Saturday, 13 June 2015

Hanging out with Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd, Upcoming summer shows

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog and I thought it was about time to put fingers to work on the keyboard. In this case, the computer keyboard instead of a synthesizer. A lot of my past few months have been consumed by domestic circumstances. Of course I have still been playing music, but haven’t pushing the BoodAbooM band much as I should. I am still stumbling through the process of changing distributors which doesn’t help. The gigging in the past couple of months has been mostly working with a dance / cover band adding harmonica, guitar, harmony vocals, as well as singing a dozen or so rock cover tunes. It’s been fun and profitable, but I really need to concentrate on other things, like my own music.
Nick Gilder and I before the show.
 I have also been playing a few solo shows lately including opening for Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd at a pair of concerts here on Vancouver Island. Opening up a rock show armed with only my guitar and my voice was a little unnerving at first thought.  I called the promoter back to be sure he realized who and what he was bringing to the stage. I had been recommended to Brandon of Nightlife Entertainment, so he was glad to have me on board for the shows. It was super cool to throw myself out there in “Billy Bragg” style. The first show at the Tidemark Theatre was huge fun! After introductions from Nanaimo Hip-Hop Artist “SirReal”, I opened with the song “The Answer” from my BoodAbooM album and dove straight into “The Light Within” off the “Choices” album. I kicked out my best, had a great time with the audience, a lot of laughs and a few tears on the sadder songs. I leaned heavily into my up tempo folk-rock / alternative songs from previous releases and a couple of new songs.
Tidemark Theatre

The audience rewarded me with warmth, many applause and cheers. If you’d like to see half an hour or so of the concert click here. If you’d like to see a quick clip from that show, click here to watch “Canada `52” being performed. It was also awesome to hang around with a master entertainer like Nick Gilder for a couple of days. He and the boys put on a fantastic genuine rock show. Nick draws the audience in, shares his music and by the time the night is over folks are dancing in front of the stage like it’s party time plus! At the Saturday show I watched him wander through the crowd of dancers, remote mic in hand singing his heart out. All the while trying to accommodate those trying to get “selfies”.
Before the show in Parksville
Nick’s band was nothing short of amazing. They were energetic and played with razor sharp precision. Longtime stage mate Mark Kenny on bass, former Trooper alumni Lance Chalmers on drums, another longtime stage mate Mike Russell on guitars and keyboards, along with the amazing guitarist Joe Wowk. That band absolutely floored me with their musical prowess. Mike Russell has cloned the Jon Lorde organ sounds and plays like a maestro.  At this point I have to say that Joe Wowk left me slack jawed with his guitar work. I’m pretty sure I heard him do things with a guitar that I’ve never heard before. By the way, groove master Mark Kenny took the picture of me and Nick, that’s no selfie.
I’m doing some solo shows this summer starting with one of my faves, the Lantzville Farmers Market. The farmers market shows are cool because not only are you paid to perform, but it’s friendly and laidback. ( Welcome to the west coast folks ) There is no clock or particular set times to complete. Stop when folks want to chat, sell your merchandise, take requests and gratuities if you can do the song, notes for next time if you can’t. I love these kind of shows and the bonus is you get to go home with some great local grown produce and products in your goodie bag. June 21st I will be starting at 1:30 in Lantzville. Check the BoodAbooM website to find out where and when I’m playing after that. Ok, I admit it. Sometimes I’m a little laxed in getting the postings up. For current information it’s best to follow my “Theo’s Trio” facebook page. I will also be performing as part of the “Donny Boyd and Fine Company” at the Vancouver Island Exhibition held in Nanaimo this August and a few other select concerts.
Before I “write off into the sunset” for this blog, let me toss out a little bit of reality check. We’ve all heard the joke about musicians, “$5000 worth of gear into a $500 vehicle willing to drive 500 miles to a gig for $50”. It’s not a joke, for the right gig it’s true. Having been on both sides of the fence I will assure you that to hire a high profile musical act is not cheap. Here is a link to what some of today’s big stars are asking for when they perform. Here’s what the performers got paid to appear at the famous Woodstock Festival. Santana did the gig for $750. And another income story of interest is the grammy award winning music writer who revealed his royalty statement and talks about the low compensation for online music streaming. Morale of the story is, if you’re going to choose music as your livelihood do it as a labour of love. Don’t take up music thinking you’re going to get rich. If that happens, nice. Just don’t make that your motivating factor, rather submit to the muse and let the music take you to where you need to go.
All that withstanding, I have posted a link on my BoodAbooM website for you to stream and listen to the songs from my two most recent albums free of charge. The link will take you to my CBC based website.
Remember as you wind your way through the path of life that we are all connected, everything changes and you have to pay attention. Wake up, be aware folks, accept the reality of your situation and do what needs to be done. Treat each other with love, kindness, respect and truth. Things will get better that way.
Namaste, Brother T