smack dab play list covers: 1. Adele – Rolling in the Deep 2. The Aunt Betsy's – Flower Child 3. The Beatles – Across the Universe 4. The Beatles – Blackbird 5. The Beatles – Come Together 6. The Beatles – Dear Prudence 7. Blues Traveler – Runaround 8. Bright Eyes – At the Bottom of Everything 9. Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life 10.David Bowie – Space Oddity 11.James Brown – The Chicken 12.Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues 13.Catrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine 14.The Cure – Just Like Heaven 15.Bob Dylan – Just Like a Woman 16.Flogging Molly – Every Dog Has His Day 17.Gershwin – Summertime 18.Macy Gray – I try 19.Harburg & Gorney – Brother Can You Spare a Dime 20.Izzy – Somewhere Over the Rainbow 21.Micheal Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel 22.Jane's Addiction – Jane Says 23.Jobim – Girl From Ipanema 24.Jack Johnson – Better Together 25.Kana'an – Wavin' Flag 26.Madonna – La Isla Bonita 27.Jason Maraz – I'm Yours 28.Bob Marley – Natural Mystic 29.Van Morrison – Moondance 30.Sinead O'Connor – Nothing Compares to You 31.The Police – Message in a Bottle 32.The Pretenders – Don't get Me Wrong 33.Rodgers & Hart – My Funny Valentine 34.The Rolling Stones – You Can't Always Get What You Want 35.The Rolling Stones – Mother's Little Helper 36.Anne Ronell – Willow Weep For Me 37.Rusted Root– Send Me On My Way 38.John Scofield w/ M.M.W. – A Go Go 39.Paul Simon – Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes 40.Sting – Fragile 41.The Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut- 42.Sublime – Badfish 43.Sublime – Santeria 44.Sublime – What I got 45.Traditional – St. James Infirmary- 46.Traditional – Feeling Good 47.Velvet Underground – Take a Walk on the Wild Side 48.Violent Femmes – Add it up 49.Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun 50.Tom Waits – Temptation Originals: 1. Birthday Love Song 2. Butterfly Song 3. Curlz for the Girlz 4. Close your eyes 5. Don't Put Me On 6. Flying 7. In Da Bush 8. La La La Together 9. Lament For Joy 10. Lovely 11. Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid (Takin' my Time) 12. Rap Song 13. Ode to Brandi 14. Same Time 15. Slow Picky 16. Wedding Waltz 17. You're My Favorite Dream
The next day I get a call from Jack, guess Brent had borrowed a little be-jeweled pink pen from little Rose and, “Rose needs her pen back.” Fortunately I found it when we were cleaning up. I hope to get it back to her with a letter of apology & gratitude from Brent for misplacing her hot pink pen. A huge Mahalo to Big Island Brewhaus, Tawn Keeney & the People's Theatre for sponsoring this event. Black Rock Productions, Grototote & Complete Audio Services by Jay Fitzgerald—moving people, pictures & sound. Miles & the people in the the Honoka’a Peace Parade, The Hiccup Circus, Nacho the awesome driver & his sons who helped flier, Chris & Nikki Mcguire as the principles & Kanoa and Angel Prince dancing the tango. Much love to the fabulous cast: The one and only, Rose Friend, Noelani Sulla, Kitty Olson, Kim Sweeney, Liz Stevenson, William Hardistry, Nicole Cammesa, Leo Brayman, Randy Blake, Marinatte Webb, Douglas Runde, Lucy Burton, Dean Guida, Jeff DiMartino, Alaria Hoku, Liza Franzoni, Ian-Forest-Ocean-Sky Bardwell Jones
Honoka'a, Day #2
Sunday morning everyone woke before me with mosquito bites & stories of broken slumber from battles against flying invaders. For me it was one of those sleeps where no time had passed and I pulled the plug on my air mattress to inspire my ass to move. We all moseyed up to the cafe in our jammy'z—helping ourselves to the drip and checking e-mails before setting up drum risers & getting ready for Jay, our buddy with the portable sound & recording gear. I was still donning my p.j.'z when he arrived. With the sound gear getting set up & everything on schedule I found the shower that shared a wall with the projection room. Aisha and Diana walked to the store and got the cake and candles—going on some balloon hunting adventure through Honoka'a town as they recycled clusters of balloons left from Saturday's parade. We were all set up by the time the rest of the cast and crew showed up at around eleven. While Leo drove to Waimea to pick up the Brewhaus party platter & some of their awesome beer, we pressed the red button and played a 75 minute set of mostly covers for a promotional video we're creating to help us get a broad range of gigs, from weddings to cruise ships to festivals & every corporate event in between. We decided to shoot the promo video right away while we waited for more cast members to arrive in the afternoon. This worked out great because by the time we were ready to shoot the video everybody was loosened up—anxious to get to work on some acting. Jack brought a few adults and a bunch of kids from his acting classes to be in the cast and after an amazing Brewhaus lunch, we got to work. The cast was awesome! Douglas brought leis for Diana & Aisha & we had little Rose give them to Nikki at least three or four times. I thought it was so cool how we used my story boards as a bass to jump off from—feeling so free to improvise around them and in them that I knew we where making great art due to this fluid, collaborative spirit. The leis, the birthday cake, the bubbles, the kids—so much great improvisation around an original idea, you can't script that stuff.
The lives of 'Background Singers' from some of the most famous recordings of all time (“as the colored girls sing, do, du do, etc...”), unfolded before our eyes in groups like the 'Raylettes' & the 'Chandelles'. We were riveted by this inside look behind the scenes of the same industry that we're trying to break into and it impacted us all. The music they used were these classic recordings that you've heard a million times where the only people making any money on the record sales were the producers and the studios who owned the music. I feel the film struck Aisha more deeply than anyone. It's hard to know exactly what was going on in her head but I noticed she harbored a special relationship to this music and a kindred spirit with the women (now in their 70's) of these famous recordings. When the movie was over they played some random black and white film with the sound turned off & this super hip electro trance music behind the moving lips on the screen. They invited us to stay the night at the theatre while we all sat around on the dance floor and talked. I grabbed the air mattresses before anyone could change their mind & began the inflating process. It was absolutely surreal laying on air mattresses with some of my favorite people in the world, beneath this giant screen where the sound didn't match the action—trying to figure out the plot as we took turns describing our favorite parts of the day. Day #2 coming soon.
After this fun sweaty set in the sun we broke it all down, helped this awesome ukulele player set up & hastily loaded our gear on a flatbed trailer along with my p.a. head & our friend Kim's speakers. While we held the gear steady rolling the speed of traffic—getting our trailer legs to the staging area. It turned out that the way we instinctively threw our gear up on the trailer was the way we wanted to set up. Once parked in line, (between the Honoka'a Sisters of Hula & the Hiccup Circus) we discovered we where the penultimate act in the parade. We met a bunch of our friends who were in the parade too, one of them being, Senator Russell Ruderman, not parade waving on the back of some convertible but on a well decorated flatbed trailer playing guitar with his kachi kachi band 'El Leo & the Jarican Express'. We must've played five different tunes during the course of the parade, though we jammed 'In Da Bush' almost as many times. That's the tune off the record touted as our shout out for peace & we were asked to try to play it as we passed each announcer's stand which doubled earlier as the places where all the other musical acts where stationed. The whole time Dom is filming Chris & Nikki as their characters dig the parade. In one particular shot, Dominic jumped onto our trailer at the hitch & walked through the band as we sang with the recording of 'Birthday Love Song'—flowing seamlessly between our four bodies with instruments, mic stands, speakers, tangled cables, cymbal stands & off the back of the moving trailer as if he wasn't moving, but more—passing through the current of the parade. A cycloptic eye dropped in a river of fan-fair. We watched as the parade fizzled around us along it's course—coming full circle, back to the People's Theatre, thanks to our trusty driver, the honorable Nacho & again with the sidewalk. We schlepped our gear around the side entrance and on the stage of the theatre & received an invitation to a private screening of a new documentary called and about 'Background Singers' & was told it would be showing in an hour and a half. Plenty of time to grab some pizza and a couple beers at a restaurant down the street with the band, Jack & were later joined by Douglas, who came to Honoka'a to be in the cast. I barely made it through a Roberta Flack tune on Karaoke before our pizza arrived & back to the Theatre, our bellies full & our steps a little less straight. We found the movie was starting as the Lou Reed song we cover, 'Walk on the Wild Side' was playing & felt our way to our seats.
Smack Dab Honoka'a day #1
Another fake early start for a Saturday morning & we're all at the Natch, ready for a great adventure—blowing Caravan like a muted trumpet & that's how we roll to Honoka'a. Chris & Nikki lead the way with Dom in the backseat, Diana & I followed in her car full of necessaries with Brent close behind, more gear & Aisha riding shotgun the forty something miles to participate in the Peace Parade, get back story shots for the music video with our main characters, some parade footage with the band, find a place to crash, shoot a promo video for Smack Dab & finish the 'Birthday Love Song' video with a faux surprise birthday party for Nikki in the People's Theatre. Ambitious? Maybe. Things can be comically precarious on trips like these, especially when you're working with new people in new places. Having been to Honoka'a once before I'd only seen the People's Theatre from the street & didn't really know what to expect but we roll up to find a nice little P.A. setup on the sidewalk out front. We didn't want to assume it was for us, so we walked in and asked the people working the cafe in the lobby. No one knew who was going to be performing there, “But someone is going to play at one,” volunteered a bright eyed barista. A few phone calls while we scoped out locations w/ Dom—Nikki painted her face & we set up on the sidewalk after informing the baristas that it was us who was playing music in front of their cafe/theatre at one. They seemed pleased with this prospect as we set up drums, made the p.a. work, mics & stands & amplifiers all for the people of Honoka'a & the traffic on main street. A stairway across the street served as a mini amphitheater that, at times, was obstructed by stopped traffic—the drivers taking pictures with hand held devices, sometimes the passengers too. We made a bit of a spectacle of ourselves but we didn't really care, as long as we're making music.
Bub' Blog #3
Been writing a lot lately – in the usual ways of songs & poetry & add copy & bios for this, that, and the other things – business plans? Yes, but NO---- Story boards for music videos-- drawing comic book pages inspired by the previous inspirations of songs that first saw light through my pen & now the blessing to further incarnate this energy with a group of people who are totally amazing in such surreal ways. Ways that surprise the vessel of these ideas and the co-conspirators that encourage it or build upon it – making it all the more tangible and visceral.
Yesterday's video shoot couldn't've started out more perfectly. We met everyone at the Natch in Hilo at 8 am. I was a bit late but everyone was there & ready to go – (a good sign). Picked up some odds & ends on the way to Honoli'i. Shot the band jumping out of the truck & grabbed a spot near the beach. Some group & solo performance footage, then it was off to the shower scene. The shower scene story boarded as some kind of singing in the rain thing but morphed into two of us holding umbrellas under the showers & slowly turning the handles. We all got a little wet, Aisha a bit more than the rest of us but it was a great shot.
Gabe & Jeremiah had to go. Gabe held the speakers & worked the ipod while Jeremiah came with a Gopro camera that we ended up not using. Luckily, Chris & Nikki came out (Chris became the truck driver and Nikki took over the ipod & speakers). Everyone chilled while Dom & I went down to the water – me with my surfboard & him with his camera.
Five minutes of paddling around in the river left me with dry hair. While doing the "Honoli'i rock dance"-- getting out of the water up the beach, a local guy who was busy counting fish that his friend was dropping from a net on the sand asked me how the surf was in a kind of watered down pidgin reserved for haoles. Laughing while still doing the rock dance I explained to the fellow that we didn't come to surf today, but soon.
We piled in the back of Brent's '85 blue Chevy truck and cruised to a road called Scenic Route. Pulling over at the top, we got Chris behind the wheel, Dom with the camera, Nikki with the sound & Brent, Aisha, Diana & I cuddled up in the back-- singing Slow Picky at least twice, maybe three times with time to chill while winding down the road to the wood bridge.
The first thing out of Brent's mouth was “I ain't gettin' in that water.” Looking at the pool under a short but voluminous waterfall, we worked out a great compromise – I dove in from a nearby rock and swam to the others playing on the opposite bank. A walk along the rocks in the river turned out to be too much though & halfway to the big waterfall I suggested if anyone didn't want to go any further they didn't have to & we'll catch up with them later. Only three of us continued on. Dom led the way into (for him) unknown territory. DW & I soon caught up to find him absorbing the energy from his perch above the 100+ foot waterfall. We waited for the gang & looked around the bend to realize they must've gone back to the truck. So Diana & I did the final shot with Dom on his perch, then started back up the rocky path to call it a wrap & catch up with the gang back at the truck. Surprisingly, around the bend came Aisha, Brent, Chris, & Nikki. I was doing black flips in my head for several reasons: one-- now we get to do the final shot for the video, two-- we were all together again & I was wrong about them going back to the truck, and three-- I could see reflected in their faces the amazing beauty & power of this place. We got the shot & clamored back up the river to where we left our slippers, for in a place this sacred, you need to hamma dem shoes.
I was recently asked to perform as a featured poet at a spoken word event. The director asked me for a bio & I replied with this.
Poets are the Oracles of every society. In some, they are revered, in others they're burned. In ours, they're more often ignored. The poet is the person who comes up with the nick names for their circle of friends. The poet is the one who articulates their contemplations. The poet hungers for knowledge to share with the one who needs to be reminded of it's importance. The poet is the minstrel who's advice the clever king holds most dear. The poet rides a level of flow known only to poets & their artistic counterparts. The poet is the cheerleader for these artistic counterparts & never shy's from truth or beauty but more, celebrates in it's existence--reminding us all to celebrate. My name is Bub Pratt. I'm a poet who encourages you to savor as much poetry as you can before the powers that be overtake all thought & with it, the Poets, along with the people that can feel words as colors & textures & smells leaving tastes in your mouth that only exist in your mind. My name is Bub Pratt & I'm a poet.
IT'S A BALLOON RIDE AROUND THE WORLD! We've landed! Bringing with us an eclectic collection of music. The ten tracks on "Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid" are inspired by the regional vibrations we encountered on this epic adventure. Here is a brief description of our journey. From San Diego, California we set sail with surf guitars & "Curlz for the Girlz". Cross the Caribbean for our first stop in Rio De Janeiro with a rockin’ Bossa/Disco, "Lovely"--dedicated to the visions of eternity, TulaPallas. Jump the Atlantic for a little High Life in Lusaka, Zambia--landing "In da Bush" with a song for a Bushman. North to Odessa, Ukraine, "Ode to Brandi" could be considered an Eastern European drinking song if you blur your ears a bit & imagine an accordion playing a polka in the mix. Next, we're "Flying" west across the English Channel with a Euro-pop movement in London. Freeze frame the North Atlantic to visit our friends in Reykjavik, Iceland--searching for the place where you can see the sun set & rise at the "Same Time". Turning southwest, we head stateside to New York with a neo-soul composition by Tim Carey called "Lament for Joy"--in remembrance of those who live in our dreams. We’ll catch some Midwest pop with a stop in the Windy City & a "Birthday Love Song". Then it's a punk rock red eye crossing over the Rockies & Cascades to Seattle as we take our time writing "Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid". Finally, we lay it down Jahwaiian style, landing in the belly button of the world--Hilo, Hawaii, with a "Slow Picky". Oh how we flow.
Hope you enjoy ride.
Only two & a half years ago I was writing a song called 'In Da Bush, a song for a Bushman', while living in this tiny room I was renting in the University District of Seattle--sharing a rundown three story house mostly with people who spoke very little English & cooked exotic Asian dishes with small bony fish. A drummer friend of mine helped me get a gig as the rhythm guitarist for a twelve piece African Reggae band fronted by Alex Kajumulo, an ex-world league soccer player from Africa & I was writing down all the crazy one liners he'd say during rehearsal, like, "In da bush, mosquito be forever you go." Or, "In da bush, everyday is Thanks Giving." There was a flurry of songs written in that room with the view of the frat house five feet away. This is also the setting for the creation of 'Same Time', 'Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid', 'Ode to Brandi' & the lyrics for 'Lament for Joy'. Those where as dark as times get for this perpetual optimists who always rolls with a smile. I'd been divorced for two years & combine that with the weight of the great depression of 2008-- keeping gigs & students as a professional musician was getting harder by the day. I felt I really needed a change. When the opportunity presented itself to move to Hawaii, I felt there wasn't much of a choice. Another winter in the city of my birth or see what may lay in store for me in paradise. A friend of mine said, "Bub, when I see you, I see palm trees." I don't know if that has anything to do with my bad haircut or not, but I went. Loading up a pallet with my guitars, some amps, a little p.a. & a lot of Aloha in hopes to get my music business to do at least as well as it was back home. I soon found that this would be nearly impossible for a lot of reasons, one big one being the economic climate of the Big Island. Many of the industries that once boomed here have died & work in almost any form is very hard to find. Networking however was easier than ever. Sense we're on an island, everyone knows everyone & after going to a few open mics I started meeting other like minded musicians. A bass player who needed a guitar player in his rock-n'roll bar blues band, (& had an organic orange orchard I could do some work on as well) introduced me to Brent, Aisha & Diana--though not all at once. I first met Aisha in the jungle where she lived in a yoga retreat that's also a perma-culture farm. I was pleasantly surprised to finder her (a few days later), at this first rehearsal as a back up singer for a bar band fronted by a curiously tall woman in her sixties who chain smoked & would try to conduct the band in that silly way that singers who don't know what they're really doing conduct bands. At this rehearsal, I met Brent. While he was sitting behind his drums he gave me a brief overview of his credentials to which I replied, "Oh, so you're the one who's gonna be producing my next record. I've been looking for you." He just raised his eyebrow like I was some kind of "Puna-tic". A few months later this same bass player introduces me to his bass playing daughter who also plays for the local Grateful Dead tribute band & we hit it off immediately. Diana, Brent, Aisha & I started jamming on our own-- finding that we clicked well together. Once I showed them that I had a records worth of material, we picked our favorites & started hitting the studio. While in the studio I was racking my brain as to how we're going to be able to put all these tunes with all these different styles in one recording & have it make sense for the listener. Then it occurred to me, "What if we make the music about a trip around the world, using one of the most ridiculous modes of transportation ever invented?" This is what I came up with.