album release anniversary

A year ago we released an album and had a celebratory live gig at Lighthouse. That was a really, really good time.

We’ll be back out there someday. But right now we really, really miss making music in our natural habitat, the closed-in, cramped spaces of basements and studios, stages and bars.

(A song about missing things, just for the occasion.)

It so happens that we just changed our distributor for the album as we approached the one-year anniversary, so all the tracks got re-launched into your music streaming orbitals, though you probably don’t notice at all. (It’s like getting a new timing belt on your car–you know it must be working better but the car still runs the same as far as you can tell.) If you can’t find something, we’ve updated the links on our music page. You can just imagine everything with a fresh new scent, cobwebs and such all dusted off. Feel free to give them a few extra plays to make them feel loved. Better yet, download the music for keeps or drop me a line and I can send you a real-life CD.

jazz at the station, pandemic edition

We don’t get around much anymore, as the song goes, and live performances and live audiences are in short supply. But one silver lining to a pandemic is that we sometimes deliver music straight into your home through wires. Jazz at the Station was good enough to host us for a socially distanced performance for their monthly session at Ogden’s Union Station.

On stage in a nearly empty ballroom at Ogden's Union Station.
Performing on the stage of a nearly empty ballroom at Ogden’s Union Station. (Photo credit: Karyn Johnston)

For us, the best part of it all was that we had this moment to get dressed up and play from a stage for an hour, albeit without a physical audience. It was a nice chance to feel like ourselves. While it’s not the same as being there, it was recorded for the public record.

Someday, one day, we’ll see you in person again. We’re looking forward to that.

little and big

We have gigs coming up in the coming days, all ages and free for everyone:

Cuppa: Saturday, March 7, 4-6p
This is the creatively conscious coffee/treat/food hangout with a lovely second-floor corner that has just the right space for game tables, couches, and a grand piano. Perfect little spot for an easy dinner or a snack before a bigger night out. We like trying out new stuff in this space, especially things that are good for the close quarters and ambience.

Jazz at the Station: Wednesday, March 11, 7-8p
This is our contribution to the monthly offering of jazz in a voluminous old train station. We love this place because you can hear the sounds of music resonate in the space. Sometimes the music sits in the rafters for a few moments before coming back to you; and maybe if you listen closely you’ll hear Joe McQueen’s sax still playing or footsteps of travelers from decades ago, maybe an old train whistle. It’s a nice place to just sit back and listen for an hour, no matter who’s playing.

Upcoming:
While March has a couple of free public shows, April has a string of private gigs; and then May will feature a combination of all kinds of stuff, public and private, early and late, free and not-so-free. The calendar is starting to fill up. We’ll keep you posted here and in our newsletter and on social media channels. As always, let us know if you have something in mind.

repertoire

When we play tonight at Lighthouse (9:00 – Midnight, 21+, $5 cover), we’ll roll out half a dozen new songs. It’s a solid mix of good stuff, ranging from hard-hitting to laidback, jazz standards to flipped-upside-down remakes to a kind of driving grunge backed with a jazz organ.

But it isn’t the variety that is remarkable to me. It’s that we keep adding stuff, and we don’t seem to back away from things that are going to be difficult, either conceptually or technically. I was just going over a line of changes in one of our jazz standards that turns my fingers inside-out, it seems, and the vocals are no easier. It makes me wonder why we do this to ourselves.

I guess, probably, because it’s fun. And, also, I guess, because when we play at your wedding you probably don’t want us to just play 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and Mad World.

When we played our first gigs, we had about 90 minutes worth of material if we stretched out intros and added a few interludes. Working up to two- and then three-hour sets was essential to play late into the night and to have a range of things we could turn to for any given moment. Now, I’m confident that we have five or six hours of music. Creating a set list is harder because we have to make decisions. That also means that we cycle stuff in and out, go back to old stuff to keep it fresh while at the same time learning the new things that we’re adding to the overstuffed binder. I panic a little when I see something I haven’t played in a few months; and then I’m impressed when we just pick it up again.

This is all to say that there will always be something new, maybe cycling through in place of your favorite. Just let us know and we’ll rotate it back in. Come join us, tonight or another time, and see how much the catalog has grown — and if I really learned that one impossible line of chord changes.

reports & rehearsal

We’ve been able to lay low for a few weeks, just settling into the new year. Besides having a new recording out, we’ve also each been tangling with new projects, jobs and babies, tasks and such. We played a secret gig for families at Cuppa right after Christmas, but mostly we’ve been hiding out.

It’s fun, though, to see that even when you can’t see us, people are still hearing us on multiple platforms. Take for example this report we just got that explained how we earned $1.01 from Apple Music streaming:

The spoils of all our recording work on Apple Music for December 2019.

Of course, the point of the recording wasn’t to make a lot of money. We’re pretty happy when you pay a $5 cover — like at our upcoming gig at Lighthouse this Saturday, Feb. 1, 9PM – Midnight. We’ll bring real CDs, too, and we’ll even sign them; but definitely the best way to hear us is live.

Now that we’re ramping back up for gigs, we’ve been rehearsing new stuff, invading Tim’s home to take over his basement and hash things out. This means that a lot of what we’re doing is not just playing to our heart’s content, but talking about everything from who leads us in to what’s the tempo to “is that the right chord?” to how to transition into the bridge to how to cue the ending . . . For a group of four people who just wanted to get together to play music, it ends up being a lot of thinking and working.

But this just means that at our next rehearsal we get to really try the new stuff out and get it polished for performances this weekend and beyond. A playful jazz classic, an unexpected cover of a rock icon, a civil rights era standard, a remade feminist anthem, and more new stuff are all on the set list. We’re excited to see what happens; and we hope you’ll be there to see and hear it on Saturday night.