Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hardly Strcitly Personal Fest, Berkeley Arts Festival Building, Berkeley, CA; 1/17/15

It seems as though the first 2015 Hardly Strictly Personal festival was a success! Money for charity was raised, tons of tones were sounded (good Lord, how many great drummers were in the house...Holy Cowbells!), and a pretty pervasive mood of good cheer was shared for the most part.
As mentioned in the preview, I played with Cartoon Justice and Cloud Shepherd.
The former's set featured a slow, relatively quiet version of Steal Softly Through Snow. This iteration of the group was kind of ad hoc, with some members never having played together. Still, I felt that it hung together pretty nicely, especially during Bob Marsh's great recitation of the lyrics. I was trying to evoke the feeling of thick snow sticking to boots.....
Below: Cartoon Justice sets up to snow shoe

Above: Cartoon Justice stealing softly....(photo courtesy of Russell Ward, thanks Russell!)
Below: Cartoon Justice with Crystal Pasucci, Gretchen Jude, and Bob Marsh

Our second tune was a bit of a rambler, perhaps not quite as coherent, but, hey, there will be a next time.

In between Cartoon Justice and  Cloud Shepherd, I listened to scads of great music, not the least of which was a powerful set from Jim Ryan's Forward Energy. Jim "passed the scepter" to Bob Marsh, another act of moving on, as his days in the Bay are getting less and less. He'll be missed around here by so many!
Below: Jim Ryan hands it off to Bob Marsh

As for Cloud Shepherd's set, I must say that I was very pleased with it. We did one tune, an eighteen minute version of Electricity, which we'd rehearsed the hell out of. I'm pretty sure that we got most of the changes correct. It was a blast to have Brian Strang and Garrett Caples guesting on guitar and vocals, respectively. Apparently Cloud Shepherd was too loud for the Berkeley Arts Festival Building (a first), but I felt that the energy was entirely in keeping with not only the mood of the evening, but also the moods of the dancing freaks that were gracious enough to shake their butts while we did our thing.
Below: Cloud Shepherd rockin' out; who'd have ever thought? (photos by Melissa, thanks!)

Above: dancing freaky women, one of them named Rachel (photo by Melissa, thanks!)

In closing, I'd state that I was really pleased to have been in two bands that both played versions of Captain Beefheart tunes. And that I need to practice a lot more. Seriously good times! Abba Zabba!

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