When I look back now it all seems so simple, but as I began this week I was faced with a logistical challenge that left room for no error. It all happened on Friday. I had a gig with the Gratitude Steel Band in downtown Detroit that went from 5 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. That same night I had a gig in Ann Arbor with Jazz trio Deep Blue at Cafe Felix that began at 9 p.m. An hour fifteen is plenty of time to drive from Detroit to Ann Arbor, but when you add in tearing down and setting up a drumset, things get a little hairy. My solution was to use 2 drum kits. I used my DW kit for the steel band gig and my little Sonor kit, (the one that I use for lessons at Oz's), for the Jazz gig. One of my long time students, Jesse Broman, helped me out by picking up my drumset from Oz's and bringing it to Felix, (Thank You).
The Steel Band gig was fun. We played at the Detroit Winter Blast. They blocked off a street downtown and set up all kinds of winter activities. They had an ice rink, and big sledding hill and a bunch of outdoor stages. Someone told me it had something to do with the super bowl coming to Detroit next year. We played in the Compuware building, on one of the only indoor stages, (thank goodness, cuz it was COLD). I always have fun playing when Guy Barker is on guitar. He has so much energy, and a great old funky mowtown sound. We didn't have the whole group with us, it was just Charles on lead pan, Janiela on bass pans, Guy on guitar, and myself on drums. The sound in the lobby was huge, I would have liked to record it, but that would have put the logistical challenge over the top.
So once that show was over, I packed up in record time and high-tailed it to Ann Arbor, where I could only hope that everything was going as planned. I walked in right at 9 and Jesse was there with the drumset, but it was not set up. No worries, I set it up in about 5 minutes and we were off and running. It felt good to be all warmed up at the beginning of the night, and we actually played pretty good. The cafe was dead though. As it turnes out, there was a severe winter storm warning that was to last all night, and it kept everyone indoors for the evening. I had fun playing, and that is all that really matters.
Talk to you soon,