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September 28, 2006

Show Pix

Kaki played first - 4 tunes - 3 from her new album and 1 from her last album - all with her band. They did a scaled back - low volume version of the tunes in our little space.

Then I played - 4 tunes solo. The reason I went second?

We have 2 kinds of shows in our space. House Shows - company staff only - and Listener Shows - where we recruit fans of the artist on the radio to fill the audience.

This show was a house show. Since no one at the company has seen me play - there was pretty good interest to see me. The room was fuller by the time I went on (home turf advantage I guess)

It worked out well.

Performance wise - I played fairly well, but I still have the issue of rushing thru my tunes live. No matter how slowly and deliberately I practice - when I go live - I rush. I need strategies to deal with this.

There's video - and it was recorded - but there were some audio issues - so I'll have to spend some time with the tape to hear how it went. I'd like to get at least 1 video out of this performance to post up here.

After the show Kaki gave me props and immediately wanted to play my bass - the MTD. She messed around on it for a few minutes - playing it both lefty and righty - she complimented it's sound. We chatted about instruments (she has a new 7 string nylon string fanned fret she's pretty psyched about) about music - her new direction with her new album - other artists.

I asked her about changing directions with her latest release - pretty much not doing any of the kind of playing and music that she made a name doing. Kaki has a fairly long view of her musical career - she knows she's young and has plenty of years ahead to put out more guitar records. But she won't put them out unless it feels right and she can be excited and challenged by it.

I remarked that some of my favorite artists are those who aren't afraid to re-invent themselves - to take chances and challenge their audience. She agreed and added "and challenge yourself". Kaki is clearly doing what Kaki wants to do - I have the utmost respect for that. We also talked about a few really talented artists who seem to keep releasing the same thing over and over. It's something Kaki clearly wanted to avoid by taking on new musical directions. Her latest probably won't be my favorite Kaki music - but I respect what she's doing with her career and hope I get to the point in my music where I have confront moving away from the things I've "become famous for". Ha!

Next up on the appearance calender- Bass Extremes Weekend in Myrtle Beach!

September 18, 2006

Politics of Headlining

As a relative newbie on the live show scene I pretty much defer to the more established artists in terms of what the performance order should be. The more established you are usually means you "headline" or "finish" or "play last". This makes sense when the artist clearly has a draw and brings in lots of people. it gets muddier when there's a group of emerging artists. In those cases I tend to go with programming a show so it has a certain continuity - a flow - a cadence. But I digress.

I've been put in the odd position of choosing to either play before or after a very well established artist.

Guitarist Kaki King.

How does something like this happen? It's a long story - but the short of it is this.

My boss, Dave Benson (KFOG radio program director) came to my solo show in May with Michael Manring, Jean Baudin and Dave Grossman. After the show he asked me if I would do a show in our radio station's performance space for the staff - he though the staff would get into it. I engineer all the performances that happen in the space so I thought it would be a total trip to actually play there myself.

So a few weeks go by without another word about it - and then - in a casual conversation about "what did you do this weekend" this whole thing came into being.

I had told Benson about going to see guitarist Preston Reed perform. He didn't know who Preston Reed was so I explained how he and MIchael Hedges started playing around in the same sandbox many years ago and that one of Preston's proteges was none other than Kaki King. Benson informed me that Kaki had a new CD coming out - and when I told Benson that I really enjoy Kaki's music he said in a totally off the cuff way - let's have her come in - and you can play too! Holy Shit.

Since it's technically our space and our private concert I can choose to play before Kaki - or after.

Benson was the one who suggested I play after Kaki because my material is more up-tempo. His vibe is about show continuity - about having the type of music be the guide as to how a show should unfold - rather than who is the biggest name. In general I tend to agree - and since it's totally up to me - I have to think about it.

Pretty wild heh?

September 10, 2006

Solo Shows

Live Jeff Schmidt Solo Bass goodness over the next few months -

09/27/2006 02:00 PM - KFOG Playspace w/ Kaki King
San Francisco, CA

Private solo bass performance at the KFOG Playspace - also performing guitarist Kaki King

10/13-14/2006 08:00 PM - Bass Extremes Wknd
Myrtle Beach, SC

Solo Bass Competition Masterclass/Workshop/Concert weekend with Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Billy Sheean, John Patitucci & Greg Bissonette.
Details at join us!

10/26/2006 07:00 PM - Cafe Trieste-Beyond Bass
2500 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

Solo Bass performance with Bassist Edo Castro

12/07/2006 07:30 PM - Larkspur Theater-Solo Bass Night 2
500 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939 - 10.00

Solo Bass awesomness with Jean Baudin, Edo Castro, Dave Grossman and Me.

details at

September 02, 2006


Vid Blog Sept 2 2006