Category: Blog

RIP Warren J. Taylor

Warren with Murph and Eric
Murph, Warren and Eric Dennis in our Marly’s days

My heart aches as I type this. Our good friend Warren Taylor passed away this afternoon of pancreatic cancer. Warren was the house engineer when we started our 5-year-long “Wednesday’s at Marly’s” residency back in 2004. This was many firsts for me: regularly playing on a raised stage, with subs, with a good in ear monitor mix, mixed by the same guy 50-60 times a year. Warren taught me so much about how to raise my game technically on stage. Figuring out how to use the “toys” available to us on a stage.

He was the first guy to show me an LED par can rig. Woah, they can change to ANY color?!?!

He was the first guy to record us 50-60 nights a year. If you listened to any of the live discs that circulated from 2004-2009, odds are Warren engineered and recorded the show straight to cd for us. This was a promotional GODSEND for a band in 2004. We spread burned copies of those cds far and wide. Edited about 40 hours of live music podcasts. Listened to them while we were on the road to critique our shows. Recorded two nights at Marlys to multitrack in 2008 that I edited together and mixed to release our double-live album “Speed of Sound” in 2009. That was Warren. He recorded and engineered that. He was there with us.

He used to bring plexi glass panels on homemade stands to put in front of the guitar amps on stage. He taught us the importance of our stage volume and how it affected the front of house mix. We were young and he taught us.

He ran the stages at SOHO when we were headlining for several years. We’d combine our lighting, all of the latest stuff we all had, trying to turn a open flatbed trailer into the SL100 stages the festival now uses. So many great memories. So many years there together.

House engineer at Donnie’s Homespun. So many late nights there together.

Warren taught me so much about production as I was a coming of age musician, transitioning from floors to stages. I can’t even sum up everything I learned from him.

He was wonderful to work with. Always accommodating, with a can-do attitude.

He and I were always the first to arrive and usually the last to leave.
So. Many. Shows.

He was such a good hearted person and loved what he did. I’m sure thousands partied at shows he was apart of and had no idea who was making the show really happen.

He and I had lunch at Smoky Bones about 6 weeks ago. He was getting ready to start a 2nd regiment of chemo, something he avoided as long as he could. He seemed great! He was eating, chatting, getting around just fine. Like the Warren I had know since I met him at a Hurricane Katrina benefit at the Atrium, just skinnier. I really felt like he was going to pull through.

That was the last day we spoke in person. I was told on Thursday night he was home from the hospital and not doing well. I made plans to come by on Friday after I ran some errands. I was an hour from coming by when I heard the news. It was too late. But maybe that’s ok. We had spoke and texted recently, he knew I was thinking of him, but my last memories of him will be shooting the shit and eating BBQ together. And that is a great memory that I will cherish. Rest in peace, my friend.


The Station bassist, guitarist voted Springfield favorites

Bassist Jeff Cunningham and guitarist Dave Littrell were voted “Best of Springfield” 2017 in an Illinois Times reader poll.

Here’s what the Illinois Times had to say about Jeff, who garnered the most votes for Best Bassist:

A looming and lasting figure in the local, low end of the music world, Jeff Cunningham is a bass player’s bass player. Not only is he known as a musician of renown, he also supports his instrument of choice by coordinating BassBerg, the annual charity event honoring area bassists. Jeff formed Low Phatt several years ago, the only band around featuring three bass players at once. When you’re good, you get the call to play and JC proves that maxim by being a permanent member in The Station, Los Injectors, Take 10 and the Blue Gs, four very divergent styled bands, and also guests on bass with The Deep Hollow and a few other groups in his spare time, when not teaching a new generation of bassists to be the best.

Dave captured the most votes in the Best Guitarist category. The Illinois Times had this to say:

This Chatham native blazed a trail in his early 20s touring nationally with The Station, his locally based, jam-fusion group. When not on the road he seemed to gig every night of the week somewhere in town. Now Dave spends more time with his family while focusing on playing with award-winning, acoustic-based, singing trio, The Deep Hollow (members include BoS singer-songwriters, Micah Walk and Elizabeth Eckert). He also plays in the popular cover band, The Shenanigans, while guiding the evolution of The Station. Along with his stellar guitar work on both acoustic and electric, Dave is also an accomplished saxophonist and keyboardist, plus an excellent singer on lead and harmony, as well as a prolific songwriter.

The Station was a finalist for “Best Original Music Band.”

‘We’re all here together’

It had been a couple months since we had last played our home away from home — The Butternut Hut — where we had played just about two Wednesdays a month between September 2014 and August 2016 and then an occasional weekend since. This past Friday night, it was as if we’d all been there forever. Keep reading below to see what we mean by the previous sentence and headline accompanying this post.

2017-10-06 set 2

A big thanks goes out to everyone came out, shook the walls, and filled the tip jar. If you missed it, you can find videos of both sets on our Facebook Page.

(Also, If you happen to have an idea for a song, the most efficient way to communicate it to us is to write it on the back of a $100 bill and leave it in the bucket. Thanks, T! Fiftys are also acceptable, and to be quite honest, so are singles.)

tips and lyrics

The next public performance is coming up real quick, in just 10 short days. This one will be an early show at The Curve on Thursday, Oct. 19 with the Los Injectors opening up the night at 6 p.m. sharp. Los Injectors is our bassist Jeff Cunningham’s psychobilly trio, featuring Jeff on upright bass with Damon Soper and Chris Warren. Let’s hope Jeff has a few fingers left for the two sets that will follow from The Station, wrapping up at precisely 10 p.m. You won’t want to miss it because we’re not yet sure where the next one will be.

Colophon — Head On Tomorrow

Keyboardist Chris Miller took on the the task of designing the package for the new album. Years ago Chris led a design team at a specialty publishing company and remains familiar with the tools of trade.

“I needed to turn around the artwork for the digipack quickly, so I had to keep it simple,” he writes. “I found a clean, colorful and futuristic image I dub ‘The Disco Squares’ and built everything around it. It’s a very wide image, which was perfect for wrapping around the front, spine and back.”

Everything else came together quickly, which was timely because the audio files were in already in the mastering stage and mere days from production. The inside panels and disc face use alternate treatments of the front cover image. The theme extends all the way out to a newly refreshed website, launched release day.