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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mystery Band on the Cusp on St. Patrick's Day

I am staying in the house on St. Patrick's Day - there are drunks stumbling around on the streets and many will be behind the wheel of large automobiles before the night is over. It is amateur night, a great night to stay home. And it is chilly. Plus my stomach hurts.

Mr. G and the Mystery Band is reaching an interesting tipping point. I have been booking three gigs a month for the group at a small collection of venues (Bill's Blues Bar in Evanston, C.J. Arthurs in Wilmette, the Morseland Cafe and Duke's Bar in Chicago). There are many other venues that would hire the band if they knew about us and had a decent promo package to review. I am beginning to use the same musicians frequently rather than assembling a group of different people from my Roladex every time a gig comes up. I have written about 8 original songs; I generally perform a few of them at every show now. The folks that attend my shows have asked if we have a CD available (we don't). I have a feeling that the Mystery Band could build a reasonable following and get quite a few more gigs if sufficient effort was expended.

I have been toying with the idea of cutting a CD. I would want to do it right. This means renting a decent studio (I know of many in Chicago) and setting up practice sessions prior to htting the studio.

I find myself hesitating.

There are impediments - I have a day job that is important to me, and I have a wonderful family that might not appreciate it if I spent many more evenings out performing/rehearsing/recording each month. So the band is on the cusp, at the tipping point. It may stay in that precarious position for a long time.

The Mystery Band is all about spontaneity and improvisation. I have been thrilled that so many great, great musicians have been willing to play with an amateur harmonica geek like me. If the band becomes better organized, more professional, starts (ugh) rehearsing, will we still have fun? Because fun is the goal of the Mystery Band - for the players and for the listeners, I hope.


Mike Lynch said...

Hey, Mr. G - Nice blog! I've added a link to your page ove at Jet City Blues. Later, Mike.

Mike Lynch said...

Mr. G,

Howdy. Yep, we will miss the Big Guy. They are having a benefit show for his family in Portland on 4/1. I will try to get some photos for my blog.

You mention Twist Turner in one article - he's a Seattle native, and one of the first drummers I ever played with back in the mid '70s. Also, did you know that Barrelhouse Chuck played with the original version of Blue Lights in both Seattle and Alaska in the late '70s/early '80s? In fact, both Sunnyland Slim and Hubert Sumlin played with Blue lights in Ketchikan, AK. I have some photos of Chuck in Alaska that I can share with you. Writing up a history of Blue Lights is on my blog to-do list.