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Gig #47 The Log Jam and Introductions to the perfomers Playing the Big Gig # 52

Gig #47


Gig #47 The Log Jam (The big Gig Introductions)

The Gig:

Not much new to write about here.  Chris, the owner of the Log Jam in Grand Ledge MI. has been having me in regularly on Fridays the last couple of months.

Something Different:

I am going to change up the format a bit again.  The big 52nd gig is quickly approaching so want to spend a little time writing about what I am doing in preparation and introduce the other performers that are going to be participating in the event.

I decided quite some time ago that I wanted to see if I could get the other musicians that I have had some involvement with since I started the 52 gigs projects to perform some songs with me at the big event.

I’ll introduce them and give you a little background;

Tom Coccozzoli

How I met Tom – I stated the 52 gigs idea sometime about April of 2011.  Things were moving along about like I expected them to unit about Jan, Feb 2012, when the gigs started to coming kind of slow.  I didn’t know exactly what the future was doing to hold for me as far as gigging but I know that I wanted to stay involved one way or another with music. So I turned to Craig’s List to see what other musicians in my area were posting.  I saw a post from a song writer (Tom) who was looking for a vocalist to sing some of his music and record in his home studio. I thought to myself, I don’t consider myself a vocalist, but what hell.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  I’m already putting my vulnerable side out there for the world to see by posting videos of some of my earliest gigs on my blog and You Tube.  So a “sorry, you’re not what I’m looking for” didn’t seem like any big deal, I would just keep looking.  So I replied to Tom’s post, we sent each a few correspondences back and forth and the rest is history.  You can read more about my experiences working with Tom in my gig #26 commentary.  We worked together for a few months’ recorded a dozen songs and then parted ways as I started getting busy again with gigs and commenting time to learn more cover songs.

Tom gladly agreed to participate in my celebration.  We will be doing  4 songs together, all of which he wrote including a song he recently wrote for the event called “The 52nd Gig Song”. I am very pleased that he is sharing his talent with us on the big day.  Chris Hillabrand will be joining in on acoustic guitar.

Tom Moore (A.K.A my best almost lifelong friend)

I have known Tom for over 30 years.  We have worked for 3 of the same employers, played music, hunted, fished, camped, raised hell, rode motorcycles and damn near everything else you can think of together.  I referenced Tom in my 53gigs Bio.  He is the guy I did some gigging with back when I was 28, 29 years old.  He is also the webmaster behind the startup of the tims52gigs web site.

Tom sat at a bar with me one evening while drinking beer and eating pizza and listed patiently as I rambled on and on about I should ether shit or get of the pot as far as playing music. I have spent so much time over the years and especially the few years prior of the start of this project learning songs and playing party’s and camp fires in hopeful preparations of taking it to the next level, but didn’t know how to move forward.  Then on a bar napkins (legal pad – picture attached) tims52gigs was born.  You can read more about this in my Bio.

Tom has been on this journey with me almost every step of the way, so naturally with all his help from putting the website together, videotaping gigs and our past history of playing music together I thought it would be cool if we could play together on stage again. We will be dong 3 or 4 songs together including a song we wrote together many years ago and our favorite cover by John Mellencamp called Theo and Weird Henry

Rachel Rayl

Rachel is the daughter of my neighbor and good friend Bob Rayl.  I have learned that Rachel has been very active over the years singing and performing in plays and in choir events though her school. On three seperate occasions Rachel has come out with her dad to my gigs.  The first time I asked her if she wanted to sing.  She replied “yes” and started thumbing excitedly thought my song book.  She chose the song Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.  She did an outstanding job and received quote a nice applause. The second time she came out, she waited very patiently.  Then when I was nearing the end of my first break I asked her if she wanted to sing again.  Almost before I could turn around and head back to the stage, she was already there going through my book looking for Landslide.  Again she did a great job.  Then about 3 weeks ago, again she was there with Bob waiting very patiently.  This time I made her suffer and the finally  asked her just before I went up for my last set if she wanted to sing.  Up she spring and in about 2 seconds she was up behind the microphone.  She is such pleasant and uplifting person to be around.  Rachel will be singing 4 songs and if I can pull off my part we will be singing Closer to Fine by The Indigo Girls, one of my all-time favorites.  I’ve always wanted to sing this with someone and when she suggested that this song is one that she would like to do, I was very pleased to know that I was finally going to get my chance.

Chris Hillabrand

I met Chris through my long time friend Tom Moore (above).  I got to know Chris through the years mainly by hanging out with him and Tom playing guitar.

The first few times we got together it was very apparent that Chris had a lot of talent.  Over the years that talent has grown with abundance.  Chirs plays acoustic and electric as well as drums and piano.  He is very talented and can lay down a great riff to anything you put in front of him.

Chris has done some studio work and played with several bands in recent years including Chasing God and the Mike Espy Band and recently The Fret Aviators, a band that Tommy C. (above) put together.

This past spring Chris and I started meeting one day a week to jam but instead of guitar he was on drums.  The summer got busy for Chris musically and I pretty much took the summer off of music to focus on another passion of mine, which is hanging out with my wife, family and friends up on Long Lake where my mother-in-law resides which includes long slow weekends on our pontoon.

Musically, Chris and I have always connected very easily.  Almost like the ESP thing…..does anybody say that anymore?  So naturally I wanted Chris involved.  Chris sat in with me during my last set this past weekend at my Log Jam gig and will be playing at least a set with my at the big #52.  Wait until you hear him rip off some leads on his acoustic guitar.

Chip Christy

Chip is a professional musician.  I met Chip through some mutual friends of whom secured him to perform at their son’s High School Graduation Open House about 3 years ago.  To keep the story short, Chip allowed me to play during his break.  I was hooked.  A few weeks later Chip let me play his breaks at another gig.  Then following a couple more gig at the Log Jam in Grand Ledge.  As a matter of fact, Gig #1was at the Log Jam playing on Chip’s breaks.  Without the opportunities that Chip gave me I have known idea if I would have started this project and finally got my musical aspiration off the ground.  I am very grateful for the opportunities that he given me, his encouraging words and his kindness.

If the cards fall in the right direction Chip will be performing a few songs at the big gig and possibly a song or two together.  Chip has been extremely busy on a project that has been taking up almost all of his time.  I support his comment and his dedications to this project and wish him nothing but the best!!! I’m sure someday we will do a song or two together.  All the best to you my friend!!

Looking forward to the next one,


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