Turning It Up A Notch 4757

Kim played like a man possessed on the second day of rehearsal, and it is clear that he understands what is at stake. After spending twenty years playing with a beach band who rehashed the same song set countless times, my brother now has to learn another song list that is vastly different from what he did for two decades. “I spent all week going over these songs and trying to get a handle on them, but damn, Scragg, some of this stuff is brutal,” he pleaded. “Just learn them,” I replied. “I’m trying.” “Try harder.” “I’m good, Scragg.” “Good, that’s what I want to hear.”

Blake arrived back at the farm with the girls, and I then prepared dinner. I fixed tuna sandwiches with cheese and avocado, which didn’t sound all that appetizing to me, but Blake found the recipe online and wanted to give it a try. To my surprise, it was good and healthy to boot. Kim, who also was wary of the sandwich, said that it was delicious. Rory, who is always up for a free meal, said it was tasty. Blake and the girls loved it, especially Caroline, who reminded me that I still need to watch what I eat. “Please, I get that enough,” I replied. “And you’re going to get more of it,” she fired back. “Yeah, Scragg, you need to stop eating road kill,” my brother chimed in. “You’re right, that’s your staple,” I countered, which pissed Kim off. “I knew you’d come back with that after I said it,” he replied.

Robin and Farley then stopped by the house and asked if we wanted to listen to the new Cool Daddy-O album, which made Blake wince. Since it was Robin doing the asking, I told her to put the CD in the player and then get a sandwich. A few seconds later, the sound of crunching guitars, thundering drums, and pounding bass came blaring through the speakers. Blake gave me a look of horror as “Hell from the River” played with full throttle fury. “Broken Toys” “Avalanche” “Left for Dead” “Call of the Mild” “Murder of the Mind” “Offal” “Con in a Three-Piece Suit” “Out There” and “No Hand to Play” provided no respite from the sonic onslaught that left Blake rattled. “Man, you guys, cut loose, but that’s good. I can see Blake and her ilk flocking to your shows,” Rory said. Farley laughed and said that this album probably wouldn’t expand his female fan base. “What female fan base,” I asked. “Well, I don’t expect to see any more than usual at my shows,” my son-in-law clarified. “So the same two or three will still be there?” “Daddy!” “All kidding aside, it’s a grat rocking album that’ll be a hit in concert. Good job, Farley,” I said. Kim and Rory said the same. Caroline praised the band’s unrelenting attack and superior musicianship.

Blake just sat motionless not knowing what to say.

“Come on, Blake, you’re going to be at some of Farley’s shows with your jeans, tee-shirt, and tough girl attitude,” Rory joked. Blake gave me a mortified look that was hilarious. “Oh yeah, the Phillip Agee Band will be joining us on the next tour. They’re recording their album and from what I heard so far, it rocks,” Farley said before pulling up a video of Phillip and the guys playing in a bar in Ohio. “Listen to them,” my son-in-law said in an excited tone. The blistering guitar was awesome, but it grated my wife’s nerves, and I thought she might lose it.

Blake will never be a rocker.

After they had eaten, Robina and Farley went to their house. Blake looked at me and said that Cool Daddy-O get more obnoxious with each album. “Sweetie, it’snot your thing,” I replied. “Elmer, they’re loud.” “Yes.” “I can’t wait to see them live,” I replied. “Elmer, leave me out of that.” “No, they’re family, Sweetie, so we have to go.” “Elmer!”

My nephew and son-in-law have turned it up a notch–and I love it.

 

 

 

Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Becoming An Old Pro 4756

“I’m not going to be seen again with those two imbeciles,” Blake announced as we stepped inside the house. “Their behavior isn’t just ignorant, it’s a mental pathology that requires treatment, preferably the kind where they’re involuntarily committed,” she added. “Daddy, that was awful,” Paige added. “Yes, I must admit that they were in rare form today.” “They’re disgusting, and they act like something out of a hillbilly horror movie. Elise couldn’t look trashier if she tried and Jackie is beyond absurd. I can’t tolerate their ridiculous clothes, goofy faces, and barbaric table manners, but the sexual jokes and comments are too much. There were children present, but they could have cared less. I feel sorry for their child,” Blake added. “Elise admitted that she was lusting after Cary,” Robin said. “That was unbelievable,” Maire added. “They’re shameless trash,” my wife hollered. “At least they found each other,” I said. “Good God, I need to take a shower to get the filth off me,” Blake snarled.

Kim and I were chatting outside when I got a call from Caroline, who was waiting at the airport. “You decided to fly,” I asked. “Yes, the bus is being used by another band, so we flew out of Dallas this morning,” she replied. “I’ll be there shortly,” I told Blake, and she said that we could also pick up the girls from school. Kim and I headed to the airport, which made the day a great one.

Caroline smiled when she saw us and then gave us a big hug. We carried her bags to the van, and then we headed out of the airport. “My God, Daddy, I’m glad that is over,” my daughter said. “I know, but it was a smashing success,” I replied. “And I’m grateful, but I’m still happy it’s over.” “You and your band get along?” “Oh yeah, they’re great.” “Where are they?” “E. Jr. picked them up. I told him that I would get a ride from you. They’re also tired, but they’re already looking forward to the west coast swing in a little over a month. I feel old,” Caroline then said. I laughed and told her she’d recover.

We picked up Gio and Rayne, who jumped in their mother’s arms and when we arrived at the house, Caroline’s sister’s greeted her with big hugs. As the ladies chatted, I noticed that Caroline had lost a little weight, which isn’t unusual on tour. Paige also noticed that and asked her if she ate enough on the road. “Not really, but I’m starving now,” Caroline replied. “I’ll start supper,” I replied.

At supper, Caroline told about some of the bands she ran across on the road. “Unfortunately, some of them are heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol, which scared all of us. Poor Lee didn’t know what to think. I told her that you have to keep yourself occupied and stay away from things that are bad for you, which is apparently hard for some people. I must say, however, that Beth, Jo, and Jonah know what’s expected of them, but two members of Lee’s band liked to drink, but she put an end to that in a hurry. I told her that she needs to break it down to them because you don’t want to have to keep worrying about them.” “You can decompress now and relax until you hit the west coast, which isn’t a long run,” I replied. “Thank God. I’m so glad to be home,” my oldest daughter said with a smile. “This tour was rough because I had a film crew following us for a good run, then I had a lot of interviews. I know there always looking for dirt, so I told the bands to behave. Did I say it’s great to be home?” We all laughed and celebrated her return.

Caroline handled this tour like an old pro.

Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 12:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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United In Crudity 4755

Kim came down last night to prepare for the shows in Europe, and we got down to business. After shaking off the rust, we played good, but I expected better tomorrow. My brother noticed the marked increase in intensity that threw him off at first; however, he quickly regained his composure and understood the need to treat these rehearsals seriously. We’re known for our musicianship, and I’m not going to tolerate anything short of excellence. Kevin and Rory provided him with words of encouragement while told him to step it up. “I guess I’m not going to get much compassion from you,” he grumbled. “That is incorrect; you’re going to get none,” I replied with a smile. Kim scowled and walked out of the studio in a huff.

Oh well.

We went to Cullen’s joint for dinner, which made my baby girls day. Paige, Robin, and Maire joined us with their husbands and kids, as did Brie and Carrie. We walked into the restaurant, and Rory groaned. “Look who’s here,” I grumbled. “Sitting in the middle section of the restaurant sat Elise and Jackie, who gave us a goofy smile and waved with both hands. Cary and Michael forced a smile while I scowled at the idiot who pointed to a table next to them. Elise, looking as trashy as ever, wore a short dress, flip flops, and had her hair in a ponytail. She was chomping on a stromboli and didn’t bother to look up. Rory, unable to resist, grabbed one of her cheese fries, which pissed her off. “Hey, keep your hands off my food,” she snarled. “I’m doing you a favor,” Rory replied. “How, by stealing my food?” “No, by taking some of it away, you’re too fat, girl.” “I hate you, Rory, I really do.” “Good, I must be doing something right. Where’s your trailer outfit,” Rory then asked Jackie, dressed in scrubs. “I gotta go back to work,” the fool replied.

I then saw Elise admiring Cary’s well-chiseled physique.

Since subtlety is a trait unknown to the Stevenson’s, Elise merely smiled as she eyed the doctor with lusty gusto. Maire quickly picked up on another woman eyeing her man and gave Elise a nasty smirk. Oblivious to everything except Cary’s ass, Elise ignored her and then giggled. “What are you looking at,” Rory asked her. “Nothing,” she spat out. “I think you were sneaking a peek at something.” “Go to hell, Rory, I can look.” “You looking at Cary’s ass,” Jackie asked before letting out a cackle. Maire just rolled her eyes and sat down. The rest of the crew wished they had a hole to crawl into. Not wanting an embarrassing outing, I quickly engaged in mundane pleasantries with the crude couple, which proved to be fruitless. “We like coming here and stuffing our faces. Elise gets all wet just thinking about the stromboli,” Jackie said like it was normal. Unable to formulate a response, I merely sat in silence while Elise laughed. “Hey, this belly may be big, but I still got the itch if you know what I mean,” she then replied. Blake and the rest of the crew looked on in horror, and it was all I could do not to run out of the joint.

What the fuck?

Our food came, and Jackie and Elise kept us entertained with outrageous tales of culinary eroticism, which sapped my appetite. “You know, if you use your imagination that cheesesteak can be like a juicy pussy,” Jackie whispered in my ear, which left me speechless. “Elise says that calamari reminds her of a cock, which benefits me if you know what I mean,” the idiot then said. “I also like it when she takes a spaghetti noodle and works it down her throat,” the disgusting moron went on.

That did it.

While Jackie was laughing hysterically, I grabbed a breadstick and smiled. The fool them looked at me, and I applied a shoulder pinch that opened up his mouth. I then shoved the breadstick in it and told him to chew on that while I finished my meal. The asshole munched on the breadstick while the rest of the crew laughed. “Look, Elise, I can do it, too,” the dingbat then said as he pushed the breadstick in and out of his mouth.

I then slapped the dickhead.

“Jackie, one day I’m going to lose my cool and beat you senseless, so try not to enjoy it too much,” I said. The crew erupted, which caused the rest of the joint to start laughing. “I’ll try not to lose my load,” the creature replied.

As I watched in horror, Jackie and Elise laughed it up like two vile mutants. I then realized that the nightmarish couple is united in crudity and no amount of refinement will ever make them anything more than vulgar wackos with money.

Elise then scarfed down another piece of pizza.

Published in: on September 26, 2016 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Daddy D, J, And S 4754

The rest of the crew loved the Walls thirty-year-old album that sounded even better the second time around. They also enjoyed watching Amelia, who knew all the lyrics and softly sang along with each song. Kevin praised the crisp drumming, while Rory admired the strong and steady bass. Cullen lauded the guitar interplay, and my grown daughters all said that the songwriting, a Honey trademark, was top-notch.

I then had to bring reality into focus.

“I love this album, but it’s not where Honey is at in his career at the moment, so we’ll put this album on hold and bring it to the surface after Honey’s upcoming album goes through it’s run. This is a business, and we need to look out for what’s best for Honey, which isn’t this album at this time,” I said. The crew knew that I would make this speech, but that didn’t stop them from being a little disappointed. “It’s such a wonderful album that captures what he was going through at the time but also reveals a young man who had hope,” Paige remarked. “True, but he needs to build upon what he’s accomplished more recently. “Scragg is right, let’s keep it on track,” Kevin added. “Good, that’s settled, and that’s what Doyle suggested, so I’ll tell him. This will also give the label time to market the project properly It’s not like the band is getting back together, so there’s no hurry in releasing the album,” Johnny said.

That was easy enough.

We enjoyed a nice picnic that found the crew in good spirits. Tabby and Chase came over and remarked how much better Amelia looked and how her personality is coming out. “Her father was bright and had a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of Moon’s good traits, but if he gave her those, it’s part of a good foundation,” I said. “She interacts well and seems to enjoy social settings,” Tabby replied. “It sure looks that way.”

We then heard Amelia let out a hearty laugh.

All eyes turned to the girl, who blushed. Johnny said that he was telling Rory about their shopping adventure with Honey. “We stopped off at Dollar General to get something and Daddy D checked his watch as Daddy J and I went to the store. We were only in there a few minutes, but Daddy D swore that it took us all day. He hates shopping and told us not to include him the next time,” Amelia added. “The checking of the watch irritates me, but I try to smile and understand that it’s just Doyle,” Johnny replied. “You also like it when he sends up out just before the store closes to get honey,” Amelia then said. “Yeh, I love that, and I love it when he carefully inspects the jar of honey to make sure it meets his specifications,” Johnny said. “He truly loves honey that much,” Tabby asked. “Oh yes, Doyle has a special relationship with honey, and there had better always be honey available.” “He’s talking about building an apiary so that he can have his own honey supply,” Amelia then said. “That’s insane,” Johnny scoffed. “Why, Daddy J, it might be fun.” “Bees sting, Amelia, and who do you think we’ll be the king bee and who’ll be the workers?” “Well, he said he would run the apiary.” “Yeah, and that would consist of him watching us work,” Johnny replied. “Daddy S told him that it’s easier to buy it in the store.” “And Daddy S is right.”

I never thought I would hear anyone, let alone a teenage girl, call Johnny ‘Daddy’ I also never thought anyone would do the same for Honey and Stray, but that merely shows how fallible assumptions are. Daddy D, Daddy J, and Daddy S may not be traditional fathers, but they have stepped in and changed the trajectory of a teen girl’s life.

And it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Published in: on September 26, 2016 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Walls 4753

I had just started preparing breakfast when I got a call from Johnny Deagan asking if he could come down this morning to discuss something with me. I asked him if it was bad news and he said it wasn’t. “Something from the past has come up, and I’m not sure what to make of it. It’s about Doyle’s musical endeavors that I only know bits and pieces about, but now it’s full-blown,” he replied. “Okay, we’ll be here,” I said. “Amelia will be with me,” Johnny added. “That’s okay; we’ll see you when you get here.”

This better not be something fucked up.

Johnny and Amelia arrived at the house a little after ten and the family, and I greeted them warmly. We were all impressed with Amelia’s transformation from a scared teen girl to a confident and socially adept adolescent with a bright smile. Her updated clothes also contributed to her vastly improved appearance, as well as her clear complexion that was slightly blemished with acne when we first met her. “You look great and seem to be adjusting well to your new environment,” I told her. “Thank you, Sir, it’s been a big change, but I love my new life,” she replied.

We chatted with Amelia for a few more minutes before Johnny got down to business. “In late ’85, Doyle hooked up with three other musicians and recorded some songs over a three month period. Two of the players were wealthy twins who had graduated from college and were given until the New Year to sow up their wild oats. The third guy, a low-born like Doyle, rounded out the group, which was called the Walls. The twins, Michael and Steven Van Arsdale, decided to spend their six-month vacation playing music and lived in a house on the outskirts of Fayetteville, which they turned into a studio. They weren’t accomplishing much until they met Doyle, who was working near their home and they stuck up a conversation with him, which led to these sessions. To make a long story short, the four guys formed a band and recorded an album, plus some other songs. Then, the New Year came, and Michael and Steven were forced to go to work. Their father Vince owned several cable companies around the countries, and they were sent out to the Midwest to begin their careers, which ended the band. They went about their business and then got involved with computers and are now near billionaires. The other guy, Darrell Binn, lost his job and joined the military, which he made a career. Now, they’re all back in Fayetteville and have gotten up with Doyle. The twins brought the recorded material with them, which they mixed and mastered, and then remastered. We’ve been listening to it, and I brought a copy of the album down for you guys to listen to, but the reason I’m here is to seek your advice and determine what to do with this material. They understand Doyle has a career, but they want to know if they could market this material sometime in the future,” Johnny said. “I’ll have to listen to it. You say you were somewhat aware of this band,” I asked. “Yes, but Doyle never went into detail, so I didn’t press the matter. You know how he was back in the day,” Johnny replied. “Are these guys back in Fayetteville for good?” “No, the twins live in California, and Darrell lives in South Carolina. They came up Wednesday and are leaving sometime this week. They’re coming over today to jam and remember the good times, so I thought I would handle this,” Johnny replied. “Okay,  let’s hear the album, if that’s alright with everyone here,” I asked my family, who all told me to put the CD in the player.

We then listened to the Walls.

A combination of power pop and straight ahead rock, the Walls could be compared to such bands as the Smithereens, the Plimsouls, and even some Marshall Crenshaw, but their sound is clearly their own because of Honey’s intelligent lyrics and snappy melodies. Most of the songs deal with pain, loss, and loneliness; emotions Honey knew all-too-well back in that decade, yet, the music is far from maudlin, or abrasive. Tunes like, “No Way Out” “Granite” “Behind the Face” “I See You Out There” “Dreams of Yesterday” and “Without You” convey the turmoil in Honey’s life during the time of these recordings, but songs like “A Friend in Need” “Glad To Be Here” and “Better Down the Line” also show that he wasn’t bereft of hope. “Cheap Strings” a funny composition about buying guitar strings from Walmart, added a nice touch of levity for the album and is something every guitarist can relate to.

What a brilliant little album.

When the CD finished playing, Blake laughed and said that Honey arrived on the music scene fairly well-polished. “He could have been a star had been discovered back then,” she added. “Mr. McCann knows how to write, play, and sing, which makes him a complete musician,” Gio remarked. “His playing is so smooth,” Rayne then commented. “It’s a great album and Daddy should have been a star back then, but he’s one now, which is even better,” Amelia said. We all smiled, but we heard that word clearly, as did Johnny, who smiled and hugged the teen. “Tell you what, you have a little time before you need to head back, so why don’t you stay for dinner and I’ll get some of the crew over here to listen to the album. I love it, but as far as marketing it, that’s a little tricky, so we’ll seek guidance from other professionals,” I said. “Sounds good,” Johnny replied.

It figures Honey did something like this back in the day.

 

Published in: on September 25, 2016 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Money Isn’t Personal 4752

Maire was delighted that her song would be the lead song off Betty Edwards soon-to-be-released album but was dismayed by the singer’s boorish behavior. “Why can’t she just be grateful and enjoy this wonderful time in her life,” she said. “There’s no pleasing some people and apparently Miss Edwards is one of those. I could understand it better if she were already a star, but her first album hasn’t even been released. Your song will help determine how much buzz she gets, which is paramount to a new artist. Hopefully, she’ll grow up and appreciate what she has,” I replied. “Robin said she was awful during the recording of the album and was downright disrespectful when she left. I know it’s a business and that personality clashes are part of the game, however, it sounds like this girl is an entitled brat who thinks too highly of herself,” my daughter said. “And she’ll eventually get put in her place,” I replied.

After a quiet afternoon, the entire family came over for supper. I was getting the food ready when Kevin called. I asked him if all was well and he said that he talked to E. Jr. a few minutes ago, and he stated that Betty Edwards cussed out Davan and Sloane on the last day of the recording. “They had finished up, and Betty stormed outside where Davan, Sloane, and E, Jr. were talking, and she called them some terrible names before driving off in a tizzy. Both girls are grown, Scragg, but this behavior is appalling, and it’s hard for me to pull for this wretched little brat. I asked Davan about it, and she laughed it off. Sloane did the same thing, but the gall of that girl to do this to people helping her. I just wanted to let you know what she did and that it would be best if we avoided her in the future,” my partner said.

I told Robin what Kevin said about Betty Edwards cussing out Davan and Sloane, which angered, but didn’t surprise her. “Why didn’t E. Jr. say something before now,” Robin asked. “Davan and Sloane asked him not to, but he said that he couldn’t keep it in any longer and that he never wants to deal with Miss Edwards again.” “My goodness, she’s something else,” Maire said with disdain. “She is that, but apparently thinks she’s a diva beyond reproach,” Paige added. “Let’s celebrate Maire’s first hit single, and yes, I’m already declaring the song a hit. The one thing Betty Edwards can do well that isn’t annoying is sing, and I know this song with will chart high,” I said. “She can’t be any worse than some of those movie stars,” Cary added. “Yeah, and they are some notorious a-holes in the business,” Maire replied. “Money isn’t personal, none of you have to go home with Betty Edwards, be her friend, or have any more personal contact with her, so let’s hope the album is a hit and you girls collect a big paycheck,” I then said. They agreed, and we sat down for dinner.

It’s all about business.

 

Published in: on September 25, 2016 at 5:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spitting On Your Benefactors 4751

The quartet finished recording the last song by mid-morning, which gave them a sense of accomplishment. “Wow, I’ve recorded two jazz albums this week,” Rory said in bemusement. “Your Abraham Prescott got a good workout,” I replied. “And I thought I was just going to admire the thing,” Rory joked. “Alright, let’s get these recordings ready for album form and let’s see what happens,” I then said. “Are you sure you want to do that,” Rory asked. “Yes, I’m sure.” “Okay.” “Why, you have another idea?” “No, Scragg, you’re the boss.” “Are these worth putting out there,” I asked Dave. “They sure are,” the old drummer replied. “Well, that’s that, and I’m as pleased as punch,” I declared.

I then got behind the Abraham Prescott.

“Wow, you can feel the craftsmanship,” I remarked as I plucked the strings “It takes some getting used to, but it has an almost supernatural feel. Perhaps, I just imagine that because of its age and price, but it plays like no other instrument I’ve played before,” Rory said. “I’m glad you’re playing the thing because it’s not a museum piece. Mr. Prescott didn’t make thing instrument to be admired in a glass case,” I said. “I would never do that; it’s a beautiful piece of work that was meant for playing. I remember seeing a Stradivarius violin in a glass case and thinking that it’s not doing much good in there. Of course, it was over three hundred years old and probably not playable, but it looked out of place in that case,” Rory replied. “Yep and Antonio Stradivari would think the same thing,” I added.

Marty then stopped by the studio.

My manager told Robin that John Grogan called the office to thank you for producing such a great album for Betty Edwards. “He got the album this morning and said he loves it, so kudos on a great job.” My daughter smiled and said that she’s glad that ordeal is over. “The first single is going to be “Lipstick on Your Collar” so tell Maire she has a hit coming down the pike,” Marty then said. We all cheered and afterward, Robin called her sister to give her the good news. Marty went on to say that Grogan isn’t impressed with Betty Edwards behavior, which he said could be an issue. “It will be an issue unless she grows up,” I replied. “That’s what Grogan is worried about.” “Well, he needs to break it down to her because this ride won’t last long if she continues this bullshit behavior.” “She’s an entitled brat and an insufferable one at that. She’s not only full of herself, but she’s also childish, which is troubling because it may be something that can’t be corrected,” Rory said. “That’s right, she would throw a tantrum over nothing,” Cullen added. “I’ve dealt with some petulant singers in my time, but none like her. She was always pissed and constantly felt slighted. Robin finally told her that she wasn’t all that and if she didn’t want to record the album, then she could go home. I agree with Rory’s assessment; it might be something that won’t go away with age. I hope that’s not the case; however, it was a miserable time recording with her,” Dave added.

It’s hard to imagine that young singer who has just gotten the big break that most can only dream about would be so entitled and immature that it might derail her career before it starts. It would be east to root against her, but that would benefit the songwriters who gave her prime material, which will make them a lot of money should their songs become hits. Hopefully, the girl will get a grip and realize she’s breathing rarified air, but if she doesn’t, I hope her behavior doesn’t become exposed until after this album runs its course.

Quoting Saint Basil: “Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?”

 

Published in: on September 24, 2016 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Teaching The Youngsters A Thing Or Two 4750

The quartet played with purpose and frightening precision that impressed the hell out of me. Cullen decided to use a Danelectro DC 59 for the first song, which didn’t surprise me. Kevin gave him a skeptical look, but once the proceedings began, it proved to be a stroke of genius as the Sorcerer played some of the most inventive jazz I’ve ever heard. Robin tickled the ivories with a constant smile, and Rory played his Abraham Prescott with pure joy. Kevin again showed why he’s a peerless drummer. Dave marveled and the band’s tightness and supernatural interplay. “They’re all on the same wavelength,” he said in admiration. “They’ve played a lot together and know each other’s quirks,” I replied.

I stepped outside when I got a message from Paige telling me that she was on the farm. I found my daughter walking to the studio. She asked me about Rory’s bass, and I told her that he’s having a grand time playing it. “We’ve already recorded one jazz album, and they’re in there now recording another one,” I said. “That’s sounds like you guys. How do they sound?” “Amazing, they’re playing like they’ve been a band for decades,” I replied. “Is Cullen a jazz player?” “Let’s go inside and give the session a listen,” I replied.

Paige watched with interest as the quartet got into another tune that jumped with spunk. She watched her sister on the piano and studied everything she was doing. She then scanned the rest of the players and soaked up the performance. When Cullen played a snappy solo, Paige smiled and remarked that he’s a musical wonder. “People forget how great he is because he acts so bizarre at times, but there’s no one else like him,” she added, echoing what many in the crew have said. She also praised Kevin’s drumming that never fails to impress. While assessing Rory’s playing, Paige eyed the bass that she said is a work of art. “He’s a prodigy, Daddy, and another musician a lot of people don’t fully appreciate because of his persona. I’m glad Rory is expanding his musical palate, which he’s done before, but never under his name. He also could use a softer image, especially after what he’s been through this year. There’s no doubt that he’s having a great time playing that double bass. Has that smile left his face since he got the instrument?” “Nope.” Paige laughed and enjoyed the rest of the performance.

When we took the dinner break, Robin asked Paige if she wanted to take over. “Are you kidding, I wouldn’t disrupt this quartet,” she replied. “It sounds incredible, and I can’t wait to get back and record some more,” Dave added. “Let’s eat,” I said. “Daddy will only put up with so much praise,” Robin cracked.

Dinner was pleasant, and we talked about music, which kept the conversation tension-free. I had decided this morning that I didn’t want to hear about that dickhead in L.A., and I told the crew that. They agreed and so far it’s been a productive and harmonious day.

We got back into the studio and resumed the session. Cullen broke out the resonator, which surprised the other players. They kicked off the session, and it didn’t take long for them to hear his genius. Being a self-taught musician, Cullen is unencumbered by theory and tradition, which shackles many a young player. Playing some of the most wicked slide I’ve ever heard, he added something entirely new to the sessions, yet remained true to the jazz vibe. Paige gave me a stunned look and asked if he had ever heard Cullen do this before. I laughed and told her that I have. “You learn something new every day if you keep your eyes and ears open,” I replied. “So this is about experience,” she then asked. “I reckon so, it’s whatever works, even if it’s not what is expected.”

When they finished the song, Rory asked Cullen where that came from. “It’s called a resonator,” he replied. “I know what it is, but I’ve never heard it played like that before.” “Perhaps you haven’t been around all that long,” Cullen replied. “I guess not, but it sounded amazing,” Rory replied. Kevin smiled and then threw up his hands. “Was college really necessary,” he asked. “For you, maybe, but I was never much for the classroom,” Cullen replied. “The old dog still has wisdom to impart on you pups,” I said. “Wow, this is unreal,” Rory said. Paige and Robin gave me a quizzical look, and then they both laughed in unison. “Can you imagine Daddy and Cullen in college,” Robin asked. “No, they would have thrown them out for being too good,” Paige replied. “They would have thrown me out for not showing up,” the Sorcerer corrected.

Age isn’t everything, but those of us who’ve been around more than a half a century have learned a thing or two that the youngsters know nothing about, so it’s up to us to teach them a thing or two.

There has to be some benefit to getting old.

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just A Two-Bit Punk 4749

The quartet played longer than expected, which put supper a tad late. I got cleaned up and helped Blake get it on the table. I apologized for being, which my wife waved off. “I was talking on the phone with Tabby and lost track of time myself. How did the recording go?” “Excellent, they’re all coming back tomorrow morning and hopefully finish up. Rory is like a little kid with his new toy, but it’s nice to see him so happy. The bass is getting a workout, which is why the instrument was made.” “And by tomorrow he’ll have recorded two albums with the bass,” Blake asked. “Yes, he sure will have.” “At least he’s doing something constructive,” my wife remarked. “Absolutely.”

I then noticed that my wife looked distressed.

“Is there a problem, Sweetie,” I asked. “Well, Maire called about a half-hour ago with some troubling information about those people John Collins is associating with, Elmer,” she replied. “Is there something worse that we don’t know about,” I asked. “Yes, that Savetts also kills people, or that’s what one of Maggie’s sources said. “Pierre didn’t mention that, but then he doesn’t know everything,” I replied. “Maire also told me that there are wealthy perverts out there who prey upon young girls. Elmer, John Collins is involved with some wicked people,” Blake said in a near panic. “What else to Maire tell via Maggs,” I asked. “That they’re dangerous people who need to be in jail.” “Of course they do, and I agree that they’re dangerous, but let’s get some perspective on that sordid situation out there. John Collins is a punk looking to feed his sick pleasures. Savetts and those other lowlifes are merely providing a service to wealthy addicts and scumbags, and while the potential is there for violence, they’re just low-end criminals doing their thing. Let’s not turn those punks into crime lords,” I replied. “I’m just telling you what Maggie told Maire,” Blake replied. “I know, Sweetie, and it’s Gio and Rayne you’re concerned about, as well as the safety of all of us, but these guys operate on a local level serving degenerates who have money. Like I said, I’m not trying to minimize their capability for violence; however, I also don’t want to get wrapped up in worrying about them because they’re of no concern of ours. John Collins is Gio and Raynes biological father, but nothing else and they know all too well what kind of sleazebag he is and how he cares nothing about them. It’s sad, but that’s the truth,” I said. “This is wrong, but I wish someone would kill him and put an end to this bullshit. I shouldn’t feel that way, but it’s hard not feel that way,” my wife replied. “I wish every day that someone would put a cap in his ass and end this travesty,” I added. Blake smiled and said that it’s time to eat.

John Collins is a piece of scum that needs to be washed away down a sewer, never to be seen again. He’s a drug addled shithead who certainly has the capability to be violent, but he’s also a two-bit punk always searching for his next high. That’s all he is.

So we’re not going to make him out to be some powerful crime lord.

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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From A Trio To A Quartet 4748

Rory, Dave, and I finished up the recording session a little afternoon, and both Robin and Kevin gave it rave reviews. “It’s great to hear Daddy play the piano in this kind of setting, which allows for improvisation and some serious soloing. I’m also impressed with Rory’s command of the double bass; the bass runs were incredible, and you looked like you were having fun. Dave, it’s always a pleasure to hear you play,” Robin said. “Thanks for including me,” the humble bassist replied. “It was an extraordinary session, and I’m glad I was able to be here to see it unfold. Like Robin said: you’re all great players, and it was obvious that you all had a great time doing this,” Kevin added. “Let’s get some dinner,” I then suggested.

Cullen brought over some subs, and we ate in the dining room. Rory told him all about his double bass, which impressed the Sorcerer. “I’ll have to take a look at it after we eat,” he replied. Robin then told him about the recording session, and my old buddy laughed. “I remember Scragg listening to Bill Evans back when we were in McSwain. Remember that preacher who let us use the church piano and you played Bill while I did my best Barney Kessell imitation,” Cullen asked. “Oh yeah, we begged him to find us a drummer, but he said the one he knew was locked up,” I replied. “You can play jazz,” Blake asked Cullen. “Yes, he’s an excellent jazz guitarist,” I answered. “I don’t know about that, but I tried back in the day.” “I’ve heard you play it since then,” I said. “Maybe.” “No, Cullen, I’ve heard you.” Dave smiled and said that Rory should form a quartet. “What,” the bassist asked. “Robin on piano. Kevin on drums. Cullen on guitar and Rory can pluck his Abraham Prescott,” the old drummer suggested.

What a brilliant suggestion.

“I love that idea, so it will be,” I declared. “I don’t know,” Cullen replied. “I do, let’s do it,” I insisted. “I’m in,” Kevin said. “Yes, that sounds like fun,” Robin added. “You know I’m in,” Rory said with zeal. “When do we start,” Kevin asked. “After we eat,” I replied. “Wow, isn’t that a tad quick,” Cullen asked. “Look, ain’t no one want you down at the pizzeria, so shut up and play your guitar,” I told him. “Oh yeah, Dave will in charge of this,” I added. “Really?” “Why not?” “Yeah, why not,” he said with a surge of confidence. “What songs do we do,” Cullen asked. “Rory’s, the ones that we didn’t record on our project,” I replied. “Just like that,” the Sorcerer mused. “That’s how we operate around here.”

Rory picked the compositions and told the band to proceed. I wasn’t surprised that they clicked because they have all played together many times before, but Cullen’s sharp and snappy guitar added extra verve to the music. Using my Epi Broadway, Cullen effortlessly produced jazzy sounds from the guitar that fit perfectly in the quartet setting, and when he soloed, the music took on a life of its own.

With his bizarre personality, crazy antics, and unpredictable nature, it’s easy for those who don’t know him to forget that Cullen is a peerless guitarist capable of doing things that only a handful of players can do, and some things that only he can achieve. Adding a guitarist to the session would automatically change the dynamics of the sound, but adding the Sorcerer gives it another dimension altogether.

I then sat back and listened to four professionals do what they do best.

 

Published in: on September 22, 2016 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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