Our regular drummer for my weekday gig is on vacation, so we’re using a sub until Thursday. We’ve used this guy once before and he did a pretty good job. It seems he doesn’t know a lot of the songs that we do, though, which is always surprising to me since we’re playing tunes that are fairly common. It seems like it’s going to be a slow week again as we only did three sets last night. I’m subbing on Thursday as well which might be better with a Saints pre-season game in town, but things won’t really turn around in the quarter until the regular football season starts.

In other news, I just hit 50,000 Likes on Cover Band Central today! I’m slowly putting together the ideas for the website and hope to have it launched this fall.

Still feeling a bit out-of-sorts, but definitely better than I’ve been feeling the past few days.

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Played a wedding last night at the super swanky Roosevelt Hotel in the heart of New Orleans. It was a large gathering for the young couple’s celebration. The band was in good form and had fun. We played a handful of new songs which all sounded the best they have so far…which was aided by an additional saxophone player. The sound issues seem to be much better with an even mix on stage. Good gig, Back to The Swamp tonight.

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It’s not always sunny

After two days off, I played a casino with my weekend band last night. As much as I love playing music for a living, sometimes I’m just not at my best. I was in a terrible mood going in, and with sound issues at sound check and during the first set my negativity was was fed. I blew up at my good friend and guitar player as soon as we went on our first break. I feel bad for losing my temper and I apologized right away to him and the band, and our singer assured me that these issues would be addressed. The night actually went by quickly, The gig went as well as it could have, but I wasn’t really into it all night and was happy when it was over. I talked to my guitar player on the phone afterwards and we ironed things out. I still feel down, but we’re playing a wedding tonight and I’m going to try to go in with a better attitude.

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Meh

Not too much to say about last night. The air conditioner wasn’t working so it was sweltering hot in the club. Fortunately our singer Damon dragged the big fan (pictured)fan into the room to face the stage providing a little bit of relief. We only did three sets with our now standard two 15-minute breaks. I also hit a ginormous pothole on the way home which took out my front passenger side tire. Having only an inadequate jack I had to call Triple A to swap it out with my donut. It took the driver over 90 minutes to arrive – surprising for a major city – but it was late at night so I guess I can give them a pass.

Off tonight and tomorrow. Not feeling terribly motivated right now but that could change as the night progresses.

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Break time

When I was thinking about writing a daily blog about my gigging experiences, I figured I’d write as soon as I got home while the night is fresh. Turns out I think better the next day.

Last night we ran sets in a similar fashion to Sunday. Our new manager at The Swamp is much more involved in our success (and success of the club) than previous managers. He’s good at reading the room and the street and really wants us to get the most out of the night. It’s quite refreshing.

So we ran one set and then broke again, but the big difference is we’re now taking 15 minute breaks as opposed to the standard 30 minutes. This works well for us and the pace of the night. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time to get anything done. We ran one more single set and broke again and then came back and did a double, giving us four sets for the night.

The band was again in great form and we had a lot of fun. The fact that we all get along on and off stage makes the job effortless. Back again tonight with the same lineup, hoping for at least another four set night. 🙂

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What is feel?

I’m trying to wrap my head around what worked last night. We were playing to a nearly empty room for the first two sets and then part of the third set, but then something changed. The vibe changed. The feel changed. Why?

There are a number of elements that I can definitely say contributed; song selection, crowd interaction, the band having fun on stage, a hands-on manager etc., but sometimes those same elements are in place yet they don’t yield the same results. What did we do right?

The best way to describe the experience is that we created a vibe in the room that was palpable. It’s the feeling of magic that inspires me and countless other musicians to keep playing. But how do you create it? Can feel be manufactured?

I’m asking myself this question because the issue was recently brought up at a different band’s meeting. We need to have better feel. So how do we go about securing better feel?

My answer would be to first have all of basic fundamentals in place (know the song well, ensure your instrument sounds good, be comfortable playing with the other members) to at least provide the template for something as intangible as feel to manifest. But that’s just the basics.

There was a point last night where the room was empty and I stood right beside my drummer, closed my eyes and just dug into how good my bass sounded and how much I was enjoying playing the song. I pictured a packed room with my eyes shut and most importantly – felt the joy of playing and the thrill of a large, appreciative crowd, even though there was nobody in the club. That’s some law of attraction shit for ya.

So maybe overall feel comes from individual feel coalescing. Or maybe it can just start with one person and become so overflowing that the others players can’t help but notice. I’ll see if I can explore this further tonight.

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Ya Never Know

Late August is a slow time in the Quarter every year. We played one set tonight and broke, than played another set and broke again. We expected to do only one more set, but things turned around gradually thanks to good song selection and high energy on stage. We ended up doing a triple after the second break giving us five sets for the night. Tia looked great and the band was in good form. Nights like this remind me that anything is possible.

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Time to get serious.

It’s been too long since I’ve updated this site…so…I’ve updated this site! You can now check out the Calendar for my current schedule, or click on Videos to view a few new posts.

For the last three years, I’ve been playing full-time on Bourbon Street and all over the Gulf Coast with several different bands, including my latest gig with No Idea, one of the coast’s premiere wedding and party bands.

I also launched Cover Band Central which now has nearly 50,000 “Likes” and continues to grow every day. This Page is my baby, and I have huge plans for the near future.

I’ve finally decided to go ahead and do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ll be writing blog posts for every gig – for a couple of reasons. First, I really want a record of all of this craziness that I experience. I’ve played over 1,000 gigs since I’ve moved to New Orleans, and most of them are just a memory.

Second, I’d like to get you to know me a little better. There are a lot of things that go through my mind about this business, and every gig is different.

So check back often. I’m dedicated to this now. Time to get serious.

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Back in the Crescent City

It’s been a long, challenging time for the last 8 months without a full-time gig. I’ve had some difficult obstacles and have had to work hard at staying afloat. I’ve still been playing with some great bands and have made some fantastic new friends. But up until now, I haven’t had any full-time work.

However, I can now officially announce that I will be back playing in New Orleans on Bourbon Street five nights a week. It’s two seperate gigs…with the news of each coming in the last two consecutive days.

Every Monday and Tuesday night, I’ll be playing with Rockbox at Krazy Korner (640 Bourbon Street) starting at 8:00. These boys know how to rock! I’ve done several fill-in gigs with this band – both at Krazy Korner and Fat Catz – and always have a blast. Going into fall and football season, this will be a great gig.

I’ll also be reuniting with Roxshow and playing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at Voodoo Vibe (333 Bourbon Street). This band gets knocked down but we never go away. I’m very much looking forward to playing again with my friends and former bandmates, in addition to new Roxshow drummer, the immensely talented Eric Bolivar.

While I’m stoked to be working again, the news is a little bittersweet as I’ll have to say goodbye to Mobile for now. I will still be honoring the shows that I have booked with my friends in Britches McGee through August and culminating on September 1st (I’ll have a sub cover my shift in Nola for those nights.) This, my friends, is the band to watch out for on the Gulf Coast.

In other news…

I’ve been doing some writing on HubPages, and gotten some pretty good feedback. I plan on continuing with the theme that I have started with my articles, and hope to compile a healthy catalog of music/band related Hubs. One of the more successful Hubs that I’ve written is called 14 Tips on How to Be Successful as a Musician in a Working Band. I’m happy to share this info with everyone, and proud to say that I’m living proof that it clearly works.

Steve \m/

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Summertime…and the living is easy

I’ve updated the Calendar page with a ton of new upcoming dates – leading all the way to December of this year. If you’ve been here before, you’ll also notice that I’ve spruced up the site a bit. It’s taken a lot of work, trial and error, but I think it’s starting to look sharp.

I’ve been playing lately with a great, young band from Mobile called Britches McGee. These guys are probably the most exciting group that I’ve played with in a while, and they’re starting to take the Gulf Coast by storm. Check them out on Facebook, and look for me sharing the stage with these guys for a good while.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to click the “Like” button over on the top left.

~ Steve \m/

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