Quite an experience using just one mic on stage….and it worked!

ANOTHER lovely day – after breakfast outside I spend some time in the office doing some last-minute promo for tonight’s show at the CCA with Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton.

I do a quick livestream to both my Facebook page and personal profile. Still heaps to do – I not only need to rehearse for tonight’s show (I’m planning on playing the new banjo song for the first time live), I also need to set up a patch for my wee Collings guitar on the AX-8.

We take a quick walk along to see Betty and Joe so I can sort their Sky Sports for tonight’s rugby match – think that’s the last thing to be ‘connected’ to their new wireless router.

It;s a flying visit as we’re short of time. When we get back I hit the studio and start working on a AX-8 patch for the Collings acoustic. When I plus in, though, there’s a horrible high frequency hum. Don;t think the new wireless system wants to play with the piezo  pickup in the Collings. Shit. I;m running out of time and need to rehearse…but I can’t use a noisy connection on tonight’s show. I mess about with a noise gate and add some filters and parametric EQ but I’m still not happy. And I need to pack the car and get on our way.

To compound matters, we have to turn back ‘cos Margaret’s left her phone in the house then, when we hit Drymen there’s an almighty traffic jam thanks to Drymen Show. Stress.

Along the way I wonder if it might be an idea to use an instrument mic for the guitars and banjo. That’d get round the buzz/hum problem. We’d talked about it a few days ago as tonight’s show is more of an acoustic/folky thing than dirty blues but we discounted it on the grounds that it might compromise my performance too much – having to stay in one place etc. Plus, I’ve never performed that way.

We’re only a few minutes late for load in. Gig rep Gerry and soundman John help with the load in and Jerron meets us inside. By co-incidence, luck or something else, Jerron is using just a single condenser mic on stage to capture everything…and without knowing my guitar problem suggests I might like to use it too. This sounds like a good idea!

We chat a while then I set up while Margaret finds somewhere to park. She gets back just as I’m about to soundcheck and try out this ‘single mic’ idea. We’re blown away! The vintage-looking ‘Myrtle’ mic – from Ear Trumpet labs – picks up everything great and while I can’t go wandering of for running around the stage, I’m afforded a little movement thanks to its wide pickup pattern.

After soundcheck we have a some grub and a drink then back to the CCA’s theatre to set up merch in time for doors opening, Gerry puts some beers and stuff in the dressing room and I get ready for showtime. 

I have a great gig…there’s a good, enthusiastic crowd in – and a mostly new audience for me. I’d only got the call to play the show a few days ago and a ticket price of nearly £20 would be a bit too much to expect any of my audience to pay to see me for just 30 minutes unless they were maybe on the swither about going to see Jerron. 

As it turns out they would’ve seen a very unique show from yours truly, including the live debut fo the new Whisky Trail song.

Jerron – as well as being and enthusiastic and friendly guy – is a great player. Banjo, guitar, fiddle, blues harp and keyboards. We thoroughly enjoy his set.

We chat a while after the show then load out and hit the road home. Pretty damn good night 🙂

Great show from Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton

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