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.