Jackie Wilson Knew How

Jackie Wilson knew how to move! Tell me he didn’t influence so many other greats. I only wish I could have been able to groove it like this — ever!

Here’s an interview from Gene Simmons (yes, from Kiss) on MusicRadar talking about his favorite tracks/artists:

““I saw Jackie Wilson perform this on some TV show. The producer had obviously said, ‘Now, Jackie, I don’t want you to do much gyrating ’cos it’ll scare all the folks out there’. Jackie didn’t give a shit!

“He went straight into the whole histrionic song and dance routine, moving his – for want of a better word – cock like I’d never seen a man move his cock before. He moved like the whole earth was shaking underneath his feet.

“Jackie was saying, ‘Music equals sex’. He wasn’t singing about taking a girl home and reading a few passages from Canterbury Tales. And when I saw how girls reacted to Jackie, I finally understood that, hey, girls like sex, too.”

Great stuff — and this old Shindig clip is gear! Or is it fab?! Or cool?! I dunno what we were saying back then. LOL

Jackie Wilson performs on Shindig

Enjoying the New Cello

I recently ordered an NS Design NXT4a electric cello. I’ve held off on my cello playing for years, because the older student model cello that I have is in disrepair. I found that it was going to cost a tremendous amount of money just to get it refurbished. Because I play and record with my band so often, I thought that I should consider purchasing an electric cello to help satisfy both my strong desire to play cello as well as bass and to have an instrument that I could record with easily when the time is appropriate.

image of NS Designs NXT4a electric cello

I have not been disappointed by this instrument at all. It plays very well. Though it’s an integrated composite design, I don’t find that the neck and fingerboard feel any different to me than the cellos I have played in the past. The strings included on the instrument are responsive and have good tone. The pickup on the cello sounds true to tone. I can adjust the tone slightly, but find the middle range to be suited to a natural cello through my amplifier.

image of TC Electronic BH250 amp and Trace Elliot ELF 1x10 speaker cabinet
Amp & Cabinet

The amplifier I am using is a TC Electronic BH250 chained to a Trace Elliot ELF 1×10 speaker cabinet. I have as little or as much volume as I need with no sacrifice in tone. For now I’m not using any effects, but after I have practiced a bit more and am comfortable that my bowing and intonation are solid, I’ll likely add some pedalboard effects. I already have octavers, chorus and delay, among others, so I’ll try these when I’m writing my own material for the cello.

So, to that end, my biggest challenge right now is to get my chops back. I’m rehearsing 15-20 minutes a day. I am careful not to overextend because I don’t want to sacrifice quality over quantity in these rehearsals. Because I also practice bass, I have to be sure I’m not overexerting my fingers and wrists. The bowing is becoming more fluid and I’m getting some of my technique back. It’s been many years since I was proficient on this instrument. I’m happy I’m making progress!

Imitation is Flattery?

I recently had an opportunity to go see the band The Decemberists at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati. I went with Eric, the guitarist in my band. It was a great performance and I truly enjoyed the evening of music and stage shenanigans.

Not long ago, the guys in my group got together and did a quick learn of The Decemberists song, “Sucker’s Prayer.” We obviously don’t have all the instrumentation they do, nor do we have the number of vocalists. But I think it was a noble attempt at the song. We recorded it for one of our episodes of Tales from the Closet.

The video here is our take on the song.