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Thomas Staab / Blog

Updates and new shows added

A bunch to things to report. I've had to scale back a bit, solo and upcoming duo music wise while my marathon training is heating up and have had to fight off a cold for the past 2 weeks. I'm running the 26.2 miles in May for a great cause. Check out the details here. http://tomstaab2014.causevox.com/

Please consider donating. All donations, however small, are appreciated! A special Thank You to all who have done so already!

Have also been in the studio recording 8 new tracks for dSb, www.dsbworld.com Exciting as I love the studio environment. Also have 14 great dSb shows have been added that can be found here. http://artistdata.com/a/4gv4

Billy Joel Tribute News: Cold Spring Harbor Band has a few weeks off but we have some exciting new shows listed at http://www.pianomanpat.com/Upcoming.htm

Hope to get back to a solo youtube song demo and my upcoming duo project soon! That's all folks!

New gear on the wishlist!

I have always been somewhat of a semi-frustrated tone chaser. But in the past 10 years, I've just learned not to obsess. For my rock playing I've used the same amp for 29 years, a Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 that I'm shocked still works so well. I was convinced that it was the guitars, pickups, and effects pedals that had more influence on making me sound the way I wanted than the amp did, if only I could tweak them all correctly. Yet after some point, I had to stop tweaking those and get to making music. I also had so many other instruments that I was interested in playing, songs to learn, albums to produce. Last but not least, my writing has since switched to a more acoustic style, though I still play electric in my bands. In short, the whole tone chasing thing fell by the wayside. Flashback to the first 2 CD's I produced for my band, dSb: I'm quite ashamed to say that I had so much lined up to do as engineer/producer, that my guitar tone was a complete afterthought. The sound that my setup produced surprised me in that it simply did not record well, and there was little time and budget left to experiment. It turns out, guitar tone from mic'ing the amp is more complicated than I had originally anticipated. Also, though the many individual pedals approach is nice and modular, you suffer from having to do a dance every time you need to turn on and off more than one pedal at a time. Then after seeing a gig video of myself bending down to adjust stompbox dials numerous times, I realized I needed an all in one digital pedal. As well, amp and speaker cabinet emulators were just starting to become usable and bundled with the all-in-one units. Fast forward a few generations of these pedals ... Last year my Digitech RP1000 pedals stopped working. It did most of what I needed, but to be honest I had never been that satisfied with its amp tones. So with that one broken, I now had to go back to my GNX4 with even less satisfying, previous generation amp and cabinet emulators while I figured out what my next purchase would be.

Fortunately I was invited to attend last week's Winter 2014 NAMM expo in Anaheim by my good friend, Dr. Marc Gallo, founder and owner of Studio Devil Virtual Tube Amplification (check it out at www.studiodevil.com ). His previous tube plugins made quite a splash in the industry when they came out several years ago. But because I was still new to the whole computer recording world and have since mainly recorded acoustic guitar, I was never able to use it. However, Studio Devil has now partnered with Atomic Amps to develop a new product called AmpliFire that I was able to demo. AmpliFire is a hardware stomp box version of the plugin technology. It's an all-effects-in-one unit but it's honestly the best tube emulation I've ever heard. Of course the first thing I thought was, I must just be biased. But then I heard person after person stop by and say the same thing. My search for a new effects pedal is over and I'm now anxiously awaiting it's official release in April so I can get my own!

Road trip!

Excited to be back in Texas tomorrow, Friday and saturday performing at the famous New Braunfels Wurstfest with my band. Solo material will have to wait a little longer. But eager to get back to it after this weekend!

Big things for 2013

So much good stuff going on. One, For the first time, some of my solo music is finally up for sale via download right here on reverbnation. $1.29 per song is a little more than you find elsewhere but half of that is going to http://lovehopestrength.org/ a music-centric cancer charity. I can't think of a better place to donate than cancer treatments and research. It's such a scary thing that I can only hope will be eradicated in our lifetimes.

I will be posting more songs peroidically as well. Look for another one next week.

My free download of "Don't Forget" will only be up only until Jan 27th so get it before then! http://www.reverbnation.com/c./poni/167539427 January 12th I played an amazing event led by my good friend Dr. Bob Goebel, who assembled an incredible 25 talented musicians for one epic 5 1/2 hour show. I thought at first I would play at most 3-4 songs. But over time, more and more emails came in. "Can you play and sing on this and that song?" I started to wonder if I could pull it all off, but he and I both knew once I was at the show, I would want to get up there more. With me there's always the danger of spreading myself too thin, and this was no exception. By showdate, I was involved in 17 songs, and had to learn 14 of those from scratch. I was a little overwhelmed, but in the end the result was far better than I could have hoped. I guess that's just what happens when you work with great musicians. Some links to these videos are on my profile page on reverbnation.

On February 9th, 7:30pm I'm excited to again be playing (various instruments) with Cold Spring Harbor Band (Billy Joel Tribute)at Plattdeutsche Park, in Franklin Square Long Island. (Official press release) Enjoy a delicious buffet, open bar and a concert by Pat Farrell and the Cold Spring Harbor Band and special guest Tom Staab from "dSb". Tickets: $55 in advance, $60 at the door (if available) Reservations required, please call 516-354-3131. In cooperation with the Kiwanis Club of New Hyde Park/Floral Park. I'm also looking forward to again be working with Joe "Izzy" Keenan and Jim Lingner on their upcoming project. I'll be providing creative input, playing instruments and background vocals. Joe and I we're in a classic rock band called "OneWay" ...it seems a lifetime ago. (For some of you it was literally a lifetime.) This project will be acoustic folk (think Simon and Garfunkel meets Mumford and Sons, with maybe The Shins thrown in). Some songs will be expanded to full band production. This genre is, of course, right up my alley. Stay tuned for more on this.

Also Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 3pm -6pm, my longtime german/american festival band, dSb will be playing our 2nd annual Windham Mountain Bavarian Fest, or as we call the event The Après Ski Party! For anyone going through their yearly winter dSb withdrawal, including me, this promises to be another memorable show. Details here: www.dsbworld.com

There is so much more news brewing, but details are still coming together so I'll save that for the next blog. See you soon. Tom

Road goes ever on

Been writing more recently, trying to finally come to terms with this year's events. My best writing oddly comes out of inner conflict or distress. Might as well get something positive out of it. As Daniel Defoe put it the only thing certain is death and taxes. I've never been a gambling man, so it's an unfortunate joke that life turns out to be a gamble, a game, and luck of the draw has as big an impact as your choices. So I'm making lemonade as life has made me an increasingly better songwriter.