Modern Drummer Magazine, The Mudbug Brass Band, The Virginia City Revival, A Different Animal and More!

Yo!

Well it’s September…19th! Wanna see something cool? Check out my new Blog at Modern Drummer!

http://bit.ly/PI6FHU

http://www.moderndrummer.com

I’ve been reading that magazine since…forever. My first mention in the magazine was way back in 1997, for a review of my old punk band, Bottom 12. We had just released our sophomore disc, BALDERDASH.  I think Dave Weckl was was on the cover that issue!

I’ve been pretty busy lately with all sorts of things, I haven’t had a lot of time to write! But here I am now, and will attempt to catch y’all up with what’s been going on!

First off, I’ve put out an EP! My first (and so far only) solo effort. I wrote 7 songs and put them out under the band name, MY OWN BLACK HOLE. The disc is called “SPACECRAFT,” and can be found on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, Zune, Google Play and a few others! Here’s a link:

http://itunes.apple.com/album/spacecraft/id553886260?v0=9988&ign-mpt=uo%3D1

It’s nice to have that one done. Now I can move on to the next one. Hoping to have a new one by December, 2012!

I’ve started playing in a few new acts recently…well new to me! Of course I still play in the Virginia City Revival ( http://www.facebook.com/thevirginiacityrevival ), and am having a great time. Our long time bassplayer, Paul Reyes, recently made his departure as he just had a brand new baby boy. Thus we’ve been auditioning new players. I think we’ve settled on cat (a long time friend), but will post more about this, later!

In August I joined The Mudbug Brass Bandhttp://www.mudbugbrass.com )! I gotta tell you, IT’S A BLAST! Mudbug plays NOLA style, funky, brass band music. We’ve been doing a summer residency at a  hot restaurant on Melrose called The Foundry (owned by Chef Eric Greenspan of Top Chef)! Mudbug never fails to get the crowd dancing, which is one thing that is addictive to me. I love to see people getting down to music I get to play. The band features NOLA natives Jamelle Williams on Trumpet/Vocals, Johann Stein on Banjo/Vocals; Tim Ganard (xWingnut Supreme) on Bass Drum, Erm Navarro on Trombone, Marc Bolin on Tuba, Jon McBride on Sax, and yours truly on Snare drum. It’s more fun than I’v ehad in a long while. This weekend, the band heads over to UCLA to record at the Mancini Studio. I’m hoping we get to record to TAPE!!!! Yeah!

I’ve also started playing KEYBOARDS (!) in a band called A DIFFERENT ANIMAL. Yeah, talk about a different animal, I’ve never played keys in a band before, but it’s really a lot of fun. I jammed with the band last night, and things went so easily, that I couldn’t see NOT doing it. The band features a few of my longtime LA pals, Jeff Richards (bass) , Randy Scarberry (drums) & Andrew Thompson (guitar). We’re working on songs now, and should be playing out live in a few weeks!

I also got to do some mixing for my friend LONNIE MARSHALL, seriously one of the baddest bass players on the planet! He was putting out and EP for his band WEAPON OF CHOICE (http://www.facebook.com/WeaponOfChoiceFans). Lonnie’s has had some amazing guests on the disc: George Clinton (Parliament Funkadelic), Dionne Farris (Arrested Development), Angelo Moore (Fishbone), and scores others! You gotta check out Lamont Sydnor too! He plays live with WOC, and that dude is one of the baddest I’ve seen in a while. A few weeks ago, the band played the Long Beach Funk Festival. Lamont was on the throne for the majority of the set and KILLED IT! I had some serious reservations about trying to play a song with the after he set the pace, but I got up and just did what I do. Lamont plays with the Jacksons as a regular gig…

I’ll be at Pedrini Music (in La Crsecenta, CA) this weekend for the store’s 66th Anniversary Jubilee and Grand Reopening! I teach music at the store, and have a lot of students in the area who get there gear there. Pedrini is a great store in the old “Mom & Pop” tradition. Everyone knows that you get the best kind of service at a store like Pedrini, and neighborhood stores are doing their best to keep going in this economy. I used to work at a big LA store, that recently went under (WLA Music). With Pedrini still making it through the storm and having this huge celebration (Sunday Sept 23. 2012), it is a testament to the level of quality you get at the store. Come by if your are in the LA area, 2916 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, California 91214. I’ll be there teaching a few drumming classes in the daytime, and jamming out with mega guitarist Joe Mora (House of Broken Promises) and bass player Cody Farwell (The Adicts) in the evening!

Okay, I am gonna knock it off for a bit, but will be back soon with more news from LA!

Check out my solo band’s FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Own-Black-Hole/363973790284849 if you wanna check out some tunes!

Namaste!

John

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