Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Band

After a couple of months of searching (since mid-September), patience pays off. I've just been invited to join a classic rock/blues group called Raindriver as the keyboardist and one of three lead vocalists. Lots of old ZZ Top, Steve Miller, Pat Travers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, that sort of thing.

This was sort of a leap of faith for me, as I didn't think I was really looking for a band that had the word "blues" in it's description. I also thought I was not looking for a group that my main job would be keyboards, especially mostly Hammond organ as my primary axe. Still, these guys were relatively close in (they practice within a mile of Mike's house in Tigard, erm, Beaverton), and my initial contact with them was very promising, especially after I heard their demo material (as found on their website, which I've linked to above. After about four songs, I knew this was the right group.

What makes this a good group? First, it's a democracy rather than a strongman system, but Kent Wall knows the business and is taking on most of the leadership duties. I like having a strong and knowledgeable leader, as some of you know. Second, a very relaxed atmosphere during rehearsals, with lots of trading off of compliments and fixing problem spots quickly. Third, having three lead vocalists, especially with a nice range of styles and sounds but that still blends together well, is very nice - you can be in not great voice and still get through a gig pretty easily. Fourth, these guys know how to play and know how to play together. 

Most importantly, and something I didn't really realize I was missing, was that I don't necessarily have to learn a specific part, and I get to be creative. We did at least ten songs last night I've never played, and some I'd never heard, and I was finding all sorts of interesting riffs to work in. 

Compared with my last band, which I'm coming to realize was always the best of a bad lot at the time, this group is fun to work with and we sound *good*. After one rehearsal/audition. Nice to have it be relatively effortless - I'd forgotten that being in a band could be like this. The arena rock band I played with was very similar, but the range was just a titch too high for me and I didn't audition well. Guess there was a reason for that...

We're shooting for live work early in 2009, I will be sure to post venue information as we start to get out and play. 

Who'da thunk it. Me in a band playing blues and liking it.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Glad to hear you've found something good. Looking forward to your tour schedule. :)