It was also the first gig that Dean Hedges -- he of the southpaw bass and mouth trumpet -- had played with us in a long time.
Since Thaddeus and Dean were scattered to the four winds, the only folk coming up from Seattle were me, Sketch, and his wife the Z-Lady. We had a pretty pleasant trip northwards and finding the place was no trouble either. We were there a bit on the early side and found Dean already waiting. Thaddeus arrived shortly after.
We killed a little time checking out an art gallery, staffed by two lovely lady artists, that had just opened up that day. On closer examination, one of the paintings (by the older of the two ladies) was the younger artist riding "bareback" on a horse. Neither of them were dressed.
Very tasteful mind you. And a great painting. But you rarely go to an art gallery -- at least I don't -- and chat with one of the models.
Sketch and Z-Lady grabbed a bite to eat. I strummed my ukulele on a few of the songs that I hadn't played in a while.
Then came time for sound check. Sound checks can be regular horror shows sometimes. You'll arrive and find that the "sound tech" is somebody's cousin who barely knows anything about, well, sound teching. Or worse yet, thinks everyone is a punk band and needs to be turned up to 11. But this one was a treat.
There were two sound techs taking care of the main stage. John, on the "stage mix" board just to stage left, and Rob, on the "front mix" board, out behind the majority of the audience. They had more mikes than we needed (what a pleasant change of pace that was!) and were fun and easy to work with.
I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it feels from the musicianer perspective to be able to just sit down and concentrate and playing and entertaining the audience. No worries about how we're sounding through the speakers because there are pro's in charge of that.
Thanks again, John and Rob!
At our gig last week, as a trio, we'd brought set lists that were a tad too short. Luckily, we had plenty more songs we knew so the only "trouble" was a bit of fluff while we decided what tunes to throw into the mix. This was the result of it being one of our first gigs as a trio. We'd forgotten that a lot of songs were stretched before because we could have both Thad and Dean take a solo. In an attempt to correct that for the Arts Festival, we swung the pendulum a little too far in the other direction. So instead of having two sets of the same length (and a brief break to flog CDs) we ended up playing one long and one short set.
No worries. We filled our 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm slot as we'd promised. It was just a bit odd.
In Ellensburg, we set a new band record for most CDs sold at a single event. One week later we're in Anacortes breaking that record.
The audience was very appreciative and quite vocal about it. We likes that.
Plus, of course, they bought all those CDs.
I'm telling you, a guy could get used to this!
After we packed up and split the money we departed in much the same way we arrived. On the way home the Z-Lady treated Sketch and I to dinner at a little restaurant in Mt. Vernon called The Porterhouse. Great place, a little on the spendy side, but a terrific room and a waitress with fabulous ink on much of her skin.
The skin that was showing anyways. I mean, I didn't ask for a tour or anything like that.
I think I must be slipping in my dotage.
I'll close this report the same way I did the last one.
More of these gigs please!