What’s been up….

It’s been a while since my last blog update and there’s been a lot going on. So here’s a little overview of what’s happening in my world.

I’ve got another article with practice tips and a rant about the state of jam sessions in the works, so sign up as a follower at the bottom of the page if you like what you’re reading. I hope to have them posted this week. If you’re looking to catch me perform in the metro Detroit area click here.

New Johnnie Bassett CD coming out this summer!

I’m excited to announce that Johnnie Bassett’s newest album will be coming out this summer on Sly Dog Records. I don’t want to give away too many details and spoil the surprise but I’m looking forward to getting this music to the public. This is the second album we’ve done for the label and once again we used John Smerek at the board,  The Brothers Groove, The Motor City Horns, Thornetta Davis, Brett Lucas, Dwight Adams and Jim “Moose” Brown (with who I co-wrote the title track “I Can Make That Happen.”) We recorded it at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak August 2011-October 2011.

Ronnie Foster visits Detroit.

I got to meet and hang out with legendary keyboard player Ronnie Foster. He was in town performing on keys at the Fisher Theatre with the group Human Nature. He popped in Thursday March 22nd at our weekly gig at Northern Lights and then again on Saturday at Dylan’s Raw Bar in Grosse Pointe Park. Ronnie is a keyboard hero of mine. I was just listening to him on my iPhone a few day before playing Hammond Organ with Grant Green on a Blue Note album recorded in the 1970’s at Watt’s Mozambique club in Detroit. He’s also playing onGeorge Benson’s big breakthrough record ‘Breezin.’ He’s a monster player and a very nice guy. It was a real pleasure to meet him.

While looking over taxes (I usually wait until the bitter end) I realized that last August I played with Roy Ayers and Kenny G. in the same week. Whoa…

Recording, Relaxing, Reviewing.

I recorded a track for Amy Gore at with Jackson Smith and Al Stutton at the boards Rustbelt Studio in Royal Oak last month, you can find out more about the project here.  I’m supposed to be recording some keyboard tracks for Kenny Tudrick’s new project next week and I’m excited about that. John Smerek is again behind the boards for this one. I also provided keyboard tracks for a new song by my friend Jess Domain a singer songwriter from Detroit now living in NYC who’s music is being featured in the new Cinemax series Girls Guide.

I’ve been working hard on my recording/rehearsal space downtown and will be doing more recording and rehearsing there soon. I’ve spent a number of hours cleaning up and rearranging and I think it’s the best incarnation yet.  I recently recorded a few Hammond organ tracks there for both Colton P. Weatherston and Ben Keller and the 500 Club of which my friend David Dionese a member. I used my Shure SM81 on the top rotor and got a great tone. I’m using a Senheiser e602 for the bottom rotor.

I attended the birthday party of drummer vocalist Terry Thunder at his west side Detroit home and enjoyed one heck of a good time. That was a “real party” that was full of folks who knew how to have fun and respect one another at the same time. There ain’t no party like a Detroit party. I heard they went until 6am. I left before that. Terry Thunder is the man!

I’m really interested in checkin these out. It’s a problem I face as a keyboard player. I’ve also been taking a close look at the Korg Kronos. It’s the first new keyboard that’s raised my interest in awhile. I need to sit down and play it for awhile. I’m also looking forward to trying out the new dual manual Nord organ clone which now includes drawbars.

I’m glad it’s getting warmer out and I’m looking forward to a nice spring/summer collection of performances and projects. My weekend recommendation is that you check out Bill Heid this Saturday afternoon at the Scarab Club in Detroit. He’s one of my favorites. He’ll be at Cliff Bell’s playing Hammond Organ Friday April 20th. That’s all for now…



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