Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter approaches...

The atmosphere finally let us folks in the Bay Area know that it's almost mid-December, just a couple of weeks away from the winter solstice. Snow the other night on the high points - Mt, Hamilton, Mt. Diablo... frost all over everything the next couple of mornings. Now it's warmed up a little, but it's been raining for two days and it's supposed to continue to do so over the weekend.

The cover band I'm in, SNUG, is back in business with a new bass player, Mike Vargo. We've been rehearsing and hopefully will start booking some gigs very soon.

In recent weeks I added a couple of things to my musical toolbox:

  • I finally added a Fender Telecaster to my arsenal – a 1995 made-in-Mexico Telecaster Special, which has a humbucking pickup in the neck position instead of the standard single coil, and a five-position pickup switch that allows you to split the humbucker's coil and use it as a single coil pickup. Very versatile and a great-feeling, great-playing instrument. I love the way it looks too (see right).
  • I also bought a very nice effects toolbox called the M13 Stompbox Modeler from Line 6, makers of the famous POD guitar amp modelers. A fantastic a versatile unit, built like a tank, and full of terrific sounds. It should come in handy in SNUG.
  • Finally, I bought this amazing tiny amplifier called the Lunchbox, from ZT Amplifiers in Walnut Creek. There have been tiny amps before, some of which sound terrific, but none of which are usable in a live performance situation unless put through the PA system. But the Lunchbox actually is damn loud and cuts through a band just fine. It really is incredible.
Finally, I'm looking forward to a couple of exciting shows in early January. First is the combo consisting of guitarist Allan Holdsworth, bassist Tony Levin, and drummers Terry Bozzio and Pat Mastelotto. A week later guitarist Robben Ford is back in town, with Michael Landau on guitar, Jimmy Haslip on bass, and Gary Novak on drums.

Happy holidays to everyone, and may 2010 be a wonderful year for us all...