Showing posts from August, 2012

No Half Steppin'

Sunday means church gigs!

The AM church gig is headed back towards some sort of normalcy.  Rhythm section, horn section, and vocalists (though this week there was a choir instead of five or six people).  The charts worked without any problems.  It's a miracle!  The horns set up on the opposite side because the choir was on a riser in our usual spot.  Sonically, things were worse--not only could we not hear the drums, bass, or acoustic guitar, but stage right we could barely make out the piano.  Hmm.  In ear monitors can't make it to this gig soon enough.

The PM church gig was a little better than last week.  Latest evidence I am headed straight to hell:  during the communion song, the pianist/bandleader played the same wrong note in the melody twice, so when she tossed me the solo, I incorporated her wrong note as a chromatic passing tone.  Did you catch that?  I did it again.  And again.  How about in the opposite direction?  Yes.  This sent me off on a little chromatic crusa…

Johnny Loves Esther!

Congratulations to one of Pleaserock's finest, Esther, on her wedding last night!

Yacht Rock played the reception.  After a good week of practice (and a couple of more "back to normal" gigs), I think I may be coming out of my funk.  I even got Africa right.

Ping Pong

Yacht Rock had a private gig last night at the Ritz at Lake Oconee.  Nice…we spent the night there, and each got our own room.  Here's the view out of mine:

Our gig was really, really weird…like a fall at terminal velocity from the Revival back to reality.  The event was pushed back a half hour, and once we finally started playing, nobody would come into the room.  For a while, it looked like this:

In a desperate attempt by the party planner to bring people to her event, she brought a ping pong table in…uh, ok.  People began to come in finally, but they faced AWAY FROM US SO THEY COULD WATCH PING PONG!  Holy shit!  Then they broke out decks of cards, and people played cards and ignored us.

We had two people on the dance floor, but they didn't even make it through an entire song before they gave up.  That's pretty much how it ended.  Someone went to a guest room and got a clock radio so they could listen to rap while they played cards (while we loaded out).

After the even…

Back to It

I left the Park Tavern around 12:30 AM with the clock ticking, knowing I had to run home, dump equipment, take a shower, sleep, and be at my next gig at 8 AM. 
The ol' AM church gig.  This one was kind of a "welcome back!" service for the main minister and the  congregation--the first one since school started, so it was more full than the previous few weeks.  The band was back to full strength (plus the horns, plus some more horns to augment that, plus a couple of violins).  There were charts and transitions that had been considered beforehand--everything worked!

We played both services…extra money.  Yes.
The PM church gig was ok.  We were light on singers, and the piano pickup was busted, but we made it through without any disasters.  My soprano has a problem (the adjustment screws on the bar behind the right hand are out of wack, and so the F key and the linked key above that--the one connected to the bar--aren't closing together).  Fun.  Quality time with my leak …


Wow!  Yacht Rock hosted the Greatest Yacht Rock Revival in the Universe for the second straight year.  Bigger and better!

I think it was, on the whole, a tremendous success.  Congratulations to everybody at Pleaserock (Nick, Peter, Kristen, and Esther) for pulling this together.

As for me, I think I played ok.  The first couple of tunes were fine, and then I bit it on Sara Smile.  The rest of the set was fine.  The second set had no major problems that I can think of, either, except for some overblowing on the saxophone stuff.  Nothing new there.  At soundcheck, I played the Africa solo probably seventy-five times, and I made it through it at the show, but just barely.  The solo on the outro kind of redeems me these days.

So…I don't know.  I just don't have any confidence in what I'm doing these days.  Music is not fun for me at the moment.

Revival Rehearsal

Yacht Rock had our big rehearsal with all the guys for tomorrow's Greatest Yacht Rock Revival in the Universe.

First up, Elliot Lurie from Looking Glass.  We went through Brandy and Jimmy Loves Mary Ann.  We tried to convince him that our ending for the former would work, but…no.

After Elliot, we ran through Baby Come Back and This Time I'm in it for Love with Peter Beckett.

The guys from Starbuck came in next and ran their songs while we ate lunch.  Their marimbist, Bo Wagner, totally stole the show.  He's still a pretty captivating soloist.  Afterwards, we talked for a couple of minutes (he's going to email me transcriptions of his solos on Moonlight Feels Right and I've Got to Know)--he's a really nice guy.  I showed him my EWI set up and how I deal with the marimba solo ("play as fast as you can in E minor!").

I ate lunch with Walter Egan.  I get the impression that I weird him out.

Walter was up next.  No problems with his songs Magnet and Ste…


I was fortunate that we were able to come home instead of spending the night in Kiawah Island--I was able to make my AM church gig.  I had lined up a sub at the beginning of last week, but they said they would rather not have saxophone if I couldn't make it (I'm not sure if they're being nice or lazy).  Anyway, I showed up and played and things were fine.

Things were once again pretty thrown together--we rehearsed for all of fifteen minutes.  One singer and a couple of single page hymns.  Easy stuff.  We spent more time on break than on the gig.

My PM service was more organized, but just as easy.  Nothing to talk about.  I played fine.  The mixer came unplugged right before the last song, but that was an easy fix.

This is a big week!  Time for Yacht Rock's Greatest Revival in the Universe!

Just a Van Ride

Yacht Rock was supposed to play a show on Kiawah Island during the PGA Championship there last night.  When we arrived, we found the stage off in a field next to a small shopping village.  Unfortunately, we had driven through some bad weather to get to the island, and the weather was headed that way.

We never even got our equipment out of the van.  We sat in our green room and ate sandwiches, and at a certain point (after it'd rained for a half hour), they called the event off.  We got back in the van and headed back to Atlanta.


Yacht Rock played a semi-private show at the Georgia Theatre in Athens last night--a cancer benefit put on by the Athens Area Cancer Auxiliary, but I think anybody could purchase a ticket.  We played two sets beginning at 9:30 PM.

I walked out right before we began to wet my reeds, only to find that my laptop had died.  Holy shit!  My power supply must have died and left my laptop to slowly run the battery out.  Quickly, Kevin Spencer ran upstairs and got his power supply, and after a couple of minutes, Peter was able to get my laptop to wake up and return to normal.  Wow.

That's how the gig began…a (temporarily) dead component of my rig and a big adrenaline rush.  For the first couple of tunes, I was playing my parts and trying to diagnose what happened.  Once I'd calmed down, I could pay attention to what was happening on stage.  That was right around the time (Saturday in the Park) that the batteries in my EWI went down, and I had to find a place when I was not busy to swi…


No AM church gig.  The church is getting new carpet, so they combined our band with another service's band, and I was left out.

While we were setting up for my PM church gig, Eric Alexander walked up.  He was passing through Buckhead, so he came by for church.  Yay!  Eric's one of my favorite people, a terrific friend, and a great mentor.  Having him in the congregation definitely kicked my playing up a notch.  I maybe played a little louder and a couple of more notes, and maybe I was messing around with a polyrhythm during the communion song.  Whatever.  Eric was there.  Maybe I was showing off a little.


Yacht Rock rolled back into town last night after two theatre shows.

Thursday:Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC.  We'd never played here before, and our first impression was that it was a skinny version of the State Theatre in Virginia.

Easy load in and fairly easy soundcheck…there was some sort of problem with one of the monitor mixes, but they swapped it out (it died in the middle of the show and they had to switch it back).  Other than that, the on stage sound was pretty good.

This show was fun.  We had a decent crowd (over one hundred) for our first attempt at Raleigh, and they were very enthusiastic.  Hopefully we'll be back!

I continued my trend of screwing up the solo in Africa.  I'm messing up one measure of a six measure solo.  It really sucks--it's some kind of mental hang up.  I play it over and over before the gig, and then I choke when it counts.  I did play a pretty good solo on the outro, though.

Friday:  we were back at the State Theatre in Falls Church, …

Pinehurst Golf

Yacht Rock played a gig Tuesday evening at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.  It was definitely one of our weirdest gigs ever.  We played for the US Kids Golf World Championship.  Someone who had seen us perform in Atlanta hired us as evening entertainment.

There we were in a ballroom with a couple of hundred kids (10 years old would be my guess) and their parents.  We played two sets with iPod in the middle.  It was kind of a mitzvah situation.  Everybody was sober.

The gig had a strange vibe, but everything else was pretty awesome.  Easy load in and load out.  We ordered food--on someone else's tab--(I had caesar salad, filet mignon, and key lime pie) before the gig.  Open bar after the gig. I spent the night in a room to myself.  The next morning, I had a forty dollar breakfast (again on someone else's bill).  Extremely nice people working there.  The size and age of the place reminded me of The Greenbrier in West Virginia--the same kind of old school resort.

Wish I…