Journal Music Blog

Reconfiguring (Yet Again…)

I couldn’t sleep last night for thinking about the possibilities that various projects represent. I’ve been aching my whole life to get into a band where I can play my songs and make a good run at them. Now, finally, it’s beginning to look like that’s possible.

We’ve been considering different ways to keep Catdaddy Pirates going. The fundamental flaw in our thinking has been that we’ve thought in terms of continuing on as we were with J. C. Rice, and finding someone to fill the slot that J. C. carved out for himself. But that would never work. We’re not likely to find someone else who likes all that up-tempo Blues stuff that J. C. wanted us to do. Anyone who comes in is going to change the dynamic, and there’ll be adjustments. But I think we’ve basically been thinking in terms of replacing one guitar slinger with another.

But… what if we didn’t?

What if instead we went with the people we have on hand? Doug and I are hooking up with our friend, Rich Caggia, to play a couple of gigs that have lined up for Catdaddy Pirates. Rich himself would say that he’s no J. C., but he’s a solid guitar player. If he’s willing, why not keep the gigging band working with Rich, while Doug and I work on recording originals that we’d release under the Catdaddy Pirates brand? I have a bunch of bass-centric songs that would work well under that Catdaddy Pirates banner. And we could certainly play them live with Rich.

One disappointment I’ve had of late has come from talking to guitar players about replacing J. C. It drives me crazy that whenever you ask a guitar player if he wants to play, he seems to think he’s doing you a big favor by allowing you to be in his company. I’ve always said that the singers get all the women, the guitar players get all the glory, and the bass players and drummers get all the work.

I guess I keep thinking that Rich Caggia is a great, stand-up guy, and that goes a long way with me. You can be the best guitar player in the world, but if you’re a prima donna drama queen, I won’t be able to play with you for long. Rich is a great, solid guy. What if he became our guitar player? And what if we added Victoria on keyboards and vocals? We’d have a nice, rounded band, and I could still show off on bass. It’s a win/win for everybody.

Victoria, Doug and I could also continue working on our acoustic project, Windhaven (which comes with its own set of recordable songs). And we could all work on the Blood & Chartreuse project, which will be released under my name.

Personally, I don’t think you can ever make much headway as an artist unless you’re recording original material. No one really loves a cover band, no matter how good they are. The only way to have a sustainable career in music is to do your own thing, and to keep on doing your own thing. If it’s remotely original, people will respond to it. And with over 400 songs to my credit, I’m doing nothing but wasting my time working on cover tunes. Sure, you gotta play covers to get into the clubs to make your money on a weekly basis, but it’s the originals that will get you out of those clubs and onto the larger stages.

I’m excited about the prospects that these projects represent. Hopefully Rich will be amiable to the idea of coming on-board as a permanent guitar player. Hopefully I can talk Victoria into playing keyboards for Catdaddy Pirates. Hopefully Doug won’t wake up one morning and realize what an egotistical asshole I really am.

I’ve always said that I felt like someone who was marshaling his energies for an assault on the world, but know that if I head up over the hill to make my first strike I’d be going it alone. For the first time in my life, I truly feel like that is changing. I’m finally listening to my heart, and trying to do what it is I was put here to do. Hopefully, it’ll work out well for everybody concerned.

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