Man, this music journey has just been such a fantastic trip! The Universe has so much to offer...
If you've been checking out my show schedule, you'll see a mix of different types of performance dates on there. I will continue to do the Electrified Acoustic Loops and Jams, performing as a solo musician with looper to create the "one man band" experience. These shows contain a selection of original music as well as a nicely curated list of off-the-beaten-path (yet familiar) cover songs. From Blondie to Michael Jackson to Beck to Gorillaz, a little different than you'll usually find in a typical singer-songwriter set.
One of the opportunities that has sprouted from my emphasis on live looping is participation in a monthly series at Mr Smalls that showcases musicians using technology to create a larger sonic soundscape. Live Loop Music Night happens the last Wednesday of every month currently, and so far I have participated in two of these events, one of which also served as a bookend for the One Human Band international festival, hosting loop artists from around the world right here in Pittsburgh! This festival was the first of what will become an annual event as we continue to build the looping/music technology community through the sponsoring organization known as PHILLTER. The second time I performed at the monthly event, I took on hosting duties and will continue to host about half of these throughout the year. I've got my sights set on a few artists both locally and nationally to come be a part of these events, so keep an eye on my calendar for future lineups.
Aside from solo performances, I've teamed up with my good friend Dave Hamilton to form the band Brother From Another Mother. We are both songwriters and started out as an acoustic duo, bringing some of our individual creations to new life through collaborative jams as well as writing new material. And the written song is just our launch pad, as we embrace the improvisation, we find just about every song's performance to be a little different than the last. Since last spring we have played over 25 shows together, grabbing a drummer and/or bass player from time to time to join us (big thanks to Sam Hogan from Stationary Pebbles for stepping to the plate on drums many times over the past year, as well as to Dustin Becker and Brandon Walsh for taking on bass duty). We have now gotten a pair of enthusiastic and dedicated rhythm monsters in Dave Resto (drums) and Brian McStay (bass). Last week we had a fantastic time at Arsenal Cider @ Soergel's, and we will be rocking the Double Wide Grill in Mars, Zelie on Tap at Zelie park, and J Hick's on the Square in Mercer in the coming months. Also check out some of our live recordings on bfam.bandcamp.com, and look for a studio release in the coming months!
I also do fill-in work for the acoustic rock trio Right Turn Clyde. These guys keep pretty busy playing all over Pittsburgh, so I take on vocal and lead guitar duties whenever their regular guy can't make it, usually about once a month. Their shows are a blast, stop by when you can!
Off the stage, I've been working my skills as a live sound engineer, and have had the privilege of running sound at James Street Gastropub and also for the Calliope Folk Music Society's concert series at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. I started out just building my rig for my own shows, and really dug in to continuing to perfect the art of sounding good live. From there it sort of took off with requests to do parties, other shows for friends' bands, and such. Next thing I knew I was jumping in with both feet, and I have a really fun time doing it - and I find it easy to talk to the performers about their needs, knowing exactly what it's like to be in their shoes. Just about every show ends with high fives from them, and I've had national acts tell me it's the best sound they've had on their tour! I'm always looking to expand on what I know, so this winter I'm going to hunker down and dive into some home recording as well as curate some of the great live recordings I've captured this past year.
What. A. Ride. From the music festivals to the bars and restaurants to the backyards to the back of the sound board, I am enjoying every minute! And I wouldn't be able to do any of it if I didn't have people like you who love to listen! So THANK YOU to each and every one of you for showing up, showing love, and loving shows! I'll see you out there!