Back on the home front, the band personnel had shifted. Jeff the bass player(really a classical guitarist)went back to school, and Amy went on to form her own group. Enter GG on tenor saxophone/vocals and Kevin on bass. GG and I had worked together quite a bit through the early 80's. Don was still in there on drums, my perennial figure in here.
This personnel stayed the same for 6 whole years! We didn't play quite as often as with the female vocalist, but were still a semi-working band.I didn't get any gigs in Japan, but I did get us the Washington St Jazz Festival in '04.And a nice First Night Spfld thing on New Year's'05. That was actually our last gig as a foursome.
It was during this period(actually '99)that I first got a computer. My friends kidded me that I was among the last in North America to buy one, but no time like the present. And I've been hooked ever since. At that time, mp3.com was the going thing as far as a musician website. You could design and administer your own, even produce your own CDs and set up your own internet radio stations. It was a blast! Also I met musicians from all over the world, a few of whom I'm still in touch with from time to time.
Unfortunately, mp3.com went under not too long after I got in there. Well it was fun while it lasted. I got this site started in 2004, and have been going strong ever since.
Also in the early 00's('01 to be exact)I got the beautiful archtop guitar you see in my pictures. Made by Billy Cook,a Peoria-based guitarist and luthier whose website is among my Links. This new instrument changed my whole approach to guitar, got me to stop and smell the flowers a lot more in my playing.
That same year(we're still in '01)I made my first CD with the new archtop- a trio with guitar, bass and drums, called "Rose of Loami", and my first CD in a place where I'd end up doing a lot of recording(4 CDs and many other sessions). Dave Burdick, a guitarist from Decatur(I should say Millikin Univ music professor as well)has a basement studio, which was(dba)Third Stone Productions and did quite a bit for local musicians(plus lots of work from Millikin I'm sure).
So that trio recording in '01 set up a string of CDs- in '02,'04 and '08 as well as other assorted sessions. Dave and I have teamed up as guitarists as well, and some of our efforts are on two other CDs of mine: Jazz Guitar Vol 2 and A Walk on the Mild Side. He also helped me with my very newest CD, Boinnng, as to the mastering.
Still in the early 00's,as well as my own Quartet,I played with a local group called Bob Katt and the Missing Lynx('02-03, as I remember)which did a wide variety of material, from R & B to pop tunes to jazz standards.And also a Peoria-based group called the Swing Daddies(no pic available unfortunately): alto saxophone, keyboards, guitar and drums.