Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dave Robbins Electric Band Triumphs

I played an amazing gig with Dave Robbins Electric Band last night.  Brad Turner subbed for Hugh Fraser on keys (Hugh was stuck with the snow in Victoria). What a fun band. Dave's tunes are great and his playing nothing short of inspiring.  The tunes are really fun to play, are rhythmically interesting and just 'make sense' somehow in the way they are constructed.  I was sorry that Hugh couldn't make it, but happy to see Brad there. He was absolutely on fire and made all kinds of amazing sounds with his pile of electronic doodads. I always learn something from Brad and feel musically elevated and challenged by his playing.  It was my first time to play with the young tenor player, Evan Arntzen, who did his incredible musical family (see below) proud.

Lastly, it was really nice to reconnect with Kerry Galloway after 10 or 15 years - what a funky bass player! The last gig we played was with Bill Clark at some wedding reception with a lot of drunk bridesmaids at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.  Ugh.  This was a much better musical and social situation for us.  In addition to his great funkiness and absolutely complete professionalism as a player, Kerry is also tremendously funny and a great story teller.  I had forgotten that, but it was fun to be reminded.  This made me realize again that Vancouver seems like a small scene at times, but then I run into these monster players from time to time who I haven't played with in ages and somehow they have been playing a lot and doing interesting things without crossing paths with me.   There are so many good musicians in this town.

The 20 minute rehearsal for the gig was truly remarkable - one of the smoothest and most successful in recent memory. Everyone had worked on the music and was actually ready to rehearse instead of being there to learn their parts. Dave was very happy with the playing at the show, as were the musicians and the audience.  Dave is talking of recording at Brad's studio and of more gigs with the band.  I love it when I can contribute to a project like this where all the elements come together naturally, easily, and successfully.  We had a great turnout considering the frigid weather and snow still on the ground. Vancouverites are wimps about cold and snow! Lots of students from Cap were there, as well as some fellow musicians, Brent Gubbels and Steve Bagnell, and my good friends Dhavide and Meg.

Here's an interesting side story in connection with the gig...Evan Arntzen and I have an almost family connection.  His great Aunt Bev was married to my Grandfather's best friend, Ken, who we called Uncle Ken because of his closeness our family and who, obviously, is Evan's actual Uncle Ken.  Cool!  My Grandma was happy to hear that I was playing with one of the Arntzen boys and so was I.

I'm playing another gig with these guys at Capilano U tomorrow 11:30am in Fir 113 - free admission and good times if you are in the neighborhood. Looking forward to it!


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