Showing posts from May, 2009

It's Saturday Night!!!!

So it was.  After a nice day at the pool (and tuning up my lawnmower and leaf blower), I headed out to a pretty reasonable Platinum gig.  The crowd came to party.  About the only thing I could say bad about it was that the sound in the room is pretty terrible due to the acoustics.  Looks nice, sounds bad.  A night for ear plugs.
I played alto tonight for something different.  Mainly it was because we opened with a David Sanborn tune (Chicago Song).  Maybe it's because I almost always play tenor on that gig, but alto sounded weird on some tunes like Respect.  It wasn't as difficult to shift gears to a fifth away like I thought it would be.

Stars and Stripes

Yesterday was pretty rough, evidently.  I worked in the yard yesterday (along with the usual phone calls and emails and a random saxophone lesson) for a good chunk of the day.  After that I edited and uploaded a piccolo sample to my website (go to and check the "instruments" page--click on "piccolo", or just click here).  A funny thing about recording...I recorded four passes of piccolo, and the first one was the best one!  First one was pretty good;  second one was a little worse, third one was a little worse;  fourth one, I really tried to nail it because I had a student walking in the door--technically it was good, but my face was starting to tire.  The first take ended up being the keeper. I read stories to Jack and put him to bed around 8:30.  Thinking I would watch to see if he got up and wandered around, I laid down for a couple of minutes...and woke up at 7 this morning!

Bari Sax

I added some baritone saxophone samples to my website (  They're not meant to be anything mind boggling, just some quick stuff I recorded in between lessons yesterday.
The funkier one is four tracks of bari sax.  I laid down the bass line first (Chameleon?), and then I got the jones to stack some more stuff on top of it.  Just me screwing around. The classical thing is the high school All-State etudes.  I downloaded them, played through them, and recorded them.  Perhaps they could use more polish, but I really doubt anybody will be hunting me down for a classical bari sax gig anyway! That's Doc Kupka from Tower of Power in the picture.  Bad dude.


My Powerbook started acting funny last Thursday night at Yacht Rock.  I figured it was just the heat on stage was making it hang up in weird ways.  Friday night, I played a gig in a cold room, with my Mac right near an air conditioning vent.  Same problem!  That got me thinking that maybe I'd added stuff along the way, and I needed to bump up my RAM.  I checked my RAM in the "About this Mac" menu, and it said I only had 512, but I remember buying an extra GB when I purchased the computer.  So...I figured out by swapping the 512 and the GB sticks in and out that my GB had gone bad.  Bummer.  Luckily, I had purchased it from Small Dog Electronics, and the RAM had a 10 year warranty.  I'm swapping that one out! I was hoping to buy some RAM locally so I could be sure everything worked before Thursday, so I called Onyx Consulting yesterday morning and asked about purchasing the RAM.  Yes, they had it.  Great, I'm on the way.  I drove all the way to Spaghetti Junction, …


I ordered bought some sunglasses from these guys:

Hope they get here soon!

In music news, I just found a really slick Brecker diminished lick on a bootleg.  One I'd never heard before!  Ahh, sweet bliss!

Memorial Day

My friend Nick married Elliott yesterday. Congratulations!
I played flute for the wedding ceremony in a sextet of trumpet, violin, flute, acoustic guitar, harpsichord (keyboard), and vibraphone. Nick wrote arrangements of several Y.O.U. songs, a Beatles song, a few classical things, and a Monty Python tune. It was some pretty intricate stuff, but we made it through ok.  The performance fried my brain.  
I was also invited to play on a few songs at the reception. We did a few Yacht Rock songs, as well as some Y.O.U. stuff. That went pretty well, considering the swapping of instruments and singers from song to song.More than anything, it was a nice chance to hang out with my friends (away from a gig for a change) and show off my wife.  Surrounded by a bunch of other musicians, I felt almost normal! Highlands, NC is a beautiful little town in the mountains. Beth and I had a wonderful time.  I am tempted show a picture of Beth after sampling the wine, or a picture of me feeding Mark Da…

Wedding Weekend

Last night (Friday), I played a wedding.  Sunday night I am attending a wedding.  Due to my attendance, I am unable to play someone else's wedding.  However, I have no gig tonight (Saturday)!  Everybody's getting married on off nights to save money!  Weird, weird, weird!
Steve Cunningham filled in for our regular guitarist, Dave MacDougal.  I've probably known Steve around twelve years--we used to teach at the same music store.  The last gig we played together was probably one of mine at Sambuca about nine or ten years ago.  He's even better than I remember.  If you get a chance, you should check him out!  Wow!

Yacht Rock article

Here's an article from the AJC about Yacht Rock. My mom says we're famous.

Last night's Yacht Rock gig was pretty smooth. There were no flame-outs or catastrophes. A couple of old friends from college came by to check us out. Other than that, it was business as usual. My laptop started acting funny at the end of the night. I think it was the heat...the thermostat on the wall behind me never got below 79 degrees. Too hot for polyester!

Hittin' it Hard

After several days of messing around with my website ( or, I've finally got the horns back in my face for some good practicing. I'm preparing for a big wedding this weekend in North Carolina, in addition to my in town stuff (practicing for certain lessons and keeping the Yacht Rock stuff under my fingers). Things are in good shape, I think.

It's the last few days of the school year, which means many of my students will be taking some time off. My gig calendar looks pretty good through the summer, so I think things are going to be ok. I've also got multiple things that I'd like to achieve by August, so here's hoping that everything lines up.


Another wild weekend!  
Thursday was a two gig night.  I first played for the opening of the Hotel Palomar in midtown--me and a DJ and a percussionist (and later on we were joined by the duo Days Ahead).  After that I bolted over to the 10 High for Yacht Rock.  We had a strange cruise.  The crowd had very few familiar faces, and at some point that night a few people turned on us.  The night ended with someone throwing a cup at the stage.  Not cool at all.
Friday was a period of recovery and working on my website,, a little more.  I also mowed the yard and attempted to control some of the brush in our backyard.  I was probably exposed to poison ivy.  It happens every'd think I'd be able to identify it at this point, but no.  My shins are starting to itch, so I think my fate is sealed!
Jack had his final T-ball game Saturday morning.  From there I raced (in the rain!) to the Yacht Rock gig at the Dunwoody Beer Festival.  The Tupperware Party played …

Peter Olson

Happy Birthday to Peter Olson, the smoothest, most unflappable person I have ever met. You're a good man.


It's already Wednesday...this week is flying by! My website,, is up and running. I've spent the past couple of days consumed by one thousand adjustments, mostly adding pictures and sounds, as well as a heavy dose of do-it-yourself search engine optimization. I'm worn out. If you haven't been, please come check it out. I threw a couple of more pictures on there, and I finally added a few live tracks from gigs with my quartet and quintet.

In other news, I participated in a recording session for Rebecca Loebe. It was a horn section with Karl Liberatore, Marcus Henderson (pictured here) and myself on tenor and bari sax. We did it at Will Robertson's place. Without a doubt, one of the easiest sessions ever--the guy had charts! It also helped immensely that from the first note, the three of were pretty tight. Like we'd played in tune before or something. It was cool. We did multiple passes on a couple of tunes and were done in under a…

Is it really Sunday?

My new favorite kid show is "Penguins of Madagascar."  It's on Nick.  You've got to try it.
Last night I played a wedding reception until 11:30 at the History Center (and nearly strangled myself out of boredom), and then joined the last night of 500 Songs for Kids at Smith's.  Lots of standing around, punctuated by brief periods of deafeningly loud monitors.  It was fun, though, and a pretty good hang.  Mark Cobb and I hung out of a little bit afterwards, and I ended up walking out the back door at 3:45 AM.  Ouch!  
I'll be headed to bed early tonight.

Practice and Performance

When it comes to performing, I am of the belief that you prepare (practice), and then you go out there and go for it.  If it works, great;  if you crash, hopefully you recovered.  Either way, you accept it as was you've got at that moment, and when the moment's over, it's time to start thinking about the next one.  I play around town quite a bit, and adopting this philosophy has really helped me to avoid spending useless time analyzing what when wrong on any particular gig.  
I play a steady gig with several volunteer musicians, and as soon as the last song has finished, everyone is chirping about who screwed up and why.  It seems very amateurish to do that.

Last night Yacht Rock had alot of finger pointing after the show at the 10 High.  Things got a little tense.  Let it go.


Thursday!  It's here again.  Time to race through another wild weekend of gigs. 
I've had enough time to get some work in on every horn this week, so (at least mentally) I feel ready to go to work.

still going

Greetings.  What a day yesterday!  Beth called not long after I got up reporting water in her car (it was raining).  Of course, I was expected to fix the problem immediately!  So, I eventually diagnosed that the drains for the sunroof were clogged and the excess water was draining into the headliner.  I worked on cleaning out the two tubes that carry the water to the outside (basically, I tore apart the interior of the front corners of the car).  I had to stop so I could go teach.  When I got back, I had to pick up Jack at a friend's house (Beth was at ASO Chorus rehearsal).  We boogied home so that I could clean house and get the laundry done while she was gone.  I cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the house, and got the laundry cleaned and put away.  That left me just enough time to read three stories and get Jack to bed before he crashed.  After he went to sleep, I ate supper and finished working on the car (including the worst part--putting it all back together).  I got to bed at …