The Zuzu Welsh Band / Blog

All Good Things

Well all good things come to an end, they say. By the first of january 2017 the band will sport a new look. No, we aren't donning costumes. Instead, some membership changes. First, after more than 150 shows, countless amazing guitar solos, a lot of ribbing for too many things to count, several very enjoyable road trips and some tasty guitar and keyboard playing on Fault Line, Abbot Grivich will be leaving the band at the end of the year (more or less) to pursue his true passion - country and southern rock music. Abbot has been an instrumental part of the Zuzu Welsh Band, and helped craft the sound and mood of the band from our very first rehearsal in September 2014. I want to thank him for his devotion to the band, for his input in the recording process, for his contributions to our success. He will be missed, as a bandmate and a friend, but I support him in going back to play what he loves. Why play music that you are not passionate about? We all wish him well in 2017 and beyond.

And after 17 months and probably 100 shows, Bobby Hicks will be leaving to pursue other opportunities - both musical and otherwise. Bobby came into the band as we were starting to get our footing and has been a part of the band's growth as well. Having someone dedicated to the vocals so I could focus on playing was a blessing. Having him help with the refinement of our stage sound was a tremendous help as well. We wish Bobby well as he moves off in his own direction.

I am sure paths will cross again with both Bobby and Abbot.

When the time is right, we will announce our new line-up. In the meantime, come out to see the band at Greenhouse Moto Cafe on October 21, The Odditorium on October 22, Grey Eagle on October 26th or Bobby's finale as far as public shows go at The Social on October 28th. Buy him a beer and wish him well.

So what will the band do now? Move forward. We've already auditioned a few folks, and will audition a few more, and still have a very full calendar from now until the end of the year. And the band will continue delivering high-quality, high-energy and high-fun music well into 2017. We are booked already for three festivals, as well as half a dozen or more club dates. And who knows, with some financial luck perhaps 2017 will see is start work on a new CD.

Keep rockin'!

Off and running

Well, in a span of two months or so, from the official release show at Smokey's (December 6th) until now, we have sold about 150 copies of the CD, and have played 7 shows. In front of a variety of audiences in a variety of venues. We have not yet managed to run people out of a bar with our sounds. In fact, we have developed new fans, and we have been booked back into four of the venues we played in. We have a dozen gigs booked out into the next 3 months, and will be playing in Nashville and Knoxville TN, Floyd VA and the Charlotte NC areas in the next 90 days. All I can truly say is thank you to my bandmates, and to all of you who have supported the music. Zu

CD update

First, the CD "Pleasant Nightmares" is completed. After listening to the studio mix of the CD yesterday, I am proud to say it is ready for the ears of the public. The songs are excellent, the musicianship is solid, and the production is spot on. You can get yours hands on from me, or through pipapelli's website at http://pipapelli.wix.com/home And second, my own CD, The Road Less Traveled, is going into final mix and mastering. 13 songs, all as well stellar songs with great musicianship and excellent production. The last song recorded for the disk is one penned by my musical co-hort and dear friend, Jen Wo, who graciously allowed me to included on the album. The song is excellent, the best thing of hers I have ever heard - and I am pretty sure I have heard and played everything of hers worth playing. It is a bittersweet thing though, as her song is sort of a "Goodbye" song. Jen will be leaving to pursue opportunities for her life elsewhere. The past 2+ years of working with her have been a pleasure and she will be missed. The song is called "Hard To Plan". Life is, indeed, hard to plan. My CD can be pre-ordered by sending $15 to my paypal account with your shipping instructions. The address is rootbeereyesbob@aim.com and I will be sure to ship yours out to you as soon as they are completed. I am going to donate 10% of the sales proceeds to MANNA and Homeward Bound. Exciting things coming up and I will keep you all informed as they develop. Pipapelli is playing a killer Halloween event in Georgia that is open to all. I will be playing at Brevard College. Blessings to all!

It is finished

Well, sort of. The recording work is primarily completed. I decided in the interest of my own sanity to cap the CD at 12 tracks. I keep writing, and if I don't draw a line and say "This is it", I will keep recording and recording and never get finished. So, "The Road Less Traveled" will contain 12 songs, written from many places in life. A few of the songs are more than 20 years old now but demanded I record them. One became especially dear to me, as it was written for my daughter when she was 3. She is now a new mother, and a companion song was written for her. "Half-Past Eternity", written as I wondered how she would remember me as she got older, and "Pitter Patter", a collection of my own memories of her childhood and how they will be the memories she will have of her own child's earliest years. I had to re-do "Precious Time" because I was NEVER happy with how it was originally done. And then, so many new songs. "Belly Of The Beast", about being trapped in the clutches of additions and emotional distress, written for someone very close to me. "Embrace Life", featuring the vocals of the amazingly talented Jeff Thompson, written to celebrate choosing the live and embrace living. "Normal", all about living a life that is so not normal. "I'm A Survivor", because I am. "Sunshine", "Never Die", "Late Night Lonesome Prisoner Blues", a silly blues number written from a comment my dear friend Jen Wo made about getting collect calls from the local jailhouse late at night. "My Hero" will be here, along with a song for my mom entitled "Sorry Mom". Twelve songs that I am very proud of. Yes, I am leaving some songs unrecorded. For now. I wanted to get "Devil's At The Front Door" in there, and "Long Way From Home", and "A Better World", and "One", but they will have to wait until CD #2. My hope is to get the mixing and mastering done and CDs available by Halloween time. I am talking to a couple venues about CD release shows, and am talking to a couple local musicians to have them sit in with me for part of the show(s). I thank everyone who has so far supported this and continue to support it. And I look forward to the last few bits and pieces of it being recorded so it can really get finished. Blessings Zuzu

The Road Less Traveled

I was contacted yesterday by a nationally-known, critically-acclaimed artist about covering one of my songs. Until I see it and hear it I won't really believe it, but I am very excited that my music touched a fellow artist that way. I have ten songs completed, pretty much. One more that is close. Three remaining to be recorded, and once that is done, final mix and mastering, and then - release party! More details to come.

CD Progress

Well, Pipapelli's CD - which features two of my compositions - is going to be out any day now, and my own personal CD is progressing at a leisurely but steady pace. There are now four completed songs on the project, and several others are very close to completion. Additionally, there are at least four more songs to contribute to the project that I haven't even started recording on. I haven't settled completely on a title for the CD, but themes about taking the less-traveled path keep popping into my head. Covering genres from acoustic ballads to gritty blues, it seems that the path less traveled is a meandering one. In any event, I am hoping for a release date sometime perhaps in October.

The Studio Adventure

First off, not to beg money, but I am running a gofundme campaign to provide some funding for my CD: http://www.gofundme.com/9r5528 I have completed the basic tracks for 7 songs, I have two other songs completed, and I will be going back in to put down the drums, bass and basic guitar tracks for three more songs in a couple weeks.

Studio planning

Okay, folks, question. I am going to go into the studio this weekend to seriously tackle a solo CD. I have a lot of songs - probably 15 - but will most likely only include 10-12 on the CD. I pondered the idea of something like a fundme or kickstarter campaign but since I almost never play out as a solo artist - or even with my musical partner in acoustic wonderland, Jen Wo - I just don't know that it would generate much money. Thoughts? I was considering instead just posting my paypal account information here for those who want to advance order the CD, and as incentive for advance ordering, would including a digital download of the CD that would include not just the actual CD but any songs I do not include on it plus some other goodies. Do you think that is a worthwhile approach? I don't intend to mass release this, and frankly think I will be fortunate to break even on the venture. I am doing it because I think some of the songs - most notably ones written about my family - should be recorded so they can hear them. So, if I were to post a link to my paypal with the instructions to send $12 there with the note "Advance CD purchase", how many people would actually do it? If instead I were to crank up a 30 day fundme or kickstarter campaign, with incentives for larger donations (as in, I promise I won't come sing at your house if you give me money....), would people fund that? My goal is to get the songs recorded and press an initial run of 200 disks.

Wow what an end to February

A packed house at the White Horse, a band of talented and fun musicians, a list of wonderful guests, and a night of The Beatles. More than enough thanks and praise to go around - to Bob Hinkle, Kim Hughes and Don Talley for continuing to nurture and encourage my idea; Ted Marks for the awesome job on sound; to all the musicians who put in so much hard work - James VandenBerg, Steve Cohen, James Kylen, Paula Hanke, Bruce Lang - including opening up his studio as a rehearsal room several times - Sherman Hoover, Jen Wo, BJ Leiderman. To everyone who came out. We raised a very respectable amount of money for a one-night show for MANNA and Homeward Bound. Thoughts? I like doing these benefit shows. I have a lot of ideas on what to do next. I also have a lot of other things going on. But from me to you all, a hearty thanks for supporting the cause.

February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014 Zunewsletter I have a lot of new and exciting things going on. So let’s get right to it. First off, I wrote and recorded another song, this one for my daughter. After delivering “My Hero” to my dad, my daughter delivered the news that I will be a grandfather in June. Between my association with some of the finest songwriters anywhere and the inspiration of such great news, I have begun writing much more. This song, which I did a fairly good recording of as a demo, can be heard on my reverbnation page (www.reverbnation.com/ZuzuWelsh) and is called “Pitter Patter”. Just really a collection of memories from my daughter’s childhood and how they will now become memories for her of her own children. I intend to include it as well on my 2014 CD. I have to take a minute to thank my friend Jeff Hart for inspiring me to build a songwriting regiment into my week. He challenged himself to write a new song every week, and has been posting them on his music page. I felt like this was a great way to force myself to build songwriting chops as well, so I have been trying to do the same thing. I cannot honestly say I have been successful with it but I have been writing more because of it. I also need to thank Jeff Thompson, David LaMotte, Chelsea LaBate and Chuck Beattie for their encouragement with the songs I have shared with them. While I wouldn’t even pretend to compare my songs to those of these fine folks, it is still nice to get feedback and encouragement from people who I respect as songwriters and musicians. Thanks for the encouragement. Pipapelli will be recording a new studio album this year, we have begun rehearsals for that. Ten songs will be included on the CD, which does not yet have a title, all of the songs being originals. Some of them are on our 2013 live release “Live Inside The Creature” – Get Rid Of This, Shadow Of Whiteside and The Dragon for sure – but there are a lot of new tunes as well – Dance Above Me, Everyday Joe, Sadie O’Grady, Belly Of The Beast, I’m A Survivor and A Better Way among them. On February 28th, Meet The Beatles will run at the White Horse in Black Mountain, a night of the music of the Beatles for MANNA and Homeward Bound celebrating 50 years since they came to the United States. The list of players and guests is a mile long and includes Jeff Thompson, BJ Leiderman, Ben Wilson, Dana Bergman, Rhoda Weaver, Chris Rosser, Stephen Cohen, James Vandenberg, Bruce Lang, James Kylen, Paula Hanke, Jen Wo, Madelyn Lantz and myself, among others. Tickets can be purchased at http://whitehorseblackmountain.com and are $18 in advance or $25 at the door. I don’t anticipate many tickets available at the door for this event. Upcoming Zu-pearrances: February 9 - Fab Four at Fifty All-star show at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill/Carrboro 7PM showtime. February 28 – Meet The Beatles at the White Horse in Black Mountain. 8PM showtime. Pipapelli will be playing a string of gigs starting in March. March 14 – Shovelhead Saloon St. Patricks Day Party, Black Mountain 9-12 March 15 – The Break Room in Conway, SC, St Paddy’s Day throwdown 9-1 March 17 – downtown Greensboro, St Paddy’s Day celebration, 8PM And in April, we are playing two sets at the Little Woodstock Festival in Blacksburg, SC – April 25th at 10PM and April 26th at noon. A lot of southern/regional bands including Doc Holliday and others.