100 Virtual Shows

My goodness, we have been locked up a long time, haven’t we? I was just sitting here planning the songs I’ll be playing for next week’s show, and the little chart that I use to make sure that I mix things up song-wise also helps me to track how many shows I’ve played and where. Turns out this coming Friday’s appearance at the Eagles Nest Revisited Open Mic will be my one hundredth virtual appearance since we went into lockdown last March.

I miss people. And by that, I mean specifically that I miss the company of friends, and I really miss both hearing and playing live music. I miss playing along with other people. I am counting the days until I can find out when I can have the vaccine. Both of my parents have already gotten their first dose, so there are definitely signs of a sunrise on the horizon. 

But wow, this has been long. 

Of course, so many people have done so much to give people a place to play and listen to music, and I am so incredibly thankful for the community of people that I have met even during the lockdown. Linda Marks, who I met at an open mic in person in December 2019, introduced me to the Apocalyptic Open Mic and CJ Jewer. Through that experience, I got to meet Jay Singing Spirit Cunningham, and then Ric Page, Art Grossman, Richard Hopkinson, and a whole other slew of musicians I would not otherwise have run into.

And of course through the Virtual Necessity Open Mic I started up in March I’ve also spent more time online with my dear friends and compatriots Bob Greenman, Andrew Geano, Danielle Pinals, Terrance Reeves, Audrey Rose Hughes, Kat Brooks, Miriam B-A, Tim Ko, Ethan Mackler, Sara Beth, and more. 

We’ve been able to support each other, push each other in our songwriting and performance, share technology tricks, and teach each other how to wrestle zoom into doing what we want it to do. 

Along the way, these fine people also introduced me to John McArthur and Brad Myrick of the Greenhouse recording studio. John and Brad have been fabulous about coaching me on performance and on putting on a good show. They are also helping me with strategies for getting some of my recorded music out to you.

Never waste a good crisis, they say. While the opportunity has not been wasted, I miss you all very very much. Join me Friday for virtual show 100, and maybe we’ll talk about it a little bit and dream about what we will do next. 

-Chris

A Little Taste

Hi everyone!

I’ve been doing a lot of these livestreams lately, but I thought it might be cool to go ahead and do something that was very specifically about the relatively new songs I’ve been writing and that will eventually come out and singles this spring and then on the new EP (which seems to be growing in size past the point of “E”) at a time to be determined.

It’s been taking longer than I’d planned, but, well…. I am now in the process of changing jobs and that has taken a little bit of my attention over the past few weeks (months).

In the meantime, here’s a stream I recorded over the weekend that includes:

  • In a Minor Key
  • Home
  • Pulling Nails
  • Clouds

I know not everyone is on Facebook these days, so I went ahead and also saved it up to YouTube. The input into the computer was a little “hot” so it’s not completely as clean I’d like, but I hope you still enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

-Chris

New Years Eve 2020 to 21

(Subtitle, “WTF was that?”)

So I know that this is coming a little late.  It had been intended as a New Years message, but… 

I’ve been on vacation.

Seriously.  No schedule.  In my case this means my panic attacks have very little structure upon which to hang themselves, so… there’s that.  But I have more time to sleep (though the actual sleeping remains an elusive goal) and my achievements in Sea of Thieves are through the roof!  

And then I wasn’t on vacation anymore and I needed to re-enter everyday life. I should mention that I also let my present employer know that I’ll be leaving my position at the end of January so that I can go ahead into the studio to cut a new album and then do a North American tour in the late summer once the vaccine is fully distributed and we can do such things again.

And while the second part of that statement is a lie, the first part is accurate.  I have decided to change day jobs, and that may affect the amount and type of travel I do (again, once such things are safe again).  I also will be (and have been) recording songs for singles that will be released individually and eventually collected into an album.

My Music at Work

But, let’s do the things I’d originally intended to do. Here’s what’s been accomplished in 2020:

94 live performances

  • 8 in person
  • 86 as livestream

9 new songs fully written and tracked in the studio

  • 4 fully recorded and mixed
  • 4 in process
  • 1 discarded after initial recording (it was a fun song, but not really something I wanted to hold onto)

28 blog posts (not including this one, because 2021)

A name change (now using my own name, rather than my old Tunnel 18 band name)

A revised website (cleaned up, and it’ll be even a bit cleaner later in 2021)

Going live in 3… 2….

More cooking, baking, and home improvement than I thought possible (recipe swaps available).

Also a few new pedals on the board.  Built two myself to add to the long list of effects I’ve built: a new boost and then my eighth Tube Screamer replica*. 

And I know I keep promising you all a blog post about my pedal board – and I will do that, but not today.  I will include some nice video about how all these neat pedals affect how the guitar sounds, but let’s keep this to itself for now.

I do want to tease out a few songs that I have neither posted to Spotify, nor put in CD projects, but that I’ve been playing live a lot (acoustically).  I regard all of these as demos, but have lately been thinking that they might be good additions to my current polishing, mixing, and release projects.  

I’d love for you to take a listen to these and for you to let me know what you think – what works and maybe what doesn’t.  While I love songwriting and playing, I love it even more when this music finds its audience.  

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy.

-Chris

*General Guitar Gadgets does a great kit for a Tube Screamer, and their latest iteration has a great option for selecting a variety of diode pairs (and hence distorted tones).  The one I did this Summer went to my friend Lee McIntyre. We’d spent a few weeks at the beginning of the year (pre-covid) jamming and helping him keep his mind off some upcoming events.  The man plays a great version of “Here Comes the Sun” and is a hell of a novelist/philosopher as well.  Hence, Lee has the first ever (and only) Post-Truth Screamer.

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