Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lucky Man

Every once in a while, I get these really lovely little inspirational stories from Derek Sivers, who is more and more becoming a hero of mine. He is probably best know as the founder of CD Baby. Lately, he just does what he wants in an entrepreneur kind of way. A music business folk hero.

All of his stories and ideas really gets me thinking of all the wonderful things that have happened to me when I decided to put some time into music. I am truly a lucky man.

It started for me way back in 1993. I was on the toilet reading the latest copy of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. There was a small ad near the back of the magazine for Bread and Roses, a small non-profit organization that provides live entertainment to folks in institutions. Up until then, I had just played guitar and sung for myself and family and friends. I felt that I needed to take things to the next level and getting a little gig with B+R might just do it. I answered the ad and got an audition. I couldn't believe it! On the day of the audition, I took the day off work - I wouldn't have been able to think. I was really nervous, but I practiced those cover tunes until my fingers hurt.

When I got to the Bread and Roses offices in Mill Valley, they put me in a conference room at a very large table. The two interviewers sat on one side, and I sat on the other. I played those tunes so well, but my nerves got the best of me and they could see it. So they said, "At this time, I don't think we can use you." My heart sank. Then, they said, "But your enthusiasm makes us want to use you in some way, would you be interested in 'hosting' other musicians at these shows".

So that's what I did for about 3 months - until they had a performer that canceled a show at the last minute. They called and asked if I'd step in, and that's how I started performing at hospital, day care centers, and psych wards around the Bay Area. That was 17 years ago. It was this ongoing gig that inspired me to start writing my own songs.

NOTE: I have been a very lucky man in many other ways as well, all due to my association with Bread and Roses. I have met some pretty amazing folks and been backstage with some notable musical luminaries. Really! Look for those stories next...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting Back in The Groove...

...in two ways. First, it's high time I write something on my blog here. I know that the three people who follow this are wondering if I'd ever write again! I have not put finger to key here since we came back from Hawaii. So here we go.

I have been contacted again by a guy that I've worked with before. He's a christian songwriter in North Carolina who seems to like my guitar playing enough to pay me to play on his projects. He's asked me to play a little acoustic lead and another pass with electric lead on a country gospel tune of his. I laid down a first couple takes and sent them along. There was a little noise on the electric track - probably from me standing to close to the computer monitor whilst recording. It's funny, I didn't hear it when I played it back. So I'll redo the electric part tonight. The acoustic part was okay, but I'm still going to redo the key change part of the song again. That was a little tricky. I'll send him a couple new files later on tonight.

I have recorded my two new songs, Earline and Politics By Other Means. Both songs from the last FAWM, I've re-written them and finally laid down some trackage for those. I'm not quite down with either of them yet, although Earline is on my webpage at the very bottom of the page. philbearce.com

That's it for now, kind blog follower. Namaste'