The Practice Derby Take 1

Welcome to Black Horse Motel’s newest installment of pun-tacular web posts “The Practice Derby.” Before I tell you what that’s all about, here at Black Horse Motel’s website you will find that members of the band specialize in ‘horsey-themed’ posts and I would like to highlight them first before I tell you about the “Practice Derby.”

Desiree makes sure you are well fed with delicious treats from “The Feedbag.” In “The Feedbag” posts you will find awesome recipes.  Megan reviews what bands and artists are favorites of the band members in Black Horse Motel, and she introduces you to new music from all over the place in her “Horse Tracks” web posts.  And last but not least, Dave gets right to the point in his web posts titled “Horse Shit.”  “Horse Shit” is perfectly appropriately named for our past musical fails, flops, and embarrassingly bad song writing.  As years move on, the band will have plenty to add to this web post.  In short, “Horse Shit” keeps us humble.

I’m very excited that I get to put my two cents in now!  Welcome to the “Practice Derby!”  Have you ever wondered what musicians do to practice their craft?  I have.  I thought it would be fun to share with you how I practice improvisation and a whole bunch of other things on the violin.  It’s not magic, it’s hard work.  I could definitely use more control and discipline in my practice and playing in general.  I usually won’t practice unless I have an important gig approaching, and that’s a shame.

SO! I thought I would ask YOU to suggest a song, a piece, a cover – anything – a Jimi Hendrix solo – an Outkast song – Bach’s Partita’s – anything, seriously.  Just put your suggestion in the comments section of the Youtube video below.  I will pick one of the suggestions and the next video post will (hopefully) give you a glimpse into what it took for me to learn the tune and maybe I’ll nail it, or maybe it will be like an epic Pinterest Fail.  Either way, hopefully it will be entertaining.  Enjoy the video!



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This weekend: Philly, Brooklyn, Baltimore, OH MY!

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Hard Rock Rising Local Finals 4/15

Winner gets $1,000 and moves on to the regional finals in Washington, DC. Please come out and support us! Audience turn out, participation, and votes count! Voting is via Twitter, using #hardrockrising and #blackhorsemotel.

$1,000 will bring us a huge step closer to our next recording project!

Hard Rock Cafe Philly
1113-31 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
4/15/15 8pm

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this weekend’s shows – Philly & Phoenixville, PA

Friday, 2/27 – Philly
Franky Bradley’s – 1320 Chancellor St (where SISTERS used to be)
8pm, $10, Tickets Here

Lineup: Wild Orphan, BHM / DJ Skinny White is spinning the afterparty

Saturday, 2/28 – Phoenixville, PA
Steel City Coffeehouse – 203 Bridge St, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 19460
8pm, $12-$15, Tickets Here

Lineup: Paige Allbritton, Forlorn Strangers, BHM

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Horse Shit #1

Welcome to the first installment of Horse Shit! A new chapter in Black Horse Motel posting where I (David Richardson) will go back and review my old demos, and mercilessly tear them apart and make fun of myself. This month’s installment is dedicated to my sad little 20 year old self. The demo is called “You Had Me”. It’s important to note that my good friend Kate Ritchie would let me spend hours in her room using her computer and GarageBand to record these shitty little demos. “You Had Me” is a perfect example of the “woe is me” style of playing and writing I was into at the time. What a sap!

The first thing I think of is how much I miss those days…ahh nostalgia! The intro is actually kinda pretty, I can’t believe it, but I’m kinda diggin’ this.
00:22 On your mark, get set, aaaand…terrible vocals. Wow, that’s super bad. It sounds like a chorus of whiney, tired birds. I was way too lazy back then. If a harmony part was super out of tune, that’s the way it stayed. Eww. Also what the hell am I talking about? I’m going to guess this is about my first ex, because the time period fits and what the hell else would it be about Apparently she had me and the all. Whats the all? Is it my awesome personality? Yeah, that’s probably what it is.
00:38 I used to think I had an awesome falsetto, I don’t. I used that mouse voice all the time.
00:56 That was a nice harmony, thank goodness there are some good things here.
01:28 This build is kind cool…Oh wait no it isn’t, what does it even build to? Nothing, that’s what.
01:47 Here comes the sad depressing call and response.
01:47 Kinda dig the back up harmonies though.
Here’s that build to nowhere again, I guess I said to myself “Hey self, let’s do a build on guitar that gets more intense little by little” and then my second self said “Hey, that sounds cool and then it can build and build and turn into like this big harmony part with more rhythm and instrumentation”. But then my first self was like “or it can drop off into whiney out of tune horse shit that sounds terrible! Yeah, let’s do that instead!”

Ok all in all not my worst considering my age, but still pretty bad, hope everyone enjoyed this glimpse into my terrible sappy 20 year old self. Believe me when I say there is plenty more where that came from.

- David

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