Chinatown Night Market (10/12/17)

Today we got to play our long-anticipated Chinatown Night Market gig…

“Pump It Up”, thanks, Elvis, for writing a shredder:


Waiting for the stage to materialize…


Rahul and Ron, Guardians of the Percussion.


The street goes pedestrian.


Setting up the drums. We arrived at 4:30 for the 5:00 soundcheck, which eventually happened at 6:45 or thereabouts. All’s well that ends well.


Shaka from Bruddah Ron, with Chris and Rahul.


Band shot with Ron, Jerry, Rahul, Chris, & Cap. *photo courtesy Michele Vandergrift.


Jerry pours his soul into “SOB” by Nate Rateliff and the Night Sweats:


“Black Magic Woman”, with Rahul on lead vocal and lead guitar.


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“Hey Bulldog”.

Many thanks to our friends who came and supported us – it was great to get our rocks off all together.

O’Donnell’s Bar & Grill (10/03/17)


A shot of No Evil (with Cap) as we warmed up our guitars in the guitar toaster before going onstage.

Maiden foray into the street pub jungle: O’Donnell’s in Gloucester City, tonight. We share our percussion section with No Evil, who put on a great set of classic songs (my favorite being “I Can See Clearly Now”, with its catchy melody, jamaican rhythms, and chromatic bridge).


Celebrating after the gig with some hopefully non-obscene hand gestures and Mick’s birthday cake.


Me and our Wild Man.

Thanks to our Achieving Friends Jonathan and Anna, who made the trek and supported this appearance in the wilds of New Jersey. And thanks to Mick, who let us play as Featured Band alongside his No Evil on his birthday, thanks to Kaden for videotaping us, and to Jerry, who brings sheer ebullience to the proceedings while Our Norm in the East is…in the East.


Percussion soul brothers Cap and Ron.

We’re not Pub Virgins anymore. Here’s what we dove into tonight:


Energy level maintained at cruising altitude and blew through 30 minutes. Two members of the audience got out of their chairs to do some rug-cutting.

Now it’s upward and onward to the Chinatown Gate on October 12th…stay tuned.

Ottawa (09/23/17)


Currently in Ottawa, leaving traces of Dreaming Thomas in various places throughout  the center of town. So far no gigs picked up, but you never know.

A little karaoke did happen on the first night: “Hey Bulldog”.


It’s a different place, this place, Always liked it. Beautiful waterfront, Parliament buildings, live music in the Byward Market area, guessing mostly classic rock, but maybe other stuff, too.

It has been unseasonably warm this week…blue skies and sun. May have time to look for some band gear tomorrow…something to add to the costume closet.

Looking forward to busting out the guitar tomorrow or the day after and practicing without the lead sheets. Gotta get on it for October 3rd. The main order of the week, however, is animation. Maybe a music video in the near future…


One day later…sang in the auberge room. Politely. A little hard to accomplish when it means Elvis Costello, but no laws were broken. Hmmm…is this really rock’n’roll?

Well, if you have to ask…

Recording with Daniel (09/17/17)


Daniel, who approves of this message (“Hi, my name is Daniel and I approve this message even though Chris needs to get some chairs”) came over this afternoon to get 12+ original songs started on a path towards becoming an album. It was good to see him, and we had a bit of fun. He’s gracefully accepted the role of mixing engineer, and played me a couple of original tracks of his own to boot (very clean indeed). The basement is the studio, and the stools may or may not be replaced, depending on how comfort affects our creative earwig.


For today, he looked happy enough. Happy as an earwig.


Here we are at the end of laying down some initial tracks for “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” (previous demo version here). We put down a scratch track, rhythm guitar, bass, and lead vocal. The Höfner with a pick gives Clean Fat with Edge.

Since these were just first go’s, I’m going to scrap the wobbly bits I did and start over and then give him shiny new tracks to mix. Daniel’s a pleasure to work alongside – thoughtful, considerate, and mentally organized, plus he likes to tell you jokes when he thinks you’re not paying attention. Always good to spend quality hang time with Daniel. He didn’t leave any Ricola in the sofa cracks this time but he almost swiped a pick.


This is the “Serious Sound Engineer” Daniel trying to keep the laptop from falling off the barstool while simultaneously making sophisticated button-pushing decisions.

Band practice chez Rahul with Rahul, Jerry, Norm, Cap, and Ron was immediately after that. Choice of three more tunes to round out the set list: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “(Let Me Stand Next to Your) Fire”, and whichever Strokes song Norm goes for to keep us from heading completely into a Classic Rock Sunset.

Tired and stinky now. Life is good.

October gigs (09/13/17)

The October gig calendar is filling up:


Tuesday, October 3rd, approximately 8pm, 30-minute set; O’Donnell’s 1923 Pub & Grill, Gloucester City, NJ. Featured guest band at the Tuesday jam session.


Thursday, October 12, 8pm, 45-minute set; Chinatown Gate, 10th & Arch, Center City, Philadelphia. Playing onstage as part of the Asian Night Market Festival.


Saturday, October 14, 10am, 45-minute set; Capitolo Playground, Passyunk & 9th, Center City, Philadelphia. The cheesesteak gig.


Saturday, October 21, 8:30pm, hosting for Saito-san’s Headhouse open mic, 2nd and Lombard, Center City.

Also looking to play more café open mics to start unleashing originals.

Starting recording sessions with Daniel on Sunday.

European Tour…well, ok, that one’s still in the dreaming category.

Gojo: Save Me, Norm original… (09/13/17)

These cameos are part of our regular participation habit with Jerry’s Musical Achievers meetup group at Gojjo’s, where we hang with our usual suspects, drink beer, and eat ethiopian dinners with our fingers. The most forgiving and supportive audience you could play for. Thanks to Michael Kitt for videotaping and editing everybody.

“Save Me” – original by Chris

Rahul with some smooth Santana.

Norm’s new original.

“Meadowlarks”, Fleet Foxes.

Band practice (09/09/17)

IMG_1426.JPGGetting ready for October in Chinatown, making sure the night vision gear works. Photo: Jerry Kern

IMG_1415.JPGRon stepping in on percussion. Two guys from Hawai’i in da band tonight. Ho, shoulda brought da poké!

IMG_1421.JPGChris & Rahul.


Norm & Cap.

IMG_1419.JPGChris & Cap, shade modeling.

IMG_1418.JPGBruddah Ron adding latin styling to “Black Magic Woman”.

IMG_5221.JPGJerry is holding down the bass and contributing gutsy lead vocals on “Cold, Cold, Cold” and “S.O.B” during Norm’s asian trek.

IMG_1428.JPGLow-angle Norm.

IMG_1423 copy.JPGA likely crew.

So we’re getting our feet wet, as these videos will attest, but we’re off to a decent start. Working out intros, outros, in-between-tros, etc. Starting out with covers here, but with an ear to originals Norm and Chris have stockpiled and are keen to introduce to an unsuspecting audience.  Our good friend Jerry is sitting in on bass while Norm travels, and Cap’s buddy Ron lent two hands to some excellent percussion at last night’s practice.

The internet may have brought us here, rather than the guitar store message board, but now it’s all humans.

Live practice:

Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)

Cold, Cold, Cold (Cage the Elephant)

Black Magic Woman (Santana)

Radio Free Europe (REM)

A little down-time, fast-finger exercise for Jerry.