My new band is called Honeyboy’s House Party. It’s really a concept band and you can learn more about that concept on my band website here.
But when I decided to get “the old band back together” a few months ago, after almost 7 years of not playing out, I had some thinking to do…
Should I just try and get my old band buddies back together or should I start a new band?
I decided to do a little of both. I wanted some fresh players but I also wanted to play most of the songs that I had been working on for many years… some I’d been playing for almost 40 years.
My last band was a 5-piece with bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, and harp. This time I wanted a little more flexibility. I decided the 5th piece would be interchangeable. Sometimes is would be a harp player, sometimes a sax player, and sometimes maybe another guitar player.
This way the band would always be fresh and the audience would see some variety, and so would the band members. It’s nice to play with different players sometimes.
Anyway, some of my old band was not available. My old drummer, Tom Staley had left the area, so there was a new slot that had to be filled.
Thankfully, my bass player, Jeff Avrin, was available, although he played in other bands too. But he knew all the songs so it would let us hit the ground running.
My last keyboard player, Patrick Sweat, was doing Dad duties and wasn’t playing out so I needed a keyboard player.
And my old harp player, Earl the Pearl, was still around but was busy with his recording studio and custom harp business, so he would probably be only available part-time… but that was fine. Actually he was retired and mostly wanted to ride his Harley anyways.
To make this long story short, it took a while to sort out band members, and finally I think we have a solid core of players in the band… or at least we are heading in that direction.
Thank Goodness For StingRay’s
Finding places to rehearse is always a pain. I don’t have a space in my home so I had to find rehearsal space. There are places that do rent rehearsal space. Most places charge a fair amount, so that would be problematic with band members until we had gig money coming in.
Luckily, a local club was beginning to feature blues music, and already had a jam on Tuesday nights with a great local guitarist, Jimmy Griswold. I was attending his jams and got to know the owner and struck up a conversation about “getting a blues band for cheap.” I offered my band in hopes of finding a place to rehearse and play our way into shape, and he agreed.
So here we are, at StingRay’s every Wednesday night, working the songs in and teaching the new drummer and keyboard player the songs.
Here’s a recent gig. We still have a ways to go until we are back where we used to be. Let me know how we are doing.