Whew, it’s 2015!! Here’s the link to my last news letter!
It’s a busy 1st quarter for 2014! Here is what’s been happening these past few months…
January took me to NAMM for the first time with the TRX Cymbal Co. I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with legendary drummer Bernard Purdie and saw some talented musicians throw down on stage. I was taken back by the plethora of new technology that is forever refining and evolving what we hear and the tools we use to create with.
WATCH THE NEW REEL HERE!
Rather than putting valuable energy into convincing directors, producers and casting directors that my range, talent and technique will prepare me to play any role, I’ve been investing better time into refining my reel with more cast-able archetypes. Call it typecasting or stereotyping, the fact is, booking the role requires that I create specific storytelling characters that an audience can quickly believe and identify. With that said, I was recently approached to play the part of a real nasty and arrogant prosecuting attorney. Looks like I found my niche.
WATCH THE NEW DRUM REEL!
It was time to edit a montage of my drumming experiences from some past performances and recording sessions. I landed in the Los Angeles music scene in 2005 and along the way I sought out a couple of key mentors who have influenced my drumming style and approach. That being primarily of Phillip “Fish” Fisher, the founding drummer of the prolific band Fishbone. Fish’s mastery of the drum set and knowledge of music history and genres has inspired me to reach new heights. In the past three years the growth has been exponential. From digital distribution with a record label, a collaboration with Motown legend Brian Holland, (watch video with Brian’s session here) (http://youtu.be/fiQcQAo5yqw) recorded four additional EP’s, music videos and regional touring through California and the Northwest. Grateful to have worked with so many talented artists during the journey and blessed with all your support. Thank you for listening.
When I’m not out playing music, sharpening my chops back at the woodshed, or grabbing some screen time on a film set, you can find a camera in my hands making films and shooting bands. I’ve been documenting Fish’s legacy and musical journey with Chali 2na, House of Vibe All-Stars, Bernard Fowler and others. Here’s a montage of a concert in Nevada City with the fellas of HOV.
Lila French (Actor/Director) has been screening her debut film “Birdbath” based on the Leonard Melfi play. What started as a scene in our acting class, turned in to a staged production at the Skylight Theater in Los Angeles. With the help of a successful Kickstarter.com campaign, she was able to secure the rights and shoot the movie in New York. See the “Birdbath” trailer here!
Kerim Imes (Drummer) is a mentor and my drum teacher before he introduced me to Phillip “Fish” Fisher. Kerim is the founding member of the band Off Color, “an original and dynamic band that blends Alternative, Punk, and Soul to create a sound that’s more than the sum of its parts.” Watch “Plant Me” Here!
Horay! We made to a new year. Thank you for your support over the past year. Here are some highlights worth sharing. Wishing you all an exciting and prosperous 2014. ~ TV
** SMOKED the series
SMOKED – Our pilot episodes have combined over 55,000 views and over 300 subscribers. Creating a quality Web series isn’t easy, and marketing it independently is just as challenging if not more. Without the deep pockets of a major marketing team, we rely heavily on social media and word of mouth. If you haven’t already, you can see the first season on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/SmokedWebSeries ) . Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SmokedWebSeries” title=”SMOKED The Series” target=”_blank”>http://www.facebook.com/SmokedTheSeries) & Twitter (https://twitter.com/SmokedTheSeries) .
** Featured Artists to Watch
Check them out: I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing artists and don’t want you to miss out! Jason Gilbert (pedal steel guitar) and Matt LaRocca (Guitar) tastefully back up the harmonies for the Americana sounds of Fairbanks Music (https://www.facebook.com/Fairbanksmusic) . Also Visit Melanie Devaney (http://www.youtube.com/MelanieDevaney) ‘s (singer-songwriter) YouTube page to catch a glimpse of some intimate storytelling with her Single Subject Notebook series.
** Trouble After Midnight
Trouble After Midnight (EP)- This Summer was filled with some recording and touring with artist Andrew Sheppard. Growing up in the high desert plains of Hailey, Idaho this up and coming singer/ songwriter cuts his teeth in Los Angeles. Former frontman of the Gypsy River Haunts, Sheppard recently decided to go out on his own. Looking to explore new sounds and develop his own style, his music has been described as a cockeyed medley of soulful Country, honest Rock N’ Roll, with an outlaw mentality. Sheppard has recently shared the stage with several major artists including: Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show, Shooter Jennings, and Jason Isbell among others. His latest release, a new E.P., “Trouble After Midnight” came out this last August. Currently Andrew is in the process of working on his first full length album which is due to be released in the spring of 2014. No matter how his music hits you, it’ll give you a glimpse of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Andrew
Sheppard- A straight shot of life. Listen on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/andrew-scot-sheppard)
Excited to be touring with Andrew Sheppard & The Gallivants this summer in Idaho & Utah. Andrew is a splendid singer/songwriter from Idaho and moved to Los Angeles in 2005. Through his diverse musical background he has dubbed his sound as “Western Rock” which draws influences from Traditional Country, Rock and Roll, Soul, Blues and Rockabilly. We got a bunch of dates lined up…
Check out Andrew’s FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/andrewscotsheppard.
Have a great summer, ya’all!
This past year was one heck of a ride. Planting new seeds and keeping them watered and growing takes quite a sustained effort. And then, not letting yourself get caught up in the minutia of “watching grass grow” or “paint dry.” We move forward, keeping our eye on the prize. It’s a way of life, and it’s a life worth living. Welcome 2013.
Today Charlie Played Cello released their first EP and it’s available on iTunes. It’s been an honor recording and playing with this talented group of musicians. RED will the the first of 3 EP’s coming out this year. Visit the website at www.charlieplayedcello.com
Tonight I got to chill back at a screening with friend, teacher, mentor and all around great guy Richard Lawson. The movie was Black Fist, aka Bogard (1974) and it was playing at the New Beverly in Los Angeles. If you are not familiar with his work, please visit his IMDB page at www.imdb.com/name/nm0493311/. Usually on a Tuesday evening, Richard is teaching actors at his studio. But earlier in the day he caught wind that “Black Fist” one of his earliest films, was being screened tonight only. So with his good will and generosity, he bought 15 tickets for his students and took us all on a field trip. It is not unlike Richard to treat his students and friends. This is an artist who understands and values the importance of the ritual of celebration. He is one of the most generous human beings I have ever had the joy of experiencing. “Black Fist” was amazing. It was a pivotal film during the wave of black exploitation films during the 1970’s. This film in particular was an inspiration for filmmakers like Sam Pekinpah and Quentin Tarantino. It was full of action, sensuality, violence, passion & love told with spectacular performances by Richard, Dabney Coleman and Phillip Michael Thomas, all who have gone on to great careers. After the screening we got to enjoy a Q&A session. Ticket buyers along with the theatre staff had no idea such a treat was awaiting them. Afterward there were hugs, kisses, handshakes and pictures taken on cellphones. No doubt those pictures are already uploaded onto Facebook. What a splendid evening to see so many smiles on people who have been entertained for 40 years by such a great guy.
This weekend I got to kick it with music legend Brian Holland while recording with Charlie Played Cello. Brian, his brother Edward & writing partner Lamont Dozier where the powerhouse trio writing team who created that classic Motown Sound in the 1960’s. With over 200 songs in their catalog, 130 were on the charts, 70 in the top 10 hit list, and 20 of them were number 1 hits. What an experience to be part of his creative process. He was effortlessly masterful and all the while having fun! Laughing and singing he would craft and shape the song together. He was giving, always praising the artist and guiding with a reassured comfort. Brian was honest with a witty sense of humor and willing to point to a positive character trait both in the music and the people around him. He is 70 years of age and without a doubt, I could see the happiness and joy that music still brings him.