stereo) to the PA system. I monitor with IEMs (in-ear monitors), which protect my hearing and block out the sound from the main PA or other monitors or speakers on stage. I get my own mix, and have my own volume control. To me, it sounds like listening to a CD. It is the best sound I’ve ever had on stage.

 


SoLocalPasco Podcast

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SoLocalPasco is a podcast in the Pasco County area focusing on the arts, culture, politics, and general news in the area. When print and broadcast media fails us, things like podcasts and Twitter take over. Greg Smithwick does an amazing job covering our area, and he understands how to ask the good questions. Here is an appearance on his show recorded last week, and airing today. Listen to Another Season of Heartbreak in this video.

You can also listen to the whole interview here, which includes the song Love Grande as well. This song is available on Julie’s 3rd CD, Follow the Muse.