June 9, 2015- The gig went great except for the rain! Even the people were dancing, enjoying the music, and having a good time. The rains came and we had to cover all of the equipment. Then the rain was over in about 20 minutes so we uncovered the equipment and started playing again. We spent this practice day discussing the gig and where we could make it better.
June 25, 2015-Aside from the standard practice routine, we are trying out Taylor to be our “Sound Man”. So far he has just been listening to the band and playing on his cell phone. That may be taking away for the focus we need from our sound man. We’ll see if it is going to be a problem during next practice and address it then.
July 6, 2015- The practices are going well, so the band notes from now on will be about any issues or events instead of how the practices are going. I have been looking for places to book the band and it seems like we may have to increase some of the “Country” songs to be more viable to the local market.
July 11, 2015- The band is really staying on track with practices and rehearsals. Asheville does not have a very fertile cover band scene. It seems that having to pay ASCAP or BMI is an issue. The local original scene however is very much alive and well. We are on the home stretch now with the #1’s and soon will be working on crowd favorites that didn’t make it to number one on the charts. Checked out “Cowboy’s Lounge”, and talked with owners Tonya & James (introduced by son/bartender: Brandon) about booking the band. Tonya said she would contact us Monday to set something up. She said they are always looking for local bands for Saturday nights. We did get a gig here in Asheville at a place called ‘The Sly Grog’ on August 22, 2015.
July 18, 2015- Had a great practice. We went over the last of the #1’s for the 2000’s. We now have 50 songs to work with. For Monday’s practice we’ll work our way back from 2009 to 1960. I knew if we stayed on course, we would achieve our goals.
July 25, 2015-We got blindsided by Albert today. He decided to quit the band. He said that his heart was just not into the country music aspect of the program. When he pulled up with his SUV, and walked up to the house without his drumsticks are cooler, that was a sign that he had made up his mind and there’s nothing we could have done to change it. I feel even if we had changed the song list to a full on classic rock show, nothing would’ve changed his mind. That lends me to think there may have been more than just the material we were playing. That being said the rest of us in the band are going to stay the course. We are at the 55 number ones that we set out to do, and will continue to practice them. We are looking for a new drummer and hope to have one in the next week or two. If not, we may have to cancel the sly grog gig. I really hope that does not happen because it would make it more difficult for us to get booked here in the Asheville area in the future. We will just have to wait and see what happens.
July 28, 2015-we have three drummers coming over for auditions, and two others they’re willing to help out by filling in for Sly Grog gig. The perspective drummers will need to show us about 5 min. of drum solo work so we can see if they can play the drums and at what level. Then we will need to go over some of the songs in our list that they know to see if they can be a fit for the band. We will need to make our choice by the third or fourth of August.
July 29, 2015-Ozzie was okay but pretty much like Gary at the skill level. My first impression is to not go with him and see what other type are drummers are out there. Tomorrow we will check out Chris, then Friday Mark, and Sunday Michael. I hope somewhere in the mix we find a really good drummer.
July 30, 2015-Chris was impressive. He had good meter and knew most of the songs. He is definitely a candidate in the running. He showed that he knew where the backup vocals were, although we didn’t have him mic-ed up to sing. If we go with him that will happen. We will let everyone know by Wednesday if not sooner. I’m thinking possibly by Tuesday if the drummer from the Out of Luck band tries out by Monday. If he can’t make it Monday, we might make the decision that. If so we will only contact the winner and get to practicing.
July 31, 2015-Mark did a good job and has a good voice. He seemed to be up with the variety of material and technically proficient with it. His situation with his current band may be a problem. He can only get together Thursdays and Sundays here in the near future. That might be a problem with getting together for the Grog, whereas Chris would have no problem with getting together. We have another drummer (Michael), coming over Sunday. We will see where that takes us. Rob will get with the Outta Luck Band Drummer-Wayne, and maybe set up something. It would have to be Monday or at the latest Tuesday to be able to make the decision. After that we will get back on the stick, and get ready for the Sly Grog gig on the 22nd.
August 2, 2015-Michael only knew about seven songs on the list, of which only one that I sing. We play around with some other songs just to get a feel of how he played. For the most part he was okay, but not really what we were looking for. He was a little better than Ozzie, but not anywhere near Chris or Mark. I think I might swap songs with Josh–When you say nothing at all for Boot Scootin’ Boogie. I have more vocal power to do the Brooks & Dunn where he has a style that would make the Keith Whitley song more intimate. Unless Rob can get Wayne here for an audition on Tuesday, we will have one last drummer to audition (David).
August 5, 2015-we made the decision to go with David Costello. Chris had a family situation with his wife having a serious accident. Mark would not return our phone calls. Ozzie backed out, and Michael was too much of a light blues drummer.
August 6, 2015-we had our first practice with David Costello. We basically got him settled in, set up, and went over a few songs. I made a copy of our song lists on his thumb drive including the MP3s.
August 7, 2015-during our next practice we went over songs he knew well, that I also sing well. We also went over songs he was familiar with. I did sing a few of the songs that Josh normally sings just for David to get the feel for them.
August 8, 2015 we made a lot of headway during this practice session. We got through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. We will go through the 90s on Monday as well as going over anything from the previous decades. Through the week we will review all of the songs to date and hopefully go over the 2000 and-2010s. Maybe by the week of the gig we can touch on the 2010-2015 songs. I am thinking of bringing my CAT scan and video recorders to record the gate. This time I will take care of all of that, and it will be done. As for now, the concentration is on getting ready for the gig. I might play this gig without the keyboards and just go with the guitar. It would keep things simple, and I would be able to have less confusion to set up the recorder and cameras.
August 20, 2015-Yesterday we had our last practice before the Sly Grog Lounge gig .
August 22, 2015-Sly Grog Lounge gig at 8:00 PM with a five-dollar cover charge. We plan to record and film the band for an A/V demo for Internet and promotional purposes.
September 27, 2013-as of today, the High Court may be going back to a three-piece band. Our friend Josh is going back to Pennsylvania to be with his son. We hate to lose him, and will miss him but totally understand that family comes first. It looks like I will end up singing most of the songs in the band again.
October 31, 2015-as of late, we have since proceeded as a three-piece band. As in the past, many times I’ve had to become the lead singer. At least this time everybody is doing a little singing to help out. I guess I just have to resolve myself to being a front man. Sometimes it would be cool to just play guitar or just saying without having to do both at the same time as frequently as I have to. I think after we have got the showdown, I want to focus on recording original songs, and see where that leads to. Until then, the band is chugging right along with rehearsals, and are real close to having the sets organized and ready to perform. I need to work on memorizing the lyrics to a few songs. Our new goal is to be playing out somewhere around Thanksgiving.
November 10, 2015-the band is coming along as well is expected. We’re getting the songs down and our seeming to gel pretty well with each other. We are back to being a three-piece band, but that’s okay as that is how the band formed in the first place and how the band is played out for most of its history.
I have set a goal for myself. I want to record 6.7.8. Which is one of my original songs. This will be the three verse version. After I get a decent recording of it, I will update the copyright/publishing rights and put it out to the world for download and streaming only. I will have to get as much promotion, airplay, club/dance play as possible on a worldwide arena. I hope to release this version on January 1, 2016. I hope to get it plastered on as many Internet radio stations as possible through the rest of the winter and into the spring. I hope to make a music video for it in the summer, and released that by the end of the summer. I look forward to the challenge of do it yourself, and succeed in the music/artist/singer/songwriter arena. Maybe down the road, if the band gets into the recording group, we might include on an album later. As for now I just want to get it recorded and released on January 1, 2016!!
January 1, 2016-I reach my goal with 6.7.8. Ahead of time. It will be on Touch Tunes on January 7, 2016 nationwide, and in a competition for promotion with touch tunes and Warner Bros. records.
May 29, 2016-it has been quite a while since I entered anything into the notes of the Excel sheet that we used for band notes and such. We (David, Rob, and I) have played quite a few gigs at the American Legion Post number 47 in Waynesville North Carolina. The folks there are a great bunch of people to play music for!!!
The band is getting away from the original vision of planning number ones first, then adding other songs to fill up the show. I am working on getting us back on track… Even if I have to do it just by adding number one songs that I sing. I have come up with a list of number ones that I can do for solo gigs, and now I just need to learn, practice, and start introducing them to the band. As always, people (including my band-mates) don’t always listen. Therefore, I have to get back to staying on course, and not let their lack of vision and focus get in the way of achieving that goal. At the present time we have all of Rob’s PA equipment in my upstairs music room. We have added to-18 inch, 2500 Watt sub-woofers to the sound system. I tried to get the guys in the band to sign a ban contract, but that was rejected. Since they (primarily David) rejected the contract, we are simply side musicians to each other with no legal commitments. Because of that, I am limited with not being able to include the band into productions, promotions, recording (as a band), or marketing endeavors that may have with my originals. I have tried since day one to get multitrack recordings of the band as well as video footage to put together a music video promo. This direction has been consistently undermined with no forward progress on those projects.
May 31, 2016-Rob came over today and I had a little talk with him. I told him that we were getting away from the original vision of the band (playing number one songs) and that as far as I was concerned for myself, I was going to get back on course. I said if he and David wanted to do songs that were not number ones, I was cool with it but I wouldn’t be singing anything but number one songs. I also voice my opinion on the booking cluster-fuck. I also mentioned about the equipment that we have to lug up and down stairs, when I have a working PA system right here. He seemed to be okay with my viewpoint. He doesn’t want to rock the boat would David, but knows that I’m strong-willed and absolute in my decision about the number ones. He even put the song She Cranks My Tractor on the back burner for Chantilly Lace. I will finally get a chance to do some rockabilly piano for that sum. I also talked with him about how crappy and amateur we sounded at our last performance, and letting him know that we really need to get back to being serious about the songs. I am not sure how David is going to take this, but it seems like his agenda is more out for David and not about the band… I really don’t care. I think Rob is more concerned about that than I am. I told peg that this would probably be the last incarnation of The High Court. If it does flame out, then I’ll give up on the band thing, and start working on recording all of my originals.
June 4, 2016-we had band practice today and it went pretty well. I did not talk with David anymore about my goals with the number one’s. I don’t feel that it’s worth the negative confrontations, and he’s starting to realize this as I am not singing any non-number one songs.
June 11, 2016-I put a song list together for us to practice starting with number ones from 1960 forward. At one point in the practice, Rob wanted to get off track and play as original. Although I am for playing original songs, I felt our practice sessions would be better served by staying the course and sticking to the list. When Rob heard that Chantilly lace was on the list, he told me that he wasn’t going to play that for this Saturday night. Since it is such an easy song, I might sing it myself. I’ll need to let him know to at least learn the basic parts for the song.
June 18, 2016-David Costello called me last night, and was having a bone about the song list. He told me he wouldn’t play if we’re going to play the song list that included mostly number one songs. I reminded him that this was the vision of the band before he even came on board, and he agreed to it upon joining the band. He turned around and ended up texting Rob and then calling Rob to tell him he was quitting the band. This happened one night before the gig. Blindsided by yet another drummer. I am not sure where Rob, and I are going from here as far as the band goes. He will be coming over this afternoon, so we will take it from there. It has been a year and a half since we started down this road. I am ready to call it a day with the band, and adjourn The High Court. After meeting with Rob we have decided to formally and officially adjourn The High Court.
Next blog: The new musical journey begins…