Thursday, September 27, 2007

Incognito

I am secretly a rock star. The "regulars" know this, the "newbies" may not.

Both of my parents have music degrees. I have been able to sing as long as I can remember, and learned to harmonize very early as well. I started playing piano by ear fairly young as well, but my passion is singing.

About ten years ago I met someone that has always encouraged my abilities. He has been like a mentor to me since. The evolution began with him asking me to sing solos - covers of songs that I didn't think I had the guts to do but this is someone you don't say no to. Around the same time I joined a band - I was the only girl and wanted to be included. I began as backup singer and tambourine player and then drew on my beginnings with the piano and became a keyboard player.

Three years ago I started singing with two different groups. The first was Ella Mental, an acoustic trio. TJ and Megan played acoustic guitar and I sang and played percussion.

The other group was The Swing Sisters. Chelsea and I had been talking about our love of swing and big band jazz era music and wanted to start a group. We met Brooke thanks to an organization called the Dickens Carolers, which Chelsea and TJ both sang in. We asked Brooke if she would be interested in a Swing group and she was excited about the idea.

We began rehearsals in January of 2005 and our first performance was a private party on Mother's Day that year. We had ten songs memorized and choreographed, and were a big hit.

Our repertoire soon grew to about 15 songs by June, and we began performing monthly at a local jazz diner that had just opened. The demand grew quickly and by August we began performing twice a month on Thursday nights around 10pm.

By September we knew about 30 songs and were constantly improving our "moves" and learning new tunes.

In December we performed as the entertainment for my company Christmas party.

2006 found us in even more demand and we were moved to Friday nights at the diner, with an earlier call time. This brought us an even wider following and we performed by request for a couple of Saturday night parties at the diner to a packed house.

I met Scott in April of 2006 and moved to Key West in September, 2006. In between I continued to perform with The Swing Sisters (and Ella Mental, now performing once a month at a coffee shop) and we pursued lessons in improving our choreography and stage presence.

I have tried to take an attitude of "out of sight, out of mind" but I am grieving for my group. I was replaced, which I expected, and they are going strong, performing in several venues around town. I wish I could say that I would love to see them perform when I go home to visit, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am jealous. I am still a little bitter.

I'm sure if I was regularly singing here I would heal, but it hasn't happened yet...

9 comments:

Ninja Of The Mundane said...

Reese sings a version of "Blackbird" that will make you cry.

I hope you're still writing songs, or at least words. With electronic file transmission capabilities, musicians can work together without necessarily needing to be in a studio together. And I'm sure your Portland-area faithful would be happy to help.

I'll even rework my "Ceiling Fans Of Love" song for you ... I've got a good melodic hook for it.

ReesePie said...

I've been writing, but not getting a lot of response from my main musical cohort in Portland. I need to get my hands on an instrument here and some method of recording.

Angela said...

Okay, I can not even begin to say HOW COOL I THINK THAT IS!!! I've always been jealous of anyone who was able to be on stage singing but know that I don't have the talent to do that. Jon goes through something very similar, so I think I may understand a bit better than I would have. Losing groups and people and places we love is tough. Here's hoping that you are able to find a creative outlet for your marvelous talents soon!!!

moosh in indy. said...

I'll be bitter and jealous with you.
It's just how I roll.

ReesePie said...

Sweet.

Roxy said...

Hey Reese......you need to contact Darryl Larson. He told me he's setting up a recording studio in about a month. I'm gonna go play there a little...:D

Jake said...

You're going to be like the Beatles' drummer before Ringo... What's his name??? Exactly.

Tammie Jean said...

Wow, how awesome! You definitely need to find an outlet for it - can't keep good talent locked away...

Kelsie-lou said...

I'm late, but I hear ya. At least I hear ya in that I know Aaron feels the same way. He hasn't been able to find anyone that is his calibre and quality, and with whom he clicks (read: he hasn't found anyone who doesn't only play hillbilly music). It's very frustrating and saddening, I know. Especially when the people you KNOW you click with are doing fine without you. I feel your pain.