Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jailhouse Art Gallery

On Tuesday April 20th I played an open house - wine tasting at the Jailhouse Art Gallery in Buena Vista.
It also happened to be Sherrie's birthday, so she tagged along and socialized as I was playing.

The Jailhouse is a very cool old building, long ago it once was actually a jailhouse, now renovated to be a gallery and working studio space for ceramic,glass, mixed media and digital printing. It's located just behind Mothers Bistro, one of my favorite places to eat and play in Buena Vista.
The call to play this gig was sort of last minute, but I really appreciate that they thought of me for it, thanks Cheryl! For a Tuesday evening I thought the turnout was great.  Lots of nice people and the usual curiosity about the Stick. It was a pleasant way to spend the evening. Sherrie and I shared a delicious pizza from Mothers Bistro, soooo good!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Adams Mountain Cafe

  Photo by Ted Castro

Finished up two days of gigs at Adams Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs Colorado. It was my first time playing at this venue.
Manitou Springs is a funky, cool little town just outside of Colorado Springs, lots of great shops and places to eat. Adams Mountain Cafe is on the main strip in a old historic building. The room I played had high ceilings and was long and narrow.
I decided to try out a new setup for my Stick, which was to just run it through a small mixer with built in effects into my Roland KC-300 keyboard amp. Usually, I have been using a Line 6 X3 floor processor to play through, but I like the simplicity and ease of this new setup, If I need to adjust EQ or levels the mixer is easy to reach and tweak. Nice clean sound with just a touch of reverb, the room took care of the rest.

It was quite interesting, I played at what I thought was a very low volume, but people said they could hear fine at the end of the room, even out into the building's marbled floored lobby, so I trusted their judgment.
Originally I brought a mic and stand, I thought I'd practice introducing tunes and interacting with the audience, but it became apparent quickly that I was there to provide ambiance, background music, which is somewhat my specialty. In other words, I kept my mouth shut!
I played Thursday evening to a pretty good crowd. I had been struggling with some kind of stomach bug all afternoon and my energy was definitely a bit scattered as well as my playing, but people seemed to enjoy it.
Friday mornings performance was much better, I felt much better. The wonderful servers made sure I had an unending cup of coffee as I played. I tried and tried to empty it with no luck, they're that good!  The food at this place is great, specializing in slow food, with a large selection of vegetarian and vegan meals. I had the Orange Almond French Toast for breakfast on Friday, ohhh yeah!
Overall a great couple of days, Sherrie and I stayed with friends in CO Springs and had a chance to visit and do some shopping. The manager at the cafe told me she had lots of positive feedback on my music and asked me back, I have four new dates lined up, so I feel pretty good about that!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

This afternoon I played some solo Chapman Stick® at Sugah's Cafe in Gunnison, CO. Sorry no pics :(
Easter Brunch
It turned out to be a nice day, still a bit too cool to play out on the patio so I set up inside. There was already a pretty good turn out when I arrived, so I opted to start as soon as I had set up my amp and effects instead of waiting till noon. This proved to be a good move, since attendance started to dwindle by 2pm. 
This is such a great venue to play, I always have a good time here. The owners Matt and Charlotte and the staff are all just super nice people. There were many familiar faces, and lots of nice compliments from folks... and applause, which, I suppose is better than people throwing things at you! The applause thing always makes me chuckle, in a situation like this, I'm really just providing background music, ambiance, so I really don't expect people to stop eating or interrupt their conversations to applaud after tunes, but still it's nice to be embarrassed in that way.
I've been keeping myself pretty busy lately and had hoped to spend yesterday practicing for this gig, but alas, it was not meant to be. So I was pleased that I could play of the top of my head for 2 and 1/2 hours without having a song list or giving much thought to it. I even played three tunes that will be on the new CD live for the first time!
I have noticed that I am becoming more comfortable and relaxed with performing, I think I played well today. Used to be it would take me 15-20minutes of playing before I felt like loosening up and being comfortable. Today it felt great from the very start, something I hope continues as matter of habit.
Afterwards I hung around long enough to have an awesome lunch, the food at Sugah's is always a treat!