Insane Music Week, Part 2: Rockett Trio

And my story of an insane music week continues…

The other half of that week consisted of the re-debut of the Rockett Trio. We rehearsed a couple times that week during the day, so I was having some jam-packed (pun semi-intended) musical days going from Rockett Trio in the afternoon to The Boy Who Danced on Air at night.

The week culminated in the re-debut of the band at Sycamore Den Thursday night with King Taylor Project and a second show Friday night at De Oro Mine Co. with Sam Bybee.

Let me explain why this was the re-debut

Rockett Trio

davyrockett. Photo by Korrie Paliotto.

You see, my pal David Ryan Norgren (davyrockett) is a fantastic, fantastic musician, songwriter, and all around super cool dude. He spent a long time playing around town solo and in bands, and then ended up getting a job at the same music publisher I worked for.

This is where we met, but a funny aside to that is that we were in the same choir at San Diego State for a couple semesters, yet didn’t even know each other.

Anyhow, I had been working at the publisher for about a year or so when he came along. Dave and I became fast friends, and actually ended up getting an apartment together in University Heights that we shared for a couple/few years.

This was our miniature bohemian artists’ colony. Seriously, the type of place you dream about living when you’re a single 20-something creative and just trying to live the life and have fun. No rules … just hanging out, working hard (it was a crazy time at the publisher and our work often came home with us, but it was still somehow fun), and playing and writing tons and tons of music. It may have been a dirty little apartment, but it was our dirty little apartment.

Besides, who has time to organize and clean when instruments and other gear take up more than 73% of the floor space? 😉

The music

It was such a creative time when we were living together. Nightly jam sessions with ideas flowing and at least some version of a recording studio always set up in one of the rooms to capture the good ones.

One of Dave’s albums, Untandem…, was produced, recorded, and released while we were living together. I play all over that record, and I still have such fond memories of all the times we worked on it. His second album, Love and Lonely, was released a little bit after we moved out (I moved into a place in North Park with Meag, Dave moved to Ocean Beach), but the majority of it was written and recorded while we were still in our place.

Rockett Trio

davyrockett and PJ. Photo by Korrie Paliotto.

Around this same time (Spring through late Summer of 2012), the first incarnation of Rockett Trio was coming into existence. Dave and I started to play out a little bit, sometimes just the two of us and sometimes with our pal Jason Yamaoka.

After a little time, though, life happened and it all fizzled out. I was in a new (well, actually continued/restarted…) relationship with Meag and we were re-being in love, plus I started to really dive head first into a new role at the publisher. Dave, on the other hand, left the publisher and moved back to Colorado.

It seemed as though my friend was gone for good and playing all of his killer tunes was a thing of the past.

Then he moved back to San Diego

Rockett Trio

davyrockett and PJ. Photo by Sam Bybee

This was at the beginning of last year, but nobody really knew it until a few months later. Sometime in May or June, we got together and caught up on old times and discussed doing some playing again someday. Schedules weren’t super permitting at the time with my theatre work taking up most of my time and Dave playing with several different bands around town, so it didn’t work out right away. We were able to get together a couple times, though, to play through the old tunes and it was always such a blast.

Last year went on, and we actually found ourselves playing in a couple pits together. Doing this, it furthered our desire to start playing some of our own music again. It was a regular point of our discussions for months, but we weren’t able to act on it quite yet because of other commitments.

Fast-forward to January or February and Dave texted me saying he had two dates he could book for us at the end of April if I wanted to play. I said, “yes” immediately!

So, starting then, we got together about once every week or so to get the tunes ready and it felt great every time. Seriously, his music is so good and so fun to play. I was a fan of his first, so it’s such a treat to be able to actually play the music with the man.

The gigs

Rockett Trio

Sycamore Den had bad lighting, but that’s PJ, davyrockett, and Josh Taylor. Photo by Danielle Dixon.

The week arrived and we scheduled a few extra rehearsals to really dial everything in. Since we were splitting the bill at Sycamore Den with King Taylor Project (Dave is also a part of this band with its main members Sandi King and Joshua Taylor, who just happen to be Dave’s roommates, as well), they joined in our rehearsals and played with us that first night.

The night began with us arriving and getting set up, and then grabbing a drink at the bar while we waited for go time. It was a nice little turn out, there were a ton of other great musicians in the house, and it was a super fun hang. I haven’t had that much fun just letting loose and playing music in a long time. Music is always fun and I love playing in the theatre, but there’s something different about getting up in a bar and really performing.

Rockett Trio was back!

The next night we traveled over to Spring Valley to play at De Oro Mine Co. with Sam Bybee (Dave is also in his band). From the outside, this place is not exactly where you’d expect to see a couple of guys with an acoustic guitar and upright bass crooning on a little stage. It’s the type of place where you’d expect to see old bikers and locals playing pool while catching the Padres game on TV. Book by it’s cover, you think to yourself, “This place is a little rough.”

Then you get in there and every single person (the old bikers, the locals, the pool sharks, the bartenders, and the owner) is super friendly, stoked on the music, and just generally down to have a good time. Seriously, De Oro Mine Co. is rad! We had a blast again that night and, having one under our belts already, we opened up a little. We were looser, did some more improvising, had a little fun on the mics between tunes, and just had a great show.

Looking forward, we’re going to be doing a lot, a lot more of this. Dave’s music is too good and we have too much fun playing it to not get out there and do it more.

I’m actually leaving to do some rehearsing with Dave as soon as I hit the “Publish” button here!

2 Replies to “Insane Music Week, Part 2: Rockett Trio”

  1. Hey PJ and David—I loved reading about what you’ve both been up to and delighted to hear you’re doing’ it together. I’d love to see both of you sometime.

    1. Hello David! Thanks so much for reading and your kind words. Hope all is well in your world and (I know I speak for David here, too) we’d love to see you sometime, as well!

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