A Night with 4Flava

Lane Baldwin with Polo Jones and 4Flava

Cell Phone shot of Lane Baldwin with Polo Jones and 4Flava.

Greetings and welcome back, all y’all! It’s Monday, July 2nd, as I write this, and I’m still grinning from ear to ear from my night out with 4Flava. If you don’t recognize the name now, chances are that you will in the near future.

4Flava is a vocal group from Britain that is recording their new CD with Polo Jones. (Regular readers will recognize Polo as being the genius behind my current project.) These four young ladies sound as awesome as they look, and I feel extremely confident that they have a very bright future ahead.

Also in attendance were Harri Maki – a long-time friend and associate of Polo’s, and now my manager (thank God!), and Joycelyn, manager of 4Flava. We all met at the studio Saturday night for a night on the town. Limo Larry brought his super-stretch white machine to cart us all to Fremont, CA, for a night at the Saddle Rack. Now, the Saddle Rack is one of the largest establishments in the area… holding about 1500 partying people. When we arrived, they were packed to the gills, with a line outside. Polo is good friends with the owners and staff here, so we had no trouble getting in the door.

The house band – Diablo Road – was in the middle of their first set when we arrived, and the girls had fun dancing to some great music. During the break we got the chance to meet the band, and get to know everyone. Everyone was invited to sit in, including me. I was a bit nervous about it, as I hadn’t brought a bass. Thankfully, even though the house bass wasn’t black, it sounded and felt very good. So I just closed my eyes and pretended it was black!

First up – Polo sat in and slammed! The whole crowd was on its feet, and most of them were packed on the dance floor. In just one song, Polo showed why he is one of the top bassists in the world. The band did one tune while the girls got ready. Then, 4Flava took the stage and stole a LOT of hearts. The crowd loved them before then even started singing. And when they did sing, everyone was mesmerized. It was an awesome sight to behold… and to hear.

Immediately after their tune, I was brought up to front the band for my tune Goin’ to the Country, which I had showed the band on the break. As I was making sure all the knobs on the bass were in the correct position, I heard lead vocalist Jules say, “you *are an American, right?” and I realized she was talking to me! OOPS!

I stepped up to the mic and said, “well, I’m from Texas. Does that count?” And the crowd roared its approval. Then I asked if I could play them some Texas Blues. Again, they yelled and stomped and cheered. OK, I thought. This will work. And off we went.

Harri Maki, Lane Baldwin, Polo Jones

Harri Maki, Lane Baldwin and Polo Jones, ready for a night on the town.

The song includes a call and response chorus, and Jules helped make sure the audience knew where to sing. And sing they did. Very Loudly. It was really cool! They were deep into it by the time we got to the end… which is basically just me, singing with the audience. Without the band blasting away, the crowd sound even stronger. It was really fun to look out at a 1500-strong audience to see everyone – and I mean everyone – singing along to a song they were hearing for the first time.

By the time I got off stage, 4Flava was already surrounded by new fans. I had planned to just mosey over to them, but it took quite a while to make that happen. I know I spoke with more than a hundred people between the stage and 4Flava. It was great to meet so many new people, and I appreciated hearing so many positive comments. Now I just hope they’ll all connect with me over on the Facebook page.

Some time after midnight, we piled into the limo and headed back to the studio. From there we all headed to Denny’s so the girl’s could experience a classic American restaurant. They even got to try some grits, which were a very new thing for them. I finally headed home around three in the “We’re still up?” Even with a fuel stop, I managed to make it home a little after 5. I climbed into bed with the sound of birds chirping merrily, and me thinking “SHUT UP!”

I woke up yesterday at around 8:30, although I can’t understand why. I mean, really… up all night; in bed at 6 with two Melatonins in my system. You’d think I would have slept until at least noon, if not sunset, right? Go figure… Because of the lack of sleep, yesterday was a waste of TV, naps, snacks, and more naps. Which explains why I’m writing this today instead of yesterday.

I’ve got to say, I had an absolute blast, and it was especially nice to meet the ladies of 4Flava. I’m looking forward to seeing them more… and since Polo is producing them, I’m sure it will happen.

OK. Time for me to focus on my list of activities for the day. Practice time, arranging, web work, email to answer, and lots more. But I wanted to get this out first, so y’all could be in on the fun. I’ll see you back here soon. Until then,

God Bless!

Lane


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