Ciara is a young lady who obviously has a bright future. This photo shoot was actually done with 3 people, her, her mother and her sister. Her mother explained that she was not overly excited about modeling but on this particular day she “showed out.” It was a real pleasure to work with her and I hope to have more sessions in the near future with her and her family. I hope you enjoy her pictures. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
At my Wednesday Night event (simply entitled “The Wednesday Night Grand Slam” we feature all kinds of great talent. The talent is diverse, and that diversity is what makes our nights so special. We will have comedians, musicians, singers, and just regular folk who love to hear good live music come out. We have our regulars but we also manage to get newcomers each week. We take requests (and we actually play them) and we simply have fun. You really need to be here on a Wednesday night to see for yourself (The Crab Tavern, 201 North MacDade Boulevard in Darby, Pennsylvania). We have been experiencing packed audiences and sometimes there are so many people that it is difficult to seat everyone. I host the event each week and it is a pleasure for me to do so. People have asked me to feature more of the talent that we have, so today I wanted to share with you a young man who plays harmonica. He calls himself Scoop Jzizzle and he is one of our popular artists at my event. He doesn’t sing, but he plays the fool out of the harmonica (actually I think he refers to it as a “Mouth harp”). Here he is doing a classic originally done by Chuck Mangione. I hope you enjoy this clip. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
People asked me to re-share my experience being the bass player for Teddy Pendergrass. The interesting thing about it was that when I was first asked to do it I really wasn’t interested. The bass player that Teddy already had “reneged on him” with 2 days to go for a gig they were supposed to do in Mobile Alabama. They brought me in for an “emergency rehearsal” and Teddy threw his entire show at me to see if I could play it. I had no idea what to expect so I came in with a “whatever” attitude. Nothing much was said during the rehearsal, but after we finished the very last song Teddy called me over and said “You came in here cold with no preparation whatsoever and you played my entire show better than my regular bass player. Would you like this gig?” I paused for a moment, and a smile came on my face and I said, “Sure.” I had no idea what a turning point it would be in my career. Teddy was a big star who had been paralyzed in a car accident 19 years before. He was the voice behind many big hits. Obviously his voice was not the same anymore, but he was still “Teddy” and people still loved him. This particular show was only my “3rd” performance with him. In essence they “threw me in the fire” because even for this concert I was not sure of what we were doing. However, I am one who “loves the spotlight” and whenever I have a big audience I love to “show my tail.” After a couple of years touring with Teddy I found this gig to be a happy one. We all would joke in the airports about a lot of things and I found out things about Teddy that most other people didn’t know. Unfortunately his health began to deteriorate and we had a show in Detroit (with Chaka Khan on the program) where Teddy had to leave the stage 4 times. After the show was over I could see Teddy swaying back and forth with his doctor (he had his shirt off). His eyes were rolling up in his head and for that moment I said to myself “This is it.” Luckily he managed to survive that night but for that moment it didn’t look good. “Not being able to finish a concert” was Teddy’s “biggest fear” and he retired again after that. This particular video clip is long (an hour and 9 minutes). You may not be able to sit through all of it. I am the guitar player wearing red suspenders with all black. From facing the stage I will be the guitar player on the “left side.” I hope you enjoyed me sharing my experience with Teddy today. There are a LOT more stories I can tell, but I will leave it here for today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Hope you enjoy the video.
At my Wednesday night entertainment event we have “so much fun.” We never know who is going to come through and for the most part the talent has been phenomenal. We always try to play something new each week (so that our song list doesn’t get boring) and we “often” take requests. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area on a Wednesday night we are located at 201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, Pennsylvania at a place called the Crab Tavern. I host the event and I love to have fun with the audience. We invite people to come up and perform any song they like. If we have not heard it, then we will take a quick listen to it on Youtube… and then “play it on the spot.” Our event is “very popular” and we want to build it up even more if possible. This one particular scene is only “one of many” but today I wanted to share it with you. The vocalist’s name is Sonja and she wanted to sing this one Aretha Franklin tune that we had never played before. Considering the fact that this was the first time we performed this tune I thought it turned out rather well. Of course I am the one with the red bass and red shirt (that light skinned guy in the band). I hope you enjoy this clip, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Years ago I performed at a special event labeled as the IAAA awards (International Association of African American music) and just recently I discovered that someone had actually videoed this occasion. Truth be told, I can’t tell you the names of “all” the people in this lineup but I can at least say a few. “Jazz” from the group Dru Hill, bassist Gerald Veasely, Eve, Angie Stone, Carol Riddick, Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Music Soulchild, and Gerald Levert were just some of the names of stars for this event. In this clip at first I am playing the red bass guitar, but for the last tribute I switched to play the bass synthesizer keyboard while Gerald Veasely played bass (the man singing with the scarf on is Music Soulchild). I hope you enjoy the clip and as always I would like to thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and wish you the very best that life has to offer.
A friend of mine who does music recording called me the other day and asked if I knew of someone who could teach him a little more about being a sound engineer. I told him that most of the professional people I know of are too busy to teach and nowadays most people do their own recording in the comforts of their own home. However, if he wanted to learn I had the “perfect tutor” for him. When he asked “Who?’ I simply replied”Google and Youtube.” Technology has now advanced to the point where just about “anything” you wish to learn can be found on these 2 media. The great thing about Youtube is that you can usually find a complete video instruction on “whatever it is you want to know.” I did tell him that “not all of the things you find will be right or correct” but if you view enough tutorials you are sure to discover more than enough information to improve your craft. The other day I went into Youtube to find new information about recording and was surprised to discover “all the things I never knew.” If you think you are too old to learn new tricks then Google (and Youtube) should be the thing for you. A while I ago I Googled “how to play the bass parts to certain songs” and lo and behold their were other bass players showing how to play the bass parts to certain songs. Some of them were wrong but it was still interesting just to see them there. “Knowledge is power.” What you know can give you a great advantage over others who don’t. If you know how to utilize your intellect and increase it your chances of accomplishment should be “greatly enhanced.” We learn from each other so no matter how much you think you know it may be surprising to at least check out what others are doing. I plan to check out Youtube and Google a lot more in my efforts to to achieve my greatest potential. If you have time I hope you can manage to see it for yourself. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Gary US Bonds with Brett Jolly performing in concert
For those of you who like good old fashioned New Orleans style Gospel, this is a video of Kim Burrell (with me as her bass guitar player) playing the classic “Highway to Heaven.” This was done recently at the Kimmel Center here in Philadelphia. If you look to the far left of the stage you will see me playing my big red bass guitar. I hope you enjoy the clip and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.