I’ve been able to get back into music over the last few weeks. Strongman mania is cooling down a little bit, and I’m just settling down into a groove of working on the next projects while continuing to press and promote the book as much as I can. That’s left me with space in my schedule to book shows and work on material for my bands.
I’ve been doing music in a serious way for a very long time. I’m mostly a guitarist and singer, but I’ve also played the violin forever, and I can play enough to compose on keys, cello, etc. I’m not much of a drummer – anything more than a standard beat screws me up, and I tend to leave the beat somewhere on the road twenty feet behind me whenever I go for a fill. But that’s why drum loops (and, I suppose, drummers) were created. Oh, no winds, either. Anyway, the point is that I love to play and write music; it’s the other side of my creative side, along with the writing.
Right now, I have two active groups, that are really sort of the same group, and even have the same name – they’re both the Charles Soule Band. I do a lot of jazz trio gigs (guitar, bass, drums), which can be anything from performing in a club to a large event. The events pay really well, the clubs usually don’t, so by doing both I can afford to pay the band for the club shows. We do some standards, along with a decent slate of my own compositions, but where I’ve really been having fun with the CSB jazz group is the “covers.” I’m a huge movie fan, just as a general matter, and I love big, epic film scores. So, from time to time I’ll take scores that I particularly like and rearrange them for the trio. We do the themes from Terminator, Magnificent Seven, Magnum Force, E.T., Doctor Who, etc. Most of the time, audiences don’t recognize them. Occasionally, though, we’ll get one guy who stops what he’s doing and listens to us for a minute in a sort of tilted-head way… i.e. “is that what I think it is?” I guess I’m basically doing this for that guy (and myself). Not sure what the other guys in the band think, but the band’s got its name for a reason.
Here’s a link to live performance of our version of Magnificent Seven, recorded at the 2007 US Open tennis tournament:
I played my first show in a few months last week, just a trio gig as background at an event, but it paid, and was a nice way to ease back into the gigging waters. I have another show this Thursday, and then a big music weekend from May 2-3. When I was in college, I worked in a million bands (it was a great way to make extra cash), but one of my favorites was a groove-jazz outfit that we called the Virgin Septet. At varying times, depending on who couldn’t make a gig, it was the Virgin Quintet or, if the stars aligned, the Virgin Sextet (always liked that one.) The members of the band have gone on to do some amazing things – one is in the Disco Biscuits, another is one of the jazz critics for the New York Times, another one’s getting his PhD at Harvard, yet another runs the Hedge Fun Law Report… it’s a pretty neat group of people. Anyway, we’re having our 12-year reunion show this coming Sunday night, and I’m pretty jazzed (ha!) about it.
Here’s a track called “Swish” that the Virgins recorded back in the olden days – say 1997 or so. It’s not as smooth as it’ll probably be this coming Sunday, but it’s fun to listen to (for me, anyway):
We’re playing at the Parkside Lounge down on Houston on Sunday, May 3 from 9:30 until late. Should be a good time. And even if it’s not, man, I’m glad to be playing again.