Thursday, November 03, 2005


Yesterday was a very full day. I put over 140 miles on the car. I
started out by going to the music store to buy a set of guitar strings
for my acoustic. Elixirs are expensive but they’ll outlast everything
else. I tried extra lights to see how they feel and sound.

Then I drove out to Alburtis for a mixing session at Karl’s. While
waiting for Greg Jones to show up, I strung my guitar with the new
strings. It plays real nice but sounds a little light in the bottom end.
Since my D-18 is a dreadnaught, that actually balances out the sound...
perhaps a little too thin but it’s OK.

Greg arrived and we set to the task of making fixes from the notes we
took at Star City the day before. Great results and we are pleased with
what we’re hearing. I had to leave early so I trusted the last few songs
to Greg and Karl.

I crossed the Valley and went to LA’s house. I loaded my guitar into his
car and he drove us to the Crayola factory. We played a two hour gig
that started at 3:30. It was a teachers’ gathering of some sort. We saw
a type of blizzard; a ???? dragon it was called. It was fun doing a
relaxed gig, playing simple acoustic guitar and fiddle arrangements
instead of the complex stuff we do in Emerald City.

LA drove us back to his home and I got into my car, remembering that I
forgot to grab the neck strap out of my alto saxophone case. I’ve been
sharing one strap between my alto and tenor. So I stopped at West End
Music and bought a cheapie strap. On to Topton and a Pulse rehearsal in
Bill Fenstermacher’s garage. Bob and Rod couldn’t make it so Greg Van
Allen, Bill, and I worked with Rob Stewart. It was Rob’s first rehearsal
with us. We mostly worked on songs where Rob will be playing acoustic
guitar. He has a D-28 "second" that looks and sounds great. It was a
very productive rehearsal. I think that Bob and Rob will be pleasantly
surprised next week when we all get together. The extra guitar and vocal
will be a great boost to the band’s sound. Rob played Greg's "Sticky"
guitar (an electric that Greg put together from a kit) on Brain
Damage/Eclipse, the only song we worked on that Rob wasn't playing acoustic.

Back home, I did a little email and wrote this blog entry. I didn't
upload it until now...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

November 1

After I created this blog, I ran out of the house to fight traffic across the Lehigh Valley from Nazareth to Alburtis. When I got to Karl's house, he was surprised to see me. (Karl Eisenhart is the guitarist in Pinnacle, our Progressive Rock band. We're working on our second CD.) It seems that I got my wires crossed. I thought that we were going to mix "the epic" today and go to Star City recording studio tomorrow. Reverse it. So I ate my lunch early while chatting with Karl. He showed me the new kitten that showed up on his back porch about a week after Gator died. What a cutie! Fessig loved sniffing the cat but the cat didn't quite know what to make of Fessig.

Karl and I got into our respective vehicles and crossed the Valley back to Bethlehem and Star City. We were let in by Carl Cadden James. He just happens to be the bassist in Shadow Gallery, a Progressive Rock band on the InsideOut Music label. (Check out their CD "Room V" because it's awesome!) He took us into the big room ($250/hour) and set us up to listen to our CD while he took care of business elsewhere. Greg Jones (our drummer) showed up a few moments later. We started listening to our latest round of mixes when in strolls the owner... Jeff Glixman. He's the legendary producer who has credits like Kansas (Leftoverture and Point of Know Return) and Yngwie Malmsteen (Oddessy). We chatted and listened intently as Jeff shared his thoughts on mixing. This guy is so cool. He wants his studio to be uber-musician-friendly. He's succeeding in my book because this was the third time in Studio A at no charge. Carl and Jeff have made suggestions that allowed us to remix our CD to make it significantly better than when we first brought it in for mastering. After talking about the financials to have our CD mastered, Jeff left Greg, Karl, and me to finish listening to our CD. It sounds absolutely glorious in this studio. The SSL console is a mammoth and we've already found the master volume knob on it! Just as we finished listening and taking notes, Carl returned to listen to our latest efforts. He liked what he heard and made a few suggestions. Tomorrow, Greg and I will meet at Karl's to implement what we hope will be the final changes to our mixes. We left happy campers and with next Tuesday and Wednesday on Star City's books for our mastering session(s).

I went home, picking up some pork chops along the way. After some email, I headed back out. This time I went to LA's house for a rehearsal. LA (Williams) is the fiddle player in Emerald City. That's one of the two Celtic bands I'm in. LA has a private gig booked for just the two of us. I play bass in Emerald City. For this duo gig, I'll be playing acoustic guitar. We went through the Fiddlers Fake Book to select the songs we can do. Basically, the songs are ones we do in Emerald City or songs we did in Malarky. I'm still the bass player in Malarky but LA was fired. That's a long story for another time. LA and I worked for two hours, getting me home at 6:30.

When I got home, I deleted a telemarketing message from my answering machine. I signed up for the National Do Not Call List in January but I STILL get solicited! The other message was from my sister, Anita. I called Anita as soon as my pork chops were in the toaster over, set to bake. We chatted until the chops were ready. I ate dinner and then wrote this blog entry.

Getting Started

I need to hurry up to band practice so this blog might not be fully set up until a little bit later. I just want to say hi and I look forward to hearing from friends; old and new.