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The Sampler Cd...


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The Southern Oregon Songwriters Assn. Is putting out another “sampler” CD, and is asking for submissions—one per member, no more than 4 minutes long. Hitch is it’s got to be “radio ready”—the fellow who’s putting it together can only master, not record. It’ll have to be recorded somewhere else.

And of course, I want to do mine with a band. I’ve harped repeatedly on how vocalist-with-solo-guitar cuts are not saleable (at least, if it’s me). Could I put together a band of entirely SOSA members to do it? I could. My idea of an All-Star Band of jaw-dropping musicians would be Delonde Bell on bass, Russ Rodriguez on congas, Larry West on lead guitar, and George Clark on blues harp. I saw Delonde, Russ, and George at Chris Parreira’s open mike in Ashland (went there instead of Rogue River because of the weather), and they’re all interested. Offered to play lead on George’s submission for the album; it’s a country song, and I think I can do a decent Jerry Reed-style bluegrass lead on it. Might try backing him up Sunday night at the Wild Goose and see how it goes.

My submission for the SOSA Sampler, I think, will be “Naked Space Hamsters in Love.” I actually don’t have many songs that’ll come in under 4 minutes with lead breaks (and with the All-Stars, we’ll want lead breaks—these guys are talented). I think the “Hamsters” song will have room for two breaks, and still come in under 4 minutes. It moves pretty fast.

And just maybe, if these guys get comfortable doing this sort of thing (and it could happen), it might be possible to tap them to be the band for the next CD (or at least the slower songs on the next CD). They are probably as good session musicians as one could find outside of Nashville, each thoroughly expert on their instrument.

None of them plays country music, and I don’t think they’ve ever all played together before. So having ‘em all play together—and playing country songs—would be a real envelope-pushing exercise, and potentially a lot of fun.

It wouldn’t have to stop there; I know another guitarist (James Maille) who’s equally good, and another bassist (Jack Fischer), and another harmonica player (Darrin Wayne), and Dan Doshier plays fiddle, mandolin, standup bass, harmonica, and probably a bunch of other things. I think we have Resources, here.

Setlist for the SOSA “Quartet” gig at Johnny B.’s (with James Maille on lead guitar) presently looks like:

Dead Things in the Shower

Armadillo on the Interstate

Bluebird on My Windshield

The Frog Next Door

Duct Tape

Naked Space Hamsters in Love

All love songs (after a fashion). I like themes—and Valentine’s Day will be only 27 days away.

Designed a poster for the Quartet thing—I figured one of the ways we attract attention outside the Group is to promote. Right now, there’s only 3 names (and photos) on it—myself, Chris Parreira, and Scott Garriott; three fellows have been proposed for Number Four, but none of them is a SOSA member, and this “Quartet” thing is supposed to be one of the “perks” of membership.

UPDATES: Have names of two recording studios that have been recommended. Practice with Screamin’ Gulch was good—slightly bigger audience (the fans keep bringing friends), and very appreciative. Some of them fans are morphing into groupies. I ain’t had a groupie in years.

“Two Years in Prison” is still the only song I can do a really good lead on; for a lot of the others, I just do something simple and slide-y (envision Alvin Lee on dobro) and let Wayne do the fancy stuff on the National Steel. At this point, the band’s repertoire includes one of Wayne’s songs (a Cab Calloway-style blues called “Jerry the Junker”) and one of mine (“Naked Space Hamsters in Love”).

Joe

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