Tuesday 30 July 2013

Fun Weekend with The Steadies

Geoff as a walking poster for the show
Well folks, we finally got to play the Tofino Legion. a legendary stage for sure, even if the days of its biggest concerts may seem to be over.  We were fortunate to share the stage with some super great guys, The Steadies. I've been a fan of Earl's bass playing since the Wide Mouth Mason days so I loved it. After a big weekend with that show and a killer jam at Jack's we're happy to be taking a weekend off but we have an outdoor show in the Tofino village green on August 9th as part of the Friends of Clayoquot Sound's 20th Anniversary of the 1993 mass arrests then we're back to Jack's for a weekend of RAWK!

Earl and Nick put the finishing touches on the stage at The Legion
A big thanks to The Legion folks and everyone who came out, we had a blast and it looks like The Steadies are planning to return this fall to support a new album.

Ballistic Pig opening for The Steadies
And the main event

The guys came out to our usual Monday night jam at Jack's, too. Earl didn't play (we'll get to that shortly) but Jason and Juice sure rocked out with the locals;

We've got a few gigs coming up as I mentioned; August 9th's FOCS event and August 16th ant 17th at Jack's;
Speaking of posters, we gave The Steadies the world famous Ballistic Pig poster treatment;

 And speaking of treatment, Earl fractured his hand surfing! Get well buddy and good luck powering through the rest of the tour.
Well, thanks for checking out the blog. Hope to see you at a show, soon. -Geoff

Wednesday 24 July 2013

This Weekend in Tofino, Ballistic Pig Opens For The Steadies At The Tofino Legion

It's gonna be a great weekend! Reggae rockers The Steadies are playing at The Tofino Legion on Saturday, July 27th. If you've been following the blog and/or our Facebook and Twitter feeds you know we're excited for this one. We'll be setting the stage with some of our more dancer friendly tunes starting a little after 10pm, then The Steadies will take it home! Ticket are $12 and can be found at The Legion or The Common Loaf Bake Shop. The tricky part is that you'll need to be a Legion member or have one sign you in as a guest, memberships are available at The Legion whenever they are open.
So that's your Saturday night planned for you. Then of course Monday is jam night at Jack's. No rest for the wicked.
Speaking of which, we're almost booked up for weekend until mid-September including some gigs in Port Alberni during their Alberni District Fall Fair. Check the calendar on the right for dates and keep checking back here for updates.
Thanks y'all and rock on. -Geoff

Monday 22 July 2013

Happy Birthday to "Maggot Brain"

On this day, July 22, 1971 Funkadelic released the album Maggot Brain. The album, not surprisingly, included the title track, Maggot Brain. To this day the song stands as an electric guitar opus, featuring the intense expressions of Eddie Hazel, in a similar school as the likes of Neil Young's Cortez The Killer or any number of great Frank Zappa guitar adventures. If you don't know the piece, here it is (for God's sake, please don't listen to it through your lap top speakers.

If you want some more guitar inspiration here's one that gets me fired up;

And one of Chester's favourite players, Joe Bonamassa;

If theses videos have inspired you Ballistic Pig can help in a couple ways.

-First off Monday nights we host a jam night at Jack's Pub in Tofino's Marina West Motel where you can listen to and play with a ton of local and visiting talent.

-Secondarily we have been known to teach lessons in guitar, bass and drums on occasion... if you're looking for lessons in the Tofino/ Ucluelet area email ballisticpig@gmail.com

Speaking of jam night, you never know who's going to show up. Last week bass guitar virtuoso (and I really mean it) Felipe Gomez gave us all a lesson in the true power of the bass guitar, here's a video I found online. Totally nuts!;

Our next non-jam-night gig is this Saturday night opening for reggae-rock dude, The Steadies. See you there, piglets! -Geoff

Sunday 21 July 2013

The Pig Rig: Geoff's Jazz Bass

Time to have another look at the gear that makes Ballistic Pig squeal. Our fairly mundane subject this time is my 1996 5 string American Standard Fender Jazz Bass. Let's have a look at this workhorse;
Lovingly adorned with images from The Long Beach Surf Shop


Headstock chipped from hitting cymbals (sorry to all the drummers who's cymbals I've smashed)

Bass virtuoso Felipe showing me how to play my own bass

Fender made his first prototype electric basses back in 1950 and released the Fender Precision Bass in '51. Ten year's later the Jazz Bass appeared. I used to own a 1972 Precision Bass but never really took to it, when I purchased this instrument used, from a now closed music shop in Regina, I suddenly fell in love with bass, despite the learning curve of the 5th string.  Possibly this can be explained by the fact that I'm a Stratocaster guy more than a Telecaster guy. The Jazz bass is to the Precision Bass as a Stratocaster is to a Telecaster for the most part....

I love my Fender but that doesn't keep me from drooling over the Canadian brand Dingwall's guitars. Much like my Riversong acoustic guitar I love their pursuit of innovation and devotion to quality manufacturing...

So if anyone from Dingwall reads this and you're looking for someone to dump off a "factory second" bass on you can mail it to: Geoff Johnson, Box 323 Tofino BC V0R 2Z0 :p

Speaking of Dingwall basses and things I like; we'll be opening the show for Dingwall player and super talented guy, Earl Pereira and his band The Steadies. The show is at The Tofino Legion on Saturday, July 27th. Tickets are on sale at The Legion or Common Loaf Bake Shop for just $12! Here are a couple videos Earl doing his thing with The Steadies and his old band Wide Mouth Mason

If you're looking for something to do in Tofino this weekend... this is it!
Thanks for visiting the site... See you at a gig soon. -Geoff

Wednesday 17 July 2013

The Pig Rig: Geoff's Riversong Acoustic Guitar

|Hi folks, Geoff here with another update on the gear that keeps the Ballistic Pig machine moving. Generally, in full Ballistic Pig mode I play a late 90s Fender 5 string Jazz Bass. When it's time to "go acoustic" I reach for my BC made Riversong Tradition Canadian Special Edition. It's a modern take on the acoustic guitar that doesn't suffer from plastics and carbon-fibre but benefits from simple human ingenuity and elegant craftsmanship. Before we explain that, here are a few photos of my guitar:

 If you were looking closely you'll have noticed a few key things;

1.) These guitars are, in fact, hand made in Kamloops BC

2.) The sound hole has a weird laser etched plaque in it and there's some weird stuff at the tail where the strap attaches. (more on that in a second)

3.) There's a second sound hole in the side of the guitar. This functions as a monitor of sort while playing and also provides a discrete place to hide the controls for the Fishman USA pickup

4.) The woods used and the craftsmanship are amazing. In fact all the woods used in this guitar are Canadian in origin (Maple, Sitka Spruce and Walnut to be specific)

As mentioned in point 2, there's more happening here than meets the eye. Here's one of the guys from Riversong to explain these unique features, Mike;

If you'd like to read the description of this and other features here's the "Innovations" page of their website

An interesting note; within an hour of posting a picture of my new Riversong when I first bought it Mike had sent me a Facebook friend request and has been readily available to answer questions and was quick to invite me on a factory tour. Very cool... Leo Fender never sent me a Facebook friend request...

I'm not an endorsed Riversong player, I paid the price on the tag for this guitar at Got It, Want It, Need It in Courtenay but I DO choose to share my love with whomever I can..  This is the guitar I use for solo and duo gigs, the one I tend to play at home and the one used for my custom song-writing service and other recording.  Everywhere I play it the sound and look turns heads and every time I pick it up I am pleased to have made the investment.

If you want to see/ hear my Riversong in action I'll be playing a solo set of cover tunes at The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet tomorrow evening. (July 18)

Lots of other gigs coming up, too. Catch the full Ballistic Pig rock set and Jack's in Tofino Friday and Saturday night, jam night on Monday (also at Jack's) and our opening set with The Steadies at The Tofino Legion on July 27th. Hope you can make it out to some of the shows.  -Geoff

Thursday 11 July 2013

Acoustic Piglet Playing Ucluelet's Black Rock Resort July 18, 2013

Fresh booking! Acoustic Piglet (Geoff's solo set) will be playing in The Float Lounge at The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet on Thursday July 18th. Come get your acoustic rock and blues on. 19+, no cover. Here's a sensitive poster;

Hope to see some Ukee friends there! -Geoff

Tuesday 9 July 2013

New Honorary Pig: Mark Crissinger

Well, we have a deal over here at Ballistic Pig, if you sit in with us for a significant portion of a "real" gig you become an Honorary Pig! On Canada Day last week we were fortunate to have Mark Crissinger sit in for 2 gigs (in one day). Ontarians may know Mark from his days playing guitar with the phenomenon known as Caution Jam.  Before we get around to talking about how awesome Mark's guitar playing is here's a terrible pic of Mark (left) with Chester and Geoff;

Better pictures, some audio of his swanky six-stringin' and some background on Mark can be found on his Reverb Nation page or RIGHT HERE!!

Mark will be back on the west coast to play in September so keep your ears peeled!!

As far as Ballistic Pig goes our next confirmed (non-jam-night) gig is July 19,20 at Jack's, hope to see you there!

Also, coming up in just a few weeks we'll be opening for 3 time Juno nominee Earl Pereira and his band of super talented and generally awesome guys call The Steadies! That's at The Tofino Legion on July 27th. It's gonna be a reggae-rockin' good time.. For those of you who don't know The Steadies you can check out some of their stuff here.

For the record Earl was also the founding bassist for one of Geoff's absolute favourite 90s bands Wide Mouth Mason

Well, thanks for dropping, talk soon. -GJ