Pete's Blog

Planet Groove

Went out last night to hear a band called Planet Groove at the Treehouse in Poulsbo. Bubbles and I saw them a few weeks ago but I was not prepared for how tight they'd gotten since then. I expected what I sometimes call "a 'Mustang Sally' band," playing raucous, not terribly disciplined R&B for dancers and drinkers. Instead, they've turned into a razor-sharp funk band, full of precise turnarounds and well-cued endings, the kind of band that does James Brown well, which is not as common as one might hope. They let me sit in for most of the second set. Charlie Film lent me his amp and came along for moral support. It's interesting how valuable a friend can be on these occasions. You would think a visiting fireman would have plenty of society, but the conversations you have under these circumstances tend to be professional, not personal, so it was nice to have someone there I could talk to in a regular sort of way. I started off playing by myself while the band was off the stand, fingperpicking "Hey Jude" and "Across the Universe" and trying to get in tune. Then I grabbed James, their guitarist, as he walked by and he played second guitar on "Stop Breaking Down." Slowly the thing began to gain momentum and one by one the various Planet Groove members materialized and it turned into a big thing with people dancing and all. Then we did a few of their things, then I sat down for a few numbers, then they brought me up for a couple of others at the finish. Lots of people were dancing, which I love. I tried not to clutter the arrangements up, which a second guitar often does. James plays fat parts - he's the only guitar and he uses a lot of effects - and the drummer was busy (in a good way) so I generally tried to find the one accent that somebody wasn't playing and play nothing but that, leaving big silences in the riffs so the holes could act as a kind of reverse percussion. All in all a fun night.

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