Winter 2015 update

February 1, 2015 Blog

The cold, harsh wind and snow of our winter of 2015 are upon us and hopefully tomorrow Punxsutawney

Phil will bless us with a prediction of a short one. Regardless of his prediction, warmth comes out from

the band to all of your wonderfully normal friends.


We’re coming off a great night at Chaplin’s Music Café in Spring City. Great thanks to all who joined us.

It’s too bad if you missed it. We shared the bill with Trial by Fire, our friend Jeff Willet’s band. The house

was full and rocked until closing. It’s a great room for music, great sound and real comfortable.


It looks like we’ll be hibernating for the rest of the winter but dates are starting to fill the calendar once

the weather breaks. In the meantime, we are going through a very productive and creative period. The

chemistry of the band is fantastic and we are churning out lots of new material as well as refining some

standards. We might even record another CD if the energy holds out.


Some future events that we have commitments for include: The Ambler Arts Festival and Chaplin’s, both

in the spring. We just signed a contract with Sellersville Theater to do our fundraiser for The Women’s

Center of Montgomery County on Sunday October 18th.


We’ll stay in touch. In the meantime, bundle up. Stay healthy and remember lift with your knees and hope

for an early spring.


Happy Valentine’s Day with Love,

Talia, Dirk, Thom, Jay, Mark and Ray

Sellersville Live

We finally received the multi track soundboard recording from our Sellersville concert. The mixing process has begun and we should have a full CD of live tracks (maybe even two CDs) ready to go in 3-4 weeks. Our intent is to present a truly live performance without any added studio overdubs (with just a little correction here or there). So far it's sounding real good. Many thanks to our soundman Brett for the recording and the great live sound. We also have a video of the performance, some parts with multiple cameras that will be worked on once the audio is finished.

We are also working on booking new venues and festivals for next as soon as it's available.

Tune in to BYO channel. We have been in rotation and have submitted a few additional tunes for airplay.


Mark Speaks! again....

The following does not necessarily represent the views of every band member or their significant other.

I am going to start a new column titled:  "I got one thing to say about that"
Todays subject:  Nude Photo's in the cloud.
I'm not one to turn a blind eye to a beautiful body or cover my eyes during a love scene at the movies but, Are you freaking crazy!!  Anyone that thinks that their precious private pic's of themselves are safe and secure up in the cloud, your head must be in the clouds.  If you had half a brain you'd be doing the old Poloriod instant shot then tossing them into the fire after you got your thrills from checking yourself out.
If these breaches of security were on a bunch of plain old folk from North Philly, you can bet your bottom dollar that the FBI would be putting this crime on the very bottom of the list.  Probably just below the "I'm missing a few hairs on the back of my head" case.  You know the one I'm talking about.  It's the one where every morning I wake up and a few more of my hairs are gone from my head.  I know someone is sneaking in at night and having their way with me.  (I filled a missing hair report with the FBI and they are going to look into it).  But since it's a couple of beautiful, well known women, it's now an all out nationwide APB for the crook or crooks.  Gee, I wonder why?  I'm sure they'll have to do all the research and examine all the evidence.
I think the best way to avoid any further embarrassment would be to call Playboy and schedule a real photo shoot.  Then the stolen pics will be worthless and the claimants will have some high quality prints to put in their scrap book for years to come safe and secure from cyber thieves.  And if someone actually buys the magazine, they may even get a royalty out of it.

The choice to go original....

Ah, Life as an original artist. 

The members of Nxt2Normal have chosen a path in the music world which few dare follow, creating original music.  Not all musicians are cut out for this task.  Many that try get washed out, cave on their aspirations (for whatever reason) and fall back to a more comfortable cover tune offering (nothing wrong with that).  Maybe someone told them their songs were not so good, maybe the level of vocals was short of the mark, maybe the lyrics didn’t do it for the listeners.  There’s a million reasons why a song launches to the top 40 or not and require the perfect mix of beat, style and rhythm.  In reality, there are few who really make it to the top, but those who do, do not sway from their focus.  They don’t let critiques blur their vision.  They continue to drive that bus knowing someday, their efforts will produce an end result.  Maybe not famous in the grand sense of the word, that’s an irrelevant term anyway, but in their own right fulfilled that they contributed something to this planet and our culture.  Of the ones that “make it big”, the reign of power is short lived.  Look at how many 1 hit wonders are out there.  Bands that have come and gone, solo artists who vaporized into thin air.  Producing top hits song after song is not only big business and carefully orchestrated with lots of money, it’s damn hard to do.

 So the next time you see a performer doing his or her original music, stop and take a listen.  They’ll be greatly appreciative that you noticed.  You may hear something you like, and they may touch a part of your world.

New CD on the way.....

We are hard at work on our next CD, which we started Jan 17th at Morningstar Studios. All the tracks are completed and the project has entered the mix stage. This is the first official recordings that feature Dirk on vocals and Talia on cello. Titles include Lost, Blue Moon, Don't Talk about Love, Sun Machine, New Song and Gate 54. We should have this ready for the Rising Sun Inn gig on March 28th.

The house was rocking Saturday night

The house was rocking Saturday night.  Talia Schiff was outstanding on her debut evening, elevating the sound of the group to a whole new level.  Something about the sweet tone of a cello in the mix!  It was probably the best sound we’ve had since we started playing.  Chris really dialed us in on the PA, although from a bass point of view, even better when I went direct from my amp, less muddy and more defined high ends coming from the PA.  Looking forward to The Rising Sun Inn and the Eagle Hotel.  And, looking even more forward to this summer and doing a few music festivals, First Fridays and some street performances.  But first, back into the Morning Star Recording Studio this Friday to lay down another round of new tunes.   In the words of the infamous Casey Cassim, “The hits just keep on coming’”.

New gigs on the way

Two new gigs for the fall..

Murph's  on October 12th

Rising Sun Inn on December 6th

All the details on the calendar page.


What a night, what a night.  The Dex (Dirk) did us right tonight.  Dirk had his debut performance with us Saturday night at Murph's Tavern at 202 East Girard Ave. The turn out was great and the house was packed.  Thom and The Dex never sounded so good singing those harmonies and the band was on fire.

Hope to be back at Murph's sometime this summer - and working on a return to the Eagle.

What's on the Board

For the gear heads out there.... (scroll down for March 2013 revision)

Fulltone Clyde Deluxe wah - 

AYA R/Comp

Analogman King of Tone

Frantone Vibutron

Fulltone OCD (v2) or Fulltone Trower OD

Cornish Treble Booster

Peterson Strobostomp (isolated via CTB)

and a sometimes appearance of Roland Space Echo (Boss pedal type).

and the reasoning for the above...

Either the Fulltone Clyde or the Teese Picture Wah are both close to my original Vox Clyde McCoy signature wah (circa 1967). The sweep on the Vox is different than either of those two but they are close enough in sound that I leave the original home.

AYA/R comp has a pretty light touch and a more open sound than either the Keeley or Demeter Compulator that I have used in the past. Only issue with the AYA is it is easy to overdrive with the pickups alone.

King of Tone - set very lightly on the right channel. Does all I need it to. Never used the left side.

Vibutron - I must have 6 or so Tremolo pedals and like this one the best.

Fulltone OCD or Trower OD. Depending on the amp and room, I use one or the other for the heavier stuff. These are the replacement for the Orange Rocker 30 when that has to stay home. When two amps are in use, I'll use a Framptone 2 channel amp switcher.

Cornish Treble Booster is used with the Orange for a lead boost. 

Roland Space Echo, the digital emulation, sounds pretty good for a few things.

Strobostomp tuner, fed via an isolated out on the Cornish.

Everything except the wah fits on a single small PedalTrain board. Powered by PedalPower.

Amps are Orange Rocker 30 with 1x12 and/or Vox AC15C1.


March 2013 Board Revision:

A few changes over the last month...

Replacing the OCD/Trower combo is the Timmy and the AYA Drivesta.  Gone is the Roland Space Echo, replaced with an Eventide delay. New to the board is a Strymon Lex (replacing a H&K Rotosphere v1, which never actually made it to the board in the first place). Vox amp re-tubed with JJs from Eurotube for later breakup.

Blue Moon

We recorded some 'decent' video at the Eagle Hotel gig on 12/1. The first to be posted is our newest song, Blue Moon. A bit of a different structure than most of our songs, it tells two parallel stories from the late 60s.

Another song from the demo added

Carolina Lady has been posted to both the audio page as well as the N2N Player. Enjoy!

The Demo saga

After delaying the studio sessions from last fall (2011), we finally entered Morningstar Studios at their new location in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Most of the delay was waiting for Morningstar to reopen after moving in the winter. We picked 7 tunes and in late July entered the studio for a 4 hour session, recording all the tunes live. It worked out 95%, with only a few minor corrections and a whole lot of lead guitar parts needing to be redone.

The mixing took place over the next 4 weeks (at one day a week) back at the studio and we now have 7 tunes ready to go. Three of them are currently on this site while we work up some distribution ideas. Hope you enjoy them!

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