It’s been a couple of years since our last gig at Godfrey’s. We’ve managed a few rehearsals locally this fall, but none with Reid. That’s no big deal. Reid is a rock.
We got together earlier on Friday, checked in on our recent health escapades (old guys, ya know…) and went through the set I had prepared. We were aiming for an hour and a half set, so I did my best to figure out how to balance each lad’s voice, diversify the rhythms, genres, etc. and add in old and new songs. It’s a long process preparing for rehearsals and the gig.
Anyway, it was a fairly good session, and several times we remarked to each other, “Hey, this is a good band!” We were in good shape for the show after three hours together. Amazing, actually. Some of the tunes sounded better in the afternoon, too.
We did an extra sound check with Jason, stepping up himself to cover our show. He had the whole board set up for him from the morning, so he as prepared as could be. Nothing like going into the studio with 12 tracks and a live band. (It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get a good tape of the show. Jason was a bit overwhelmed to think about the recording.)
Choo Choo Cha Boogie, and we are away in style. Don’t Call Me Early, Got What It Takes, Payday Blues, How Can I Miss You and Bloodshot Eyes, all relatively familiar tunes that got us comfortable. Still, often a crap shoot as to who’s lead it is. That’s when we miss the tightness we used to have, or could rehearse several times ahead. Again, old guys with old brains.
Kris did Waits’ Til The Money Runs Out, staking out his corner in this band. Water of Love was a new one for the band, good but not great. The new stuff usually gets the lads’ creativity up. Tornado, Giant and Delilah followed. We were getting louder…
Hub’s spotlight was You Don’t Know Me with Reid and the others chipping in atmosphere. Twenty-four Robbers got me on mandolin for the first time tonight. Jeff followed by stepping out from the drums (catch that?) and fronting the band for Old Cowhand, Ooh, Baby Baby and Too Old To Die Young, last two new songs for the band.
We headed for the final stretch, back on our regular instruments and I did Heart of Saturday Night, another Waits’ tune and a new one for the band. It was solid but their was some fatigue on our parts, and, frankly, the audience. Sluggish applause.
We tried Good Hearted Woman, and, per usual (I get one mulligan), I screwed up the key and we started over again. (Last time it was Angel from Montgomery as a waltz. We actually pulled it off.) I did Santa Assassin, Reid did Shorty (loud) and Lessons from Pete. That came out really nice with lots of controlled spaces for leads and dynamics. We quickly begged for an encore and did a spritely Texas Swing. Good night, all.
Immediately after steppin’ off stage (again!!), a friend and long-time supporter said, “You were too loud.” Yes, we were. We’re old guys who get together every year and crank it up. But she was right, too. Too Loud!
By most standards, we put on a good show and played well. We all could have played better individually, and could have shaped our sound better. It would have been nice to have a better and more complete recording (we’ve got a very small archive of tapes).
The important thing is that we could celebrate our friendships. We are all good, good friends, still able to gather to make fine music, put on a show, and share our scars from the last two years. Deep love, actually.