Did “spring ahead” mess you up? You’re not alone if losing an hour to daylight savings time wrecked you. And then it snowed on the first day of spring. Did you cry foul? I know it’s been a long, cold winter. Just listen to all those birds outside your window. Shake it off. Spring is here. I’m planting some seeds right now that will bring a fine harvest for bands and fans of live music.
I have a few more showcases scheduled in Lancaster for April and May. Then the map zooms out. The Gigspots Spotlight Showcase is going on the road! I’ll be taking central PA bands out to visit all those fine bands I brought to town over the last two years. You’ll get a chance to play at some new venues for some new audiences. They’ll be ready and waiting; they’ve heard all about you since they sent their hometown heroes to Lancaster to open for you. You will be music ambassadors for central PA.
Where are we going? “From Pittsburgh to Philly, from the Poconos to the Potomac” isn’t just one of Gigspots’ slogans. I have built a loop of client venues where you can play nearly every night of the week. We can crash with all those bands that spent the night on my couches. Or maybe like me you have friends all across the state who say, “Why don’t you ever visit?” I’ll bet you know somebody along I-80 or I-70.
That’s just how it worked out with Working Breed when they drove from Pittsburgh to play shows for me in Manayunk and Lancaster. They had friends and family in West Chester who attended both shows and gave them lodging. Venues like it when you bring 10-12 people to a show on your first visit. Working Breed played two shows and got three future gigs out of it.
I’m going off the grid March 23-28 for a retreat in the mountains. When I get back, tour planning begins in earnest. If your band has a profile on Gigspots.com, take this week to update it with your latest pics, videos, links and shows. I’ll be cleaning house of bands that don’t do their homework and picking the bands that look road-worthy. Don’t forget that you can ALWAYS post your info, events and fun stuff on my Gigspots Facebook page. It’s your bulletin board too and it keeps you on the radar of me and my audience. Ask the bands I’ve taken on tour if that’s worth it.
Sweet Leda’s latest album Let It In deserves tons of attention and hundreds of accolades. The fat, lush sounds of the direct-to-tape recording process captured the layers of power and intensity behind these songs. If you’ve seen Sweet Leda live, you’ll feel the heat off this record. If you’re curious what all the buzz and awards are about, it’s time to Let It In and turn it up! You’ll find chances later to have a quiet moment with the record. Your first play should be loud as hell. Wherever you do that, do it to it.
Julie Cymek wrote these songs and sings them with command. She belts in the same weight class as Dana Fuchs, Grace Potter, Sister Sparrow and Joan Osborne. Jaime Horrigan on bass can thump it or go all melodious on you. He’s a double-threat on beatbox too. Omar El Dieahy is my favorite guitarist I know. He plays these crazy prototype guitars and while he invents new tones and textures, he never loses the song or lets it get impersonal. Don Boyette on drums is The Pocket. Dude is all sweet spot and grace, a drummer’s drummer. Joining Sweet Leda on two album tracks, as he often does live, is tenor sax giant Ron Holloway. How lucky for us all! You can Google him now or after you hear him, but you will.
Here’s the ten-song playlist and a thing or two about that thing they do: sweet, sexy, funky rock with soul.
“Resolutions:” one of the band’s resolutions for the record must be to let Omar turn it up! You’ll figure out right away that this band means what it says.
“Go Get Your Money:” Omar and Ron Holloway earn it one this one. They go and they get it!
“Fake It:” no posers need apply! If you can’t be real with the open-hearted people in Sweet Leda, you can’t be real. Whoever you are, I don’t want to know you either.
“Make It Happen:” get off your ass! What’s stopping you?
“She’s Not Coming Home:” I think you blew it mister. This is a song for a woman wronged.
“Baby:” one hot, slow-burning torch of a song about making love. Julie didn’t write it for you but you’ll believe she did. Deep down believe.
“Bad Boy:” one hot rock song for the bad girls in the house! Bad hasn’t sounded so good since Donna Summer.
“Let It In:” five senses and a whole world right in front of you. Seize something and hang on!
“Something:” by George Harrison…a big romantic version. It’s a love song to a love song. Omar!
“You Can’t Hold Me Down:” I always hold my head high. I keep moving on.
Those last words are Julie’s and could well describe the album. Sweet Leda has plenty of reason to hold their heads high with the release of Let It In and the record should definitely keep their careers moving on and up. But they could serve us all well as a motto for life. There is great beauty in life and we need to let it in. When it sparks our curiosity, we need to act on it. And when people bring the ugly, we need to let it go. Crank up your copy of Let It In and proceed loud and proud! Buy it now at SweetLeda.com!
All photographs and digital-oil images here are the work and property of Dan Gillespie and DGital. Used with permission. See other spectacular albums at https://www.facebook.com/dgital.me/timeline or for consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org