Learning As I Go

        In every gig, I learn something new.  When you play music with women, there is always a different perspective.

        Here is the first one.  Our last gig was on St. Patrick’s day.  (I got busy and posted a day late.)  I showed up in whatever I’d worn to the office, but my wife brought me a different shirt for the show.  I thought the one I had on was O.K., but she explained it had no green, and the color was imperative on St. Patrick’s day.  I asked why, and she said if you don’t wear green it gives women the right to pinch you.  Given my high profile with the nursing home population, and the the predominant demographic of elderly and female, it made sense to me, and changed shirts.

         Number two.  If you’ll notice on T.V. most singers have an ear plug.  It ain’t a hearing aid, and they are not listening to their IPOD or the ball game.  This is an in-ear monitor.  Believe it or not, we use ‘em too.  When you are on stage, the ability to hear the mix is imperative.  Without a good monitor it’s like driving at night with no headlights.  Anyway, I was having trouble clipping mine on, and Marfar used some sort of gadget that held it in place better than anything the boys have ever come up with.  After the show, I found out it was a hair clip.  I kept in in my gig bag for my next Neuse River outing.  I don’t know if they’ll make fun of me or want one, but it worked great.

        Finally, I am always fascinated as to how the ladies engage their audience.  As you know, their theme song is “When You’re Smiling.”  Before they played the tune, they passed out some sorta green St. Paddy Day hand-help snapping contraption to keep time with, and every single one of the residents snapped along in time, and smiled, too.  Aren’t they good? 

        Leave it to Marfar.  She’s the best.

Dr. B

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4 Comments on “Learning As I Go”

  1. sshay Says:

    Dr. Tom,
    I’m always surprised when a man can tell what color something is! My DH has no problem, but my dad and certain of my cousins do. It’s really funny sometimes.
    I’m not a bit surprised that your wife had something to make your earpiece stay in.
    Once when the hook that flippy thing on the inside of our toilet broke and DH wasn’t home, I replaced it with a colored paper clip. (The colored part is a plastic coating.) It lasted several years. It worked so well, the next time it broke DH asked me if I had another one.
    I didn’t know that was what the earpiece was for, though. I thought it was so you could hear the music, since other singers sometimes cover it up.
    I’m always learning something new on your blog.
    Thanks!
    BTW: If the other boys make fun of your clippy, you just make fun of their earrings. It’ll serve them right.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    My Mom always seemed to have something in her pocketbook to deal with the issue at hand. So does my wife. A wallet ain’t big enough to cover the gig. The hair-clip pinned the wire to my collar better than anything I’ve tried.

    In-ear monitors are cool items. To some degree they are to hear the music, but specifically to hear the mix. In bluegrass you want what is in the ear monitor to sound like what you would hear if picking in a circle on the porch. It makes it MUCH easier to blend harmony when you sing, to all stay in time, and to co-ordinate the various solos (or breaks) for different instruments.

    We use a mid-priced Shure, and it works fine. Everyone in the band hears the same mix, and we try to approximate what you hear in the “house,” or out front speaker blend. Some of the pros use the really fancy ones where each band member can dial in their personal preference, but these are quite a bit more expensive, and not needed for what we do. I do tell the banjo man I’m considering one, ’cause then I could dial him out of the mix! (Just kidding- he is a great player, and my best friend. And banjo jokes aside, he is a very smart cat, too.)

    I didn’t know y’all called ‘em a clippy. I learn from you guys too. I can hear it now, “Hey dude, these clippys cut the gig. Where’d you get the earrings, brother?”

    Dr. B

  3. pandemonic Says:

    Well, I see you’re very appreciative of your better half. That’s nice!

  4. drtombibey Says:

    All I know is how to write prescriptions and play the mandolin and golf. Marfar knows everything else. If it weren’t for her I’d starve to death.

    Dr. B


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