Showing posts from September, 2011

No Sub Night

The Yacht Rock Revue played our usual Thursday night extravaganza at the 10 High.  This week featured the regular band!  No subs.

On some of our gigs, having the regular band there can be a hindrance--we're comfortable enough with each other that the silly jokes come early and often.  The 10 High is the worst place for this--there's not enough of an incentive to behave.  We were really good last night.  Not to say we weren't messing around, but the funny stuff didn't overshadow the music making.

Going into the gig, I was really tired.  Beth and I went to see Wilco Wednesday night;  when I got home, I took my Nord apart in an attempt to fix what I thought was a problem with the mono output jack--I got the whole thing in pieces, couldn't find anything, put it back together, and then only the bottom third of the keyboard worked, so I had to take it apart again and find the ribbon cable that had come unplugged.  Put it back together but it still wasn't fixed.  Onc…

Sweetwater Brewery

Yacht Rock played a party at Sweetwater Brewery for some lawyer.  It was a snoozer of a gig.

I never understand this plan:  food and the bar inside, band outside.  Nobody goes outside (see the above picture from our first set)!  Oh well, the weather was nice, and we ended at 9:30.  Can't beat that!  That power for the entire street went out shortly after that, ensuring that there would be no overtime.  It did make the load out a real pain in the butt, though.

The next couple of days are so busy, I may fall over dead.  Stay tuned.  You'll be the first to know.

Math Problem

Here's a math problem:

Freeman drives 50 minutes to a three hour rehearsal in the drummer's garage, then back home again in 50 minutes, all for a forty minute gig an hour from home on Saturday afternoon.

The gig pays $75.  What the hell?

Sea Island

Yacht Rock played a wedding on Sea Island on the Georgia coast.

We drove all afternoon and showed up on time (5:30 PM).  In the midst of setting up, we were informed that the guests were due to arrive shortly.  Evidently no one had bothered to fill us in on all of the wedding details, so we were left to interpret things like this (copied from the itinerary):

745pm:  All Quiet 8pm:  Guests Arrive (ceremony off site at St. Simons Presbyterian Church at 630pm) Father of the Bride will do a welcome when wedding party & bride/groom arrive Bride and Groom will be introduced 730pm - 1st Dance: Love Will Keep Us Together (2min on ipod) Father/Daughter and Mother/Son:  Dancing in the Moonlight (2min on ipod) (play 90 min set)
Impressive?  Dancing to the first dance before you arrive at the venue?  Or is that supposed to 8:30 first dance?  Or is that supposed to be 6:45 all quiet, 7 PM guests arrive?
It turned out that it was 6:45 all quiet, 7 PM guests.  So…no soundcheck, which I guess is no big dea…

For the Love of Mark Dannells

Mark Dannells returned to Yacht Rock last night.  It's good to have him back.  He was complaining that his hands felt stiff after not having touched a guitar in over a week, but I thought he played really well…a couple of rippin' solos on Peg and How Long.  He also angled a fan so it would blow his hair back.  They teach you stuff like that at Berklee.

The band was half Schooner and half Revue, with Dani on bass.  We had Ganesh and K Spence up front and Daniel on drums.  Bencuya, Dannells, and myself occupied the other positions.

In spite of the rain passing through town, we had a really good crowd.  It felt kind of packed!  Not much turnover, so we didn't make REALLY big money, but it was solid, and fairly good looking.

We got a little crazy in there towards the end…one song ended with Dannells going into Black Magic Woman, and then I started playing Hava Nagila in a different key over the top of it.  We also had competing keyboard sound effects bouncing back and forth …

Four in Twenty-Six!

I played four gigs in twenty-six hours.  The first two were really good, and the second two were pretty foggy.  I wish I could have worked sleep in a little better.

Gig One:  the Yacht Rock Revue played the Taste of Chamblee.  When I pulled up to the gig, I had my doubts--it looked like we were going to play a bland gig in direct sunlight.  By the time we went on, though, the crowd had grown and the sun had gone down enough to get behind the trees.  It turned out to be a picture perfect outdoor gig.

We were fortunate to be able to pull up right behind the stage to load gear (and leave our vehicles there).  Sweet!  The band before us was the Heaven Davis Blues Implosion.  I knew everybody in that band except the keyboard player, and not one of them recognized me.  I probably should have networked better--a little "Hey asshole, remember me?" to jog their memories, but I didn't.  I guess there's a chance this will bite me in the butt later in life.  My lack of enthusiasm…

Two Gigs!

I had two gigs yesterday.

The first gig was an awards night for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  I've played this event for the past four years--I'm getting the hang of it!  We played an hour an a half dinner set, and then walk-ups for the awards ceremony, and then one song to send 'em out the door.  Easy!  Everything was great about this one:  we played my tunes with no volume restrictions, we were fed (chicken, green beans, and something…orzo?), they validated our parking, the gig ended early…yes!  It's was great.

The band was Tyrone Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Justin Chesarek on drums.  This was the first gig Justin and I have ever done together.  Success!  Everybody played well.

Coolest moment…Tyrone picked up on the end of my solo on Beth Ann at the last chord change.  I don't know how to describe it--it was just awesome.

Here's the audio:

After this gig ended, I raced over to the 10 High and played the Yacht Rock gig.

This was the best 10 High gig…

Trio at Ventanas

I played a trio gig tonight with two of my favorite musicans:  Tyrone Jackson and Kevin Smith.  We had a background music gig at Ventanas.  Great gig!

I feel really out shape, jazz-wise.  Too many Yacht Rock keyboard parts!  I need more time on the horn…sure wish I had more gigs with these guys.

Everybody thought we were playing somebody else's stuff ("Is that a Bob James song?").  That's a compliment, right?  My stuff's not total BS!

On the Move

Friday night, it was late…I played the first set with the Yacht Rock Schooner at 37 Main in Buford.  That place gives me the impression that there is NOTHING ELSE to do in Buford--it's always packed.  The crowd was good, the band was really good.

I couldn't hear anything that I was playing.  I guess that's what you get when you don't show up to soundcheck.  I tried the old trick of playing a few notes in between songs--not very reassuring!  I think I could hear myself in the mains;  maybe not.  My position was an arm's length away from the speaker and I couldn't tell.  I had no monitor of my own, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't in any of the monitors on stage.  I think I was more or less inaudible.  Ugh.

The band was really solid--they really had a good groove going.

There were several beer bottles on the lip of the stage in front of me, and I noticed when we started Baker Street that I nudged one when I bent my knees, so then every time the hook came aro…

Too Many Dudes

We (Yacht Rock) played at the 10 High last night.  It was pretty obvious that we were shut out by the football game.  The crowd never showed up, and the gig was lost to indifference pretty quickly.

I played well.  We had Ganesh on drums, K Spence on vocals (in for Nick), and Shannon on guitar, so the set list was all really safe stuff--things we've been playing forever.  There were some strange guitar chords in the middle of Sister Golden Hair and the intro of Hey 19, and we did the radio edit version of My Life…speaking of which, that was a game of musical chicken--the vocals went one way and the band went the other, and at some point we (the band) had to jump when it was finally obvious that the vocals were not coming back to us.  Thankfully, we'd heard that mistake before--almost predicted it.

Lido needed more bass in the intro.

Everything in the second set was pretty normal and pretty plain.  Shannon got a fiery solo off on How Long, and I thought for a second we were goin…

Sunday stuff (Technical Difficulties)

After a couple of weeks away, I was back at my church gigs this morning.

Church gig number one changed up the morning rehearsal time--instead of meeting at 8 AM, we got together at 8:30.  When I walked in, there was a service going on in the main sanctuary, but I found everybody downstairs.

It was a quick and painless rehearsal--a couple of traditional hymns (flute), and a couple of gospel things (tenor).  No problems.  At 9:15 we went running upstairs to set up.

This is the second week of V Drums--this time with a substitute soundman!  Woo!  I guess all the microphone cables for the entire band had been patched incorrectly at the stage, so there was no time to troubleshoot the electronic drums that were not making electronic drum sounds.  Hmm.  We entered into a stand off of sorts--sound man was busy up in the balcony trying to find his inputs;  drummer continued to bang on very quiet drum kit.  I said, hey, let's stick a vocal mic on his XLR--maybe it's a bad line…maybe it&…


A few guys from each of the Yacht Rock bands joined together to play at the Shepherd Center Society benefit at The Tailgate.  In other words, we played under a tent in one of those abandoned lots around the Georgia Dome that becomes a parking lot whenever there's a football game.  The band was Pete, K Spence, Monkey, Bencuya, Dani, Ganesh, and me.

Matt Reed (guitarist and big UGA fan) organized the music.  He said load in at the 2, so I was there at 2 (backed my truck up to the stage--nice load in!).  Unfortunately, I had to sit through the opening band.  Witness:

This was one of many fine hits, others of which were Sweet Child of Mine, Here I Go Again on My Own, and some other crap.  I think STP was in there.  The only thing missing was Stacy, babe.

The odor from those two porta-potties directly behind the drums was robust.

By the end of their set, I was thinking bad thoughts, evil thoughts.  I wasn't so much thunderstruck as annoyed that I'd shown up so early.  I was t…

The Park Tavern

Yacht Rock played the Park Tavern last night.  We had a pretty good night--it never quite reached the insanity of a few of the previous Park Tavern gigs, but it was fun and the crowd was pretty into it.  For some reason, it was a much older crowd than we generally see.  It was like our usual crowd sent their parents, and this was a safe gig--there are tables for sitting and it ends before midnight.  I think seating and bedtimes are important to that demographic.  You could throw restrooms in there, too, except that the Park Tavern restrooms are not user-friendly.  It's news when the men's room does NOT flood, and the women's room always has a line.

Our Beatles tribute, Please PleaseRock Me, opened the show.  It was pretty good!  I was on and off stage for most of it, playing tambourine and cowbell.  The first song had tambourine--I realized this (standing offstage) about halfway through.  Do over!  Damnit!  The last four or five songs had horns (Greg Lee, Paul Poovey, and…