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Victor Wooten's Bass/Nature camp

Discussion in 'Rocket Music' started by RocketMusic, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    I spent the weekend outside Nashville at Victor's new location for his Bass/Nature camp. The week before, they did one last camp at the old location, and then some folks stayed on and spent the weekend fixing up the new spot. There were roughly 100 friends, family, bass campers, and strangers (like me) helping.

    Rocket Music's bass instructor (Cameron McLaughlin of Balancing Act, and one heck of a bass player) has been to several of these camps over the years, and he invited me and some of his other students down to participate, and we jumped at the chance.

    Victor has purchased a nice spread of land (I heard 150 acres) about an hour west of Nashville. It's a really beautiful spot, right on a river, lots of trees and rolling hills. The only existing structures were a barn and a couple cabins.

    I spent the weekend working on a geodesic dome. It's roughly 30'-40' in diameter and 30' tall. I was part of the crew that framed the circular platform on which the dome sits, assembled the dome structure, and got the dome covered. The last piece of the covering went on just after dark on Saturday night, and it was so great to stand outside and see it glowing from the lights inside. What a cool structure!

    Another crew got a 2-story sleeping quarters framed and under roof in just two days. And a third crew spent the weekend cutting trails and clearing brush.

    As you might expect, the evenings were filled with lots of bass playing. Victor put on a small show Friday night, he did 20-30 minutes of his stuff. What a great experience to see that up close and personal! And there was another guy, Bob, who was blowing some MEAN sax every night. He's a very sympathetic player, always looking to play WITH people instead of OVER people. I think there's a lot to be learned there.

    Anthony Wellington was there, too, I got to chat with him about his monstrous bass collection... wow! He and Victor are headed out on tour this week, catch 'em if you can!

    If you've never heard of the camp before, check this out:
    http://www.victorwooten.com/basscamp/

    The fall camp has been cancelled because Victor will be on tour with Stanley and Marcus. But I know I'll be applying to go to the Spring '09 camp, and you should, too!! The application process will open up sometime this fall or winter.
  2. RobertUI

    RobertUI Supporting Member

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    What an awesome sounding experience! I'll be applying for the Spring '09 camp as well!

    That HAD to be cool watching Victor up close and personal... and I'm sure you wow'd him w/ some "Mr. Yuck" slapping and popping throwbacks! :D
  3. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow... how many bands have I been in since Mr. Yuk? I can't count that high :)

    Isn't it frightening to think that people will remember how good you are based on the last time they saw you play (which was what? 18 years ago here at VA Tech?). The Electric Woodshed (5-6 years ago) was the first band I was in that I consider to be good from a mature playing point of view. And now The Kind is really good, too. Mr. Yuk and the bands in between were just wanking ("hey, look what I can do!!!").

    But it's fun to think back on those years... but, dang, I feel old!!! Let's hope that passes :)
  4. nortonrider

    nortonrider

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    Let me get this right.... you built him a dome for FREE?

    wanna come camp in my yard?
  5. RobertUI

    RobertUI Supporting Member

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    Wanking? I just think about all the noise that this guy was making 18 years ago :eyebrow: many basement and gigging bands later and I'm STILL not happy with where I am! :D

    :bassist:

  6. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

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    You play bass for the Kind? I used to play in metal bands with Rick back in the 80's :)
  7. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't say for FREE :)

    Victor (and his wife Holly, and his extended organization) supplied all the materials, catered the entire weekend, organized everything and everybody, and supplied amps for the jams... all in all, they were extremely gracious hosts.

    I just pounded nails when asked, and otherwise tried to stay out of the way :) There was a core group of 6-8 guys who are serious carpenters (and bass players), and they pretty much ran the show. The rest of us volunteered our time, travel expenses, amd limited skills to build something that, I think, will be a valuable resource to the bass world for years to come.

    So if you have the pull to bring 50-60 serious bass players (not to mention Steve Bailey, Chuck Rainey, Marcus Miller, etc.) together for a week of learning and playing, I'm there!
  8. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    How the worm has turned! Rick was way heavy, and I'm basically a funky southern rock sort of guy, ala Little Feat & Allmans... now we're playin' hippie jam stuff. What a trip!

    I love playing w/ Rick. He's got some big ears on him, too, he's another very sympathetic player. Makes me look good :)

    Did you ever play with George Penn? He was drummin' with the Yams From Outer Space back then. Anyway, he and I played in the 'Shed for a bunch of years, and he's another one that makes the bass player look great. His pocket is HUGE!
  9. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

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    Rick was a youngster and we used to practice in his basement. I remember when he made his singing debut with "Shake Me" at the old Iroquois club :p Were you playing with them last year when they played at Elmwood Park? I think it was for the Va Tech benefit? If so I was there.
  10. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep, that was me and my Alembic Europa at the park!
  11. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

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    Cool. You had a good tone going on. Good chops as well. I wondered what kind of bass that was...I thought it was a Cirrus at first then possibly a Grind :D
  12. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey, thanks! I was playing through the festival's backline rig (Ampeg something or other)... not my usual amp choice, but it sounded OK.

    The Kind has been "ampless" for a few years now. Everything goes direct (including Rick's electronic drums), so monitors are all we have. Fortunately, we have 4 monitor mixes available so I can get my facefull of bass and kickdrum without bothering the other members. I use a mess of pedals and an Alembic F1X preamp before my signal hits the board. With a good PA, it can sound pretty righteous.

    We play every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at Champs in Blacksburg, so we're on tomorrow night if you're looking for some music :)
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

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    Cool when connections happen.
    I'm hoping to get to VW's camp sometime - sounds like a good experience and major fun.
    I was bummed to see it cancelled for this fall.

    About to start his book "The Music Lesson"
  14. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Absolutely, I love meeting folks from TalkBass! Maybe we'll meet at the Spring camp? I'm there for sure if my application gets accepted...
  15. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

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    Greg - You going?
  16. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    I've applied, but I've not heard anything yet. I hope I get in! I think it would/will be a great experience.

    If anyone is interested, the application process is now open for the next camp that's coming up on April 21-26:
    http://www.victorwooten.com/basscamp/

    My birthday is 4/24, so it would be a really nice birthday present to myself.

    :hyper:
  17. mrbass02

    mrbass02

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    i was thinkin about going this year, is it any fun? Did you learn a lot?
  18. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    This one coming up would be my first full-on bass camp. The time that I went before was more of a work weekend with some jams at night, it didn't really have any of the workshops and other activities that the actual camps have.

    My bass instructor (Cameron McLaughlin) has been to several camps, and he REALLY got a lot out of them. About bass and about life in general.
  19. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

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    Holler when you get your acceptance email...
  20. dDaddybass

    dDaddybass Supporting Member

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    Greg,
    We should have a GTG here in the burg. I think there may be enough local TB'ers to make it a success!

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