The E'ville Experience
Instead of hibernating this winter (my usual, cold weather go-to), I formed a band.
It was interesting how it came about. I always knew I needed more backup because I LOVE being able to focus on singing and performing. The Ghost Guitarist has been doing such a great job of simple guitar backup, I hadn't really been pushing the issue. But going to open mics in the area made me realize how many incredible musicians are looking for more playing opportunities.
I met Chris, the drummer for The E'ville Experience, at the Black Diamond Cafe's open mic. He was actively looking for playing opportunities, and I wanted to get to know him better to see if he would be a good fit for my band. I found out he worked down the street from my home, at Best Coast Burritos (BCB), my favorite local taqueria. So, like a normal person, I got a job at BCB so I could get to know him better.
It turned out to be a really good day job, and, even better, Chris turned out to be a cool, smart guy who was also really amazing at drumming. Now, I'm the friendly, local burrito woman. And Chris is the drummer for The E'ville Experience.
When it became clear that we had an okay sound, but could fill it out a bit more, Chris brought in Elliott to try out on the bass. It wasn't the best rehearsal, honestly. The group didn't sync up as I'd hoped when we found a really talented bass player. And Elliott was, without a doubt, an incredibly talented bass player. After that experience, I walked away wondering if I was the problem.
The Ghost Guitarist assured me that the problem was him. He is a Ghost Guitarist for a reason. Everything was getting bigger, everyone was dedicated to the band, everyone wanted to play for an audience. Those were counter to the Ghost Guitarist's instincts with music. He's always been a "behind the scenes" person, and not only do I not begrudge him that, I am GRATEFUL for that. Because now I have a dedicated sound person. Not many small time bands can boast a sound person with such a great education, passion, and dedication to sound OR their personal band. The Ghost Guitarist becomes more of a ghost...
So now I needed a guitarist. This was really personal to me, as guitar is what most of my songs were originally written on. The guitar interpretations were the clearest to me in all of my tracks (except for vocals) and I knew it would be a tough bill to fit. Imagine my surprise when another open mic participant at Black Diamond Cafe turned out to be the perfect answer. Nick had band experience and practiced constantly. His sound reminded me of the 80's and 90's in all the best ways, while still being new and exciting. When he announced he was looking for more playing opportunities, I was like, "I got to know Chris better by getting a job at his restaurant...I can't just get another job every time I need a new band member..."
Luckily I didn't let a little thing like avoiding people in general stop me from reaching out to Nick. We brought Elliott back in and suddenly, everything seemed to work. The balance was good. The music we were playing had been elevated, AND it was well balanced because the Ghost Guitarist was adjusting our levels on the fly.
I'm excited as we approach our first show together at Cochina, which promises to be an amazing backyard music festival. If you want to see our work, head to my YouTube page. I post videos after every jam session. I love this band, I hope you do too.
Oh, we're called The E'ville Experience because we were formed in Emeryville (E'ville), California.