It has been quite a while since my last post. I found myself at a loss after the 2016 Presidential Election and my word-hoard was reduced to angry diatribes. It was all I could think about whenever I sat down to write, and I didn’t want that to be my focus, so I stopped writing. Now it is over a year later and things are falling apart in my country. I’m still angry about it, but I think I am at the point where I can focus on other things. It’s time to start writing again after close to a year away from my practice.
Musically things have been moving along. I’m playing bass in a blues-rock band that does some original material as well as other material. We have a killer drummer who I love to lock into the pocket with and both the vocalist and guitarist are very solid, so it is rewarding. We’ve got some gigs lined up which I’m looking forward to as well. I’m playing guitar with an original power-pop/Americana band, which is a blast, and also in a bluesy acoustic trio that I break out my Godin Multiac nylon for. I am also contemplating starting my own group, something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, but I’ll come back to that in a different post.
The music scene here remains highly challenging, particularly since I’m trying to make money performing. Chicago has an incredible number of venues, and the people in the suburbs like their live music as well. If you’re willing to play for free, gigs are relatively easy. The bar scene has really moved away from the whole built in crowd situation that used to be prevalent, and Chicago has an excessive number of musicians who are willing to not make any money. The situation in the burbs is somewhat more lucrative, but mostly for bands that are playing classic rock.
The day gig situation has been a bit weird as well. I usually make some additional cash teaching college English as an adjunct at the local community colleges, and four-year colleges. The political clime has resulted in loss of funding for many students and schools, both at the state and federal funding levels. This has led to a drop in enrollment at most schools, thus reducing the number of classes being offered and fewer adjunct teaching opportunities. I’ve had my assigned classes cancelled and/or taken by full timers who lost their assigned classes due to lack of enrollment. While the pay as an adjunct basically sucks, it’s still teaching and a paycheck of sorts. I’ve got three courses lined up for this coming fall, but I can’t count on them until I’ve walked through the door of the classrooms on the first day.
Basically, life has continued to roll forward over the past year’s break from the old blog-spot. My wife is still the love of my life, my daughter starts high school this summer and my dog still loves to go for walks wherever I’m willing to take him (as long as there aren’t any fireworks or big noisy trucks. The jury is still out when it comes to large cows.) Here’s to more posts to come this summer!