Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Saints and Sinners and the Roost

I remember going to the first practice with Saints and Sinners.  Gary Mauck may have already been in the group but I don't recall.  Jeff Gover and Matt German were there though.  It was an early summer evening as I recall (probably incorrectly).  They practiced in Skaggsville at Jeff's house in an old chicken coop.  Great place to practice.  We jammed out a few songs that we collectively knew to try to get a feel for things.  I remember Jeff used to love to play Elvis Presley's "Little Sister Don't You".  We played a bunch of blues and Southern Rock.  Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Creedence, Bad Co, Foghat... 

After we hit it off pretty well and practiced a few times we were talking about getting a singer.  None of us were really lead singers so we talked about putting an ad in the paper for one.  In the mean time we decided that we would all take turns on lead until the right guy came along.  I never considered myself a singer.  As it turned out we never found a singer and I ended up singing most of the songs.  Looking back I'm glad I did because I've always loved singing in in bands.  If a singer would have come along I might not have ever stepped up to the mic.

I recall we worked pretty had on the songs that we played.  I've always been a bit too much of a perfectionist but the guys were just as interested in putting on a good show so we put in the time to make it sound right.

Jeff was a pretty social guy so I think he found most of the gigs.  We played some parties and played the coveted Main Street Festival.  I remember playing at a Battle of the Bands... it might have been in a roller skating rink or a VFW hall or something.  I got my picture in the paper with the band from that gig.  I wore a white felt hat as my stage gear.... I thought it made me look cool.

A couple of memorable gigs.  We got an "exposure" gig playing at the grand opening of the Route 95/MD 216 rest area.  Yep, we set up next to the men's room on a bright day and jammed out songs while the travelers relieved themselves.  Ah the things you do to make it big.  The other story I remember was playing a Halloween party.  I dressed like Indiana Jones and my date... well she simply looked amazing.  Too good for words.  What made the gig memorable though was that we played a set, took a break, and when we went to play the next set we couldn't find Matt.  He snuck off to make out with his date in the back of his truck.  When we told him it was time to play he told us all to get lost.  We went back to play much later than we had planned.  No one seemed to care.  One thing I was floored with was that his date was a very high-class girl named Cory Beaulet (or something close).  You would have never put her and Matt together.  Of course you would have never put me and my date together either.

There are too many stories that I know I've forgotten but I do know that we had fun, played a lot of music, learned how to be in a band, drank beer, and had the time of our lives.  A couple of important things happened during this band.  I met my wife and I started to write songs.  I still remember one of the songs.  A simple blues song that I didn't want to sing.  Matt sang it and he did a great job with it.  I liked the song but didn't feel that my voice was right for it.  Blue Skies...

Yesterday my skies were blue, today my skies are gray, yeah.
Yesterday my skies were blue, today my skies are gray, yeah.
Don't know why you had to go and take my blue skies away.

Good stuff.

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