We’re back to the studio for video! And check out our audio!


Full promo should be up in a day or so!

Originally posted on Sound Chaser: A Tribute to Yes Music :

We were in the studio Sunday finishing up our promo; we should have the promo video up here in a few days!

Here’s a snippet (from a cellphone camera) of our video shoot for our promo!

And here’s the full audio track from our promo!

Keep checking in!

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Wishbone Ash: A Fantastic Show by a Classic Prog Rock Influence

I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Wishbone Ash for the first time last week!  It’s been decades since I listened to them on vinyl, and they treated me to one of the best concerts I’ve heard in a long time.  If you live in or near one of the privileged few areas they’re visiting on tour, you’ve got to see them!  Check out their tour dates at http://WishboneAsh.com

I was still a teenager when first exposed to their music, and it had a distinct influence on the bands and genres I’ve listened to (and played) over four decades.  When I saw that the band was playing one of my favorite local venues, I looked up the current band lineup. I had to go and take a listen when I saw that Joe Crabtree, the “baby” of the current lineup, had played with Pendragon and David Cross of King Crimson.   I play drums in a progressive rock tribute band (http://TributeToYes.com), and I knew that Wishbone Ash was a significant contributor to the genre.  The videos I found of Joe on YouTube showed that he was, despite his superb technical skills and pleasant melodic style of play, very humble.  (You can find out more about Joe at http://www.joecrabtree.com.)

I have to admit that I remembered little of Wishbone Ash outside of the Argus album (it was the 70’s, after all), but from the first few notes of the show at the Bamboo Room I could discern the pervasive influence of their music on many other bands. The textured, melodic twin leads of founding member Andy Powell and  Finland’s Muddy Manninen were reminiscent of the Allman Brothers (who were formed the same year as Wishbone Ash).  The incredible tightness and fluidity of the two guitarists were mirrored by Crabtree and bassist Bob Skeat, who’s been playing with Powell for 17 years.  The music brought back memories of Uriah Heep, Genesis, Procol Harum, and with melodies reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and CS&N.

While the ticket was more than I’d paid for a concert at the Bamboo Room in the past (the “cozy” venue seats a bit over a 100), it was the best concert value in recent memory. The band played new material off their excellent brand new album Blue Horizon (see link at the bottom of this blog), their “Live Dates” album in its entirety, and songs from “Argus” including their hit “Blowin’ Free.”

I’ve edited some snippets of the concert together via YouTube below (no full songs, just teasers, because you need to hear this band live) so you can experience a taste of these fine musicians.

Check out the 7/4 groove at 11:45 and the classic “Blowin’ Free” at 16:40.  And find a venue where you can hear this band!

Here’s a link to their new album!


Great method for Cleaning and Polishing Cymbals (when they’re really nasty)

I’ve been a proponent of “non-cleaning” for years, mostly because I couldn’t find a cleaner that would faze fingerprints.  But I spend a couple hours polishing my kit, cleaning all the chrome, and then have crappy looking cymbals when I play out.  And since people expect my kit to look like the ones the guys playing the arenas — who all have bright, shiny [new] cymbals – I figured I’d better try to polish them up.

I tried just about everything (Off the shelf brass cleaners, Groove Juice, Zildjian and Sabian cleaners), and arrived at Barkeeper’s Friend.  I comes in a power and a paste; I use the power since it’s cheaper and makes into a stronger solution than the paste.  I wet the cymbal down, sprinkle the BK Friend across it, and mix it into an even pasty layer.  I let it sit for a few seconds (or minutes, if it’s really nasty).  Then I rinse and rub it off the cymbal. It works fabulous (kiss the logos goodbye if you’re not careful, however) but… the cymbals would tarnish up much faster after I used it, and if a drop of water hit them, it would spot tarnish. I figured there must be some acid left from the Barkeeper’s Friend. So, I decided to try this combination:


Barkeeper’s Friend, get them shiny.  Rinse them like crazy, dry them up good.  Then, I use Zildjian polish evenly across the cymbal (which, like Brasso, always turns black, no matter HOW good I clean the cymbals up beforehand) and polish them only part way back to the shine the BKF gave them.  (My theory is that whatever is in Brasso and the Zildjian polish reacts with the bronze and instantly oxidizes.)  So I have cymbals that have a bit of patina and no fingerprints or stains, and a residue of Zildjian polish.  And it seems that the Zildjian polish keeps them from tarnishing as quickly.


By the way, for some reason, the BKF works much better with fingers than with a cloth, especially on spots.  I’ll make a paste and I can clean up almost any spot with the paste and a finger.

Now, someone will say that cleaning ruins the sound of the cymbal.  I acquired a Zildjian that had such a heavy bottom logo that it was like the paint on the roadway; I decided to to a before and after video when I decided to clean off that logo. Put on headphones and decide for yourself the difference…


If I can find a really nasty cymbal I’ll try to throw together a video showing me cleaning it up…

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Ludwig snare drums (while they have shortcomings) are still the best…

I just posted a new video snare drum demo, this time of a Ludwig Anniversary Edition 6.5×14 Maple snare.  I think this snare rivals the Black Beauty and COB snares…  While the stock P-85 throwoffs have their problems, and Ludwig has had some QC issues over the years, I’ve never played a stock snare that sounds better than the Luddies…  Here’s a playlist of some of the different Ludwig snares I’ve demo’ed over the last few years… and there’s lots of other demos on my YouTube channel, including some Rogers and Pork Pies among others.

I just watched the Buddy Rich Memorial concert, and I’m never surprised to see endorsers of other drums still sneak in a Ludwig Supraphonic to play…

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Get ready for some samples of our project!

Tim’s doing a fantastic job with the lead vocals in Sound Chaser, and we’ve got the show pretty much lined up music-wise… currently putting the finishing touches on Hold On from 90215.  We’re one of the few Yes Tribute bands (only?) to incorporate some of the great newer songs (Owner of a Lonely Heart was, after all, Yes’s biggest hit).


Not that we’re ignoring the old material.  We’ve got the entire Close To The Edge album pretty much ready to go (Close to the Edge, And You and I, and Siberian Khatru),  What, you say?  Only three songs? But they are three — expansive – songs, if you will.  (Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this album.) 

And we’ve got a good chunk of Fragile “in the can,” so to speak.  Roundabout (of course) Long Distance Runaround/the Fish, and Heart of the Sunrise,  And we couldn’t forget I’ve Seen All Good People off the Yes album…

Watch this spot for live video and audio samples from our practices very soon!

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I got an opportunity to interview the Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio…

Pat had some great insights on the music industry, hanging in there with your music, and how they kept the Smithereens going for over three decades.  Check out my interview on our DoWestPalm.com website here:


Do West Palm

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Why can’t Apple do better on their updates? IOS 6.1.3 just toasted…

Beware the iPhone IOS 6.1.3 update!

So why should a x.x.x single digit third tier update (IOS 6.1.2 to 6.1.3) require so much time and a complete wipe of my iPhone?  I got the notification of an update from Apple a few days ago, and I had some time this morning so I decided to say “yes.”  After all, the last update (fixing an issue that nearly burnt up Exchange servers around the world) went rather seamlessly, so why worry?

First attempt failed immediately, so I rebooted my phone and tried again … successfully … sort of .  The phone said it was updating. Then it said I needed to connect to iTunes.  (Good thing my iTunes computer was close by). 45 minutes later I’m waiting for my phone to restore its software and data after it performed a FULL WIPE.  And the data it says it’s restoring is 5 weeks old… What happened to my vaunted iPhone cloud backup?

So, finally my phone lights back up; I slide my finger to see what I’ve got.  90% of my apps have disappeared.  It’s really clean looking, though….

I check my messages.  They are there — up to 5 weeks ago. I see some more action on the phone “desktop” now; all the apps have reappeared, but are greyed out.  Oh, look!  Every single app I have adding is now being downloaded anew from the Apple store…

I check my iCloud backup in settings; it tells me it was backed up less than 12 hours ago, as I thought, so why did Apple choose a backup that was 5 weeks old?  I check my pictures — 5 weeks old. No apps I’ve loaded in the last 5 weeks appear.  My music library is there, though…

I would have been REALLY NICE  of Apple to give me the option of restoring from my iCloud backup within iTunes instead of using an old iTunes backup.  Or have told me (as I’d find out later) that I’d better have a WIFI connection available if I want to restore from my iCloud backup.

So I check out my Bible app.  All the books I’ve purchased and downloaded are gone. I have to re-download those through the app.

So now I’m searching for how to force an iCloud restore (if anyone’s trying to call me this morning, good luck).  iTunes agrees with my iPhone — and says I have an recent iCloud backup; but won’t let me select it, only the old iTunes backups.

So, it appears I have to delete all my data and content again, and hope that the iPhone asks me this time to restore from iCloud and doesn’t default to iTunes.  This time I put in my WIFI password so it can access the WIFI (pity those poor souls that saved their WIFI password on their devices and promptly forgot it).

So my iCloud backup restores, and my apps (which again have to all download all over again) seem to be current now.  I don’t even have that many apps, but the process takes at least 20 minutes.

Check my music library — all gone (except for my iPhone purchases). Looks like I’ll have to sync it to iTunes again, once all my apps download (which is taking well over the 20 minutes it did last time).

Oh, and my Bible Study app has lost all its books again… Some of those apparently are gone forever…

Syncing to iTunes now; another 15-20 minutes to restore…  Five weeks of photos gone, though…  I just went to a message that had one of those photos attached.  The thumbnail shows  up in the message but when I clicked the photo it just said, “Restoring…”  From where?  And how long?  iTunes show space on my phone for 430 photos; my phone says I have 260.  But the space is consumed, according to iTunes for 430 photos and videos.  Finally exited out of messages; didn’t look like restoring is going to work….

Last time I updated my physical device I lost all photos but didn’t regain the space.  Had to backup and restore to recover the space that time.

Nearly 3 hours later, I have 90% of my phone data back.It’s good I didn’t have anything I needed a phone for this morning.


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