This is just a brief update of new gear, news and music with some things that may be of interest to you.
I’m playing in a new project that’s currently an acoustic duo with an incredibly talented guitarist and artist form Iran named Farzad Golpeyagani who recently relocated to the capital district. He has an extensive discography and portfolio of projects and you can see his website here.
For those of you starting new projects or developing new things, there may be several aspects of this that might be of interest to you.
- I met Farzad at the Festival Cinema Invisible Film Fest back in June of this year. People that I met at that event have since opened a series of friendships which has lead to other doors, opportunities and gigs for me. What’s interesting about this to me is that I almost didn’t end up making it to the festival and if I didn’t have full passes for the festival – I might have missed it entirely. So (for me) it’s yet another reminder that opportunities are made more than they are found.
- While there are several reasons for playing as an acoustic duo (rather than starting an electric band) the primary reason is flexibility. Years ago, I played in a live hip hop band, which I loved, but trying to schedule regular rehearsals and gigs with 6 people was a perpetual mess. Our thinking behind starting as an acoustic duo is we can make a soft launch of the project, develop material and cultivate an audience in the short term and then expand the lineup out over time. This will eventually give us the flexibility to be able to perform small shows as a duo or larger shows as a larger ensemble.
For now, this is our acoustic guitar duo project with heavy note density – expect tunes from and/or inspired by the musics of Iran, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Northern India, Japan and other parts of the world all rolled up into some kind of Kati roll / Sushi roll / Gumbo / Goulash.
We’re working on a name and a logo (I’ve penciled in a name of KoriSoron for the time being). Farzad and I have been been testing out some material with soft launches at open mics in the area that have gone over very well and now we have some actual shows coming up.
- “The birthday show” – Saturday, August 23rd – The Moon and River Cafe in Schenectady 8pm – 10pm. Several short sets to herald in some new material which also happens to mark my birthday on the following day. As my gift to anyone there, the show has no cover, but supporting the venue with food or beverage purchases is encouraged.
- Thursday, September 18th – Kickoff screening for Festival Cinema Invisible‘s monthly film series at Proctor’s Theatre. FCI will be showing an Iranian Film, “Common Plight”, serving tea from the fantastic Persian Bite on Jay Street in Schenectady and have a performance by the two of us.
- Saturday, November 1st – Amsterdam Library Fundraiser. 6pm-9pm. No information yet but you can check back with the Amsterdam Public Library website for details.
We should have a name, website, Audio/Video and other information soon….
For this acoustic based project, I’ve gone back to the shed for getting the tunes together and back to basics for getting the sound I want. This required some new tools and (for anyone interested) I’ve settled on a few items for live use.
Amps – Amps might seem like a strange place to start, but given that this is an acoustic-electric project, it’s the lynchpin that holds things together. I’ve tried a bunch of amps and none of them touch the ZT Lunchbox Acoustic.
I’ll have a full review up in the weeks ahead but for quality of sound, features, portability and price point, nothing else even comes close. It’s the only acoustic amp I’ll use live now. Farzad will be using a lunchbox acoustic for our project and he’s using the regular Lunchbox for his live electric guitar performances as well.
Guitars – I think of all the time I spent trying to get my other acoustics to work in a live setting and now laugh that I didn’t just look at guitars that are designed for electro-acoustic applications and for my money the best in the field for that is Yamaha. I’m using an APX500 II and and APX700 12-string and they both work great for live use and I’m using Yamaha acoustic electric guitars exclusively moving forward.
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Years ago (as in about 6 or so), FnH guitar’s John Harper took in my custom double neck fretted/fretless that he and I designed in for some work. The problem was that as the guitar was designed to replicate a Mosrite – the necks were too narrow for standard bridges. So the solution was either to custom build replacement bridges or to make new necks.
New necks were made and the guitar (now forever dubbed “The Harper Albatross”) was delivered last Thursday. Some features of this beast include:
- The Albatross weights about 14 lbs and is about 20″ wide. It’s HUGE!
- It has one fretted and one fretless neck (both with a 25 1/2″ scale).
- Both necks have bone nuts and locking Sperzel tuners. (The tuners are a major contributor to the overall weight so those may be going soon).
- The fretless has a Fernandes Sustainer circuit and pickups in it.
- The fretted has a gold foil in the neck position and a Lace Alumitone DeathBucker in the bridge position.
- The fretless has a stop bridge the fretted has a floating Wilkinson bridge
- Mouradian in Boston custom-made the gig bag for this guitar by modifying a keyboard bag design to fit it. I love my Mono bags as well but my Mouradian bags are second to none for design, comfort and durability. Here’s the guitar with the bag.
Here’s another photo with more of a close up of the controls.
New Guit-A-Grip Posts
It’s been a while since I’ve announced any of these here so there may be some topics below that may be of interest to you.
- In this post, I dissect the “$1.7 million” figure that was quoted for a former student of mine whose band signed to a major label.
- In this post, I’ve posted an excerpt from one of my e-books that talks about the necessity for strong opinions in the arts.
- In this post, I talk about the disadvantages of burning bridges to your career.
- And in this post, I talk about how opportunities are sometimes wasted before they ever come to fruition.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll have the full audio for the panel discussions for artists from the Buckmoon Arts Festival and there’s a lot of GREAT insight and information for those of you who are trying to build your carer or get you business project off the ground.
In the meantime, that’s it for now! As always, thanks for reading!