2011 Winds Down…

… too soon! I’ve been reviewing venues and organizations that I’m still negotiating dates/programs with and it seems more people than ever are skittish about committing to bookings.

I know we’re taking a hit from the current economic situation and many arts organizations are finding their cash flow thinning to a trickle. In some cases I’ve had presenters tell me they’re cautious about signing a contract then finding out in six months that their funding isn’t going to come through. While I prefer to book both my solo and group gigs in a variety of venues and not just bars (or other over-21 establishments) it’s quite a challenge to get anyone to book with any sort of guaranteed fee. My days of cruising up and down I95 and sleeping in one-hour breaks in rest stops are far behind me (and dragging other people along on these treks is even further in the past!). So my new year looks, for right now, a bit on the slim side in terms of dates. That will change.

This week I’ll be getting the mass-email announcement for the holiday sale or the new CD As You Are. As I’ve mentioned before it’s a retrospective o recorded solo performances from the past four CD releases with several unreleased tracks included. I’m offering it for $12 s&h included(!) and will mail all orders within 24 hours of receipt (unless the order is placed on a Saturday night). This is available only through the website or in-person won’t go into the usual distribution sites. If you are stumped for a gift for your favorite acoustic guitar aficionado visit my website http://MattRichardsMusic.net and click on the photo of the CD cover. I know you’ll like it.

Wrapping up video editing from the multitude of dates with my friend pianist Howard Miller. I forgot how digital time works (when you’re working on either audio or video production on your computer and believe you’re spending two hours when, in reality it’s six). The results are worth it, nevertheless. There happens to be some footage that, due to someone bumping the camera or brushing against the setup, is focused only on me. Though I was disappointed that the band was left out of view, I realized these tracks could be part of ‘on-the-gig’ examples of playing tunes in a jazz group. I play the Hagstrom Viking and the Godin Glissentar so I’ll work with these a bit more and see how they turn out.

As the group gets more electric I’m renewing the old pedalboard setup for ease of cartage (and because it just looks really cool to have it on the floor — right?) After being one of the early champions of chorusing (Boss CE1), I’ve removed it from the setup after realizing it makes everyone sound the same while removing dynamics and character from the sound of any guitar. But now my old penchant for a rotating-speaker sound (remember New Light?) has me on the prowl for a pedal effect to bring that back to me. I have tried the new Leslie cabs made for guitar — aside from giving me another amp to carry they don’t have the feel that the old ones had. I recall hauling the old 825 up and down steps and through doorways and scraping my knuckles…. at my age I’ll need a case of Icy Hot as part of the deal. So far several pedals I’ve tried haven’t convinced me that I was hearing a Leslie. My quest will continue….

“It’s morning now and there’s lots to do” (Little Elephant’s Special Day). I’m preparing for the Howard Miller gig tomorrow night, a private solo date Monday and a blues gig Monday night so I’ll cover lots of musical ground, which I like to do. I hope to see everyone soon.

Talk with you soon.

Matt

Matt's 'Old Lady' Lowden

Matt's 'Old Lady' Lowden

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