Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

Out for a ride yesterday and they are almost finished. This will be a great resource for decades to come. I believe the mayor of Cincinnati will be on-hand to officially open the new section of the Wasson Way Trails tomorrow.

Workers finishing the sidewalk and entrance

Even though I took a sneak peak and ride before the path was officially opened I can’t wait. Only a small section will be needed to connect to other bike and walking trails in the city.

This is the next section connecting the Ault Park trails

Bicycle riding is something I have loved since being a kid. I get exercise, fresh air, new scenery and a little bit of escape all wrapped into one. Recently cities in Ohio and other states have purchased unused train rights of way and turning them into bike and walking paths or trails. This is perfect because the train tracks are fairly level, the perfect width, and they go through neighborhoods that are rarely connected any other way.

Case in point is the latest addition of the CROWN section of the pathways including Wasson Way. When I-71 was built around 1966 to 1975 it split Cincinnati in drastic and unfortunate ways like every other town. Once built, many neighborhoods were completely severed from each other and in some cases from the business districts they created. This is a point in history for me as my family was renting a house on a street that was demolished and we had to move for them to build I-71. The neighborhoods I used to ride through with my friends were no longer accessible to a kid on a bike.

Strollers enjoying the Marburg Avenue section of Wasson Way

Anyway, they are about to extend that section next week so the Wasson Way path connects to one of my favorite local parks of all time! I have shared many pictures of Ault Park here and it is still a lovely place to see. When this section is completed I will be able to take bike trails (including on-road lanes) from my house all the way to Ault Park. The big plan is to have various trails in Ohio that will take you from the southernmost point in Ohio near the Ohio River all the way to Cleveland at some point in the not too distant future.

I took some pictures of the progress made to the unfinished section so you have an idea of the work they are putting into this.

They will start planting trees along the current paths next week. As old as I am it is still nice to get out and take a ride through familiar neighborhoods like I did when much younger. It is satisfying to see the city I have lived in for almost ever finally embracing these outdoor activities and unique neighborhoods long cut off from each other.

In no specific order here, we have our third vocalist working with my cover band called The Chase. Performing with us now is Sean Bandy (Shoeless Sean to his followers). I don’t think I have any real pictures of this time. I will keep looking but so far nothing great.

Sean also played acoustic guitar and does a great job of working with the audience. We played songs from the Beatles to Zappa and from James Brown to Queen and he kept up with them all. I am playing keyboards and electric rhythm guitar, as well as back up vocals. I am not running sound at this point from what little I can remember. I posted a couple videos of us on my You Tube channel earlier. See the following links THE CHASE LIVE 1 and THE CHASE LIVE 2. These are more like music with pictures and old video clips. The video recordings I made for that time did not translate well to the leap in resolution 30 years later lol.

The Chase and vocalist Sean Bandy performing “Cross Eyed Mary” by Jethro Tull
The Chase and vocalist Sean Bandy performing “I Feel Good” by James Brown
The Chase and vocalist Sean Bandy performing “Freeway Jam” by Jeff Beck and “Black Friday” by Steely Dan

Which vocalist is your favorite from the few examples here?

Continuing on in this series, the cover band I performed with is trying out new vocalists. Fortunately I record often and want to share with you some of the live performances during this time with The Chase. The songs were performed by James Fidelli and he also played a bit of electric rhythm guitar.

The Chase vocalist Jamie Fidelli singing “Stone Cold Crazy” by Queen and “Red House” by Jimi Hendrix
The Chase vocalist Jamie Fidelli singing “Tight Rope” then “Digging in the Dirt” by Peter Gabriel
The Chase vocalist Jamie Fidelli singing “One” by Creed

For a quick recap, I have been going through archived recordings I have made over the years. Recently reviving performances with the bands I have played in, I want to give you a few samples of recordings I made with The Chase.

For a period of time we were reforming the band Euphoria and looking for a new vocalist. These recordings were during that transition period working out with different vocalists. Short story for new visitors, I worked at a local instrument store as a salesman when asked by The Chase to fill in for their sound man while he was on vacation for a few weeks. I had never run sound (with the exception of one hotel gig band that was in desperate need for one night.) I filled in, loved it and the band, the sound man could not return and I became their regular sound guy. The band was smart and paid the sound engineer the same as the other members of the band. They knew the house sound was important.

Once running sound, the keyboard player took a break for a few years and I worked really hard to fill in for him. Soon after that I started playing rhythm guitar too………. and yes, in the early years I ran sound, played keyboards, rhythm guitar, back-up vocals and percussion all at the same time from stage. For a period of time I ran sound from the audience and had my instruments next to me. Not as strong a player as the others in the band I tried to “earn my keep” by being a jack of all trades.

I have recorded music since I bought my first four-track reel-to-reel when I was around 13 years old. I am closer now to 70 years old. When working with bands as a sound engineer or member, I record for a lot of reasons. Some were not intended to be hi-quality recordings and often were stereo cassette or DAT machines connected directly to the main outs of the sound board. Usually there was no level test and the band members would not know I was recording at all because it was so basic.

In the next few posts I will share cover songs we played live with three vocalists. In some I am playing Keyboards, rhythm guitar etc., and some I am running sound using various techniques to find quick ways to get a decent live recording. Many of these I have detailed here in my Live Sound Reinforcement Series.

Here are a few samples, starting with Gary Jefferson as the lead vocalist.

Vocalist Gary Jefferson performing The Rooster by Alice In Chains
Vocalist Gary Jefferson performing Middle Man by Living Colour
The Chase performing cover of Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson

I am working on writing a new song with some friends over the Internet. Recording final tracks now and will release “Peanut Butter Hill” hopefully later this month. 2021 is off to a good start!

My 6th CD, “The Eye of the Storm” has been released through CD Baby. I am closer to 70 years old than not, so I do not use Spottify, iTunes, Deezer and the rest. If you use these services you will probably know how to search for an artist. Look for the above title or Michael S Kennedy to make the search easier! Looking forward to 2021!

Smiling because 2020 is over!

I just released my newest project on CD Baby. This is my sixth album release over the years.

Very soon the Album/CD titled: “Eye of a Storm” will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Instagram, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Pandora, and about 150 other streaming services globally. Search for Michael S Kennedy and with a bunch of luck it will appear on the list. The songs and CD are cheaper on CD Baby so you can also save a little cash there.

I think I settled on 18 songs since my last release. I post almost everything on this blog first so if you have been here a few times you may have heard many of these tracks. I really like a lot of these new songs and they include some of the best lyrics I have written. In the year we have had, there were few opportunities for my friends to add vocals or instruments to some of my songs as in the past. As a result, all of these songs were written, performed, recorded and mixed by me. While it is a lot of work and I really wish someone would do it for me, it is also a lot of fun and I am proud to look back at this collection. I hope you try a few out because they are all different in their own right.

Happy new Year!

MIDIMike

Michael S. Kennedy

I went searching for years to learn the important things in life.
Some spent in luxury, too many were spent in strife.
Truly believing if I could just find the right questions
Throughout all of humanity, someone would surely know.

What happens after death, are we all alone?
The answers were never written in stone.
What is the real difference between love and faith?
Is it too late with three out at the bottom of the eighth?

The Answer Might Be 42
But it never was about that.
Finding neither question or answer
Nor even a wise old sage or wizard.

To learn how to listen I sought out musicians
To know what is real I studied magicians.
Accountants I’ve met could never measure true cost.
Preparing for challenge I drank with those who have lost.

To see both sides I closely examined the moon.
You can see the ground better from a hot air balloon.
Can’t understand demons if you always talk to saints.
What is freedom if you’ve never known restraints?

The Answer Might Be 42
But it was never about that.
The secret of life is not found in questions
Better served by learning whom to ask.

Holidays are fun with creative people.

I often mention my talented wife and children sprinkled within posts over the years. When the girls were very young we made Christmas and the holidays a creative fest whenever possible. From pumpkin carving parties with over 200 pumpkins, costumes and haunted houses, we put our own flair into everything. We avoided the commercial and traditional.

Each year we would send our many friends a hand-made original Christmas ‘Card’. We would start two months before Christmas to imagine, design and create a unique holiday greeting from our entire family. Many are still hung up or placed on mantels to this day. It is hard to describe so you can get an idea of the projects. One time we made small cloth trees decorated in style with a hook on them so you could hang them as an ornament. Another year we took clear glass ornamental globes and other shaped bobbles and poured paint inside making them sparkle with bright colors and/or glitter on the inside of the glass.

As a musician I built up a small home recording studio over the years. In the lyrics we reference “7 tracks and SMPTE”. I had a digital recorder back then but advanced as it was at the time it only had eight tracks, and one of them you used to record a clock signal so it would sync with the MIDI instruments I had controlled by a hardware sequencer (RECORDING WAS A LOT HARDER IN THOSE DAYS!!!). Every few years I managed to work in a family musical project. Here are two audio recordings we sent as that year’s ‘card’.

This tradition really became a thing and people looked forward to getting their next card, knowing it would be unlike any other they would receive that year, or ever again.

Here is my family recording two Christmas carols for our annual card project. One is a traditional cover of a song you are familiar with. The other is our version of a classic. Even if you aren’t ‘all about Christmas’ and everything, I think you will find this cute and maybe hilarious at the same time.

I wish you all well and hope we can keep lost loved ones close to our hearts and friends and family in our thoughts.

MIDIMIKE

The Kennedy’s carol
The Kennedy’s Original 12 Days