Showing posts from April, 2012

Another Busy One

I managed to survive another crazy weekend, and there are only a few days at home before I'm gone again.

Friday:Yacht Rock returned to Nashville.  We've been selling out the Mercy Lounge the past couple of times, so we moved downstairs to the larger part of the venue:  the Cannery Ballroom (the Mercy is about the size of Smith's Olde Bar, and the Cannery is about the size of the Variety Playhouse).  Cool.  We loaded in, set up, soundchecked…usual stuff.  Definitely a bigger, better stage.  The room is L shaped.

Before the gig, we ate at a Thai food truck around the corner.  I had the red curry with pork.  Very good.  I could have eaten two.

The gig went pretty well.  We played I Keep Forgetting, one of my faves, and we went through a string of fun sax features (Whatever Gets You Through the Night, Your Mama Don't Dance, Careless Whisper, and Baker Street).  The crowd was pretty into it.  Coming back from the intermission, the vibe changed--I don't think the we ever …


The Yacht Rock Revue played a gig for CREW (commercial real estate women).  It was a party for their thirtieth anniversary. about a party on a Thursday night?

I think they set some kind of record for use of the word "empowerment."  Definitely the word of the gig.  For most of the women at the party, it probably meant professional success.  For a few, however, it was license to be a pushy, egotistical bitch.  We had a couple of women--one who almost flipped out because we wouldn't let her play tambourine, and one who was sure she could make the party better by joining us on stage for a song (to sing I Will Survive, of all things--empowerment!).  They were so relentless in bothering us, it pretty much ruined the gig for us.

To make matters worse, we had a moron running sound.  I don't think we made it through a single song without a microphone feeding back.

We did our fastest load out ever.  Thirty-five minutes after the gig, we had everything loaded into t…

Augusta Trio

I had a trio gig last night…in Augusta.  I got a call a few weeks ago asking if I was available.  Yes!  Send me the details!  The reply included the times, attire, and the address for the Augusta Country Club.  Boo.  You could've mentioned that.

It wasn't a big deal because the gig was really fun.  I guess the client had specifically requested a trio of sax, bass, and drums…weird.  Sonny Rollins fans?  The State of the Tenor?  Whatever.  It was cool with me.  When I first did jazz gigs as a leader, I did a bunch of these, but it's been many years since then.  I think I played differently--it was hard to not to ear Sonny in my head.

This trio had Jeff Williams on bass, and Justin Varnes on drums.  I hadn't seen Justin in a couple of years.  He's playing better than ever.  It was great to catch up with him.

The gig finally ended after I got a little out on Ju Ju.  The drunk sunburned guy looked right at me and said, "You can stop."

Here's the audio.  …

My Busy Weekend!

This has been a crazy weekend.  I only made it through by sleeping today away (in between church gigs).

Friday:  the first big Yacht Rock gig at the Park Tavern this year.  We held the Reagan Rock prom there.  The years before this were held at the Variety Playhouse, and both were pretty colossal efforts in learning songs, scripting the show, doing the decorations (for the record, I never had anything to do with scripting or decorations, but the learning songs part was still really hard!).  This year's event was super easy in comparison;  show up, host the party, have a good time.  Probably the same number of people turned out as previous years, too.  I think we nailed it.  Thanks to everybody for joining us!

Everything went well;  I can only think of a couple of bad spots for me--a few butchered chords in I Wanna Dance with Somebody.  My alto felt great--I keep hoping to find a video of me playing more than a few seconds of Careless Whisper.

My tenor was ok.  It has a leak.  I…

Our First/Last Gig at the Trolley Barn

The Yacht Rock Revue played a fundraiser event at the Trolley Barn last night.  Right off the bat, we were confronted with the "barn attendant" and his decibel meter-- 90 db is the limit in that room.  Go over 90 and the client pays a fine.  Check this out:  if you want to host your event there, you have to put a deposit down to cover the 90 db fine;  the dude checks the SPL during the event, and when you're over the limit, the Trolley Barn keeps your deposit.  Nice scheme.  So…no carpet (hardwood floor), high ceiling, windows, steel beams…great place for a band.  Before we started playing, the crowd was (according to my SPL app) at 75 db.

I think we ended up doing the best we could for as long as we could.  It was kind of amusing for a while because everything sounded silly, but we couldn't keep it there forever.  Late in the night, the volume went up a bit, but the dude seemed cool with it.  In fact, I never saw the dude or the decibel meter.

That said, the gig w…

Trio Gig!

I had a trio gig tonight with Louis Heriveaux (keyboard) and Kevin Smith (bass)--a quick two hour dinner and awards thing.  We were background noise.

It was great to have a jazz gig--a chance to to stretch out and really play.  That said, I never got in a groove--it's been a month since I played a jazz gig, and I'm way out of shape.  I tried;  I just couldn't get it going.

I guess my one victory was that I played reasonably in tune on soprano tonight.  Big surprise--I put my mouthpiece in the right spot (the place on the cork where I normally end up) and left it there, instead of not trusting myself and pushing the mouthpiece further and further down.  Way to go.

Here's the audio from the gig if you'd like to listen:

David Freeman Trio-April 17, 2012 by David B Freeman


Not much of a Sunday…once again, I was told not to show for the AM church gig (boooooo).  The PM church gig went pretty well, though I've had it with the sound of the piano in the PA.  It has a Barcus Berry pickup--sounds like crap!  I think it's time to experiment.  At the very least, I'm going to put a dynamic mic in one of the holes inside.  The pickup has no beef to it!  The church has a really great sounding grand piano, and the pickup makes it sound like it's mic'ed with a 57 on the ground 10 feet away.

As far as playing goes, I did kind of go nuts on one song last night.  The harmony made sense and I knew it was in three, but as soon as I started playing, I kind of lost my place, which I think worked out OK.  I got a little wild in kind of a Branford way, and once I was out there I just kept going.  Somehow, the vocals came back in, but I couldn't get out of what I was doing.  I just kept going over the top of them until the song tapered to the end.  Oop…


The Yacht Rock Revue played 106.7's birthday bash in Suwanee last night.  Great show!  Good for me that I sucked the least on the gig that mattered the most this weekend.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I played really well!

The Yacht Rock Schooner opened for us.  They sounded terrific.

Our two sets (played chronologically from 1978-1985 went really smoothly.  Everybody played great.  The sound on stage was good.

There was a dog named Honey backstage.  I took pictures to show to Reggie.  He didn't care at all.


I never did figure out for whom we were playing last night.  The Yacht Rock Revue did some kind of auction/charity event thing last night at Summerour.

This gig went much better than the previous night's blanks.

All the excitement (for me) came in the second set, when the batteries in my EWI died in the first song.  I just swapped them out for what I thought were fresh ones, so I must have a bad one in there.  Anyway, pretty significant panic.  I was able to limp through the first tune (Africa) by turning everything off whenever I wasn't playing.  Once we got through that, I quickly stole the four batteries in my sax mic transmitters and put them in the EWI.  Whenever I needed to play saxophone in the second set, I would take the two batteries out of the wireless MIDI transmitter I have on the EWI and put them in the sax transmitter.  It wasn't too bad--I just had to plan a couple of songs ahead so I would be ready to do the battery Chinese fire drill in between songs.

Spaced Out

The Yacht Rock Revue played our (somewhat) regular 10 High gig last night.  This gig isn't paying nearly what it used to produce, but it's still giving us a couple of extra rehearsals.  We have a pretty big show coming up a week from tonight (Friday), and the opportunity to screw these songs up in front of a smaller crowd is appreciated.

My amp died while I was soundchecking…scared me for a second, but it turned out it was a bad power cable.  I swapped it with the cord from my top keyboard, and it was steady, but then my Fantom would turn off randomly whenever someone came near.  So…bad cable.  I broke out my spare.  Problem solved.

We started out pretty well, in spite of the very thin crowd.  Somewhere towards the end of the first set, I started spacing out.  I was playing, but not paying too much attention.  I wandered around on break (went upstairs and watched baseball), and the first half of the second set, I was mentally NOT THERE AT ALL.  The strings on the chorus of I W…


I got shut out of my AM church gig yesterday…they were doing some kind of more traditional service with a chamber orchestra ($$$$!), so no Dave.  Boo.

My PM church gig went well, though my soprano reed did not rise from the dead.  It's done.

First Time in Months!

The Yacht Rock Revue conquered the 10 High last night.  Even though it's our regular Thursday night gig, all seven of us haven't been on stage together there since mid December.

It was a great gig--the most fun you can have at the 10 High.  We never got bored, the crowd was responsive (even though it looked from the outset like we'd be smothered in douchebaggery), Heart Attack didn't have one (she did eat a bowl of fries in between cigarettes), and everybody played pretty well.  There were some rough moments (I sucked real bad on the stupid Wham song), but nothing to kill the vibe.  Good show.

We had a couple of guests…a guy named Adam Johnson (friend of Dannells') sang Hold the Line, and Jeremy Stacey (of Sheryl Crow and Noel Gallagher fame) got up and played Hey Nineteen with us.  Both were really good.

Here are some audio for my Eighties girl:

Careless Whisper by David B Freeman

True by David B Freeman

It's funny to hear people singing as loudly as the band.

Sweet Water, but Not on my Keyboard

Soooooo…Yacht Rock played a benefit for the Atlanta Humane Society, held (just like last year) at the SweetWater Brewery.  I like dogs, so yay--fun gig.  There were several ladies walking around with dogs. I got lots of weird looks for encouraging their animals to "quick!  go get in my truck!"

Things were fine.  We loaded in, set up, soundchecked.  We ate their food (they had chips and salsa=yay!).  We played a set--sounded good.  We played another set, and you could see lightning off in the distance.  Hmm.  We decided not to play the last forty minutes of the gig because the weather was closing in on us.  The Humane Society was cool with that.

A couple of drops and we started to pack up.  Before we could get much further along than that, it started pouring!  Aggh!  The stage is covered, so we had protection, but the rain was blowing in from the front of the stage.  We moved everything as quickly as we could to the back of the stage.  Our cases, which had been stacked outs…

Pretty Good Sunday

Actually, it was a really good Sunday.

My AM church gig is beginning to make sense.  Maybe I'm getting used to the new format, but the big horn section songs don't feel as weird as they did.  It also makes it easier for me with instruments--I know it's just going to be tenor and clarinet, so I'm not going to drag my other stuff to the gig.

One thing that was a drag yesterday morning:  getting off the elevator and hearing the band already playing.  It turns out that the band leader wanted to start at 8 instead of 8:30 (when I showed up), but he didn't tell anybody, so as people started filtering in, they had to dive into rehearsal.  Nice.

We're off the "all black" clothing thing, which is totally cool with me.  I'm not a fan of that look, especially when fewer than half the musicians are actually doing it!

From my church gig, I drove to Dallas, GA for a quick recording session.  Some guys had recorded the Rolling Stones' Can't You Hear Me…

Rhodes Hall Wedding

Yacht Rock played a wedding at Rhodes Hall in Atlanta last night for a couple of .  If you've ever been there, you know there's no room for a seven piece band.  Fortunately, the weather was perfect…almost everybody ate supper on the front lawn, and the band was set up on the porch.  Nice!

This was a super easy gig.  Two sets…we played from about 7:30 til 10, with a break in the middle.  Everybody played well.  We're getting the hang of it!
Here's last night's attempt at Maneater.  I almost got it right.
Maneater (Yacht Rock Revue) by David B Freeman
And the crowd goes wild!