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September 30, 2007

At the Focal Point

Here's another post about the Elsah String Band. On September 28, they played at a small place called the Focal Point in Maplewood, a suburb of St. Louis. This image comes from the video I shot at that show (Troy, Barb & Jim, from left to right).

One thing I mentioned in my earlier post about the ESB was that Jim Hostler used to be one of a bluegrass foursome named the Bucklick Pickers, and that group played regularly at Larry Snyder's Calvin Opera House. When Larry first opened the Calvin's doors, he bought a really nice TAPCO soundboard.

But one thing I didn't mention in that post is that I used to go down to Washington every Saturday night and run the mighty TAPCO for the Bucklick Pickers and whoever the main act was. I did that for a little over a year, as I recall. It was all right. The soundboard was up in the balcony, which hadn't been refinished yet, so no paying guests were allowed up there. I'd take a six-pack down to Washington and I'd sit in the balcony drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and dialing in the audio while I taped the show.

Because of that history with Larry and the Calvin's soundboard, Jim asked me to run sound for the ESB when they played at the Focal Point this month. My first reaction was, "What? You need a sound man for three acoustic pieces playing in front of maybe 100 people?" The Focal Point is basically an old store front in downtown Maplewood - it's not very large.

Troy, the ESB guitarist, has a nice little 8-channel board: a Phonic Powerpod. It's very portable and has a ton of features and that's what we used for the Focal Point show. I took along my Sanyo C40 pocket cam and recorded the first set. The audio on these recordings is nothing to write home about because it came from the mics in the pocket cam, but I was pretty happy with the video.

There were 10 songs in the first set. The links below open pages with a video clip for the linked tune.

You'll notice that someone (a very young someone, as it happened) bumped the tripod during Song of Wyoming and we lost Troy from the video for the rest of that song and for the final number (Do Ya).

Scarborough Fair/Jolene

Here In California

Rich Man's Spiritual

Sundown

Summer Fly

Song for the Life

Cottonwood Emma

Wouldn't It Be Sweet

Song of Wyoming

Do Ya

Posted by jhcrain at September 30, 2007 02:39 PM | Send to a friend

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