Get your Book Together!

I just finished a busy week that included a day at the Congress House, where we recorded 9 tracks for Shane Pitsch and the Smokestack Review’s first CD. Shane’s got some great tunes and an excellent band (if I do say so myself) which includes 9 people. Shane sings and plays trumpet while the rest of the group consists of: Aaron Lack on drums, Kyle Clayton on bass, Nick Litterski on keys, Raul Vallejo on trombone, Ponder East on tenor sax, Kieth Fiala on lead trumpet and Akina Adderly on background vocals. His stuff could loosely be described as southern R&B, but I usually tell people it’s a mixture of Delbert McClinton and Leon Russell. With such a large band, it takes some planning and organization to make sure things go smoothly on the bandstand and Shane really has it together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a gig where the charts are mess and it just results in a mediocre performance. So here it is….
Singers and band leaders. Get your book together. The better the charts the better the performance. Make it as easy as possible for your sidemen (or sidewomen). IF they’re relaxed, they’re going to play better which means YOU sound better, YOU get more gigs, and the better musicians want to play in YOUR group. Thanks Shane. Keep up the good work my friend.

Here are some photos from the session.

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Mr. Aaron Lack on the drums, Nick Litterski and Kyle Clayton doing business between tunes, Nick in the recording pit. I had to include a picture of my weapon of choice. My 1987 Gibson 335 just recently back from Ed Reynolds shop and it plays incredibly well. Shane made some great split pea soup as well.