Ramblings From BostonSunday, June 27th, 2010
It’s been quite a while since I just wrote something for the hell of it.
When you’re making your living doing gigs and traveling, it’s easy to fall into a rhythm of just writing when you have something to promote. And while I do have a slew of gigs throughout the summer (most of them duo gigs with my lovely wife Kira Small), I though I’d just shoot out some random thoughts for the hell of it while I’m sitting here in a burrito place around the corner from my alma mater, Berklee College Of Music.
First, I love my minivan. 2000 Toyota Sienna XLE. 195,000 miles on it and just kicking ass all over America. How about an endorsement deal, guys?
I also love my wife’s truck, a 1993 Nissan Hardbody Pickup. 265,000 miles. I did a little research online on this model. Apparently it’s indestructible. She calls it her wife, so I guess that makes it my wife’s wife. Whatever it is, it’s awesome. We heart our paid-for cars.
Making our way around the Northeast again in our humble minivan reminds me how tough it is just to be up here. I’m from here and I just don’t know how people do it. It’s just rough getting around, especially Boston. We love coming up here and playing, don’t get me wrong, but man, after living in Nashville for a few years…all I can say is, much respect to the millions of folks who find a way to make it work.
Meanwhile, as Kira and I make our way up and back to the Northeast (now), and down South (August), and up to the Upper Midwest (July), over and over again, we’re just floored by the hospitality and great vibes we’ve gotten from those who host and attend our house concerts and small venue shows. It’s allowed us to stay in closer touch with friends and fans alike, and it’s brought out a whole new musicality for the two of us. I really appreciate those who’ve come out just because they knew me from other gigs, and really walked away digging what Kira is up to. That’s pretty gratifying.
Lots of folks ask me – what’s it like to go from playing with Vai and Dethklok to doing house concerts? I say it’s the best of both worlds, and balancing the intimacy of the smaller shows with the rush of the bigger shows is one of the things I’m most grateful for. Too much of the Big Shows gets weird and dehumanizing after a while, while too much DIY minivan touring is hard on the body. So I’m happy to go back and forth.
I’m also getting waaaaaay more e-mails asking instructional “bassist how-to” questions than I have in the past. I really want to do an instructional DVD in the next year. As soon as something gets more solid on that front I’ll have plenty more to say about it.
I’m still digging writing for Bass Player Magazine, though I’ve cut back a bit on the output due to all the traveling. I really enjoy getting CD’s from great bass players who deserve wider notice. Doing a positive review of someone’s CD is a great way to give back what others gave to me when I first started doing my own music.
There’s some cool projects coming out – other folks’ records on which I tracked bass. Search out Razl, Godsticks, and Anders Helmerson – all Europeans up to something interesting. Their new records will all be out in the next couple of months.
I’m still in a bit of shock that the Keneally/Beller “They’re Both The Same Band” Tour even happened. We’re going to reprise it for one show at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles in September. But see, here I am, drifting back into promotional mode. Hard habit to break, I guess.
Can’t help it. I work a lot. And I love working a lot. Because I love what I do. I’m a very fortunate person and I try always to remember that. Especially when I’m driving around Boston.