WW Update – 05242017

Ok, quick update on the next project. DreamSnake is currently working on a tribute EP to my old college band, Whiplash Willy. Approximately 17 years have passed since Nick and I collaborated on that material and we thought it might be fun to strike up another collaboration and unearth a few of our favorites from that period of time.

Whiplash Willy essentially existed for about three years, give or take. Things started at Nick’s place, where we recorded a handful of songs on cassette. That collection was essentially titled “WWI” and included a fan favorite, “Tony Danza” and a few other tracks that have since slipped out of memory. The sheer fact that we recorded it on a tape and then tried to digitize the recording and ultimately put it back on tape shows the true commitment we had early on to preserving the landmark music.

But, over the coming months, we became slightly more sophisticated and actually multi-tracked songs moving forward on a copy of Cool Edit Pro, which preceded most of today’s desktop recording software. Two additional collections of songs were created, titled “WWII” and “WWIII”. Copies of CDs were painstakingly assembled from collages of magazine images and words and were then copied at the local CopyWorks printing shop.

During this time (1999-2002), we would perform sets at La Boheme in Ames, just west of the Iowa State University campus. Mostly, we’d take up sets during the Sunday night open-mic night. Otherwise, we’d jam where we could, like any college folk rock band.

mike

So, work is underway on the EP, which will likely be finished in the next few months.

Until the Next Jam

Just days ago, the Central Iowa music scene lost an incredible player. Jeff Blanchard, guitarist and vocalist for Mr. Baber’s Neighbors, passed into the night.

JB was everything you’d hope to find in a fellow musician. I had the beautiful opportunity to share the stage with the Baberhood on several occasions, and on each of those occasions, JB was nothing less than gracious, loving and warm. He was such a powerful presence to be around, especially for a younger musician who was often filled with nerves before hitting the stage. A few brief minutes in his company filled you with confidence and brought you peace simultaneously.

A few years back, the Baberhood met at The Mint, our recording/playing space to demo a few songs they had been working on. I ran the board for them that night and witnessed only what I could describe as something magically. To them, I suppose it was less of a moment and more of the ongoing wave that musicians tap into. That night, they recorded a scratch track of Matterhorn and it was hauntingly good.

I have nothing but love for Jeff, Jerry and the boys, and Jeff’s larger family. May there be a little room in the circle the next time we meet.

“The Queen would surely knight me if I could get back down
But it’s closer here to heaven than it is back to the ground”
– Matterhorn