Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Hey guys,

Just a little note to thank all of you who came out to the show last Sunday.
It was a fabulous, fabulous show. In fact, it may have been my best show ever! The band was fantastic and the turnout was awesome! People were dancing, singing and having a good old time! So thank you everyone, for supporting us and making this our best show ever.

If you missed the show, you’re in luck! We’re doing another show next month. It will be a Live Broadcast via the internet, and we’re holding a contest so the viewers can pick the time, date and price of the show.
Stay tuned for the details, or look to the left to vote on the particulars:

Part 2 of my latest blog is below..

Thank you again, and remember.. music can change the world..
Enjoy the summer..


"Now… Back to the story!

We needed singers, so we put out the word in our ‘Hood’ that a spot was open. I can’t remember who, but someone suggested “‘Lil’ Vivian from 200” (200 was the building Vivian grew up in). She had sung in our class production of “The Wiz” and she was GREAT!!!
At first her mother objected (I’d later find out that her mother sung professionally also), but I guess with a little nudging from Mrs. Evans, she landed the role of Dorothy. When we held auditions for the singing spots Vivian blew the other girls out of the water!!!! We had our Star!!

One problem though, just as when she starred in our school play, Vivian was still afraid of singing in front of people. Well, unbeknown to a few of the guys and me, Vivian would quickly lose that fear.
At the beginning of her first practice with us, Vivian walked in the band room guided by on of the biggest, smoothest dudes I had ever seen around our side of town. It was her Uncle Lincoln. We started out pretty slow, but needless to say, by the end of that practice we’d all done pretty well.

Within two weeks we had about 5 songs down pat. The tightest of them all was Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover”. Vivian sang the “----“ out of that song. And, of course, I held the bass line right in the pocket, LOL.

During those days, trips from NYC to Atlantic City were well awaited when summer hit. Mr. Byrd gave an annual bus ride to AC every year. Since he’d given us access to a room for rehearsal, he considered us to be “His Band”, so he often checked in on us. Well, it was during one of Mr. Byrd’s unannounced visits, that he brought us some of the best news a bunch of kids from the projects could ever expect to hear: we would be the opening act for Marvin Gaye (at the old Coliseum) in Atlantic City.

I will never be able to explain the excitement we all felt; I’ll say this though, it was over the top. We practiced hard, and though I honestly don’t remember the set we’d put together, I remember it being tight! We reached out to some of the guys in the projects who were already playing professionally by that time and they made sure that we had it right.

Julian had his brother Tim (who was already a guitar virtuoso, touring Europe with a Funk band), Everett had his oldest brother Freddy (who had started out playing in the same band as Tim, but was doing a lot of keyboard work in the studios at that time) and I had the help of two bass players (John – who had begun his bass career playing funk with Tim and Freddy, but had crossed-over to Gospel when he got Saved, and Jerome, who was touring Europe with Tim).

Kenny was a natural and his ear was amazing! Though he couldn’t read a lick of drum music, Kenny could pick up the drum line – stroke for stroke- by listening to the LP’s. Yeah, we got it right! We got it tight!! Besides Vivian, we had two other girl singers. If I’m correct, one’s name was Valerie and the other was Caroline. To be honest, they were only there to fill in space because Vivian had the vocals locked!! LOL!!!"

Stay tuned for part 3


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