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SJ Busking Blog – Basement Busking Advice

Special guest blog by StreetJelly performer: Rewind.
SJ Busking Blog – Basement Busking Advice.

Rewind

Rewind

Years ago I used to busk on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. It was a great way to get my music in front of a wider audience as well as make some extra money. Some days I would earn just a few bucks, and others I would come home with a lot more. StreetJelly is the closest thing to an online version of busking I have found. Call it basement busking. I learned a lot of performance tips during my time busking, and many of those are relevant to online busking from the basement. We recently had the chance to take StreetJelly on the road and travel to Asheville, NC to talk with the Asheville Busker’s Collective. I thought it would be a good time to go ahead and publish a blog post on some of these basement busking tips I learned from my Pearl Street days.

•    Be prepared. I would never think of playing a song in front of a group of people while busking if I didn’t know the song well. Learn the lyrics if it’s a cover song and know which key you are going to play the song in. Bring a cheat sheet as a backup. If you know you are going to play a song that you need a cheat sheet for in advance, look it up online and keep a separate window open on your computer that you can quickly switch to. Have a set list planned out in advance. It’s not a problem to stray from your set list, but it can help you if you get stuck trying to remember what the heck you were going to play.

•    Minimize the time you spend in between each song. If you have a story to tell about the song, that’s fine, but it’s best to keep it brief. When you’re busking, most people are walking by, and you have a short stretch of time to catch their attention. This is true of basement busking, too. If someone pops into your show, and you are tuning for a long time or spending lots of time figuring out what song to do next, chances are good that person will leave your show and go check out something else.

Shop Light•    Don’t wait for requests. It’s human nature that people connect to songs they already know and like, so lots of musicians throw cover songs into their set to maintain crowd interest. You can ask your audience if they have any requests. But if they don’t answer quickly, don’t wait around until they do. Chances are good you won’t know it, and most of the time the viewers just want to hear whatever you want to play.

•    Location, location, location. For anyone who has ever busked outside, you know how crucial location can be. With online busking, your location is often wherever in your house you set up; basement, living room, garage, and so on. Before you broadcast, look at how your performance will look to your viewers. Is the lighting good? You’d be amazed at what a lamp or a shop light duct taped to a mic stand can do. Is there a bunch of junk in the background that distracts from your performance? Maybe change locations or put up a backdrop. I made a cheap frame out of PVC pipe and hung a blanket over it when I had to broadcast from a room that had a lot of other stuff going on.PVC Frame

If you have any other basement busking tips, share them in the comments section below.

Simple Stereo Broadcasting by Bill Hall

Special guest blog by StreetJelly performer: Bill Hall.
Thoughts on the new StreetJelly.com “Jellycaster” stereo broadcasting process (and optional simple stereo set up).

Bill HallOverview:
The StreetJelly.com stereo broadcasting system nicknamed “Jellycaster” not only supports stereo broadcasting but it supports such broadcasting in exceptional high fidelity. I believe it is as good or better than you will have available on any other streaming sites. On StreetJelly, we have a very varied group of performers with different ways of presenting their music and all will benefit from this excellent available sound process.

For example: Some musicians add pre-recorded stereo background tracks from commercially available software programs such as “band in a box” or even separate drum machines. Some performers like adding effects such as reverb, chorus and vocal harmonizers. All can be done with varying amounts of complexity and all can sound great when heard via the Jellycaster.

My own simple stereo set up:
In my particular case, I use two microphones in a simple stereo setup called an XY configuration (described well in the Shure stereo microphone tutorial link below). I set up the microphones about chin level and two feet away to pick up my guitar and vocal as one stereo signal. Please note: I am by no means saying it is the best way to go but it just works for me and is simple to set up for acoustic musicians/singers. It also is a very pure stereo signal.

Getting a simple stereo set-up into the computer:
Some choices for transferring this type of simple stereo broadcasting into the computer are: 1) Use a USB audio interface, containing some good mic pre-amps and good analog to digital converters (Mackie, M-Audio, Pre-sonus and other companies produce these). They are now relatively inexpensive A simple two channel version is about $100-$200 U.S.. 2) Use one of the nice USB stereo microphones available today for a reasonable price, or 3) Buy a small format USB mixer that has at least two channels equipped with simple one knob compressors and effects (most importantly reverb).

My recommended option:
For the simple type of stereo set up as described herein, I recommend option 3). It gets you all the basic variables that are most important for good sound. Companies such as Yamaha, Behringer, and Samson make stereo USB mixers for $100-$200 U.S. equipped as described herein. This allows you to to apply some reverb for a little ambiance to all Channels (usually 4-12 in small format mixers). That said, all you need for an XY set up are two channels with a little stereo reverb and some simple compression (to make the overall sound a little fuller and tame the peaks a bit).
Below, is a link to Samson’s YouTube video describing their models just to give a nice idea of the essential features. Note: all the brands have nice microphone pre-amps on these models nowadays.

Summary:
Again, this is just a recommendation for getting there simply. More elaborate set-ups will sound wonderful on the Jellycaster as well. Contact me if you want any help setting up such a simple system at billhall@billhall.us

Thanks to Frankie and Martina for getting this great Stereo option in place.
Bill

Shure Website – Stereo microphone configuration (see XY)
http://www.shure.co.uk/support_download/educational_content/microphones-basics/stereo_microphone_techniques

Samson on YouTube – good simple video included on their small format stereo mixers

Jelly Selfie Token Giveaway and Prizes

Take a #selfie in front of a StreetJelly performer, post it on Facebook or Twitter, get 10 Free Tokens for yourself and the musician, and a chance to win more prizes from BandMix.com and BandVista.com!

What: Jelly Selfie Week
When: Monday, October 19th, 2015 to Monday, October 26th, 2015 (midnight pacific time)
Who: Everyone

Here is what you do…

  • Take a picture of yourself IN FRONT OF your favorite musician in a live performance on StreetJelly.
  • Post the image on Facebook on the StreetJelly.com page (required) 
    Or post on Twitter and include our @StreetJelly name (required)
  • Include the hashtag #JellySelfie (required)
  • Include the StreetJelly link to the musician (required)
  • Add the hashtag #BandMix or #BandVista to enter either grand prize drawing
  • Receive 10 Free Tokens into your StreetJelly account
  • The musician in the picture gets 10 Free Tokens, too!
    (For their account, not in their tip-jar)
  • Limit 4 selfies per member (40 tokens, a $6.40 value)
  • Each selfie must be of a DIFFERENT musician to qualify
  • No Limit how many times a musician may be in a selfie to receive tokens
  • Prize drawings on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Example post would look like this:
(This is a selfie of Frankie during a Don Brandfas show.)

#JellySelfie http://www.StreetJelly.com/DonBrandfas #BandVista

JellySelfie

Note: “#JellySelfie” not required inside the picture.

Prizes

We’ll have two drawings on Tuesday, October 27th, for prizes from BandMix and BandVista.  Each selfie gets entered in a drawing for ONE of the prizes, depending on which hashtag is included in the selfie post: #BandMix or #BandVista.

  • #BandMix – One year subscription to Premium Membership on BandMix.com. An $89.95 value.  BandMix is the leading website for searching for musicians, finding band members, setting up auditions, and musician classifieds.
  • #BandVista – One year subscription for a Gold Plan professional musician website from BandVista.com. A $130.20 value.  BandVista is a fantastic new tool for bands and musicians to easily create and maintain a powerful web site with industry level features.

Other Considerations

Please post the JellySelfies to Facebook or Twitter.  Posting the same selfie to multiple platforms only counts as one entry for free tokens or the prize drawings.  Feel free to post to other social media websites.  But if you do, send us a note as we don’t normally monitor other platforms besides Facebook or Twitter.

Disclaimer:  StreetJelly reserves the right to disqualify anyone from this contest for scamming the system, idiocy, inappropriate content, or just plain being a jerk.

Streaming Great Sound, Quick and Easy, at Live Venues

This past week, we had an opportunity to broadcast two live shows from different venues.  First, our own Rewind had a Friday night gig down at the SawWorks Brewing Company in Knoxville’s “Old City.”  Then, on Saturday, we broadcasted the Hundred Acres band on stage at Sound Biscuit studios.  Each broadcast was different, but with some very simple equipment set ups, the sound and streaming came out crisp and clear.

The Night Club / Pub Gig

Most musicians will eventually find themselves performing at night clubs, cafés, open mics, etc.  Rewind, a StreetJelly and local Knoxville musician, performed a Friday night show in the confines of a typical brew-pub.  The venue was an industrial warehouse converted to gentrified hipster hangout (just kidding, it’s a very nice place with super nice people).  It was a last minute decision and permission from the owner to broadcast on StreetJelly.  With ten minutes to go before the show started, we fired up the laptop, plugged in our regular webcam, and pulled out a new-in-box Blue Yeti USB microphone.

First, a brief description of the live music and venue.  Rewind and band mate, Thad Bissett, were set up with typical gear: two guitars, mics, foot pedals, mixer board, two PA speakers (one for the room and one as a monitor).  The room size fit a half-dozen large round tables, a bar that ran the length of one wall, and a counter / register area by the front door.  About 25 people were present at the time. It was probably not the best space, however, for producing live music: concrete floors, brick/cinder-block walls, and an exposed metal truss ceiling.  Anyway, Rewind and Thad had their gear set up sounding good for the room.SawWorks

For the StreetJelly broadcast, we unwrapped the Blue Yeti and connected the USB into the laptop.  (No software applications were running at the time, no browsers, and no connection to SJ.)  The installation software already exists within the mic.  So when connecting the USB cord, the Blue Yeti installs itself.  The installation took only a few seconds, and the laptop did NOT need to be rebooted.  We opened up a browser (Firefox), navigated to StreetJelly, and everything was ready to go the first try.  (I’m still amazed how easy this worked.)  We placed the mic about 10 ~ 12 ft from the stage, and set its selector position to bi-directional stereo.  Basically, that means the two internal condenser mics pick up sound at 180° apart.  On the mic, we set the gain around 1/4 from the lowest setting.  On StreetJelly, we set the sound input around 1/3.  That’s it!  Really, that was it.  Sound was very clean with no distortions, pops, or clicks.Blue Yeti

 

The Stage Gig

Next up was broadcasting a 6-piece band, called Hundred Acres.  This was a full professional stage set up in a large corrugated metal building, with half the side opened to the outside.  The space held a 100+ guests inside and out.  Sound Biscuit is a professional recording studio, so needless to say there were more mics, cables, speakers, spot lights, and cool stuff that one could count in any single glance.  Oddly enough, however, the main sound board did not have an extra stereo feed out.  It was already being used for something else.Sound Biscuit board

Our solution was to place two (cheapo) dynamic mics close to the main PA speakers from the stage.  Again, we always recommend going for the simplest set up for streaming on StreetJelly.  You can see in the pics, we placed each mic around 18″ from the center of the PA.  Note: make sure you place the distance of each mic from the PA the same for each channel.  This will make balancing the channels later much easier.Left Right Mics

We plugged in the two mics’ XLR connectors into our Alesis USB Multi-mixer.  This device then plugs into our laptop via USB and gets recognized as any common sound input device to the computer.  We have used the Alesis many times on this laptop broadcasting on SJ, so the computer already was configured for this.  We did have to tweak the gain and output levels on the mixer, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Phantom power was turned off.Alesis

Again, it was a very simple set up to broadcast: two dynamic mics shoved close to the main PA speakers, the USB mixer, and the same Logitech webcam we always use.  The sound streamed extremely well.

Verifying the Output

When you are broadcasting a live show, it’s always tricky to know exactly how well it sounds over the internet.  Listening to headphones from your computer or from the mixer’s main-out is virtually impossible to give a good indication.  The sound in the room almost always overpowers the headphones.  Yes, asking the audience “how does it sound?” is extremely important.  But sometimes the best way to check is to check yourself.  In both broadcasts, we took our mobile phones outside (way outside), plugged in good studio headphones into our phones, and watched the actual StreetJelly broadcast ourselves for a true sound check.  It’s the only way to know for sure.

A Word about WiFi
Jetpack Mifi

In both cases, we used our Verizon Mifi / Jetpack device to connect to the internet.  It’s 4g capable and almost always streams well for StreetJelly shows.  But in both cases, especially in the industrial warehouse gig, the wifi signal cut out a few times.  It was very brief, but enough to cause the stream to buffer.  Next time, we would really like to get a dedicated wired internet connection from the venues.

To recap, keep your configuration as simple as possible.  In our scenarios, the show’s sound was separate from broadcasting.  Let the musicians and sound engineers do what they do best.  Then, capture that sound from your own mics for your broadcast.

Happy Streaming!

Are you an Anti-marketer?

Special guest blog about the “Drive-by” from StreetJelly blues musician: Clifton Printy

An interesting phenomenon occurs every few months or so. I call it “anti-marketing.” There are those who for some reason feel entitled to viewers coming to their shows. Some are atrocious hacks and some are superb artists, but almost all of them are completely without a following. They get on StreetJelly and play for a short while.

"Did you just pull a Drive-by?"

“Did you just pull a Drive-by?”

As a passerby, they wander through other shows gradually adopting the attitude wanting… no demanding… other musicians’ viewers. Then :bam! They announce in someone else’s show for those viewers to come to their show. It’s the infamous “Drive-by,” the biggest faux-pas you can make in online live streaming.

There are regulars on the site who have shared so much of their crowd.  Like Larry, Lana, Image and Family, Heading West, and Kelly_Mark who have honed their branding and created a crowd. Larry brought his following with him. He still frequents other shows and introduces many to the SJ family. He advertises his shows on Facebook and talks directly with his followers. Beside him being a professional musician, Larry constantly checks out new artists and encourages them. Heading West spent months supporting SJ members before ever doing a show. Lana sends out tagged Facebook posts to her followers and her fans every single show. She supports other shows and engages the audience directly from her show. Image and Family has supported everyone, worked to solve problems, created events for other artists, and sends random swag to individuals. Kelly_Mark has done a few shows and has supported hundreds.

The examples are endless and exactly what it takes to relate to a crowd in the modern age. We deliberately build connections with our followers. It helps them identify with us and conversely us with them. We connect and support one another. There will probably be viewers at any given show, as it is at most venues. But we must not forget this is a stage. Your viewership here depends on you, your sound, your ability to perform, how well you engage the audience, and how well you treat others.

The problem I see with the drive-by is not only for the musician getting his viewers barked at, but also for that person committing the blunder. It is very hard to discern the talent level or personal attitude of the individual. They may very well be a person of quality and integrity with a great show to offer. Because of this I think a lot of us are willing to overlook the intrusion into our time, and the disruption of our show’s flow. We try to encourage the other artist to the extent that we pseudo endorse the encouragement of that artist. Our fans also reciprocate the same. So that person then some how has become part of our “brand.” Basically, the people on SJ are so nice that the offender may not even know he has trampled on others.

Further; there are many performers in these virtual settings that feel entitled to a stage. It is important to consider that these shows and the attendance is not always about talent. Sometimes we are talking about long forged friendships and value systems. As an example, would a Christian band’s fan-base be likely to attend a death metal band show? Probably not. So why would an artist expect to solicit viewers from a completely different genre? Also, it does happen sometimes that a great performer sits empty on SJ while at the same time a so/so artist has a great draw. It’s just something we have to accept.

Having witnessed the huge heart of our regular StreetJelly crowd, I know how hard it is for people to discourage certain behaviors. There is, however, no benefit for you as an individual artist to allow this bad behavior, i.e. the drive-by. Go ahead and say, “It is really not polite to come to my show and tell people your are going to play in 10 minutes.”  My friends, it is not about attitude nor is it rude. Would you go to an amphitheater and ask the people to come to the parking lot for a show? Would it be polite to walk up to the stage at a local pub and ask people over the microphone to come next door in ten minutes? It is an unethical practice that steals from the moment of the performing musician, and puts the offender in an unfavorable light. The dreaded Drive-by is the opposite of marketing. It’s anti-marketing!

IAAM Radio

Special guest blog by IAAM Radio DJ Taz. I keep in touch with our friends at It’s All About Music – IAAM Radio and the tireless work they do promoting Indie artists. I asked fellow U.S. Army trooper, Johnathan Hurwitz, a.k.a. DJ Taz, to share with us how IAAM came to be. Enjoy! ~Frankie

DJ Taz - Johnathan Hurwitz

DJ Taz – Johnathan Hurwitz

In early 2009 I served as a moderator on a drum forum and thought, why not start a forum about music with an emphasis on Indie artists. I really enjoyed it and then I met DJ Anubis from Hordes of Chaos via Metal Tavern Radio. He got me into internet broadcasting and so in 2010, Its All about Music – IAAM Radio was born. Now keep in mind, this is not my day job. It’s always been a hobby. My real job is no secret, I’m an Officer in the US Army. I have deployed several times and when I do, others have kept IAAM Radio running like my good friend DJ Anubis.

In 2010 we went full bull, Shoutcast Servers with unlimited storage and bandwidth, 24×7 streaming with programed play and it was fun, at first. Costs for what we had then to operate annually was just about $700. I paid for most of this out pocket. We tried various advertisement gimmicks but we wanted the ads to show on a noninterference basis, so the user experience on the web site was not hampered. The demand for our service was very high with bands sending us tracks to feature and listenership was up, but the dollars for support just did not come in. Sadly I was ready to call it a day. Then in 2013 DJ Anubis told me he switched to Podcasting and seemed to enjoy it more. After doing some homework, I drew up a new plan for IAAM.

IAAM RadioIn 2014 IAAM changed from a 24×7 stream to a Podcast and we had something a bit different. We decided to record the shows in Video. There are lots of internet radio stations out there but very few offer a live video feed of what they are doing. We revamped the web site, kept the name and put out a funding campaign to cover the cost of the site, its servers, and our url: www.iaamradio.rocks. Low and behold we raised the $350 required in about a month. Being upfront with our fans, when we hit that amount we told everyone, now some would say why, you could have raised more… True, but at that point all we required was the $350 and we wanted to establish ourselves as trustworthy. Though buying a new sports car and private island did come to mind, we decided nah. We also love to plug business and services that we find outstanding like www.StreetJelly.com The Jelly is awesome, a great place for any artist to perform. I love your site all kinds of talent with live bands streaming their shows to bedroom guitarists. The entire concept at StreetJelly is amazing. Folks have a great time there. I even performed a few times and enjoyed the experience.

You asked me what type of shows does IAAM have? We have three segments, Cool Breeze – Jazz, R&B, Soul and more. Indie Atonal – Pure Raw Indie Bands and The Blender – everything under the kitchen sink. What is neat about Cool Breeze and The Blender is we Feature Indie Bands with mainstream. We have had many listeners ask, who is that band? More than when we do Indie Atonal alone. We took a risk on this and it works well for the bands. We also list every band with a link to their sites so fans can support them directly. Many listeners of our podcast have purchased music directly from the bands we feature and I know the artists appreciate it. When we are live, we social shotgun blast across Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter that we are airing. Not just a band name and track but we actually cross link the artists on our social feeds with hashtags, and such so people see a snippet from their pages.

You asked me how do we choose what Indie Bands to feature? Simple, on our site we have an About Section. In short we are not Pay to Play, there are some Podcasters and 24×7 streams that do that, we don’t. All we ask is the band send us a shout out. We listen to their music and let them know we like it and if they send us tagged tracks with a shout out they are in, regardless of genre. The shout outs are used when we are live right before we feature a track. They are also used when we do Auto DJ. On our site we have a video and chat area where we re-broadcast our shows or simply run every Indie track we have at random. This is not a Shoutcast stream, the server simply hosts what we put in the player. Many get us confused with a 24×7 Internet Stream but we remind them we are a podcast.

Having fun with DJ Taz - Live!

Having fun with DJ Taz – Live!

Big Up to the Artists/Bands who sent us posters, items to give away etc. We know it’s tough for bands to break even and when we receive such items we are truly appreciative. Forgot to mention, we even have video shout outs and those are cool. We post those on the site with a full bio of the band, links to their material and social feeds etc. Fans have sent us shout outs as well, who can’t love those. Some have asked if we would add back the Shoutcast 24×7 stream? Tough question, and it seems for now no due to cost and time.

We also share other Podcaster’s shows like DJ Anubis’. If you love pure raw metal, Indie and mainstream, you must check his show out at http://djanubisreviews.blogspot.com/

You asked what is in store for the future? So far we are still having fun. Jan 1 2016 is our sixth year, hard to believe. As we get older, time and interests may change but for now so long as I have the time I will keep doing the shows. I’m not a prolific DJ. I don’t have that voice you can’t get enough of. I do have a passion for music, love to have a beer during the show and chatting with folks in the chat room while we are live. Taking requests is always fun and once in a while we even do live interviews or let people call in to say hello and be part of the show. My wife is super, she supports me and knows I enjoy it so much. My kids like it as well, I have had them on a few times, DJ Mini Taz and DJ Mini Mini Taz, lol.

Any advice for Indie Bands? Yes, always Tag Your Tracks (Band Name, Title, Artist, Album Name if EP put EP in there…), update your social feeds, even drop an update on feeds that support you so you get seen. Never ever attack mainstream. Why? Most if not all mainstream started out at one time or another as an Indie artist, so don’t be a hater. Hate the corporate machine if you like but in the end if your goal is to strike a deal and sign, then you too have just become mainstream. We have a few Indie bands that are Grammy nominees, signed and doing very well. What is neat about them is they still visit us and we really appreciate that. Lastly don’t be a hopper, pick a few good podcasts and/or Internet Stations and be loyal to them and they will do so in return. Just because you send out your tracks to 100s of places does not mean you are getting featured. There are online casters who have 1000s of Indie tracks sent to them and that means you are 1 in 1000s. We have 124 bands so far, that is just under 2,000 tracks of Indie we feature and yea we rotate them or play them if by request. We have a system that helps keep track of when we last featured a band. With 1000s that can get real hard to manage. If we ever got that big, we would have to re-look how we run the place. In the end, send away but at least pick a few and keep in touch with them.

What’s up with your mantra? Ah Keep it Real and Stay Crazy! Well that is me and my real job can be tense at times so it’s always good to step back and just take things in when you can. Be who you are, keep things real and let your hair down, have some fun i.e. stay crazy. On that note, thanks for having me, catch you on the playground.

-DJ Taz

Jonathan Hurwitz

StreetJelly Meetup 2015 Info

What: StreetJelly Meetup 2015 – Great Smoky Mountains
When: Saturday, Sept 19th, 2015
Where: Wilderness at the Smokies Resort, Sevierville, TN

East Tennessee is just a half-day’s drive from anywhere east of The Mississippi!

Please RSVP by August 15th, so we get an accurate count. click here

Saturday, Sept 19th – starts around 3pm at the Cades Cove Room

All viewers and musicians on StreetJelly.com are invited to meet in person for a day of fun and music. The event is FREE to attend at the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort, Cades Cove banquet room, in Sevierville, TN. Musicians, bring your guitars and instruments to jam with friends from all over the country. We will broadcast the entire event live on StreetJelly.com, too.

Travel and lodging expenses are not provided. In other words, you have to pay your own way to get here. Discount lodging rates available at the Wilderness Resort, call 877.325.9453 ($109/night, includes passes into resort’s two water-parks!). Mention the group rates for StreetJelly event on Sept 19th.

Sevierville, Tennessee – home of StreetJelly – is just outside Knoxville (East TN). It’s easy to get to, right off Interstate i40, exit 407. To reach East TN from the south, take i75; from the northeast, i81; and all points east and west, get on i40 (which runs the length of the entire U.S.).

Make it a Vacation!

We are at the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The attractions are endless and fit for every style of vacationer: camping, hiking, cabin rentals, dinner shows, amusement parks, golf, museums, shopping, restaurants, zip-lines, horse-back riding, and so on. There are 10,000s of hotel rooms in the area. And it’s the home of Dolly Parton and Dollywood! 🙂


Add’l Links
www.Gatlinburg.com
www.PigeonForge.com
www.nps.gov – National Park Service
www.Dollywood.com
www.RipleyAquariums.com
www.VisitMySmokies.com
www.SmokyMountains.com

Wilderness At the Smokies  map it
190 Gists Creek Road
Sevierville, TN 37876
Please ask questions about the event below in the comments…

BB King Tribute, by Clifton Printy

Special guest blog by StreetJelly blues musician: Clifton Printy

Yesterday one of my guitar heroes died. It was none other than the Legendary BB King. I could hardly express the influence this man has had on my playing style. From his “Butterfly” Vibrato technique to the live performance adjustment of volume and tone on his guitar. It was the accurate and articulate clean notes combined with over the top Gospel Blues vocal lines that changed my playing style for ever.

Some where around 2000 I could no longer stand the sound of my over driven AX2 and the distorted mud of my Humbucker pickups. At about the same time my friend Steven Lowell McGinnis, currently with the Bolt Ons, bought an American Strat and began playing clean through a Mesa Boogie. I heard that tone again. I had to have a sound like that.

Most of us would have a terribly difficult time emulating the raw powerful cadence and answer of BB King’s vocals against that always spot on guitar, but man I am going to try.

Thank you Mr. King for your 12,000 shows, for your generous nature, your appreciation of your crowd, and most importantly for teaching me that tone and technique are more important than speed and effects any day.

Rest in Peace King of the Blues.

BB King - Original Artwork by Clifton Printy

BB King – Original Artwork by Clifton Printy