On Sunday April 26, the 1 Uppers performed at The Little Red Hen in Greenlake. We’ve played there many times, and it’s always a lot of fun to have an audience that really knows country music, and knows how to dance to it. It makes our shows a lot of fun, and we always have to be ready to respond to the room’s energy. One of the challenges of playing at The Little Red Hen is the stage configuration : it’s very shallow and quite wide. We’re a six-piece band, and I play on the far side of stage right (that’s the left side of the stage if you’re looking at it from the audience point of view). Our other electric guitarist, Kris Geren, is all the way on the opposite side of the straight-line formation, so I can’t see or hear him at all during the show. It’s a little disconcerting and means we really have to just be well-rehearsed so we can fly blind during the show.
A few months I decided to sell all of my tub amps and switch to a Quilter Aviator 2×10 amp. It’s very lightweight, and sounds fantastic. This was the first time I’d used this amp at the Hen, and is by far the best my baritone guitar has ever sounded onstage. The Quilter seems to have a much wider dynamic range and better response for that instrument. I’ll be using for banjo as well. Definitely a big step forward in the “quest for tone” department. I’ll likely use the Quilter for select DMQ shows as well, as it would allow me to have a lightweight “grab and go” rig composed of that amp and the Line6 M9.
We hit the stage with three full sets of music, and as usual, the dance floor was packed all night. The one guarantee of playing at this bar is that if you play well, the audience will dance. It’s a good validation of our hard work in this band, and having that energy makes it a lot easier to get through the late gig on a “school night”.
I’d say this particular performance was probably the best we’ve ever played at The Little Red Hen. The entire band was firing on all cylinders, and there were a lot of ripping solos from all the musicians. I love it when we’re all in tune with each other (even if we can’t hear / see each other) and are playing well. On nights like this, we’re definitely living up to our name. We’ll be back at the same venue in a month, and it’ll be fun to see those familiar faces on the dance floor. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to swing dance, or 2 step, or schottische , this is a great place to do it. During the hour before we start playing, they provide free dance lessons for anyone who wants to learn, and it’s a great opportunity to pick up a few new steps.