Just Like Magic


It was January 3rd 2020 and we received a text; our bass player said he quit.  Oh no!  You can't just quit Ida Clare!  We had spent so much time together - writing and arranging songs, developing our sound, entering contests, winning, recording our first CD, and well - just hangin’ out.  We had been through a lot. We had booked as many gigs as we were willing to play through August of that year - life was good.   But now we didn't have a bass player - this was terrible.  What else could go wrong? 


The pandemic started in March! All our gigs were canceled. We stopped practicing. I stopped writing songs. No one knew what the future would bring. For a long time it didn't bring much.


Then slowly we started playing again...outside....separate mics.....different guest bass players. Sometimes we played as a trio. That was pretty rough, but at least we were playing. Truth is, we were just holding it together with the hope that someday, when the wind was from the west, the sky would clear, a new day would dawn, and like magic we would have a bass player and be a real band again.


The thing about a band is that it has a personality.  When a member changes, the personality can

change - we were really worried about that.  We had found this safe place where we could be creative.  A place where we were not afraid to, well, write songs.  Ida Clare is a band where egos are kept in check, and everyone wants to create new music.  In my experience, that combination is rare.  Basically, we had an agenda, and we were horribly afraid that by adding a new person we might mess up our mojo. 


Before Ida Clare, I had not been a songwriter - I had written two or three, that's it.  With Ida Clare, I quickly found out a couple of things - Lea and Robin wanted me to

write songs, and once I showed a new song to them, it wasn't mine any more.  I had never wanted to be a singer/songwriter. Writing for a band has been a totally different and cool experience.  It's not my band, it is our band.  If the band doesn't like the song, we don’t play it.  When we do decide on a song, one thing is certain - the song is going to change... a lot!  The process is always fun, exciting, and at times, humbling.  But I digress.  We still didn't have a bass player.  It's not that we weren't trying - we just couldn't seem to find the right person. 


In April of 2021, I was sitting in the kitchen when I remembered meeting a bass player at a party where everyone had brought their instruments for a jam.  I also remembered (and I can’t believe it took me so long) that when the music got more complicated, the bass player was always right there, never missing a beat.  So I got his number from a friend and called him up. He didn’t say he was interested right away, but he did say he wanted to hear us.  So I gave him our CD and waited.  A few days later, we spoke again and he said he would like to get together with the band - said he would learn the songs on the CD before we met.  I was excited - he was taking us seriously.  We all got together to jam a bit, and it was obvious we had found the right person - the one person who could magically slide right into the position just like he had always been there. 



Without further ado, let me introduce the newest member of Ida Clare, bassist, Nick Stevens.  Nick is a creative and talented musician with very high standards and a ton of experience - he’s even gotten me practicing to a metronome.  Nick is a perfect addition to our band. He has been with us for one year this month and I really can’t imagine Ida Clare without him.




So, we are back at it.  We have a ton of new material, and we are well on our way to our second album release. 


We are recording it at Downtown Recording in Louisville, Kentucky,  a fabulous studio whose owner is none other than our very own Nick Stevens! 

So, just like magic, a new day has dawned and Ida Clare is back!  Remember that thing about adding a new person and changing the personality of the group?  Well, it’s true!  And our mojo is just fine!


Jim


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