In February and March I did shows with Chris Stamey promoting the release of his newest album "Love Sick Blues". For several of the shows we had a small orchestra that played along with the band, and it was a treat to hear the arrangements and instrumentation from Chris's album come to life. In March I traveled to Austin with him for SXSW which was a blast. Chris seems to know pretty much everyone, so at each gig we had several people sitting in with the band, singing duets with Chris or singing background harmonies. In the 5 or 6 shows I did with Chris at SXSW, I found myself playing with: The Tosca String Quartet, Ken Stringfellow, Cheyenne Mize, Aoife O’Donovan, The Old Ceremony (I sat in with the band to back up Chris), Star and Micey, Seetha Shivaswamy, and Casey Toll from Mount Moriah.
I also connected with Keaton Simons, an artist from LA who was in need of a drummer. He sent me his songs to learn on Wednesday, and between shows and commitments with Chris, I charted them out on Thursday, ran through them once with Keaton on Friday and then we played two high energy gigs - one on Friday at the Bayou Lounge and another on a roof top overlooking downtown Austin .
In addition to my work with Keaton and Chris, I also found time to meet up with my former Sixpence None the Richer band mate and friend, JJ Plasencio. JJ organized a concert based around Sixpence songs from the "This Beautiful Mess" era of the band. He found a singer and guitar player that just completely nailed the vibe and spirit of that time and we all had a fun time revisiting those old songs ("Puedo Escribir" anyone?) . JJ also interviewed me for a local radio show he hosts ("Rhythm of the Heart" on KDRP Austin) and I spent Sunday morning drumming at the church where he leads worship (First Evangelical Free Church).
So to sum it all up: SXSW was a blast! I didn't see any of the shows I had planned on attending (mainly because I was so busy running from gig to gig), but I'm so thankful for the old friends and new friends I was able to connect with and the amount of music I was able to play during the week. Throw in a few meet ups with: a college buddy (Mike!), another bass player from Sixpence (Joel!), Todd - who has recorded Paul McCartney and Thom Yorke (and a host of others), the drummer for Delta Rae (Mike!), the drummer for Dignan, Dani from Team Mate (my new favorite drummer) and you have the makings for a great week. I hope to make it back again next year (Pedicabs, Waterloo Records, Amy's Ice Cream and Juiceland - I hear you calling...) and if you are an artist looking for a drummer to play with or you know someone who is - feel free to get in touch and let's talk!
Me and Joel Bailey (former Sixpence bassist)
Me and Keaton Simons
With my college buddy Mike (poor lighting I know...)
And Juiceland - thank you for the juice!