Hello again. As usual it's been a busy time here at The Program. A lot of playing. A lot, yet not enough time in the studio. I say not enough because I feel I have more to do in the studio on Jer's new record, it sounds really, really good, I'd just like to spend more time there because it's a lot of fun. The vibe in that studio right now is electric. We all can sense this project is truly something special. I can't wait to finish it and get it into the world so everyone can understand what I'm talking about. We're looking forward to the upcoming show at Higher Ground on the 21st of March. If you're anywhere within 4 hours of Burlington, VT, you should come to this show. The CD won't be out yet, but you can hear the songs we've all had in our head constantly for the past month and a half.
After getting back from the studio, The Grift had a good show at the new Two Bros. downstairs venue. The space could still use a raised stage, but it's a 30 second drive from my house, so it's hard to complain. The next night I got to participate in my first symposium at Middlebury College. For those of you who didn't go there, Middlebury calls any lecture/conversation with more than one person a "symposium" and they were ubiquitous during my 4 years there. This one was a discussion for the beginning of "Arts Week" about the music business and how alumni from Midd fit into it. The panel was Laura Thomas, Chris Farrell, and myself. It wasn't that well attended (symposiums rarely are), but it was still really fun. We talked a lot about how we got into the business and how Middlebury fit into it. It was interesting to hear their take on it and good to talk out loud about things I hadn't given voice to. We got to play a little too which was fun because I always have a good time playing with those two. Later that night I went to see the Laura Thomas Band play at the afore mentioned Two Bros. They were great. If you live in the NYC region, you should definitely check them out. It would have been nice to see Cletus there, but the band still rocked. I also got to sit in on bass for a couple old Polonius Funk standards. They're still funky tunes.
The next day, Saturday, is when the real shit started. Saturday was one of the most surreal days of my life. A serious 24 hour roller coaster. It started on our drive to Boston from Burlington to play a show we have been looking forward to for months, the CD release party for The Old Silver Band at Harper's Ferry. Actually, the day started with shaving my beard into my mustache tribute to the OSB. Being the mustache aficionados that they are, I knew they'd appreciate it.
Back to the driving... Everything was going smooth. We had a great book on CD by Micheal Connelly and Harry Bosch was getting closer and closer to solving the case. Suddenly there was a loud pop and hiss and then the van started chugging loudly. I was driving at the time and thought we got a flat tire. I may have even said "Shit, I think we just got a flat tire". I braced the wheel, ready for the usual pull to whatever side the tire blew on and nothing happened. I decided to speed up and sure enough the chugging got louder and quicker, right in the area of the engine. We thought maybe we had lost connection with our muffler or something. We were pretty close to an exit for Concord, NH so I pulled off and we looked for a place to park and gather ourselves. After conflicting directions from several people, I called AAA (thanks, mom!) and they told us there was a Sears open 3 miles away. A garage open on Saturday?! We brought it in and they looked at it and thought they could fix it by Sunday afternoon. That's right, they're open on Sunday too! We got a hold of Clint who was already in Boston and he got the OSB's van and came to get us. In the meantime, we're stranded in a mall in Concord for an hour. We pass the time, go outside to meet Clint to go down to Boston and what was a clear, sunny day an hour ago has now turned into an inch of snow and counting. Really!? Could this suck any worse? Luckily we drive out of the snow pretty quickly and make it to the show with just enough time for us to load our crap in before the first band, our friends from Burlington, Bad Suit go on. Finally, we're at the show, we're loaded in, and the music starts. Bad Suit killed it. I had never seen them and they rocked! Then it was our turn and we played really well. I'll say one thing about this band, we play well under stress. It was such a relief to play after the shitty afternoon we had had. We still didn't know how or if we were getting home the next day, but we put all that behind us and brought it. People were psyched and dancing, we were happy to be playing, I didn't drop a stick, it was great. Ahhh...now we could just watch our friends and saviors the OSB and enjoy ourselves. If you've never heard the OSB, it's very happy music. It's good for what ails you. There was a rotating line up of guests with the OSB including all of The Grift boys except one, me. I was too busy enjoying myself dancing and perhaps...(though this is all your going to get) romancing. What started out as a disastrously stressful day turned into a truly great night. The best I've had in a long, long time.
The next day word got to us the van was fixed! Turns out a spark plug blew out of the engine. Whoops! They replaced it and the coil and we were GTG. After walking around sunny Boston for a bit, I met up with Big Time, PD+MLE, and we got a ride back to Concord from our good friend EC (coming through strong!). We got in the van and I slept like a champ all the way back to VT. Sadly, the mustache has come off, but like the day I had while wearing it, I will remember it fondly forever.
SDTK: "Burning Heart" - Survivor (from the Rocky IV soundtrack)