Over the last few months you may have noticed that I have been performing quite a bit in the Harlingen, Tx area...no I have not relocated, but there was a window of opportunity that has opened up there. Let's take this story from the beginning.
This past May I found myself with a severe tooth infection caused by my wisdom teeth, which led to all four of them being removed. I made the hard decision to take a month off to have the surgery and also have some recovery time. I let all of the guys in the band know about the situation in plenty of time so as to have time to find work with other bands while I recover. I returned to the stage in early June assuming that all was well, as none of them told me otherwise. On the night of my return I had noticed that two people were snuck in through the back door of the venue that we were playing and assumed that they were relatives of one of the guys. It became apparent during the last set of the night that something wasn't right. I noticed that one of the band members was texting during the set to the couple that was snuck in and they kept laughing at each other. By the end of the night I knew exactly what was going on as this "couple" made sure to avoid me and later I was told that one of them was a singer.
Within the next couple of weeks I was slowly figuring out that three out of the four band members were leaving to form their own group with that new singer. I could say that I was surprised by their actions, but once I sat back and looked at everything that had occured over the last year, it was no surprise. From the outside all looked fine, but behind the closed rehearsal doors all was not fine. In fact I was pretty miserable. I was constantly walking on egg shells and was often being talked down to and belittled. My abilities were continually questioned and I was left with no choice but to pass on many great performance opportunities. I was constantly being told how bad I sang and that all I did was scream and I was going no where. While I tried to keep a brave face and act like it didn't hurt, the truth is that it hurt more than I was willing to admit, not because they were mean comments, but because they were being said by people who were supposed to be my friends and who also claimed to be men of God. After looking at all of this and getting over the anger of my "friends" turning their back on me I realized that it was all for the best that we parted ways.
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason and so while one door was closing, there was a window opening. I found myself in the valley for a weekend and reached out to a radio dj friend of mine and asked him if there were any blues clubs that I should visit while in the area. He recommended stopping by Ol' D's Soda Shop. This was a great recommendation! The food was not only amazing, but the overall atmosphere was incredible. They had a live blues jam going on and I was invited up on stage to sing a few songs. I have never felt more welcomed. I was invited back the next night to sit in with some of my new friends, Big Brucey and the Maxtones.
I was invited back a few weeks later to perform as part of their Friday night blues, this time Mike Gregory (the one band member/friend who didin't bail) came with me. We had a blast and it turned out that Mike and Brucey had been friends for years. Mike and I went back again a few later to perform with Big Brucey for Blues for Autism and the place was packed and the people loved it! The following week I accepted a booking at The Executive Surf Club. Mike and I weren't sure what direction we wanted to go. We had 2 options 1) play it safe and use the same musicians with the same songs or 2) Step out of the box and go through the open window. We decided to go through the open window and invite Big Brucey to do the show with us!
In order to tighten up our show Mike and I made the decision to drive down to Harlingen for the last 2 weeks and rehearse with some of the most phenominal musicians. Some people may look at this as a burden to travel every week to just rehearse but it has been fun and very worth while as I know that God has something amazing in store for us! We have new music, a fresh sound and great musicians coming together to put on an amazing show! I can't wait for Corpus Christi to see this show! It will be a blues show for the books!
I guess you could say that when the door gets slammed in your face, look around for the open window.