Saturday, July 6, 2013

Phoning it In

So, a guy I haven't seen in about a year called me to ask if I'd play a block party in Poway.  That was today--Sat 7-6.  Or 6-7 if you are foreign.

He's a good guitar player/singer, and has a mandolin player that is a cut above the norm for mandolin player I've seen around.  But they play the kind of songs which do not have the most predictable of patterns, and I guess they draw only from the list of tunes I've never played.  Many of them I've never heard.

This was a good size neighborhood block party.  We were the first group, then they had another, more plugged in band.  I waited around a bit to see if maybe it would be a sit-in opportunity but decided it wasn't.

We played an hour and a half, and never once played anything that I knew or anything real loose.  It was a challenge but I think I filled some space, keeping the sense of what was going on.  The mandolin guy is a good person to play with.  That communication is there, and he's a versatile player.

I guess it went OK.  I hit the end of the regular saturday open mic/jam, which was at a new venue.  It was OK.  Mostly I just tried to go somewhere I wasn't.  Never works but it helps, maybe.

The most exciting thing was that I wasn't expecting to play because I was way late and not on the list.  They put me on anyway and when they were telling me to come up I didn't realize the case was unlatched. Twenty two harmonicas all over the floor.  I do have two C harps in the case, so there are actually only twenty one unique harps.  Several minor key tunings.

That was the excitement even though I think I did well in Poway.  Probably I am a little less enthused playing thing I would not choose for me if I could be doing whatever music I like best.  And I'm not sure what it is I'm after.

Maybe I'll cross paths with a drummer I met who seems conversant with world and caribbean influences.  I like a lot of that foreign stuff, even if some of them foreigners don't speak English.  I had a discussion with that guy and something could come of it.  In the world of musicians I encounter, though, it never pays to assume the outcome of anything, regardless what is said.

Musicians who don't have to wear a tux to play are generally unreliable, moody, and subject to odd behavior.  That is most likely why some people think I'm a musician---I have all the character trappings, even if my musical ability has fairly severe limits.  And I'm the guy who never attempts to put on "the look", and frankly am put off by those who do.   They look like musicians and I am squirrelly like one.

Then there are actual real deal musicians and I can't say more about that.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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