It was in January when I received an invite to play a set from the folks at the Live Oak Music Festival. I was honored and immediately said yes. I have been going to Live Oak for years and I am thrilled to be a part of it this year as a musician rather than as a spectator. That January invite gave me 6 months to prepare, and I think I will need every bit of those 6 months. See, I have been playing solo acoustic and I really wanted to bring a fuller sound to my set, so I quickly began trying to put a group together. And i am still trying. What I have found is that putting a band together is a difficult process.
Originally, I managed to line up a drummer and bassist, both of whom were very good. But after one practice they gave me the heave-ho, so it was back to square one. Then I heard from my cellist friend Bob Liepman, who offered to accompany me. We have had a few practices and it is going well. Bob is a fantastic cellist and that instrument works really well on a lot of my songs.
My Live Oak set is only 45 minutes long. I have played 3 hour sets before and have enough originals to play 5 hours if I had to. But for some reason I am having a hell of a time picking the right songs for a good set. I am also trying to figure out what I want in a live band post Live Oak. Bob is going to work great for Live Oak, but I still would like to put together a somewhat traditional rock set-up with drums, bass, and lead guitar. It must be the classic rock midwesterner in me.