Another busy week – aren’t they all? Mostly off-stage but there’s always plenty to do like website updates, booking gigs, maintenance of leads, guitars, harps, amps, etc. In this day and age a regular gigging musician has as much to do behind the scenes, if not more, as they do in the public face. When I say ‘regular’ I mean the ones that mostly manage themselves and don’t have an entourage taking care of everything for them, so in other words probably 95% or more of musicians out there.
Since getting back from Gran Canaria I’ve been tracking down photos and video from the Sons of the Delta performance at the Playa Viva Blues Festival and letting everyone know about it via Facebook, our website and my own website. In case you still managed to miss it, here are the links – the videos are here and there are some great photos here and also here. I’ll let you know if any more surface. I was so taken with the little amp I played through at the festival, provided by Alberto of the excellent Los Gumbo blues band, that I decided to find one for myself. I should warn those of you of a non-technical persuasion that the rest of this paragraph may get a little boring for you ;) Alberto’s amp was a combo but I managed to find a head and cab on eBay for a great price. It’s a Harley Benton GA5H, made in the same factory using the same parts as the acclaimed Epiphone Valve Junior. The plan is to modify the head to voice it for the harmonica and also add a line-out, a switch to drop it from 5w to 2w and various other tweaks. My soldering iron has already been busy and I want to have the work finished in time for our next overseas gig as the head is coming with me in my hand luggage (yes, it’s just small enough). “I love the smell of solder in the morning”, to mis-quote a famous film line.
I have had a few gigs this week and especially enjoyed the Sons of the Delta acoustic duo gig at the Golden Fleece in Stroud. They didn’t have the open fire roaring – it’s not quite cold enough for that yet – but it still had the intimate, cosy country living room feel that it always has. I would challenge any musician to feel pressured or nervous in such a warm welcoming and homely venue. We do tend to end up playing a fairly laid-back set there but it seems to fit the bill perfectly. I must also mention that the Jigantics had a great rehearsal this week and worked on an interpretation of a Tom Waits song to add to the set.
One last mention of the Gran Canarian gig. After sound checking we had a coffee outside a bar very near the festival stage and heard the most fantastic funk music coming out from behind the bar. The guy making the coffees was dancing away to himself and I couldn’t help tuning in to the sounds. I found out what the CD was and I bought one on eBay. It’s so good that I’ve got to share it with you. Not literally of course – go and buy your own! The photo above of the cover tells you all you need to know to track it down.