Monday, September 18, 2006

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Friday, July 07, 2006

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Atlanta Bass Gallery



While in Georgia last week for a class (Theater Deployed Communications - a military class) I had a weekend free, so I drove up to Atlanta to take in the sites. I found the Atlanta Bass Gallery. Wow. That about sums it up! Jim Rubio - owner - had just about every high end bass you can think of - from US Spectors (of course my preference!!) to Ritters and Jerzy Drozd (oh my - these are some nice basses) to Eden (of course!) and then Accugroove and also EA, the new Sadowsky amps, Bag End - oh, my. Bass Heaven indeed!!

Jim was super - we talked for at least an hour, then I went and tried not to drool on all the wonderful basses he has in stock. I've never seen that many high end basses in person before - ever. Fodera, F Bass, NS Design (Ned Steinberger) EUBs - very nice - and I even finally got to play on a Barker! Roscoes, Warwick, Zon, Skjold, Pedulla, Parker, OH - The new MTD Zephyr!! - Modulus, Ken Smith, Mike Lull, Elrick - there were so many nice basses - wow. I was truly impressed.

The last straw - as if the store wasn't perfect already - was the supplies. He has every string manufacturer IN STOCK!! And he had some of the nicest straps I'd ever seen - yes, I'll be getting one. . . Eyeland was the name of one company's strap that was super nice - and then of course there's Levy's - and the Ritter straps were very cool as well - wide and made of some kind of "comfort material (Tempur)" - super comfortable.

Ok - I'll stop. If you are ever in Atlanta - stop by - you will be impressed.

Atlanta Bass Gallery
1584 Piedmont Ave
Atlanta, GA 30324

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tour of US Music (with Pics!!)

Well, with the festival coming upon us - yes, Cornerstone - we're working on building up the PA to it's optimum. We've added a couple more power amps, and went this past weekend to pickup our 4 new SoundTech 2 x 18s. Yes, four of them. Should sound good. Very good in fact. :)

While we were there, we were able to talk with our friends at US Music and we got a tour of the facilities! It was very cool. We were shown the places where they make the Washburn acoustics - by hand - and the Washburn electrics, the custom shop where the paint is applied - the drying facilities, the necks for the Parkers, the bodies, the pickups being wound, the CNC machines that cut out the bodies, the bare wood, the blanks for bodies and necks, the neck wood - well, you get the idea. Very cool. Here's some pics to document what we saw. . .

Here's some guitars going through the 'being built' phase. This was very cool to see - the guys at Washburn making guitars. Very cool...






Hmm what's this? An empty area where some new walls are . . .


Empty Eden Boxes - here's Eden cabs going through the process of being built - before they get carpet and speakers:





String Winding - these are the original string machines that DaVinci used - so yes, they wind their own strings:


This is a beautiful thing. . . wow - look at all that EDEN!!!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Spector

It's here!!!! I finally got it! The wait actually wasn't too long - PJ promised June - and I got it a month early. . . Thanks PJ!!

This is my new Spector bass.

It's a Rebop - > officially titled a Euro 4 DLXFM in Black Cherry, non-burst. It's really a beutiful bass, plays exactly like a dream. There is really nothing wrong with it - I absolutely love it!!

Here's a couple photos - enjoy!!



This photo is much better:

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Shawn's Guitars

We had a gig at Shawn's Guitars - really cool that Shawn is opening up his music store to have bands come play. Really helps out the scene - and although it's not a paying gig - it's a great way for us to build our local fan base. Folks can come check out bands - not much cash - and we had 4 different bands! It was a great show - and we had a blast.

Thanks to the bands - Ascension, Predicate, 7th Overture and us - StrangeLand.

Here's a couple shots I got on my cell - yeah, forgot the camera - of the band 7th Overture - a great prog-metal band from Pekin:



Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dragonforce live in Chicago

Dragonforce - a huge band from the UK - getting rave reviews, and selling out shows all across the USA and Europe. This was a great chance to see a newer band in a smaller setting - with a great show. The band was fantastic, really into the show - lots of jumps, running across stage, interacting with the audience during the entire show. They really love what they do. This ranks up there with the top concerts I've attended...

Some live shots I took with my phone camera - it's a RAZR v3c - so they aren't pro shots by any stretch - but give you a small idea. . .

Dragonforce



Dragonforce 2



Dragonforce



Dragonforce 3

Monday, April 10, 2006

Eternity X - New Bass

Wow - it's April already.

I've been trying to update monthly - if more folks are here and checking this out on a regular basis, I would be more than happy to update more often, I'm just not sure who all is reading. If you'd like to see more, more often, or whatever - hit me up with a comment. :)

Well, Terry Richards has been vying for a spot with the band Eternity X - and I'm pulling for him. We know know for sure until its announced on the band's website - > but IMHO - I think Terry is a shoe in. The guy has chops for days, can play circles around most of the bassists in the area (and beyond!) and he's a heck of a nice guy. Who better to fill in with a progressive metal band that has over 300,000 album sales to date?! I think it would be awesome! Check out Eternity X website - and when I get a chance - I'll post their myspace page too. Great stuff!

Spector sale:
Yup - I sold my beloved Euro. I had it listed on TalkBass for awhile - a couple trade offers - but I only want another Spector - not something else. Yup - single minded. :) I know what I like - and when I'm happy.

Why sell the Euro - well, to be honest - I have never been a fan of the color. Of all the colors Spectors come in - the only one I dislike more than the blue/black 'burst' is the natural with no figuring. Plain. Nothing wrong with it - just ain't for me. As a matter of fact - Karl absolutely loves the color of that bass. I also love the neck profile of the Euro LX - the Euro had a thicker neck profile - the difference was more fatigue as I played - not good. Especially after having my Carpal Tunnel surgery - I try to do all I can to minimize any future problems with my wrists. So, I sold it on eBay.

I have been talking to PJ over at Spector, and I 'special ordered' a replacement. :) I will soon be the owner of a ReBop 4REDLXFM. or something like that. It will be the Euro bolt on model, referred to as the ReBop, in figured maple - with the black cherry color - no burst - so the figuring and the color will be all over the bass. I'm very very psyched! To say the least. The pickup configuration will be a bit different - as the ReBop has EMG HZ soapbars - instead of the P/J configuration. So I'll have to see how that changes the sound. . . hopefully not much! I love my Spectors - and I'm just looking to add a bit more color - and anther palate of sound, so to speak, to my toolbox. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a nice shot of Terry with his new Spector - congrats!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

PA building, guitar rigs, & Cornerstone

Wow - the last couple of months have been simply amazing - absolutely amazing.

The guitarists have been blessed enough to be able to endorse Randall Amplification. They both have full stacks now - with Kevin G going for the tube head, and Kevin S going solid state. They both love them. Both heads are absolutely amazing. I have to say that being a tube guy myself - the solid state Randall head sounds truly wonderful - from a full out metal distortion ripping your head off - to a nice gentle clean sound - it does it all with ease. Very nice stuff - we are blessed.

We've also come into possession of a 15 passenger van. :) SO - when travelling now we can all travel in one vehicle. With a trailer, we can travel with all our own gear, including the PA. Nice. God is good!!

The PA has recently seen some updates. We now have 4 of the Peavy 2x15" speakers. We also have 2 x 18" subs - and we may be growing again. As it turns out - we'll be playing The Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, IL - one of the biggest, and I believe the first, Christian festivals around. This is absolutely huge. We will be playing the Sanctuary Tent - courtesy of our folks at Sanctuary International - yes, the folks from Bobfest!! - and we couldn't be more thrilled! We may be providing the sound as well. . . I'll keep you posted.

So - > keep July 5 - 8 open - come on down and check us out - I'm sure the weather will be grand! :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rotosound

As you may have guessed by now - or by looking in the menu on the right, I am now a Rotosound endorsee. Here's the story....

I had been playing flats, halfs, grounds - just about any kind of 'wound' string there was, because round wounds were just too bright for me. I had tried all kinds of rounds, D'Addario, Ernie Balls, Fender, Elixirs, GHS - and they were all tirelessly bright. Irritatingly bright. I wanted something that had more of a mid-range bite, something that had some pronouncement, but that didn't sound like a fat guitar string. Something with some meat to it - something with some bass to it!!

I found Rotosounds because, well they've been around forever - first Round wound bass string - and are used by some of the top - and my favorite - bassists, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan - some of the top names in the biz! I started out with the monel flats - and I loved 'em. They were flat-sounding - very thumpy - but they also had a certain brightness to them, and not a harsh bright - but you could slap them. So, I thought to myself, maybe I should try some of the others to see how different they sound. I started off with the half-wounds - and I didn't really like them. So then - since my gear hounding is near endless - I thought I should try the nickel rounds. That would be better - and less bright, to be sure. They were less bright - but had a great sound to them as well - almost exactly what I was looking for. . . almost. :) So then I bit the bullet and tried the Swing Bass 66's - the Stainless Steel Rounds - the originals.

I was blown away. They were brighter - to be sure - but that irritating harshness was not there. The mid-range bite was. I was thrilled!
I haven't used anything else since.

Now, in StrangeLand we decided to downtune - so that makes it a whole step, so I'm tuning D-G-C-F - and I thought about getting heavier guage strings to compensate. Now I'm using .50 - .110 guage 66's Swing Bass. Wow - they are think - but honestly, not that much thicker than the .45 - .105 that I have been using. I have my Euro Spector with the heavier, and my Euro LX with the Medium strings - tuned the default E-A-D-G. I use that bass with Jeremiah's Journey gigs. I love that bass. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Watson baby

Arabella


My new daughter - Arabella.

Yes - she's beautiful!

born on Feb 16, 2006.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gabe & Kay

Gabe & Kay


Great photo - great times!

My daughter and my step-son - hanging out at the house. We are truly blessed with a wonderful family!

..and the friends Gabe brought with him....

Ry & Jason



Ryan and Jason -nice guys - don't let 'em fool ya. :)

We had a wonderful visit - so thanks fellas!!