Saturday, November 30, 2019

Leonid & Friends: The Story So Far.

I just found this story about how Leonid & Friends got started.  An awesome story!


Make Me Smile – Chicago (Leonid & Friends cover)

Another of my favorite Chicago songs performed by Leonid & Friends.


Feelin' Stronger Every Day - Leonid & Friends (Chicago cover)

Has anyone else been enjoying the Leonid & Friends video's on YouTube?   This is a group of musicians from different parts of Russia.  I believed they've even toured the US for a short-time.

If I understand the story, Leonid wanted to do a video/recording of a Chicago song for his birthday.  It was posted on YouTube, and the rest is history.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Xvive Wireless Components are worth to look . . .

This past Wednesday evening, I finally had the opportunity to go completely wireless for both vocals and guitar.

I set up my small PA system in our Fellowship Hall, and plugged in my Xvive U2 wireless guitar system and an Xvive wireless mic system.  The neat thing about the mic system, I was able to use my beloved Shure SM-58 mic that I've had for the past 10 years.

Both wireless system components include a transmitter that plugs into your mic and guitar, as well as receivers that plug into your amp or PA.  Each receiver works on one of four channels.  I had my mic on channel 1, and my guitar on channel 3.  No distortion or feedback whatsoever.   I didn't take two much time to dial in either the mic or guitar as I might have, as I was a little late setting up, but all in all, I was very pleased.

The range for both transmitters is supposedly around 75', a far greater distance than I have ever played away from an amp or PA.

For me, this system is a game changer.   Now I don't have to carry a case worth of cables and other equipment.  Granted, I play in church fellowship halls, libraries, maybe in a city park or city square, and an occasional coffee house type setting.   For these venues, this system is going to work very well, in my opinion.   I haven't played on a stage in over 10 years . . . and sound techs can be fickle.  However, I think this set up would work great.

The Xvive wireless mic system will run you around $199 in most places, and I've only seen it online so far, as I haven't been to a Guitar Center in at least 5 months.  The Xvive U2 wireless guitar system can be found between $129 - $149.   Let's round it off to $350 for both.  Those who know me know that I am not a spend thrift by any means.  For me personally, the money I forked out was WELL SPENT!

You can find out more about   You can probably find a wireless guitar system for a cheaper price from another company.  They are out there.  I have no experience with any of them, but I am hearing good things.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

100,000 views and counting . . . .

Well I'm be . . .

I just now noticed that this little blog thing of mine, which I started in 2005 (I accidentally deleted it in 2007 and had to start all over), finally made it to over 100,000 views!

Wow!  I am so surprised, and at a loss for words 

For the few of you who read this blog . . . thank you so much.  It means a lot.

I took up writing this blog at the suggestion and encouragement of Melissia Mason, a communications and social media expert and a very good writer in her own right.  We were on staff together at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine.  She got there a few months before I did.  When she asked me to write a blog, I had to ask her what a blog was!  I have to give credit where credit is due.  Melissia took the time to explain it and gave me the info I needed to start.  I think she knew I would enjoy it when I took the time to focus on it.

I don't really have an agenda for writing this blog other than it is very therapeutic to do so.  The more I write, the more I'm dealing with . . . or conversely, the more time I have to write.  The less I write means I am very busy with church, singing, and family stuff.  I'm churches I'm serving now have very strong lay leadership.  I actually have a little more spare time than I've had in the past. 

I recently decided that I would make some of my spare time available for writing.  I always enjoy writing about music.  I enjoy writing about new ministry ideas, and I enjoy writing about our occasional travels in our camper.  I will begin posting some pictures as well.  I've actually started carrying a camera in my day bag again.

I think I can easily generate at least 2-3 blogs entries a month.   

Let me know what you think. 

At my current pace, I should reach 200,000 views at age 75!

Hey . . . keep making music where ever you are!

Rick ><>

Monday, November 11, 2019

Your Daily Dose of Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road (Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London '75)

Oh Lordy . . .

This version of Thunder Road has to be one of the best performances of this Bruce Springsteen staple. I have always been so fond of singer songwriters "keeping it simple."   A singer, one or two instruments (in this version a harmonica and piano) and an emotion you can't describe . . . you can only feel it.

I know . . . you are a Springsteen fan or you aren't.  But this version of Thunder Road is one of the most magnificent pieces of music every written and performed in my humble opinion.

I hope you enjoy.  I did.

Keep making a joyful noise where ever you are!

Rick ><>

Xvive U2 Wireless Guitar System Review . . .

I used to review and recommend music related products when I blogged more often back in the days when I served at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine.  I was also involved in a local guitar store in Grapevine for part of that time, so I had access to a lot of instruments and equipment.

At one point I had about 16 guitars and various amps and pedals.

These days, I've paired down my instruments and  sound equipment quite a bit.  I have a good acoustic amp, and a great little German PA system.  I still use Shure SM58 mics, and doubt if I will ever charge.  I've got some pedals for my electric, but can't remember the last time I played my electric.  

I am very pleased with a wireless product purchase I recently made.  A trusted friend and musician recommended the Xvive U2 wireless guitar system to me.  I was skeptical at first, but he reminded me that he used it every Sunday in our early service in Comanche with his Taylor acoustic.  Truth be told, I like the sound of his guitar on Sunday mornings.  So, I did some review checking on the internet and YouTube.  I also went to the Xvive U2 webpage and learned more.  The "I've got to try this because it's neat" aspect of this product had to strong of a pull on me.

I purchased mine in combination with another order I placed through Amazon, so I got free shipping.  The price I paid for the Xvive was the same on  I received it in about 5 days.  The box was pristine and everything was as promised.

To say that I am pleased is an understatement.  I've tried it out several times including singing for a fundraiser at the local Senior Center.  I used my Xvive system this morning playing guitar in the Comanche High School gym for the Veteran's Day program.  I walked into the gym with my guitar case and the Xvive units in my coat pocket.  I plugged in the receiver to the amp that was provided, and them plugged in the transmitter (1/4" jack) into my Rainsong BI Jumbo.  Turned on the power to both, did a quick sound check and was ready to go!

It was almost 45 minutes after we rehearsed before I got to play for another singer.  I had turned off the transmitter plugged into my guitar, but had not turned off the receiver that was plugged into the amp.  No problem.  The advertised battery life is between 4-5 hours of continuous use. 

I haven't used it on my other guitars yet, but as I said, I'm only playing the RainSong right now.  It is advertised that the units won't work well with an active pickup.  I need to confirm this with my Martin D-18 retro.  My sound hole pickup on my Martin J-40 has a passive / active switch, so I anticipate no problem with it. The unit should work just fine with my Strat according to various videos that I watched.

Speaking of video reviews, there are a lot of them . . . so you can learn more if this is something that interests you.  I quit watching "expert" videos because they get too critical.  I just watch videos of ordinary everyday guys like me who tried the product, and told me why they do or don't like it.  The number of people who like the Xvive seem to far outnumber the those who don't.

There is one disclaimer to make.  The Xvive U2 is probably one of the most expensive wireless guitar systems out right now.  You can buy some units for half-the-price.  Some of the review of the cheaper brands caused me to spend the extra $$ and get the Xvive.  I'm personally very glad I did.  I do not have any complaints so far.

I'm very happy with the product.  I am glad I made the purchase.

Keep making a joyful noise!

Rick ><>

Leonid & Friends: The Story So Far.