I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July. At the writing of this article, the holiday is still a future event and I’ve not yet decided how mine is going to be spent. But by the time we’re all seeing this in print I’ll be able to tell you all about it and I’m choosing to believe that it’ll go well for me.
I guess we’ll see.
But now, to the point of the article. As many (or most) of you probably know, Independence Day usually heralds the return of Chautauqua County’s largest annual music festival — The Great Blue Heron. And this year is no exception.
The festival, now in its 27th year, has always called the Blue Heron grounds in Sherman home, and has welcomed hundreds of bands and artists, as well as tens of thousands of visitors, through the years.
This year’s festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, will be my fourth attended and third in which I’ve been a performer. I previously performed with The Elektra Kings in 2015 and ’16, and was a guest last year.
This time, however, I have the honor of playing in two separate acts, both of which will be staged in the central area of the grounds — as opposed to the Tiger Maple (cafe) stage, tucked back in the woods, from which The Elektra Kings gave both of our past performances.
For me pretty much all the excitement will occur on Saturday afternoon. At 12:30, I’ll be sitting in with area performer Bill Ward to assist him in delivering his CD release show from the Main Stage. We’ll play nine new Bill Ward originals, which he’ll have available for purchase at the festival.
When that performance is finished at 1:20 I’ll be hastily grabbing my gear and jetting over to the adjacent Dance Tent stage to jam alongside my Cold Lazarus mates at 2:30. This show is going to be a momentous one for us for two reasons: it will be our Great Blue Heron debut, and we’re anticipating it to be the debut of our new in-ear monitor set up.
This last component is a nice little feature that we’ve been looking to delve into for some time. Basically it will allow us each to tap into a direct feed from the soundboard via our own personal mixers, adjust that feed to our own preferences, and plug in our new earpieces to hear ourselves more clearly without erroneous external noise.
It’s an added step or three to our typical set up, but if it’s done correctly it should translate to a much more comfortable and tight performance because we won’t be competing with outside noise to be able to hear our own levels.
It’s admittedly a bit of a gamble trying out this new set up at a meaningful show such as the Heron, but one that we’re all willing to take. I mean, we’ve all got to step out of our comfort zones from time to time if we’re wanting to see some progress happen, right?
Anyway, that’s what I’ll be up to this weekend. For Cold Lazarus, the Heron is going to usher in a rather busy two months that will include a total of 13 gigs by the end of August — many of which are at somewhat high-profile venues and festivals for our area.
I’m excited to see what kind of reaction we’ll receive and whether we’re really gaining as much traction as it seems, or if it’s all in our heads!