Bandgirl's Blog











Yup, that’s right.  Silverwing has a weekend off from gigging.  We could be practicing, but there is family stuff to tend to this weekend.

So instead we are going to make decisions on some new  songs to add to the set list. Sometimes this is so difficult.

First, we are musical mutts.  We love everything from Deep Purple to Brantley Gilbert, from George Jones to Motley Crue.  But we are a rockin country band, so the Crue is probably out.  It’s tough to make the call, pick the song, put in the practice time and then wait to see if anyone enjoys it.

Next, sometimes we pick a song that just falls flat.  We’ve worked up songs that just didn’t do anything.  The crowd just chatters, gets up to get a drink, heads to the bathroom.  Yikes!  That one is going to the back of the book.

Talking about heading to the bathroom reminds me of Casino Fandango in Carson City.  They pipe the music all over the casino including the parking lot and the bathrooms.  When my husband played with a band there, I headed to the bathroom and while I was in there taking care of business I realize that my husband is singing to me.  Huh!  That’s a weird experience.

Anyway, sometimes they just don’t fly.  Sure the crowd needs a break once in a while.  Maybe we just had them up doing a swing dance and they are catching their breathe, but sometimes we pick a song just doesn’t go over very well.

And finally, we kinda have to like the song, cause we are gonna live with it for quite a while.  Sure, we play songs that aren’t our personal favorites because they are popular at the time, but we also have to enjoy ourselves.  Perhaps the chord pattern is a challenge or it’s has a killer guitar lead or a dramatic drum roll.  Whatever!  We will find a way to enjoy ourselves.

Because rockin’ it up in our country band is all about the fun.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love being a musician.

SW Moonshine Cover

Our CD of original music “Moonshine” is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/silverwing.  The music was written by Mel Warstler (holding the dobro, which he plays on the CD) and I helped with all the lyrics.  Check out the title track at http://www.silverwingband.com

Thanks, Mary Warstler

Advertisements


{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.



{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



This story is exactly why I created the
GuitarChics website, to inspire young girls and young women to play
music despite the odds and despite any self defeating behaviors.
There are successful female guitar players who have experienced some
tough times and they can inspire us to stay with our efforts.

Joan Jett is the epitome of the
GuitarChic Spirit, devoted, dedicated, full of belief in herself,
strong in the face of rejection. Joan Jett is an amazing person and
she shared her philosophy on life just recently with at-risk
students.

On Monday, May 23, 2011 Joan Jett made
a surprise appearance at a school assembly at Scriber Lake
Alternative High School in Edmonds, Washington and spoke to the
students on the subject of completing school and following your
dreams.  Joan had dropped out of high school to  pursue her dream of
being a rockstar, but after success with “The Runaways”, and smash hits
like “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Crimson & Clover” she
returned to high school and got her GED.  Gotta love Joan Jett.

Scriber Lake is an alternative high
school for students with learning disabilities or at risk of dropping
out.  English teacher Gary Lange, saw the movie “The Runaways”
and felt that Joan Jett was exactly like his students and could
relate to them, so he sent an email to her manager requesting that
she consider speaking to the students.  She accepted and a quiet
plan was hatched.

Joining Joan at the assembly was her
longtime producer Kenny Laguna.  In 1979 when Joan was trying to get
her first album signed at a record label she was turned down by over
20 record execs, so she and Kenny formed Blackheart Records and
issued the album themselves, selling copies out the trunk of Kenny’s
car after shows.  And although now anyone can buy some inexpensive
equipment and issue a CD of original music, in 1979 this was a
complicated undertaking. After over 20 rejections they both still
believed and they took the project into their own hands.  This makes
Joan Jett the first woman to own her own record company.

So you know when Joan Jett talks about
doing what you love, despite the odds against you, she speaks from
experience.  When she talks about completing things, we all know she
didn’t need a GED, but it was important for her to go back and
complete school, she speaks from experience.  When Joan Jett
encourages you to pursue your dreams, you know she faced rejection
and kept on with her dreams, that is the essence of the GuitarChics
Spirit.

Surround yourself with people who
believe in you and your dream.  Why would we put people into our
lives who don’t believe in us, I don’t know why, but many of us do.

And when someone rejects you, remember Joan faced 23
rejections before she went on to a career that has spanned 30 years
and produced 8 platinum and gold albums.  Remember, the people who
reject you can be wrong.

I am so impressed  that Joan Jett took
the opportunity to share her story with at risk students. That is
epitome of the GuitarChic, faith in yourself, determination, and that
is what she spoke to them about. She encouraged these kids to find
what they love and do it.  Immerse yourself in your interest and it
will become a part of your life, it will help define you.  I am the
rhythm guitar player for Silverwing and Brandywine and I am steppin’
up to the microphone with faith in myself, belief in my goals and
lovin’ it.  Join Me.

If you want to see the story of her
rejection by 23 record labels watch the video for “Bad Reputation”

Don’t forget to visit www.Guitarchics.com
to learn about other inspiring female guitar players.

sources:  www.heraldnet.com,
www.ksdk.com,
www.joanjett.net,
www.joanjettbadrep.com,
http://www.myspace.com/joanjettntheblackhearts

 



{March 9, 2010}   About Guitarchics.com

I just finished creating my first website, Guitarchics.com where I will honor beautiful female guitarists.  I want to encourage girls to learn how to play the guitar.  Being a guitar player is fun and a great hobby.  My site needs a little editing, but I am going to add to it all the time.  I plan on adding chords charts to new songs and links to great guitar gear.  Hope you enjoy it.



et cetera