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Father's Day, sweet gig, great weather...

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..What more could we ask for? :cool:


I returned from my jazz gig in Cookeville, Tn (hour or so east of Nashville) an hour and fifteen min. ago. What a day!


At 7am I drove an EAW KF850 system out to a beautiful little pavillion that faces out to a tiny, shaded park. The venue supplies knowlegeable crew and I have an intelligent soundman to work with whose done the gig 3 years running. Between errands and the extra distance from my house I make the 9am load in right on time. And no traffic early on Sunday morning. :thu:


Now that everyone was familiar with the rig from the last gig, it went up in no time. The stage was wired save for the (non-existant) instruments before 10:30am, leaving me time for some musical masterbation in the form of my acoustic guitar and a vocal mic into the monitors. Yeah, baby! Jason (the other mixer) already has the FOH pleasantly thumping. No ear attack. Just nice, smooth, appropriate volume. Life is good...


After retiring the guitar, I dig into my cooler for Pastrami which goes on the fresh sourdough bread. I've got Clausen Hearty Garlic pickles, baked tortilla chips with salsa, plenty of Gatorade and cheap vanilla cola and blackcherry sodas. It's a picnic feast in monitor world. :)


The good life gets better!


The bass player shows up first. It's Jerry Navarro. A wonderful jazz bassist who played on the previous gig for another artist. They tell me Rod McGaha, a trumpeter is the artist. Incredible! I used to see his name listed in the local alternative newspaper's music listings, but I've never had to opportunity to hear him play. Then the drummer arrives. It's Chester Thompson! He's off tour with Phil Collins unti September. He's a wonderful drummer and an A list session player, too. I met him several times and worked a clinic once with him, but never a concert performance. God I love how small the Nashville world is! :thu: Shortly before the gig is set to start, Kelly Cox arrives to play keys. She looks 10 months pregnant! :D Despite my ignorance of Kelly's resume, she quickly shows me why a musician of Rod's stature asked her on the gig. She's wonderful! A band of consumate pros! Life certainly is good.. and then some.


Rod pulls out a trumpet that looks about as antique as they come. It has the worn look that exudes history. Whether it was the horn of a legendary performer, an unknown genius or simply an ancestor of Rod's is immaterial. It simply begs to be played. And what's more, given the limited choice of a 57 (which Rod is more than happy to play on) or a Sennheiser 421, I choose to play with the Senn first, only going to the 57 if it falls flat. He's looking for a warm, round tone. Not that brassy, almost disgusting sound so many horn players want because of Doc Severinsen and countless other bright horn sections. This is a "talking" tone. A solo voice that can open to a bright sound, but is equally at home almost mumbling out beautiful melodies that draw listeners in as the level dives near zero. Again, yeah, baby!!


The 421 is shweeeeet on the horn and the 57 is relegated back to the workbox.


And now Rod wants to record through the internal mic of his laptop. I tell him I'm way ahead of him. The stereo tracks will be dry (no effects at monitor world) but I've already hooked in an additional send direct to a CD recorder. Not going to be a pristine recording, but it should be fun to listen to. I end up having to monitor from my cue wedge, which is good and bad. Can't monitor stereo, but the wedge is a sweet sounding EAW. At high volume it's a rock and roll wedge, but at the volumes we're pushing, it gives me an adequate monitor for the recording.


My family shows up and Lilly is fawning on daddy. "Happy Father's Day" over and over as I drag her around the stage, attached by her everpresent hug as I tidy some stage issues. The stage is such that she easily comes by to see me during the show she visits me. Sometimes dancing, sometimes just sitting in daddy's arms, and part of the time drawing smiley faces and hearts on the unused channels of the Soundcraft System 2 I'm mixing on.


The show starts and by the end of the first song, I will not get another request from any of the musicians for changes in the monitors. Quality people, good equipment and leave it the heck alone. :thu:


My parents love the music. Denise enjoys it as well. That makes dragging them to the gig worthwhile. (My parents arrived Friday night after 15 hours or so from Florida and on Monday it's another 8 to my brother's house. Almost 3 extra hours in the car wasn't exactly an exciting prospect for them when I mentioned I was working on Father's Day and would like them to be there.


At the end of the show, I finalized the CDs, Rod burns the audio to the laptop. My family leaves for home. Load out takes an hour and a half and I'm home by 6:30pm. Now it's time for a quick shower and mom & dad are taking us out to dinner.


This has to be one of the best days I've had in a long, long time.


I'm good tired. Tonight, I'll certainly settle easy to sleep. :cool:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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You paint a very vivid picture, Neil. I could visualize every scene as you described it, wish I'd been there. I'm not a sound man, but being a musician, you seem to have had the kind of day we all dream about. Very well told account of your day, I'm glad you had such a great time!

My gear: http://fendercaster.freeservers.com/guit3.html


If you own two Lexus cars, do you have Lexi?

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Ok, Charlie Brown! (Er, I mean, Tedster!)


I'm sure Preston thought it was the bestest rock in the whole world! :thu:


Thank you, Fendercaster. I don't consider myself a good writer but I love to share great experiences, so I verbally plod on in hopes someone finds my descriptions enjoyable. ;)


I love stories. Reading them, hearing them and telling them. There are so many places I'll never go, people I'll never meet and things I'll never see. I savor every chance I get to be immersed in vivid descriptions that, while not the same as being there, open a door or a window into a world that might be around the corner or across the globe.


If I can give that gift to someone else... well, :thu:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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