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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It’s been a busy week promoting Silverwing.

We picked up a new venue at a place called the Flight Bar, guessing it’s next to the airport.  A friend is teaching line dancing and the owners want some live music, so our friend suggested Silverwing.  Always great to get a recommendation, now the pressure is on. We’ve exchanged info on the dances and songs that will make this gig a success for us and for the new dancers.

Then another friend contacted us this week about an opportunity at a casino in Reno, which is looking for some country music.  It’s hard to break into the casino circuit.  Sometimes you need an agent, who will take a cut, for making a few phone calls.  Also you need to have experience and it’s the age old dilemma, you need experience to get the gig, but you can’t get any experience unless you get a gig.  So if we can get in the door, then we’ll work hard to keep it.  Of course the venue needs to support it with some good advertising.

Then we had a killer practice yesterday.  Lots of breaking down the details.  My husband has played for so long, then he does everything by ear.  I, of course, can’t remember s#@t, so I have lots of notes, but no sheet music.  He just listens, picks out the chords, noodles till he has the lead figured out and off we go.  It can be an amazing thing to watch.  Anyway, there was lots of breaking things down.  What is that note, what is the drum beat, where is the stop.  It went from noon to 6pm with lots of smoke breaks, but that’s where we connect and become friends, not just musicians at a job.

Our next gig is this Saturday at our local hangout Boomer’s.  So lots of friends in the crowd.  I’ll let you know if anything crazy happens.

Mary, http://www.silverwingband.com, our cd is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing



{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



I’m bringing this blog back to life.  For a short while I was dedicated, then life happened and by the time I even thought about making a post, it seemed so pointless.

But today I am breathing life back into this blog.

I have the greatest hobby, ever!  I am the bass player for my husband’s band Silverwing. I have played music to a few lonely drunks and I’ve played music in front of thousands of people.  For a formerly shy girl, this is just an amazing life.

I want to share some of the fun times we have had, maybe encourage a few girls to pick up a guitar and celebrate female musicians.

But I also want to share Silverwing. We are country band with a crazy edgy drive.  My husband was a lead player in a heavy metal band and give the guy a few beers and he’s tearing up a blistering guitar lead to just about anything from Merle Haggard to Jason Aldean. Being on stage with that kind of energy is a rush.  I love it and I just want to share it.

Of course, I wish Silverwing was opening for big acts, but I’m grateful for where we are in our lives.  If we stay busy, then I will be happy and content.  We have issued a CD of original music which is very popular with our followers.  If I can tell the world about our CD and gain a few fans that would make me very happy.  Someday we might even jump in the car, drive to Nashville and knock on a few doors, just to say…….. “I did it”

So welcome to my blog.  I hope you enjoy the stories that I share, I hope you learn a little about some awesome female musicians and maybe someday you might hear a Silverwing tune on the radio.

Check out our website at http://www.silverwingband.com and come like us on Facebook.com/silverwingband

Have a wonderful day, Mary “bandgirl” Warstler



{February 26, 2015}   From Rhythm Guitar to Bass Guitar

I learned to play the guitar from my brother who was wounded in Viet Nam.  He went out and bought two Yamaha classical style with nylon strings and the wide neck.  I’m showing my age, but it was a large guitar for a 10 year old girl.  He got a couple Mel Bay books and figured out the chords and we started learning a few song together.  It was the time of Cat Stevens, CSNY and Gordon Lightfoot.  Woodstock was happening up the road from our town in NY.  It was magical.  I remember the beauty of strumming each chord over and over till it was perfect, no buzz, no dull, just magic.

I joined the church folk mass group and they were devoted John Denver fans. We perfected arpeggios and daydreamed.  My brother moved up in the world and bought a Gibson Hummingbird in around 1973. Imagine what that would be worth if I still had it somewhere hidden away in a closet, but it disappeared, probably pawned as times got tough.

I took lessons from John Quara, who took me through many books.  He worked professionally in some big band in NYC and I played rhythm to lots of big band music during lessons, not really the direction I was hoping to go. I dreamed of being Judy Collins, so I lost interest.

It was years before I picked up a guitar, many years of college, work, marriage, kids, divorce, loneliness.  I didn’t even have a guitar hidden away in a closet. I just left it behind, but one day I picked it up and amazing things have happened.

I can’t wait to tell the stories that took me from strumming that guitar to playing bass professionally.  It’s become the anchor of my life today. More stories to follow.

Visit our website at http://www.silverwingband.com.  I co-wrote the lyrics for the song “Moonshine” that plays on the home page, pick up our cd at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing.  I play rhythm and co-wrote most of the lyrics.  Yeah, life is good.

Thanks, Mary Warstler



{December 31, 2012}   New Year’s Eve Entertainment

Well here it is.  New Year’s Eve!

Playing NYE can be one of the most important gigs of the year.  It is the Super Bowl of gigs.  It is the pinnacle of the year and you should have the largest crowd of any night that you play all year.  Hopefully!

So, despite the fact that we don’t play until 9pm, there is plenty of action all day long.  First, we are playing 90 miles away, so we are staying over night and we need to pack our clothes, shoes, makeup, bling, etc, everything necessary for the show and the next day.  I picked out my outfit last night; little black dress, a glittery top over it, heels, jewelry.  I’d like to have some goofy thing to wear on my head, like a blingy little tiara.  It’s important to lead the way sometimes and encourage a little fun, wildness, whatever the moment requires.  So that’s keeping me busy this morning.

We need to eat good and feel good.  After stuffing ourselves during the Christmas week festivities, I have been keeping it healthy for the last few days, so today is no exception.  Maybe some whole grain cereal, green tea and if we are still at the house for lunch, I will have a nice salad.  I don’t feel well on a diet of junk food.

Right before we head out, we pack the gear.  I don’t think many people realize the amount of equipment it takes to put on a gig.  In addition to guitars and amplifiers we bring the PA equipment as well.  So it’s microphones, stands, chords, the mixer board, power amplifiers, power conditioners, monitor speakers, PA speakers, and sometimes we even bring lights.  Then there is you personal gear, guitar, stand, amplifier, chords, wireless gear, pedals, and tons of other miscellaneous gadgets.

To rent this kind of equipment and hire someone to run it for you costs more than we usually get for a gig of four hours.  Sometimes I realize we are in the wrong line of work, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

So loading that into vehicles (we really need an enclosed trailer) and unloading it, is part of my weekly exercise routine.  I figure it must burn some calories, so that’s how I justify it.  And off we go.

We’ve played this venue twice before, but they were both tough nights to draw a crowd.  The first time was the Friday of the Thanksgiving holiday, ugh, people are home with family or out of town, so we can write that off as a typically poor night.  Then the next time we played was mid-December, but it was the night of the Santa Crawl in downtown Reno, where thousands of crazy drunk people dress up as Santa, or Eleves or maybe Naughty Santa Helpers.  You know what I mean.  It is one of the biggest parties in Reno.   They actually close Virginia Street and take an overhead photo of them and the crowd is huge.  So again, for us….not such a good night in the casino.  But tonight we are expecting a good crowd of fun, crazy, rowdy party animals.  Don’t I have a great job, or what?

So, I don’t have anymore time for writing.  It’s time to put my glittery shirt in the car and head off to have fun for a living.

Everyone have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  Visit us at our website and leave a message on our visitor page at www.silverwingband.com.

Love, Silverwing and the GuitarChic



et cetera