4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Peter Sprague digs his new livestream concerts

“We had to crawl through bushes and we hit some cactus, of course.”

Peter Sprague dug a football field-length trench in order to get the internet speed he needed to produce high quality online concerts.
Peter Sprague dug a football field-length trench in order to get the internet speed he needed to produce high quality online concerts.

Jazz guitarist Peter SpraguePeter Sprague had just returned to San Diego from a Danish tour with vocalist Sinne Eeg when the pandemic struck, and the musician soon found himself on lockdown with the rest of us — no live gigs, no face-to-face guitar lessons, and no sessions in his acclaimed home studio. He looked around and saw the plethora of musicians doing livestream concerts, and decided he wanted to do something similar — with a higher sonic signature.

“It’s actually been a thought in my head for several years,” Sprague commented over the phone. “I like the idea of doing the concerts, but the sound is usually really compromised with so much of the stuff you hear. It’s marginalized because of the technology.”

The downtime afforded by the pandemic gave Sprague the opportunity to address the notion of presenting high quality concerts from home. That opportunity didn’t come without sacrifice from the pocketbook and significant sweat equity.

“I had a really crude internet connection with an upload capacity of about 1.5 megabytes” says Sprague. “I talked to AT&T, and they weren’t interested, and I called Cox Cable, and was told that my house in Leucadia was an ‘internet island,’ and it is too far from the closest pole. They suggested getting together with my neighbors and come up with $12,000 to make that happen.”

That was not possible, so Sprague sought out allies from the political and cable worlds and found that if he were to obtain permission from a neighbor, he could dig a substantial trench (375 feet), bury conduit that ran to the closest pole, at which point Cox would run the cable. There was no guarantee that all of that labor would actually pay off, however, since the signal usually trails off after 300 feet. Somewhat miraculously, Sprague’s neighbor consented to the intrusion and the guitarist and a good friend were able to dig the trench and bury the conduit in two days. It was not without challenges though.

“We had to crawl through bushes and we hit some cactus, of course. Even though I wore gloves it was still pretty brutal on my hands. Plus we had to navigate around a huge palm tree and other obstacles and the whole thing could have gone wrong in so many ways. But at the end, they were able to pull the cable through and hook it up, and now I have really righteous internet speed, which has opened the door to do these streaming concerts.”

Past Event

Peter Sprague Weekly Livestream Concert

As of this date, Sprague has broadcast three live concerts from his home studio. The concerts take place every Thursday at 7:30 pm. Each musician arrives wearing a mask and then heads to a separate room with its own sound and video. Even though the guitarist has performed thousands of gigs over the years, and made hundreds of recordings at Spragueland Studios, now that the internet connection issue has been solved, there is still plenty to worry about.

“We were kind of nervous about the technology aspect. We did a dry run before the first show, and nothing worked! Everything is rife with danger and possible trouble. But we’re getting better each time. It took a while to not be thinking about the details and concentrate on the music.”

Sprague’s livestream concerts appear via YouTube every Thursday evening at 7:30, and each concert features a revolving cast of musicians. There’s even a tip-jar to pay the band. How is that part working out?

“Pretty good. It’s comparable to a good gig. Which is great because I spent a ton of money on necessary gear.”

How long does he plan on doing the livestream?

“The congregation of large amounts of people close together doesn’t look to be coming back anytime soon, so I think we’re going to keep at it.”

Video:

Peter Sprague July 1987 with Bob Magnusson & Tripp Sprague

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A breakfast to remember at Golden Hill Cafe

“Sorry, but I never reveal my sauces.”
Next Article

Balifornia

“I was so upset over how things were going here, it was disturbing to my psyche.”
Peter Sprague dug a football field-length trench in order to get the internet speed he needed to produce high quality online concerts.
Peter Sprague dug a football field-length trench in order to get the internet speed he needed to produce high quality online concerts.

Jazz guitarist Peter SpraguePeter Sprague had just returned to San Diego from a Danish tour with vocalist Sinne Eeg when the pandemic struck, and the musician soon found himself on lockdown with the rest of us — no live gigs, no face-to-face guitar lessons, and no sessions in his acclaimed home studio. He looked around and saw the plethora of musicians doing livestream concerts, and decided he wanted to do something similar — with a higher sonic signature.

“It’s actually been a thought in my head for several years,” Sprague commented over the phone. “I like the idea of doing the concerts, but the sound is usually really compromised with so much of the stuff you hear. It’s marginalized because of the technology.”

The downtime afforded by the pandemic gave Sprague the opportunity to address the notion of presenting high quality concerts from home. That opportunity didn’t come without sacrifice from the pocketbook and significant sweat equity.

“I had a really crude internet connection with an upload capacity of about 1.5 megabytes” says Sprague. “I talked to AT&T, and they weren’t interested, and I called Cox Cable, and was told that my house in Leucadia was an ‘internet island,’ and it is too far from the closest pole. They suggested getting together with my neighbors and come up with $12,000 to make that happen.”

That was not possible, so Sprague sought out allies from the political and cable worlds and found that if he were to obtain permission from a neighbor, he could dig a substantial trench (375 feet), bury conduit that ran to the closest pole, at which point Cox would run the cable. There was no guarantee that all of that labor would actually pay off, however, since the signal usually trails off after 300 feet. Somewhat miraculously, Sprague’s neighbor consented to the intrusion and the guitarist and a good friend were able to dig the trench and bury the conduit in two days. It was not without challenges though.

“We had to crawl through bushes and we hit some cactus, of course. Even though I wore gloves it was still pretty brutal on my hands. Plus we had to navigate around a huge palm tree and other obstacles and the whole thing could have gone wrong in so many ways. But at the end, they were able to pull the cable through and hook it up, and now I have really righteous internet speed, which has opened the door to do these streaming concerts.”

Past Event

Peter Sprague Weekly Livestream Concert

As of this date, Sprague has broadcast three live concerts from his home studio. The concerts take place every Thursday at 7:30 pm. Each musician arrives wearing a mask and then heads to a separate room with its own sound and video. Even though the guitarist has performed thousands of gigs over the years, and made hundreds of recordings at Spragueland Studios, now that the internet connection issue has been solved, there is still plenty to worry about.

“We were kind of nervous about the technology aspect. We did a dry run before the first show, and nothing worked! Everything is rife with danger and possible trouble. But we’re getting better each time. It took a while to not be thinking about the details and concentrate on the music.”

Sprague’s livestream concerts appear via YouTube every Thursday evening at 7:30, and each concert features a revolving cast of musicians. There’s even a tip-jar to pay the band. How is that part working out?

“Pretty good. It’s comparable to a good gig. Which is great because I spent a ton of money on necessary gear.”

How long does he plan on doing the livestream?

“The congregation of large amounts of people close together doesn’t look to be coming back anytime soon, so I think we’re going to keep at it.”

Video:

Peter Sprague July 1987 with Bob Magnusson & Tripp Sprague

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

How live music will survive in San Diego

Federal loans, banding together, outdoor parking lots, restaurant food
Next Article

Generation Z at war with Millennials — who cares?

That’s so Gen X of you
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close