Thursday, December 10, 2015

2016 Mississippi Music Awards

We are excited to announce that the Kevin Waide Project has been nominated for the 2016 Mississippi Music Awards in 3 different categories: Best Mississippi Blues Artist, Best Mississippi Artist, and Best Mississippi Original Song. We want to encourage you to click the link below and vote today.

Thank you for all your support over the last 9 years. It's because of you that we are able to do what we do. Here's to the next 9 years.

Kevin Waide

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Musings on Pancakes

I learned an important lesson this morning: no matter how easy it appears, if you don’t have some basic understanding of how it’s done, making pancakes is a bitch! I mean, I’ve seen it done millions of times, I’ve just never tried it before. Well, I wanted pancakes for breakfast this morning, and since it’s my birthday, I was gonna have them! 

 Everyone I know cooks pancakes on a griddle. Well, I don’t have a griddle; I have cast iron skillets. I decided sausage would be good with pancakes, so I fried the sausage patties first (mistake #1). I thought I had cleaned all the sausage grease out of the skillet when I started the pancakes, but apparently I hadn’t. The directions on the box said to let it cook until the edges looked done and flip them only once, which is what I did. Well, I must not know what “done” looks like, because when I finally flipped it, it was stuck to the skillet. Got it flipped and it was a dark brown. I finally got the first one finished and on the plate, and before beginning pancake #2, I re-read the directions on the box. “Lightly grease griddle (what’s it with people and these damn griddles?).” So I decided butter would probably be best to “grease my griddle” (mistake #2). The butter helped the sausage grease turn loose of the skillet, resulting in a black pancake. After that, I just kept pouring and doing the best I could. By the time I got the last of the batter in the skillet, I finally had the process figured out enough to get what Eli called an “acceptable” pancake. Thank goodness I had a “pancake expert” in the house to coach me! 

 Eli and his lovely young girlfriend, Amelia, came to town last night for the show. Eli played guitar with me last night for my birthday party. Since it was my birthday show, I thought I’d have a few drinks to celebrate. I haven’t drank in so long that 2 beers were enough to force Eli into DD status (I’m such a lush these days!). 

 We celebrated three other birthdays last night, too. Brian, Wendy, and Apryl were all there celebrating their birthdays with me, and we had a wonderful celebration. I did a few things I don’t normally do (like playing with tracks!) but we all had a great time in a packed house. 

 I really want to thank Sheila, Josh, and Suzanne for staging a perfect celebration for us all. JugTown Grill is a wonderful place for anyone that hasn’t had the chance to check it out. I highly recommend the place, especially the Grilled Bologna and Cheese! 

 Thank you all for coming out and celebrating 43 with me. You’ll never know what it means to see each of your faces and most every show. I also want to thank you all for letting me play some of the stuff from the new album. As a musician, you don’t get a lot of chances to play your original material, at least not in a Pub environment. It means a lot to have a place open to these types of shows, and it means even more that the audience is receptive to listening to songs they’ve never heard before. Hopefully, the album will be ready by the end of this year, so you’ll be able to hear them whenever you want soon enough.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy KWP Day!

Wow! It seems like only 8 years ago we were getting ready for our first show. Oh, wait, I guess it WAS 8 years ago. Man, where does the time go?

I remember getting a phone call from the owners of (now defunct) 363 Blues Club asking if I could play that Saturday night for St. Patrick's Day. This was on a Tuesday (things haven't changed much in that respect, either!), so I got to work calling everyone I knew. Called up my buddy, Foosh, and he was down, and the following morning I asked a new friend I had met at work, Jimmy Karow, if he'd be interested in playing the blues for a night, to which he replied, and I quote, "Sure, why not. Sounds like fun."

We got together that Thursday evening and had one of our only rehearsals in the first few years, and it went great. What else would you expect from seasoned musicians.

On Friday, I bumped into "The Emfamus" Skip Oliver and invited him out to the show. "Oh, if you come, bring your harps and sit in." I also invited my friend Mark Coward to sit in.

I got to the bar early in the evening to start setting everything up. Foosh and Jimmy both arrived pretty soon thereafter, and we managed to get everything set up and sound checked with enough time to work over some of the trickier songs. About 5 minutes until show time, Skip shows up with his harp case and Green Bullet, plugged in, and ran a few lines to check his label. I believe his first words were, "What key we in?" B Minor.

I looked at Foosh and Jim and said, "Thrill Is Gone." As I hit the first chords of the song, Mark walks upstairs with his amp in one hand, guitar in the other, and starts setting his rig up. By the first solo, he's set up, tuned up, and ready to rip, and did he! 

The Bar area of 363 Blues Club was upstairs, and at one point in the evening, the center of the floor looked as if it would cave under the weight of all the people up dancing and bouncing around. The speakers (on poles) kept swaying the whole night, but not once did they give in to the momentum, standing strong under the wave of the hardwood floor.

Skip and Mark both played the entire evening with us, and we had a hell of a time. What was to be a one-time show got us booked for the B-Town BBQ Festival and the Okelala Festival in Baldwyn, Mississippi, and started a rocket that continues to this day.

Many of the area's finest musicians have shared the stage with us, preaching their own interpretations of the blues. I've never tried to name every one before, but here's a start: Chris Fooshee, Jimmy Karow, Skip Oliver, Mark Coward, Tom Sewell, Michael Brose, Jay Carroll, Gavin McGee, Blake Miller, Shane Rowe, Richard Sanders, David Miller, Matt and Chad Nolan and Shaun Miller (Spunk Monkees), Blayze Windham and Kelly Mauldin (Bikini Frankenstein), Rick Moreland, Monte Allums, Tony Caldwell, Chuck McArthur, Dennis Murphy, Richard Dabbs, Eric Stogner and Bob Steinmetz (Full Tilt), Jason Carter, Preston George, Joseph Lackey, Vinnie C., Pam Montgomery, Naomi Alexander, Savannah Smith, Randy Byrum, Wayne Victory, Desmond Smith, Brian West, James Pirkle, Derrick Boggan, Ronnie McGee. I've even had the privilege of playing the blues with both of my children, Eli and Michael. I know I'm forgetting quite a few names, and I apologize to you guys. Leave your name in the comments below and I will add you to the list. I'd like to see a complete list sometime, just for shits and giggles.

8 years later, our travel radius has grown exponentially. From the Tupelo-area to all of North Mississippi and into Tennessee and Alabama. Not bad for a bunch of guys doing it all by themselves. We've had some highs and had lots of lows, but ain't that what the blues is all about?

So, this St. Patrick's Day, as you're raise your glass in an Irish toast, raise it again, and help us celebrate our 8th Anniversary. As for me, I'll be celebrating our anniversary at IDK in Tupelo for the Open Musician Jam Night. Come on by and let's have a drink together. Here's to another 8 years!

Monday, January 26, 2015

(Too) Much Ado About Nothing

I've been doing a lot of recording lately.

I recorded the New Year's Eve show with Shane Tubbs and Robbie Ross and have mixed a little bit down (work in progress). I've shared a couple of the songs over at SoundCloud, so if you haven't heard them yet, go check them out.

I've been working with the "Emfamus" Skip Oliver on his solo debut, which we should be finishing up soon. 

I've been recording and mixing songs in preparation for the next Project album, too. As of today, I have 9 working demos ready, with more to come this weekend.

I've been blessed with an abundance of work lately. Too much is always better than not enough, right?

As you know, I have two children, Elijah and Michael, who live with their mother a little over 100 miles away from Tupelo. I have managed to maintain a fairly healthy relationship with them over the distance and the "busyness" of their "Rock Star" dad (their term, not mine), though we've always had to emphasize quality over quantity.

I've been doing this music thing for a long time, so long, I really don't remember a time when I didn't do it. Oh, there was a time when I "quit" music, roughly 5 years of 10:00 PM bedtimes on Saturday nights (yeah, right!) and being the "family man." And, during this time, I was there, with my boys, watching them grow and learn, teaching them (by example, of course!) what not to do and how not to act.

After their mother and I split, music was the only thing I had, and I had given up on it. I picked up my guitar one night, started writing a song, and it took about 2 months for me to be right back in the bars, playing my songs for anyone who'd listen.

I talked to the boys before I started looking for musicians. We sat down and discussed it like adults (I was 33 and not an adult; Eli and Michael were 9 and 4 respectively, and at least 10 years more mature than I). I talked it over with them, weighing the pros and cons, explaining to them that if I did this, our time together would be limited, that I wouldn't be as available to see as long as I was doing it, and they both nodded their understanding and acceptance of it. We made a promise to each other that night to emphasize quality over quantity and maximize what little time we would have together. And I started playing music again.

That was 9 years ago last November, and we have stuck to our promise to each other. It hasn't been easy going long periods of time without seeing my children (you parents know what I'm saying; the rest of you should be so lucky to find out), but knowing that we would get some quality alone time kept me going. Now, my boys are all but grown: Eli a Freshman in college and Michael a Freshman in high school. Where has the time gone?

I guess I'm getting old, but I've been feeling a little greedy lately. I've been wanting to spend more time with the boys, you know, get to know them, because we haven't been able to spend enough time together for me to really know them as individuals.

I made a conscious decision back in November to let the gigs die down after the New Year, take a little time off, with the intention of spending more time with my boys. Little did I know that in the last 9 years my two "young men" have developed lives of their own and grown too busy to spend time with the "old man." Imagine my shock at finding out January-March is "Indoor Season" for marching bands and that I'll have to make an appointment to see Michael. Eli's attention is also elsewhere (read girlfriend, and I can't really blame him!).

"And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me he'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me."*

Too much work is always better than not enough, right?

*"Cat's In the Cradle" Harry Chapin/Sandra Chapin