Friday, March 23, 2018

Will Calhoun: A Tribute

There are musicians that you simply like and then there are musicians who literally change your life. For me that happens when they show me something fresh in their musical expression and/or a different way to approach my instrument. When either of those happen the amount of gratitude I have is always without measure. For me, one of those musicians is the amazing Will Calhoun who is best known as the drummer of Living Colour. 

Like many music fans I first became aware of the band when the video for Cult of Personality appeared on MTV. I loved the song and was just as impressed with later singles like Open Letter (to a Landlord) and then Type. Then a college friend of mine strongly suggested that I buy their albums because their other songs were even better. I acted on that suggestion one particular day when I was at a record store in Long Beach, CA called The Tape and Record Room, which is where I bought most of my bootleg and import records. On this particular visit I saw two used cassettes of the band's first two albums Vivid & Time's Up and this poor college kid couldn't beat the price of $3.00 for each.

For some people purchasing a pre-owned item of value excites when a long search has finally come to end, especially if they were able to get the item at a reasonable price. In my case it was something different because I left the store that day with a good feeling even though I really didn't know a lot about the albums I had just purchased. I just knew that something special was about to happen like those moments in life when you meet someone and know that something amazing is about to happen. 

Getting Acquainted  

When I first heard Vivid I couldn't believe what was coming through my speakers. Since this blog is about the influence Calhoun had on my drumming I can't really comment on each song even though I could spend hours discussing how each song made an impact on my drumming. Instead I'll choose a few standouts and do my best to explain how Calhoun changed my perspective on my instrument.

Middleman was the first song that stood out to me because of the smooth groove on the verses as well as the beautiful two-handed ride pattern on the choruses. I really admired the fact that the same drummer who pounded the groove on Cult of Personality could be so sophisticated on this song. It was a great lessons on the impact on dynamics as well as feel.

The next song that floored me was Funny Vibe as the song was both intense as well as funky. I love how the groove had some real drive to it yet featured some beautiful hi-hat work. I also loved the now familiar beautiful two-handed ride work on the guitar solo as he a had a special way of painting a picture with the bell and the open hi-hat. By this point Calhoun was already becoming one of my favorite drummers and I hadn't even finished listening to the whole album.

The song Broken Hearts is something I describe as beautifully painful. The singing is the painful part to listen to while the groove is the most beautiful thing on the record. This song just takes me on a roller coaster of emotions, which I would soon learn is a big part of the band's music. Later on when I started to buy their home videos I began to see that this band was something special in a live setting and couldn't wait to have my chance to see them in person:

Once the final song of Vivid ended I had my first breath of musical fresh air in years. At that time I was a 19 year old kid that had been rocking out for years with the Metal music of that era. I was playing in a local Progressive Metal band that was starting to make a name for itself locally and while I loved the music we were playing (this also included songs that I wrote) I felt drawn to the idea of doing something different.

The Point of No Return 

The first album came to an end and I was anxious to hear the first track on Time's Up. Little did I know that even though it was the same band that they went in a totally different direction. Aside from the songs being magical they were all very different from each other as they drew on so many different musical genres. Still, they all seemed to go together in this collection of 15 songs, which to me showed some serious brilliance in their songwriting. That's why to this day I think that this album is their masterpiece.

The title track was not what I expected but it was absolutely stunning. How does the band that comes out with some Rock/Funk on a track like Funny Vibe come up with a heavy rocker that rivals bands like Anthrax and Metallica? Under it all was Calhoun's absolute dominance of the song. Very few drummers can deliver power, precision and chops in such an amazing way. His performance is absolutely breathtaking because I am convinced that no one on this planet could duplicate what he did on this track:

If there was a song that I can say was the most important song I heard in my late teens/early 20's it was Elvis is Dead. What does this song do to a young rocker playing an 11-piece drum set in a Progressive Metal band? Truthfully, I wanted to toss out all of my extra toms and start throwing down some serious beats! This song was all about the groove in it's purist form. It has heart, it has feel and it certainly steers the ship. It still gives me chills to this day.

The last song on this album I will comment on is Information Overload. There was a time when I transcribed many of Calhoun's drum parts and this song was the hardest of all. There are so many changes in almost every measure with most measures having many complex parts. The verses are pounding with a solid groove but the fills into between the breaks in the riff are just perfect. But I love how he goes to the ride at 2:17 and produces an almost floating effect with that beautiful two-handed riding that he is known for. I love how he syncopates the bell to start the section and then drives in with quarter notes in order to take it up a notch. Then we get to the guitar solo section, which to me is a work of genius. I love how at 3:32 he goes back to that pounding feel we heard in the verses before he goes back to the ride at 4:00, which again helps the groove take off. The two handed ride pattern that goes into the syncopated part of his groove is gorgeous yet he is still rocking out as only Calhoun can. Then there is that fill that starts at 4:13 that acts as a nice interruption to the solo as it really fit the theme of the overload!!!! Finally, that entrance into the final verse at 4:40 is just amazing. If there was an example of great feel in a Heavy Rock song it is this one. As far as I'm concerned it's one of Calhoun's most masterful performances. It made me want to start putting together some real interesting patterns in the songs I was playing as well.

When I finished hearing this album for the first time I knew that I had just heard one of the greatest Rock albums ever recorded. I don't care what the critics say or even what even some of my closest peers say. This album is a treasure of American music.

Staying the Course

Now I was a devoted Living Colour fan so there was no used cassettes on my radar when their next album came out. I was there on the day it was released with Stain being one of my favorites ever! (my last blog tells the whole story: Of course, Calhoun's performance was absolutely stunning and continued to have an impact on me during my younger years.

Go Away starts with an awesome drum fill that demonstrates Calhoun's awesome power. The opening is tight and reflects the mood of Corey Glover's vocals in the song. The pre-chorus has a nice tom layered groove before kicking into the chorus, which is a combination of hard pounding with some nice hi-hat work. Then we get to the guitar solo section, which starts at 2:30 and Calhoun pounds a nice half time beat that drives the band. The bass line is a two measure phrase and it's so awesome how Calhoun does a two measure fill at 2:34 and 2:46 because he starts it halfway through the bass line, which means he has to finish it at the same spot during the next go round of the riff. It's a simple idea but it has a totally different sound than what we're used to hearing in most two measure drum fills. Finally, being a big fan of his groove I absolutely love the groove of the last chorus, which starts 3:11.

Sometimes the drummer's job is to take sit in the driver's seat and announce: this is the way we're going! On the track Auslander Calhoun lays down the groove with a feel that only he can do. On the choruses he pushes it a bit harder with some nice triplet double bass work that again reflects the mood of Glover's vocals. Aside from the, the bridge features some nice electronic additions that provide a nice industrial sound to Calhoun's pounding. It's a simple tune but it stays in your head. 25 years later, I still catch myself walking with this groove in my head.

It was really hard to choose a final song to comment on but since we're talking a lot about groove I chose Postman, which is a dark song with some amazing guitar and bass work. However, the riffs work because the foundation under it is unbreakable. The verses are a straight ahead groove but one that any drummer would be bobbing their head to because it is performed by a true professional. Of course the choruses features more of Calhoun's trademark two-hand right patterns with some nice China cymbal additions that add to the dark theme of the song. Sometimes simple is better but we have to remember that it's also how you play the simple. In this case, the performance was masterful.

Always on the Radar

Sadly, the band disbanded in the mid-90's and while it was sad for me to hear the news my musical background knew that this is part of the life of any musician. And, with a band this talented it's not hard to guess that they had some real differences and/or simply wanted to do something else. Once the band reunited they did so while each member continued to do other things, which probably is the thing that keeps them together since they still have the ability to stretch themselves. With that being said, we can hear how the music has changed, which is evidence of the band  members going away for a while to do other things musically before bringing back these experiences to the latest project.

Here are some examples of how Calhoun brought so many of those musical experiences back to the band with his amazing grooves and orchestrations of sounds:

Nightmare City:


Burned Bridges


Come On:

Two Sides:

In the Moment 

Living Colour is one of those bands that you have to see and hear live because the energy they bring is unparalleled. To do this Calhoun has to take his drumming to the next level and do that every single night! As you will see in the following examples he can take a song that is already a fine recorded performance and give it the extra fire needed to provide the audience with an amazing live experience:

Desperate People:

Middle Man:

Cult of Personality:

Finally, Calhoun is a complete musician and has written two of the band's best songs in their totality He continues to contribute to the band in their collaborations, which says a lot about his musicianship as a composer because he is already working with some musical giants. I have said for years that if you want to learn to drum better that you should learn to play other instruments because knowing the language of melody and harmony will do wonders to your knowledge of rhythm.



Thank you 

In January of 2016 I had the chance to meet Calhoun for the first time at NAMM in Anaheim, CA. I didn't talk to him that long because being a professional drummer myself I don't go fan boy with anyone. But, just like I do with the drummers in my hometown who are great players, I never refrain from sharing the great things that I hear in their playing. In Calhoun's case I also wanted to thank him for all of the inspiration he has given me over the years.

I greeted him, asked if I could shake his hand, which he was more than happy to oblige and then thanked him for all of the years that his drumming has had such an influence on me. He was gracious and thanked me for my kindness and then I simply asked him if I could take a picture with him. He nodded, we took a few pictures and then I shook his hand again and wished him well. Throughout our brief discussion he was an absolute gentleman and that meant as much to me as his music.

Thank you Will Calhoun. I will never forget the mark that you made on my musical life.

Carlos Solorzano

Monday, March 19, 2018

STAIN by Living Colour: 25 Years Later

It seems like yesterday when I walked into Tower Records in Torrance, CA and bought the Living Colour album Stain. This was a big deal to me because this band was a big influence on me during my college years. On that eventful night I had just finished my shift at work as I worked at a department store in the same shopping center as my favorite record store. You can imagine how excited I was to end my shift and get that new album in my hands.

Once I got home I put the album on and was immediately blown away! I was already a big fan of the band as I loved everything they had put out on their previous albums and home videos. Aside from that, I was a big student of Will Calhoun's drumming as I not only listened carefully to all that he did on these amazing recordings but took the time to transcribe many of his drum parts. That was always a great challenge as well as a great asset to learning more about his drumming because to do so I had to spend hours listening to all that he did in order to get the charts right. I am proud to say that he not only left a great impression on me but also on my fellow classmates and teachers because at the time I was studying music and I had performed some of his parts o multiple occasions for my Applied Music Class at El Camino Community College. 

This was also a special era of the band for me because I would also see the band for the first and only time (so far) on May 7, 1993 at the Hollywood Palladium as they headlined a show that featured opening bands Tool and Bad Brains. It was an amazing show as it was all about the music yet the energy they produced rivaled any band that also featured theatrics in their performance. 

So let's take a look at some of the performances that continue to take my breath away even today. I chose the songs with the full band performing with some of the links featuring live versions of the songs rather than the studio tracks: 

"Go Away:"

Everyone knew that they had just recruitment the amazing Doug Wimbish to take over the bass duties so like many fans I was curious to hear how they would sound with this new member. This song is a killer opener to the album as it was heavier than anything they had put out before. The groove was solid as Calhoun and Wimbish were spot on but things get even more interesting once we get to the solo section. There they slow it down into a heavier half time groove (see 2:30) with the riff being a two bar pattern, which is important because it will highlight some really nice drumming done by Calhoun. The groove is a heavy Rock Shuffle type beat and sings on its own under Vernon Reid's blistering guitar solo. However, at 2:34 and 2:46 Calhoun does two fills that are two bars in length that begin halfway through the riff, which means that he has to finish the fills at the halfway point of the next go round of the riff. It sounds amazing as it give the groove a different feel than what most people would expect. Then comes my favorite part of the song (see 3:11), which Wimbish once called the Weather Report (named after the famous fusion band) section. I just love how Calhoun lays down a basic groove as Wimbish plays one of the funkiest bass lines ever recorded by this band. 

"Ignorance is Bliss:"

This song has a great Rock Shuffle feel with a guitar riff that was not common in that time period. It also has a great lyrical message. I really liked the live version in the link provided as this band is so energetic live yet as tight as ever.

"Leave it Alone:"

This was the first single and probably the most commercial song on the album. It is musically brighter than most of the songs but lyrically shows a character who won't just follow any type of crowd. The link is of the first time they performed any of the songs from Stain live and it's amazing to see the amount of energy they generated from such a simple song.


Another song with a commercial slant but this one is somewhat humorous and probably the simplest song on the album. Maybe they were just trying to have some fun with this one and simply let the song dictate their performances. However, the simplicity of the song allowed them to flow into the electronic section without a glitch with that part taking that song up a notch. (see 3:46)

"Mind Your Own Business:"

This is probably the heaviest song on the album as it features a great verse before it kicks into a double time chorus. During the last two choruses they actually slow down the tempo and then speed it up again multiple times. It's a nice change to the song but the thing that was most impressive was when they played the song live as they slowed it down even more in order to show the audience how tight the band could really be. It was really impressive because it's so easy to get caught up in the moment and play at a faster tempo than expected.


This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I just love the groove as well as the bridge where they just go through two different riffs as Calhoun adds some cool industrial sounds to his pounding drum part. To me it's just a really cool jam with Wimbish really punching his bass through the main groove.

"Never Satisfied:"

This is another one of those great Living Colour songs with a cool groove that's just fun to listen to while you're rolling out on the freeway or relaxing at home. As a drummer I really enjoy Calhoun's hi-hat work on this song as it's both sweet and smooth.


Everything about this song is amazing! The groove on the drums, the bass line that really layers the bottom end along with Reid's guitar synth work. Aside from that vocalist Corey Glover does an amazing job delivering a very emotional performance.


This song is a rocker that really features Reid and Wimbish at their best. When this album came out I remember reading an interview where the journalist commented how tight Reid and Wimbish were even though Wimbish was new to the band. Reid remarked that they had been playing together for years, mostly in recording sessions so they didn't really need a feeling out period. Therefore, this song was the best demonstration on the album of the mileage they had already put in together. It's very heavy and also dangerous as the guitar and bass part really support the dark and frightening story sung by Glover. 

"This Little Pig:"

This song may not be the heaviest song on the album but it is certainly the most intense. It shoots out of the box and offers a bit of instability in the intro before it settles in to a killer up tempo groove. Even when they kick into other grooves that sounds like someone spinning or falling it still continues to move with great intensity. You can see in this song just how accurate and precise they are as individual musicians as well as how tight they are as a band.


This song is Living Colour at its best when it comes to their groove and precision as the riffs move smoothly with these groove also assisting in telling the powerful story of the song. It is the perfect closer to the album as it reminds us what we must do to get past all of the dark and heavy topics that are covered in each of the previous songs.

As a record collector I try to get anything I can get when any special album comes out. As a big fan of both this album and the supporting tour I was most excited when I heard of the Japanese release of the album titled Dread, which features live cuts from the Stain tour.

Aside from that the band also allowed some electronic music producers to do further work on their songs from this album, which led to the release of the bonus cuts of Auslander on the single:

To this day the music industry focuses a lot on the band's debut album Vivid, because it featured their biggest hit song Cult of Personality. That's fine as that too is an album in my collection that I am still very fond of. Of course Stain was also released during a time that the music scene was changing as we had Grunge and other forms of depressing music. I'm not sure if Living Colour was simply buying in to that mind set or just felt like addressing some heavier issues on this album but what I like about this album lyrically is that it's not as much doom as gloom that was common in the other stuff that was out during this time as it was more hey, do you see what's going on around you? I can appreciate that as I have always been a person who was never afraid to look at things as they really were. Glover's vocals were amazing as usual as he took us on a roller coaster of emotions more than he had on previous albums. Reid and Wimbish were their usual stellar selves as their performances both supported Glover's performance while also assisting him in telling us the story of the song melodically. Calhoun's drums were more powerful than anything we had heard in the past while also providing that soulful groove that we had come to expect from his unique style (coming soon, a blog on his brilliant drumming).

Sonically the album is brilliant as it sounds the way it feels as it's dark, angry, sad and in your face. The issues addressed on the album are things that I think are experienced by many who follow this band, which is why the album remains a favorite among hardcore Living Colour fans to this day. It will always be a treasure in my collection.

Carlos Solorzano

Friday, March 16, 2018

Change and the Music World

Many of you know that I have returned to the Tony Corrales Band and no one is happier than me. The support we have received has been amazing with so many telling me that I am back where I belong. Even I saw it as a homecoming but what many people do not know is that even though their favorite local country band is back it is already not the same band that they remember. We have a new bass player, changes to our set list and a different approach to how we're handling our business.

And this is just one of my musical changes.

I am also back with my old Jazz Trio Sonoral Sol and that band is also different than the way it existed before. We are now in a trio format where in the past we worked mainly as a quartet. We are also doing less traditional Jazz and focusing more on Fusion/Funk, Latin and some upbeat Blues. We are also hoping to get some outdoor gigs because we have the urge to not only bring the beat but to also bring some generous volume to our performance.

For me, these changes are all part of the reality of the music world where change can occur as quickly as your next breath. In other words, don't comfortable because the minute you do there will be a permanent change that you aren't expecting or even want for but it still needs to be dealt with.

My First Experience with Change in the Music Scene

The first time I had to accept the unexpected was in my first real band. It was called Fictitious Smith and this was a group that meant a lot to me because I helped start the band when I was a senior in high school with guys who are still life long friends. It was also the first band I ever performed in a nightclub with, the first band I ever recorded with in a professional setting as well as the first band I did business with in the Los Angeles music scene. Aside from all of those firsts I also got my first taste of the ever changing music scene and to be honest, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Even though it was the early 90's there was still some 80's Rocker sounds that I didn't realize were the last breaths of a now dying decade. Even though we were a proud of what we were doing we still had a sound and image that resembled bands like Queensryche and Iron Maiden so we didn't have that pretty boy look to say the least. We were also very confident and focused but soon learned that. reality was already identifying this band of guys in their late teens and early twenties as dinosaurs.

The musical scene had changed and suddenly people in the industry would say that we were good but needed to sound more like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At first I just shrugged it off and thought that such people were just not the right people to work with us and that we would just find someone else that believed in the kind of stuff we did. After all, it's not like there weren't different musical genres out there. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that this was the kind of Rock music that was on MTV and the radio and that there was nothing I could do about it.

Sadly, it wasn't long after this realization that the group disbanded so while I took a peak at the music classifieds or met with other musicians that were looking for a drummer I was astounded to hear that Grunge and this other thing called Alternative Rock were now the type of Rock bands that people wanted to put together because that was the new sound. Sadly for me, I hated it.

Amazingly, I did find other bands to work with as the 90's carried on but it wasn't always easy because there were very few musicians out there who dared to do something different rather than people who wanted to be the next version of what was popular that week. Still, the music scene was something I didn't really care for and it was up to me to accept the fact that it wasn't going to stop evolving based on my personal preferences.

Shifting Gears 

When I reached my 30's I was now married and started having children. Before my first child was born I had promised my wife that she would never have to worry about me being around to be the husband and father that I was obligated to be. I decided to work as a hired gun and even went as far as saying that if I was lucky enough to work with a musician or group that was about to break that I still wouldn't change my mind about being around for good. But even as I focused on being a local pro change was still a big part of what goes on even for a part time musician (At this time I was already working full time as a high school teacher).

The first thing I had to do was decide on a set fee for my services and then stand my ground when it came to negotiating with others. That can be easier said than done when you're negotiating with someone who has more experience in business. I was a quick learner and eventually as I got more work I started to establish a reputation in the local music scene, which allowed people to accept my fees as they knew that I was not only available but also someone who would deliver the goods.

I also had to accept the lack of stability in the working scene. Sometimes a gig would last for several months. Sometimes it would be a few shows. Other times I would perform on one song in the studio and just like that I was paid and then went on to the next thing. Networking was a daily thing and I had to make sure that people knew who I was and when I was available in order to keep working. Sometimes I liked the music and sometimes I didn't but since I was now a hired gun it wasn't about personal preferences but giving my temporary boss exactly what they wanted.

While it was nice to have money in my pocket I now had to deal with the fact that I didn't have as much time to write my own music. Of course I didn't stop working on new material but I found myself having to spend more of my free time learning other people's songs rather than writing my own songs. It was kind of a bitter pill to swallow in terms of my ego because after spending years of being a contributor to my former bands I now saw that no one really cared about the music that I wrote. That and the fact that I might have a great idea that the person I am working for could benefit from but they might actually reject the idea and/or not be interested in my creative ideas at all. After all, I'm being paid to play the drums. That's it!

Also, the scene had changed so fast that I either had to learn how to write songs that people wanted to hear right now rather than the music I loved to play just a couple of years ago or try to turn off my creative side. The latter wasn't going to happen so I had to ask myself what I could do creatively that would be worth my time. The answer soon came when I started a project that I did solely for myself.

Music Licensing 

For a couple of years I had led a percussion quartet called Manito that played some of my original tribal drumming compositions along with some arrangements I put together of of some other World drumming songs. We had some success in the local music scene but I was always of the fact that this project would have a limited audience.

In the summer of 2002 I recorded some of the my compositions on my own, which led to the release of my first solo CD called Desert Drummer. Sales were what some would expect of music in the genre but I was still very satisfied to get my own music out there. The best thing about it was that it had nothing to do with the current Rock/Pop scene so I could do whatever I wanted with no apologies or expectations.

I would soon find out that I was now going to enter another part of the music world that I knew nothing about.

I had posted a few songs online and that's when the owner of a company with an extensive music library contacted me to see if I could write some more material that he could place on various television shows and films. That wouldn't be a problem as it never took me long to write something within that musical genre but then he started to speak with all of these business terms and I must admit that there were times when I was somewhat intimidated.

I had a lot to learn and fast.

We came to an agreement and lucky for me I had some people I knew that I could turn to for advice that gave me a better understanding of the world I was about to work in. I then took the time after this deal to learn even more about music licensing as well as the importance of being a member of a performance rights organization (I am an ASCAP member).

Thankfully this now business partner of mine was a great benefit to me as he more than came through when it came to getting my music out there. My music has been featured on television shows such as CSI: Special Victims Unit, America's Top Model, as well as shows on MTV/VH1 and the BBC along with other television stations around the world. Aside from that I also started to peddle my work on other websites as an independent contractor, which allowed me to meet and work with other filmmakers who used my music on their films.

Selling Yourself  

As I continued to get placements in films I also continued my work as a drummer for hire. Eventually my resume was now filled with many accomplishments that gave me the confidence to approach some equipment companies about getting on their artist rosters. Fortunately for me many of them saw enough in my music career to offer me an endorsement deal. This meant more to me than I realized because that meant that they wanted to invest in me and not just some drummer that was lucky enough to be in a world famous band. (Here's a shout out to Soultone Cymbals, Ahead Sticks & Percussion Products, Drum Dots and Hansenfutz Pedals)

My composition efforts have also earned me a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to write and record more compositions for future licensing opportunities. Later I would be awarded multiple ASCAPLUS Awards, which are monetary awards that are given to ASCAP members after their compositions are reviewed by a panel of judges. Most importantly, I added these nods to my resume as I continued to network my drumming and now my composition services.

Of course its important to have an online presence and while this can be a chore for some people I understand that it's a necessary part of being a working musician. There are certainly days when I don't feel like posting updates on what I am doing but I remind myself that it's no different than getting up early in the morning to go to work.

Some artists despise the business end of things and I totally understand where they are coming from. But, every occupation does have a business side so it is always important to know what it means to do good business while also being aware of the changes that are sure to come.

Of course personality is important in getting somewhere as I found out right away how a polite presence along with a professional attitude will earn you more work. However, there are those moments when you have to stand your ground as there are always going to be people out there who either want to low ball you and/or rip you off! That's when I go into what I call Aztec mode:

I am a pro drummer who has performed professionally for over 26 years with countless recording credits who is currently on call with three local recording studios in Tucson, AZ. As a performer I am currently working in two bands who are some of the best in their genre while continuing to freelance with other groups. I have four endorsement deals and I have been featured in DRUM! Magazine as a performer and a writer.  Aside from that I am also a composer with several placements on various television shows & films around the world who has earned awards and a grant for my original compositions. So, please tell me why you think my fee is unreasonable. 

No, it's not unreasonable for any working musician to be fairly compensated for their efforts. We work harder than DJ's and no one ever complains about having to pay a DJ when they book them to provide music at their events? Still, do DJ's earn their money? Absolutely! So tell me why musicians don't deserve the same treatment.

Captain Carlos 

In a perfect world I can show up to a gig, perform, get paid and go home. Or, I could have a manager that does all the business for me and give them their required percentage without any concern that they are taking more than their share. That would be ideal and make my life easier but we all know the horror stories that come from relying on other people.

Bands come and go and the problem with working bands is that the littlest thing can happen from the leader of the band wanting to suddenly pack things in to side musicians being replaced for any reason at any time. Of course when it comes to representation an artist has to make sure that the person speaking on their behalf can be trusted. That's why I have learned that it is always best to be the captain of my own ship rather than follow another leader.

Thankfully when it comes to working with the Tony Corrales Band I am working with four other professionals who have more than proved how much I can actually rely on them. These brothers of mine are so real that even my wife has no doubt in their honesty and integrity. Therefore, when I am negotiating with other people she usually reminds me that, These other people aren't like Tony and the guys so don't you trust them! Yes dear.

In terms of working with Sonoran Sol, this is a band I put together many years ago with guitarist Dan Griffin so the authority I am able to exercise is to my benefit. As far as my independent contractor work (music licensing, session work, fill in gigs, etc), I am more than pleased to have the final say on whether or not I will agree to both the work being offered as well as the gratuity that is being offered for my services.

At the end of the day I am not afraid to fail because I would rather fall on my face due to decisions I have made rather than be tripped up following the coat tails of the wrong person. If I succeed, then great. I'll just add that to my resume and then move on to the next project. If I fail I will learn my lesson and move on. No apologies and no regrets.

Carlos Solorzano