"Do You Believe in Miracles?"

Yesterday was the Yacht Rock Olympics.

I left home at 1:45 yesterday to get down to the Park Tavern for the Sham/Yacht Rock Festival.  We loaded in our equipment (and parked over-the-horizon far away).  All of us got dressed in suits and ties, threw our gear on stage in less than 30 minutes, and played a rippin' set of Beatles tunes (Please Pleaserock Me).  That went over very well, and we had fun.  There were moments of uncertainty, but I don't think it mattered because it was all pretty loose and fun.  My four notes of vocals on Paperback Writer--I don't think I ever got it right, but my tambourine was pretty good, so that was enough!

After the Beatles set, we ran back upstairs and changed, and then came out and played an hour and a half set of Yacht Rock to the faithful crowd.  It was pretty packed, and lots of fun.  Usual stuff...lots of fun little moments between me and Cobb, lots of dancing by me, kind of sloppy but just going for it.  I tried to play like I didn't know we were recording!

The Park Tavern gig ended at 7:30.  Bencuya and I tore down as quickly as humanly possible.  I sprinted the length of the Park Tavern parking lot to my truck (still in my costume, shirt wide open...cue the Six Million Dollar Man sound!)

Sound effects for running sound bite

brought it back and parked it in front.  We then forced all of our equipment through the still packed patio, up the stairs, and into our vehicles.  About six loads later, we were all set and he and I raced off to the Wild Wing in Suwanee.  Special thanks to Dannells and Pete for helping me get out.

Bencuya accused me of driving ninety miles an hour, but I swear I never broke eighty.  Regardless, we made good time (twenty minutes!), and the Schooner band met us at the back door to help bring in equipment.  We set up, soundchecked and off we went!

We did two sets at the Wild Wing.  It was pretty good--they are definitely improving as a band.  The crowd was not really into it.  We had the usual stupid requests for Skynard, Billie Jean, and Jethro Tull (happens every time some idiot sees a flute).

I think Bencuya and I are the Ying and Yang of Yacht Rock keyboards--he can't mess up, and I can't get all the way through a song with some sort of mistake!  Last night in Doctor My Eyes, right at the first guitar solo, I was trying to do a big rip up to a high note on the organ and the Nord locked up on me!  All forty notes I had just touched would not stop playing--a huge aural puddle of puke (that for some reason was hysterical to me).  I had to turn the keyboard off and back on to kill the sound, and I missed the entire section.  It was that kind of night.  I asked Bencuya if he'd ever done that before to a Nord and he said yes--maybe this counts as progress for me!

Here's one of my most favorite/dumbest moments of the night:  we're playing Rikki Don't Lose that Number;  Bencuya's playing piano and I've got nothing but this weird little "marimba under a pillow" sounding thing that kind of gurgles in a couple of spots.  I hadn't planned a sound for it, so I was just going to use my usual marimba sound but turn the highs and the mids off on my mixer.  However, when I turned the knobs on my little board, had my back turned to it (so the knobs we upside down) so instead of turning the highs and mids down, I turned them up.  Straight stupid, and of course I forgot to move them back to neutral for the next song (Africa) so my sounds there were TERRIBLE and super loud due to the gain boost.  I swear, I need a roadie just so I can yell at someone.  Anyway, it finally dawned on me what I'd done, but I'm sure everybody in Suwanee wants to know why I was so bad all of the sudden.

My saxophone reeds felt great last night.  There wasn't a ton for me to do, but my alto reed let me go anywhere I wanted.  I got in some good stuff on Biggest Part of Me, too--the band kind of laid there at the beginning of my solo, so I didn't start trying to play a million notes right at the beginning--I took it easy, too.  I always want to rip into it on that song, and if I could delay a little more, I think I'd getter a better effect out of it.  I get excited...gotta calm down!

I finally added in chords on Lowdown (what is known to us as the Love Boat part).  I wanted to do it at the Park Tavern, but I wasn't sure of myself so I chickened out and just played flute.  I think it sounds better with the full chords.

We finished right around 1 AM.  Bencuya estimated we played sixty-five songs between the two gigs.  I didn't play on all of them (I think he did), so I'll say he gets the gold and I'll take the silver.

I packed up, loaded out (with a little help from Kevin Spencer, Ganesh, and Bencuya) and was home at 2:30 AM, and passed out on the couch by 3 AM (watching  The Godfather).  I slept off and on throughout the morning, and finally started living again around 2:30 PM.

I'm back on my church gig tonight.  It's been a couple of weeks since I've been there.  I'm looking forward to a gig with no pressure (or sunglasses).

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