As with any year, 2012 had it's share of good & bad, ending with the terrible news of my next older sister, Mary, passing, along with local friend Greg Verdusco succumbing to cancer. This made it hard to be celebratory for the holidays, and Melanie's nasty cold leaving her bed-ridden for days only added to us wishing for 2012 to come to a close!
But, on the other hand, Melanie finished her Masters Degree with Distinction and I became a Certified Bookkeeper, so we both accomplished goals for personal improvement (hers taking much longer and being far more intense than mine, of course!)
The Swamp Gospel played with lots of cool bands such as the Psyatics, Shandaleers, Tinglerz, Lucky Cheats, Bogtrotters Union, Beau and the Outfit, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, the Dirt Daubers, Thee Pigasus, and our one year anniversary show with Thee Swank Bastards. We also played the wedding reception for congregation members Aaron Siemsen (first to receive a certificate of salvation from the SG!) and Erin Stellman - a fine party for a great couple!
We also recorded 4 songs in an actual recording studio - one of the last projects that was done at Chrome Werewolf (thanks Brian!). CDs of these demos available by request or at our shows. Melanie designed other fine merch for the band, as well, so see us to see what we have up our sleeves next!
Also on a musical note, I joined Atomic Cossack, led by ex-Steppes John Fallon along with his son Cromm Fallon (Acton Town/Astairs) and Chris Glasser (Ronald Rayguns) to create a psych/pop/mod Vegas band!
I added another guitar to my arsenal - a new Epiphone Wilshire that I hope to use live soon.
Melanie and I started making the rounds of more classic Vegas steak houses such as Pamplemousse, Bob Taylor’s Ranch House, Binion’s Steak House, and the Golden Steer and hope to hit more in 2013.
Fave records of the year (not necessarily released this year and in no particular order) - Shillaly Brothers - Too Drunk To Fight, Sick Rose - No Need For Speed, Johnny Winter - Progressive Blues Experiment, Betty Davis' debut, The Jackets - Way Out, The Love Me Nots - Detroit, Paul Butterfield Blues Band's debut, The Shits - Dingleberry Fields Forever, Yeller Bellies - Here to Suffer and Boys Will Be Boys, Lucky Cheats - Sugar in the Tank, Charlie Musselwhite - Stand Back!, Little Walter - The Blues World of Little Walter, and the Black Widows - Revenge of the Black Widows.
Fave Books of the year (ditto) - Alice Bag - Violence Girl, Raisin’ Cane - Johnny Winter, and Can’t Be Satisfied - the Life and Times of Muddy Waters by Robert Gordon (seems like there should be more - might have to look into that some more).
Asst RIPs - Davy Jones (Monkees), Michael Davis (MC5), Dick Clark, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Jon Lord (Deep Purple/Artwoods), Ray Collins and Jim Sherwood of the Mothers of Invention, Lee Dorman (Iron Butterfly/Captain Beyond), Ravi Shankar, Ed Cassidy (Spirit) and too many others.
Some fave shows - Darkness/Foxy Shazam - HOB Feb 17, Avengers - LV Country Saloon May 27, Foxy Shazam - Aruba June 25, Bloody Villains/Psyatics/Cold Blue Rebels - Cheyenne Saloon July 21, The Heavy at the Cosmopolitan Book and Stage June 30, Tinglerz - Double Down Nov 15, Lucky Cheats - Saddles’n’Spurs Nov 4 - again, probably more that I'm forgetting about and I'm not counting SG gigs!
Oh yeah - Obama won! Thank the fates!
Hoping for less negativity in 2013 and lots more fun and even more music!