Friday, April 22, 2011

First Practice with the (Texas) Brilliant

After driving through a crazy hailstorm somewhere between NC and Dallas, and noticing that there is a well established group called "Texas Tornado" I have decided that it's appropriate to call the band "the Brilliant." For one, they are brilliant, all 7 of them (3 Texans, 2 from OH, 1 from MI), and second it's kind of fun to be Jonathan Reuel AND the Brilliant, since at this point when I pick up the electric I definitely don't feel like I belong in the "Brilliant" category -- although you can count me in the "deliriously happy and learning quickly" box. And, after all, this is rock and roll we're playing, and the Brilliant is good enough to play with "the loud and sloppy."

Enough of that. We had our first practice last night here in Wylie Texas and all I could think of the whole night was "Really? I get to do this?" We've got some work to do, but the guys knew the music pretty well and there were some amazing moments. I think this music is going to work live. I've had my doubts because it's a different animal than banging the acoustic guitar and adding some parts. These songs require the bass and drums to carry them much of the time -- which they are doing brilliantly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cornerstone Festival

The band and I were selected as one of the possible bands to play at the New Band Showcase at Cornerstone music festival this year. There's a pile of bands and they pick 15 or so of them based on votes and/or the opinions of music industry people. (Cornerstone Festival is a music and arts festival held every year near Bushnell, Illinois the week of July 4th.)

You can vote for us to help us get there. Seems like a small chance it could happen, but I never thought we'd get this album done either, so who knows! If it did happen it would be a great last hooray before heading into sabbatical.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Texas, Guitars and Transplants

Headed for Texas today. Have practices scheduled and our first Jonathan Reuel and Surge on Smith gig scheduled on Saturday and easter music at New Hope with the same band. Should be good.

Took my guitars in to get worked on yesterday. The Godin has a broken neck which is now being fixed. The other one functions. Can't wait to see how well.

Looking forward to seeing what my southern band (which may include a Californian transplant) can do. What a privilege to do be doing this.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Song Preview

I added another song to preview on the music player found to the right of this post. the new song is Name Me. "Bring Some Trouble" is the new name for the song that used to be called "I'll Never," so if you listened before you may recognize it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Midlife Video

Ok, so this was written when... oh never mind, no apologies. Hope it makes you laugh, wince or something.

Midlife from Jonathan A Reuel on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Midlife Song

As Christa and I move towards sabbatical (and work on this music, art and writings with transitions themes) we've been running into midlife crisis-type questions. Or maybe they are just transition questions. I can picture my past self, my present self and who I thought I'd be getting together. It's not all that pretty, but since conflict makes good stories, I thought I'd write a song about it. Here it is -- rough, recorded minutes after writing.

by Jonathan Reuel copyright 3.30.2011

Who I was caught up with who I am today
'Was' was spoiling for a fight
"Man," 'Was' said, "You've compromised,
Gone soft (not wise)
You're a disgrace to what's right"

'Is' straightened his back and shrugged
"Say what you want, but you're still 'Was'
Sometimes what you want is what you'll be
Sometimes it's what you give up to get free."

Who I am caught up with who I thought I'd be
'Who I Thought' walked past without noticing me
"Man,I thought I'd be a little better known
A little better off, and a little less alone."

My pseudo future self was pretty well dressed
He had a tie like mine but his shirt was pressed
He had his peers admiration and a friendship with God
He drove a fast, smart car passed churches and bars

This pseudo future self wasn't showing his age
Until a stranger walked up with a light in his face
Future man got a panicked look and ran from the scene
Like some scavenger pack that picked the bones all clean

'Who I Was' took his cues from the future me and left as well
I was stuck with this stranger, I was all by myself
And in that peace-filled silence I found my feet
And a place where Love could get to me

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Going Electric

It's been a bit of a challenge booking concerts for this new musical direction. People are used to me doing acoustic concerts, and it's simpler, easier and cheaper than setting up for a band. Plus I'm a little nervous about it.

The good news is that as people are hearing bits and pieces of the upcoming record I keep hearing "You've got to find places to play this AS A BAND!" Pretty encouraging. And I haven't been booed off the stage yet.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two Very Good Things

I carried the recording master out of the studio yesterday. No more tweaks or adjustments. No more rethinking. We're done, completely, done, thanks in great part to the effective, focused and creative work of the producer, Grant Beachy.

I also turned over my contacts and booking responsibilities to Sprouted Acorn booking and management.

In both cases it was a little hard to let go and it is/was a privilege to work with people who are both creative and competent. I'm controlling less and doing better work. It's been a long time coming -- and a VERY good thing.