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I swore up and down when I started this website that I was NOT going to do a page on my musical endeavors.  But as someone (Samuel Johnson?) once said, "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".  Now that I have some decent byte-breathing room on this new site, I can afford to be more profligate at what I choose to upload onto it.

Like a lot of people, music has been a big part of my life since I was a young tad.  I played 6-string guitar in lots of truly awful garage bands and graduated up into more purposeful and productive groups over the years.  They were, as a rule, "salt-and-pepper" ensembles, whose genre was what we used to call "Soul" music or "Rhythm & Blues" back in the 60's.  Without exception, they were always large "show" bands with a nice big horn section and several singers out front.  Eventually, I gravitated to bands that were fronting for some pretty heavy groups when they came through the area (e.g., Gladys Knight & the Pips, Joe Tex, Little Anthony & the Imperials, etc.), and playing some sizeable gigs in a 4-state radius centered around Baltimore MD.  There was some decent bread coming in, but it was taking a significant toll in time, focus, and physical stamina -- not to mention putting a real crimp in my love life!

This was soon after I graduated from college in 1968.  At some point, I had to make a careful decision about how far I was going to pursue this music thing, since I was having a hard time burning the candle at both ends.  I ended up giving it all up for a straight career in engineering.  In retrospect, that was probably the right thing to do.  But to this day, I wonder what it would've been like if I'd followed that alternate dream...

Much later, I went back and kicked around with another garage band in the mid-80's, just 2 friends and myself.  To our credit, we focused on original songs and had a lot in common -- but we were not nearly talented enough to ever really go anywhere. We did do some studio work, got hooked up with a real "producer" -- a kind of shady character, but he did have some valid credentials and experience -- and we managed to release a single.  Needless to say, the world was not impressed, and we didn't dent the Billboard "new-release" charts.  But it was a different sort of experience, and we all had fun at the time.  We disbanded shortly thereafter.  I still have a "complimentary" boxful of our 45 RPM vinyl records from that abortive offering.

Later on, in the early 90's, I bought a cheap 4-track TEACtm cassette machine and a little piece-of-junk Radio Shacktm mixer, a reasonably good Casiotm full keyboard with a decent drum synthesizer in it, and a very good Onkyotm 2-track cassette mixdown recorder.  I pulled out my old used Peaveytm 6-string guitar and Peaveytm bass guitar, and played around with recording some of the song ideas going around in my head.  I had to learn how to do stuff on the keyboards, but as I've always liked organ music, I had sufficient motivation to at least get one hand limber enough to actually play something on it "by ear".  So I did all the bass and 6-string lines, the organ and the synthesized horns, strings and such live, and let the Casio do the drum track -- with me prompting it do the fill-in rolls and other flammadoodle things at the ends of the measures.  I had loads of fun figuring out how to manage to get 5, 6, 7, 8 or more tracks down onto the 4-tracks of the recorder, and then get that all mixed down onto a 2-track master cassette without everything ending up sounding like a gurgling mudpuddle.  (Some day when my ship comes in, maybe I'll get an 8- or 16-track machine and do it all over again.  But you know one thing leads to another, and you are talking about several thousand bucks before it's all over.  Plus now we are in a "digital" era and that is something completely different from what I was brought up on.)

So, as an experiment in adding sound MP3 files to this site, I've inserted a few things here from that early-1990's project.  As you see, these MP3 files are kinda large.  If you choose to download them, I hope you have lots of patience, a lot of faith in what you may hear, and/or a high speed  line.  With a dial-up connection, these will take on the order of 10 minutes each to download.


• Hot 'Lanta (after the Allman Bros.) (2.9 mB) •
• A Sunday Drive (2.8 mB) •
• Can't Grow No Afro (3.4 mB) •
• Charlie Fell (4.5 mB) •
• Skeeball Junky (3.8 mB) •
• Love The One You're With (after CSN&Y) (3.1 mB) •
• Aluetian Dreams (3.1 mB) •
• Break 101 (3.4 mB) •
• Alley Cat Strut (3.0 mB) •


I have several hours' worth of audio material from this era, and the above is just a sampling.  I never considered myself to be a lead guitarist, rather more of a rhythm player.  But I didn't see any lead guitarists hanging around in the back bedroom where and when I did this material.  So I tried to rise to the occasion.  There may be a rare aficionado of early Soul music out there who can detect that my earliest influence was Steve Cropper (of Stax/Volt Studio fame).  The songs included here are all instrumentals.  I will never, ever add any vocal efforts to the list.  (But I've been known to lie before...)

C'mon, lemme see you shake your tailfeather!


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Note:   Most folks have a default audio player set on their PC that will automatically pop up and play these MP3 files.  If this doesn't happen, try to set one as follows:  Double-left click on "My Computer". Left-click on "Tools" at the top, then left-click on "Folder Options" in the pull-down menu. Left-click on the "File Types" tab.  Move the slider down until you see the "MP3" file type and left-click on it to highlite it.  Left-click on the "Change" button.  You will then see a list of programs, and you can select one that will be used to "open" and execute  MP3 files.  If you don't see any other media players that you want to use, you will probably have something on that list called "Microsoft Windows Media Player".  Click it, then click "OK", and "OK" again to close the folder options window.  What you have done is to tell the MS Windows Media Player to come into action whenever you want to play an MP3 file.

Naturally, the songs here are Copyright 2004, Gary Cuba except the 2 covers (by the Allman Bros and CSN&Y, noted above).  Charlie Fell is Copyright Cuba, Stansill, Field.  As they say, "all rights are reserved".  I'm not sure exactly what all those rights actually are, but I assume they come with the full weight of "da Man" behind them...


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Site contents Copyright 2004-2008 by Gary Cuba       Email: webmeister at thefoggiestnotion dot com