Dreamwalkers Band had a vocal rehearsal Tuesday night and it was a blast. Debbie Stern, Dave Ross and I met to select and practice harmonies for our first group of songs. If you've never done something like this, it's an amazing experience. When it works, three part harmony feels like hitting a baseball right on the sweet spot of the bat. When it doesn't? Well, not quite as good. Debbie is a genius at making the map, Dave is very brave, diving in at the deep end and having a great attitude and good humor about the process. I'm getting better and better at singing harmony and just singing in general. It sure helps to have such supportive people around me and a great teacher.
We worked on the cover songs, Love Is a Rose, Get Together, End of the Line, and the Word, Debbie's songs Dancing With the Man In The Moon and Don't Give Me A Second Thought, and my Everything Is Changing. We were really blending well at the end. Next, bring the whole band in and see if our hard work pans out. Can't wait. A few more weeks and we will be ready to play out.
There is no doubt singing improves happiness and is connected to brain function. I am working very hard right now to become an effective harmony singer. Fortunately, Dreamwalkers singer, Debbie Stern, is the queen of harmony, and is a great teacher to boot. There are people who can pull harmonies out of the air naturally. Others, like me, have to train the ear/brain. I am just beginning to get a glimmer of how this works. For now, I learn my part over and over. But the trick is not just in singing the right notes (although it sure helps). Harmony is about blending with the lead singer. So, I'm finding I have to hear myself, to keep the right notes (not the melody), but also listen to the lead singer in order to blend. In essence one is a participant and observer, but participation is based on the observation. Sounds a bit like psychotherapy. Wow.
So now with a few days passing, I'm getting a bigger picture in understanding the relationship between harmony and a singer's inner world. If I blend with the other singer, my tendency is to leave the harmony and sing the melody. So after some discussion and much trial and error (thanks Deb for being so patient), I am getting the idea of how to split the inner world without getting too confused musically. By the end of our work today, I was finally, so to speak, getting in tune.
Some people can pick harmonies out of the air. I can’t but practice makes all things possible. Debbie Stern, queen of harmony, Dave Ross and I worked together to find that magic of people blending their voices together. It’s a wondrous thing when the vibrations of three people come together in the right way. The hair on my arm started standing up. It takes some work though, we have to follow the lead singer and not only hit the right now but hit the inflections correctly as if we’re merging souls. I’ve been studying with Debi for about 18 months now and it’s pretty amazing growth that I’ve experienced. Dave got thrown in at the deep end but he did very well.
We are almost done getting Dave Ross up to speed with familiarity with our songs. He has done an amazing job. We are very lucky to have Dave in our band. Tonight, we had a spirited rehearsal with great energy. We are beginning to come together as a band. Drummer Daniel Polyak is cooking with high octane rhythms and really has captured the vibe of our band. I'm hearing Tony Sheppard take his place as a master of guitar. We have come up with new arrangements of original material, and new cover songs. It's been quite some time since Dreamwalkers played out, as we had many losses and obstacles, but I feel like this group is just about ready to play out and we are all excited about what's been happening.
Great fun, wonderful music, and good friends who enjoy each other and love to play music together.
Songs: by Debbie Stern-- Good To See You, Gone, Don't Give Me A Second Thought; by Richard Schulman-- Two Insomnias, Walkin' Down The Road; Covers: Tuesday Afternoon, End of the Line, Love Is A Rose
Hello my friends. Band life is unpredictable. We are right at the edge of performing and all of a sudden we need a new bass player. Tonight, bass guitar player, Dave Ross showed up and his vibe was right, he played bass well even on songs he hardly knew, suggested a song and sang it, all in all a very satisfying rehearsal. We have a vision of a band. Everyone seems to be on board with the vision. We are not a typical bar band, but we won't be dull. Really cool original songs, harmonies, and great musicianship. Tony was really on tonight. He plays with an amazing combination of grit and tenderness. We are a little delayed as Dave gets up to speed, we have to take new pictures, but we are moving forward again, and I'm happy to say we'll be out there soon.
Everything Is Changing; Trick My Eyes; The Redemption; How I Love to Love You; Harvest Moon; Get Together; Diamond Filled Bouquet; Louisiana Playing On My Mind; Unknown Legend; Something ‘Bout That Boy; Suggestion By Echo
It's a day for giving, so if you would like the Dreamwalkers album, you can download it for free as a Christmas gift from the band by going over to the Store section of the website and providing your e-mail.
If you wish to review it, send me an IM or e-mail and I'll put it up on the dreamwalkers.com website.
Dreamwalkers Band is happy to announce the addition of drummer Daniel Polyak to our group. Daniel has played with nationally known luminaries such as Wanda Jackson and Wayne Cochrane, and is well known in the Sarasota area. He is a very accomplished drummer, but more importantly, he is a great guy who really got our vibe almost immediately. We love playing with him and feel very blessed he decided to join us.
Dreamwalkers rehearsed Thursday evening, and we focused on covers. Bart Dellarmi is taking more of a leadership role in crafting the sound, of which I am grateful. He hears things I don't and offers creative ideas about structuring the songs. Tony Sheppard, as always, is wonderful on lead guitar. So we had a lot of fun playing covers. The band was inspired by the recent film "Echo In the Canyon," about Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles during the mid to late 60s, and wants to incorporate that kind of vibe. I can feel the cohesiveness of our group growing.
Sadly, Patrick Russini announced he is leaving the band. He's a very busy guy and did not have the time to devote to us. Too bad, we love him as a person, and have watched him develop musically over the time he has been with us. I'll be speaking with a potential replacement this weekend.
Songs: Rikki Don't Lose That Number, Right Down The Line, Boys of Summer, Secret Agent Man, Last Dance With Mary Jane, Harvest Moon, Don't Let It Bring You Down, Comfortably Numb, California Dreaming, Suggestion By Echo, Everything Is Changing.
Dreamwalkers took a road trip to the Hideaway café in Saint Petersburg to see our friend Shaun Hopper and his band the sun kings. They were just fantastic and well we enjoyed the music we also took notes about things that we want to improve in our own performances. Shaun is a world class guitarist and has worthy partners in Paul Matthew Quin, Jay Klein, and Chris Barbosa. Well they were terrific, but it also let us know that we are pretty good too and with some strong rehearsal we can get up to speed and give a great show.