The train keeps rollin’ on for the Dave Paris Group. I’ve been fortunate to have some great friends working the drum kit in our trio of qwerky guitar music over the years. Recently drummer Doug Allemang filled in for us. Doug was one of the easiest going drummer’s I’ve worked with in a long time. He really appreciated our music & spent a lot of time working with us to get the little details worked out. It seems he’s mostly been playing classic rock & R&B music, so our set was a welcome change for him it appeared. With Doug recovering from rotator cuff surgery I felt guilty calling upon his services, but he pulled it off as a true professional. With Doug we did mostly our blues & straight-ahead rock tunes, but gave him a chance to open up on “Roman’s Road”.
Drummer Miles Damaso was a childhood friend, & what I mean by that is that he was a child when I met him. I knew his parents & got to see Miles grow as a player as a teenager, & I brought him in for an acoustic project attempt when he was 17 but we got bored & made it electric. We attempted to get the band revived with him but at the time we all had things happening. Miles has been developing quite a reputation around Cedar Rapids with his chops, & we did some jams with him & pulled off a great set at the NewBo Market Outdoor Stage. Miles’ talents are limitless, but his time isn’t. As a recent high school graduate, he’s going on to college majoring in music, & what college kid really wants to play in a band with your parent’s friends anyway?
But these endeavors have inspired the Barbe & I to revamp the band. As I’ve been involved in the recording & business side of music, I haven’t been performing much as my own – or our own thing. Our Undistorted acoustic duo act has been doing some shows & we are having a good time with it, but Barbe recently stated she “Loves” our electric show, so we really need a kit player.
Even though we’ve found some great players, the chemistry for our band is tough. First, we need someone who shares the vision. Playing mostly instrumental music, that borders on hard/modern rock, blues, prog, & metal; that’s a tough sell sometimes. Many drummers I’ve approached & offered paying gigs to have turned them down because “they don’t like the style.” Which is fine; I really don’t care if you LIKE my music, I just care if you can PLAY my music, & sometimes that’s all I need for a one-off. We also hear “I like the music, I just don’t see a market for it.” Which is true to a point; we’re not playing the same covers local bands have been doing since they were in high school, so it’s tough to get out of the safety zone.
Then, like I mentioned, we need someone who has the talent & interest in playing what we play. Since this isn’t about playing mass-appeal, crowd-pleaser music, we need to practice a lot to get good; we’re not playing covers that transfer over to other bands. Drummers often say, “I know my part, I don’t understand why we have to practice so much.” It’s tough in particular for Barbe as she plays bass & keyboards, has to remember lyrics, & then sing on pitch, not to mention look like she does this all effortlessly. So, we need to look out for each other, & to be a creative band we need musicians willing & interested in working a set as a cohesive unit, beyond the usual bar-time fun.
Drummers love working with the Barbe, however. She’s a great bassist who is easy to lock into & cue-off of. She’s a solid player who humbly pulls off intricate lines but doesn’t get in the way of the drumming. A good drummer interested in making a solid foundation with no need for a rhythm guitar would love to occupy the space within our sound.
Finally, there’s the personality aspect. Barbe & I have worked together for decades, & sometimes that’s great, & sometimes rough. Plus, we’ve never been partyers, so having a good time to us is working on arrangements & analyzing major concerts. Having come out of Christian music, we have a tendency to be uncool & un-fun to those who can’t play unless they’re at least a little buzzed. So that makes it tough as well; we’re probably not as fun as other good-time bands.
But we’re hopeful to find someone soon. We are looking at some interesting & unique live performance opportunities, & we hope to do some audio & video recording soon as well. This is the time to get into the group, as we update our press & promotional kit. We’d love to find someone with the creativity & innovation to contribute to new material while preserving our extensive back catalog. We’d really like to find someone who can add to our songs & business aspects rather than simply playing our set.
If you know anyone in the Cedar Rapids area that fits this description please have them contact me.