As I'm sure you've noticed, work on the new Live+ album is underway, and is going really well. The mix is almost right, which leaves me with the mastering before we send it to press. "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" features Chris Fooshee on drums and newcomer Blake Miller on bass, with a special guest appearance by "The Emfamus" Skip Oliver, and was recorded live at the 41st Annual Tupelo Hog Roast on May 18, 2013. "BB&BBQ" contains some of your favorites from "Lost In Mississippi" as well as new material written over the course of the last 2 years. I've "released" 3 of the tracks for your enjoyment on SoundCloud as well as ReverbNation and at KevinWaide.com We're shooting for a mid to late August release date, so mark your calendars or check the site regularly.
Oh, did you notice the + by the word Live in the first line? No, that wasn't a mistake. I'm calling this a Live+ album because you'll also get 3 studio recordings as a bonus! These are songs written and recorded for the next studio album, but I decided to go ahead and release them on this album anyway. They include the same core musicians on the live album as well as our good friend and band-mate Jason Carter, who wasn't able to make the Hog Roast show due to a previous engagement.
"BB&BBQ" contains 12 tracks at a run-time of just under 1 hour and will be available at all the usual online stores (iTunes, Google, Amazon, and on Spotify). Pricing has yet to be announced, but as soon as I'm made aware of it, I'll let you know. We will also have physical copies at the shows for as long as they last and are in the planning stages of a CD Release Party. I will announce the details of that as soon as I nail it down.
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Tonight, at Romie's Barbecue in Tupelo, MS, it's the debut of the John West Band, with Gavin McGee on bass, Corey Bell on drums, John on guitar and vocals, and yours truly on lead guitar. This is not the blues thing you're used to hearing me do, nor is it the usual from John, but is something completely different. I've been hinting at this project for a few months now, and have even posted a clip or two for a tease, but tonight, you'll get to hear it for the first time, and I'm really excited about it.
It may shock you to know that blues is not the only thing I can do. I started my "guitar career" playing 80's hair metal in a band I started out of high school called Little Dreamer. We had a pretty good run of it, off and on for around 12 years, but it wasn't really where my heart was.
Little Dreamer broke up, and I joined another band called Novus Jove, which was basically an alternative band when I joined. I had no use for Alternative at the time and quickly started rearranging the songs to make them more "mainstream," at least to my mind. We became what is now referred to as a "Heavy Metal" band, a category I really didn't like and tried hard to remove myself from. I've always considered myself a blues-based player, and Heavy Metal was full of those technical players, you know, the "wheedley, wheedley" type players. But we had a really good run, with 2 full length albums and pretty constant touring, even with all of us having day jobs! I played with Novus Jove for 5+ years before we all went our separate ways.
John and I have played shows together off and on for the last 4-5 years (time sure does fly by when you're old!) and have even made attempts at putting together a full band, but it wasn't until February of this year that the lineup solidified into something substantial and we began rehearsals. With Gavin and Corey as a rhythm section, and John's songwriting ability, the music just flows out and hits you right between the eyes! The show tonight starts at 9:00 pm and we will be playing until midnight. Come on out and check out the John West Band at Romie's Barbecue, 206 Troy St., Tupelo, MS.
For the last 3 weeks, my Internet connection has been spotty at best. I've spent most of my time on the road doing this or that and spent time with my parents at their home in the county. Even a cell phone connection is extinct in the area I grew up, so I've been disconnected from the world. I try to enjoy these times of disconnect for the "detox" effect they create in my mind, relieving me from the constant distractions of technology and every day life in general. Over the last three weeks, I've even gotten in the habit of NOT grabbing my phone when I went to the bathroom! Progress!
When did we become so addicted to technology? I can remember, not so long ago, if I wanted to share something with someone, I had to wait until they were at home to either call or go by. Then I would call, hoping the line wasn't "busy" (gasp!), and share whatever it was that "couldn't wait." Next came answering machines and call waiting and all the "conveniences" they offered. Oh, how saying, "Hold on, I've got someone on the other line," made me feel so important! Caller ID made me realize the true use of the answering machine!
My first cell phone was a massive bag phone from BellSouth Mobility. This thing had to be plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car and connected to an antenna on the back glass. The phone itself cost more than the car did, but you could get in touch with me no matter where I was, as long as I had signal (which wasn't very good in those days). My next cell was a slightly smaller hand-held, battery operated unit that only cost .65¢ a minute to use. The price you pay to be connected.
Enter the Internet. For the cost of a computer and a monthly connection subscription, I could stay connected permanently in my home. E-Mail, Chat Rooms, Instant Messenger, VoIP, and Video Conferencing had become a reality. Smaller laptop computers came along and helped usher in the WiFi age, where I could sit in a coffee shop and connect wirelessly to the shop's wifi connection. It's important to be connected when you have your morning coffee!
We're now in the age of smart phones, which are really just small cellular computers, and we've finally reached full connectivity, 99% of the time. I say 99% because there are always those times we find ourselves looking for enough signal to make a call (if your carrier is AT&T, we'll adjust this number to around 70%). We're constantly checking our phones, looking to see if we missed something in "our world." Look around you when you go out and notice the number of people sitting at a table together with their faces in their phones. Chances are, they are conversing with each other over text message or Facebook. I have sat at these tables and even participated in this bastardized form of communication, so I'm not pointing fingers, just trying to help raise awareness. We, as a society, have grown addicted to staying informed of every little thing that is "important in our world."
During my "21 Days of Disconnect" I've gone to visit some friends I haven't seen in a while, talked to some friends I haven't talked to in a while, and just enjoyed the company of others. No phones, no Internet, just real, old fashioned conversation. I plan on doing it a lot more. Not that I don't like being connected, but because I crave the interaction. I don't think I could ever completely unplug, but at least I know I can go for a short time disconnected. More Progress!
I wanted to direct everyone's attention to SoundCloud and a sneak peak at what to expect from the new album. We got some good tracks to choose from (18 in all), some pulled from "Lost In Mississippi" and some brand new stuff. I'm excited for everyone to hear the album and can't help with the teases. I would also like to inform you that these 3 songs are available for FREE DOWNLOAD if you signup for the Kevin Waide Mailing List at KevinWaide.com, so head on over and sign up today!
This Saturday, June 1st, the Project will be playing at the 2013 H.O.G.S. Haven Festival and Bike Rally at Whitetail Ridge Outdoors on Birmingham Ridge Road in Blue Springs, MS. This festival is the first of its kind in the area and has already been making a lot of noise, so make your plans now to attend. This is a family oriented event, so bring the kids. The Festival starts at 11:00 am, and the Project hits the stage around 6:30. We hope to see you all there.
I kept it a secret until I had the files in hand, but I've had time to examine them closely and I'm comfortable with announcing that a new Project album should be ready in the coming months, maybe as soon as late summer! Wow, that was a mouthful.
Jim Staten and Paul Stone from Q-Now Audio and Mobile Recording were set up to run sound for the 2013 Tupelo Hog Roast, and with their equipment, were able to multitrack the entire performance. The files are clean (with the occasional cell phone interference that is the bane of our society!) and mixing has proven to be fairly easy thus far. I may try to post a quick sampling online in the coming weeks, as the album approaches completion, but I would like to say that I'm definitely liking what I've heard so far. I'll keep you posted.