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Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7092
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 8:51 am:   Edit Post

Yesterday, right around noon, I got a call from a friend of mine that plays with Phuncle Sam, the band that our fellow Alembic club member James Collins (Staemius) plays in. Their bass player was sick, and they needed someone for the gig that night. So after making some changes to my rig to get it in gigging shape, I spent the rest of the day learning Dead and Garcia tunes, showing up at 7:30 for setup with my cheat sheet of chord patterns.

Phuncle Sam plays Grateful Dead night every Wednesday here in Asheville at the Garage, a really cool space with a nice stage. The band is a great bunch of guys, laid back and into the music.

And the music was great. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with these guys! Several extended jams that were superb. They gave me lots of space to do my thing; and the whole thing flowed really well.

James had the Hyak, which sounded really nice! And while I was often focused on trying to remember the chords, and having to do on the fly transposing for a couple songs that were in different keys than I had learned earlier in the day, I did notice that James was playing a lot of the melodic lines. When I first saw these guys a few years ago, James was mostly playing rhythm while the other guitar player covered most of the lead work; but James was doing a lot of really nice stuff last night!

So two guitars, keys, drums, and me sittin' in on bass. Phuncle Sam is a tight group with great dynamics, and great improvisational ensemble playing.

I absolutely loved playing with them last night! The last three songs were the most fun for me, even though my fingers were really tired at that point. Eyes of the World and China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider are songs that I already knew well; so I didn't have to concentrate on remembering chords and could really get into the flow. And both of the songs were wonderful. Then we ended with a jam that was amazing!

Thank you Phuncle Sam! It was a wonderful evening!
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 483
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 9:14 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the review Dave. I'm sorry that I could not make it last night. Let us know when you do that again. Glad that you enjoyed the gig.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1936
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2008 - 4:35 am:   Edit Post

I'm really jealous Dave. That sort of thing just doesn't seem to happen here in Scotland. Which Bass did you use? Karma?

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7094
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2008 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post

Hee hee! Yes, I played the new bass; so on top of not knowing the songs and getting lost from time to time, I was also missing strings and losing where I was on the fretboard. But I absolutely loved playing the new bass!!!
Username: staemius

Post Number: 82
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2008 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Dave, that's flattering. Had a blast playing with you - your playing is top notch and that bass is downright enchanting. We were all excited to play with you and your style and tone energized us all. Thank you so much for sitting in on such short notice - let's do it again soon!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7099
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2008 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post

I was a bit energized too! Thanks again for inviting me to play!

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