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Sunday, January 27, 2013

NEVAH - "Expect the Unexpected"

We want to thank Susan Patten for this wonderful photo of NEVAH performing the Persuasion's classic Acapella song "Moonlight & Music"  It was an SRO crowd at the Next Generation Theatre for our "Cabin Fevah Relievah II", or as we put it "Paus Deux" which means "not two"  We hope everyone had as much fun as we did and we look forward to finalizing our first CD in the next few months and then throwing the best CD Release party as only "NEVAH" can.  Once again thanks to everyone that braved the cold to come out and hopefully we "Relieved some of your Fevah!"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nevah Band - Secret Rehearsal Video

Okay … I know, I know … tomorrow, Saturday January 26th, is NEVAH's Cabin Fevah Relievah show at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer Maine.

Last night NEVAH had a secret rehearsal … Kim P - Photog extraordinaire - managed to take 347 pictures … they were all sooooooo good that I couldn't resist putting them into a video …

Hope to see you all tomorrow, in the meantime get a behind the scenes peak at what went on yesterday

The Nevah Banjo Guy


Here's the Next Generation Theatre listing taken directly from their site - Thank you Tracy!

Next Generation Theatre in Brewer Maine posted NEVAH's
Cabin Fevah Relievah 2 Concert 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Band Dynamics- NEVAH on Site Rehearsal

In this "Band Dynamics" discussion … I wanted to point out the importance of actually doing a full out rehearsal. I wish we had more of an opportunity to do this, and hopefully in the near future we will. It's one thing to practice once or twice a week in an enclosed space, but it's totally different when you are in an open space. The sound is different, the equipment set-up and procedure is more complex … only because you need to be heard. And it's a bit tricky, deceptive, since there are no people in the audience, bodies to absorb the sound. Which means the sound bounces off of all the solid surfaces and effects all the settings.

NEVAH, Maine's PROGRASSABILLY band decided to do a FULL stage set-up and as much of a rehearsal as time would permit prior to our upcoming Cabin Fevah Relievah - this Saturday January 26th at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, Maine …

NEVAH Maine's Prograssabilly Band
Presents …
The Cabin Fevah Relievah 2
At 11 am we unloaded our vehicles and brought all of the "sound stuff" into the Next Generation theatre. Before we unloaded we quickly surveyed the surroundings to best determine the "main" speaker placement along with the subwoofers we've started using.

Once we determined where the mains would be placed we unpacked and began setting up. Richard has taken it upon himself to be our stage Czar - and when we all coordinate with him the job gets done quickly and efficiently. Again we begin with the subs and the mains, and while that is being done the board is placed in the rear of the theatre. This is followed by the monitors, mike stands and personal amps. Once things are in place we run the power cable on the perimeter making sure it is laid out so that each speaker/monitor/amp is near one of the plugs. Then we begin the task of putting in the power cords followed by the speaker and microphone cables that attach to the boards snake (sitting center stage).

Once everything is in place we add our instruments and "gadgets" to the mix and make sure our amps are also plugged into the snake. Then we start the process of testing each speaker, monitor, mic and instrument making sure the levels to and from the board are "good".

That is … unless there is a "situation" - meaning something doesn't work, the sound isn't coming through, an instrument signal isn't received … etc., etc. Usually we find it's a simple case of checking the cables to make sure they are plugged into the snake correctly, or that the boards "levels" are up. And, yes, there is always something to work out … but in the end, the effort is worth the time.

Here is a little sample video from the set up and a taste of the rehearsal.

Hope to see you all on Saturday!

The NEVAH Banjo Guy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NEVAH Maine's Prograssabilly Band

Hey NEVAH fans around the globe - I thought we'd bring you something a little different today …

… so I'll let the video speak for itself … this is sort of a Band Dynamic entry with a bit of a twist …

I hope you enjoyed the video. We've got a few more rehearsals prior to our upcoming show at the Next Generation Theatre on January 26th … so we'll see you soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Maine's Bluegrass Band NEVAH in Concert January 26th

Fans O' NEVAH 

… Just a quick reminder, we're only 2 weeks away from NEVAH's CABIN FEVAH RELIEVAH 2

Hope to see you there …

The NEVAH Banjo Guy

Friday, January 11, 2013

Band Dynamics - NEVAH Sticking to the plan - is it working?

Hey there friends and fans of NEVAH, Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country - ish, PROGRASSABILLY Band … we're getting very close to show time for the "CABIN FEVAH RELIEVAH #2" AT THE NEXT GENERATION THEATRE in Brewer Maine on January 26th, a little more than two weeks away … and, so far everything we've been planning appears to be working.

NEVAH Maine Bluegrass Band
L to R: Dick, Hal, Phil, Larry, Richard, Ed
So far we picked the songs we're doing (it's a secret, I'll NEVAH tell), we recorded the NEW Tunes we are adding so we can practice them on our own. At last practice we were all asked, if we wanted, to try and arrange the 20 + songs on our list into two sets.

NEVAH Maine Bluegrass - Secret Songs and Set
(note words are blurred out on purpose - sorry)
Three of the NEVAH gang took the challenge, others either forgot, didn't have the time or the dog chewed up their list (how convenient). What was so surprising was that when we compared the three set lists they were almost identical, off only a couple of songs for each set. We chose the same openers and closers for the first and second sets and the middles were very similar.

NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass Band
Dick on Drums, Hal playin the Banjo (with Kavanjo Head), Phil on the Fender Bass
When we discussed this we realized it's difficult to create a show order, however, it appears the songs chosen (their titles) almost tell a linear story. Ooooooooooh!

Anyway, we went through the sets and I was shocked as to how smooth and fast the rehearsal went (not that we are rushing through the songs - we ain't). We have some more song "polishing" to do on a couple of numbers, for a wicked smooth show, but we are confident all will be ready.

NEVAH's Richard Silver on Mandolin

NEVAH's Larry LeBlanc on Guitar
NEVAH's Ed Russell on Sax

Next week we'll add final touches to each song, tightening, adjusting where needed and then we'll run everything from start to finish at least once during each rehearsal.

NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass Band Practicing for the
at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, ME - January 26th
Next Blog - Final touches for the NEVAH Concert

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Band Dynamics PERFORMANCE PREP - NEVAH Crunch Time - Part 8

Okay NEVAH fans and new acquaintances (wow spelled it correctly) - As you know we've got an upcoming gig "Cabin Fevah Relievah 2 at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer Maine, on January 26th" and we're adding a bunch of new material … and … going back over older material to get it ready for the show in three + weeks. Normally I'd be in panic mode because three weeks is not a lot of time and I want NEVAH to be really good-ish!

NEVAH Maine Bluegrass - rehearsing
However, we have implemented a number of procedures/techniques/organizational routines to increase our rehearsal productivity and efficiency:

Larry and Richard from NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass band

Phil, Larry and Richard from NEVAH a-practicin'
1) We recorded the NEW songs we're adding and everyone in the group has received them so we've been able to practice on our own which helps tremendously.

2) We've doubled up on our rehearsal schedule - practice makes "better" (actually a good coordinated practice makes you better.)

Ed the NEVAH Progressive Newgrass Flutah
3) We've selected our songs for this show from our NEVAH song list of over 44 tunes.

4) We've added all the NEVAH originals to the Show (8 total) - our plan is to eventually have enough original material at our disposal to do an entire evening of NEVAH doing NEVAH - if we want.

Triple D - Dick Da Drummer from NEVAH Maine's Newgrass, Country Band
5) We've already gone over all the preliminary selected tunes at yesterdays two and a half hour rehearsal  - with only a small break. Not too shabby a rehearsal.

6) We've given everyone in the group a copy of the tunes and asked to put them in a "show order" - only to see what the general consensus is.

Richard and the Man in the Mirror from NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass Band
7) We will have the show order fully sorted out/selected at our next rehearsal.

8) We will go over the show from start to finish at each up coming rehearsal at least once - most likely twice. And that's with only a short break in between sets. It's hard to drink a beer without a break.

NEVAH takin' a break during rehearsal for their upcoming gig at the Cabin Fevah Releivah at the NEXT Generation Theatre in Brewer Maine
We've implemented this formula before and it has provided some very nice concerts which appear to flow smoothly from song to song. At least the audience seems to appreciate our efforts. With the addition of digitally recording the songs at rehearsal I think we've made a major leap forward. And since we are adding more an more originals it will hopefully separate us from other bands.

Okay, which instrument am I supposed to play on this song? Hal the NEVAH band Banjo Guy
Next Blog: Band Dynamics - Sticking to the plan as we get closer to show time - is it working?

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I am sooooo excited that I just had to get another Band Dynamics - performance prep in. Not number 8 - but a 7.5!

Why you ask …?  

Maine Bluegrass band NEVAH 
I just had a wonderful 45 minute practice with the BAND (you know - NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country - ish, Prograssabilly band) and I did't have to leave my office. And as much as I prefer a practice with everyone there … I was alone.

As I mentioned in the last blog we taped the new songs with a Roland Edirol Digital Recorder and I received mine (via email) two days ago from Larry (NEVAH's Guitar Guy). The recordings were down and dirty, but perfect for me to play and sing along with, working on my parts. Stopping and starting where I want … going over and over each tune as many times as I wish.

Like I said, I prefer to practice with the band … but this definitely works wonders and let's me attempt to perfect our new material 24/7 if I wish (and I do need to practice).

NEVAH Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country-ish Prograssabilly Band
I prefer to play the MP3 files through quick time on my Apple 27" Core i5 Imac. The sound coming through my desktop Altec speakers is clear and quick time is a simple mouse click to start, stop, resume or replay.

Ahhhhhh … what a day!

Sorry I have to stop ranting for now and get back to practicing.

Monday or Tuesday I will continue with: Band Dynamics PERFORMANCE PREP - Upcoming Gig = Crunch Time.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Band Dynamics - Performance Prep - NEVAH - Part 7

Hey there, NEVAH fans … sorry I digressed for a couple O' weeks from my Band DYNAMICs blogs (hopefully you missed them - maybe not). Ahhh - the holidays! 

Anyway I want to continue on my Dynamics series of blogs - this one a continuation of performance preparation. And a perfect example of Performance Preparation would be yesterdays rehearsal …

Nevah had an amazing practice last night. There was quite a lot of playing, discussing and "listening" - the key to the practice was the listening aspect. A lot of time was spent working on and polishing the NEW songs we are planning to perform on January 26th at the Next Generation Theatre - for the Cabin Fevah Relievah - 2 - …

NEVAH Stickers on Calton Cases
… and, because we are not always able to get together with every band member we recorded (down and dirty) our new arrangements to send via email to the band members who were not present at last nights rehearsal. It's also a wonderful tool for everyone to use to "remember" arrangements and for solo practicing - kind of like a portable digital practice band. It's hard to forget an arrangement if you record it.

Roland Edirol Recorder
The recorder was placed on a short stand and we all stood nearby playing. It's really for reference only, to listen to the overall arrangements, play along with, practice your rhythm and lead parts. However, because we will all have an audio copy of the arrangements we can spend our time perfecting our parts so when we get together we can concentrate on performance aspects.

That's it for the moment … hope all is well with the "NEVAH Fans". We look forward to seeing all of you. You might want to touch base with the Next Generation Theatre concerning tickets since seating is limited and we don't want you to miss out. Look below at one of the previous blogs for contact information.

Next Blog: Band Dynamics PERFORMANCE PREP - Upcoming Gig = Crunch Time.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Guitar Cracks due to Low Humidity in MAINE - NEVAH

Hey, Hal here, the banjo guy from NEVAH, Maine's Progressive Newgrass, Country, Prograssabilly band.
I live just outside Bangor. January 3rd was a lovely day, low temps just above zero degrees in the morning hours. I'm in my office sitting at my desk working on a 3D animation when all of a sudden I hear a very loud crack and then I hear the strings on my Martin D-42 vibrate. I froze, I instantly knew what it was and as I turned I could clearly see the "crack" on the face of the guitar from the bridge to the guitar edge. AHHHHHHHH!

Martin D-42 with long crack on face
I was totally upset and a bit freaked out so I called up Martin Guitar in Nazareth PA immediately. I reached customer service and I started to tell him about the sound when I heard him scream, "AHHHHHHHHH!" - He knew immediately what I was going to say. He gave me the name of their "certified" Martin repair guy in Maine. I called him up as soon as I got off the phone with Martin and within two seconds he knew exactly what had happened. LOW HUMIDITY! AHHHHHHHHHH!

I always keep my guitar out of the case so I can just pick it up and play at a moments notice. However,
I immediately grabbed my Kyser "Lifeguard" guitar humidifier, wet it, and placed it into the guitar sound hole then sealed it in my Calton Guitar Case - it's not likely to do much at this stage but at least I feel like I'm  helping the guitar … that is until I can get it repaired.

Kyser Lifeguard Guitar Humidifier
Kyser Lifeguard in Martin D-42 Soundhole
Calton Case, Kyser Guitar Humidifier in a Martin D-42 guitar
Anyway to make a long story short if you don't have enough humidity where you store your instruments then player be ware. It's a relatively easy fix for a qualified repair person, but who wants that. Not me, especially when NEVAH has an upcoming gig January 26th at the Next Generation Theatre (tiny show plug).

The closed Calton Case holding a Martin D-42 being humidified by a Kyser Lifeguard.
Hope you all can avoid this situation - AHHHHHH

Nevah Banjo & Guitar-ish guy

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


A terrific New Years celebration at the SILVER'S - about 25 folks in attendance total including about 3/4 of NEVAH - Maine's Prograssabilly Band (sounds like a commercial). And isn't it strange how we all thought to bring our instruments along - NOT! A well coordinated evening thanks to Richard (on Mandolin). I really enjoy a relaxing session … lots of laughs and folks singing a-long.


We look forward to seeing you all real soon at the Next Gen - January 26th for our Cabin Fevah Relievah - 2 -.

Hal, Richard, Eric, Phil, Larry & Ed from NEVAH
Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass Band having a New Years Eve Jam