Monday, November 02, 2009

Any Velvet Will Do

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma

Brother Rudy did a nice review with some photos. Thanks, man!

The Brothers Vel took the stage once again (I think this makes number six) for Live Mix's Halloween bash. It was the most impromptu gathering yet. We didn't talk about tunes until we were on stage. It's such an intimate venue anyway, so no sense hiding our distinct lack of preparation from the crowd. The Velvets have always had a distinct self-effacing sense of humor and it works for us. Many pros would tell you that this is a big no-no, but for us, honesty is always the best policy. It's what our listeners expect quite frankly. The chaos is part of the entertainment. (Hell, we even made drinks on stage with a blender one night and gave it a "solo." How many broken musician's union rules is that?)

A while back ago, I had an interest in what 2 guitars, a quatro and percussion would sound like and here I was, without planning, performing with this subset of the group. Actually, not to sound too cosmic, I had a picture of this group in my head for months. Though the bass was really missed, it was quite fun. That's Mr. Swizzle Sticks, Brian Young, on the drums. What an incredible player! He did a dazzling solo and promptly stole the show as far as I was concerned.

Chaos follows us. Guantamera was called in A, but this was deemed too high. F, which is practically the only key I sing in, was chosen. The tune is three chords traditionally, so what could go wrong? The number one thing in Latin music is rhythm. It doesn't matter that it's three chords, that's not the point. If the rhythm ain't there, you might as well be playing Freebird. Eventually, I figured out what rhythm we were all trying to play and locked in. Sheesh!

(The key of a song, for me, is something that is not all that malleable. I can remember keys of almost every song the band ever did. Now, lyrics are always an issue for me. Chord changes quite another, but keys remain in permanent long term memory.)

I truly missed my other bandmates, but this may be a jumping off point for a small group that can land smaller venues. I need to play both for financial and artistic reasons.

Eventually, I hope the full group can get it together to play at the Empty Glass and maybe a few private parties, until then it's solo, duet and even quartet gigs.
Any Velvet will do.

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