Well some of you might remember me. I was beyond active about 3 years ago. And my weight and health plans were going great. Then life and opportunity got in the way. In a nutshell.
I put together a band called the "Beasts of Blues" ( not that they're ugly! LOL) THey're all just monsters on their instrument...but "Beasts" sounded better than Monster. ( wink) Plus we've developed such a reputation for excellence it's catching on. I have heard really good players described as " A Beast" lately & I'd like to think my guys are responsible.( Lemme have my fantasy!)
We entered the "Battle of the Bands" for the Monterey BLues Festival and against all odds we won. THen we entered into the biggest "Battle of the Bands" in the world with the International BLues Challenge. Did I mention we had to win 2 rounds of preliminary competition to have the honor or representing the San Francisco Bay Area in the annual event held in Memphis TN? Well...there again- we went up against some pretty stiff odds( not to mention some of the best bands on the planet!) and we brought home a top 3 finish. THat opened a ton of doors. A producer came out of the wood work and wanted to produce our first album not only free on his part...but he actually paid for almost everything else entailed in the album. He even got me the horns from "Tower of Power" and The Trumpet player from Ms Etta James herself.
THat album ended up being nominated for all kinds of awards and got picked up on several syndicated radio programs including Dan Ackroyds "The Blues Mobile" which broadcasts into more than 3000 stations with each airing. We're now one of the biggest bands in the San Francisco Bay Area. We're playing on a regular basis-venues I couldn't even get to return my phone calls 3 years ago and I am working with people I grew up idolizing. I think my favorite was the show we did at the Great American Music Hall with Lydia Pense & COld Blood and RIck Stevens from Tower of Power. It's been an amazing ride and looking to get even crazier! ( who woulda thunkit at the ripe old age of 48???)
I have been working my ass off wearing all the hats involved with being a band leader...manager, promoter, publicist, writer, composer, arranger, singer, performer, roadie, marketing, booking, rehearsing....it's brutal! And anyone who thinks being a musician is just jumping on a stage and performing is delusional. It's about 80% desk job- marketing and booking stuff, 10% writing, rehearsing and creating new material/shows 5% traveling to the show and setting up and only a measly 5% actually performing! The diet and tracking went to hell when all of it started. I gained all the weight back plus an additional 10 pounds.
THen I started noticing my hips hurt when I walk...and that I now waddle instead of the graceful stride I used to have. ANd...well I got pissed off at myself. So I decided to MAKE TIME to track my food. I also have been standing up to my hubby who is my biggest diet saboteur! He's been bringing crappy food into the house and I flat out tell him. YOU EAT IT! I'm not. I don't answer calls or emails until I start tracking my food for the day. Once I start..it's seem easier to stick with it.
Now- I have been at it for 9 days and I have lost 10 pounds. So I am back on track.
Which is good. Because my manager( that I finally hired).... is negotiating a major record deal for the second album and it looks like I am gonna be hitting the road on a global scale if things go well. Heck...we may even end up at the Grammys' if God is really feeling generous. So life is good and I am back on track. and..I am determined to NOT Waddle if I get a chance to walk that red carpet at the Grammy Awards!
Below is a shot of me & my band...and yeah I was photoshopped to look thinner for promotional purposes. ( How embarassing is THAT?) And the Naughty thing came about because the title of my album was " Turning On THe Naughty"
If you wanna SEE the band in action click the link below. It's us last year at the San Jose Jazz Festival doing the title track from the album.
EDIT... some of you are having trouble viewing the link. If you are one of those- go to youtube and in the search bar for youtube type in paula harris and either music or Blues...there are literally DOZENS of videos posted. The one I put the link to is called " Turning On the NAughty" and it is the title track for the first album. There is more than one clip with this song in it. Take your pick- the clip I posted features my horn section "The Big Ass brass" the other are of the smaller 5 piece band.