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Something Different

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Three gigs this past weekend.

Thursday: I had the opportunity to once again play with the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra (under the leadership of Rob Opitz) at Venkman's. This month, I was back in the bari sax/bass clarinet chair. How many gigs have I played in this band? Eight? Ten? This one was, by far, the most comfortable. I've now played the charts enough that it only took a couple of times to bring each tune up to speed. On the bandstand, I felt very confident, and while my playing wasn't quite flawless, I was  really pleased with my performance.

Friday: Beatles gig! A few years ago, Yacht Rock was playing a Beatles show around once a month; these days, it's two or three times a year. This evening's show was all of Abbey Road, plus seven or eight other Beatle songs. Things were a little loose, a little rusty maybe, but we had a good time.

Video of the show:



Saturday: Back to Yacht Rock. We had a show at a casino in Lake Charles, LA, so we flew to Lafayette in the …

Easy

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Easiest gig I've had in a while: Yacht Rock played a Sunday evening hour-long set at Ventana's, fulfilling a raffle prize for The Giving Kitchen. I brought one saxophone, flute, piccolo, and some hand percussion, and we did the gig "unplugged" style. Piece of cake!


EWI Cherries

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Five gigs in a row! Yacht Rock played a stretch of five shows that ran from Friday of last week through Tuesday of this week--very different for us in that we rarely play public shows on Sunday night, and never on Monday. Nevertheless, every show was very well attended, which maybe signals that runs longer than our usual Thursday-Saturday plans are now possible. 
New fans (Myrtle Beach, Sea Island), and old fans who hadn't seen us in many moons (Raleigh, Charleston). Lots of people who'd never seen an EWI before. 
Friday: Park Tavern in Atlanta. As I've said before, it's nice to play a big gig at home. This one was 1,200 people, and they were moderately rabid. I had a pretty good show except for Arthur's Theme, which I completely ruined--for some reason, I started the string part on F major instead of D minor, played two more wrong chords, and threw up. Actually, I didn't want to throw up, but I just couldn't figure out why what I was playing didn't wor…

Blind Willie's

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Scott Glazer asked me to play on his Wednesday night gig at Blind Willie's, in a stellar band that included Akeem Marable on saxophone, Nick Johnson on guitar, Nick Rosen on keyboard, and Justin Chesarek on drums.


In spite of the rain, we had one of the best crowds we've ever had on a Wednesday night (maybe 25 people?), and they were into it, cheering with enthusiasm after solos and songs. This rhythm section was slammin'--blow-you-away moments from Nick, Nick, and Justin, all night long. I did my best to keep up.

Outdoorsmen

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Last Friday, I was invited to participate in a local podcast titled The Drummers Weekly Groovecast, hosted by Phil Smith, a friend of mine for over twenty years. The topic of the show? Outdoor gigs! Tis the season...there will be heat and humidity, but there may also be blazing sun, ferocious thunderstorms, and swarms of bugs. Nothing too profound was mentioned, but here it is anyway...




So...ugh. I hate the sound of my voice.

Saturday: Boom! Outdoor gig! I played with Scott Glazer's Mojo Dojo at a place in Alpharetta called Matilda's. I've seen pictures of other people playing this venue, and it looked pretty cool--the band sets up on the porch of a small house and plays to people sitting in the yard. It's kind of a backyard concert sort of thing. Could be cool.



Unfortunately, Matilda's is moving from the old location to a new location, and in the mean time, their setup is in a lot behind an old barn. It's in pretty bad condition. That's a tarp bungeed over …

European Vacation

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Cool gig of the year for Yacht Rock: we were invited to play a birthday party for about a hundred people at a house (manor?) in Windsor, GB, just outside of London. Built into that was a couple of days to overcome the jet lag/hang out in London. Vacation time! I was able to bring my family to experience the trip.

Wednesday: we took an evening flight directly from Atlanta to Heathrow. No changing planes (some of the guys took a flight that had a connection in JFK and were delayed for hours).


I watched two movies: The Post and Hostiles. Both were excellent.


Thursday: We landed in England on an hour or two of sleep, took an expensive cab ride to our hotel, and then headed off exploring.





Thursday evening, the entire band took a field trip to Royal Albert Hall for a special concert--the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir performed the score to Close Encounters of the Third Kind as the movie played on the big screen. The room was breathtaking. The sound was bea…