One for Mr. Collins

Playing with different crews

Playing with Dan Moretti, Marty Ballou and Marty Richards, taken by Gansett Photography.

I drove to RI last Sunday night to play an unrehearsed set with this stellar band for a packed house and it made me think about how many factors go in to such a spectacle.  First, there’s the music, a jazz and blues pedagogy that people who play “that” music know so well.  The “standards.”

Second, there’s the vibe and openness of playing with a new combination of souls that you’ve never encountered together before.

Third, there’s a massive amount of details:  Starting and ending songs, giving cues, taking cues, making space for solos and features, as well as sound balance, looking for mutual musical conversation.

It’s literally on the spot project building.

I consider myself lucky to even be considered with such magnificent musicians, not just these guys, but a network that spans the country and Europe.

The Soundman and I lamented that we were both lacking a hard drive to capture it, and so the night belongs only to those who were there.

Sometimes you don’t get to put magic in a box.

Guitar solos

“I’ll be around” (whole song) 4.6.24

Happy Birthday “Rise” (April 10th, 2019)

This Saturday April 6th in Byfield (Newburyport)

Show @ 8pm GO HERE

If it’s gone just let it go

The Boston Music Circus was the Monday night residency band at Wallys in Boston for 3 years (13-16).
Letting the Web URL go just now made me think fond memories of the past.
And yet…if it’s gone just let it Go.

One for St. Barths

We used to close the night with this one, and as it’s the St. Barths Bucket this weekend I’ve had a bunch of messages from old friends. Mostly, “Where are you?”
So, here’s a shout out:

Little laughs

The fight

When we feel like we lost our way with love we seek control instead. And so we push and bitch and curse the things that we see, “the other side.”
Red Vs. Blue,
Me Vs. You,
It’s brilliant because they always wanted to get you to fight each other, and the longer you remain ungrounded the more familiar you’ll be living in that space.

And there are solutions everywhere but you have to stop talking and start listening instead.
It’s not too late.

“Just” still going

It takes a while for everyone to find out.

“I didn’t know you played jazz” (I hear that)

I waited 20 years to record a jazz record.

The music wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t ready enough. I felt like to would just be taking up space.
I had written a hundred instrumentals that I only threw away a year later because in my mind they didn’t sound original.
And my jazz guitar playing most times sounded like emulations of my heros, the Wes Montgomery’s and the Kenny Burrell’s.
And so I recorded many compositions and demos and never published them.

I also didn’t want to announce to the world that I had moved in a new direction and was now going to be
Playing jazz instead of anything else.
I admit it was a bit of a conundrum.

And it did occur to me that the years were passing by and that the hard work I had spent learning and playing it
Would be lost unless I did something about it.

I put together what I thought, and still think is, the best of the best. Short, simple, to the point.

Early on I was playing jazz with Stanley Swann and he had suggested the name “Sauce.”
Thomas Hebb, playing bass had agreed.
And so we called the group “Sauce.”

Many years later, the group had changed, the music too, but I kept the name.

I put out “Intro” a few years back and did almost nothing to promote it, as it came out around the time “Course Corrections” had arrived and I was busy with that.

People slowly discover it and to some general consensus they seem to like it.
If you want to listen for yourself there’s a page dedicated to it HERE.

Is it an empty house or isn’t it?

Is it an empty house of listeners?
How do you know if the machine that gives you the feedback on how many people are hearing your messages, decides to distort it to you, in order for you to make it be your goal to spend all your time getting more and more people to hear you.

Until you’re shouting into an empty theater.
Or are you?

This music

Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going with any of this music
The start, the middle, the end of a song, and the line where the messages are, go unrecognized, it makes me wonder
If I’m living alone in a little world of sound and art. Someone thanks me for something I didn’t do, or fails to
See something that I’ve always been. Even voices around me ask “why do you keep doing it?”
Is the universe playing me like a song?
I have hopes and fears I don’t always share, like cards in a game I protect them from the eyes of others, but the question
Remains, “who’s eyes?” And “what’s the purpose?”
There are things about being human I might never understand.

Just?  Just.


Sent the 9 Wallis Bootleg to someone who asked for it as he was cruising through the Florida panhandle.

There are serious hazards ahead with tech, AI, etc. but I do profess in my faith that humans will navigate them.

And, finding me has never been easier.



Download a Bootleg

The good news and the bad news

The bad news first:
Google has made it harder to find us little guys and Spotify has demonetized us musicians even more.

The good news: When you find me you’ll find a whole lot of me!

Oboes and bass solos

Listening to a Motown playlist last night and Greg pointed out that there was a hidden oboe part on the bridge (I think it was a temptations tune). Oh yeah, I forgot about that oboe part.

Then I started to rediscover the background vocals. And then the strings. And then the brass.

It’s a reminder of how “built up” the whole production was, how they did things mostly live in the old days. Quite the opposite of modern production of slapping things together on a laptop and having someone sing over it with pitch correction, modern tech.

Someone once told me “your ancestors did twice as much with half as much” and whether or not it was building airplanes or bridges with bare hands (not to mention pyramids) or forging steel, or even with coming up with such radical documents as the Constitution, it’s a constant reminder to me to not take things for granted.
As humans, we have a lot because of those who came before, and there’s no excuse not to go further. That includes bass solos.

A live video of Middle St. just went up and Greg Toro takes one of those at 3:40 in…if you want to check it out.

From now on, I might refer to him as Mr. Oboe ears.