Author: Sargent, Geoff

Such a Deal

You know, every month about this time I start thinking on just what I?m going to write this week for my column. Sometimes happening events, like the FDF, drop a nice package right in my lap?.other times I have to rely on ongoing projects like my Tour de Jam. This column resides somewhere between the ?falling in my lap? and ?shameless promotion? categories?but it is for a good cause and even includes some associated music making?of the bluegrass variety.

But first I want to say to Hank?.welcome back into the fold. I can?t wait to read more of your columns and hope to back that up with jamming with you sometime. Guys, does this mean I?m no longer the junior member or does Hank get to grandfather in his previous seniority? A few weeks ago I got an email from Hilary Perkins, of Nell Robinson and Red Level and Take the Stage mover-and-shaker fame, announcing the summer Take the Stage workshop performance. Since I am a Take the Stage alumnus I get these little gems from Hilary every now and then, but the really interesting thing about this email that caught my attention and raised the hairs on my very sparse scalp (no comments from my friends, CBA columnists, or band mates otherwise you will get yours in a future column) was her invitation for Take the Stage alumni bands to play as well?? the NEW Freight and Salvage, on August 25, a few days before it officially opens.

Hoooooowie?.visions of the new Freight tried running through my head, stumbled around a bit and caused a few dormant hair follicles to wake up with all the noise, but to no avail. Unfortunately my imagination just isn?t up for the task of conjuring what it looks like, and I really don?t want to?.I want it to be a complete surprise when I walk in. But I bet it is sweet and it would be ok by me if we get to be some of the crash test dummies that test drive the stage before the big boys and girls play there.

Hmmmmmmm what to do?On one hand the new band I?m in can?t play that date?.on the other hand I know some other Take the Stage alumni that I think would be up for it?..though we only have a few weeks to practice?.Oh what the hell, let?s go for it because after all the chances of me ever playing the Freight again are probably only a little better than winning my million in the Lottery.

So I called my good friend and mando player, TJ, and our scintillating conversation went something like:

?What did you think about Hilary?s email?
?We gotta do it dude?

The latter was me. I have a vocabulary that hasn?t significantly left the 70?s and 80?s when one of my favorite movies was ?Fast Times at Ridgemont High?.

?I heard Curtis might be available?
?Cool, I know a Bass player that we could ask?
?OK, practice, Sunday at 7?

and so it went. Brevity, not eloquence, is how I prefer my phone conversations. I imagine that similar conversations were happening because Hilary later sent an email confirming the line-up and clueing us in to some of the stage management issues we?ll have to deal with. Redwing scored the band slot and we (me, TJ Carskadon, Curtis Young, and Fred Cone) scored one of the ?open mic? slots, with the other open mic slots taken by Kelly Trojan, Scott Peterson, and Jack Thrift; Ken Bellingham and Dick Mason scored one; and Lou Ponticas, one of the original Take the Stage founders, might close the show out. Most of these are familiar names to me with heavy representation by some of the Spring ?09 and Fall ?08 Take the Stage musicians?..they must be jonesing for some stage time like us. The show will be opened by the Summer ?09 Take the Stage all star musicians and somewhere in the mix Hilary, Dave Zimmerman, and Jim Nunally will get in a few songs.

My wife graciously went to my Take the Stage performance last March and is even considering going to this one, which is nothing short of amazing. So, if you are curious and would like to preview the NEW Freight this show should be a no-brainer; if you are remotely thinking about doing a Take the Stage workshop, this fall or later (application deadline for the Fall ?09 Take the Stage is August 21), this gets you an up close and personal introduction to the workshop and the opportunity to talk with folks that have done Take the Stage, not once, not twice, but three times (can you say ?habit forming??might have to do an intervention for an unnamed individual); and last, but surely the most compelling reason to come would be to listen to the fine music, enjoy the fellowship, watch the Summer ?09 Take the Stage musicians strut their stuff, and see if the Take the Stage alumni retained anything of what they learned (hear that guys?the pressure is on). No matter, I can guarantee that it will be an entertaining if not enjoyable evening, worth the trip to Berkeley, and only for $5.50?..such a deal.

So to explain the promotional shtick I?d like to close with a quote from one of our most famous American showmen, businessmen, and entertainers, P.T. Barnum: ?Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!?.

See ya?ll there.

This way to the Egress??fine plumage!
Posted:  8/16/2009

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