Showing posts from June, 2013

Steely Dan at The Strand

I was really jealous that the Yacht Rock Schooner got to play a Steely Dan tribute at The Strand in Marietta, a mere 10-15 minutes from my house, so it was really cool that I was invited to be in the horn section (playing bari sax).  Kudos to the band for doing such a good job, and particularly Jordan Shalhoup for dealing with the horn players (one of whom quit the gig during soundcheck!) and all the horn charts.  He also nailed all the sax solos.  Impressive work!

I really enjoyed being able to lay my bari in the case after the show and walk out the stage door.  I never get out that quickly!

Monkey on Fire

Yacht Rock played our monthly show at the Park Tavern last night to a nice sized crowd--not sold out or over-sold out, but a comfortable sized group.  For this one, we pulled out all of our stoner stuff, inspired by the movie Dazed and Confused.  It rocked a little more than usual, but the crowd still dug it.

Mark Dannells got his old amp (the Egnater!) back together for the first time in a long time, cleared some of the pedals off his pedalboard, and played the absolute hell out of our gig.  He was on fire the whole night--great solos throughout.  I think (same as any of us), that being able to hear your instrument clearly makes a huge difference in the way one plays.  If it doesn't sound right, it's going to be a tough gig.  Anyway, Monkeyboy was super awesome last night.  Long live the Egnater!

Other than that, it was business as usual on a muggy night in the tent.  See y'all at Chastain!

Fish Food

Long day yesterday…

I started with a Yacht Rock rehearsal for tonight's Dazed and Confused show.  It's a little outside of our normal batch of tunes--more stoner rock and less polyester.  Not too bad.  There are a couple of tunes where I have nothing to play.

From there, I loaded in to the Aquarium at 1 for a 2 PM rehearsal for a House Live gig.  It turned out that we really didn't need to be at the rehearsal (it was more for rehearsing the speeches and awards).  Mostly, I did this.

Somewhere in the middle, we squeezed in a thirty second line check, and then we left for pizza and beer.

A few hours later, Jeremy, Wayne, and I returned to play the show.  Two hours to go!  The room looked great.  A billion LEDs and other cool lighting effects lit up the ballroom.  We played thirty minutes, stopped for ten minutes, played ten minutes, stopped for twenty minutes, played thirty minutes, and then hung out for thirty minutes until we could pull our gear off the stage.  Pretty easy…

Sounds from the Underground

The David Freeman Quartet (with Tyrone Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Mark Raudabaugh) played a public jazz gig for the first time in a long time last night at Elliott Street Pub, part of a jazz series put on by Jacob Deaton called Sounds from the Underground.  It was super fun--the band went full throttle on every tune.  We managed to squeeze four tunes into our fifty minutes (or the other way around--we only got through four tunes in fifty minutes!).  Thanks to Jacob for sitting in on Guitar Song, and for Mark for accepting the gig at the last minute.

The band made $10.  That's pretty funny.  If you subtract the band (and their significant others) from the crowd, I think there were five people there.  Still, super fun, and everybody played their best!

Thrown Together

It's been a long week.  Here we are again at the Sunday church gigs post.

The AM church gig was really thrown together.  Our normal song leader/vocalist was in the hospital recovering from surgery, so the band leader went out front, which moved Dustin from guitar to piano.  Things were shuffled, to say the least.  More than instrumentation, everybody keys off the piano, and when the leading is coming from the guy twenty feet out front with his back to us, things are less concrete.

We got through everything, though.  Tommy Dodd was there on pedal steel, though I didn't hear him play much.  There wasn't really any room in the music for either one of us by the nature of the songs that were chosen.  I ended up playing lots of whole notes.

Bryan Lopes tweaked some things on my soprano to really get it in top condition.  Specifically, he strengthened the spring on the G key so that every time I touch it it doesn't open the second octave key vent.  Much better!  If you are a…

NC Tour

Yacht Rock is home today after spending last weekend bouncing around North Carolina.  A pretty good weekend, I'd say, with heavy grooves laid down in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem.  The recap:

Thursday:  no Greg for the van ride up (he was already in North Carolina on vacation), so I packed the trailer.  Not too bad.  When we eventually reached our destination, everything was still where I'd left it, so I'll say that was a success.

We stopped for lunch at a place with decent food but crappy service.  When we tried to get our checks so we could get back on the road, the waitress actually accepted a phone call and proceeded to lean on the bar and talk to somebody for maybe six or seven minutes, with all of us standing there watching her.  Not impressive.  She's lucky that the gratuity was added into the bill.

As we got closer to Raleigh, a major storm closed in on us.  First it was to the side of the interstate, and then as the road turned, it was in our rear vie…

Holy Dave

It used to be the norm, but lately it seems kind of unusual for me to play both of my church gigs.  I'm either out of town, got a better paying gig in town, or my (AM) church gig cancels on me.

My AM church gig was pretty easy.  A couple of hymns (with a "hackety-sax" transition), a chord sheet, and a big song with page turns every six measures.  Pretty easy stuff, though I never trust that what we do in rehearsal will work in front of the congregation (I'm talking about the aforementioned transition).  It really did, though.

Now that we're back to acoustic drums and a bass amp on stage, things sound and feel pretty good.  We're a band again!

Maybe it was the weather, or maybe I'm recovering from the weekend, but I crashed pretty hard once I got home.  Multiple hour nap.  Yes.

My PM church gig was ok.  I thought I had a pretty good mix going (mixing on headphones and checking without) with the vocals plenty out front, and it was questioned whether or not …


Wow!  Yacht Rock played an awesome show last night for the the City of Woodstock--part of their summer concert series.  Nice stage, good crew, good weather, and an amazing crowd!

Our first set was all BeeGees.  We'd played through all the newer tunes Friday night, so everybody knew what was happening on Saturday.  It also worked out well because all of those tunes are so groove oriented, the rhythm section got really locked in by the time we got to the yacht rock set.  All that stuff is fun, and harmonically much hipper than I would have guessed when I was a kid.

The second set was a big yacht rock feast.  Nice and easy!  Nick programmed a great set list--good pacing and a couple of less played favorites mixed in with our standard stuff.

Here are a couple of excerpts.  I post these as much to highlight Mark Cobb's phenomenal drumming as my own playing.

Man!  Those are really fun moments.  Soloing in a setting like that feels like there's electrical current flowing throu…

Beauty Pageant

Yacht Rock played a golf club mixer party at Druid Hills Country Club.  Great gig!  We did this one last year, and it was similarly awesome.  Lots of talent--good looks must be part of the membership application.

It was a fun crowd, and we had a good time with them.  As an added bonus, we had Kip on sound.

Mark Cobb brought a new drum kit--a Questlove Breakbeats kit (sixteen inch kick, one tom).  It provided much inspiration.

We're in Woodstock tonight for a free show!  Come see us!

Sazerac Session, Day 2

I met up with the one and only Greg Lee (and Wyatt) at Madison Studios for another Sazerac horn session.  Last time we'd done Southern Nights, Gonna Move, Fat Man in a Bathtub, All That You Dream, and It's a New Day.  Tonight's agenda was Give it What You Can, Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, Sailing Shoes, and Hey Julia.  Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?

We tackled Give it What You Can first.  Tough tune, somewhat because of my chart (which looked a little complicated when sight-reading), but mostly because of my difficulty with transposing the bari part from concert pitch.  Ouch.  Things got really bogged down.  I sucked real bad.  Perhaps I should have practiced these things before I tried to record them?  Hmm?  Getting all the parts down for this took two and a half hours.  Four horn parts (alto, tenor 1, tenor 2, bari) plus some of the alto up an octave.

From there, things accelerated.  Sneakin' Sally--easy.  Sailing Shoes--yep.  I finally got in a gro…

Aquarium Live

I did a House Live gig at the Aquarium last night with Jeremy as DJ and Steven playing percussion.  Not a bad night!  Jeremy does a good job of looping sections to blow over, and then releasing them once I'm done.  It definitely makes for a more musical situation.  Steven played congas and an electronic pad--a good combination for what we were doing.

There's not much to say beyond that.  Looks like the Aqaurium has new handlers for the band guys.  They seem pretty cool.  We got a good laugh when they asked if we knew how to get back to the loading dock.  We said yes, thank you, but we're going out through the parking deck.  When the handlers explained that door was locked, and then we explained that we sneak out through the emergency exit (and the handlers didn't know what we were talking about), things got complicated.  So…yes, we know how to get out, probably better than you do.  Let's just leave it at that.

There was plenty of down time before the gig.  Here ar…

Sunday Night

No Saturday night gig!  Bummer.  I spent the day at the pool;  Saturday night, I stopped by Bryan Lopes' house (also not working Saturday night!) and picked up my new soprano (the 62), which he fixed up for me.  Nice.  Always a great hang.  Lopes was breaking in a reed for his morning church gig.  Funny how a two minute exchange ("here's your horn/here's your money") becomes forty minutes of laughing.

The soprano plays great.  I did mess around with the position of the G key.  The left hand upper octave stuff on this horn is a little different--for one thing, the octave key closes a small tone hole above the usual C.  It brings the upper C# more in tune.  I thought that maybe I wasn't pressing the octave key down all the way sometimes, allowing the C# to go waaaaaaaaaaaaay sharp--like most of the way to D.  In fiddling with the horn and a tuner and paying attention to what my left hand was doing, I realized that touching the G key was allowing the secondary o…

Purple Rain

Last night, Yacht Rock performed the album Purple Rain as part of our summer concert series.  This show was in a huge tent at the Promenade, up in the northern part of the park behind the Botanical Gardens.  I'd never been up there before;  I'd venture to guess that most park goers had no idea of its existence.  To get there, we had to enter at 10th Street and weave through all the curvy paths and past the power washer guy who was waving us the wrong way.

Anyway…the gig went fine, and it was packed.  The last I heard, there were 1,300 tickets pre sold.  I'm impressed that that many people found the tent.

Do you remember how it felt to take a really huge exam in college?  How ever you'd describe that feeling when you finish--relief?  satisfaction?--that's what finishing Purple Rain felt like.  I don't have much of a feeling for how I played.  I think I did fine, but there was almost no emotion attached to it.  At this point, I have pretty much no recollection of…