So last night I was hanging out with my Dad at his recording studio (it's called Washie's, btw, and it's in East Liberty), and as the night went on, more and more random people just started showing up. I haven't talked about my Dad much on this site, but he's an interesting fellow -- probably about as laid-back as one can safely be. He knows a lot of people in the local scene here, and he's done a lot to promote local bands and to help them with getting their albums cut. Only a couple of bands/performers he knows have gotten more than regional popularity, but as he says, it seems like every year he's busier, and that every year there's more stuff going on.
As the night went on, people started cautiously playing little riffs and licks on the instruments, and slowly, the music overcame the talking. By that time, there was a full-blown jam session going down. My Dad plays a little bit of everything, and as he was walking over to his favorite bass guitar, he looked at me and gave me a smile and a nod, which I knew meant for me to go to the recording booth.
. . . There's an understanding among all the musicians in the area that you could always go into Washie's and jam, but that recording light would probably be on at the time. My Dad has never done anything with the recordings, but a couple of the musicians have come back to listen to them and incorporate some things into their songs. I've always respected how my Dad just started doing what he wanted to do, even before there was a real tangible "scene" in Pittsburgh ... it kind of reminds me of a chicken and the egg kind of thing. Did the success of Washie's help create the scene, or did the scene enable Washie's to succeed? I guess it was a little of both ...