Topic: Opportunity knocks  (Read 2730 times)

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Offline Rylie

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Opportunity knocks
« on: April 22, 2010, 08:01 PM »
I received a call from a bass player I've jammed with recently who happens to be the bass player for Beverly "Guitar" Watkins...a now 70 year old blues guitarist / vocalist who's been at it for 60 years and is still actively gigging.

He asked if I could fill in for their drummer in a couple of weeks for a gig they're playing near Atlanta, and I said "uhhh...me?...really?...no kiddin'?". So, if their drummer can't change his plans to make the gig, I'm in.

Beverly is a local icon, and has played with James Brown, The Ink Spots, B.B. King, Ray Charles, and with the Women Of The Blues "Hot Mama" tour with Rory Block, Koko Taylor, and others.

I wish no ill on her regular drummer, but uh...




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Offline Bill Bachman

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 11:17 PM »
Sweet, you gotta love those opportunities. Have fun laying it down!
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Offline David Stanoch

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 11:48 PM »
Yup. After all, that dude who recommended you is on her gig and like Springsteen said when he recently hand-picked Max Weinberg's own son to sub w/the E Street Band, "It only takes one song to know."

I've had many great one-off gigs as a ringer and a few as well where the sub became the chair. Get prepped, relax and play, and enjoy. You never know what may be coming next 'round the corner!

"You are only in competition with yourself" ~ Max Roach

Offline Rylie

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 01:07 PM »
 ;D

Just got the confirmation that I'm in!

Off to get one of her CD's for her to autograph, and a new pair of Peter Erskine Signature sticks that I'll only use for the gig then store away for my grandkids to discover while they're cleaning out my music room after I'm gone. ;)

Thanks for the kind words and well-wishes. I know it's no big deal for you more accomplished / experienced drummers here, but to me it's a fantasy come true.

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Offline Rylie

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 07:19 PM »
First song of set 1: What'd I Say (Ray Charles). If I'm to stay true to the original, I'll be busy between now and then working on that tendonitis inducing ride pattern. Guess I should go get a cortisone shot in the elbow after all.  :-[

The cortisone notwithstanding, this gig could end up making me a better drummer in the long run.  ;D
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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 09:20 PM »
This is great news! Enjoy the music, and knock 'em dead!
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Offline Todd Norris

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2010, 08:24 PM »
Sweet!  If you don't mind, I'd love to read a chronicle of the "before, during & after".  How you prep, what's the event like, what happens afterwards etc.  It would be quite inspiring I'm sure!

Offline Rylie

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 09:55 PM »
Wow...chronicling might be a challenge, but I'll give it a shot. I tend to get a bit "wordy".

I have two gigs to play before this one. Well, technically one now. I played with my band this past Saturday night, and I'm playing an outdoor event next Saturday...first with my band, and then later in the day I'm filling in for a drummer in another band at the same gig with whom I'll need to rehearse a couple nights this week. It's gonna be a long day...and a long week since I have a day job as well. Then it's band practice on Sunday afternoon.

My biggest concern is about the condition of my right arm. I'm struggling with some acute tendonitis, and at the last gig it became almost unbearable despite the near overdose of Aleve, Icy-Hot, and the doctor-provided strap on my forearm. The pain was like shin splints in my right forearm, and excruciating when playing the ride for some reason. Must be the angle of my arm and the muscles used to play it. Anyway, I played through with a minimum of hiccups and lot of whimpering between songs.

Physically, my preparation for the Beverly Watkins gig is going to be focused on the ride and trying to find a sweet spot / arm position that doesn't hurt! Lighter, longer sticks, nylon tips to help with the rebound might help...I hope.

I'm going to use my bop kit for the gig (18" kick / 12" rack / 14" floor), mainly  because I can set everything up a little lower which will help with reach and hopefully mitigate the pain factor if it flares up that day. My cymbals will be the same as always - 20" K Custom Dark ride, 16" Armand Med thin crash, 18" Armand Thin crash, & 14" New Beat hats.

Her music is blues...jump blues, shuffles, straight-ahead 12 bar, and a lot of improvisation. I'm totally comfortable with all of that as far as technical ability and style, but because of my excitement about being on stage with these pro's, I'll need to really focus on tempo and staying in the pocket. So, the morning of the gig day I'll practice basic beats with a metronome until I can't get them them out of my head.

I'm lucky that I know and have played with the bass player, and he and I are always locked when we play together. He knows my tendencies, and I know his, so that's a big help going into this.

Now I'm off to put some new Vintage Ambassadors (my new favorite head...this week) on the bop kit and mark up the hardware when I get the comfy factor sorted out.

I'm not sure if this type of info is what you had in mind, so if not, please stop me!



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Offline Todd Norris

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 11:25 PM »
That's great Warren!  That's the kind of info that makes the DC golden.  I'm sorry to hear about the tendinitis.  I hope you can find a good work around and then get it healed up! 

Todd

Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 12:54 PM »
I knew a drummer who had that same problem. Before a gig he would rotate his wrists, then squeeze a ball for a short time. Then he would shake his hands loosely. After that he was ready to go. I hope this helps? It worked for him, give it a try.  ;)
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Offline Rylie

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 07:40 PM »
Thanks for the tip, Chip. I'll try anything at this point to avoid the cortisone shots, which according to my doctor is the next step if I want to play without teardrops playing ghost notes as they drip onto my snare.  :-[

I'll let you know.
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Offline Rylie

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 03:43 PM »
Well, "opportunity" indeed knocked...but apparently left a flaming bag of dog poo on my door step.

Beverly has decided to hire a full band to back her up, and therefore neither her regular bass player nor I will be playing the gig.

I'm a little disappointed, to say the least, but still humbled by the consideration in the first place. However, if I'm asked again I won't forget what just happened.

And so ends the chronicle.  :'(
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Offline NY Frank

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2010, 08:51 AM »
Sorry about that.   Well - you got very close.     
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: Opportunity knocks
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2010, 01:27 PM »
WP, sorry to hear about the big flaming bag of poo.  Not playing alot righ now myself, I was looking forward to living vicariously through someone elses gig. If you were asked once, you will be called upon again.  Hang in there. Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

 

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