Bandgirl's Blog











{April 4, 2015}   Silverwing at Boomer’s Bar

Silverwing has a standing gig on the first Saturday of every month at our local bar, Boomers.  So today is a busy day, lots of gear to move and set up, guitars to tune, rush home, eat, clean up, show up and play.  We had a bass player who used to say, I’ll play for free, but you gotta pay me to move the gear.  And that is so true.  Playing music is a joy.  My mood is always better when I have a gig on the weekend.  Hey, I can make it through anything, if I just have an opportunity to play somewhere on a weekend.  But moving the gear? Yeah, not so much.

Jake with Silverwing LBC5 Mary n Mel Silverwing at Boomer's

So tonight, it’s me (Mary) on bass, (though I’m playing guitar in all those pictures) Mel on lead guitar, Georgina on keys and our new drummer Brandon.  Hope we pack that dance floor and keep them partying till midnight.  That’s my job, to make people have a good time.  And it is a great job.

Listen to our original song “Moonshine” at our website http://www.silverwingband.com.  We are very proud of it.  Kinda swamp rock, maybe southern rock.  Mel came up with this riff on guitar, with a drop D tuning.  That’s what gives it that moody, dark feeling.  Then he got stuck on the line “Drinking Moonshine from a mason jar” for days.  Over and over, then we put a story together and worked up the rhyming scheme.  Viola!  It’s the title song to the CD and it goes over real well in performance.  Folks will come up later and shake Mel’s hand and compliment him on it.  So give it a listen.

You can buy songs or the whole CD at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing.  Don’t forget to leave a comment.  Like us on FB at http://www.facebook.com/silverwingband.

Thanks, Mary (GuitarChic)

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{March 12, 2015}   Practice makes perfect, Not!

In the last post I said I liked the excitement of having a new band member.  I don’t call it nerves.  I call it excitement.

I mentioned that I like the chance that things might go wrong and that we, as a band, will hang on through the mistakes and drag it back on track in time to end the song correctly.  Well…….. guess who the culprit was in the band trainwreck.  Oh, that would be ME.

Ha! I shoulda never brought up the subject of a trainwreck, cause that’s all I could think about when we got on stage.  Then I had the first missed note, then a bad note, then an ugly ending, then the wrong tempo, it just goes on and on. It serves me right for bringing the curse down upon myself.

But I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes on stage and it has changed my life in wonderful ways.  When I was a kid, I was so hard on myself.  I cringed at the stupid things that came out of my mouth, especially around good looking boys. I embarrassed myself in front of the classroom so many times. As I got older, I became very quiet and started to withdraw socially. I never went to dances in high school. I never went to football games.  I just hung out in my room with my headphones on listening to music.  I know my parents worried about me.  Heck, I worried about me. Give me a group of laughing teenagers and I was miserable.  All I wanted was to be left alone.

Now here I am standing on stage in front of people, making mistakes, forgiving myself and moving on.  I never thought I would be so well adjusted.

My husband was in a band where the singer would apologize to the crowd over the microphone, drawing attention to the flub.  Not necessary.  For one thing, many of the people in a bar aren’t there as music critics. They are partying and enjoying themselves. Next, the mistake has already drifted away and it’s not going on your permanent record.  It’s long gone by the time the song ends.

Sure, I’d love to be perfect but at the end of the first set, I just had to laugh and let it go. I’ve learned to forgive myself and THAT is the most important thing for me personally.  I owned up to my mistakes with my bandmates who just shrugged and let it go, as well.

The next set was a new beginning and I jumped right in with a new attitude.  Hey, maybe I hung in there and brought myself back from the edge of the trainwreck?

Check us out at http://www.silverwingband.com  our first CD is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing.  All the music was written by my hubby Mel Warstler and I helped with the lyrics.

Thanks, Mary (the bandgirl) Warstlerpondo 022114 #6 good



{March 1, 2015}   Silverwing band practice

The band Silverwing is my husband’s creation.  He was playing a Silverwing gig 20 years ago when I first got to know him and here we are 20 years later, still booking gigs.  Keeping a band together is a challenge.  Mel says a band is like a marriage.  There is give and take, there is tolerance, there is disagreement and resolution, people come and people go.

So recently our long time drummer moved on to another band which plays most of it’s gigs a few miles from his home.  It’s a very popular band with a steady following.  I’m sure he will do a great job for them and enjoy himself, but we immediately replaced him with a young man who really hasn’t been in a band before.

Oh sure, he’s set in with the open mike night crowd and filled in for other drummers, but Silverwing is his first permanent band and he is a grateful fellow.

But it’s time to get up to speed.  Today we spent about 5 hours going over and over the songs in the 4th and 5th sets.  We keep a revolving 5 sets, so we are not predictable.  There is nothing worse than playing the exact same opening song every gig.  We mix it up.  We have 5 sets, but usually only play 3 of them on a night.  So practice, practice, practice.

He is familiar with most of these songs, old country, new country and some classic rock thrown in.  I mean who doesn’t know Sweet Home Alabama.  Anyway, he is catching on fast.  From listening to the song on YouTube, then attempting them ourselves,  he’s working it hard.  Very quick, accurate, good breaks, nice endings, crisp and clean.

One of the best things about our drummer Brandon is that he feels the emotion in our song “Wide Open Spaces.”  There is a lot of drama in the song. It needs a gentle touch, plus a huge crescendo.  He’s making us proud and bringing lots of feeling to the song. When that song is played well, it is magic.

Find “Wide Open Spaces” at cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing.  It is a tribute to Mel’s father and his life out on the ranch.  If you love the wide open spaces give it a listen.

Mary Warstler, the bandgirl, is the bass player, vocalist, and songwriter for http://www.silverwingband.com.  Listen to our song “Moonshine” and check out our next gig.  Join us for a rockin’ country goodtime. Follow us on FB http://www.facebook/silverwingband and twitter.com/SilverwingTunes.



{November 14, 2012}   Recording Sessions on New CD

Oh my goodness, am I a procrastinator or what?

The recording of the CD has breezed by me and I have written absolutely nothing, but I am about to change that mistake on my part.  So here I go…

We recorded a track with the entire band, which we used as a scratch track, so that as we each recorded our own individual performance we could listen to the song through the headphones.  That was just easy as pie.

The first take on the drums did not come out so well, but we learned alot.  We learned alot about microphones.  They may look simple but they are complicated.  They have different uses, some for vocals, some for instruments and the mikes that we used were not good for drums.  The mikes picked up everything around them, not just the drum that they were pointing at, so we had hums and buzzes and double strikes and it was just muddy.  Not the crisp, individual recordings that we hoped for as a basis for our recording.

So shopping for new drums mikes was the next step.  We ordered the Shure PGDMK6 Drum Mike Kit.  Consisting of one kick drum mike, 3 snare/tom mikes and 2 instrument mikes that we used for overhead on the cymbals.  Our engineer also threw a blanket over the kick drum so the other mikes wouldn’t pick up the sound.

Then we had our drummer come back to the studio and re-record the drum tracks, which turned out beautiful.  I highly recommend spending the extra money to get microphones that are specifically manufactured for drums.  The Shure mikes were great and we look forward to using them in the future.

The next layer in our CD creation was the bass lines.  Since we have played these songs soooo many times in gigs, that went very smoothly.  If there was a note that they didn’t like we used the “punch in” feature to just fix that one little note.  Quick, fast and onto the next thing.  So recording the bass tracks for each of the ten songs took a few days and sounded great.

The bass tracks were done directly into the mixer board as opposed to through an amplifier with a microphone in front of it.  Using an amplifier can add a boominess to the recording, atleast in the room we were using, so direct in was how we went.

There is alot more to tell about the CD engineering and I’ll get back to that soon.  But Silverwing had a really great gig at the Carson Station Casino in Carson City, NV this last weekend.  We had a group of younger people who hung out and had a great time.  There was lots of encores and hooting and hollering and dancing.  That stuff is the stuff!  When you get a rowdy, fun crowd it just makes it all worthwhile.

Back in a few with more details on the recording of the Silverwing CD. Yeah!



{August 13, 2012}   Beginning of Recording Sessions

So this is the start of our final attempt at creating our own CD of our own music.  The songs are originals written by myself, my husband with some collaberation from a bandmate.  Our band Silverwing has been performing these songs in public for years.  We have had numerous requests from people for a CD.  We have actually missed so many opportunities to sell this CD at different events that it is frustrating to think about the lost income and lost exposure.   But that’s the past and today is day one of the recording sessions.

We are using a Tascam Digital Portable Studio DP-24.  I will go into greater detail on the equipment in another post, but for today we are creating scratch tracks of the originals with all the instruments and vocals recorded at the same time.  Then we will take our turn listening to the scratch track while playing our individual part for the final CD.

Silverwing is a four piece band that plays rockin country.  You can visit our website at www.silverwingband.com.  So we all show up and set up our equipment as if we are playing at a gig.  The drums are miked, the guitar amps are miked and the vocals are miked.  Then instead of all of these microphone chords going into a PA for a gig, the chords are the inputs into our Tascam DP-24.

We’ve played these songs together many times and so after a quick warm up.  We went ahead and attempted to record the scratch tracks.  Each individual song is being saved on it’s on Scan Disc.  The engineer has labeled each card for each song.

Playing together is a blast and even though we have played these songs hundreds of times, it’s still always new.  The drums were crisp and bright, the guitar playing was tight and the bass was driving and powerful.  Our music is fun and sometimes kind of rowdy.  There is not a sad song in the bunch.  So this is not work.  This is joy and life.  It never gets old.

So the recording of each song went without a hitch.  Our engineer, Sean, who is also the bass player has used a previous model of Tascam recorder and our DP-24 is the newest and best for our purposes.  So one after the other, we played a practice run through and then Sean hit the record button and there is was.  Saved on the SD card.  Amazing.

So step one is completed in one day.  Scratch tracks for nine original songs are completed in about 8 hours.  Very productive day in the studio.

Can’t wait to tell you the next part of the adventure.



The Silverwing band from Fallon, Nevada is in the last stages of recording a CD of original material.  Silverwing is mainly a rowdy country band fronted by Mel Warstler.  Mel has been playing guitar since he was about 16 in numerous bands throughout Nevada, California and Oregon.  Raised a country boy on the coastal ranches in Oregon, Mel’s music roots go back to classic country.  He learned his picking style at 16 from a retired LA studio musician.  And from that time on Mel’s lead playing has improved and has elevated him to be one of the best country pickers in Nothern Nevada music scene.  When Mel isn’t playing with Silverwing, he is the lead guitarist for Rick Hays and American Steel and can be seen at casinoes throughout Reno and Carson City.

The music on the CD ranges from the classic country sound, to the Kenny Chesney beach type cha-cha to the swamp backwoods down home sounds of Little Big Town.  Really there is something for everyone on this CD.  Last few touches will be completed in the month of May and then mastering and production to follow.  I will keep you informed on when the CD will be released.

Have a great day, Bandgirl



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