This has been a very busy week for me, musically.
It started last Sunday with a Hachnasas Sefer Torah (a procession to bring in a new Torah scroll to the shul) in which I played with the shul band (3 guitarists, a clarinet, keyboard, drums, and me on bass). That was a lot of fun and included Rabbi T. doing his trademark dance to the Belzer Hakofo (so-called "Shark in the Mikveh"). We got to use Avremi G's chart book on that gig, and while I like most of it, I found a number of mistakes in the chords (unless he's going for "jazz", but some notes just don't sound right with some chords). One thing I did discover on that gig is that it's hard to read charts on songs that you know by ear, unless the charts use the same chord changes. Grrrr....
Tuesday I did an engagement party at one of the Chabad places with my "Klez Trio". Need to find a better name for the group. I'm having more and more fun with them. I've discovered I really enjoy playing the quieter acoustic gigs...it allows me to connect more directly with the audience. It's also nice when people aren't covering their ears whenever we play.
Last night I did a Melaveh Malka for the local Kollel and the Judaism Without Walls group, a local outreach group that does spectacular work. That was just me on acoustic and the mandolin guy in someone's dining room. Rabbi T. showed up and we did a few of his tunes and a bunch of Carlebach stuff and Diaspora Yeshiva Band's "Bemotzoei Yom Menucha" which has always been one of my favorite songs. I had a number of drinks during the course of the evening including vanilla vodka, Chivas Regal, some kind of Orange Brandy, and something else, and Mrs. B. had to drive me home. Then I answered some emails and apparently embarrassed myself greatly.
Today I'm off to Chicago to play a gig for Torah Kollel Mitziyon with Shlomo Katz. This is very similar to the gig I did last year with Aron Razel. And of course it's snowing today.
So all in all it's been a pretty busy year so far. Aside from the above, add in a couple of gigs with Shlock Rock, Razel, the acoustic coffee house shows, the Chicago Melaveh Malkes, Chabad Sukkah gig, and the Moshe Skier Band shows at Summerfest, Knishmas, and elsewhere, and this has probably been one of my busiest music schedules since I moved to the Midwest.
And most of it since my Father passed away. It's curious. I'm sure part of it is that I'm not one of those musicians who can just play the same thing over and over and over again. I diversify. I like playing with different people and doing different types of music. And certainly, this blog has opened up some opportunities for me. But none of that is really new.
As I was discussing with one of the Chabad guys, I think the answer is that the Ribono Shel Olam just doesn't want me to be so sad this year.