Living Room Concert
I was rather pleasantly surprised when John Diliberto, host of Echoes, starting including some of the downtempo tracks from Cool Aberrations on his show. I was blown out of the water when he told me he was doing a short west coast tour and asked if we could do a "living room concert". Echoes does a series of recorded concerts every year, capturing intimate live shows in either artists homes or in the Echoes studio. I was extremely honored that he would even consider me for this series.
I had my work cut out for me preparing for this show. John selected 4 tracks which happened to have different performers on each track: acclimate (JP Culter and Adam Blomberg of guitar), flow tater (Sarah Holzman on flute), summer (Stara on vocals), and reflective moment (Steve Sparapani on cello). I was rather surprised and delighted that they all were interested in playing the show. Scheduling rehearsals with so many people is always an interesting endeavor, and in true rock and roll fashion, they all happened the week of the show. For a couple of songs, we ended the rehearsal with some homework for the musicians to do. Therefore, I had a little trepidation about the show. That, and I had no idea what to expect, really.
We spent much of Wednesday moving my studio from the office to the living room. Stina brought it huge, helping prepare a sumptuous buffet table of nibbles and wine.
People starting showing up at 7 for the 8 o'clock show. When John and Jeff (the engineer) arrived, things kicked into high gear. They had much more equipment then I anticipated, and cables and mic stands appeared all over the place. Our living room looked completely different. Jeff couldn't have been a nicer, more accommodating guy.
When the equipment was tested and the scene was set - it was time to play. John would do an intro, and we'd play a song. It was pretty exciting. Each song was a totally different head space due to the musician on the track. Everyone really brought their A game. There were plenty of flubs (mostly by me), but I really felt that the music was top notch. There was definitely an energy to the music that I've never felt before. John did interviews with the performers in between tracks. Then they went house with their cameras. We did lots of being perfectly silent as they recorded the sounds of our house/Irving street. They whole thing was pretty surreal.
After the music, there was an interview with me. Then the breaking down of much equipment and general merriment. Things went well enough that spirits were high all around.
It was especially cool to have these musicians meet each other for the first time. I had always wanted to bring them together, just cause I think they are all amazing people (aside from being ludicrously talented). John and Jeff are truly warm people, dedicated to the art of music and sharing it with others. Jeff has been engineer the show for almost as long as John has been running it (along with his wife). It was a truly special evening, that waaaay exceeded my expectations. Not a bad way to kick off Memorial day weekend . . .