It was time to Chakra Bleu to book her album release show. I decided to book the show at the historic Douglas Corner venue, which happened to be the very first place I ever played a show in Nashville. I booked it on a Thursday night at 6:00PM, which would be conducive for the music business and most people to attend after their work day, especially that this was music Showcase, rather than an ordinary gig.
Now that the date was booked, I had postcards printed to hand out by the dozens for the show. Chakra Bleu Music/ 1746 Records also emailed out invitations the Music Biz and Publicists in Nashville; as well as sending out personal invitations to some music business associates. The time to design and personally address the invites took a lot of time, yet it is what a 'Hands-On' artist does. Social media was also part of Chakra Bleu Music / 1746 Records job. Yep, more time...
Meanwhile, it was time to put the Live Band members together. These players/singers would have to be able to learn a lot of material; in a stellar manner, and be able to prepare their homework for one rehearsal before the show. These musicians had to be able to read charts; have a good stage presence and work well/ blend well with each other.
"Really", you say? "Only one rehearsal?!"
I needed to readjust the music charts for the twelve songs, since the studio recording. There were some minor changes made to some instrumentals, as well as some endings of songs that, in the recorded version were 'fade outs'. In the live version, I needed to write out a concrete version of when the song would end.
The charts had to be PERFECT! Once I rewrote the live versions, I sent a CD along with the charts via mail, as well as charts via files/mp3 versions to those musicians that preferred such. Chakra Bleu was busy!
She also had to start rehearsing herself. Wha?!! Yep, all this time, she had been wearing the 'producer' and 'administrator' hat. When she wears the producer hat, she completely is the Producer, so that she can make sharp decisions about the lead vocals, and production in general.
So, rehearsing the songs was a chore, as it felt like changing uniforms. It was a new identity that was needed to kick back in for performance mode. I also was needing to decide which electric guitar that I'd use for live performance. My G&L was great for the studio, yet didn't bite enough for a live sound, despite effect pedals. I know, this is nerdy stuff. LOL. I decided to play my Les Paul along with my Fender Pro Junior Amp. This combination along with the detailed pedal effects for each song, would sound great! I tested and retested the tones and pedal combinations. Les Paul won for the live version anyway.
I rehearsed countless hours with and without playing my guitar. Rehearsing just my vocals alone (acappella), allowed me to concentrate on the phrasing, the crescendo's, and the minute tones of my vocals in each song. The voice is an instrument and the technical details can easily get lost behind the sound of the competing instruments.
I checked in with all the live musicians before the rehearsal, covering various questions they had about this or that in particular songs.
The evening of the dress rehearsal was a blast. I knew that each musician had prepared well already. As the band leader, I would run through each song front to back. I would note the problem areas and then run over that area once or twice again. I run a tight ship when it comes to rehearsal and the musicians appreciate that. We all were able to hone in on any hick-up areas, making necessary notes, for improvement and such. We all had prepared well, so that the songs could be rehearsed in a fun and timely manner. Of course we enjoyed some chilling' out time with a good brew afterward!