Sunday, February 17, 2013

ooooooooh Barracuda! (with special guest Roger Fisher)

Terry Gibbard, Curtis Michael Leppi, Rod Knowlan, Donna Caruk, Rachael Chatoor, Bob McIntosh
So out of the blue one day, I got this call from a lady named Donna who said she has a Heart tribute band named Barracuda and I thought....oh cool someone is finally asking me to sing some Ann Wilson! But it turned out she is the one who sings the Ann (and she just nails it by the way) and she was calling to ask me if I wanted to learn Nancy's parts. Nancy's parts?
I  laughed out loud at her...."I don't play guitar!  I mean, I ok yes play guitar but I don't play like "guitar goddess" guitar like Nancy does. I'm all strummy strummy and stuff".
She chuckled and said she had seen me play and said she had faith in me and then she started telling me about the project and she basically reminded me that I could do anything I wanted to, I just had to set my mind to it. So I agreed to meet with her and her co-bandmate (and musical director) Rod and after a couple hours of chatting, doing harmonies and me playing  guitar on the one Heart song I knew at the time, we agreed we were going to make it happen. For a few months then, I hung out in the woodshed learning first the material and then how to play it. During that time I received enormous help from Rod Knowlan who made fantastic and unusual charts that actually worked for me and gave me a clear and focused path to walk which would surely lead me to success, if I only applied myself.
And apply myself I did because I was so inspired. You see I also bought Nancy's instructional DVD to help me learn a few basics and in watching and studying her work I just came to adore her. There were moments in the video where she would say cute things like: 'well there is this little strange thingy I do here and I don't know the name of this chord exactly but someone you know who plays will probably tell you it if you need to know it and any case it looks and sounds like this..........'! 
I laughed when I heard that for it I related so easily to her, and I loved so much that it felt like Nancy just by virtue of being herself gave me permission to carry on trying 
even though I only know what I know.
And so it's not only because of the great project itself but I also have Nancy and her kind essence and amazing work that I wish to hold up and honor. It's motivated me on so many levels to push myself much farther than I have ever pushed myself before and well.... I am always grateful for those growing experiences and the people who inspire me to make them happen. 

I got a message one day that our first show would be in a couple of months at Blue Frog Studios and that we would be doing video for our EPK and............ whoa wowo, first gig eh? I think I said to them: ...."You guys do remember this will be my first time doing this material, I'll have no charts and I'll also be playing two brand new (to me) instruments right?"
And it was like..."Yep"
That's it. I didn't get any coddling or babying or nothing........ I was just expected to be ready. 
So, I picked up my guitar and kept practising and learning.
Then the show date was right there on top of us and we started hearing a rumor from  friend and former booking agent for the band Heart, Barry Samuels, that brothers Roger and Michael Fisher (you know Roger Fisher the original guitarist for Heart who co-wrote songs like Barracuda and Love Alive, and Michael Fisher the "Magicman" himself who was the bands manager as well as everything else important and integral to the band)........would be coming to the show.
huh? I was a little stunned, I must admit.
I  decided there was only one thing to do, go out there and rock.
So I picked up my guitar and, you know, did what I've been doing.........only this time I played a hole right into my callused finger. Great, another thing for me to worry about, my fingers are falling off  and I definitely need them.......... however, it was nothing a little crazy glue didn't fix  and I actually felt quite fierce walking onstage with my finger glued back together,
 kinda  like a little musical, warrior goddess.





Terry playing guitar(/keys/vox) was in the same boat as me, this was his first gig with the band. No pressure eh? What a blast it was, so glad to be on this side of it!  And centre stage there is Rod Knowlan on the guitar(/keys/mandolin/vox) and he deserves big, heavy kudos as music director for helping me learn all this fantastic music. I'll also take a moment here to thank bandmates Bob (bass) and Curtis(drums) for being a magnificent rhythm section, you guys power the train and your work together was awesome. And Donna....sister you were the one who pushed me and I thank you, it's an absolute pleasure to sing and play with you and the band. 
And at the very end of it all we had the pleasure and privilege of having Roger Fisher join us onstage for the last three songs and let me tell ya... it was off the charts. On one hand there were moments I was dangling in slow motion saying to myself focus, pinch yourself, be here this is happening........ and the rest of the time it was just a mad, fantastic, surreal, complete blur whizzing by! It only all comes completely together when I watch the videos  to be honest.


Donna, Roger, Barry, Me

Roger Fisher, Me, Michael Fisher
Photo credits to Dave McKenzie and Don York and more can be seen on Barracuda's facebook page...HERE......and also thanks to Don Snell for sharing the videos and photos......Don was a drummer for the great Sweeny Todd you can check out more of his videos here on his You Tube channel.
And finally I can't possibly leave this post without including this bit of epic breaking news for Heart fans everywhere.....Heart’s leading front-women, Ann and Nancy Wilson, along with the entire original male lineup of the band, will perform together for the first time in 33 years, at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.about the original memeber of Heart.
see more HERE
Stand by for official videos and EPK coming to you from Farting Puppy Productions.


Captain Maniac said...

Hi Rachael: you mentioned that this was your first gig with Barracuda, so there was absolutely NO pressure involved -- well, a warrior goddess you turned out to be, and I admire you immensely for just jumping right in. Excellent work, and you pulled it off admirably.

I've been friends with Rod and Donna for years (Rod actually played in my band back in the 80s), so even though I was meeting you for the first time at the Blue Frog gig, your enthusiasm and work ethic made me feel like I'd always known you, too. Thanks for an amazing show!

dlcar said...

well my dear the kicker is that you said yes!!!LOL That was my lucky day. You are such a talented and busy girl that I am honored to be standing next to you.You are a beautiful person inside and out and your talent matches that perfectly. Love singing with you.Love harmonizing with you. Thank you for you. I hope that we can bring as much joy to those that watch us as we have doing it..What a blast and how lucky are we to be recreating the music of a truly magical band from a magical time. Rock on warrior goddess I am proud to have your sword and shield on my team