Welcome back, just a quick update on band news for you! A change in lineup within the band is afoot. My longtime friend and "rhythm section brother" for over 10yrs Phil Wilson (the brother of fellow band member Ash Wilson), is moving on to pastures new. Phil landed a great opportunity to play for the British Blues Award Winner 2014/15, and all round top bloke & musician Mr Laurence Jones, along with the legendary bassist and personal friend Roger Inniss. As much as we will miss his presence, I personally wish him the best of luck in the "Jones Camp", and no doubt see each other on the trail! The Sean Webster Band is not one to rest on its laurels, heavy auditioning and planning for future releases later on in the year, a new merch line of SW T'Shirts coming soon! and the upcoming shows with special guest Jon Amor are keeping us focused and looking to a great 2016.
Gear wise, most of you players may have noticed from previous posts that I have a new bass! Yes my new Xotic XJ-1 five string has been making some video and photo appearances this last few weeks. Well if you want an update on how i'm settling in with it, I can honestly say the following. At this present time I am amazed at how effortless the transition was from my previous "fiver" the Fender Roscoe Beck Signature. The weight, balance and neck profile are infact alike. The Xotic is a little faster to get around on account of the unvarnished neck, and has a more comfortable access to the upper frets in my opinion. Tone wise, honestly! WOW! just starting with the way the combination of preamp, 18v headroom, D'addario strings and Xotic pickups, work together to produce an articulate, powerful character with amazing depth and dynamic range. This bass simply feels "alive" when you play each note! it's the only way I can express it with any kind of accuracy.
I've been practicing a lot since the last shows. A lot of Pino's playing with D'angelo, Adam Blackstone's playing with Jill Scott, Scale & Arpeggio work as always, but giving a large amount of attention to my tone. With the Xotic through the TC RH750 head & Glockenklang cabs, I need to be able to cover a wide variety of tones to suit Sean's songs. I need P-Bass approximations for ballads and more soul oriented tunes, more focused mid emphasis on Funkier / Rocky tracks etc etc. So it's really asking a lot of one instrument to be honest. But I have to say the Jazz style of the Xotic lends itself to the Funk & Rock requirements easily, i'd say this is its natural state! Full but with a nice bite in the upper mids, with enough girth in the bottom to carry the weight of the song. After A/B 'ing my Precision Bass with Lindy Fralin pickups set in "Pino mode" AKA tone virtually off! smooth and round as silk! with some pickup biasing towards the neck pickup (full), and rolling off the tone together with some of the Mids & Trebles in the active EQ section, I found I could get pretty damn close to the Precision. So yes I couldn't be happier right now with the Xotic, it's a keeper :)
It's such a gamble with FOH sound at gigs, it's in the "lap of the gods" whether your tone is accurately represented by the engineer out front. Fortunately this has not been a problem as yet! Here is an example of what I think is getting there now with my own "tone journey".
Taken from the recent Blues Festival in Vlissingen, Netherlands, The Sean Webster Band performing "Till Summer Comes Around" featuring yours truely on the Xotic XJ-1.
Thanks for tuning in! see you soon.