diving deep into practice during quarantine

Michigan’s governor announced today that we are under “Shelter In Place” orders until April 13th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I will definitely take advantage of all of the time off I can get to dive deep into my playing and writing exercises and make some progress with my music. I have already been off work for a week and putting that spare time into trying to break past my current state of writer’s block that I am struggling with.

This weekend I sat down with my camera and some instruments and just rotated thru songs I liked and recorded as much as I could. I managed to pull 12 videos from two sessions to post on Youtube under a playlist called “The Covid-19 Playlist“. I will keep contributing to this list for the duration of the quarantine.

The goal is to take old songs and dust them off. Maybe I will rework some of my songs for mandolin, or banjo. Maybe I will do a cover song or two. Maybe if I am lucky, I will end up writing a few new songs in the process! By the time life is “back to normal” and the band can start practicing again, I should have a stockpile of material ready to pick thru and start working on as the band gets up to speed. This version of Black Cat Bone is so new that we haven’t even had the opportunity to start writing new material together yet. With the songs on this playlist we will have plenty of ideas to work with.

a little intro video of Black Cat Bone in 2020 and beyond

It has been a few years since we created our mini documentary about Black Cat Bone, and even though the spirit of the band remains, none of the musicians from back then are in the band in 2020. So I put together a new intro video about what we have going on musically these days.

While we are on a break dealing with work and life in the times of COVID-19, some songwriting has been happening, as well as gathering some material for future videos and recording in 2020. Until then, stay safe!

Sixty Watt Scott – Black Cat Bone

The pursuit of tone: testing out a few slides from Rocky Mountain Slide Co

I recently picked up a handful of crazy picks and some really cool ceramic slide bottles from Rocky Mountain Slide Company, courtesy of Todd Reeves, a friend of the band and recent contributor to the musical mayhem (you can see his debut with us Thursday May 7th).

The picks are made of bone, coconut shells, and some other mysterious space age materials. I found them to be interesting to play with, and liked the way that they altered my sound as a result. I am not sure if I will actually incorporate the picks into my sound, but the ceramic slide bottles were pretty interesting, and I am feeling more inclined to mix these into the set for recording and live shows. Here is a video review I made

Farmer John videos posted

Friday July 28 2017 Black Cat Bone played at the Tip Top Deluxe in Grand Rapids MI, taking the middle slot between Elroy Meltzer and Left Lane Cruiser.

We ran into Farmer John who helps out with a lot of the shows at the Tip Top Deluxe. Farmer John is also the founder of the Cowpie Music Festival in Alaska, Michigan. They host some of the best live music to be found around yonder parts and are something you should check out.

He asked us to do a short interview, which he then posted on his Facebook account. Farmer John also captured our first song in the set in a separate video.

Songwriter Sundays w/Eric Engblade featuring Scott Warren of Black Cat Bone

Sunday April 30 2017

Eric Engblade is a fabulous singer/songwriter from the Grand Rapids MI area. Known for his insightful lyrics, topnotch banjo plucking, and furious guitar rhythms. I first met Eric in 2009 at an Earth Day Festival in West Michigan that I was helping produce. We have shared a bill three other times after that, and I have seen him perform on a few other occasions around the Grand Rapids area. I have always been appreciative of his abilities and style. He is definitely one of the more capable, and accomplished musicians in this town. Also, he is probably one of the most genuinely decent human beings I have ever met.

So when he asked me to guest on his semi- impromptu Sunday Songwriter series on Facebook Live, I jumped at the chance immediately. We discussed the mechanics of resonator guitars, my favorite open tunings for slide bottle guitar, and how we approached our different songwriting styles. We touched upon the origins of the black cat bone in voodoo/hoodoo magic, and discussed the infamous deal that Robert Johnson conducted at the crossroads many years ago. We also played a few songs and were visited by his baby daughter Naomi, who was not so impressed with our racket as we had hoped. Below is the video for your enjoyment

Scott/Black Cat Bone