Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Now on My Space

I recently created myself a page on My Space. It is pretty cool how it works, and I have spent countless hours setting up my profile, downloading music, pictures, etc. So far I have had about 200 hits, I think, and have about 150 or so friends. I'm not really sure if they are really friends or they are people like me merely out for networking and hopefully making contacts out here in cyberspace.

Anyway, I think it's neat how it works. Duh! I know My Space has been around a while, but it's typical of my behavior to catch on to things slowly. It's hard for me to keep up with all that is going on while juggling a day job, family life, bills and such. I don't have a whole lot of time to spend on the internet, so I have to take it in stride.

My interview on Sept. 12 went great, and I had a whole bunch of hits to my website as a result. Also, I realized some soaring CD sales. ha! Lisa Davis of Mississippi Public Radio conducted the interview and did an excellent job. It was a lot of fun, and I hope any readers out there that were listeners that day enjoyed it too. Beyond Katrina, was the program, and it is aired every Tuesday at 9:00 A.m. on M.P.R. Slabbed, was the featured song and Lisa played it after the interview.

Check me out at My Space

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Slabbed will be aired

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, I will be doing a phone interview and discussing my Katrina song "Slabbed".
Mississippi Public Radio contacted me today and was excited to have recieved my press kit and a copy of The Road of Life cd. Sometime around 9:00-9:30 the program will be aired.

This is very exciting for me and a lot of people will be able to hear my take on Katrina. Several songs have been written about this terrible storm, but I'm not sure if anyone other than me has composed one from a Slabbed point of view. I was really slabbed, and if I would have been gutted, I'm sure I would have recorded a song titled "gutted' or something on that order.

My chorus line starts with "slabbed by a big wall of water coming in, being driven by a hundred fifty mile an hour wind"......This could be a controversial statement. But a true one.

I know what happened, I could look at my slab and my whole neighborhood and tell that the hurricane force winds blew the surge in and Slabbed us all on my street.
I guess we will all find out in time when the litigation is all over. It may be years.

Look at New Orleans. They got flooded out. The water came in slowly and inundated the area. Most of the structures are still standing, just flooded. It sucks for them, but just flooded.

Now some of us here on the Mississippi Coast got Gutted. Thats caused when wind driven water blows out the interior of your home and ruins everything, but the basic structure is still intact. Some structures that were Gutted were also Racked. Walls were knocked out of plumb and foundations were shifted, but still stood.

Getting Flooded, Gutted, or Racked is a terrible thing. You have to deal with all of the ruined items in your home, mold, filth, stench, and the list goes on and on. Then you have to decide whether to rebuild or just tear down what's left and start over. Very stressful indeed.

Getting Slabbed, however, is different. And it sucks.

You have nothing left. Bare concrete. Broken pieces of PVC pipe where toilets and sinks once stood. A few bricks scattered around the perimeter. Little things laying around. A tool or two. a few dinner plates unbroken laying in a little pile. How in the hell can a dinner plate survive this when I can't even find my fridge. Or my sofa. Nothing of any significance to be found at all. It's like those dinner plates are laughing. They survived. Dammit, they survived.
I don't get it. Guess I never will.

"Slabbed" tells it like it is. Listen to it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Marshall AVT50 Compo Amp

This little amp rocks. I don't know how else to put it.

I was kinda skeptical when I first saw this little amp, solid state output stage, tube pre-amp. I didn't really think Marshall could be serious with such an amp.

I have played Marshall's many years, and cut my rock teeth with a sixties era 100 watt head/two 4x12 cabinets. I know what a Marshall sounds like. The last one I had, Katrina slabbed it away from me. It was a JCM 50 watt all tube combo. I loved that little demon, and got many compliments on my stage sound.

I have recently been buying gear to replace the losses, and found that my budget just wouldn't allow another all tube Marshall if I were also going to replace some of the P.A. gear I lost, so I decided to give the AVT50 a serious look. After reading many great reviews about this amp, I went to a local Marshall dealer to check one out.

This amp is not cheap, it's just cheaper than the all tube models. Retailing for around 750.00, one can be had at stores for around 5 bills, or maybe mail-ordered for 4 hundred, if they are running a sale.

I grabbed a strat off the rack and sat down and started dialing it in. I was amazed at the quality and authenic Marshall sound. A spring reverb unit and included footswitch make this little combo perfect for gigging most clubs in my area.
This amp is loud. 50 Marshall watts compares to about 150 other brand watts. These people know power and how to rate it. The clean channel sounds great and with the right tweaking, I was able to get the bluesy sound I use alot. Switch to the dirty channel, and hold on! The sustain and overdriven overtones are wonderful.

It didn't take long for me to become sold on this amp, and I worked up a deal and took it home. I haven't played live with it yet, but have have a couple great practice sessions with my new group. I can tell that I will be happy with my sound.

As far as dependability and all that shit, I can only say that in thirty + years of playing, I've never had a Marshall crap out on me onstage. I feel sure this one will live up to Marshall's reputation.

Get ya one!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Reflections on getting Slabbed by Katrina

Soon it will be one year since we were slabbed by Katrina. The closer it gets, the more I see it in the news. Events, Prayer services, etc, will be going on down here for several days leading up to the anniversary.
The Beau Rivage Casino will have their grand re-opening on the 29th.

I guess that I will not be celebrating, but merely reflecting upon this past year and all of the changes it has brought into my life.
I still miss my stuff, but I have learned to live without it. So many memories of my past were taken from me that day.
I had boxes and boxes of things that I had been dragging around with me for three decades.

But you know, I guess they weren't really all that important because I never looked into those boxes. They were just there, like an old friend. A comfort to know that my past life was always near me. The photographs of bands long past, my children when they were little, old love letters, just stuff you keep. Your past.

And my boat. Gosh, I miss my boat. I loved to fish and sometimes just take a spin up Bernard Bayou, to just get out on the water. Hopefully someday I can buy another one, but Katrina caused too much financial loss to me. A boat will just have to wait.

My tools. I wanted to change the oil in my new truck the other day. Preparing to do so was when the realization of having lost a fantastic collection of tools set in.

Aggie and I had some very cool items in our home that her sister brought us from Indonesia last year. Gone.

It's all gone.

But we have a lot of new things now and life is comfortable, but none of it seems like ours.

Kinda feels like we are on vacation, living in someone else's home. Using their stuff.

Weird feelings, Reflections........

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Seagull S-6 Guitar

The Seagull S-6 is a great axe. Deep resonant tones from the solid spruce top, and real playability are the reasons I chose the Seagull a few years back when in the market for an affordable, yet pro acoustic guitar. I tried the lower line Martins, but found the Seagull to have a richer tone and better action.

When I started recording The Road of Life album, I wasn't really sure of the results I would get out of the S-6, as my only experience with playing it since I bought it was just sitting on the porch writing, not really playing hard, just a tool to structure my compositions.

In the studio, I miked the S-6 with my Apex415 condenser mike, and was able to get exactly the results I was looking for.

For live work, the S-6 has a built in active bridge transducer with volume and tone controls mounted on the top of the body. A quarter inch jack is built into the strap button on the back.

I've used my S-6 several evenings performing at Writers Nights around the coast, and I have had loads of compliments on the rich, Live sound the S-6 produces. Hell, I haven't even had to change the battery in two years.
Coupled with my JBL JRX115's and my Yamaha EMX512SC powered mixer, I can get a tremendous sound in any venue that doesn't already have a house p.a.
I say the Seagull S-6 is about as good as they get, for recording, stage, or just singing love songs to your girlfriend by a cozy fireplace.
Listen to my album, the especially Islamorada, Love is like a fire, and Baby You and Me. You can experience the rich warmth of the Seagull S-6. Check um out.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I went to a little bar last night called Daffy's on the river to catch Pete Leoni playing. I had read in the paper that he was there every Sunday night.
Haven't seen Pete since Katrina struck us, so I wanted to catch up on the happenings. Pete, like myself, got slabbed by Katrina and has been away for months trying to get things together.

Pete Leoni is a local recording guru on the Gulf Coast. He is one of the pioneers in the digital recording field, and has several mag articles to his credit.
I did the guitar tracks on a friends album at Pete's in 1999, and was very amazed at the things he had going on.
I later did a couple of demo's myself at Pete's. He is a fantastic musician, and his trio sounded great.

He asked if I brought a guitar, and naturally I didn't, so he coerced me into going home and getting one.
I grabbed my Seagull acoustic and headed back to Daffy's where I found myself performing solo the entire Road of Life Album.

The crowd enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, and got tons of compliments. What fun!
Read some of Pete's articles.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I've had a lot of folks ask me what inspired me to write a song about the Florida Keys when I live in Mississippi. Well my travels on the road of life have taken me to many exciting and beautiful places, and the Keys are one such place to me. I spent a good bit of time living on island time in the 90's, and was so inspired to write. The Keys offer great water for boating of all kinds, and the laid back atmosphere is one I can relate to. My brother, Scott B. Williams, got me interested in the Keys when he spent so much time there preparing for his Caribbean trip which resulted in his great book, On Island Time.

Pick up a copy of "On Island Time" and my cd "The Road of Life" today. Grab a cold beer, go to track number 8, and picture yourself sailing to the Islamorada.