Nickel Revolution Reunion Update and Future Vision

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Reunion 2012

Reunion Update: We will have a venue contracted shortly as we complete negotiations. Here are the details we can publish now:

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend) Minneapolis Minnesota

Time: 8:00 pm. The Nickel Revolution will play the first set and open each set. We are openly inviting friends to join us in jam sessions with pre-determined sets. If you want to participate in the jam portion of the evening, let us know with an email to: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

Jamming musicians will need to bring guitars, drumsticks, etc. (you will use our amps, pa, drums, etc.). A pre-party reception is planned for family and close friends. Again, for details contact: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

More to follow…stay tuned…and now looking forward beyond the Nickel Revolution’s Reunion 

“To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)   There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)   And a time to every purpose under Heaven.”

Folk signer Pete Seeger wrote the words, borrowing the theme from the book of Ecclesiastes. The Byrds recorded and released Turn, Turn, Turn and the song would top the Billboard charts on December 4, 1965.

Everything does have a season and the season for The Nickel Blues Band begins now with a rebirth and vision. The name and logo come from the founder, Jerry Lenz (drummer and keyboards), who began playing in rock bands at the age of 14 in 1964. His first band would evolve (turn, turn, turn) into The Nickel Revolution. 

 This evolution is a result of “getting ready” for the Nickel Revolution’s reunion on September 1, 2012 in Minneapolis, MN. The band has never had a full reunion and this one will take place 42 years after the conclusion of the Nickel Revolution’s playing days. During the long interim, Jerry was not playing the drums because you can’t really play a “song” on the drums. Instead, he returned to playing keyboards as he had learned to play the organ as a boy growing up. Plus, with the advancement of musical instruments, he could build his own drum tracks for songwriting. 

The necessity of a return to playing the drums onstage required Jerry to purchase an electronic drum kit in August, 2011. That would give him a year to practice and prepare for the reunion. Playing to tracks, he quickly realized that he needed the feel and action of real drums. So in October he purchased a kit and was quickly called into action when his rock/blues friend, Arte Tedesco, asked him to play drums on a simple track that Arte was recording for charity.

 Jerry at John Blanche Recording Studios, Longwood Florida

That experience reminded Jerry how much he needed to be playing LIVE and not just practicing to tracks. Playing live is a very different dynamic. Drums and bass form the foundation upon which the other musicians play—and in that sense, the drum/bass rhythm section has more of a leading roll. On tracks, you are playing along—not initiating the rhythm. Recognizing this Jerry knew he had to find a way to play live with other musicians and that is when he discovered the various blues jams around Orlando, Florida.

 He quickly attended the jams and began talking with the organizers and host bands. Fortunately, Jerry met Doc (Carl) Williamson and Stephen Plotnik. Doc Williamson (keyboards and vocals), hosts three jams a week in addition to playing solo and band gigs. Steve Plotnik is Doc’s “house” drummer for two of the jams. They explained the process to Jerry and told him to prepare to sit in for a short set. The very first blues jam for Jerry was at the Alley Blues Bar (Sanford, Florida) November 14, 2011 and it certainly was an eye-opener and ear-opener for Jerry. He had a lot of work to do to get the rust off and become a drummer once again. No stranger to hard work and dedication, Jerry asked Doc and Steve to help him, and give him the straight truth and not to sugarcoat it. The pros obliged and told him to work on meter, build a strong collection of blues standards and to learn the drumming style rather than playing rock rhythms and fills. They also told him to be “up front,” confident and louder (defined) on his snare hits. Jerry’s dedication and persistence paid off. He committed to 4-5 jams per week, listening and learning along the way (and the education continues). Practice, practice, practice. After 60 days of this routine, Jerry’s fellow jammers remarked on his improvement and he gained the respect of Doc Williamson who said, “I don’t worry about you anymore.” Anyone that knows Doc will appreciate the comment.

Doc Williamson

 

Stephen Plotnik

The experience of blues jams opened up Jerry’s eyes to a vision larger than merely getting ready for the Nickel Revolution’s reunion. It morphed into this, The Nickel Blues Band. The members are coming but yet to be named as this is still the seed planting season. To build anything, it is important to cast the vision and that is the purpose of this article. 

Seeking Lead Guitar and Bass Player with Vocals

The Nickel Blues Band is actively seeking a strong lead guitar player with good vocals, a bass player with good vocals and possibly a keyboard player with or without vocals—a bonus would be for a keyboard player or lead guitar player that can also play the drums for songs where Jerry will move over to keyboards. Interested musicians should contact Jerry: NickelBluesBand@gmail.com

Jerry is well versed in marketing and building businesses and he will bring that skillset to the band with a high level of dedication and persistence to:

  1. Enjoy the journey. Fun is an important part of a good endeavor.
  2. Rehearse. Be opening to learning new things and improving individually and as a group.
  3. Write, compose and perform original blues songs as well as standards
  4. Market and promote the Nickel Blues Band.
  5. Secure bookings and work with the clubs to promote NBB.
  6. Grow as a team and to share in the winning.
  7. Celebrate the journey supporting other bands and musicians and to be a source of encouragement.

Links for Blues Players in Orlando/Central Florida

The Nickel Blues Band

The Orlando Blues Meetup Group

Central Florida Musicians

The Alley Blues BarSanford,Florida

Doc Williamson Booking Information Doc and The Healers and solo gigs

Orange Blossom Blues Society Education and preservation of the blues

See these great websites for further insights to Twin Cities bands from the 50s, 60s, 70s:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

 

 http://minniepaulmusic.com/

If you truly enjoy reading about local and regional rock bands from the 60s, you need to check out this national website: http://60sgaragebands.com/ 

 

 

 

 

© 2011 © 2012 Jerry Lenz, Lenz Entertainment Group All Rights Reserved

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