Here's a little video from last weeks jam where Oscar sat in with Tyler, Martin and myself at the NAMM Jam:This article was originally published in blog:
It's been a full week or so since I last posted and in that time since my gig at the Blue Beet we had our NAMM jam (a killer night of music and I was really happy with my playing), a gig at the Fender Custom Shop stage for NAMM (I couldn't get out of my own way musically and smashed a finger on load out) and last night where Oscar Jordan (Jimmy James here on the forum) subbed for Tom Harkenrider and Kyle Burnim subbed for Tyler at our regular Thursday night Juke Joint gig.
Last night was interesting not just because of the two subs on the gig but since the Paul Pigat clinic and his playing at our NAMM Jam I've been on a Rockabilly kick all week....I've worked almost all the way through his Rockabilly guitar DVD so I was figuring on the night being me trying to fit that stuff in as many places as possible. I've actually been practicing guitar more this week that I have in a very long time and it's been pretty fun.
One thing that was noteworthy was that Oscar and I have fairly similar sets of equipment but sound very different from each other. I wish I had taken pictures but his amp was a 1964 Pro Reverb, mine is a 1971 Deluxe Reverb. I find that Fender amps from this era provide a nice clean (but not sterile) canvas to put pedals on top of. I think his Pro has 2 12" speakers and mine has one 12" speaker (mine is a Celestion Greenback, though).
In both of our pedalboards we have an Xotic RC Booster, Fulltone Wah and MXR Phase 90. Although they are different brands we both have an overdrive or lower gain pedal, a higher gain pedal, a chorus and a delay. The one thing on Oscars board that I didn't have was a T-Rex Octavious pedal, which is an octave pedal with one down, one up and a boost built in. I have a Keeley Compressor that he owns but doesn't have on his board.
I think we play many of the same kinds of gigs (which means that we both have to cover a lot of different styles) so it makes sense that we have such similar setups...I guess there are only so many ways to skin a cat.
We both brought a "utility strat" - a strat with a Humbucker in the bridge and single coils in the neck and middle position. For me this is the most useful instrument/pickup configuration for cover gigs or a gig where you have to cover a variety of styles and can't juggle a half dozen guitars. It doesn't do any one thing perfectly but it does most things pretty well. For a second guitar Oscar had a strat with all single coils . I had just taken mine out of my gig bag because I felt like playing my Tele last night (since I thought I was going to get all rockabilly ). I ended up playing the Tele since Oscar was playing the strats so that there would be a little contrast in our sounds on stage.
Oscar has a much more "muscular" sound and attack on the instrument...I found myself digging in more and even cranking my amp a bit more throughout the night. The gig is turning into a rotating cast of players in the other guitar spot which is kind of like a weekly guitar lesson for me..I get to stand next to another player and hear what he plays and how he gets his sounds for an entire night. When I play with Tom it is all about heavy strings, old amps and no pedals...lots of killer melodies and what I consider "mid-century" styles melded together. We have a friend named Stanley who was a touring musician through the 70's and 80's and a Nashville songwriter in the 90's who has a completely different feel and approach for his playing, too. I'd love it if we could get the webcast artists out to play as well but that would be pushing it.
I think this really illustrates perfectly why I want my students to get out and play more as well as take their lessons. The more you perform and the more different people you play with the more you learn and the stronger you become as a player.
As far as "what" we played, instead of the blues or Rockabilly we ended up playing a bunch of fusion tunes from Herbie Hancock and Jaco Pastorious, Funk from Prince, the Meters, Stevie Wonder and Delbert McClinton, Blues from BB King, Muddy Waters and others. It was a wide array of styles and it was fun to stretch out and experiment with tones an grooves. Since the bar was virtually empty we played whatever we wanted and had a pretty good time...
Tonight I'm back with the All Star Trio and it's all about keeping the dance floor moving with cover songs.