Another year gone by and I wound up with a whopping 8 blog posts for 2013, breaking my yearly average of 3. I released my first official CD, Always Come Home (Someday) in April. Being able to do a six song demo project with the support of some amazingly talented friends and family in a world-class studio with the famous Bates Brothers was a magical experience. I’ve sold a few copies and I’ve had fun giving them away to friends, family, club owners, and anyone else who might give it a listen. We had a memorable gig at the end of May, a serendipitous gathering that found us all celebrating John’s retirement on his last day of work after 25 years of service at Vulcan Materials. It was our first time to play out in the woods on Ruffner Mountain for their Beer on the Back Porch shows, and we’re looking forward to playing for them again in April. In August we were lucky to have a good crowd turn out for the CD Release Party at Daniel Day Gallery, a truly unique backyard-party type vibe where hosts Daniel Day and Melody Musick have created one of Birmingham’s most popular music venues that doubles as a fine art gallery.
Thanks to Social Media and Class Reunions, I’ve also managed to get some fun gigs playing guitar with two other side projects. In October, 2012, I was invited to sit in with the band Capshaw Road for my 35 year class reunion, a band that is the brainchild of classmates John & Stacey Sparkman, two talented brothers that I never knew until this gig. We all became fast friends and had so much fun that we wound up getting booked for the class of ’78 reunion in June and now have a semi-regular rotating gig at The Eleventh Frame, an old-school bowling alley bar in Madison where we have great fun playing a wide variety of music under the disco lights. It’s crazy that we never knew each other in our small home town growing up. While I was posing as a jock in high school, they were playing dances at Dauphin Jr. High.
For the past few months, I’ve had a great time playing guitar with my new friend and extra-talented songsmith, Andy Spain. I wound up in Andy’s band by answering a call he put out in a Facebook group for local musicians from Birmingham Free Press (BFP) called, Backstage Musicians Only. Andy has a diverse and interesting approach to songwriting with a broad cross section of influences and musical tastes built on an almost wide open approach to some very structured and well-crafted songs. So while the music is tight and precise based on Andy’s arrangements, we all have lots of room to improvise. This has been huge fun and we’ve played 3 gigs together, including the Release Party for his new album, Songs of Peace and War. We will be playing more gigs in 2014, so stay tuned. This is good stuff.
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