Tag Archive: sound man


sound-system-setupI mentioned a few posts back that I had people talk to me while setting up my sound system. They were friendly and well-meaning, but they kept asking questions. Which disturbed my routine and I missed a couple of steps. It’s harder to find the problem later when you think you’ve done everything as usual.

When the show has begun, it’s harder to adjust on the fly. You use every trick in your book and sweat a lot. If you’re lucky – and you know what you’re doing – you can get good sound for the audience at least. Which is the important thing. In a smaller venue, like Angela’s at the Crosswalk, the performer can still hear herself, she just doesn’t know how it’s coming across to the audience. But in a larger venue, it could potentially be a disaster.

But the point I’m trying to make is that when the sound man is setting up the system – particularly if he is setting up the system from scratch – avoid talking to him or her, if possible. Say hi and ask a question of course. But try not to engage them in extended conversation. They may be running late for one reason or another. They are volunteering after all, as a general rule. Either way they will have time to talk after the sound system is ready and before the show begins. Particularly, if the sound man is also the host. It’s a little different in places with a built-in sound system, like Poor David’s Pub, with a professional sound man. But still, let the sound man do his job. He wants to hear from you, but he also has a job to do. You will sound better when you play as a result. And thank him when you leave.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Samantha as we sang to her.

Samantha as we sang to her.

On Monday, December 12th, the Poor David’s Pub open mic, hosted by Mr. Troll, was a celebration of Samantha Sanders’, birthday. Samantha Sanders is the bar manager at PDP, a hairdresser, a mother of three talented baseball playing boys, and an all around beautiful person.

Keith Crow started the show. He had to leave early, so Troll let him start. Troll followed Keith with Billy Keith Bucher joining him on cajon.  When Troll and Billy Keith finished, I took the stage – with a box rather than a guitar.

I asked Carlos to come up to the stage. While he was coming to the stage, I announced that Carlos was the 2016 Best Sound Man of the Year Award. When he reached the stage, I announced that, as showcase director for the Dallas Songwriters Association, I was presenting Carlos with the 2017 Best Sound Man of the Year award.carlos-sanchez-and-dan-roark

I was not trying to take away from Samantha’s celebration by giving Carlos the trophy. I was guest hosting when it was Carlos’ birthday celebration and I wanted Troll to be there when I gave Carlos the award. And, as in Carlos’ case, it wasn’t the actual birthday.

After the presentation and the two of us leaving the stage, David Card and Mr. Troll took our place. David expounded for a bit about Samantha’s talents as a bar manager and her charms as a person. Which we all echoed with shouts of agreement and applause. Then David and Troll led us all in singing Happy Birthday.

Poor David Card and Mr. Troll

Poor David Card and Mr. Troll

Then it was back to the open mic with the featured artist, Eric Sommer. Sommer is originally from Boston and now pretty much from the road. He has an old style blues guitar setup – from the amps to the acoustic guitars to the telecasters to the Shure iconic unidyne vocal mic. Eric reminds one of the blues players who came before him. Mixed, however, with a punk, salty, edge.

Sometimes being late to post works out right. Today is Samantha’s actual birthday. Go to her Facebook page and say Happy Birthday!

And the music plays on….

Peace be with you.

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