Saturday, March 1, 2014

What About Alvin Ray Jr. ?

I'm a late bloomer. Real late. I never had the courage to do most of the things I try to do these days.  Perhaps it's a "I'm over 30 years old and I don't care anymore" thing. I've always had all these things flying around in my head, but being the typical shy person, I kept it all to myself.  One day I decided not be afraid of looking stupid.  That was the beginning. It opened up a whole new world.  Of course I couldn't or wouldn't to anything without the permission of a stage.  

When I lived in Ithaca, NY, I'd play gigs with some great musicians, these guys could play a solo for hours. When it was my turn to solo, I'd play 16 or so bars and get bored.  I'd just stop and start telling a story. I'd just make up something, whatever came in my head.  The band indulged me.  Now this was fun.  It's amazing the things you can do when you're not afraid to suck. Really. What's the worst that can happen?
I've discovered lots of things about myself.  Such as being consumed with characters and not just a song. Alvin Ray Jr. was one such character.  One day I realized that I could do a few Jimi Hendrix like things. I'd try to talk like him and play guitar with some of his phrases, just enough to have fun with it.  My goal was to make a short self made movie about a guy who clearly was Hendrix influenced, but hated it when people actually noticed it.  "Hey, you play like that left-handed guy!" "Who, Albert King?"  

I really wanted the opportunity to play loud and dirty and too much.  I dusted off my electric guitar which I hadn't played in  30 years and put a band together in hopes of warming up for an eventual film shoot.  And what the hell, let's see how an audience might react to this.  After two shows, I think I'll just stick with the original idea.  We have one more show in April. After that, we may become a virtual band. More to come...