So, the CD Release Party is history. I can’t believe it’s already over, but it was such a fun night. It was such a treat to play with such talented musicians. And the audience was very attentive and very fun. I loved hearing you clap and cheer after the songs, I loved hearing you laugh (particularly during “Big Man On Campus”), and I LOVED watching you dance during “Sweat.” I have to give special props to Candace, who came up to the front to dance! Loved it! So thank you for being such a great audience and cheering me on the whole way…even though I forgot part of the words to “Stupid Stuff Like That.” I HATE forgetting words to songs, particularly songs that I wrote (!), but that’s all part of being human, right?
There were a few people I forgot to thank from the stage and I want to make sure to recognize them now.
First, the photographer who took the amazing images used in the SWEAT artwork, Jay Rickard, came down from Indianapolis for the show. As background, I found Jay online a few years ago. He’s from the general area where all my dad’s family is from – plus he looks a LOT like my grandfather, so I wrote him a few years ago to ask him if we were related. We haven’t done the family search yet, but we are certain we’re distant cousins. We’ve become friends over the years and he told me he wanted to do the photoshoot for the new CD. Anyway, Jay stayed with us during the weekend and it was great catching up with him. Words can not express how grateful I am to him for his love and support, and it was a horrible oversight not to publicly recognize him from the stage. When I saw him at home after the show, my jaw dropped when I realized my mistake and I immedialely apologized. So Jay, I am deeply sorry. I’ll share more about Jay, as well as outtakes from the Sweat photoshoot, very soon.
I also had several other folks from out of town – my cousin Karen came from Augusta, Dave came up from Ft. Lauderdale, and Ricky came all the way from Minnesota. Thank you for making the trip, for spending time with us at the house, and for making my CD Release extra special.
Danita’s mom also made the SWEAT pins that we gave away that night. That was an unexpected surprise, so I just want to send out a big shout out to them.
Finally, I have two friends who I shared my lyrics with during the writing phase and offered a lot of encouragement - and both of them were there that night. Janice and I have been friends for 13 years and she has been a constant supporter and encourager. Cathy, used to work in the office next to me before she became a mommy. I miss seeing her every day a lot, but am so happy for her. They were both sounding boards as I was in the writing process.
To wrap up this post, I thought I’d recap the setlist and list the amazing musicians who supported me that night. Oh, and be sure to check out the Pics page. There are a LOT of pictures from the CD Release party, with more on the way.
Wild Blue Beautiful
Anything Of Nothing
Just Like New
When The Hot Cools Down
Stupid Stuff Like That
This Time Last Year
Forgot To Forget
Big Man On Campus
As If To Say
Who I Am
Finally, here are the talented musicans I shared the stage with:
Dean Quinter – Drums
Michael Steele – Bass Guitar
Lee Davis – Keyboards
Peter Vogl – Electric Guitar
Dionne Osborne – Vocals
Carmen Ford – Vocals (It was Carmen’s first time EVER singing backup and she did a great job. Happy belated, Carmen!)
I’m in the midst of vocal rehearsals. We also had the first full band rehearsal last night. I’m going to be sharing the stage with a stellar group of players. I am SO excited for everyone to hear the new songs. But right now, it’s time for another Talk To Me Tuesday.
Adapt your show to the setting. If youre in a bar, do more up-tempo and sing-along cover songs.
No matter how much noise, there will always be folks in the crowd who will totally listen and get what you’re doing. It is my responsibility to communicate in spite of the setting.
It is a GREAT feeling to capture people’s attention and bring the noise to a whisper by doing a really quiet song during the right part of a set.
As we get closer to the CD Release, I thought I’d share with you a little bit of random information about a few songs:
When The Hot Cools Down - I wrote this song in Chennai, India. I had been in a bit of a songwriting dry spell and was determined to end it while there. I woke up early one morning and wrote the first draft of the lyrics. I shared it with my friend Sridevi later that day. By the way, it was HOT in Chennai.
Sweat - The first verse contains the line, “Throw up your hands and let yourself scream / Let’s get on the dance floor and blow off some steam.” Inspiration for that line came from a rainy Saturday night in Chattanooga, TN. Eric and I drove up for a friend’s birthday party. We checked into our hotel, met up with our friends, and then went to the party, which was booked as a private function at a downtown bar. The DJ played a lot of older songs and one side of the bar became an impromptu dance floor. Eric does NOT dance. As a joke, I often ask him, “How would you dance to this in the club?” to almost any song. But after a few/several drinks, we hit the dance floor and danced and sang until we were soaked. In all of the years we have been together, that moment is one of my favorite memories because of its simplicity and spontaneity. As a side note, our trip ended rather abruptly. We had asked a neighbor to watch the dogs for us. But Eric woke up in the middle of the night because he realized the neighbor had the wrong key and wouldn’t be able to get into the condo. So we got up, got dressed, checked out and drove back home, thereby cancelling our plans to sightsee the next day. We haven’t been back.
Crawling - I wrote this song several years ago and only performed it once or twice. I really liked it but felt that it wasn’t quite “there,” so I put it to the side. But when it came time for final song selection for SWEAT, I had such a strong feeling about this song - I just couldn’t let it go. After a bit of editing/arranging, I knew it would work. The finished song absolutely blows me away - it has also been a favorite of the folks who worked on or have heard the CD.
Stay tuned for more song details.
Take a look at the attached picture. What is its significance?
CD Release Party
Just a reminder - the CD Release party is at Red Light Cafe on Saturday, October 10, 2009. Doors will open around 7:15 p.m. Admission is $8 per person at the door, $7 if you buy them from my website. I am asking/encouraging everyone to buy their tickets ahead of time because I expect we will pack Red Light.
SWEAT is available for preorder for $12. If you preorder a copy, you can pick it up at the CD Release party, or it will be shipped to you free of charge.
VERY IMPORTANT: To get free shipping, enter PARTY into the discount coupon field at checkout. Shipping charges will automatically be deducted. The Store page can be found at www.mikerickard.com by clicking on Store. Or you can access it directly at www.store.mikerickard.com.
THANK YOU to everyone who has bought tickets to the CD Release party and/or pre-ordered SWEAT. I really appreciate it.
I’m holding a free contest and you have the opportunity to win an autographed CD before it’s released. To enter, all you need to do is send me a question (click on the Win Free Stuff tab on www.mikerickard.com). The best question each week will be entered into a drawing for a free autographed CD and is included in the newsletter. The remaining questions are posted on my website. This week, I only received 4 questions. The winning question was submitted by Candace in Atlanta, GA. She is entered into the drawing.
Q. When we first met you had a friend. A friend that I did not like and I told you he was no good for you and you should get rid of him! What is his name? By the way where is he?… lets make this more interesting… where did you meet him? (C.B., Atlanta)
A. Okay, Candace, you totally stumped me, (I had to call her on the phone to ask for more info because I had NO CLUE who she was talking about), so you have this week’s winning question. And here is your update.
My friend’s name is Templeton. Templeton and I met in 1996 in Denver. Templeton is a big rubber rat (with a squeaker) that I found on a Denver sidewalk. I was there for a computer software conference at the same time the Colorado Avalanche competed against the Florida Panthers for the 1996 Stanley Cup. Apparently the Miami arena had a reputation for having rats (at least that’s what I remember hearing), so the Colorado fans started throwing rubber rats on the ice. When Colorado won, Denver became a big street party scene. The next morning while walking to the conference, I found Templeton on the sidewalk and we’ve been friends ever since.
Through the years, Templeton had a habit of coming out of his normal resting spot to sit in the chairs or under the desks of various co-workers and employees. He meant no harm and was often surprised by the shocked, and often loud, reactions from the folks he went to visit.
Templeton is well, but alas, in a resting place. Should I bring him to my CD release party? I’m sure he’d like to see you again.
QUESTION FOR ALL OF YOU - where did Templeton get his name?
Here are the remaining questions, in no particular order:
Q. I love the [CD Cover] jacket, smooth, clean, your name standing out over the title, a very good shot of you looking all firm and fit, very smart package. Now the question, Was this all your idea and doing or did you have some professional help putting it together? I know you went for a photo shoot right after I saw you in June. Did they formulate this with you or did you have the idea and title in your head already. (D.P., Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
A. The CD cover has two main elements: the photo and the artwork, which were done by two different people. Here’s how they came together.
Photo. Long before I started recording, I was 99% sure that the title of the CD would be SWEAT. I also knew who the photographer would be. For months, I kept a file of pictures that I liked. I sent them to him, along with an explanation of what I liked about each picture. I then asked him, “What does this say to you? Do you see any themes?” We discussed several theme, clothing, and location options - and indeed, we shot many photos in the studio and several other locations. As far as the image selected for the cover, we were near the end of the shoot and I held out my arms and said, “Take my picture like this.” He did and I asked if it looked stupid. He said it actually looked pretty cool. We played around with the pose a bit and at the end, he told me to put my head down and lift my eyes to the camera. A little while later while reviewing some of the photos he said, “Oh my gosh.” I asked him why, and he said, “This photo.” My first reaction was, “Wow.” The other people who saw it also had a pretty immediate reaction, so it became a pretty easy choice for the cover. If you notice, I haven’t said who the photographer is or provided any details about the photo shoot. I’m saving those details for an upcoming “Talk To Me Tuesday.”
Artwork. I narrowed down the potential photos before we began the artwork. I worked with the art director from Stirred Not Shaken, an extremely talented guy named Doug Chatham. I wanted to approach the artwork for SWEAT differently than Stirred by using bold logos and fonts, nothing too swirly or “artistic.” In addition, I wanted the artwork to reflect energy and action and not look too reflective or “artsy.” Other than the cover photo, I gave him creative control on which pictures to use for the back cover and in the CD booklet (I selected more photos than would fit in the artwork). Doug chose the location of the SWEAT logo and also tilted the image, which really gave the cover a punch. The idea to “wet” the SWEAT logo and put my name on top of it was a collaborative decision over lunch one day. I can’t wait for you to see the rest of the artwork. Doug has the soul and sensitivity of a true artist, plus he’s one of the nicest guys I know.
Q. Did you invite Eric Himan to your CD release? Is he coming? (J.H., Farmersville, CA)
A. No. While our paths have crossed several times, I would never expect him to come to my CD release. Plus, Eric travels a LOT – I think he does about 150 shows a year. Recently, Eric turned his solo act into a band, Eric & the Adams and is currently touring the west coast. You can find out more information at www.erichiman.com. For those of you who may not know the context of the question, I loved Eric?s most recent CD, Resonate, which is how I discovered his - and now our - producer, Mike Ofca.
Q. Which song on your new CD does your boyfriend like best? (J.H. , Farmersville, CA)
A. At this point, I would probably say, “Only Love” - and probably not for the reason you might think.
Keep the questions coming - man, I had to work HARD this week. Check the blog for the rest of the questions.
Have a good week, and I?ll talk to you next Tuesday!
provided by flash-gear.com
Keep reading for details about the CD Release party and SWEAT pre-orders.
I am really enjoying the Talk To Me Tuesdays! I hope you are, too.
More CD Details
Last week, I revealed the new CD title, SWEAT. Now I?m going to reveal the name of each track:
Last week, I gave a lot of fun facts about the new CD. This week, I?m going to reveal the CD title. It is called:
What do you think it means? What do you think about it? Do you like it? Let me know!
Let’s Talk – Me First!
Last week, I told you a new CD is on the way, and introduced “Talk To Me Tuesdays.” For the 1st official “Talk To Me Tuesday,” I thought I?d share some fun facts about the new CD.