I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a long time. I woke up early, strapped on my telecaster with my morning coffee and didn’t take it off until about 2:00. In that time I finished a new song, made an updated set list, and got myself prepared to tour. Just as soon as the doc releases me from the muzzle. As far as I can tell my voice is in good shape but it sounds like a kazoo.
I also have an announcement to make. I’ve started a band. While feels good to be in a band again, I must be honest and say that we have a long way to go. My drummer tours with somebody else and lives in Nashville. My lead guitarist is a missionary in North Africa. The bass player is finishing a PhD in Iowa. We’re getting older, and shuffled all the time.
So for the moment, I’m looking to start a newer than my new band. It’s no problem. I could start a band in college easier than I could get a date. Truthfully, I don’t know that I ever went on a date until I met Ashley. But I remember being in four bands when I met her. Anyway, she’s a permanent backup dancer now but it’s just the two of us so far.
Here’s what I’m looking for. And all kidding aside, I’m very serious.
A drummer. The drummer I’m looking for must be tasteful and solid. Have the tempo of the tides. Have groove memory that starts before the click. Must know all the country shuffles. Wants to thunder an arena. Must be rooted in jazz.
A bass player. Must have teeth. If your bass has more than four strings, this is not your band. Must know the country walks and standard patterns. Must be rooted in jazz. Must be willing to drive all night after shows. Just kidding.
A lead guitarist. I’m looking for finesse. You must MUST know more than a pentatonic scale, even if we are country. Need 4 bar fills and 8 bar solos as dense with licks as an ear of corn. Must be versed in jazz. A hollowbody Gretsch is preferable. Or an arched top ES-335. Need a Tele and Les Paul, of course. I know I sound picky. Don’t worry, it’s even worse than you think.
A utility man. We need the guy who plays a little pedal steel, a little fiddle, a little banjo, a little mandolin. Maybe even a little keys. Must have a beard.
I’m going to ask a lot out of this band. But we’ll be the best one out there and make a run for it. I’ll pay for rehearsals and I’ve got charts and demos ready. This is a pro gig. I’m looking for a few good men who’ve put the time in and can play.
Here’s what I want to do with this band. Electric roots country. There was a day when country was as close to jazz as it was anything else. Think Chet Atkins. Look at a few Willie Nelson tunes, they’re jazz ballads with twang. I grew up playing piano in a gospel church, my mom played from the Southern Baptist Hymnal every morning. I’ve studied jazz piano all my life, grew up in the midwest where top 40 country reigned, and have already gone bust in Nashville and New York once apiece trying to be a piano man. I had a jazz trio about this time two years ago and I’ve played enough swanky dinner gigs by myself to hurl. I’ve had a break. It’s time to pick up a telecaster and start preaching the basics.
So, new band members, I’m calling you out. Lets get on a big bus and pull an Airstream for the kids. Email me at email@example.com to submit a cover letter, resume, application and schedule an audition. Must drop several legitimate names as references, and be able to pass a quiz via email about musical theory and the history of roots music. Also must list influences and blindly match at least three names appearing on my list. Plus, we have to play a round of corn hole and see if we get along. Then we have to take a mini road trip and see if it’s fun.
So contact me. Listen to some stuff by navigating the menu above. There’s a free Noisetrade download too, “Levon Walker’s Greatest Hits (of obscurity).” So far it’s standing the test of time, in total obscurity. It’s a little cross genre experimentation, very homemade, dense, specific to story, and beyond the means of production I was capable of. It’s unmixed, unmastered, hard to listen to and most people don’t like it. So screw that. I’ve got pop songs.