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Boogie Woogie Show Presentation


Blues Disciple

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I have finally figured out a solo piano show to play my Christian blues music. I tried writing more music with more "popular" chordings and progresssions to no avail. The band approach is still an option, yet time is just not there. So hence the solo blues pianist show.

 

My question: I've got the equipment and the material. I can get the PA stuff needed. I'm working on the promo pack. But to get to aesthetics---what should a boogie-woogie style pianist wear and how should he present himself to a crowd? Jacket and tie? Something wilder? Stage patter?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

BD

 

PS: Does anyone make an "electric upright" piano? I like grand pianos, but I love the sound of an old, slightly out of tune upright.

"With the help of God and true friends I've come to realize, I still have two strong legs and even wings to fly" Gregg Allman from "Ain't Wastin Time No More"
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Originally posted by Blues Disciple:

Does anyone make an "electric upright" piano? I like grand pianos, but I love the sound of an old, slightly out of tune upright.

 

Yamaha made a CP60 about the time as the CP70 and CP80:

 

http://www.synthony.com/vintage/cp60cp70cp80.html

 

I had a Yamaha (acoustic) upright that I used to mike and run through a chorus to get a deliciously wobbly (though spacy) sound. Whether acoustic or electric, they are all heavy though. :(

 

Blues disciple, I'd love to hear your music. It sounds interesting.

 

Jerry

 

PS: I'm not the stage patter hotshot, but perhaps you could create a character, either biblical or period (20th century) to tell stories, connect songs together, explain styles, etc. Or not. ;)

 

I guess it depends on whether you want to brand your persona (a la Rod Stewart) or your act (a la Cirque du Soleil)?

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Originally posted by Blues Disciple:

PS: Does anyone make an "electric upright" piano? I like grand pianos, but I love the sound of an old, slightly out of tune upright.

 

Kawai used to make one...it was called something like EP608. Also, there was a company called Helpinstill that made one as well, IIRC - they were designed by Charlie Helpinstill from Texas.

 

Don't know of any currently manufactured like that...

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Originally posted by Blues Disciple:

My question: I've got the equipment and the material. I can get the PA stuff needed. I'm working on the promo pack. But to get to aesthetics---what should a boogie-woogie style pianist wear and how should he present himself to a crowd? Jacket and tie? Something wilder? Stage patter?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

BD

 

PS: Does anyone make an "electric upright" piano? I like grand pianos, but I love the sound of an old, slightly out of tune upright.

 

If you wear a jacket and tie make sure they are loud!

 

The QS8 has some half decent honky-tonk piano sounds but I like to mix my QS8 with the piano from a techics WSA1R module for that sort of sound. I think you could probably find what you want on a Kurzweil PC2R too - that unit has a lot of fine pianos on it.

 

Pity you are in North Carolina. If you could get over to Seattle and hear Annieville Blues (Annie Wooden) play live, you could see how it should be done.

 

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: Byrdman ]

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when i did jerry lee lewis tribute shows i just wore what he used to. sometimes it was just jeans and leather jacket, or sometimes a bright yellow suit. even a red suit would be good hey. and if you have long hair like him, even better. (that's only if you're doing JLL though).

 

you can program most synths to be slightly out of tune. i don't know if that's what you're pointing to or not.

 

pray,

kendall

"Consider how much coffee you're drinking - it's probably not enough."
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Thanks for the tips guys. JImbyJoe--tell me more about your JLL show. Was it just you and the piano? Or did you have the backing band? Was it well received? For what audiences did you play for? Where did you get the bright wardrobe? What about shoes? hat? ties? What equipment did you use? (PA, piano, etc.) Any advice for a solo boogie-woogie piano show?

 

I just bought a JLL live CD yesterday along with a "Blues Piano Greats" compilation to further explore the Killer and others.

 

To all thanks for the tips. Does Yamaha still make the Electric Grand and the Electric upright? My old Ensoniq electric grand has a great detuned upright honky-tonk sound, but I fear its going on the blink. Anyone have an old expression pedal for this model they'd like to sell?

 

As always, any comments and help are always appreciated

 

BD

"With the help of God and true friends I've come to realize, I still have two strong legs and even wings to fly" Gregg Allman from "Ain't Wastin Time No More"
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bd,

 

my infamous show, that got me in a local newspaper (wow..not)

clothing - my promoter supplied me with a bright yellow suit, and i wore a black shirt underneath. JLL always used to pull his trousers right up, so doing that between songs is good. some shows i just wore old style jeans and the same short sleeve black shirt. shoes? just black i think, though he did wear white ones i think.

 

music - i had a band backing me (i was a segment in a very large production that featured other tribute shows). most JLL is just 12 bar blues anyway. i used an old piano of mine that was just slightly out of tune, and carting it everywhere made it go out further, so it was ideal. the action was a bit shallow so i had to slam the keys hard. don't like doing that.

 

impersonation - he was wild. when you do a solo, kick the chair out of the way behind you. if you're a performer by nature, all of this acting will come very easily. i also used to slam my feet on the keys, just gotta watch you don't over-balance or tear your trousers. and sit on the keys too. just make a very loud noise. you may notice his live solos vs. his studio solos can be very very different. live, he just went pyscho. you could tell there were wrong notes all over the place (i'm talking about his early stuff here). just take all your anger out on the piano. don't worry that you don't pull the solos off perfectly. if you've got a decent crowd they will love it. the crowd responded well to the kicking of the chair, not so much to the solos though.

 

being australian (g'day mate, howsitgoin), trying to imitate a deep southern american accent is particularly hard. (i think it's funny when people try to do an aussie accent - well you'd be laughing at me with my aussie deep south american accent). you should find it somewhat easier. if it's just you and backing track in a restaurant or something small, don't necessarily go totally psycho and kick the chair into some poor waitress's face. if you've got a backing band and an audience watching you specifically, then let loose. for the former, i'd concentrate on making sure the audience (active or passive) knew the song, as well as making the music very authentic. for the latter, get the personality of JLL right. if you can nail the solos, fine. but play to the audience. they are the ones paying you. kick the chair, slam your bum on the piano, wear bright clothing, get the accent right. if there is an elvis tribute show within your production, go chase after him saying "i'm gonna kill you elvis you b*&%ard". basically just play to the crowd. i think i'm repeating myself so i'll just go to bed. hope this all helps somewhat.

try www.jllewis.com

 

pray,

k

"Consider how much coffee you're drinking - it's probably not enough."
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Originally posted by jimbyjoe:

bd,

 

 

being australian (g'day mate, howsitgoin), trying to imitate a deep southern american accent is particularly hard. (i think it's funny when people try to do an aussie accent - well you'd be laughing at me with my aussie deep south american accent). you should find it somewhat easier.

 

Hey Jimbee - as someone who grew up in Oz and now lives in the US, I get tired of all the people who, upon hearing I am from there, do their best Paul Hogan accents (usually something about shrimps on a barbie - "shrimp" is American for "prawn" and barbie is a popular doll from Mattel)

 

So just as most Aussies don't sound like Paul Hogan, there's a whole slew of accents over here too. There's not even a "Southern" accent - there's a whole bunch divided by region, by class, and by race. An upper class person from Savanah will sound nothing like an educated African American from New Orleans, and neither will sound like their poor rural bretheren.

 

So it really is no easier for a randomly selected American to imitate the accent than it is for anybody else.

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