On Stage With Country Music’s Biggest Tour
Nashville based keyboardist and Kawai Artist Jake Clayton spent an exciting summer and fall out on country’s biggest tour in 2009. Jake is keyboardist for Jimmy Wayne, an up and coming artist with a number 1 hit who opened up for Brad Paisley last year.
Now that the tour is over, I had the chance to ask Jake some questions about the tour and how his Kawai MP5 performed for him on the road.
How did you hook up with Jimmy Wayne?
“I was opening a show for Jimmy when, about halfway through our performance, I noticed him and his manager watching the show from the side of the stage! This is not normal.....I'd opened shows for tons of acts and usually they never come off their bus!
But Jimmy and his manager stayed side stage ‘til we were finished and, as I walked off stage, Jimmy's manager stopped me and said ‘Mr. Wayne would like you to play in his show tonight!’ Stunned, I went out and performed the second half of their show with them and at the end of the night he offered me the position.“
How did you use the MP5 in the show?
“In Jimmy's shows, I run the MP5 stereo straight into 2 Radial DI's. That's it!”
What were the main sounds you relied upon?
“The main sounds I use are the Concert Grand or the Studio Grand, both usually split with the Beautiful Strings patch sparingly layered for my piano parts! For organ parts I primarily use the Drawbar 2, 4' Drawbar, 8' Drawbar and Rock Organ 2 Patches (while) toggling the rotary simulator on and off!”
What was the band/crew’s reaction to the board?
“Our sound engineer was blown away with how realistic the sound is! It's like a perfectly miked grand piano. Most digital pianos sound nice and warm with tons of low end but once they’re in the mix, they just disappear - which leads to having to spend time EQing the signal to get it to be present!
The MP5 just has the perfect wave form so every nuance can be heard through the rumbling bass guitars and the overdrivin' electric guitars! In short - a sound engineer’s dream! Plus the stage hands loved how lightweight it was!”
What was your favorite city and venue during the tour!
“Well, they all had their own special characteristics, but Madison Square Garden in NYC was Awesome! Playing at the site of the original Woodstock was really cool, too!”
How Many Dates Did You Play (on the Paisley Tour)?
“The Brad Paisley tour encompassed 41 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada from June to October 2009! Between those stops, we probably played another hundred cities across the U.S. and Canada on our own in 2009!”
What’s Next For You?
“Well, we’ve got another action packed summer coming up this year, touring all across the U.S. and Canada! Also, I've been hard at work in the studio on my own solo project that I hope to have out in 2010!
Check out jakeclayton.com or myspace.com/jimmywaynemusic for tour dates and concert information!”
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