From Gig Hell to Gig Heaven….20 Hours in Texas….

I started my day yesterday at 5AM…..I drove to the south side of Houston and loaded in and set up a system on an outdoor stage in the oppressive Texas Morning Dew and Humidity and proceeded to completely sweat completely through every stitch of clothing I had on…….I am talking about being able to ring out all my clothes soaked in sweat…..it’s a terrible feeling…..and while knowing, that because of the humidity, you simply are NOT going to get dry anytime soon……….then just when you think that you could not feel any worse, suddenly, a Texas Thunderstorm crops up and completely drenched the stage and all of us on it……thunder, lightning, total frog drowning downpour…….so by then it was 12 noon and there was no way to be any more wet without being completely submerged underwater……..but we did manage to get the rig covered in plastic in time while getting completely soaked……GIG HELL !!

Lucky for me, I somehow saw this coming and had brought several changes of clothes……..so after we finished this load in and set up and downpour, I changed clothes, and left that gig and proceeded to my next scheduled thing on my list yesterday, which was an interview at Bright Star Productions in Downtown Houston with Larry Huff. Once there, I discovered that Larry was the same guy I did a load out with last Friday night in Downtown Houston. The Interview went as good as I had hoped and it sounds like more work will be coming my way from the guys at Bright Star Productions…….so at this point, I figured the day might be improving…………it was now 3PM…….

By 4PM I arrived in West Houston at the Hotel Sorella at the Monnalisa Bar for my gig that evening…….it is a high-brow place……..NOT the kind of place that most people going to see great live Texas music would go to usually, let alone, think of…….it has tons of acoustical nightmares with tons of glass around the stage, and such……so of course, I was expecting the worst for my gig that evening and more GIG HELL……..but, much to my surprise, and this my friends is the best part about the incredible Texas Music Scene, GIG HEAVEN just happens when you least expect it……the band was an Austin, Texas based group called “BettySoo”……we did a sound check and walked away and came back at 10 PM and did two 50 minute sets until 12 Midnight……..and in those two sets, I heard, Intelligent, and crafty songwriting, killer 2 and 3 part Vocal harmonies, and in those two sets of Music, was treated to more of the most amazing tasty guitar hooks and leads than I have been present for in the last 10 years in Las Vegas combined……I do not know what it is, but, Texas just breeds amazing guitar players…….This my friends is why the best music scene in America is in Texas…….The Guitar Player on Stage left was Will Sexton (Charlie Sexton’s Brother) and two weeks ago, Will was playing in Bob Dylan’s band…….on the break between sets, Will found me and told me it sounded fantastic on stage……All was suddenly right with the world……GIG HEAVEN…….we talked at length about mutual Austin, TX friends (Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbird’s and Ian Moore, and of course his Brother Charlie, and a host of others)……..we exchanged business cards and then proceeded to do the second set…….we came, we rocked, and we left…….and everyone was smiling…..Perfection in GIG HEAVEN……..Powered down the system, put away the Microphones, and walked out the door and drove home arriving at 2:30 AM………

From GIG HELL to GIG HEAVEN in 20 Hours under a Texas Full Moon………

UPDATE: Woke up this morning to discover someone had crashed into the back of my car while I was asleep in Bed…….SIGH!!

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Continental Club in Houston and Networking Like Crazy….

So Last Friday, I went down to the Continental Club in Houston to Mix the Local Houston Band “Smithfield”…….when we arrived at the Venue, there was a band onstage doing alot of early 60’s covers (The Who, Stones, Etc.)…….they sounded good but I was really not paying much attention at the time while we loaded in…….after that, another act took the stage just before we were to headline the evening, and as I started to listen to the mix that the house engineer was doing, i noticed that there was no EFX on anything……It was a totally dry mix…….not to mention the cardboard box Kick Drum EQ’ing……..also, after their first song or two, the house engineer just up and disappeared from the sound booth………But, once I found him and introduced myself, he gave me the go ahead to mix our show on his system…….once it was out turn, I mostly redialed everything and fired up the EFX processors which were for the most part turned off…….We rocked!!……….and by the end of the night, I felt good having alot of people come up to me and tell me they had never heard this venue sound the way I made it sound last Friday……I Guess I earned my pay……

Besides that, mostly, it has been alot of networking around the area trying to get my foot back into the door here in Houston…….

LD Systems

Bayou City Sound

Southern Sound Systems

and even…..S2 Productions (Stagehand labor and technicians)….

And of course, I have been applying for some touring positions again……….one Big Multi-Platinum Country Artist from Nashville and several others…….and I even applied for a position that is currently open at The Lincoln Center in New York…….

RE: America’s Got Talent……..In My Professional Opinion…..

OK…….Many weeks ago I predicted right here on my blog that my good Buddy MICHAEL GRIMM would win AMERICA’s GOT TALENT…..

First of all……..And Honestly……Shows like this rub me the wrong way, because, winning a show such as this, is not exactly what I would call “making it” and not at all what would be considered “paying your dues” like most entertainers have to do……getting a career after a show like this is essentially “winning a game show” to me…….but strangley enough, this is one of the many ways in which the entertainment business has changed over the years……yada, yada, yada…..

BUT, Tonight, in my Professional Opinion…….here is what I can tell you……..Three of the Four Final Contestants (Fighting Gravity, Prince Poppcock and Michael Grimm) all have a future in Las Vegas………One, Jackie Evancho , the 10 year old Opera singer, has a future at places like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall or one of the many Grand Opera’s……But only one act has a possible future beyond Vegas and this show……..MICHAEL GRIMM………As I said before many weeks ago, Michael is the real deal………What he does just comes out of him naturally without effort or practice……I have seen it first hand on many nights around Vegas while mixing his shows that he has been doing around Vegas already for the last 10 years more or less ……And as the guy that was the Audio Engineer that mixed his live album, and a bunch of Michael’s shows, I have more insight into this than many do …..Unfortunately, on this TV show he did NOT get a chance to really show much of the other parts of his true talent……Michael is more than a singer and a guitar player…….he is an amazing songwriter as well……and it was unfortunate that the TV producers would not give him a chance to have shown off that part of his talent by allowing him to perform any of his own material………much of which is as compelling and as polished and evolved as many of the classic cover tunes he performed throughout the America’s Got Talent run of shows……..

Just my Professional Opinion though…….Tomorrow Night we will know the outcome……..but personally, rather than proferssionally……….I am pulling for you Michael……..

As The Word Gets Out……Gigs soon come…….

After a few weeks of networking like crazy back in the Houston and Austin, TX areas, it seems the word that I am back in Texas is starting to get out…….Spent yesterday afternoon at LD Systems here in Houston and today I spoke to Southern Sound Systems here in Houston and also got a phone call from Bayou City Sound also here in Houston. Sounds like Gigs will be coming my way soon from all directions……..Personally……..I cannot wait……with the exception of a local gig with the band “Inside Out” a couple of weeks ago for a private function here in Houston, I have not had a gig since my Smokey Robinson Gig about 7 weeks ago back in Nevada at the Star of the Desert Arena…….Currently, I have a serious “Gig Jones”…….although, tomorrow night I will be mixing at the Continental Club in Downtown Houston…….should be fun…..and folding back the monitors I am almost sure…….SIGH…..LOL…..

On another Note……It’s finally Football Season………GO SAINTS……..BELIEVE IN BREESUS………I smell a repeat…..!!

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A Good Couple of Days……..

Yesterday, I finally got something I have been waiting for……..for many years it seems………..When I was living in Las Vegas, the one thing I missed was BIG thunderstorms and all day long downpours of rain with lots of lightning and thunder……..if those things happened at all in Las Vegas it was two or three times a year only for about 5 to 18 minutes at a time……..But here in Texas yesterday thanks to Tropical Storm Hermine, we had tons of rain and lightning and thunder all day long…….it was fantastic……..

Also, yesterday i heard from Robert Ausmus at LD Systems here in Houston, and he asked me to give him a call today and was going to have another of his co-workers named Doug Alexander sit in on the call……..This sounds good to say the least, as I would love to go to work for LD Systems as they are the Big Boys on the Block in Houston when it comes to Audio Production Companies……then last night it got even better, when Robert E-mailed me a second time and asked me to drop by the LD Systems Shop at 2PM today………Color me there….!!

I am hoping for good things today from LD Systems…….

http://www.ldsystems.com/

Oh and also…..I have a gig this Friday night at the Continental Club here in Houston mixing the band Smithfield…….

http://www.continentalclub.com/Houston.html

http://houstoncalling.net/2010/09/08/smithfield-debuts-at-the-continental-club-this-friday/

And another GREAT thing today is the release of IOS 4.1 from Apple which should finally fix the proximity sensor glitch in my Apple iPhone 4………

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/01/apple-announces-ios-4-1/

http://www.apple.com/iphone/software-update/