My first solo gig was both frightening and exhilerating at the same time. By the time I decided to work up a solo repertoire, I considered myself a seasoned professional who had been playing and singing for over 15 years but I had no idea what a fantastic new journey I was stepping into.
For the first time in my career, I had full control - control of the song selection, the gig schedule, relationship with venues, promotion, the flow of the sets, the volume... wow! To be sure, it was frightening to stand in front of an audience without the security of my bandmates, but increasingly, as I tapped into my own "voice" as an entertainer and learned how to work a crowd, it became pure joy.
I quickly reached a point where I wanted to go beyond being an acoustic guitar player that could sing and, over the next couple of years, transitioned into using an electric guitar with MIDI sequenced background tracs, a beefy sound system, and automated lights. Recording the background tracs on a Roland MC500-MKII with a tiny Casio keyboard as the controller became a labor of love and a tribute to the original artist/producer. I went to great pains to capture the feel of a song I was covering - sometimes I would spend a whole day on just the drum track alone.
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|Stuart Talks JT History|