As I said at the beginning of the Sunday night show, it's been a long and interesting year for the Pigs -- in the fall we played for the joint Southern/MAC chapter meeting and had a pretty great time. In late March we all went to Memphis for the spectacular Brown Beverage Sessions, and then in early May we played in Durham for the 4th EBLIP conference. That's a lot of playing time for us! By the time we left Memphis, we realized that we actually had decent arrangements for more songs than we could get through in a couple of hours -- and we also realized that we had a pretty cool band within a band -- the power trio that we're referring to as the Ducleus (or Duculus if you're from Texas).
And that was all good & wonderful and we're grateful for the opportunities, but it was oh so good to be back doing our Sunday night rehearsal at the MLA meeting. In Durham, the long soundcheck sapped a lot of my energy, and the relative lack of responsiveness on the part of the crowd (we did have a good core of dancers, but the room was too big and too formal for the number of people there) made the gig a lot of work. I think we played well, and I did get many positive comments the next day, but it wasn't the kind of joyous fun that we get when we play to the MLA crowd.
And "crowd" it certainly was. As is typical, when we started out about 8:15 there was only a scattering of people in the room, but it started filling up pretty quickly, and by 9:00 they were starting to stack up outside the door. And once the dancing started, it never stopped.
The miraculous thing about the Pigs is the comfort level we have with each other -- we all bring something very different to the mix, and, as Duke was pointing out in Memphis, it has evolved from a singer/songwriter act with me out front and the others backing me up to a real band, with Russell, TomCat and now TG all taking a larger share of the vocals.
We've got plenty of room to grow -- in particular I want to hear more dueling guitar leads from Russell and BtheA. And there are so many more songs we want to learn! What an amazing ride it's been.
Oh, and one more thing worth noting. Russell's wife Nicole was there -- and maybe my favorite part of the whole thing was watching her watching him sing -- the woman absolutely glowed!! And no matter what all the other reasons are, playing guitar while a beautiful woman glows at you is surely part of the essence of rock and roll.