What is Walk-A-Billy bass? My efforts to play Walking-Slappin'-Swinging-Rockin-Upright-Bass.
Bass Influences - Old School: Willie Dixon, Ransom Knowling, Milt Hinton, Bill Black, Walter Page, Marshall Grant
Bass Influences - New School: Preston Hubbard, Ronnie James Weber, Dirk Shumaker, Lee Rocker, Smilin' Jay, Tony Garnier, Dave Roe, Kevin Smith
Gear: DeVilli Upright Bass w/K&K Pickup, Fender Bassman 60 w/15", Laney Linebacker 30 w/10" - Strings - Weed Wacker Bass Strings from Fantastic Instruments in Calif. AMAZING. I am now playing the Rockabilly Slap. Never should have waited this long.
That's me, playing some electric bass with the Gerry-Jeff-Walkers-Band: July 2005
History: I started playing drums while in my twenties. I loved playing but it just wasn't my instrument. One day, I picked up a bass, started fooling with it &...music poured out....After many years of playing - & with the help of good pal Preston - I made the switch to a REAL bass & purchased my upright.
Thanks to the Dave Foley Band for letting me sit in for a set. At the Tuscon Tacos Bar in Kingston, Massachusetts. Girls Dancing on the bar, belly shots, swing dancing...it was great! The Dave Foley Band is Boston's best Rockabilly/Country Band. Dave & Rich are just about the nicest folks you could meet.
I bought my Upright on Ebay, it's the one recommended to me by my favorite bassist, Preston Hubbard. It's the same one he uses. The DeVilli Upright. I've received many requests for info about this bass. Feel free to ask if you have questions.
Truly Amazing Bassist & Walking Encyclopedia of Bass Knowledge, History & all around Great Guy....Ronnie James Weber.
Ron sent me a CD he burned for me...filled with all the old cats like Big Crawford, Ransom & Milt...very inspiring & very intimidating.
Dirk Shumaker - bassist with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
That's Dirk & me! 12/16/04 at Sculler's Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA. I got the chance to hang with Dirk for a while. We discussed the ole upright, news, our kids...all sorts of things. Dirk is the definition of CLASS. Nicest guy on earth & a heck of a bassist and singer. We talked about sweet little lick he plays that I've decided to steal!
Roots bassists are just the best folks on the planet.
Preston Hubbard and me. Sometimes, you just have to hang with the BEST - and get your ass kicked for not keeping your thumbs in the right places, & learning the proper left hand 3rd & 4th finger technique. Instruction from the BEST will always help.
Lisa, Preston & me - July 15,2003 @ Sal's R&B Club Johnston, RI
Catfish Grill - Providence, RI 4/10/2004.
Preston is now in St Louis & lucky music fans there are seeing & hearing him with the Shakey Ground Blues Band.
Notice the perfect hand positions....
My boy Nick & me. A chip off the old block.
Ronnie James Weber, showing how it's done.
RockabillyBass is an awesome site, but watch that Message Board, there are some nasty people there that are only trying to sell stuff & that think they are better than others, etc. The folks running are awesome, but not everyone on that board is quite so nice.
Lee's latest - "Curse of the Rockabilly" it's GREAT. It's changed names due to Lee's deal with Alligator Records.
Ronnie James Weber recording with his Upright.
Preston Hubbard can do it all, & he keeps the swing happening the whole time. He has an uncanny ability to always find & play just the right note....and make it all SOUND so simple.
My Crew - I love my little sons!! Click on us to go to our "family" page.
c'mon back & visit. Last update: 11/10/2006
"This Blues Ring site is managed by GERRY WATTS"
That's the late Keith Ferguson. Click to go to my tribute to Keith page.
Below is a another picture of Preston Hubbard.
Preston Hubbard has a story every musician NEEDS to hear. The link to Preston's story is located in the picture below. It's an article he wrote for the Austin Chronicle. You can get the entire unedited version at Preston's Homepage. If there is any justice left in the world - there will be a book version of his story.
Dave Roe - Dave used to play with Johnny Cash, now gigs with Dwight Yoakam & a bunch of others. He's a killer slap player. Dave has just made an instructional DVD. It's not for sale yet, I can't wait to see it - & I don't understand why it is taking so long.
That's me with Preston's old bass, the one he played on those fantastic Roomful Of Blues albums & on Greg Piccolo's "Heavy Juice." It was a pleasure to play THIS historic Bass.
Some of my ink, Like the one on the left? El Diablo with his upright. Tattoo by Andy Lowlife at Cobra Custom Tattoo in Plymouth, MA. Andy is now working in San Francisco.
Don't give me any lip about the WAV. file! it's tuff doing the thing all by my 'lil lonesome! At least my boys sound good!
I own my own PA system & am looking for a guitar player & a swingin' drummer. I have the bass, the PA, & rehearsal space....Let's get some gigs! If you are interested, send me an e-mail.
Public Service time - Give Pints 4 half-pints! Children's Hospitals always need blood donations, help a sick kid today. Thanks. Children's Hospital helped my little boy Noah during a health crisis shortly after he was born. The Docs, nurses & staff at children's Hospital in Boston are amazing. The world needs more folks like these. Give Blood - you could save the life of some kid.
with T-Birds Nick Curran & Ronnie James 8/05
My Favorite Links
Preston Hubbard's Homepage
Lemur Music - Upright Bass specialists
Bob G - Upright Bass Links & supplies
Upright Gerry on MySpace
Shakey Ground Blues Band
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Patrick Recob - bassist extraordinare
Rockabilly Girls Gone Wild!
Fantastic Music Instru - where I get my Weed Wacker Strings
Halifax Youth Baseball
Schecter - makers of my Electric bass
Brockton Rox Baseball
King Double Bass
Cobra Custom Tattoo - Plymouth, MA
I Am Trouble!
Car Kulture DeLuxe
Rick Walkers Western Wear - Boston, MA
Bass Player Magazine
Ed Friedland - Bassist, Author, Educator