2020 a year in review…was it all bad?

2020 will always be known as the year the world will never forget. It’s a year in which literally the entire world came to a halt. No matter where you live, you’ve suffered in some way or another. I’m not going to get into the finer details as I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sure I could complain about the lack of income due to non existent performances, and I could complain that I didn’t get to travel with my wife, but my complaints are miniscule to the tragedies other people have suffered. Rather than bitch about my little problems, let’s reflect on this past year in a positive way shall we?

I had lots of time to do things around the house that I never would of normally had. My entire first floor got a fresh paint job, my deck got stained, the master bathroom got a complete facelift and my grass never looked so good. Most of all I got to enjoy the summer weather and sit outside on weekends with my wife without having to be somewhere to setup and perform.

While many lost jobs and were out of work (especially people in the entertainment industry), I’m lucky enough that I do work full-time during the week so music is more of a side hobby/business for me (as much as I wish I could do it full-time!). There’s obviously a financial hit going from 50-60 gigs a year to 5 but it’s ok – (remember I said I won’t complain?)

While I wasn’t playing live music, I did manage to dress up like an idiot and release a Star Wars guitar video, a couple of Rush collaboration videos and finally my Christmas Guitar video. By the way, thanks to the Mrs for flying the drone. We only had to do 25 takes until it didn’t hit me in the head or get stuck in her hair. I know these things are small time, but the real highlight is what’s happening behind the scenes. If anyone knows me or knows my history with guitar, you’ll know how and why I started playing in the first place.

Thanks to technology my brothers and I are picking some of our favourite songs from years past and recording cover versions of them remotely. It’s amazing what you can do with DI’d guitar/bass and electronic drums. This enables us to have endless discussions about what songs to pick, who will record the keyboard/piano parts, vocals, what sound we’re going for etc. Everyone knows when they hit the red button, the nerves kick in so this has really helped with that too. For the 3 of us this is a throwback to when we were kids jamming in our parents basement but now we have something to listen to down the road. For my brothers this is the first time they’ve recorded in decades. For me this has been a real challenge as I’ve had to learn about mixing and the do’s and don’ts. As we complete more recordings, I can hear the progression of a better sounding mix and this is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn. These recordings will stay in the Strom vault for now.

That about wraps up 2020 in a nutshell. Fortunately my family and friends are healthy and I don’t know anyone who has contracted the virus. So at the end of the day was 2020 all that bad to me?

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