The Gal Holiday band was mentioned in a hilarious “strange happenings” column in the Keitum newspaper called “Captain Corl” Published the day after our public show on the Island of Sylt, a German island in the North Sea, it speaks about our band, a “wild squad of Country musicians from…New Orleans…” and calls me a “Sangermaus” which I feel needs to be included in our band bio now.
(Translation below, courtesy our friend Sabine.)
TRANSLATION: Captain Corl: Sunshine at night
Sylt is indeed well-known if not infamous for all kinds of curious occurrences, especially during mild summer nights. I have already seen shadow figures, clothed in Asian garments, standing on the beach, mumbling to themselves while repeatedly bowing towards the setting sun. Or a group of quite slender and very blonde Yoga ladies, who first go about dreadfully straining themselves in various directions in the dunes, and then stop dead in a peculiar pose. I think it’s called Sun Salutation. But all this was outdone in Keitum the other day when late in the evening a wild squad of Country musicians from, you better believe it, New Orleans, took over with a really cute sweetie pie of a singer who then shortly before midnight sang: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” and that in the dark…
My band has a Sunday night residency at the fabulous venue Chickie Wah Wah, located in Mid-City a streetcar ride away from the French Quarter. Smoke free, super clean and with a stellar sound system, this venue offers a really amazing line-up of musicians 7 days a week! It’s quite an honor to have a weekly show there.
The owner, Dale has amassed a cool collection of signs, a few of which I am happy to share with you here.
We finally made a music video! Hopefully this is the first of many to come. Cinematographer (and friend) Scott McKibben created a cool arts documentary project called Eye of the Crow; single shot, live performance music videos with no edits. (Click the links above to see more of Scott’s work.) Filming commenced one stormy night in July at Sideshow Props!/Moviesets in Slidell, Louisiana with Scott plus sound engineer Patrick Bordelon (and his awesome wife, Katy, my good friend).
Watch the video now then scroll down for behind the scenes stills and more info on Sideshow Props!/Moviesets.
Alice & Lawrence Barattini, the owners of Sideshow Props!/Moviesets were super generous in opening up their massive 40,000 square foot warehouse and events space for our usage. A jeweler by trade, Lawrence has been a “junk” collector for most of his life, getting hassled by friends and family for his vast collections of “rusty gold” and vintage ephemera. The movies came calling a few years ago by way of a Propmaster that Lawrence had sold some jewelry to through his shop in New Orleans, Barattini Jewelers. Now Lawrence, Alice and their children work non-stop, supplying props large and small to movies and television. Of note are Academy Award winning movie, 12 Years a Slave and my personal favorite, the television show American Horror Story: Coven which takes place in NOLA. CLICK HERE to read more about Lawrence and watch a short video about him which has some great shots of the space.
Lawrence took some still shots while we were filming.
We first saw the events space when we played Alice’s birthday fete this year and knew instantly that we wanted to use it for a music video. Lining the perimeter of the room are “sets” where Lawrence has created mini scenes including a Voodoo tent, pirate ship (that houses a bar), a Cajun cabin and an Asian garden. It’s incredibly difficult to describe just how amazing Moviesets is and what an incredible collection Lawrence has including NOPD police cars, a “full size” UFO, a running ’32 Harley Davidson, hospital equipment and what looks like a submarine control center. And then there are the “smalls”, everything from antique lighters, pipes, buckles, anything you can think of, really. When we visited earlier in the year I attempted to capture a little bit of the space. I also created a Vine video the night we filmed our music video: CLICK HERE.
Here are a few snapshots I took from the birthday party night.
To get in touch with Lawrence for your event or to rent props email Lawrence Barattini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We work with a fantastic group called Young Audiences who place programming in schools and libraries. There are a handful of awesome Head Librarians in different Parishes who request us for their summer reading programs, including Ms. Patricia with the Plaquemines Parish Library system. Plaquemines Parish is the finger of land, much of which is threatened by the shrinking coastal marshes where the mighty Mississippi reaches the Gulf of Mexico. We spent the first three days of this week playing for the children of Buras, Belle Chasse and Port Sulphur, Louisiana.
Sharing music with kids who might not otherwise get a musical education is rewarding as well as mighty important these days, what with many school district cutting Arts curriculum completely. The upright bass and the drums are always the stars of the show, although the guitars are not far behind…
“Now let’s talk about the style of bass playing that Dave does which is called, ‘SLAPPING.’ You’re not supposed to do it to other people but it’s okay to slap a bass!”
In case anyone is curious what we play for the kiddos, here’s a set list:
Take 2, pedal steel guitar.
The producers, i.e. me and Dave, made a decision on Monday to bring in some muscle on the pedal steel. Steve Spitz worked really hard and did a great job last Sunday, but going was slow. When there’s not an outside producer, part of the process in the studio is smart decision making by the band.
Enter, Tony Martinez.
We met Tony in Phoenix, AZ through our friends in Hashknife Outfit, a band led by our buddy Jeremy Marcanti who puts us up (puts up with us?) when we play through the area. Tony helped us out of a player jam one time and then played with us again in Phoenix, cementing our insta-friendship.
Having recently moved to Nashville, he was down here less than 36 hours after we called him. He’s got a great attitude and is really a superb player, adding some beautiful sounds to the songs as he practiced in our living room this past week. We also played two gigs with him this week, at Banks Street Bar last night and Mimi’s on Wednesday. But that’s another story…
Studio day three is off to a great start with Steve Spitz laying down some sweet, sweet pedal steel guitar. The main room has been stripped of drums and baffles from yesterday’s wrap with Doug Belote and we’re going full steam ahead with “guitar day.” It’s just a man and his steel…
All 14 songs have great drum, bass and rhythm guitar tracks for Steve to play along to. I must say again what an easy and pleasurable session this has been with all thanks to the hard work of the great musicians playing with us.
The whole crew is here at the start of day #2. Conversations about amplifier impedance, string changing and other exciting topics are happening. We’ll pick up right where we left off last night, with Not the One For You, our answer to an old Hank Williams song.
A photographer friend, JonGunnar is coming today to document the process. And some friends might pop by later, too!
See y’all on the other side!
At the end of day one, 7 songs have bottoms recorded, meaning drums, bass and rhythm guitar that are “in the can” or mostly so. Anyone who has spent time in a recording studio will consider that almost at record speed, especially considering that after a 4 hour set up, we laid those down in just under 5 1/2 hours. I think a lot of the initial vocal tracks sound really good, too but we’ve still got 6 days left so there’s plenty time for all that.
It’s thrilling to be recording again and so far, it’s been almost TOO easy.
Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard today! Shout outs to the Esplanade Studio peeps, led by the marvelous engineer Misha Kachkachisvili and his wonderful interns, Casey, Chris and Jesse. And of course, our ace band of players, David Brouillette, Chris Adkins, Gregory Good and our guest drummer, Doug Belote who it was an absolute pleasure to work with today. Steve Spitz brought his pedal steel guitar in this evening for full speed ahead tomorrow. Brang the twang!
Onward and upward to Day 2! For now, another beer and a good night’s rest are what the honky tonk doctor ordered.