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ahh - the fearlessness of youth.


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Last night a local group of high school kids played a set during our break. They rehearse in our singer's garage and we've known most of them since they were... well, in diapers.


A 7 piece ska band (G***ar, bass, drums, 2 sax (saxii?), trombone and trumpet... think Mighty Mighty Bosstones - sorta kinda.


These guys work real hard to do it right, and this was their 1st performance LIVE.


The bass player has sat in previously (with an 'alt rock' band), and is a great kid. It's been a year since I heard him play. Man, he has improved 10 fold... obviously putting in the 'shed time!! He came up on stage, we chatted, he plugged in. I asked him if he wanted any changes (tone-wise)... "Nope - this sounds great!! I might need to turn it up, if needed."


"OK by me." I trust this young player like he was my son. He's been nothing less than respectful and thankful for the chance to play. In turn, I give him the same respect. It's all good.


They sounded great (trumpet player absolutely smoked). 5 of the 6 tunes they played were originals (criminy!! These guys are 17/18 years old!!). Great fun. Tons o' energy. They just got up there and did their thing, and did it well, I might add. It might have helped that they had 60-70 of their 'closest' high school friends (and parents) on hand to cheer them on. Definition of "support System", maybe. Works for me.


[And it's always nice to get out and 'hear' your rig from the audience's POV]


We invited the horn section to hang around and play during our next set.


It's tough to find that 'common denominator' (song-wise) between 50+ year old guys and teens - but they were up for it - " Tell us the key, we're good to go."


We played 6 songs with them, the best of which were "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (the Buckinghams, et al}, "Vehicle" {Ides of March}, "Take Me To the River" {Al Green} and the requisite - "Mustang Sally"... think the last two as versions from the movie "The Commitments".


It was a real kick - I may have enjoyed it more than these youngsters.


Point is - There have been comments (not in this forum) as to the life of music performance as pertains to young musicians. New technology, music Biz pressures, and so on...


I'm not concerned (except, maybe from the support of the "Industry"). I think the 'value' of the give-and-take from the performers' and audiences' perspective is strong - and a big "Thumbs -Up"

:thu: to those young players who deserve and earn our support.




Confirmed RoscoeHead

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Thanks for brightining my morning with feel good human kindness and a tale of sharing respect. It is almost as though I can feel it in my heart. I'm smiling way to big right now :D (I WAS having a rather dreary morning)

Also, I think that for sax player you would say saxophonists because sax isnt really a word as far as I know.


Thanks again, Jonathan






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Great story Jim, and having seen some "local young talent" over the years, I'm glad you see the strength of young players as well. When my kids were in high school, the quality of play (both school bands and outside bands) was so great. It reminded me of all the time I put in back in those days.


My church is working up a "youth music group" for Sunday night Mass. I played with them this past week. The problem with these groups is always the drummers. The "melody instruments" (violin, clarinet, flute, etc.) are usually fine (and reading parts), and the kids we have play well. The piano player is the son of the music director and can play with a group much better than you'd expect for a 15 year old (at this age the pianists often haven't learned to listen and play with the group, but Joe is great). The guitarist is an old friend (in every sense).


They had a guy who claimed to be a professional drummer there during the pre-Mass rehearsal who seemed to be reprimanding as much as instructing. I sat next to the drummers - two guys who switched off and were 14 & 15. OK, they weren't fabulous, but they were pretty good. I did my best to play simple "lock-in" parts and helped them keep the beat. I also made the odd suggestion (e.g. "play the ride (instead of the hi-hat) on the refrain"). What impressed me was that they were paying close attention and listening. They shaped what they did to the music, didn't overplay, and sounded tight on most of the songs (one has a weird tempo change that I missed the first time out). These guys will be incredible in a few months.


I asked the 15 yr old if he had a band (they both play in school). He said yeah - they do 70's music like black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Ah - love for the classics !!




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I went out to see a band a couple of years ago (I don't get out much except if I'm gigging - how pitiful is that?). A really good originals/cover band whose CD I had received as a gift the prior Christmas. A great show, really top-notch. Power, energy, humor, a great rapport with the audience. I had a great time.


After the show, the lead singer came up to me and was almost jumping up and down with joy. I was confused. Turns out that he and his band-mates had come and seen us play at block-parties and such when they were little kids. The singer's mom and dad were always in attendance when we played out, and had (apparently) brought young Mike and his pals along.


We talked a lot. This band is just absolutely smoking-hot. We've been lucky enough to get some dual-gigs with them and, though they can play rings around us, they're always just wonderful to gig with. We've sat in with them, they've sat in with us...


(I only hate them for their inexhaustable energy. I remember when we used to have that level. Then we had kids...)


It's strange - I'm proud of them. I dont know if our attitude of friendship between bandmembers (not to mention some good, clean fun, and not taking ourselves too seriously) and them watching as kids had anything to do with their musicianship, stage presence and deep friendship between the members of that band, but it closely parallels the 'tones (except for that whole 'musicianship' and 'stage presence' part...). It's truly a joy to watch.


We see them whenever we can, and they always acknowledge us. It does these old hearts good. We sit back and act like we used to play the Fillmore, and now we're just slumming.



t from j

Play. Just play.
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