Monday, June 22, 2015

Blackwater MC Rides Again.

   My mates and I have been spending a lot of time the past month working on some new material and getting polished up for an important gig. A battle of the bands coming up next week-end where the winner gets a spot up on the big stage at July's Pemberton Music Festival, one of biggest around,  and we submitted a studio recording along with our band bio.

Singer-songwriter front-man Josh Fairbrother went into the studio first to lay down a scratch track, or one that won't be used in the end, but gives us something to play to, at a 90 beat per minute click-track we all have to follow, especially me. The song is another of Josh's original rockers called 4x4, through his lyrics he extolls the virtues of 4x4 pickup trucks, favorite songs, small towns, and your best girl with no clothes on, and "giving you love by the truck-load".  Works for me!
Only slightly freaked-out, I went in the next week and recorded my bit. 
I had a beautiful kit of drums there to use, but even with my cymbals it is always a different feel than playing your own. All the mics and head-phones are a trip too. 
Most of the mayhem occurred between takes. A good man in the country, but a clumsy bugger in the studio, I kept standing up and bumping my head on the over head mics, or else put my big foot on the head-phone cord and stand up yanking the plug out, or inadvertently clobber one of the expensive drum mics with a wildly misplaced stick.
"And don't swear when you make a mistake...," Jay advised, "the over-heads pick it up." 
Satisfied finally, after 20 takes, and probably hoping to spare his drums and studio equipment any further abuse, Jason proclaimed the drum session complete. 
He went in later during the mixing process, and made it sound like I knew what I was doing almost.

 Our engineer/producer Jay, of Bunker 7 Productions.

Ross Edwards tuning up for his session, the other old codger of the band, he nailed his part in 3 takes.
Between the drums and bass, there is about 126 years of experience in that rhythm line.

Nate and Josh went back in last week to do the final guitars and vocals, and we left it in the hands of the staff at Bunker 7 Productions for the final mix.
I hear Josh stepped on the cord and pulled the plug out of the head-phones a few times also.

We've been getting together out here at the MC clubhouse several times a week if we can working on the set. I've found if you ever want to be in a cool band, just have a really cool place to practice.
Blackwater MC started right here in the shop, a true garage band. Josh followed me home from a jam at the old Pemberton Hotel once, and we've been playing his songs in here ever since.

 Josh and I, during our successful 2012 Farmers Market Tour, where we got paid in vegetables.

 We bumped into Ross at a jam up there too and became a 3-piece.

   We had some down-time over the Winters when Josh would go off and work at his trade that not surprisingly, pays a lot better than being a musician. But the upside was he always came back in the Spring with spare time and some new songs.
   Last Fall I heard a rumor in the valley the new teacher at the small remote school out here was, 'a bit of a guitar player.' I'm a little short of people to rock out with in this neck of the woods as you can imagine, and I thought it was just my rotten luck, someone would move out to the valley with a guitar, and it would turn out to be some school teacher.
Somewhere along about the same time, the new teacher heard a rumor that character over at the hot spring had, 'a bit of a drum kit'. "Just my rotten luck," he probably thought, "...a drummer way out here but turns out to be some old guy."
   Leroy, one of the local boys out here, roped me into getting together with him and this new teacher to play a fund raiser dance for the school last Winter.
Having a cool spot to practice in paid off again, and the guys showed up here a week before the school dance to work out some songs. 
They didn't have teachers like this when I was in school, and turns out he is an experienced guitar ripper extraordinaire. Nate Dillon as it turned out, had a twenty year career in the music industry, toured the continent with countless big name acts, and drank beer with Tommy Lee,...etc. He's been teaching for a few years in out of the way places, leading a more laid back lifestyle and wound up way out here where he probably thought he had literally come to the end of the logging road musically.
   Josh arrived back a couple months ago with some new material, and he couldn't wait to come out and hash them out in the garage.
I couldn't wait to surprise him with our new best friend Nate!
Before the evening was over, the Blackwater Motorcycle Club had a new member, and we became a 4 piece rock and roll band, his guitar and vocals have taken our music to another level already.
   The deadline for the battle of the band entries was a few days ago. We've all been working pretty hard on this whole deal, and when I started puttering on this story, we still didn't know if we were going to be chosen, and I had to consider several possible endings to this post.
I just got word today, we made the final cut. Out of the original 40 odd bands, BMC was picked as one of the final 8 that are going to sort out the pecking order next weekend on-stage at a swanky golf course in Pemberton. Third place gets some money, second place gets some money, but first place gets some money, and a gig up on the big stage at the Pemberton Music Festival, including VIP passes so we can lounge around eating catered food and drinking Perrier, etc., with a bunch of big name musicians.  Provided we win of course.

 Going to be some battle of the bands, and we're ready to ride in and kick some butt.!
                                I'll let you know how it all goes.

Link here to listen.


  1. good luck in the battle of the bands should be a lot of fun

  2. Thanks Anonymous, it was a gas. I wrote about it a few posts on. The main jist of my story is to just have fun in whatever you do, and don't be afraid to dream.