my life as a professional musician: saxophone, flute, clarinet, and EWI
Meehan's Public House
Please Pleaserock Me and the Yacht Rock Revue played the Shamrock and Roll Festival in Sandy Springs yesterday.
My thoughts: cold!...thought it would be warmer-should've brought a jacket...Francisco Vidal is the ultimate one man bar guy (is that a putdown or a compliment? both)...laptop screen is just about dead (scaring me again!)...played with REMakes, and I hung out in the cold with no jacket to do two songs, but they only called one of them...changed into a suit in the open parking lot of a Kroger...nailed my vocal part on Paperback Writer all three times!...Greg tried to play bari sax in the horn section (somewhat successful--now he knows what it's like)...Dannells counted the strings--between all the guitars, we had sixty-six strings on stage, and none of them were in tune because of the temperature (including this ferocious electric twelve string in the picture)...reset all my gear for Yacht Rock--a twisted tornado of cables...played two sets REALLY LOUDLY...Cobb was on another planet last night--all over the place...drank from a pitcher of beer...new denim suit is big in the waist, but otherwise looked good...stage crew started packing up before we did...Nick helped me load out...home by 11:30 PM. davidfreemanmusic.net
Yacht Rock put up big audience numbers this past weekend, with a sellout in Nashville (600 people), and two nights at Conner Prairie in Indianapolis (4,350 and 5,580). Impressive, no?
Thursday: We're still looking for the right room in Nashville. This room sounds great, but it's kind of small--we need a thousand seater with a good vibe. In the mean time, we play here--Top Golf in Nashville (they call the music room The Cowan). Load in, soundcheck, and then we hit some balls and hung out with our Nashville buddy, Jerry Roe.
We'd been off for almost two weeks, so things were a little rusty. I definitely had a few spots where I hoped that muscle memory would save me. For the most part, it was a pretty solid show, though.
The crowd was so-so. The people across the front line were, by and large, unenthusiastic, which didn't help us with the energy. Maybe 'cause it was a Thursday? Lots of blank stares. Not sure what was up with that.
This week, Yacht Rock is headed out of town on a cruise. We're actually headed out to play a gig on a boat! In anticipation of this event (Rock Boat X), we added a few new tunes. The big one for me was FMby Steely Dan, which features a humongous tenor sax solo by Pete Christlieb (who also did the solo on Deacon Blues). Here's a look at what I wrote down. The stuff at the end (where they band is vamping an Pete's going nuts) is a little weird because I was writing it down at 2 AM, and it wasn't easy to notate what he was playing. When we played this tune in rehearsal, I got a massive adrenaline rush. I mean, those first four measures are familiar to everybody with ears. The opportunity to play it for real was spine tingling. Plus, I was sightreading it on four hours of sleep!
As with my Maneater post, you can click on anyone of the above jpegs to view a much more readable version.
Off again! This week's run was Wednesday-Saturday, starting off in Michigan. Wednesday: Grand Rapids! Not where I thought we'd first dip our toes into the gigging...waters..of Michigan? I thought that was going to work, but maybe not. Anyway--you'd think we'd begin our midwestern expansion in Detroit, or maybe Ann Arbor, but...no. Grand Rapids it is. Second largest city in Michigan. Home to several breweries.
Step one: lunch! And wouldn't you know it, there's an Indian place right up the street. I hit the buffet for some chana masala.
The evening's gig was at 20 Monroe Live, a newish concert venue in town (capacity 2,600!). Big room, but really nice and clean and well run. They had some sort of private event between our early soundcheck and the gig.
After a nap (thought the pollen was bugging me, but I guess I caught a cold), I didn't really feel ready to eat dinner, so I went for a short run.
I think we were all very pleased by this Wednesday nighter!…