Celtic Bassist

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Victoria Celebrates Canada Day

Everything can just happen with one phone call.  This is how it all started for me almost ten years ago now.  That was the start of frankly the longest running work I have had to date…my beginning with Cookeilidh.

Dave Cook and I had jammed before in other projects but at that time I was just working, writing, busking on government and playing the occasional open stage gig.  I kick myself for this but I had sold off alot of my extra gear so I just had a fretless Peavey Axecellorator Bass, my acoustic guitar and my multitracking equipment for making songs.  It’s sounds fancy but there was way more stuff back in the day and this is why the early days is all pictures of me playing that off-gold badly beaten fretless.  It is all that existed.  Even my guitar bag was multipurpose and hung so low that if I wasn’t careful the bass would hit any curb I stepped over (part reason for its battered look). 
Anyways Dave and Kim had just started trying celtic just for fun on the gorge as his wife Kim had gotten into it and people were already liking it (they weren’t busking…just playing for fun)  I met up with Dave in a James Bay coffee shop and he gave me a tape.  Yeah a tape.  It was back in those days.  The more we talked about the project the more interesting it sounded.  It was a whole world of music I was just being exposed to and playing to that tape became something I did daily just for fun as well as listening to all the celtic music I could find.  I use digital recordings on my laptop now to practice to but I still haven’t really stopped since that first cassette that started with Dave strumming some sustain chords and stating “Ok this is Mairi’s Wedding.”
Naturally my role is a little unusual being the bassist in a trad celtic band but for almost ten years now it has worked.  There is alot of learning to fill the holes up between the instruments and not crowd them.  Some listening to celtic piano helped back in the day as I’m almost just a bigger badder version of a left hand.  Mostly joking there but so much is just taking what songs we do and finding how my instrument can enhance it. 
It’s like they say about drummers. 
It’s good when you don’t notice them.  That sounds bad but it isn’t.   And now and again we backup guys get our moment. 
And when it’s good it’s just priceless!

Got to go practice soon 🙂
Cheers,
Tom

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