June is slipping away

Just Two More Weeks ’till Osteen

Well, I’ve got the full PA setup in the living room for formal practice. No more sitting on the couch to practice! It tucks pretty nicely away in the corner, so Carole doesn’t complain about it…much. ๐Ÿ™‚

I played around with a Boss ME-30 pedal, hooking it up into the FX Send/Return on the Behringer XENYX 802 mixer, trying to get some decent reverb in the mix. There are some minor issues with impedance and level mismatches with that signal chain, but they generally just narrow the range of the adjustability of the available controls. The result is pleasant and decent. It’s are real joy to have separate EQ for the microphone and for the guitar channel. I expect that people will be rather surprised at just how good this homemade PA sounds when I set it up July 2nd at the Osteen Diner gig.

Eustis Street Grill Invitational Open Mic

While the Eustis Street Grill ended their open mic program in December of 2004, Jeffrey Friberg (former owner of the Eustis Street Grill and member of the group MT Pawkets) still celebrates that seminal venue for the folk and acoustic music scene in Eustis and Lake County with an annual Invitational Open Mic to remember the place. This year it fell on Saturday, June 18th at the 3rd Saturday House Concert Series hosted at the Trout Lake Nature Center in Eustis. Carole and I had the pleasure of sharing the evening with a wonderful collection of warm, friendly, and talented folks there.

We had visited the Nature Center once before in January when our friends Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen played a 3rd Saturday House Concert there. I was able to joint the song circle jam after their performance with Bill Perras and others who brought their instruments. As a barely competent rookie guitar player, it was daunting when it came to be my turn to select a song and play it. I survived, however and everyone was quite supportive. Now, barely six months later, I was able to take the stage and survive three full songs to a complementary and receptive audience.

The other performers were far, far more accomplished than I, most having obviously played most of their lives. I confessed my anxiety prior to beginning, and explained the probably all of them had owned their car longer than I’d been playing a musical instrument (high probability of being true. I started in April of 2009.) which drew the desired laugh. Somehow I managed to put aside enough of my performance anxiety to operate the guitar successfully and really put some effort into my voice. “My Songbird” by Jesse Winchester, “Gulf Coast Highway” by Nanci Griffith, and “Chilly Winds” by John Stewart.

Afterwards, everyone was wonderfully complementary of my singing and of the opinion that if I could sing like that, people weren’t going to be terribly critical of my guitar playing. Honestly, that has really been about all my aspirations have been for playing guitar, just to sound okay and not draw attention away from my singing. The way my knuckles have taken to aching rather badly in the mornings, I doubt if virtuosity on the guitar was ever in the cards. I definitely should’ve started this adventures about thirty or forty years sooner than this…

Brett Cammack
South Daytona, FL

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