ou can read about the Beer Dawgs elsewhere, but after seeing them for the first time recently in downtown Roseville I had a conversation with Bawb Pearce about their lack of a bass player (or perhaps their having two bass players, depending on how you look at it) which you might not read elsewhere.
As always when seeing a band for the first time, I looked for the bass player. Nobody was holding a bass. Nobody. But someone was playing bass; I could hear it. As I watched, I realized that the singer (later identified as the aforementioned Bawb Pearce) was playing a bass line on his guitar.
As the evening continued, I realized that the lead guitarist, Steve Wall, was playing bass sometimes. How cool.
And finally, I realized that, sometimes, they were trading off mid-song.
I have to say, from a musician’s perspective, it takes real comfort with your playing and your material to switch from rhythm guitar or lead guitar (or, hey, how ’bout synthesized accordion?) to bass, and then back again, in the middle of a tune. Blew me away.
So, this exchanged ensued:
Myself: As a bass player, I’m curious where the concept for your tag-team simulated bass came from. Did it just grow organically from circumstances, an epiphany from heaven, or didja steal it?
Slim Bawb: about 3 years ago our bass player got sick & missed some gigs. For the first gig Steve played all the bass parts with his synth bass patch. I then bought a fender Jazz bass & switched from that to the guitar. that was too confining so I bought a Roland sythn also & we decided on the fretless bass patch because you slide to notes & it has a more organic sound than the regular bass patch.
We do around 100 songs that I’ve written so the thought of teaching all those parts to a new bass player was too much. plus the fact it’s fun playing bass & Mo money! Our bass player got well but then quit for a real job. He’s now playing stand-up bass with my other band “Slim Bawb & Gator Bait“.
That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.
And you really have to see them live, but since they play five or six nights a week in the Sacramento area, that shouldn’t be hard to arrange.