We have a lot of fun at our Wednesday night events. This past Wednesday James White (We simply call him Doc) and his wife came up from Atlanta to join us, and we decided to party to this tune. I am playing the bass synthesize on this number. As you will see in the video, the house was packed and it was a lot of fun. If you are ever in the Philadelphia PA area on a Wednesday night, I hope you join us at the Crab Tavern (201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, PA, from 8:00 to 12 midnight). It is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
As usual we had a lot of fun last night. We had great singers come out and the house was jam packed. There were a lot of great acts to choose from, but for right now I will feature Damon Keith Williams doing a new song. If you are ever in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on a Wednesday night I hope you can come down to see us at the Wednesday Night Grand Slam Jam (201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, PA, from 8:00 to 12 midnight). We think you will be so glad you did. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
For the past 2 days I have been referencing voice samples and music tracks. A lot of performers will use them but won’t necessarily let their audience know that they are doing so. There are several reasons why artists will do this. One reason is “money.” If you have part (or all) of your music taped then you won’t need to rehearse people (and in some cases, pay them) to play your material. Also, you keep the integral part of your show intact (just in case a musician cannot play your song right). It also keeps your comfort zone intact when performing your song (because you are used to having certain elements of your show being in place). How should artists handle their situations when their vocals are deteriorating? The one thing they can do to help alleviate the situation is “change or lower the key.” Unless you do a “drastic key change” most times the audience will not know. However, I can always tell when an artist changes the key. Other things you can do is have certain background members sing the note that you can no longer hit comfortably. Finally you can do what Rick James did. When it comes to that high note that you know you can’t hit, you can point the microphone towards the audience and asked “them” to hit it. People will think that you are just trying to include your audience, but the fact is you are asking them to hit that high note instead of you. Jeffrey Osborne is a good friend of mine, and he had this hit song called the Woo Woo song. If you have ever heard this song before you can pretty much imagine what it would be like to sing this song every night. Jeff and I had a laugh over this tune because he goes through the audience with different people and asks them to sing the tune. People think he is being generous when in reality he wants anyone to sing the song other than him. Artists are just as human as the rest of us. They get old too. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Singer Dee Dee Sharp Gamble in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
Yesterday I posted here (and on social media) about the use of music tracks and voice samples. Not only do a lot of big name artists use this gimmick but now a lot of “local bands” are doing this as well. It seems as though there is some kind of force in place to make live music “extinct.” The real question is whether or not a live concert makes a difference to you and are you willing to pay good money for it? As a musician, I have played for many artists who have used “canned music.” I have had it done in just about all genres of music (yes, that includes gospel as well). I don’t think I have encountered this in jazz… “yet.” James Brown may not have been a great singer, but his show was always live and he entertained with it. Would it bother you if a great singer like Celine Dion used music samples in her show? Prince’s show was always great and he was always live. He may have used a drum machine in conjunction with his drummer from time to time but that would usually be about it. The biggest embarrassment from all this comes from when a customer actually “finds out” that the show is tape. A few artists have had mishaps when it came to their “canned music. Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey got exposed big time when this happen to them. Can you blame them or does it make no difference to you? If an audience can’t tell (and a lot of times the audience can’t) then they go home “believing” that it was a good show. Even the good singers will resort to canned music, because it saves on the musicianship and it saves of their throats. As a musician I could never support canned music because I feel deep in my heart that I can play everything. I do realize that all musicians don’t necessarily feel that way. Is the art of music vastly becoming a “lost art?” Money has a big say in all of this. It is expensive to pay a bunch of musicians and rehearse them to play your set. Having a computer do it for you will save you money but will it still give you the feel of a live concert? Everyone is different and I am not sure if there is a direct answer to any of this. Live music is still around, but you may not to hunt for it. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass
As a musician I have seen music evolve over my own career. Off course the music scene that I grew up to has changed dramatically throughout the years. Years ago if a singer had a sore throat or laryngitis then the concert would be cancelled and money would be refunded. It seems amazing to me that you don’t hear much about concerts being postponed any more. As delicate an instrument as the voice is, cancelling a show could cause a promoter to “lose money.” Being a musician myself (and having played for many big name artists) I have known about the things that some people probably suspect, and that is the usage of “tape.” I don’t necessarily mean tape recorders. I am specifically referring to “voice samples.” Just think about this: As artists get older their voices change. The strength they once had behind their vocals wears away over time, but people still want to hear them at full strength in concert. So if an artist is losing power behind his or her voice, then should voice samples be used? People pay for performances. As a musician, would you feel proud to do a gig where you would have to play along with the music samples? You may not even know if the audience is hearing you or the pre recorded music. As a music lover, would you pay your money to go see a star performer who sings along with (or lip syncs) to voice samples? Would it matter to you if you “could” tell the difference? Remember Milli Vanilli? They lip synced their way to fame and fortune and they didn’t sing a note on their hit recordings. When they were discovered they were stripped of their Grammy’s and eventually one of them committed suicide. Today they should be labeled as “cult heroes” because “a LOT” of artists depend heavily on samples for their shows. Some of these people I have played for (and no, I will NOT mention any names here). I would like to know if any of this matters at all to you. In many cases the audience “can’t tell” if the singer is really singing or not. They will probably dance or do calisthenics while supposedly singing but you won’t hear them breathing hard in the mic. Even some rappers are doing it. Does that have any effect on you at all (as a musician or an audience member)? Would you prefer NOT to know? I was talking to someone about this the other day and I thought this would be a good topic to post. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Estelle in concert (in background going over “American Boy”) with Brett on bass guitar
Ray La’mar is quite an accomplished singer. The great thing about him is that he usually comes to our Wednesday night event with different tunes to sing, and he excels at them all. It was a pleasure to have him do this tune. This song is a popular classic, and I played this song many times for the original artist who sang it. Ray was great, but then again he usually is. I hope you enjoy this tune. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Pamela Renee cohosts my Wednesday night program with me. Usually she sings in the beginning of the show, and often she will come up with a song that we have never played before. This is “exactly” what she did last night, so today I thought to share it with you. Please keep in mind that our event is meant for performers to “try out” anything they want to do. It doesn’t matter how good you are at it. The audience appreciates the fact that you at least “tried.” We will attempt anything musically. It is fun for us and the audience. I hope you enjoy her tune. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.