July 31, 2007

Yes, it's been a long time since I posted something, and I apologize for that. Time has definitely been accelerating at a frantic pace since this summer began. Anyway, the tour is already been going here in the USA.

It all started in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the home base for the Dregs for many years, and a place where I have friends from way back. A very nice venue, the Chastain Amphitheater, good weather, and an extremely low Decibel limit made it a very strange gig. When I was a kid, I went there to see Cream, and they didn't seem very low volume, but times change. So the big thing was that our sound man couldn't balance everything because the stage volume was still significant. We had turned down the bass control on my amp,unplugged the top guitar cabs, and blanketed the bottom ones to try and give the soundman some room. By the way, if you're ever at a concert and think it's too loud or soft, or too much this or that, try to walk by the soundman's position and have a listen from there..........usually sounds very good, since that's where the soundman hears it, of course. I'm still in favor of everybody in the audience having their own I-Pod size device to make their own mix, though. I got to fly to some gigs in my own machine, since the first gigs were in the neighborhood. Every day we had these lines of thunderstorms to deal with, and to this day, they have not let up for one single day, after a long drought. The grass should look good (6 feet tall) by the time I get to mow it.

One of the big highlights was having my son travel with me for those shows, too. He and his friends have an enthusiasm for music that is incredible, partly because they all play in a band. In Pompano, Kevin came up and joined us for "Smoke..." along with Mark Stein, the singer/keyboardist from Vanilla Fudge. Kev was playing great, moving around the stage, smiling,, and I had an even better time watching him shred with such energy. My son, the guitarist, won't even let me say one word when he plays me one of his instrumental ideas, so that nobody could say that he got help from me. In fact, he won't let me suggest anything to play in a solo, either. I do get to give him advice on theory, technique, stuff like that, though. Mark Stein was a very nice guy, and the rumor is that he is getting Vanilla Fudge back together for our NYC show, but you didn't hear that from me. I can't wait to hear him sing again. I have to let people know, also, how incredible Edgar Winter was on those Florida shows. He was absolutely musical, had a great band, and simply loves music. He and his guitarist, Doug, sat in with us in Clearwater and blew us away with an amazing saxophone solo. Edgar is one of those guys that breathes music, and can't help but make anything sound good! Very impressive also, was how Doug could really solo, but layed back and provided musical support during some solo exchanges that were happening, even though he is a very capable player himself. That ability to play what fits is what makes a good player great.

Ted Nugent has been a hero to me for decades upon decades. So, we played an outdoor show in Canada with his group, as well as Honeymoon Suite and Nazareth. All the guys I talked to, including Ted, were very nice and had so much experience between them, it was amazing. I used to listen to Ted play with the Amboy Dukes when I was a kid living in Michigan, where he is from. He always has the most incredible amount of energy for anybody of any age, let alone the fact he's been around for a while. Nice fat tone on that Byrdland guitar, too, same guitar he's always used, I think. While I was talking to him in his dressing room, I realized that my picks that are normally on the pick holder of my guitar had been looted, so he graciously gave me a couple of his. Good way to add to your pick collection, right?

Last night was in the Detroit, Michigan area. Since most of my family originally came from here, (well, lots of places, all the way back to the Mayflower), I got to see many of my relatives and the audience was really ready to rock. Thank you, Motor City!

More Canada tonight, great shows every time, I'll get back with you after I pick up that guitar for a while......

stevemorse.com 2007