The show this past Friday was a fun one. Jackson Lee Brooks Band opened for us to an enthusiastic crowd and set a good tone for the night. A great deal of their songs remind me of early Cross Canadian Ragweed stuff. The lead guitar had that same fuzzy distortion tone, that is prevalent in Cross songs. Tyson Kerby is the lead vocals for the group and does a good job steering the band through songs. Also taking part in vocals occasionally is Jarrel Brooks who plays rhythm electric for the band. He sang a good cover of Mickey and The Motorcars' "Twilight". The band as a whole is fairly new to the stage, but I could see that they were comfortable performing and had few serious hiccups. I'm sure they have enough staying power to be gigging for quite some time and will easily carve themselves a niche here in West Texas.
Our two sets were pretty vanilla in the spectrum of all the shows we've had. No one forgot any words or notes and the crowd was having a good time. I personally felt off for most of the second set. Some kind of funk settled in on me and it was hard to shake the mental block. I played my parts and solos fine, but I was a little lost in my head and kept finding myself really not liking my tone at this part or my phrasing in that last solo. Mental hoodoo is always frustrating and I've had those demons bouncing around in my head before on stage. It makes an annoying cycle where you keep being too hard on yourself while you're playing and at the same time can't really improve because you're focusing so much energy on your momentary flaws. I shook it off finally near the end with the help of the band's collective stage energy and was able to hop off stage, for the most part, satisfied.
There was talk about playing a show up near Amarillo next weekend, but I do believe that it never got hammered out all the way. The weekend after that we will all be celebrating Cody's engagement to his girlfriend Sarah and not playing any shows. The rest of May is going to be a busy couple of weeks sending us on the road to a few different places. I'm excited to have some more time to practice on my personal sound which has been bothering me slightly. Hopefully by the time I find myself on the way to our road shows i'll have some of those tone kinks hammered out.
On a harp side note I was thinking recently about buying a Harp Attack Pedal made by the Lone Wolf Blues Company. It is a tube powered pre amp pedal that gives a great deal of warm crunchy tone when used with a P.A. and some amps. I threw some e-mails back and forth to, I think the owner and builder of the pedals, and found sadly that it would most likely not be the best purchase for me. What was really cool though was that Randy, the man I had been talking to, was very helpful in telling me the pro's and cons of using that pedal with my rig. He had no problem losing a sale and giving the advice to hold off on buying one of his products since he wasn't sure it would provide what I was looking for. I really appreciated his honesty and good ethics. I urge any harp players out there to have a look at his products because they are bulletproof and are backed by a man with better intentions than solely profit.