Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Memories.

Every year, about this time, I begin to look back on my life and the many Christmas memories I've built up over the years. Some of the memories are great, others, not so much. The one that sticks out the most in my memory is Christmas in 1984.

I had just turned 12 years old, and Santa brought my brother and I brand new H&R Single-Shot 12-Gauge shotguns for Christmas. As my (younger) brother was a better shot than me, his gun was "full choke;" mine was "Modified," meaning it spread the shot wider to help me hit was I was aiming for. My brother, on Christmas Eve, had a little accident that left him hospitalized for a couple of months, so he and my mother were in the hospital for Christmas Day. My dad's oldest brother, Claude, worked in construction in Birmingham at the time, and since it was winter, he was out of work for a few months and came to stay with us while my mom was at the hospital with Derek. Dad would go to work every morning, come home in the evening just long enough to get a shower and change, and head to the hospital to check on everything, so Uncle Claude was the one watching the (other) 3 of us.

I woke up one morning after Santa had dropped our presents off, and decided to go hunting. Squirrels are abundant where I grew up, so I was gonna do some squirrel hunting. I went out and had a lousy day of hunting (I guess it was too cold for the squirrels to get out of bed) and returned home shortly before lunch with nothing but bruises from shooting the gun (a 12-gauge packs a pretty hard punch on a 12 year old). As I got to the front door, I broke the gun down to make sure it wasn't loaded before I entered the house.

Being a 12 year old kid, I wasn't ready to put the gun away. I wanted to admire it, hold it, wipe it down; basically, just sit and hold it, even if I wasn't "using" it at the moment. As I lay on the love seat, gun in hand, I started daydreaming of a wonderful day of squirrel hunting, where every shot dropped at least TWO squirrels (I've never had a problem with dreaming big!). I had kicked my shoes off at the front door, and was laying there with my socks still on.

I remember the next few minutes very vividly. I stuck the big toe of my right foot in the end of the barrel, pulled the hammer back, and pulled the trigger. I held the hammer with my thumb as the mechanism was released and eased the hammer back to it's resting place. I pulled my toe out of the end of the barrel and left the barrel resting between my big toe and my second toe, pushed through the sock on my right foot.

I pulled the hammer back again, and squeezed the trigger, not holding the hammer this time. Ka-BOOOOOOMMMMMM!

Apparently, during the 2 or 3 seconds it took me to check the gun (when I walked into the house) I was struck with a temporary blindness that didn't allow me to see the shotgun shell that was in the chamber, and I had walked into the house with a loaded gun! My Uncle Claude was washing dishes, waiting on my dad to come home for lunch, and immediately started throwing dishes around in the kitchen, all the while putting cuss words together that clearly didn't belong together. Some of the "compound swears" I had never heard before, nor have I ever heard since.

As the smoke cleared (and Claude got his nerves settled down), we noticed that my parents bedroom door was no long on the hinges, and there was a circular pattern on my parents bedroom wall about 7 feet in diameter. I had also "killed" my sock, a lamp, dad's alarm clock, and my mom's set of Pyrex bowls (from Claude dropping them), 8 "kills" in all! Hell of a shot.

My dad walked in less than 5 minutes later. From the look on his face, I knew this was it. I retreated to my bedroom to begin work on my "Last Will and Testament."

To this day, my dad has yet to say anything about the incident, other than "You owe me a new door." I'm still waiting on my punishment. I have never shot a gun since that day, nor have I even held one. That day I learned a very important lesson; I'm not responsible enough to handle any kind of gun, except, maybe, my Love Gun, and even then, I handle it with care.

Happy Holidays to all of you from the Kevin Waide Project.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Show Must Go On, Right?

I've been playing music for an audience since I was 16 years old. From the time I've been mobile, I've been sneaking in to venues to hear live music and pushing whatever band I was in at the time, trying to get gigs. And I've gotten pretty good at keeping gigs booked and keeping myself, and my band, as busy as we want to be. And I have played every show (pun intended)! In the 25+ years I've been playing, I've only canceled two shows. Two shows, out of the hundreds (possibly thousands) of shows in 25 years, and only two canceled. I mean, I bust my @$$ getting these gigs, and if I'm gonna cancel one, it better be for a good reason, right?

The first show I had to cancel was New Year's Eve of 2001-02, when my grandfather died. I just wasn't down to play that night. The second canceled show happened in March of this year. I had (absent-mindedly) booked a solo gig in town the same night as Jason's and Ally's wedding/reception. Both of these, I felt, were justifiable reasons to cancel a show. But other than that, I've played every show I've ever booked.

Well, except for the ones that got canceled at the last minute by the owner/booker/promoter. I didn't play those shows, either.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's the time of year when we all get together with family (most of whom we don't like or even see throughout the year) and friends and give thanks for everything we have. The last couple of years, I've noticed the trend of starting November 1 and giving thanks for one thing every day of the month. That seems like an awful lot of work to me, so I'ma just do it all right here. I'm lazy like that. :-)

  1. First and foremost, I'm thankful for my family and friends. We all have two different families; the one we were born into, and the one we choose (friends). I've been blessed with a multitude of both and I love every one of you, no matter how dysfunctional we all are. 
  2. I'm thankful for music. I've been a lover of music my entire life, and I really don't know what I'd do if it were taken away. Through all my victories, defeats, and everything in between, music has been there to hold me, comfort me, and help me remember every event in my life. You can name a random song and I can tell you where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard it (well, a song from before 1995, at least). In the words of Plato, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." That's how I feel about it.
  3. I know I stated family in number 1, but I'm especially thankful for my boys, Elijah and Michael. These two have given me as much joy as music, and to not single them out would be a lie. I love you two with all my heart.
  4. I'm thankful for my band. These guys show up and give 110% every time, regardless of the situation I've gotten us into, all without complaint (for the most part). This also includes band wives, as I consider you just as much a part of the band as your husbands. I love each and every one of you.
  5. Last, but definitely not least, I'm thankful for you. I don't wanna call you a "fan" because that seems so impersonal, so I'll call you "Music Friend." Thank you for coming to the shows, for requesting our music, buying CD's, turning your friends on to us, etc. You are who we do this for. I want to make sure to include the venue owners, promoters, and booking personnel in this one, because I'm thankful for all of you.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us with the Kevin Waide Project.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

At the Risk Of Sounding Like a Braggart...

So, the new album is almost 3 months old (wow, has it been that long?) and sales are going really good. I'm happy this album has being so well received. It's nice to know that we (apparently) are on to something good, and it keeps us moving forward to the next album. The best part of it all, though, is hearing your thoughts on it. We've gotten some great feedback from all of you, and here are a few that really stood out to us:
"Great! A must have!" - Gayla G., Baldwyn, MS 
 "Coming from me, who don't even like rockin' blues, I love the Project!" - Vinnie C., Mooreville, MS
This CD is excellent from both an aural and visual standpoint. The music is a blues lover's treat and its presentation is top-notch, a truly creative design. Anyone who is a blues fan should have one of these. - Curtis F., Aberdeen, MS  
If you haven't gotten your copy, yet, we still have a few CD's left that will be available at our shows, while supplies last. Rest assured, you can still find it on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon, and at www.kevinwaide.com. You can also order a hard copy, shipped straight to your mailbox from the Kevin Waide Store, so if we don't have any with us, it is still available. Bring your copy to the next show and we'll be more than happy to sign it for you.

As we move into this Thanksgiving Season, we want to thank all of you for the kind words and support you've given us through the years. We would never have made it as far for as long as we have without your help, and we are deeply thankful for that.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Doesn't everyone deserve a little?

I've been a little distracted the last couple of weeks and have been neglecting the blog. I can sit here and make excuses (new part-time day gig, busy with shows, etc.), but I think I'm just gonna stick with the "I needed a little time off" explanation (the difference between explanation and excuse? Excuse is to get you out of trouble; explanation is just telling it like it is). I needed the time to get some things in order, and I'm very happy with the results, so I'll just take the flogging I'm due for disappearing these 2 weeks. ;-)

We've had an excellent month so far, and things are looking up for the immediate future. The Bukka White Blues Festival was great (thanks again, Matthias and crew, for having us) and I/we have had a lot of great shows all month. Foosh, Gavin and I made a trip to Pickwick for a show, a solo show at C-Baby's in Guys, TN, and solo at the 3rd Annual Monster's Ball. Foosh and I even played a show at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Sunday evening for a small group of writers from out of town. This Thursday, Halloween Night, at Woody's with the Project will finish out the month on a bang. We also (finally!) got the new CD in, so you can pick up a hard copy at a show near you.

November brings the Project to new places, as we will be at 424 Blues Café in Philadelphia, MS, on November 9th and the 12 Bar Lounge in Columbus, MS, for 2 nights on  November 15-16, which will be our last shows before Thanksgiving.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I'm able to bring news like this to your attention, so I don't regret taking the time off to work on making a few things happen. I will do my best in the future to keep the blog as up-to-date as time will allow, and if I go AWOL again, just know that I will be back. I mean, doesn't everyone deserve a little time off?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Has It Been A Year, Already?

October 15th will mark the first anniversary of my "Professional Music Career" (read unemployed), and it's definitely been a roller-coaster year. I've learned a lot from it, things that I will carry with me from now on. As anyone who runs their own business can tell you, it's a LOT OF WORK, and there's no one to pass it off to, so you end up working a lot of days from Can 'til Can't. But the self-fulfillment you get from being your own "boss" and doing things on your own is almost always worth the work. And the fact that I get to play music and get paid for it is definitely worth the work! Yes, I love my job.

As I said, it was an up and down year: the Blues visited me regularly in the last 365 days. It started out good, with a three month house gig at Vanelli's Greek & Italian Cuisine in Tupelo. We made a lot of new friends from all over the world during these months, and finally released our debut album "Lost In Mississippi" in November. A wonderful New Year's Eve show at Romie's Barbecue ended 2012 on a high note for us. As January came, I was (personally) in a transition stage, with 3 moves in 3 weeks before I finally stabilized, which was immediately followed by "The Beginning Of the End" for the Boozemobile in February. Uncertainty with my mode of transportation led me to slack on booking shows, which resulted in a slight lull in shows during the spring and summer months, though the few we had were big shows: the Third Annual Don't Be Cruel Barbecue Duel in March, the 2013 Tupelo Hog Roast in May, the H.O.G.S. Haven Fest and Bike Rally in June, an incredible release party for "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" on my birthday in August, and then the Prairie Arts Festival in West Point, MS, two weeks later! In September, Jason and I were part of  the U2 Tribute Concert put on by Origins Church to raise funds for underprivileged children overseas. The Bukka White Blues Festival is October 18-19 in Aberdeen, MS, and the Kevin Waide Project will be kicking off this year's festival. Mark your calendar now (cheap plug, I know!). In all, a total of 72 shows for the last twelve months. Not too bad for a boy from Tupelo, huh?

Foosh & The Milkman
The lull during the summer months was a time of mourning for us as Tim "The Milkman" Hopkins succumbed to cancer in late March. We had a private gathering with his family and closest friends the weekend of his birthday and that was a big help for us all, I believe. We hope it can become a regular thing. The Milkman was a big man and he left a big hole when he left this world. It's gonna take a lot more time to get used to him not being around. Maybe by the 10th Annual Gathering For the Milkman.

The Boozemobile finally died the end of July. I guess it wasn't built for those heavy blues.

We added a new full-time member to the band. Bassist Gavin McGee joined the Project and has been keeping the bottom fat since August. Won't you all join us in welcoming him to the fold at the next show you make. There are plenty of shows listed on the site at KevinWaide.com. Go have a look and make plans. Did I mention the Bukka White Blues Festival in Aberdeen, MS? It's free. ;-)

Hills and valleys, peaks and dips, not exactly what I was looking for. I thought there would be a lot more hills, but I don't get to make the choice. The blues is a fickle mistress. She's not gonna call and see if this is a convenient time for a short visit. She's gonna just drop by, unannounced, and proclaim, "I've got six months of vacation time and I'm gonna spend every last day right here with you!"

But, you know what, that's just fine by me, 'cause, you see, she gives me inspiration, and with that, I turn 'em into songs to sing and "poof!" Another Project album done, just like that!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What the HELL is going on?

I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, one who, when presented with a problem, can work through it to find a fitting solution. I mean, if I have a flat tire, then I get off my @$$ and change it. Or, if I end up with way too much week left at the end of my money, then I get out and work (more) to survive. Self preservation is more than just instinct, it's a way of life, which is why I find this whole government shutdown thing disturbing. With that, I would like to state that two things I (normally) don't discuss with friends or strangers is religion and politics, but I just can't keep quiet on this one. Our whole system is broken, and no one seems to want to fix it, they all just want to point fingers and and play the Blame Game, so I've decided to let my thoughts be made public, for better or worse.

Republicans want to blame the Democrats for the problems, while the Democrats want to blame the Republicans. And inside these two parties, you have the zealots and heretics like the Tea (Bagger) Party or the Left Wing Extremists who's only function is to keep things stirred up. Herein (in my not-so-humble opinion) lies the majority of the problem; no one will own up to their own mistakes, especially in DC. For the record, I am not a Republican (I don't have any money to hoard), nor am I a Democrat (I'm not that full of myself). If I had to choose allegiances, I tend to side more with the Green Party (a joke), or, at the least, consider myself a Libertarian (another joke). I feel that the good Lord gave us all a brain and the ability to use it, so I tend to shy away from anyone who wants to "protect me from myself." Of course, in their eyes, if you're not Republican, then you're Democrat (or vice versa) and all they seem to want to do is argue and point even more fingers (when you're doing the pointing, no one's probably looking at you, right?), which brings me to my first point: why are there only two (official) parties? When you start with only two sides, you've divided the entire country from the get-go, before the issues have even been laid out. Kind of a stupid thing to do, if you ask me.

Second, we need to reinstate Term Limits. This country's government was not set up for career politicians, so why do we let them get away with it? The only politician you can trust is a First Termer anyway, and even then, you only have about two months (max) that they can be trusted. After that, they've already learned (from the ones that have been in office for a million forevers) how to game the system and make as much money as possible. Limit them to two terms, and knock their pay back to something a little more realistic, say $30,000 a year. If they need more than that to survive (I have survived for 41 years on way less than that), then they should get a real job and quit living off of us. And if they try to vote themselves a pay raise (which is usually their first order of business every session), they are immediately relieved of office and a special election called to replace them. I don't get to decide when (or even if) I get a raise, and I don't believe they should have that power, either.

Third, we need to outlaw lobbying and special interest groups. They serve no (usable) function and are only there to help the rich get richer, while us poor people keep killing ourselves just to make ends meet. Our lawmakers are already being paid (much more than they are worth, I might add) to do what little work they actually do, and some corporation giving them even more money to write some BS law to give them more of a tax break (or to turn a blind eye to some sketchy scheme they've cooked up to make even more money off the backs of hard working Americans) does nothing but create more corruption. I'm all for Capitalism, but let's keep it as fair as possible: this is the "Land of Opportunity" isn't it?

I believe that we should all take a good look in the mirror (this means you, too, all you lawmakers and career politicians on the local, state, and national level) and realize that this is more important that what any one person wants. It's supposed to be government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I realize that I have probably stepped on a lot of toes with this (who really wants to hear the political thoughts of a bluesman), so, in closing, I would like to offer this disclaimer: This post is for entertainment purposes only! The thoughts and views expressed in this post do not represent those of the Kevin Waide Project, and therefore, can only be blamed on my need for medication. ;-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The End Of An Era In Tupelo

Johnny Holland and Barbara Lewis
locking the door at Album Alley for
the last time. Photo courtesy
Deb Fooshee.
This weekend marked the end of an era for Tupelo, with the closing of Album Alley, the last independent record store in the area. After more than 40 years in business, the doors were closed for the last time at 5:00 pm Saturday. I went by Friday to pay my respects to a place where I spent the majority of my youth (and money), and it was a bittersweet visit.

I have many fond memories of the place and met most of my "music friends" while browsing the extensive collection of albums, cassettes, and, later, CD's inside. I can remember sitting in the back of my truck talking music with friends (and strangers) until the wee hours of the morning, or until the police broke it up.

January 1991 is a vivid memory, as I along with 100 others camped outside the doors for the initial sale of tickets for the ZZ Top Recycler Tour. I arrived at the parking lot around midnight in coveralls (it was around 15° F), and was apparently the only one with the forethought to bring sleeping bags to help keep warm. I remember the ash tray that sat by the front door being emptied and filled with Everclear, which was then set afire to keep some warm. Of course, before the night was over, the Tupelo Police Dept. was on the scene checking IDs and making sure "no funny business is going on."

My normal routine every Friday was to go by the Alley and ask, "Anything worth a shit come out this week," to which Stanley, Johnny, Deb, Barbara, Mendi, Chico, Terry, or Brian would answer. I've always had broad tastes, and would buy 3 or 4 new albums and spend my weekend on the Trace or riding backroads listening to my newest purchases. Some of the music has stuck with me through the years. Stanley is responsible for my Ian Moore collection, Deb for people such as Keith Sykes or Todd Snider, and Johnny fed my 80's Hair Band addiction, and I want to thank you all for your contributions.

Of course, I also spent a lot of time loitering, begging Johnny to come audition for singer in my band at the time, Little Dreamer, to which he finally relented and we've spent the last 23 years writing songs together, some of which are still being played by the Project!

Goodbye, Album Alley, and to Johnny and Barbara, good luck with your future endeavors. I'm gonna miss hanging out at the store, but I know we'll all stay in touch. We have for all these years.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So, What Are Your Plans Friday?

This Friday, September 20, 2013 at Origins Church, 499 Gloster Creek, Suite D-3, Tupelo, MS, some of the area's best musicians (and myself) will be coming together for an evening of tribute to the band U2, with the proceeds going to help feed, clothe, and educate impoverished children in Ecuador.

Quoted from the Facebook Event page:
"Regional musicians and bands will gather to perform their versions of U2 songs. All proceeds go to help feed, clothe, and school impoverished inner city children through Foundation Elohim, our mission partner in Quito, Ecuador. Please come celebrate great music and a great cause. Please share this event invite here on FB and invite anyone who may be interested! $10 donation at the door, though we will gladly accept larger donations. :0) Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase in the common area."

I'm excited to be a part of this and to get the chance to be associated with all the talent appearing. Some of these guys, like Jeff Spencer, Mark Meredith, and Melvin Orr, I have grown up hearing and admiring, and never did I think I would have the opportunity to share the same stage with them. Some of them, like Tony Caldwell or Trey Lyons, I've been lucky enough to have jammed with, and am excited to hear again.

Tony will be the Master of Ceremony for the evening, and the schedule is shaping up to be explosive. I can't divulge any of the details (you'll have to attend to find out what songs have been chosen), but I do want to go on record as saying you won't want to miss any of it, so plan on getting there early. The show starts at 7:00 PM sharp, and that's not "musician time!"

Jason Carter and I will be performing a few songs ourselves, with Paden Bell and JB Clark, our friends in the Origins house band. Origins Church is located at 499 Gloster Creek Village, Suite D-3, Tupelo, MS. We hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When Was YOUR First Time?

The only time I have ever truly gotten stage fright was the first time I performed in public. Oh, sometimes I get a little nervous before a show, especially if I haven't played out in a while. Or festival gigs, especially when they are running behind, and we're there on time (who'da thunk it?). Or the heavily promoted headlining show. Or maybe, you know, when I'm sittin' in traffic at a long red light!

I was a sophomore at Nettleton High School and our Speech class was producing a talent show for the end of the year. I was in the class and therefore ineligible to enter, so I volunteered my "stellar guitar talent" to entertain the attended while the judges deliberated the contest. Never had I played outside of my bedroom, but I had my first "Official Gig!" I practiced and practiced, not thinking about the fact that I'm doing a song that has vocals (I had only sang in church once before, and it was not received very well) and I might need to practice singing and playing. I still remember the song, it was "Last Kiss" made popular by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers in 1964, and my Uncle Steve taught me how to play it and the lyrics. Pearl Jam covered it in 1999. Yeah, that song, and I was performing it, in public, a good 12 years before Pearl Jam (take that, Eddie Vedder!).

I had convinced myself that I was good, and that I was going to perform the song so well that I would receive a standing ovation that would last at least 45 seconds (I've never been short on confidence), and my parents would see that being a musician was a viable career choice (I still haven't convinced them).

We had our first (and only) dress rehearsal the weekend before the show, and we spent so much time going over the props and our wardrobe (where I was informed my leather jacket and ripped blue jeans were NOT appropriate) that I wasn't able to practice my spot. What a sin!

The night of the show finally came, and, of course, I was there early. I was excited. I was finally going to play my first show. I was already thinking of ways to explain to my mom that I would have private tutors on the road, so I would still graduate high school on time and get  my diploma. My dad would be proud, because he would finally realize that I was good for something. And I looked good! I wore a new pair of Levi's (this was before pre-washing, people, so it was the hard denim that didn't bend well and made noises, kinda like corduroy, but not quite, when you walked) and a long-sleeved white button up shirt (some habits never die). I borrowed my dad's ostrich skin boots and his wool-lined Levi denim vest to complete the look. I had my 3 color sunburst Sears Teisco Del Rey electric guitar tuned and 10 watt Gorilla amp plugged in and was ready to go.

I don't quite remember everything and everyone there, because I was in my own little world. The stage fright was beginning to kick in, and I was focusing on the lyrics (that I hadn't practiced) and remembering what the chord changes were. As the last entrant was on the stage, I was summoned backstage to get prepared. Stage fright level 2 by now. The announcement that the judges would be leaving to decide the outcome. Stage fright level 3. I'm pushed onto stage to get plugged in as my name is announced. Totally freaking out right now.

As the stage curtains are drawn, I go blank. What am I doing on this stage in front of all these people? What is this big piece of wood hanging on my shoulders? I can't play the guitar! As I stand in front of the microphone in total silence for what seemed like a million forevers, a fellow classmate, Dean Hudson, screams, at the top of his lungs, "Roy Orbison!" The resulting roar of laughter from the crowd assembled brought me from my state of paralysis and pushed my fingers into a C chord. I played that chord, walking down to the A Minor, up to the F, and on to the G7 chords that would lay the foundation for the melody line of the song. As the first verse came around, my body stepped forward, pushing my mouth into the grill of the microphone and forming the sounds that would become the words:
We were out on a date in my daddy's car
We hadn't driven very far
There in the road straight ahead
A car was stalled, the engine was dead.
 I made it through the song, with only minor embarrassment, my stage fright actually helping me through it, giving me the adrenaline rush needed to overcome the situation. A group of black girls sitting in the front row tried to heckle a little early in the song, but a well formed "flip-off" shaped chord got them to quieten down. I didn't get my 45 second standing ovation, not even a standing ovation, but I did get 15 seconds of enthusiastic applause from their seats, and that was good enough for me. I also didn't get to quit school and go on the road as a famous rock star, which was quite a bummer, so I finished high school and graduated on time, to my mother's delight. I still haven't convinced them that music is a viable career choice. I'm having a little trouble making myself believe that these days. I've about decided that music is more akin to an infection, but that's the subject of another blog altogether.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Thanks For The Memories.

The Prairie Arts Festival is an annual Arts & Crafts festival in West Point, Mississippi held each year the Saturday before Labor Day. The Kevin Waide Project was booked this year, and we had such a great time I wanted to share some of it.

First and foremost, the festival (now in its 35 year) was very well organized and every aspect, from load in and setup to artist changeover, ran smoothly. Our contact within the festival was Bill Haughton, and Bill was a pleasure to work with. The sound company, A&M Entertainment, was great to work with as well. Sound on the stage was perfect, and the general consensus was the same out front. I know from listening to the Chad Peavey Band the sound guys were doing a bang-up job, and the whole experience was a pleasurable one. Except for the heat; Mississippi in August is usually a brutal time, and this time was no exception. I think I almost killed Foosh!

As I said, the Prairie Arts Festival is an Arts & Crafts festival, and there was an impressive display of local artists out to “pedal their wares” all up and down the downtown area. It’s been going on for quite some time, so the festival is kind of a big deal, big enough that my boys, Eli and Michael, came down from Hernando with their mother and step-siblings to enjoy the festival. It was really good to get to see them, and for them to see daddy doing what he does. Plus, it’s always nice to be able to hang out after our set and enjoy the festival itself, which is what we did. Michael had been eyeing the “Bungee Swing,” but wasn't sure enough to part with the $10 to do it, so I gave the man the money and Michael strapped into the swing. The look on his face as he was jumping in the cords, turning flips 20 feet in the air, was what every dad wants to see on the face of his children. Michael was having the time of his life, and I was proud to be able to witness it.

Being a working/traveling musician, takes you away from those you love more than anyone can understand. The fact that the boys live in Hernando and I live in Tupelo is another reason we don’t get to spend that much time together, but when we do get together, it’s about quality, not quantity, and we always try to have as much fun as legally allowed. I will remember the look on Michael’s face for many years. Nice memories to have.

The festival is pretty much contained, and letting the 13-year-old young man wander as he wanted seemed like an OK thing to do, but pretty soon, his mother was upset because he wasn't answering his cell (kids with cell phones!), so I gave it a call. Michael answered the phone and instead of hello, he announces, “I just right down the road talking to your friend the Muleman!” He was walking down the street, checking things out, and saw two men on the sidewalk playing some Hill Country Blues (he’s my son, so he has been exposed to all the different dialects) and decided to stop and listen. His ADD kicked in, and soon he was beating on the drums for one of them. They asked his name, which he quickly gave, and said, “You may know my dad, Kevin Waide.” When we arrived, it was our friends Mark Massey and Bill Abel. I got to visit with the guys, who had played the Howlin’ Wolf Festival the night before, and listen to them play a little. I even got an early copy of the Muleman’s new album. Can’t wait to hear it.

After retrieving Michael (from behind the drums, sorry Bill!), we proceeded to the Howlin’ Wolf Blues Museum. First, the museum is small, very small. They have got a new building and are in the preparation stages of the renovations, which will include a stage. That being said, it is slammed full of the Wolf and Hubert Sumlin memorabilia and is a must visit if you’re ever in the area. I can’t wait for the renovations to be complete. Richard Ramsey and his wife are curators of the museum and have collected items from all over, including some direct from Hubert himself, before his passing. There’s a Les Paul signed by Pete Townsend, one of Hubert’s Les Paul, and a Stratocaster signed by Kenny Wayne Sheppard, but my favorite was the 1953 Kay the Wolf had given Sumlin. I even got to play it for a minute (thank you, Richard!).

All in all, heat aside, I had a wonderful day with the boys. I also want to send a shout out to Jason, Gavin, and Foosh for laying down the groove and playing the blues, and Deb and Ally for showing their support (and hooping). We had a great show, and hope to be back in West Point soon. I also want to shout at my bro, Jimmy Bell from Novus Jove. It was good seeing you again today, if only for a short time. To Bill Haughton and everyone with the Prairie Arts Festival, thank you for including us in this year’s festivities, and we look forward to working with you all again. To everyone that came to the festival, thank you for your support. We appreciate it and I’m sure the Prairie Arts Festival appreciates it. We hope everyone has a safe Labor Day weekend, and we’ll see you all on the flip side.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Can You Go Even ONE Day Without It?

Earlier today, on Facebook, I shared a post that a friend had shared from another site. It was called "An Open Letter To Venues That Exploit Their Musicians", and it sparked a rather heated discussion on his post. I want to say thank you to Justin Stevens for sharing the link. I had read this post before, but lost the link before I was able to respond to it. Now, if you'll humor me, I'm gonna climb up on my soapbox for just a little bit.

One of the comments went like this:
"Live music is not in demand like it used to be and as a result club owners are underpaying musicians because the live acts aren't bringing enough revenue to the bar to justify paying them very much. And while the club owners don't need the bands, it's the opposite for the musicians. They still need the club owners. As a result, bands get paid next to nothing, don't get paid at all, or even have pay to play. It is what it is."
 I have highlighted the part that I'm most troubled with. Yes, in and of itself, this statement is fairly true. Club owners don't need the bands, but they do need the music, which requires a band to create and play, be it live or in the studio. You just can't snap your fingers and create good music. Trust me, I've been trying for years. Just as a doctor must train and practice for years to save lives, a musician must work, and work hard, to get to the level of competency needed to create a good melody or write a catchy hook, and the person doing the work should be properly compensated. Period.

As a working musician, I am lucky in the fact that am able to do what I do on a daily basis, but let me tell you, when you see me on the stage "having fun and doing what I love to do," know that I have worked for decades to get to that level, tried (and failed) numerous numerous "shortcuts," and have finally found my niche in music. Most people turn their noses when I say we're a blues band, but everyone that comes out has a great time, and most come up at the end of the night just to say, "I thought you were a blues band. I didn't hear any blues." Yes, you did. All night long.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post: can you go even one day without music? I'm in the mood to try a social experiment. I challenge each and every one of you to try to go just one day with no music. Don't turn on the radio, don't watch TV (because it's saturated with music), don't sit on hold on the telephone. No music whatsoever. Then, after your day is over, come back here and leave a comment describing your day without. Tell me how it worked out for you, and don't hold back! If you want to cuss me for asking you to do this, go right ahead. I know what I'm asking and am prepared for the consequences. :-) Myself, I have tried this already, so I know what to expect.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birfday To Me!

I don't mean to keep harping on it, but I just want to thank everyone again for coming out to the Album Release/Birthday Bash at Woody's this past weekend. Y'all sure know how to make a boy feel special! We had an amazing time playing the new songs for you all. We also had a some very special guests show to jam with us, like Skip Oliver, Ashly "Crawdaddy" Crawford, Tim "Big World" Floyd, Tom Sewell, Chad Nolan, Elton Ray, Rick Moreland, and Pam Montgomery, just to name a few. Thank you all for coming out and jammin' with us! Also, to Joe from New York, sounded great, man. We would love to have you on stage with us again!

I also want to say thank you to Feather and the staff at Woody's for giving us the opportunity to have our party there. Krista and Stephanie behind the bar kept everyone "hydrated" and the party just rolled on without a hitch. Even though the CD's didn't arrive in time for the party, no one seemed to let it bother them. I'll let everyone know as soon as they come in. Lesson learned for next time.

So far, 41 has been pretty good. Someone asked me how 41 felt, and the only response I could come up with was, "Well, I'm old enough to know better AND old enough to care, but I still don't!" Life is all about finding ways to have fun, isn't it, and I (and my friends) have always had a knack for finding fun. I want to LIVE my life, not just go through the motions.

We have a few new shows on the schedule, if you haven't noticed. The Prairie Arts Festival is August 31, in West Point, MS, and should be a blast. We will be around close in the coming months, and would love to get together with everyone again. Make plans now. :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just when things are looking up, the other shoe drops!

We had a great show at the 2013 Hog Roast. We got some stellar files to use for the album. Foosh and I mixed and mastered it to the point we were happy with it. We booked the Release Party on the best day (my birthday!). Everything was moving right along at a nice pace. I should have known it wouldn't be this easy!

I got a call early yesterday morning. It was a call from the company printing the CD's. Seems there were some Internet hiccups during my upload, and more than half of the files were corrupt, meaning the CD's will NOT be in by the Release Party. :-( I was certain I had ordered them in plenty of time to have them in hand, but apparently, I needed a little more. So, unfortunately, we will NOT have them by Friday. I'm looking for a work-around, as it could be as late as the end of the month before we get them in now. >:-(

The party will go on as planned, and you can still get the album digitally from all of the outlets. You can also order the CD from the website and it will be printed and shipped straight to your door, but it will take about 2 weeks to get it in, which means you can get yours by the time we get our shipment. I'm more than a little bummed out about it. I guess it's true; you gotta live 'em to play 'em. Sure does suck, though.

If anyone needs me, I'll be out back hanging myself with my shoelaces.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting the release of our new album "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" tomorrow morning, and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve! I'm excited about this release, as I feel it more accurately represents the Project and what we do in a live situation. Foosh and I took our time during the mixing and mastering stages trying to get the best sound we could, and I think we've hit it pretty close.

Doing an album is a pretty big undertaking. The equipment alone can be problematic (computers crashing, cables going bad, etc.) and getting everyone together at the same time is a lesson in patience. But, with a live album, you've only got "one shot" at getting it right. You don't have the luxury of going back and "fixing the mistakes," and some mistakes can kill the entire project. Luckily, we had a more than competent Recording Engineer (Jim Staten with Q-Now Audio and Mobile Recording) and received pristine files to work with. The showmanship of the guys was spot-on for the evening, and the only hurdle in front of us was the mix/master.

We took our time mixing to make sure we had everything "just right," mixing it down and listening on every possible system we could find (home surround systems, band mates' vehicle systems, etc.). We finally came up with a mix we were happy with and moved to mastering, using the same techniques to check the final product.

So, tomorrow morning, you'll be able to hear for yourself the fruits of our labors. Stream the album on Spotify, purchase it from iTunes, Google Play, BandCamp, or get it direct from the website (both digital AND physical form at www.kevinwaide.com). Give it a spin (or 12) and let us know what you think, your likes and dislikes, so we can better entertain you. Just leave us a comment on this post. You are the reason we do this in the first place, and we want to make you (and keep you) happy.

See y'all Friday night at Woody's in Tupelo, MS. Show starts at 8:30, though I'll be there before then celebrating my 41st birthday.

Kevin

Friday, August 2, 2013

Win A Copy Of "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo"

We have one more free download of the album to give away before it's release date, Tuesday, August 13, and we want to give EVERYONE a chance to win.

To qualify to win, we want to know what the blues mean to you. Take a picture, tell a story, post a video, whatever you want to do to get the point across. Post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or as a comment to this blog post. Be sure to use the hash tag #BluesToMe or #KevinWaide so we can see it. This contest will run through the end of next week (Friday, August 9) and one winner will be chosen at random for a free download of "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ" and two free passes to the CD Release Party/Birthday Bash at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse Friday, August 16. The winner will be announced Monday, August 12.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How Did We Survive Our Childhood?

I was a mean little shit when I was a youngun. Not to people at school or friends, but at home, to my little brothers, I was a mean little shit! Like the time my brother, Derek, and I found our uncle Sammy's BIG treble hooks and I took off running with the twine attached to it just as Derek reached down to pick up the hook. That required 8 stitches and a trip to the emergency room!

Or the time (one week to the day AFTER stitches from the previous incident were removed!) when Derek and I found Sammy's breakdown BB gun, and, after cocking the gun, Derek decides he wants to pretend to put something in the barrel and I decide to go ahead and pull the trigger. The gun barrel closed on his finger, requiring 4 more stitches in the exact same spot! If memory serves, this trip to the ER also required a conference between my parents and local law enforcement officials to be sure this wasn't an abusive situation.

There was also the puppy in the dryer episode, but Mama caught us before we got too far along and the neighbor's puppy was (for the most part) unscathed but never allowed to play with us again.

Speaking of neighbors, there was this one time when our friend, Bryan, from next door was over and we were nosing around in the top drawers of a chest in our room that we had no business being in and found my Dad's knife collection. Bryan had one of the knives in his had (the blade in his hand) and I, at the mature age of 7, realized that we shouldn't be messing with these things and promptly jerked the knife from his hand, requiring a trip to the ER and 14 stitches. As I recall, Bryan wasn't allowed to play with us, either, after that.

I can also remember me and my brothers using our parents' record collection as Frisbees, but this was before I fell in love with music, and, in all fairness, my parents' taste in music wasn't all that hip, a lot of Beach Boys and The Archies. So I launched a 33 1/3 RPM LP into the air, and we were watching it, and, as it descends, it lands across the bridge of Derek's nose, shattering the disc and cutting Derek enough to require a trip to the ER and 5 stitches across the bridge of his nose.

Derek and I wanted to be Indians one time (feather, not dot) and held each other down and with Crayola crayons "painted" our faces with war paint. I'm not sure what hurt worse, the crayon going on or coming off, but I do NOT recommend anyone trying this. It's much easier to use actual paint, as we found out later when we broke into Daddy's tool shed and found the spray paint. You want blue hair, OK, you got it!

I broke both of my arms lifting weights when I was 12 years old. I guess I should say I broke both of my arms TRYING to lift weights, as I never really got them lifted before waking up on the ground with the bar across my chest. 2 and a half months with both arms in casts, and I broke them the end of March, so a lot of my summer was gone. I had also been playing guitar by this time, and the time away made me really miss it. I gave up my thoughts of playing football and focused on guitar. I started getting records from my uncle Steve and hearing Dylan and Hendrix. I heard Albert King and Muddy Waters. I started hangin' out with my grandparents and playing music with the grownups, riding around and meeting all these "sharecropper left-behinds" and hearing the blues, bluegrass, and folk music styles that Mississippi is so famous for. I can still hear my grandma and her brother, Edmond, in sibling harmony:
High up over yonder tell me what do you see?
Bear tracks, bear tracks, lookin' back at me.
Better get the rifles boys, before it's too late
The bear's got a little pig and headed for the gate.
I bet Derek is glad I finally picked up guitar. For some reason, once I started playing, everyone stopped getting hurt. Music made me "normal."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Contest For Week 2 and Other Random Musings

We're building our mailing list and we want you!
We maintain a monthly mailing list to keep you informed of the current goings-on of the Project as well as stories from our travels and other perks. Sign up today to stay in the loop.

Contest For Week 2
We're less than a month away from the worldwide release of "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" and want to give our true fans a chance to win a free download of the album,AND a pair of passes for the Release Party/Birthday Bash at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse that night, before its release Friday, August 16!

You can add yourself to the mailing list right here at kevinwaide.com, by going to our Facebook Page, or by texting your name and e-mail address to my Google Phone at (662) 205-8107. One name will be drawn at random for an advance copy of "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo," including 2 free passes to the CD Release Party/Birthday Bash at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse. Contest runs until 11:59 PM Thursday night. Winner will be announce Friday Morning.

Random Musings
FYI: The new album has been playing in the dining room at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse for about 2 weeks now, so go have dinner at Woody's this week and give it a listen!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gavin McGee, In His Own Words

Gavin McGee
Continuing with the formal introductions of the Project, the next installment is with Gavin McGee. The questions asked were the same:

1. What motivated you to play music, and, more specifically, the blues.
2. How old were you when you started playing music.
3. Who were your biggest influences.

Gavin started playing bass with the Project in April of this year, as well as playing with Hobo Hippie and the John West Band (where I met him). Gavin is fluent in many different playing styles and has proven to be a good fit with Foosh in the Project. You can catch Gavin with the Kevin Waide Project at this year's Prairie Arts Festival in West Point, MS August 31. With that said, I present Gavin McGee, in his own words.

I always wanted to be a Nirvana or Weezer kinda guitar player, but that I, IV, V blues bass structure always stuck out to me. Tommy Shannon always pulled me completely out of the song and into the bass line. That's what made me want to play bass and that's what made me want to play blues! Long live the blues man!

I always played something ever since I can remember. I drove my mom crazy with a drum set, the old upright in the living room that my dad learned to play on when he was 5, and of course the Peavey Raptor I got for Christmas one year! But, bless her heart, I never got to be worth a damn on any of them. I picked up the bass out of necessity for a band we were forming in 2010 named Hobo Hippie. Finally, I found my instrument! When I say I got thrown onto the stage, I'm not exaggerating. I played my first real gig on stage at Rick's Café in Starkville in front of a packed house of about 800 opening for Jamie Davis and Soul Gravy. I was 28 but green as they come! I will never forget that feeling. It was crazy! Still my favorite show to this day!

My main influences are Nirvana, SRV, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin,... and of course Vanilla Ice. " Word ta ya mutha!"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blake Miller, In His Own Words.

Blake Miller
Continuing with the formal introductions of the Project, the next installment is with Blake Miller. The questions asked were the same:

1. What motivated you to play music, and, more specifically, the blues.
2. How old were you when you started playing music.
3. Who were your biggest influences.

Blake is new to the Project, his first gig being the 2013 Tupelo Hog Roast (that became the new album), but don't let that downplay his ability to keep up. His playing is smooth and tasteful, and he locks in with Foosh perfectly. You can hear Blake on the upcoming release, "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo." And now, Blake Miller, in his own words.

I started playing music at around 15 years old. I got into music to have an outlet that I could go to whenever I started getting sick of everything else. I got into playing blues because I knew it would increase my repertoire beyond what I was limiting it to, previously. My biggest influences starting out were Victor Wooten, Primus, Rush, and Jaco Pastorius.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Elijah and Michael Waide, In Their Own Words

Elijah and Michael Waide
In keeping with the "In Their Own Words" series, this week I want to focus on two guys real close to me, my children Elijah and Michael Waide. Elijah (17) has played numerous shows with the Project on drums and has been playing since the age of 12. He began learning guitar at the age of 14. Michael (13) has been playing guitar since age 8 and drums since 11. Michael has also written a number of songs, one of which will be included on the Project's new album, "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo." The questions asked were the same, so here it is, Elijah and Michael Waide, in their own words.

What motivated you to play music, and, more specifically, the blues?
Michael: Really, my dad, Kevin. He’s been playing the blues since I was very young. It’s not like I have the blues (yet) but more like I was born into the “creed.”
Elijah: I've always wanted to play music. My parents are/were both musicians (my mom played saxophone and you know about my dad), and they raised me to have an appreciation for music. My dad, Kevin, is a Blues guitarist, and for a while I lived in the Mississippi Delta, so both of those factored into my musical preferences.

How old were you when you started playing music?
Michael: The first time I picked up a guitar with the intention of making music was when I was maybe four or five.  Dad was playing guitar and I said, “Dad, I want to play.” So he gave me a 20-fret acoustic and told me to do the pick scratches in “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” I was atrocious.
Elijah: According to my family, since birth. The story they tell is that I would crawl behind the drummer’s kit every time they took a break and would “play.” Apparently, I impressed everyone, being a three-year-old keeping time as well as I did. I “officially” began playing drums at twelve and guitar at fourteen.

Who are your biggest influences?
Michael: That’s a very broad question.I’d have to think very long and hard to specify which bands, so I’ll just say Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. But that leaves out the Kings (Albert, Freddie, and B.B.). And The Who. And Van Halen… Why must you do this to me?
Elijah: Hendrix, the Kings, Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan are the people I credit as influences. If something catches my ear, I’ll try it out and put my own spin on it. I’m influenced by all I've ever heard, truthfully.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" Out 08/13/2013

PRESS RELEASE

9th July, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo"
Worldwide

The Kevin Waide Project is proud to announce the release of "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" Tuesday, August 13, 2013 and the CD Release Party, Friday, August 16, 2013.

"Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" was recorded live at the 41st Annual Tupelo Hog Roast on May 18, 2013 by Jim Staten and Q-Now Audio and Mobile Recordings. Featuring Chris "The Immortal SuperFoosh" Fooshee on drums and debuting newcomer Blake Miller on bass, with a special guest appearance by "The Emfamus" Skip Oliver on harp, the Project winds down the blues highway with nine tracks comprised of new songs as well as your favorites from the debut album "Lost In Mississippi." The album  finishes off with three new studio tracks, adding Jason Carter on lead and slide guitar to the mix, for a total of twelve tracks.

Album release scheduled to coincide with Kevin's 41st Birthday Bash at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse in Tupelo, MS, on Friday, August 16, 2013. More details about the Release Party/Birthday Bash will be announced in the coming weeks.

Pre-order phase for "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" will begin Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at kevinwaide.bandcamp.com and will run through midnight Monday, August 12. All pre-orders will also receive 2 free passes to the Release Party/Birthday Bash show at Woody's on August 16.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo" will be available for purchase worldwide through the usual outlets (iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon, BandCamp, and direct from KevinWaide.com).

The Kevin Waide Project is the brainchild of Kevin Waide and Chris Fooshee and celebrates 6+ years of "preachin' the blues!" 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chris Fooshee, In His Own Words

The Immortal SuperFoosh
(Photo Ron Dierkes)
Continuing with the formal introductions of the Project, the next installment is with Chris "The Immortal SuperFoosh" Fooshee. The questions asked were the same:

1. What motivated you to play music, and, more specifically, the blues.
2. How old were you when you started playing music.
3. Who were your biggest influences.

Chris has been playing drums with the Project since the beginning and is even the one responsible for the name of the band. Without further adieu, here is Chris Fooshee, in his own words.

I have loved music since I was a kid. I found that I had pretty good rhythm, so I tried the guitar first. The guitar was not my thing, for sure. Drums, however, were my thing, and I got my first drum kit when I was around 20 years old. I have played all different styles of music, but the blues just feel right. I have been influenced by everything I grew up listening to, all the different bands I have seen, and everyone I have had the fortune to jam with.

Monday, June 24, 2013

GEEK ALERT: Review of the Moreland Diamondback Amp

The Moreland Diamondback Amp
Rick Moreland recently completely the Moreland Diamondback Amp and I got a chance to really work it over before it was delivered to it's new owner. As a Moreland Endorser, I kinda knew what to expect from the amp, but I wasn't fully prepared for what this thing can do.

The Diamondback Amp is a 2x10 combo amp with two discreet channels/inputs: a classic Tweed channel with a single tone control and Fat Boost and an EF-86 powered pentode gain circuit with a 12 position "clicker" switch that has a dramatic effect on the tones generated by this little Wonder Box. Around 6-7 is the magic tone for me. Globally it has a Master Volume and a MasterBite control.

True Point-To-Point wiring makes the difference.
On the inside, you see this is a true Point-To-Point amp. No circuit boards inside. For tubes, (right to left) it has an EF-86, a 12AX7 for the Tweed Preamp, 12AX7 Phase Inverter, 2 EL-34's for power and 5AR4/GZ-34 Rectifier tube. The Power Rating is 35 watts, but that is very conservative. This thing is one of the loudest combo amps I've played. It also has that trademark Moreland Tone, and can achieve it at any volume. With a sweet spot that large, what's not to love!

Playing the amp was a pleasure. Both channels have endless possibilities with a minimal set of controls. Even the slightest adjustment of any of the controls changes the tone pretty dramatically, but not in a bad way. I wasn't able to find a bad tone in this amp, and I tried! Just not one in it. I was able to take the amp on a gig with "Takin' It South" and the range of tones impressed me. To give it a fair shake, I used the EF-86 channel for one set and the Tweed channel for another, taking it through a wide sweep of musical genres, from blues to country to rock and everything in between. It performed beautifully in every aspect, with sweet singing sustain and thick tube tone that can't be ignored.

The video below is me through a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive with Monte Allums latest mod on the Tweed Channel with the Fat Boost engaged and the MasterBite at about halfway (there's a spot in the video where you can see the the controls). I hope you enjoy it.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jason Carter, In His Own Words

Jason Carter (Photo: Ron Dierkes)
I want to formally introduce you to the other members of the Kevin Waide Project. I've asked the guys the same 3 questions and will post all of the answers in the coming days. The questions asked were:

1. What motivated you to play music, and, more specifically, the blues.
2. How old were you when you started playing music.
3. Who were your biggest influences.

This post will be focusing on Jason Carter, vocalist and rhythm, lead, and slide guitarist. Jason has been slangin' the blues for the Project since March, 2010. The last 3 years have given me the opportunity to learn slide guitar from one of the most talented players in the area, and I'm happy to bring you the story of Jason Carter, in his own words.


I've always wanted to play slide guitar. It came natural to me. One of the first instance of music was Austin City Limits and I saw a guy playing with a slide. I think it was Ry Cooder. It looked easy.

My family played acoustic and electric guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and piano. I can remember as early as 5 years old the family jams on old Hank Williams and Bill Monroe tunes, as well as several others. I started playing Trumpet by the 5th grade (10 years old) and was the soloist until I stopped "marching band" in 8th grade.

I picked up guitar around 16 and my dad showed me E, A and B bump rhythm and I took it from there. I grew up listening to all kinds of music but looking back, everything I listened to from Hank Jr. to Creedence was steeped in the blues. I was buying hair band and classic rock tapes before I was 10 and the liner notes talked about their influences. I traced them back and found Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, Son House, John Lee Hooker...etc. I started buying their tapes and loved the fact that they all came from Mississippi. No wonder it all made sense...I grew up around it.

By the time I was learning, Hwy 61 was coming on MPB 89.5 FM, and I was getting a huge dose of blues on Saturday nights when driving around town (when people could afford gas).

By the time I learned to switch chords and sing, I was learning Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Allman Brothers records. I just took it from there and added in country and funk to go with it. Playing in several different bands over the past 10 years has helped me out the most though.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Moreland Diamondback Amp



The newest creation from Moreland Amps, the Diamondback was custom built for Monte Allums in Olive Branch, MS. I will be posting a review of this 35 watt beast in the coming weeks. Out of respect for Monte, I'm giving him time to play around with the amp before I post my review, but I do want to post this pic to serve as a teaser.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo

Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live in Tupelo
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.

Shameless Plug: If you haven't already, take the time while you're here and signup for the Kevin Waide Mailing List. You'll get all your Project news first AND be able to download goodies that aren't made available to just anyone. See, we know how to make you feel special. :-)

Friday, June 7, 2013

You say you're in the mood for something different, something new?

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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Addicted to Technology?

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!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sneak Peak at the New Album

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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New Album In The Works?

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. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Absolute Worst Part Of Getting Older?

I'm no spring chicken anymore. Exactly 3 months from today will be my 41st birthday. Today is my mother's 62nd birthday, and like any good son, I spent most of the morning with her. And, like any good son, I gave my mom the most considerate present I could afford: I went with my dad to do some work on the air conditioner at their church. My mom got to spend most of the day without him worrying her to do this or do that. See, good son. :-)

Which leads me to the title of this blog - The absolute worst part of getting older. I'm old enough now that the wrinkles don't bother me (much). The "platinum blonde" highlights in my hair have been with me since my late teens, so that doesn't bother me (too bad). People addressing me as "sir" still kind of gets to me, as does Mr., but I do live in the South, so I'm used to it. I'm sure I made a lot of people feel old when I was younger, because my parents taught me to "respect my elders." I still say sir and ma'am, Mr., Ms., and Mrs. Growing up in the South, this becomes second nature to most all of us, mainly because if our parents heard us disrespect an "elder," we were promptly administered a "back hand!" If you've never received a back hand, count your blessings. Those things are ruthless.

No, the absolute worst part of getting older is watching your parents struggle with things they've never had to struggle with before. Working on the church's air conditioning unit with my dad today, I almost broke down crying. My dad was always a strong, independent man. He rarely ever needed help with anything he had to do, and today I watched him struggle with getting a screwdriver into the head of the screw on the unit. 15 minutes of watching his shaking hands try to get the driver in the head of the screw, and wanting so bad to do it for him. But he's a proud man of 63 (he'll be 64 July 10th of this year) and was determined to do it himself. And the more he fought with it, the worse I felt. My dad and I never had what you would call a "good relationship," but in the last few years, he's battled Fibrosis of his lungs, resulting in a lung transplant in 2006, and multiple bouts with skin cancer, which has taken his nose and most of the right side of his face and neck (F#@K Cancer!). We've gotten closer over the last few years, thanks to my youngest brother being a bigger screw-up than me, and I cherish the time I get to spend with him, but I really wish his health was better. I would love to be able to sit on the porch and have a beer with my dad, but his health doesn't allow him to drink any alcohol. His energy level is so low these days that he needs a nap after making up his mind, and this is not the man I've known for 40+ years. I'm fighting the tears as I write this, hoping that by "saying" it I might find a way to cope with it. Maybe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is no matter what your relationship is with you parents, make it a point to call or go by for a visit as often as possible. Have patience with them. They're human, too. I'm sure my dad is having a hard time coming to terms with his decline in health, but the good Lord knows what he's doing, so they say. I just hope his pain is lesser than mine, because this is the worst thing I've ever felt. 

Sorry to bring you down with this one, but I had to get it out, and that is what friends are for, right? Listening.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Tupelo Hog Roast


May 17-18, 2013 is the 44th Annual Tupelo Hog Roast at the VFW on Mitchell Rd., Tupelo, MS. The Hog Roast is an annual event and was started to help raise money for families affected by Cancer. "We started cooking for cancer, and now we have changed to cooking for St. Jude, Ronald McDonald House, and The Hospice House of North Mississippi," says Hayden "Boots" Willis, President of the Tupelo Hog Roast. "If you have never had any dealings with St. Jude, or never been, it is something everyone should go to. It is an awesome place. The Ronald McDonald House (in Memphis) provides people with a place to stay. The Hospice Patient Care fund provides money for people who can't afford to drive back and forth for treatments in the hospital."

This year will be the Kevin Waide Project's fourth year of helping raise money for these families. As most of you already know, cancer has affected my life and the lives of everyone around the Project, most recently by the death of our long-time friend Tim "The Milkman" Hopkins on March 23, 2013. My father has been rounds with skin cancer, and I lost a very dear friend, Edita Kubu, on August 21, 2010 to Melanoma. F#@K Cancer!

The Hog Roast kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 17, with live music and food, including crawfish, barbecue chicken, red beans and rice, barbecue bologna and sides, and will continue Saturday at 11:00 am, with the Hog Roasters serving their famous pulled pork barbecue and sides. A donation of $10 per person will be accepted to benefit the organizations above, and the Kevin Waide Project will perform at 8:00 pm! Make your plans now to attend and help raise money in the fight against cancer.