Friday, August 01, 2008

bass at the Folk Fest

Seeing the Calgary Folk Music Festival last weekend got me curious about playing in a band again -- I briefly played with some friends in high school, but the decibel levels were a bit too much for me and I quit. Earlier this week I even checked out the used bass guitars for sale on Craigslist. I'd probably better not make any major purchases until I'm drawing some income again, though.

There was a whole lot of great bass playing at the festival -- I won't try and name all the bassists I heard, since I'm not really up on that scene, but they were definitely shaking the island. One of my favorite bass guitarists, Meshell Ndegeocello, made an appearance playing blues with James Blood Ulmer.

There were quite a few upright basses around, too -- I saw one sitting on the lawn when we got there Sunday morning, and it must have found its way to a stage somewhere. We really do play an incredibly versatile instrument, and you could hear upright basses in almost any sort of style and combination over the course of the weekend. Todd Sickafoose joined Ani DiFranco's folk rock band for the closing set on Sunday night, and laid down bass grooves as catchy as anything I heard all weekend, and even drew out a bow at one point. With the right pick-up and amplification, an upright bass can do just about anything a bass guitar can do.


rob said...

You're welcomed to borrow an electric bass from me if you want to try one for a while. Let me know and you can stop by or I'll bring one the next time I see you.
By the way, I think my favorite (electric) bass player at the folk fest was Pedro from Los Straightjackets: anyone who can play a whole gig in a wrestling mask wins in my book. (BTW, I didn't go to the folk fest this year, just the after-party. Los Straightjackets did show up at one of our gigs and sit in, sans masks though.)

Matt Heller said...

I might take you up on that, Rob! If I do get my electric bass chops functional again, perhaps I should also acquire a good wrestling mask, or else just a lot of face paint.

See you soon!