This weekend we played a great gig at Darwin’s in Marietta GA. The highlight for me was seeing my friend and former band mate, Drew Wiseman. I’ve been thinking a lot about that band lately; Chris Kent, Derek Wiseman & Drew Wiseman. Along with Bobby Inman, they were my first real version of the SHB and truly a musical force of nature. Chris is still playing. Having played with Take 6 and Larry Carlton, he’s currently on the road with Lorrie Morgan. I think he and Derek occasionally play gigs together in and around Nashville. Drew moved from Nashville, where we were all based, to Marietta and it’s just a shame that we didn’t get to let more people hear how great they were. I was truly the weakest musician in that band and I’ve always preferred that, because that’s how you learn, grow and elevate. I just had to keep up! If you check out the tracks I’ve posted on MySpace, you’ll get a small idea of what we were up to in those days. That particular show (August 16, 1998 at 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill) was a record release party for my first record, “Messing With The Kid” and was being broadcast live on the radio. With a limited amount of time to play, we were playing the songs pretty straight. If, however, you were ever at one of our Nashville gigs, you know that the songs were just launching pads for some incredible jams. Sets could stretch to 4 hours! It was an incredible ride to be on. These weren’t rehearsed gigs, I was touring with Buddy Guy and the rest of the guys were gigging or doing day gigs and the only time we really even saw each other was maybe 30 minutes before the gig. A rehearsal might go something like this;
Me: “hey Derek, have you ever heard that Stevie Wonder song I Wish?”
And then we’d hit the stage and open with it. Everything was head cues and nods and those guys were such amazing talents that they smiled all the time and everything seemed effortless. I’ve been blessed to know and play with some incredible musicians in my career, but it’s only after time passes that I’ve realized how incredibly blessed I was to have those guys for my first band. This year marks my 20th year in the business, you’d think that kind of anniversary might merit some sort of special gig or something huh?...stay tuned!