This was a week with conflict amongst our schedules and Scott was this week's odd-man out, leaving Lee to do all the drumming by himself. You wouldn't know it by walking into the Studio because there were two drum kits setup when we arrived. Kevin took care of that controversy with the front office and we survived with the extra kit without having to pay for it. While we survived, Lee thrived with that extra kit as he took each and every symbol he could from it and encircled his thrones with a lot of hardware.
Speaking of encircling, Alan setup next to Kevin's by placing his amp right next to Kevin's in an attempt to get better stereo separation in the recording. Time will tell if it improved the recording. I had hopes of using one of the great Fuchs Fender Twin Reverb amps that Carroll's had in the studio, but when I plugged my guitar into it, the amp had a crackling sound which made me abandon it for one of the more traditional reissue Twin Reverbs. Not a big deal as the amp I ended up using had a nice chirpy tone and it sounded good throughout the night.
Donna was there for the entire first set with the exception of the Scarlet Begonias opener. Too bad because she actually worked on Scarlet yet didn't get to play it with us. These days, you have to get to the jam right on time in order not to be left out of the opening numbers. She was able to join us thereafter starting with the It's All Over Now all the way through the Dancing in the Streets which ended the first set. I think our Looks Like Rain was our best version of that song together to date. On the other hand, the Deep Elem Blue devolved into a really bad dirge before we knew it and represented one of the low points of the first set.
For the second set I wanted to work on some songs, specifically the Help on the Way and the Sailor Saint. To accomplish this I somehow created a nice opening combination for the second set that included the Help-->Slipknot! to open but instead of the Franklin's Tower, we opted to throw caution into the wind and play a Dark Star out of the Slipknot! It worked out really well in it gave us some time to enjoy a spacy jam and a transitional opportunity to head into a Sailor Saint. We did the first half of the Dark Star and headed into the Sailor Saint from there. That was good stuff and somehow naturally at the end of the Saint of Circumstance, we were in good position to flow right back into the Dark Star to complete it. Once completed, the Dark Star was yearning for a capper and the Around and Around was such a song. An excellent way to put a ribbon an this significant piece of music we just played.
We were able to get in a few more songs before calling it a night which was a pretty good one. As far as guests we had Mike and Mindy and one additional person for the last part of the second set. Freakin' Out once again.