Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Musically unusual

In what seems like a different lifetime, I was a bass player. I did that for about 12 years until I came to a couple of conclusions: first, I wasn't creative or talented enough at it to get anywhere with it, and second, other musicians, especially guitar players, are typically a PITA to work with.Being in bands just got old, although I loved playing live. I got to play in a house band for a little while that played Sunday nights at the church in an attempt to try a different format. That was back in the '90's, but I still remember it fondly because my brother was the drummer at the time. He's a bass player now. It was a big church, and the attendance was pretty good. There were probably in the neighborhood of 700 people there that night. Good times.

Another conclusion I reached was that I would never be as good as either of these guys. Two of my favorite bassists are Victor Wooten with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Otiel Burbridge with Aquarium Rescue Unit. Besides that these guys create these huge grooves, they're capable of doing anything, so there's improv in there within driving the song. It's an amazing talent that very few have.

Victor is probably the best overall bassist in the world, in my book. I love that he's so dynamic and forceful within the very unusual framework of The Flecktones, and he can do all that with only four strings. Take a listen to this:

Otiel Burbridge is...I dunno how to describe him except a groove machine. When I first heard these guys, I knew the bassist was black, but I was pretty sure the rest of 'em were, too. Surprise! Otiel plays a six string, but he uses all of it, and what he plays with all those strings drives the song...and he can sing his solos, too. ARU might just suck without him.

Bass players make everything better...just as much as guitarists make everything difficult. LOL!


Joe said...

Just ran across your site while searching / learning about Kyle Lamb... Clicked over to your current page (from a post about Lamb from 2009) and saw this entry. Gunny, bass player, fan of Victor and Otiel. My brother from another mother. I was lucky enough to see ARU several times when they were still gigging - some with the Col., some without. Otiel is the *man*.

Anyway, cheers - enjoy the SHOT show.

Haji said...

I find it somewhat comical that I'm an hour from the "Music City", and I've never been there to see a show. When I lived in San Diego, it was live music all the time!

I was at SHOT, but spent the whole week in the booth. I only got a couple hours away this year. Might throw up a recap post in the next couple days, before I forget what little I can document.