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Today's blog is all about ME! or rather my music. The video slide show and audio for my song Radiation Man is below. I won't get into backstory of influences for the title and music, but you can draw your own probably erroneous conclusions!

Radiation Man by Phil Steffen

File sharing recording project. With Ric Wright in Nashville TN, Jack Coleman in Marlborough MA, and myself in Newton MA.

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As a professional guitarist who has played several thousand gigs, I've played a lot of different styles over the years. As a young teenager I learned by listening to surf rock, r and b, blues, Beatles,Cream, Hendrix, Zappa, Motown, and funk, as well as a little jazz via the Brazil 66 influence. I even played Girl from Ipanema with the band we hired for our senior prom!

During college I got serious about playing in bands, and eventually became a full time musician. First it was original hard rock, touring, recording, and chasing the dream. After a recording contract that went nowhere it was time to figure out how to make a living gigging. That meant learning as many styles as possible, whether I liked them or not!

There is one style, howe...

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Yeah, I suppose it's difficult to think about the holidays when it's 60* in New England, there are still some leaves on the trees, and we just got out of Halloween. But here are some reasons why you should think ahead.

1) The best talent goes first. This goes without saying. Some band and DJs rebook the previous year's parties immediately after the New Year begins.

2) Less people are booking. It's easier for an agency to deal with your request when there isn't a mad rush for talent.

3) You might get a break in price. When it gets down to a week before your party, and you still don't have a good band or DJ in Boston or elsewhere in New England, those acts still available are in a good negotiating position.

4) You have less to worry about...

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Happy Halloween, please don't be mean! Come and see our bands and vent your spleen!

How's that for a little gory imagery on Halloween?

Tomorrow evening, 6-8pm at the Revere Hotel, The Schwartze Schafe Band is playing for Boston Beer, aka Sam Adams Brewery for an Oktoberfest ending celebration. Boston Beer aka Sam Adams Brewery has a spectacular Oktoberfest Beer this year, spicy and sweet and smooth going down.

Then Friday night 6-9pm the inimitable Chicken Slacks Band is at the ACTUAL brewery in JP. That's one funky band in one funky venue. You'll need to call in advance for some tickets cuz it be a hot gig!

Howl at ya later! Ow ow ow ow ow owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Here's a last minute heads-up. If you're in either Halloween Central ( Salem, MA), or Manchester NH, we have a great show for you to attend.

Scary Vic Paul will be spinning discs at The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem from 7-midnite. And keyboard tickler Jack Coleman will be at the Hanover Street Chophouse in Manchester NH from 6:30-10:30.

Scaaaaary!!!

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Sitting here practicing my guitar, running some patterns, when I realized that at certain points in my patterns, I'd pause on a note and add vibrato. Jazz artists generally leave vibrato out of lines. I guess the theory is to unadorn the notes with inflections, but rather let the time and harmony make the point.

However, as a former group vocalist, lead vocalist, and back up harmony singer, I naturally want to add vibrato at the end of certain notes. It's like a lilt, or a chuckle, or something analogous to that in everyday speech.

Surprisingly though, when I am improvising and I sing along with my improv, I DON'T use any vibrato. Somehow the lines I play when I sing along are devoid of that kind of articulation.

And that's my jazz gui...

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