Litchfield Park trio gets back to basics during downtime

Copper Sunrise losing much without gigs, but appreciating that they have music to keep busy

Posted 3/30/20

If there is any sort of positive spirit to consider during social isolation’s downtime for an otherwise very active live band, it may be each individual’s renewed focus on …

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Litchfield Park trio gets back to basics during downtime

Copper Sunrise losing much without gigs, but appreciating that they have music to keep busy

Posted

If there is any sort of positive spirit to consider during social isolation’s downtime for an otherwise very active live band, it may be each individual’s renewed focus on musicianship.

Copper Sunrise, a Litchfield Park-based trio with more than 450 songs in a cover repertoire that spans The Allman Brothers to OutKast, has been safely holed up like everyone else in the West Valley trying to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under normal conditions the guys play around eight gigs a month in Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear, and their Litchfield home base.

That’s all changed, certainly. Copper Sunrise will lose a total of 10 gigs by the end of April; a number that will swell to 18 by the end of May.

Greg Drejza (guitar, vocals), Keith Weaver (drums) and Mike Wehner (bass) have ways to occupy their downtime, like working their day jobs from home.

“And don’t forget the yard work,” Mr. Wehner said over email March 30.

Each member on their own, though, is taking advantage of the time to re-dedicate themselves to their individual music. When the time comes to return to playing live, they’ll be ready.

“I’ve been keeping busy and sharp by practicing a lot,” Mr. Wehner said. “I’ve also been doing some overdue maintenance on my basses.”

For a band that counts Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Peter Gabriel, The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five among its influences, these guys are also music fans at heart. Their usual busy playing schedule combined with life’s usual pace may get in the way of enjoying music like they used to.

That’s all changed, too.

“Personally I am listening to music a lot more than normal and especially the songs we play on a regular basis,” Mr. Weaver said. “I am also using a practice pad to play along with songs. Nothing compares to playing live music, or even practicing live.”

Not to mention the economics of playing live. The band reports that they stand to lose about $6,500-7,000 in performance income during social isolation.

“First, this gives me a chance to be grateful for all the gigs we did have planned. We are blessed,” Mr. Drejza said. “Second, ditto from me on working from home, my corporate day job has me busy. I have been learning a couple new songs and practicing with my pedals and effects. I have a pedal called a ‘Trio’ where I play a song, hit the button and it simulates the bass and drums, so I can play along to it. I’ll be posting a video shortly on Facebook and our website (www.coppersunrise.com). Doesn’t match up to Mike and Keith though!”

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