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Showcase at Iota Club and Cafe

Had a lot of fun at the Local IOTA Notables Showcase last night. It was great getting to hear so many different performers in one night. The 10-minute set times had everyone buzzing, trying to get our songs in without going over. Amazingly it all seemed to flow pretty well; Mike Holden and Jon Kaplan did a great job emceeing the proceedings. For my set, I started off solo with a new one, Take Me Away, and then Chuck joined me for Ordinary Way and What Did You Mean. The complete list of performers, in order, was Mike Holden, Jon Kaplan (Bicycle Thieves), Scott Kurt (Carroway), Justin Sheehy (Jonasay), Meghan Hayes, Mike Shupp, Dave Greksouk (The Reserves), Andy Zipf, Justin Jones, Nefrit El-Or, Tim Bracken, Lee Wilhoit & Phoebus (Sweetie Pie Jones), Shane Hines, and Leah Morgan; and Mike and Jon closed out the night with a few more tunes each. IOTA’s new photograph collection looked great, I’ll have to have a more leisurely look on my next visit. Congrats to Steve and Jane and the whole IOTA family.

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Luna Park Grille

Live at Luna Park Grille<RANT>Forgot the camera!  Forgot to hire a soundman! (well, not really; chose not to)  It was 3°F outside!</RANT>  Played neighborhood bar Luna Park Grille this past Friday night, three sets, from (approximately) 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  We had pieced together a P.A. system from (mostly) our own gear, and after some quick reconnaissance at the venue, actually situated ourselves and our gear fairly comfortably on the very small stage.  I ran sound for acoustic openers Lee Wilhoit and Tim Bracken, and after twenty five minutes or so of troubleshooting what must have been either a bad direct box or bad cable (never did quite add up) eventually got a serviceable sound, with Tim going direct and Lee actually running his acoustic through my Marshall JCM 800 rig, plugging into the rarely used “Low Sensitivity” input to avoid the preamp gain as much as possible.  Then, upon taking the stage ourselves, we encountered the dreaded “shocking microphone” syndrome—you get an electric shock if your lips actually touch, or come too close to the microphone.  Kudos to Chuck for isolating the problem during our break before beginning the second set (instrument amps plugged in to the same circuit as the lights and different from the PA)—my deductive powers by that time being spent.  Or maybe it was just too much shocking…

A decent crowd was on hand, considering it was 3° outside.  Granted that was with wind chill, but… did I mention it was 3° outside?!?!  We are ready for Minneapolis now, I guess… We were able to pull liberally from all three CDs, having really beefed up the repertoire in recent rehearsals… amazing progress for our new lineup in such short time.  We settled nicely into the second set, catching a pretty good groove, and sounding okay at least up on stage.  Even played a few covers, mostly in the third set, to help round out the night.  Lee has promised to e-mail some photos he took (and thanks for getting us started with sound, for our first couple tunes), hopefully I can post those soon.  Quite a friendly bar, we even got a little help from the clientele with load-out… in the 3° weather!  Chris and I hit the IHOP on the way home (IHOP!)… haven’t done that in a long time… then back at the house, we were literally unable to unload the van, due to the ice, and incline… grabbed guitars, snare drum, etc… but after each hitting the ground at least once, reason finally prevailed.  Did I mention it was—