Tag Archives: lap steel

The Backyard Committee at the Huntington

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining my friends in The Backyard Committee for a few songs on lap steel guitar at one of our 35 Below parties at the Huntington. I’ve played a shows with them before, mostly on keyboards, and this was a fun, different experiment, as I don’t really get to play lap steel guitar out in front of people very often (it’s also a very difficult instrument to play by yourself). The band is essentially Mike Sembos, and whatever musicians he finds to accompany him. Even if I hadn’t been friends with Mike for 12 or so years now, I’d still love this band, because Mike is an utterly fantastic songwriter. So they’re always a blast to play with, and I’m hoping to do it again pretty soon. Did I mention that you can download both of their albums for free on their website?

…also there was Duck Hunt:

Cosmic Banditos! (-itos)(-itos)(-itos)

This weekend, I had the pleasure of accompanying Cosmic Banditos on their first gig in Baltimore, Maryland. I filled in on Woodrow and lap steel for a set at the annual Music4Change concert. Here’s some video (more after the break)

Continue reading Cosmic Banditos! (-itos)(-itos)(-itos)

Le Fheile Padraig

Alright, so my commitment to posting a new cover song every 2 weeks has fallen behind. I’ve been recovering from a sinus infection, which of course has rendered me unable to sing.

But serendipity shined its smiling Irish eyes on me, and I was able to finish just in time for the Feast of Saint Patrick (one of my personal favorite holidays). This entry into the Song of the (Bi-)Week series is a cover of “Streams of Whiskey” by the Irish rock group The Pogues. This song pays homage to two of my favorite things: drinking whiskey, and Irish playwright/author Brendan Behan, who is also the namesake of my favorite local pub (where I often enjoy drinking whiskey). The original song is an sloppy, upbeat drinking song in 4/4 time; my version follows more in the tradition of Americana, complete with plenty of lap steel guitar, and converts the meter to 3/4 time.

Enjoy, and have yourselves a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Song of the (Bi-)Week, Week 4: “Alive”

Yeah, this is totally the song that Alyssa sang at the lesbian bar in Chasing Amy before Ben Affleck realized she was gay. What of it? It’s a good tune! I tried going all Neutral Milk Hotel* on the chorus, which sounded great in the cans, but sounds a little thin on laptop speakers. Oh well. You’ll live.


*Also? Their first and only concert in 10 years just sold out this morning in under a minute. You can bet I’m pissed.

Song of the (Bi-)Week, Week 3: “Don’t Think Twice”

A little late — first because my internet access was out, and then because I was trapped on the worst MegaBus ride ever, and then because I was time traveling to 1920s Philadelphia, which caused all sorts of problems.

But I’m back now, and I brought t-shirts for everybody! Well, maybe not t-shirts. But at least this song. Just out of time for Valentine’s Day, enjoy an atmospheric Irish wake of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice.” And tell my lap steel guitar how sorry you are for the awful things I did to it in order to make those sounds.