After the last song at the rehearsal tonight, Dave left a signal going through some of his pedals and even in his temporary oblivion, his instrument was making some hip music. So Myron jumped in to create the beat. I made a bass line. Sam gave me some keys and Then Dave further expanded on the sounds...Beautiful!!! The tentative name is "Alien Visitors"...Add that to the stash of original tunes we've been working on..oh did I tell you we've been writing some new original tunes?.. Well now you know. 2012 is going to be "Too Hot!!!"
I felt like hadn't seen the fellas/lady in months and its been only like 2 weeks since we played at Goose Island (Which was fantastic by the way). We got the rehearsal studio and apparently there was a mix up in my appointment. So we ended up hanging out for another hour. But that's ok. Band bonding time eh? We finally get into the room to practice for our Nov 5th show at Stage Bar (4358 N. Cicero, Chicago IL). The rehearsal was so full of fire and everyone was operating at full throttle. It was the first time playing "Black Betty" with Myron. hmmmmm...Music to my ears!!!
Alpha Clef Project to headline at Goose Island Brewery on October 15, 2011.
Chicago, IL; September 29, 2011- Alpha Clef Project (ACP) embarks on a noble quest in partnership with SwizzleSteve to present “A Night of Sweet Relief” to handicapped and aged artists while rocking the house at the Goose Island Brewery on October 15th, 2011.
Alpha Clef Project is a multi-genre band, playing different styles such as Funk, Soul, and Reggae. They will be playing a set that mixes original material with covers from artists such as Bill Withers to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
ACP collaborates with Yaw Agyeman and Khari Woolfolk who make up one of Chicago’s finest soul duos, “The Ones”. Although their soulfully intense music conjures up the spirits of soul legends past, the musical influences of The Ones extend beyond the soul genre and the sounds of Nina Simone, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Marley can still be heard.
ACP and The Ones have had the opportunity to perform at various venues around the Chicago land area. Their performances drew diverse audiences while cutting against the grain of a single genre performance. The cross genre show involves a portrayal of lyrical dialogue in the cover “Hey Joe” and energetic band improvisations over covers such as “Light my Fire” and “Black Betty.” The last visit of the ACP to Goose Island created a packed house and “A Night of Sweet Relief” is projected to draw an even bigger crowd.
ACP and The Ones are currently working on their first collaboration album which should be available in spring 2012. More information about the band can be found on the website at: www.acpband.com
COME ROCK OUT AND SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE!
All it took was a little scattered showers on a September evening to dampen the spirits of a band scheduled to play that night. But it seemed that mother nature took pity upon us all on Friday and withheld the showers. In the mean time the doors of the Elbo Room were already open and "Tellstar" was already working their magic, entertaining a full audience with their funkiness. I never did catch the name of the band before Alpha Clef but they sure had alatta soul too. It was time! Alpha Clef Project approached the stage for what was going to be a quick line-check. It was cool having Brian Bender do the sound engineering for us and so we set everything up and start going through the motions. Lead vocal mic...Check! Bass guitar vocal mic...Check! Electric guitar vocal mic??? I think Alpha Clef Project was one of a handful of bands that came to the Elbo Room with a guitar player not singing. Brian then proceeded to reassign the mic for the keyboard player, who was not singing either...LOL...I probably should have told him that we had two singers up front. The set started off unconventionally with "The Chicken" as an instrumental jam to warm up a little bit before we brought Khari on the stage. A couple of songs later, Derin came on the stage as well to sing some background for Khari. Then we switched the set up to feature the lovely Miss Derin. Her feature ended with a piano duet; a beautiful rendition of "Love is You." As the rest of the band came back on the stage, I kicked off "Stir it Up" and just as the groove began to sink in, I looked in the audience and who did I see? Bro Yaw just made it in from his trip to New York, and without a second to loose I bring him up on the stage for what was a totally unexpected, unrehearsed performance. And just seamlessly we ran through the rest of the set and we closed up with a killer rendition of "Under the Bridge." After all was sung and done, I went to go mingle with the folks and had a run-in with four kings to mark my birthday celebration...Happy Birthday Me!
If you haven't already, make sure you read the prequels preceeding this blog. But then again, this here is self sufficient in its story.
Now that the performances were over it was time for the real deal. Mayor Rahm Emanuel comes running in energetically and gets everybody excited and singing "Happy Birthday" to the president (lead by who?..Jennifer Hudson of course) as Barack Obama emerges majestically on stage. This guy has so much swagger, its ridiculous. He started his speech and did what he does best. By the end of his speech he had everybody fired up again. When he was done he came down to shake hands and I was glad I got to be in front because I got a nice firm look-me-in-the-eye hand shake from the president of the United States. It was pretty exciting. To top it all up, as we left, I got stopped by a CBS reporter, for a quick 5minute interview which turned into a 5second clip on the 10 O'clock News.
So you ask me what I did yesterday? I'll tell you "I was on my feet for 5 hours, saw ok go perform, was mesmerized by the new and improved Jennifer Hudson, inspired by Herbie Hancock, shook hands with the president, got on TV. It was just another normal August day."
So, I was saying...
Enter: Some ladies and a guy in the dark. Those must be the background singers. The lights come on and I'm wondering, "Where is Jennifer Hudson?" The spot light shines and a powerful voice projects through the speakers while I look in confusion. That really was Jennifer! She lost so much weight I could not even recognize her. She was sure looking good. She sang 2 songs and was off the stage. WHAT?! I really wasn't that surprised though, to be honest I thought she was only going to sing one. Maybe just sing "Happy Birthday" for the president. Enter: Herbie Hancock. This dude is looking really good for being 71. He kicks off the trio set with "Watermelon Man" and what an opener it was. He really switched it up, making some parts really stinking funky, and some others straight up groovy. He ended up on his Keytar and trades solos with Bass Player James Genus. What a show! After a couple of songs he did a piano solo version one of my favorites: Maiden Voyage. As Herbie plays you can just see that he is having the time of his life. This was how it was throughout the set. Smiles for miles. They were all just having fun jamming together and feeding of each other's energy. Once again...AWESOME!
So I know its usually kinda weird eating outside while waiting in a line, but I was really hungry and was probably going to be in line for another hour to get into the Aragon for President Obama's birthday party . I had to get a bite to eat. So I ran to Papa Rays on Lawrence and Sheridan and got me a $3.99 slice of pizza. Damn...what a slice!!! It was so huge I had to ask the guy to cut that one slice into 4 pieces. To make matters better, the water was free. Ben Levy, I and the 2 other ladies we were with ended up sharing that ONE slice while we kept waiting. Since we were arrived pretty early we got to enter the Ballroom earlier as well and so we picked our spot which was right in front of the stage. Now another waiting period began; standing around, paying $7 for half a beer, and trying to distract ourselves from our aching feet. Now the Ballroom is jam packed, and the lights go down. Enter: Ok GO! I had never seen them perform until last night and they did a fantastic job. But I tell ya, the Chicago crowd is one of the toughest crowd to please. Forget New York, if you can make it here in Chicago, you can make it everywhere. It took a while for the crowd to really warm up to them but lead singer, Damian Kulash, did a great job getting everybody involved in the last song, "This too shall pass."
"I came to Chi-town, to get my boogie down, I came to the Island of Goose, and now I'm stuck behind her big kaboose...." That was going to be my customized verse in "Kinky reggae" but we didn't even get to sing that song because of how quick time flew past us on Saturday. Its all good tho, I'll have to put that earlier in the setlist for the next show to make sure we sing it. I might have to change it up again tho. We had such a grand time with the bands that played before us: Larry (yes, that's the name of the band), and Sweet Package (Great name for an all-chick band). I think the best was the hi-hat story: I was supposed to bring the pseudo-backline for the night and I did. I had my bass amp, the drum kit, the hardware and even my cymbals if it was needed. Not too long after I settled to have my first drink Larry's drummer came running to me "where's the cam for the Hi-hat?"...(The Cam is the little thing-a-majiggy that holds the cymbals in place and make them go up and down). Well I didn't know where it was, I checked all the bags I brought out and it wasn't there. I ended up calling Bev (our drummer) and he said "Oh S%#T, I have it with me and I'm still about an hour away." How nice. "So what did we ending up doing ?"you might ask. Well, Duct tape of course. The solution to most of life's problems. Funny enough, it WORKED!! The Duct tape was good for the whole of Larry's set and half of Sweet Package's set. Good Times!!!