Monday, April 29, 2013

More Ramblin'

I'm talented when it comes to sleep, or I'm too full of whatever that stuff is that makes you go to sleep or something. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat when I want to. Twenty minute power nap? Sleep in the car? No problem. I woke up today and I had slept like maybe 9 hours. If I wake up and don't feel like quite getting up I can go back to sleep..and then do it again..and then again. It's not a great thing some times especially when you make your own schedule. That's why I try to have tasks for myself or meetings early in the day so I have other people I'm disappointing if I don't get my ass out of bed. It's hard being an artist  (poor baby right?) I know, I'm lucky, I do what I love and all that but when you really get down to what you have to do it can be hard some times. I watched this video with Jack White and I just love what he said. He talked about people saying artists or musicians are lazy and they don't work and all this. He said if you work at a factory making books (or whatever) you clock in, you got a time to come in, a boss making sure you are doing your job, and you can do your job. You can do more than what's expected, or just the expected, or even some times less than expected and you still have that job. You have your time to go in, time to leave, a pay check at the end of a pay schedule, etc. When you are an artist, or musician, or what not you have...well kinda nothing. You gotta go MAKE that something. That's ALL the responsibility. You are the CEO, the manager, the receptionist, the janitor, and the whole staff. It's just an interesting way of putting it and it's been making me think lately. If you have a chance go to Conan O'Brien's website and check out his "serious" talks with different people,,the one with Jack White is what I was referencing earlier it's really quite fascinating.

So back to my day today. I woke up not feeling like getting up I was just like ugh...don't want to. Luckily instead of wallowing in that which I easily could have done I told my self to just kind of get over myself and to get up. It worked..and I got a whole days worth of stuff done. I took it kind of easy and didn't pressure myself too much as I did have a pretty long week. I worked on memorizing a few covers and also some new songs I am writing. I also did some stuff around the house that just needed to be done..laundry, vacuuming, etc. It was nice and productive but felt relaxed because usually I don't have a lot scheduled on these Mondays. Then I went to an Andy Shaw Band rehearsal at 7pm so it ended up being a full day.

I had a crazy kind of week up til Sunday. Wednesday was Jimmy V's with Shaw Bros. which was pretty uneventful. Thursday I subbed in for a good friend Zach Whitney playing at the Treebar with a guy named Micah Lathrop. Some scheduling snafoo lead Zach to not be able to play so I pinch hit (pinch hitted?) for him. Michah's from South Carolina and he's kinda new to the scene. He's a great singer and songwriter so check him out if ya can. We had a fun time playing for not very many people..hadn't played at the Treebar since it turned over to the Treebar from being the Tree House. It's pretty much the same but they've re-done a bunch of the bar and it looks really nice. The music room is about the same though minus most of the tree and add a couple posters plastered to the wall. I wish they were able to knock some walls down in that place but I digress. Friday was a solo gig at Bokes Creek Winery near my lady (Becky's) hometown. This was a really fun night. A lot of Becky's family came out, she made a bunch of great food, and I played a great set for everyone. It was mostly great because everyone was super attentive and appreciative of my music. It's nice to have those gigs once in a while where people actually well...listen. I even had a guy I did not know at all come up and say some kind words, he bought a cd too. We stayed the night at her parents and had a nice breakfast (buffet style!) at the Plaza Inn near her hometown of Ridgeway. Saturday night I played at FM Bar in Gahanna with The Yeah Babies (formerly Matt Reed and TGP) and the Shaw Brothers. It was an interesting night as we would normally play this type of gig with the band and the whole night by ourselves. This night we played two sets each switching each hour basically. It was fun and I think the crowd really liked each band in their own right though we were very different stylistically. Sunday morning I got up and played the Upper Arlington Lutheran church service which I play 2 to 3 times a month. After that I drove to Athens and we finished up the horn parts on the record. I asked my good friend Dale Alkula, who plays trombone with Andy Shaw Band, if he could get some horn players together, arrange some parts, and figure the logistics all out. He did just that and they knocked it out of the park! The first time I was hearing these parts was basically on the recording, it was crazy. He made it super easy and I'm very thankful for that! Dan White and Adam Bidwell came through and finished out the horn section. Everyone was super nice and easy to work with. I had a few changes here and there, they worked it out, and it all got done in pretty great timing. I can't wait to hear everything together!

So..that was my week in a nutshell. I posted a video earlier a little bit about the horns and driving to Athens. Hopefully I'll get some tracks up here soon with progress on the album.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Too Many Mash-Ups

Decided to do a video blog entry today, some may call it a "vlog". I just call it a video blog because though I am a huge fan of combining words to make new fun words, vlog is not new or fun. In addition to it not being new or fun, blog is already kind of a mash-up of words (web and log). It's just too many mash-ups in my opinion, come on people. Video may be kind of boring but it sums up my day, and my overall spacey feeling today because of lack of sleep last night and 5 gigs in 5 days. Session did go well though, Dale did a great job on the horn parts. Dan White and Adam Bidwell came through in a big way as well nailing the arrangements and working with me even though I have never worked with horns in that capacity. Huge thanks to everyone so far for helping me piece this thing together. Excited!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oh yeah..

Also, I forgot to mention in my last post that I worked out some horn parts today with Dale Alkula. I don't know much about arranging parts so he has been a great help getting some of my ideas down. He's been playing with a new soul band called The Deeptones and he's asked the horn section to be a part of my new ep...good stuff to come!

Lots of Progress

Whew, it's been a long month with a lot of progress, apologies on not it goes! So the EP is slowly coming along. Lead vocals have been laid down on I think 4 tunes or so and last week we laid down background vocals with Stephanie Rogers (Ladybird and the Vultures/Rust Belt Rumble Band/Max Power Trio and more) and Allison Woods, a student at OU whom I met the day of officially (we had talked on the phone and exchanged emails). I had sent them parts via email and got together with Steph once to talk about the direction of the album and everything came together in the studio quite nicely. I stood in the control booth, Steph was to my right in an isolated booth, and Allison was in front of us in the bigger room. It was fun singing with them and kind of directing both of them. They both have wonderful voices and I am excited to hear back what we did, I did not come home with anything so it'll be nice to hear the tracks with fresh ears once I go back down.

I have been rehearsing with a new drummer (Justin Campbell has since moved to L.A. so he is on to bigger and better things, good luck JCam you are already missed!!). Ryan Jessie is a drummer who I know through Chillicothe people, he just moved back to town from Tennessee. He is a great guy and was recommended by a trusted musician friend Stephen Hummel from down in Chilli and has been filling the "JCam void" very nicely. Jeff Bass is holding down the bass right now as well. We practiced the other day in the day time at my townhouse in the basement and his bass was rumbling the whole place..luckily we did not get yelled at by the neighbors (like last time when we practiced at night..oops). They seem to be pretty tolerable, since the townhouses are all technically connected I try to give them the heads up we're gonna be making noise.

So the other really cool thing with this project is the VISUALS! I always seem to be in bands that are a little less about the performance and visuals which is let's the music really shine. This time around though I'm looking to fuse the visual art with the music. First thing we gotta get right? The outfits! I've been working with Brittany Lawson who works out of a studio over at the 400 W. Rich St. warehouse. She is super cool and is helping create a custom designed suit for me. It's super fun going over there and being inspired by all the artists, trapeze artists, food trucks, and more. We had one of the final suit fittings today and she ordered the fabric today as well, I'm super excited. Check out my instagram @efilsitra to see some of the fabric and what the suit looks like, I'll try to upload some pics here as well as progress is made.

I'm working on my soul education as this project is all about groove, R&B, gospel, and soul so here are some covers I'm working on...some old some new:

The Walk - Mayer Hawthorne
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
Getting Out - Daniel Merriweather
That's It I Quit I'm Moving On - Sam Cooke
Baby Don't Ya Do It - Alvin Robinson

July 17th is going to be the big debut at Brothers Drake 9p-12a so put that on your calendars...getting pumped!