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 6, 2015}   The adventures of Silverwing

SW Moonshine CoverIt’s the end of a long week.  We worked, we cooked, we cleaned, we paid bills, time to kick back and relax. Uh, nooooo!

Not us. This is just the beginning of the excitement.

Tonight Mel and I host karaoke at a smokey little bar in downtown. We’ve been doing this for about 5 years and it never gets old.  Sure, when Karaoke started to become popular around here (about the time the rest of the world got bored with it) we were offended.  Hey, we are a band, working hard to bring you live music, that we practiced for hours and you’d rather sing along to a record!  Wow, that stinks.

But….then we realized we had better equipment sitting in our garage, so we put it to work. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. And here we are the king and queen of karaoke, playing songs so many of our friends can belt there little lungs out.

The pleasant warm fuzzy thing about Karaoke is that it’s about other people.  For us, who are so used to being on stage and having folks applaud for us, it’s our chance to support others.  From the chicken who is afraid, to the person who dreamed of singing professionally, it’s our turn to be supportive of others.  I enjoy hearing someone nail a hard song that they’ve been practicing week after week.

Then after hanging out till 2AM with the Karaoke junkies on Friday night, on Saturday we have our regular first Saturday gig at the other hometown bar, Boomer’s and for a little added excitement, it’s the first home gig for our new drummer, Brandon.

Brandon grew up here, so there will be lots of family and friends in the crowd.  We are expecting lots of support.  But the best part of a new band member is the unexpected disaster that may occur. In a sick sort of way, I kind of look forward to that moment when it’s heading for a huge disaster of epic proportions and we drag it back from the edge and finish like pros.  It’s very satisfying to hang on and pull it off.  Plus, once you’ve survived the disaster, then the rest of it is easy.

Well I hope everyone has awesome weekend.  If you are in No. Cali or Nevada, come find us.  You can expect some killer guitar work from my hubby, Mel and http://www.silverwingband.com

The cover of the new CD "Moonshine" by Silverwing. That's me in the pretty dress.

The cover of the new CD “Moonshine” by Silverwing. That’s me in the pretty dress.



{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



{January 6, 2010}   Guitarchics – the beginning

Guitarchics.com is going to be a tribute to the brains, beauty, guts & glory of being a female guitarist.  From the classics, the traditionalist, to the radical chics who drive it to the edge.  I can’t wait to bring this great group of women together in one site.   Both a history and a hope.  A hope for our girls who are picking up the guitar & dreaming their dreams.   I will be building this site over the next few weeks, so keep coming back!  Thanks and have a great day, Bandgirl



et cetera