This month started out with a wave of gigs with Bow and Patrick. Our acoustic trio had a short set at the Chandler Music Hall, in between some great music by The Perfect Trainwreck band and Jimmy Ryan and Tim Gearan of Boston. The show raised a bunch of money for the Chandler renovation campaign, which is now well on it's way. It was also a reunion for me and Jimmy, whom I hadn't seen for almost 25 years since we both lived in Burlington VT. Both funny and poignant to touch back on that time.
The next weekend Friday night we settled into our corner of Seasoned Books in Rochester VT amidst the warm hospitality and played a longer show. It was standing room only between the isles of used books and walls of framed and signed poems by well known poets - I've made a mental note to go back and spend more time browsing real soon. My ride back to Chelsea late that night over Bethel Mountain Road with my travel box of vegetarian treats from Sandy helped smooth out those frost heaves.
Then our CD release party at Langdon Street cafe on Saturday night Feb 6. Thanks to my friends who came down to celebrate a year of hard work and adventure creating Bow Thayer's newest disk: "Shooting Arrows at the Moon". In addition to Patrick Ross and his fiddle again making the trek over from Groveton NH to play, we were joined by Doug Perkins on acoustic guitar. Doug also helped us set up and run the (new) sound system at Langdon Street - for once I did not have the stress of being the only techie on the scene.
Also went up to the Black Door in Montpelier Feb 13 to try out a new rack of remote recording gear utilizing the M-version of Pro Tools and an Avid interface - which gives me the capability of running over 16 separate live tracks of audio. The musicians were my friends Doug Perkins and mandolinist Jamie Masefield; they allowed me to experiment on them and we got some fine recordings. As usual, doing something like this creates more questions than answers because the challenges demand constant analysis of one's methods and gear. Next gear acquisition: a rack mount mic splitter. (We have a wood splitter that runs on tractor power at home and so the question is: will this mic splitter be man enough to do it's job without a PTO?)
On the "Oh-god-I-have-to-do-it-again" front, a certain track on the upcoming collaboration album with pianist Philip Aaberg is throwing me for a loop and I'm on the umpteenth redo of a guitar part that just won't sit down into the mix. In the end, we'll probably be blending the sounds of a vintage hollow body Guild guitar with my Martin D-28. If I don't expire before I get it right.
I'll also be working on a guitar part for Susannah Blachly's new CD and a mandolin part for Mary McGinniss's next disk this week. Will there be any time for cavorting in the snow?