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 CafĂ© 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. ;-)