Bandgirl's Blog











{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.

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{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



Silverwing www.silverwingband.com is going to have a great time this Friday night when we get to play at the Red Dog Saloon in historic Virginia City, Nevada.  First off, any time we play any where is a great time, but the Red Dog is a legend in rock-n-roll music history.  Janis Joplin played there along with other rockers of her era.

Now they bring new and upcoming acts to town like Rose’s Pawn Shop and keep the place packed with their great food.  For us in Silverwing it’s an awesome gig with a great stage and high tech sound equipment.  I am not as experienced a musician as the rest of the band and I am even intimidated by the sound check!  I don’t want to show my inexperience before the gig even starts.  Hah, that wouldn’t be real impressive.  So I act cool and calm and try to make an appropriate request, like “Can I have a little more vocals in my monitor.”  That’s good band jargon!

We are pleased to be asked to play this particular weekend, since it Camel Races Weekend and town will be packed. Learn more about the Camel Races at  http://www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/events/international-camel-races.html  I guess the camel races are a hoot and when they are over you can visit numerous restaurants or bars for some entertainment.

Whatever you are doing this weekend have some fun.  I will. 



{July 31, 2013}   Silverwing at Whiskey Tavern

Silverwing at Whiskey Tavern

Mary, Mel, Sean and Frank of Silverwing



All original music from Northern Nevada’s best kept secret, Silverwing. We may not be Number 1, but we try harder! You can hear the title track “Moonshine” at our website http://www.silverwingband.com. Purchase the entire CD or sample tracks and pick out your favorite. My suggestion this week????….I would check out “Wide Open Spaces” which is a huge crowd favorite.



et cetera