I did two gigs yesterday.
The first gig was a quartet gig at the Botanical Gardens in Piedmont Park. The band included Louis Heriveaux on keyboard, Tommy Sauter on bass, and Wayne Viar on percussion. We played in the Day Hall, which could easily be mistaken for a high school cafeteria. Acoustically, not a good fit for a musical group and a bunch of people trying to mingle! I played the whole gig with a towel shoved into the bell of my saxophone. The crowd was loud, and we did our best to stay underneath them (and not be able to hear ourselves). Playing-wise things were fine, but it was a bad call to try and put a band in that room.
After that I ran over to the 10 High for Yacht Rock. Nick and Peter are out this week on a business trip--they're investigating a cruise ship thing for the band (like the Simple Man Cruise or The Rock Boat). At the helm we had Kevin Spencer and Ganesh Giri Jaya. They did a great job filling in. We also had Alyssa Olson singing a few with us.
We added A Lotta Love by Nicolette Larson last night. It went well. A couple of other songs she sang did not go as well. I had a brain fart on Love Will Keep Us Together a started the song half step higher than the band..."Why does this sound so bad?" Magic also kicked my butt last night.
I had two reeds die on me last night. The tenor reed I started the quartet gig on did not make it past the first few songs (much like the reed I started on last Thursday). When I got to Yacht Rock, I encountered a bad alto reed. I guess it's that time where my reeds are on the way out and I need to break in a few more.
I've tried multiple ways of breaking reeds: playing them out of the box; playing them in short spurts to welcome them to the new world until they're ready; soaking them for a little bit; soaking them over night. In the end, I'm not sure that it makes any difference. The soaking seems to settle them down--I get more keepers that way. My latest thing is to soak them for an hour or so, then let them dry for a day or two (I learned the hard way not to put them back in the plastic sleeves or the get really moldy). I then soak them again for a hour and let them dry for a day or two. Then I begin the playing and checking.
Yacht Rock is playing the Wild Wing Cafe in Alpharetta tonight. I'm not sure what to expect.