Showing posts from 2013

Last Sunday of the Year

Ah, the last Sunday of the year!  One last squirt of church gigs.

My AM church gig was moved from 9:30 to 11 AM, which meant a little extra sleep (it also means I was a little more awake).  I guess it's the last Christmas gift I will receive.

There's some temporary shuffling going on at the church--the usual song leader is away due to illness, so the bandleader is filling his role.  Sitting in the piano chair this week was none other than John Carrozza.  Nice!  John's a bad ass musician with a very clear and concise Russell Ferante keyboard style.  There's nobody else around here who plays like him.  His wife was along to sing a few--she has a really hip Bonnie Raitt kind of voice.  Very cool people, and quite an impressive duo.

Anyway, the Carrozzas show up with charts for their stuff and roll through the whole rehearsal without a single mistake.  The service was the same thing.  Effortless.  Inspiring.  Totally bad ass.

My PM gig was a bit of a snoozer.  We had a cou…

Christmas Church Gigs

A few more church gigs courtesy of Christmas!

#1:  I played the children's mass at my PM church gig.  I've done this one for several years and it's always crazy.  The little kids act out the birth of Jesus--it's fun to watch.  However, because there are kids involved, people start camping out for seats over an hour before the service begins, which means there will be no rehearsal or soundcheck.  I did figure out that the speakers in the ceiling have a global mute button, new knowledge that abated my great concerns when I couldn't get any sound ten minutes before go time.

#2:  Same location, but just an extra mass--sort of the overflow mass for the main room.  This one was kind of the official location of my PM church gig team (PM church gig priest, ministers, ushers, band).  No sweat.

#3:  I picked up an extra Christmas mass at the church near my house where I used to play regularly a few years ago.  Good to see all my old friends as well as some people from my ne…

Most Holy Dave

I played four--FOUR!--church services yesterday!  I am the the Most Holy Dave!

So…I'm bragging.  Two were back to back.  You could say I only played three.  I will say it was four, and mostly on clarinet, so I'm counting every minute.  Clarinet is hard.

I got a call mid week about playing clarinet for my AM church gig, which was also the location of my afternoon church gig.  It immediately made me think that somebody'd read last week's blog and gotten pissed off at me for complaining, which I guess I was.  Nobody ever said anything about it, so maybe I dodged that bullet.  Maybe they were just being organized.  The head of the music department said to me Sunday, "I don't know why we've never thought to use you in the orchestra before."  That's cool--I'm glad they're realizing it and hopefully will plug me in wherever they can.  I spent a good chunk of this past week's practice time on clarinet.  I found a couple of good reeds, played s…

Beatles Show

Please Pleaserock Me played a show at Smith's Olde Bar last night to a pretty full room.  Pretty good gig!

We had Rob Opitz joining us on trumpet.  Excellent work and good hang with somebody I've known back from the William Noll days fifteen years ago.

We debuted a couple of songs, my favorite being George Harrison's What is Life--a great song from a great album.  It makes me wonder why it took us so long to add this one!

I got to play the rhodes part at the beginning of Band on the Run, but the amp wasn't loud enough and I didn't hear anything I played.  I'm hoping my guesses were all lucky!  I made it back to the horn section, picked up my tenor and adjusted the microphone with just enough time to see that I was supposed to play bari!  I managed the switch just in time.

I made a quick load out after the gig--around 10 minutes.  It's good to be a horn player!

Next week will be a biggie for church gigs--four services on Sunday, three on Tuesday, and one o…


I'm still recovering from the previous week, but I did make it to my church gigs.

My AM church gig was weird.  The orchestra was performing for most of the service;  the only small band song was us backing up the middle schooler choir on a gospel tune.  I ended up sitting through everything and only playing for the one song.  It's confusing to me--if you're paying me to be there, why not use me on everything?  I could have played second flute, third clarinet, bass clarinet, or any of the saxophone parts.

We played two services.  In the second, they brought in a second flutist to play when the only flute player switched to piccolo.  I sat and watched.  Maybe I should add a copy of my diploma to my bag with flute, clarinet, picc, and instrument stands.  Look!  I'm qualified!  It's disappointing to me that they think of me as only being able to do the SNL sax player kind of stuff when I could be contributing in other styles.

Just for the record, I really killed it in …

Second Guesses

Yacht Rock played our annual holiday show at the Variety Playhouse last night.  I think we had a good show overall, but I had some weird moments, particularly in the first set.

I'm not sure what happened--maybe I had trouble focusing on what we were doing--but I was really unsettled for most of the first set.  The result was a string of weird mistakes, even on familiar tunes.  I really thought a lot more than I usually do on our gigs--second guessing myself constantly.  Even when we laid into Baker Street on the second set, I couldn't remember how many times the sax hook went around before the first verse.  I played it twice (which turned out to be correct), but I couldn't decide if I was right or the band was just following my mistake.  After the show, I checked with Greg to see if I'd messed it up.  In Maneater, I played the chords of the verse in a different inversion than usual, so it wasn't wrong, per se, but again, what the hell am I doing?  It was that kin…

Two Gigs, One Building

Yacht Rock pulled a two-fer last night--two gigs in one night, albeit in the same building, with each "gig" consisting of three songs.  Appearance is probably a better description than gig.

Our first event of the evening was at The Loft (at Centerstage in midtown).  We participated in the "Beatles vs. Stones" show benefiting Poverty is Real.  Our set was Jealous Guy, Hey Bulldog, and A Little Help from my Friends.  I had a good solo on Jealous Guy.  At the end of Hey Bulldog, I was anticipating Monkey creating feedback and noise at his amp--maybe I have this confused with the end of Good Morning, Good Morning--anyway, once we hit the outro of Hey Bulldog, something compelled me to just to take the most out, free, squealing, noisy solo I could muster.  Nobody seemed to mind.

After that, we headed out the door and walked into Vinyl (also at Centerstage) to play for Mixtape's "The Nightmare before X Mix" show for the Songs for Kids Foundation.  This set …

Song of Simeon

I played a really nice gig with a bunch of old friends last night.  Will Scruggs presented his album Song of Simeon in concert last night at the Sandy Springs Christian Church.  Great writing and playing all around!  It was also cool to see several old friends in the band, including Tommy Sauter, Marlon Patton, Kinah Boto, Dan Baraszu, Lester Walker, and Wes Funderburk.  It seems like we don't move in the same circles anymore, so our opportunities are fewer and farther between.

Quartet Gig!

I had a great quartet gig last night.  We played a horse related event--I never fully grasped what it was--but who cares!  A two hour jazz gig with Tyrone Jackson (keyboard), Kevin Smith (bass), and Justin Chesarek (drums).  I couldn't have asked for a better band.  Awesome playing all the way around by some of my favorite musicians in Atlanta.  I feel lucky to share the stage with them.

You should listen here:

In related news, everybody likes my beard.


Even without a Saturday night gig, waking up early on Sunday is tough.  Too many years of training my body clock to go the other way.

My AM church gig was pretty good.  When I got there, they had the stage set for a show with the orchestra that afternoon.  I had no idea where to stand, so I ended up taking a position in between the organ and bass player.

Musically, it was another morning where I didn't contribute much.  I played some tenor and some soprano, and played clarinet (as always) on the last song.  I'm still really enjoying my new soprano mouthpiece, and after breaking in some softer reeds Saturday night, it's really fun now.  The big song for the day had a little bit of space for me to blow in between verses by the choir, so I played soprano on it, which I think fit it better than tenor.

At one point in the service, the pastor mentioned that a dollar bill was backed by gold at the Federal Reserve--I wanted to raise my hand and vehemently disagree!  Then he corre…


Yacht Rock played a show Friday night at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville.  In spite of the crappy weather, it was beyond sold out--more people than the number they call sold out.  Very cool!

We left Atlanta and the 70 degree weather.  Just north of Chattanooga, it started raining.  We went up and over Monteagle in the pouring rain.  When we arrived in Nashville, it was mid-30s and still raining.  Yuck!

We set up and sound checked as we've done here plenty of times before.  For supper, we met up with the guys from our booking agency for pizza at DeSano.  If you've ever been to Antico in Atlanta, it's the same sort of thing--the DeSano guy purchased the concept/franchising rights from Antico and set up shop in Tennessee.

Anyway, it's soooooo good.  It's kind of embarrassing--this is the kind of place where I will eat right up until I'm about to throw up.  If I had access to pizza like this more often, I would weigh 1,000 pounds.

Back to our gig!  We had a good ti…