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Howdy! I’m bassist and composer SmittyG from Texarkana.
My music career started back in 1974 when my stepfather taught me how to play a few simple songs on guitar. In 1976, I took up drums in school band. I actually wanted to play flute or French horn but I was told that having braces prevented me from playing those instruments. I think they were just concerned I would not look manly enough playing them. In 1982, after facing much evidence that I was a horrible drummer, I stumbled onto bass almost by accident. It was a great accident for me because I finally found the instrument I truly understood.
I spent the next couple of decades practicing on my own, learning from books (mostly Carol Kaye’s materials), and jamming with a few folks as the opportunities presented themselves. In 2003, though an ad placed on trocks ( www.texarkanarocks.com ), I hooked up with my first real band, Deacon Dark. Over the next four years, we played a lot of shows throughout the Texarkana region, hosted even more blues jams, and released a CD, “Wet City Streets”. By the end of 2007, I was growing more interested in pursuing my instrumental concepts and left the band.
I use the SmittyG on Bass, Narada Weeps, and The SmittyG Experience names to explore my vision of improvisational ambient jazz. (Some folks call it acid jazz; others call it groove jazz. You can use whatever label makes sense to you.) My first recording, “The First Tear”, is just my bass, a wild effects pedal, and a sequencer. The songs allow me to present my groove poems and melodic motifs straight from the source.
My real goal is live, improvisational interpretations of my compositions. Toward this goal, I plan to put together various configurations of instruments and personnel with great ears, imaginations and improvisational skills and put them on stage, with little or no advanced preparation, and lead them through my music. In this way, every performance, even if we are starting from the same core ideas I’ve used before, will be a unique experience for the audience, the musicians, and for myself.
While I'm working on this, I am also working on building my skills as a solo performer (with the help of a loop pedal) to give me even more options for expressing myself and my music. It is a rough and frustrating road from any perspective of financial or artistic acceptance, but it is a road I enjoy traveling.