Sunday, September 23, 2012

Guest blogger John Banrock on the songwriting process.

The Songwriting Process

I love and am fascinated by the songwriting process.   I love discussing it with other songwriters and am always curious to find out about new and different approaches utilized in crafting a song.  Do other songwriters write the music first, the lyrics first, a combination of the two or some other method?  There's always something to be learned.

Many songwriters, like me, don't limit themselves to just one way of writing.  For me, each song ultimately reveals itself in it's own way.  Sometimes I'll sit down to write lyrics with the intention of putting music afterwards.  Other times I'll sit down with my guitar and a pen and sort of write music and lyrics at the same time, coming up with a verse of lyrics first and then writing some music before ultimately going back to write additional verses, choruses, etc. And sometimes I'll just be playing my guitar and will stumble upon the beginnings of a nice chord progression or riff.  If I think it's worthy of becoming a song I'll try to work out all the music and then set down to write lyrics.  Some songs are intentionally written and some are spontaneously born. There always has to be a starting point, though, and each time can be an entirely unique experience.

Another really interesting, and possibly less orthodox, way to write is total improvisation.  Sometimes I just like to throw on the recorder and see what comes out.  I might work out a few chords beforehand then improv all the lyrics, or I might just improv the whole thing (music and words).  It's great because I'm really capturing a particular feeling, a moment in time. Ultimately, of course, I'll have to listen to the recording and write out all the lyrics and music to see if revisions are required (which typically they are).  It's a great way to write though because it's such a departure from the more 'standard' ways and is more akin to stream of consciousness writing.  (I actually love stream of consciousness writing, though generally when I write stream of consciousness the words are not intended for songs, but rather to be presented on their own, if at all). The benefit is that you are capturing a feeling, but the downside is (for me anyway) that you may not be able to spew out the perfect words in that spur of the moment environment (it's a great and interesting challenge though). So the improv songwriting method is very interesting, but generally comes with a lot of revision work afterward.  At some point in the revision process I usually start to wonder if the song is becoming too polished and losing its raw energy and feeling.  Therein lie the difficult decisions, but ultimately the ones that could make or break the song.  I definitely recommend giving this method a try if you haven't given it a chance before.  You don't need high tech recording gear.  Just anything that can record with enough clarity to understand what you are singing and playing.

Ultimately when writing songs I think it's great to try to write in different ways because you never know how each way is going to work and how it will affect the finished product.  Granted, if you've tried every method and have ultimately decided, for example, that you always write the best songs when using a 'lyrics first / music second' approach you may not want to stray from that too often.  For me though, I don't want to be confined by any rules.  I like to try different ways and don't want to limit myself from writing just because a song may start originating from a method that may not be my best or favorite.  And what works for me today might not work for me tomorrow and vice versa.  So even if a method hasn't historically been successful, the passage of time may change all that, so it's at least worth revisiting neglected methodologies from time to time.  Regardless of how a song is written, it is the declaration of it being finished that is often most rewarding.  For me, there's a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I started with nothing, and then with creativity, hard work and dedication ended up with a tangible work of art.  And then, after that brief moment of contentment, it's on to the next song...

- John Banrock

And here's John's stuff:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Westchester All Stars Christmas for Wounded Veterans.

The amazing thing about this journey is that every single time I venture out with either video or still camera gear, it always leads to another connection, another musician, another opportunity.  And photographing the 12 Grapes 1000th day of Music on May 6th, 2012 was no exception.  12 Grapes, in Peekskill NY, for those that don't know, is one of the hippest places around to catch live music and the owners there are great supporters of the local music scene.  Many of my favorite local musicians showed up to perform at the day-long celebration, and many that I had never met before.  I took over 600 pictures that day and posted most of them on our facebook page, here's a link.  Please feel free to tag people you know!

As I ran around that day, a man named Bill Edwards asked if I would mind taking a group picture of the "Westchester All Stars" that were at the event and he explained that they were working on a Christmas album to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.  Of course I said yes and snapped a few of the group.  

The next day Bill contacted me and asked if I would be able to help on the project and capture video of him and Bernie Williams (YES BERNIE WILLIAMS FROM THE NY YANKEES!!!) for one of the songs on the album - they needed the footage for a music video.  I had the time so I jumped on the opportunity and met the guys at Z Recording Studios in Peekskill.  Bernie adds some real star power to the project and his guitar playing is just great.  I happen to love the song as well. 

Here's the website for the album and concert.  All these great musicians have come together to write, record, and donate there own original Christmas songs, with 100% of the profits from the sale of the cds going to wounded veterans organizations such as the Gary Sinise Foundation and Veterans Adaptive Sports Inc.  There's even a concert being organized for November 30th at the Irvington Town Hall Theater here in Westchester and Bill has lined up some really special guests to join in the performance.  Here's a link to the box office - buy your tickets to this event today!  

And here is a youtube link for the video that Paul Opalach put together at Long Hill Recording and Video using some of the footage from that day.  (DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE THIS SONG?)  

Won't you please buy the album and come out to the concert on November 30th, 2012 to support our troops and the Wounded Warrior Project and these great musicians?


: )

Monday, August 27, 2012

Musicians making a difference for the March of Dimes. So cool.

I was thrilled to be at the March of Dimes' event "Rockers For Babies" yesterday at Elements in White Plains, New York - part of the March of Dimes' "Bikers for Babies" campaign to support the fight against birth defects.  

The event was hosted by Ronnie Pauls and Dan Chopper Carillo, two of our local rocker musicians.  They had Elements packed with performers and music fans - some from far-away places - all turning out for a great cause.  The music and the event was nothing short of inspiring.  And I have to say, there were some really special people in the audience too.  I was very happy to make some new friends, you can never have too many of those.  And although I did not win the autographed guitar that was auctioned off - and that everybody seemed to want - I did walk away with a great sense of peace and love that permeated this very cool event.

The guitar was autographed by everyone that jammed at Elements for the past year at Dan's Sunday Night Jam Sessions.  LOVE THAT!
(Autographed guitar image courtesy of Ronnie Pauls.)

Huge shout out to all the musicians that played - thanks so much for all you guys and gals do!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our first guest blogger! Singer/Percussionist Jaynie D'Agostino.

As a musician, you want to be pliable and be able to do what you do and reproduce that with other musicians.... Right?  With harmony, that isn't always the same experience for me.  When trying to describe to someone how I feel when the harmony is working, I often get stuck.  It's not the tactical approach of achieving harmony that I'm referring to.  I often get the "what the hell are you talking about" look and I've been told, harmony is harmony. When its done right, it has to work. Period.  I've been doing it since I'm a kid. There's the root, the third and the fifth.  Well aware.  May not have understood the mechanics of it as a kid but understood it none the less.  It was like speaking when you don't know how to read.  For me, it's more the space between the notes as they meet that make the difference of whether harmony is working or not.  Yes you can reproduce the sound prescribed for the part but does it work to its best ability.  Not always.  I mean, yeah it'll work if it's done right but can you FEEL it. Did those notes work well enough to stand hairs?  That space between is the gooey magic I'm talking about.  When the sounds meet, they resonate based on the tone, pitch, timber and vibrato of each voice.  I've tried to harmonize with different voices.  That space is not always equal.  It's like the weave just didn't happen. But when it does!!! It vibrates and call me crazy but I feel it inside.  Hell, I feel it outside like a mini vocal force field.  Its like being caught between two opposing magnets and its quite powerful.  I wish I could tap that space between and record it... If its energy, I could bet it would produce a different affect than the standard "sing your part" note and I'd love to compare the sounds. - Jaynie D'Agostino

Be sure to catch Jaynie with her band "Buried In Blue". 

And be sure to like them on facebook too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Sugar!

The more we do this, the more we realize: this music scene is HUGE.  Our circle of friends keeps growing and we keep meeting more musicians and music fans.  So fun.  Of course, as everyone around here knows, one of the best ways to explore our local music scene is by picking up a copy of the More Sugar Magazine - now in it's 18th year!  More Sugar can be found in music stores, music venues, bars, music schools and more - and it's free - pick up a copy if you haven't ever done so.  It is without a doubt one of the coolest things going for us music enthusiasts.  I am never far from my copy of More Sugar and am thrilled to have met Tom, the publisher - talk about your positive vibes, Tom is a great, fun guy that always makes it more fun to be there - PLEASE keep doing what you're doing Tom.  As I said to someone the other day, I have come to believe that the entire universe is being held together by people generating positive vibes - and the More Sugar magazine is a great place to start.

Here's a pic of the band R.A.D.A.R. with this month's More Sugar - Ric Lubell, Ronnie Pauls and Dan Chopper Carillo - three of my favorite humans on the planet from The Thursday Nite Jam Sessions featuring Ronnie Pauls.  Definitely going back to Garfield's for the next round.  Won't you join us?  Come on out and help generate some of those all-important positive vibes!

Here are a few more pics of this night's jam on our facebook page.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Like us on Facebook!

Hey everybody,

Don't forget to like us on facebook, where we are posting hundreds of photos of local musicians captured in their natural habitat.

This photo is a frame grab from an HD clip shot with our Canon 60D - we added some color correction, sharpening and noise reduction in Photoshop to bring it to life.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Someone once said music is the closest thing to magic there is - and, man you can really feel it, the energy.  Music certainly generates "positive vibes",  feelings of happiness, etc, this is undeniable.  And live music?  I feel when we listen to live music, we are not just listening and watching that "moment", we are experiencing much more, we are witnessing the culmination of all the moments of those performers' lives up until that point.  It can be hit or miss of course, it's right - or it's not for the most part - in that moment.  But, when it's right, when it all comes together, all those years of effort, talent and a great performance - of just the right songs performed live - there is an energy there that you can literally feed off of.  Especially in a room full of people feeling that same vibe - the crowd literally amplifies the feeling.  Anyone who's been to a Who concert knows what I am talking about.

That feeling, that energy - and the love of having that experience is what drives us here at flymusicman - and we hope to capture and share that feeling in some small way.  Why?  We are not really sure but - do we really need a reason?  I would say no, not in the blogosphere at least...  Well actually, there might be a reason, a big reason, a really-really big reason - more on that later.  Here's a hint:  for the joy of it.

: )

And speaking about joy - someone is spreading a lot of it.  You may already know him - especially if you are watching our youtube channel activity.  Tom Dudley, who goes by the name Blues Buddha, is one of our favorite performers and one of the hardest working guys on the scene.  It is our pleasure to share this video that he posted today on facebook.  (Tell me you don't love this guy!)  We have come to know and love "Blues Buddha" through his live performances and seemingly non-stop video work with his associate, the prolific Paul Opalach, who apparently is a Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Engineer and Producer - his songs are great, his videos are fun and worth watching - with more coming all the time.  Needless to say, we are huge fans.  Check out Blues Buddha and "Time To Play"...  for the joy of it!

Song by Paul Opalach/TomDudley ©2011. 
Recording and video by Paul Opalach at Long Hill Recording 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

45rpm promotional video!

Check out our latest flymusicman project - we were hired by 45rpm to shoot their live performance at KJ Farrells, on Long Island.  The band's leader, guitarist Michael Barberich, liked our work on the Buried In Blue montage so much that he hired us for this project.  The Canon 60D footage made it look so good.  

We shot the footage over the course of two nights - which we cut to their pre-existing audio track - which they recorded in their studio - these guys are NOT fooling around.  The graphics and interstitial clips were inserted by the band - great job guys!

We wish the band great luck with this new and improved promotional video.  

45rpm is AMAZING!!!  It is so fun to hear these songs - many of which you will know all the words to - good times.    Here's their Facebook page - facebook/45rpmny - you gotta go check out their photos and hysterical comments, really, I would normally not tell my readers to dig so deep, but it is worth the time I promise - hysterical.  I freaking love these guys.  


I would totally recommend getting out to see this band, especially if you are anywhere near my age or older.  I'm forty - mumble, mumble years old. 

: )

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mike Rock "Mary" live.

Check out Mike Rock's "Mary" performed live at Lucy's Lounge in Pleasantville, New York.


Performed on January 12th, 2012 - one of the great nights of music at Lucy's when so many musicians showed up that they had to cut the number of songs from the normal 3 per person down to 2.  We hope to be finishing a few more clips from the the night if time allows.  Many more projects are coming up and we are having a great time trying to pull this all off.  It has been a great workout, both physically and technically as we try to jam all this into our schedule.  

As I look back at the blog and the flymusicman project to date, I get this strange feeling that it is the most important thing I have ever done -- very cool.  

 For some behind the scenes info on the production of "Mary", check out FLYfx Tutorials' post on it. 

Stay tuned for more local music! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back to back nights o' fun.

Wow have we had some fun!  Check out our facebook page to see all the photos and HD frame grabs from some of the music going on here in Westchester.

And we are just getting started!

We are loving the Canon 60D - it is really making some gorgeous images.  And with the announcement of the Canon 5D MIII a few days ago, buying the low cost 60D to get started was a great idea - big shout out to the fine folks at Able Cine for helping us make the right choice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oh what a night!

Wow.  I don't know what it was but Lucy's Lounge was full-tilt boogie this last Monday night at Open Mic.  We were lucky enough to be there with our cameras and it was magical.  Our new Canon 60D HD footage really looks incredible.  Some of the people had been there before but many were new to us - and the pressure was on for these musicians as our cameras were suddenly crawling all over them.  The team posted much of the raw-footage on private youtube links for approval and we hope to be posting at least a few videos from the night soon.

Tonight, while we waited for the high-sign, we took a trip over to the Duck Inn, in Mamaroneck NY to hang out with Dave and the jammers - a tasty set of Zeppelin ended the night.  I gotta say, it rocked - very hard.  Big hug to my new friend Maria.  Here are a few stills from the Duck Inn from the 60D.

: )

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Buried In Blue Promo Clip

Check out the latest clip from FlyMusicMan and FLYfx.  Tom Dowd's band, "Buried In Blue" is a local favorite around here and this clip is a snippet from a magical night at Pete's Salloon in Elmsford, NY here in Westchester - or as we like to call it, Freshchester.  Enjoy this tasty sampling of Buried In Blue!

This clip was cut exclusively from footage shot with our new Canon 60D with a 50mm 1.4 lens.  We had two other cameras rolling, our old friends the Canon Vixia and the trusty GoPro2 but decided to go with a "film style" (one camera) type of edit to create this montage using just the 60D - because the 60D footage just looks so darn good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A great website for Musicians.

Hey y'all,

Check out this website: - I subscribed to their daily email updates and I gotta say, they are jam packed with useful tips for the working musician.  I highly recommend it - I love the daily email.  Check it out!

And if you want to linger on the site you can find literally hundreds of things to read and learn.  Tips on everything from using social media to recording tips to legal issues.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The response has been incredible!

We just wanted to give a shout out to all the local musicians that have been so incredibly enthusiastic about what we are doing.  It is quite frankly surprising how interested and excited everybody has been about  the raw footage clips and selected HD stills we have brought back to the venues where they were captured.  We look forward to finding out where this journey will take us and could not be more excited about the response!  We are truly grateful and we feel very blessed to have been accepted so openly.  Thank you all so much!

Here's a handful of stills from our HD video cam, a Canon VIXIA HFG10.







Monday, February 6, 2012

Chris Fox & Mojo Monde - New Video!

Hey Everybody!

Here is the latest contribution from flymusicman - a new video for Chris Fox & Mojo Monde featuring Mike Bram on drums.  We had a hard time letting this one go - it was too fun and we wanted to keep tweaking but Monday morning was approaching fast and we had to get back to the real world.  We hope you enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed making it.

Special thanks to Lucy's Lounge in Pleasantville, NY for letting us shoot there and to our good friend Artesia for letting us use her camera - and extra special thanks to ALP Productions for bringing in their big cameras to round out our 6 camera shoot of this amazing night of music.

Stay tuned for more videos, tips and behind the scenes stories as we continue our journey here at the flymusicman blog.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chris Fox & Mojo Monde on tap! Stand by...

Here's a sneak preview of a frame from Chris Fox & Mojo Monde's upcoming video.  It promises to be an eye popper! 

Another Cobert Operations video: with Special Surprise Guests!

We had a great time shooting a few songs from this performance of Cobert Operations.  I was still learning what we could do with our cams at this point and had spent the day trying to figure out a better hand-held scenario.  This is the shoot with the wooden spoon as a stabilizer that I spoke about before.  Not a great way to go but an improvement none the less and the best I could come up with in a day since the first shoot, believe it or not I tried dozens of techniques.    Still it was way too shaky to watch - soooo, to try and make this amazing performance survive without causing seasickness - we decided to kick this one up a few notches by stabilizing the heck out of it in Autodesk's Flame.  Because of the sheer bulk of stabilizing needed, we employed the Furnace Plug In "Steadiness" and found various settings that seemed to work well enough - and left it at that - so it didn't turn it into a two-year project.  You can clearly see motion artifacts in the form of wobbling and smear in a lot of these shots - but believe me, they are much better this way.

That night with the wooden spoon led to a much more intensive search for the best method to get nice handheld footage.  Wait to you see what we stepped up to next.  Put it this way, my wife wants to kill me.  Ok, enough about me, check out COBERT OPERATIONS!!!!  WOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!!!!

Actually, our stabilizing insanity has already been revealead on our parallel blog, "The Fly Camera Dude" - here's the link.  How fun is this?!  OMG!

: )

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So much is coming you will not believe it.

We are firing on all cylinders and are gonna pop up any day now with more wonderful goodies for your musical enjoyment pleasure.  Project x is going to be particularly tasty.  Project x  you ask?  Oh yeah, we used to use that terminology at Sony Music Studios for those special projects that were SOOO cool - we kept a lid on them.  Kinda like we are doing now - our project x is not Sony Music big but you get the idea, big deal for a small plant - it's a wonderful musical performance from one of our  local musicians for the public library in a neighboring town, we will let them announce it.  Our part was providing a second camera to capture the performance.  The library requested that we edit the show, and were hoping to do so, but were not able to fit it in so we have donated our camera's footage to the library.  The performance was amazing and we will post the link when the library gets it online.  With our Canon Vixia, there were two cameras shooting.  Our new friends at ALP Productions were there to provide a higher quality "camera 1" for the library as well.

Sony Music Studios is now gone, they tore it down to build condos.  It was on 54th street and 10th avenue and had the largest sound stage in Manhattan - "The Main Stage".  So sad, it really was an amazing place.  I was the Director of Editorial Services and the Senior Editor for almost three years and had the time of my life.  Probably should have never left.  I have some great stories - but those are all coming in the parallel blog - "Stories From My Illustrious Career".  And to mention the stories from a three year stint at Sony Music Studios before talking about the nine years working for Lorne Michael's "Broadway Video" - you KNOW those stories are gonna be good...  LOL.

Yeah, I have been very blessed - again this is why I want to give back.

Speaking of parallels, we are planning a parallel stucture to the movie about the local music scene we are hoping to do in the future as a project - using all the footage we are collecting.  Wish us luck! you ask?  Kickstarter is a group funding site for creative projects.  Check it out and fund YOUR creative project!  We will be announcing our first, smaller kickstarter project soon in an effort to help fund -- and grow -- the flymusicman project.

As we do our projects we are going to also share all our workflows on yet another blog using our Steadicam Pilot (oops, did I just let the cat out of the bag?), Cameras, Autodesk Smoke on Mac, Autodesk Flame Premium, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, Mocha and Mocha Pro and so much more.  Still working on the name for that blog.  We will link to all sorts of production and post visual fx training resources and user groups that you can connect with.  We are giving it all away baby!

Tell your friends and stay tuned.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More about this blog - and how miracles started happening.

So as you know by now I started this blog to talk about my quest to find a way to give back to the local music scene and the incredible musicians we all enjoy NIGHTLY(!) here in Westchester, New York.   Seriously, seven nights a week you can find incredible live music all over the place.   An aspiring musician myself, I had been casually shooting "video" of live music for the past few years with a variety of small cameras and a LG cell phone and the like for my own enjoyment - but recently was inspired by on of my non-local musical heros, the legendary Jason Mraz when I saw him on "The Music Edition" of "Your Business" on MSNBC.  I dare you to watch this segment on not be inspired.  I would even dare to say it might even change your life - like it did for me.  Here's the story.   

Jason's music had kept me going through the hard times of the recent economic downturn -- as any of the ex-employees and clients from the now-defunct SoundHound on 45th street in NYC can tell you, Jason's toe-tapping happy sound was in heavy rotation at the plant during those dark days.  (FLYfx was subletting a vfx suite from SoundHound as the bad economy proceeded to crush us.)  Now, several years later and on this quest - and, incidentally after our best year ever(!) - I happened upon Jason's inspiring message on the MSNBC show - in this segment he speaks about Passion, respect, practicing gratitude and being inspired and inspiring others - well that was all it took, I ordered my first HD camera that same hour.  A light bulb had gone on above my head.  I suddenly had a plan.

Thanks Jason, you've done it again bro.

So there I was, I had upped the anti with a fairly serious semi-professionl Hi Def camera and some lights - and had, in a flash decided I was going to bring my 25 years of television production and post production experience to the local musicians that inspire so many of us in my home town area.  After all, it was related to my business and I realized as Jason spoke, that this could EASILY work to help me generate business for FLYfx - the passion I had for the local musicians alone would generate good vibes all around, and I believe that good vibes equals good business.  Not that I am not a "miracle guy" by any means, but the funny thing is, actual miracles have been happening - literally one a day, at least, ever since I started really going for it - just a few short weeks ago.  So now I have decided to call this whole effort "helping yourself by helping others".

The first night out with my camera:  I just showed up at a bar called Katie Mac's in Mt. Kisco - where I knew "Chris Fox and Mojo Monde" were performing - to ask if I could shoot some video.  I had an LED camera light, my brand new Canon VIXIA HFG10 and an Opteka X-Grip to mount and fly them on - all hand held - and really just to test the gear and see if I even felt comfortable intruding on these world class performers - I will literally never forget how nice it was to get a warm greeting from Jon Cobert  when he looked up and said "Hey there's Ralph".  I had "friended" Jon on FaceBook after meeting him and getting my mind absolutely blown by his incredible talent over the past months - so he knew who I was.  Jon made me feel "comfortable enough" to go for it - I knew we were all in for a real treat.  Denny McDermott was on the drums and Tony Tino on bass - they were incredible, Chris with his usual dazzling array of uber-tasty guitar licks and incredible singing and Jon Cobert destroying his Nord Electro3 all the while singing perfect harmonies.

And there I was, struggling to keep my shots from going haywire with my new gear.  I really was not a worthy cameraman by any means.  Not with this rig anyway.

I shot a few songs as best I could - my framing was pretty awesome, cause I AM a tv pro, but the steadiness left much to be desired.  I could really use a better way to stabilize this puppy or at least a second camera to cut out the really bad parts.  Jon invited me to come shoot the next night when his band, "Cobert Operations" was scheduled to rock Lucy's Lounge in Pleasantville(!), a few towns over.  I excitedly agreed but knew I had to improve my game.

Some tech notes:  I chose the Canon VIXIA HFG10 because of its ability to natively capture at a framerate of 23.98, a professionals choice for that organic steppy film vibe so when I went to grab my GoPro2 to use as a second camera I was faced with a cam that could only capture 30 fps in full HD - there is an option to shoot at 48 fps at a lower res but I decided instead to ask my friend to shoot with his iPhone 4 - hopefully at 24fps.  I later learned that his footage framerate would vary with the level of light - something I could fix with the FLYfx arsenal of high end post gear at my disposal but the average consumer might not be so lucky.  A great little iPhone app called FILMic Pro would later fix our frame rate issues on future shoots as well as offer some other nifty options to the iPhones incredible little camera, I highly recommend it.  $2.99 at the App Store.  LOL!!!

The second night out with the camera:  "Cobert Operations" has the famous Peter Calo on guitar, Jon on keys, world renown bassist Stu Woods and Rob Wallis on drums plus several amazing guest performers made it a magical night.

There was also one very special guest floating around in the audience - a man with an iPhone, also shooting video.  As it turns out, this second iPhone cameraman was a world class Director of Photography (day two - miracle number two) who is friends with the  guitarist, Peter Calo.  I chased Alan down after the show and begged him for access to his footage for the edit - he liked my enthusiasm and determination a lot apparently.  Cool.  We spoke several times on the phone after that and he volunteered to come to the next shoot(!) and bring a camera or two...

Third night out with the camera:  Man was "Chris Fox and Mojo Monde" gonna be surprised when I show up with this guy.  I did not make any announcement because it was snowing heavily that day but Alan showed up anyway -- with two cameras AND an assistant.  The cameras?  Oh just a Sony Ex1 and an EX3 - HOLY SMOKING HI DEF, BATMAN!

This night, Chris Fox and Mojo Monde had Mike Bram on the drums - who was recently the drummer and musical director for JASON MRAZ.  WHAT THE EFF?!?!?  

I gotta call this, third night, third miracle.  You people getting this?  I HAD CHILLS Y'ALL!!!  And speaking of chill, MIKE WAS AWESOME!!!!  He lit up the room and was such a joy to listen to and watch I seriously have not stopped smiling.  My wife thinks I have lost my mind.  I cannot tell you how excited I am that we are cutting a few of these songs - soon to be released by the band with Mike in the back blowing minds along with Tony Tino and of course, Jon Cobert and Chris Fox.  

Y'all ain't ready for this, that's all I have to say.    

Alan, had told me during the week that he got a kick out of me balancing my X-Grip mounted VIXIA with a wooden spoon I took from my kitchen drawer as my preferred stabilizing techniques to help fly my little camera around the room.  Imagine how silly I felt.  More on stabilizing my cam coming soon.  In this pic you can see our second camera man, my good friend Rich.

I should have realized Alan wasn't fooling around, even his iPhone camera had a telephoto lens on it.  How cool is that?

I consider these local musicians "my people".  In my most enthusiastic moments I can imagine this concept spreading like a "pay it forward" kind of thing.  So with this blog and my other activities I hope to encourage others to help those who they consider "their people" - in ways that ultimately help themselves.  It's simple - TRY IT!!!  Think of someone you identify with - then think of a way you can help them with YOUR unique skill.  Because it's YOUR skill your will easily find creative ways to benefit, not to mention the positive energy generated - it's like exercising your entrepreneurial muscles with steroids. 

Really, Try it.  Then tell me how your creativity starts to flow.  Let me know how you feel lighter and more motivated.  If you are like me, people will sense that you are onto something, everything around you will seem to change and bend to help you as you help others.  Really, let me know - I am curious to know if you find the universe handing daily miracles to you too.

Passion.  Respect. Gratitude. Be inspired and inspire others.

Thanks again Jason.

(Some photos taken by John Apicelli with his permission.)