Showing posts from July, 2013

The End of the Road

The "Summer of Smooth" tour ended last Friday for the Yacht Rock Revue with a show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina.

Some travel difficulties caused us to be really late (we left Atlanta about two hours later than we had intended).  Renting a van and trailer took longer than we'd anticipated, and then we had to stop and grab our PA on the way out of town.  Ouch!  By the time we got up to Asheville (rerouting around a street festival), time was tight.  We set up really quickly and sound checked.  It left us an hour to eat, but fortunately the taco place up the street was pretty quick.

The show was great.  We had almost four hundred people show up--by far our best attendance at The Orange Peel.  From what we could tell, they loved it.  We played well, and the sound was loud but pretty good.  Another fun night!  We were all plenty relaxed after making it through the Chastain show.

The following day, we drove down to Hilton Head for a private gig.  It took…

Mic Check

No Sunday AM church gig for me this month--a blessing considering the previous night's occasion.  My PM church gig is still on, though.
While in New York, I bought a clamp to try and get a microphone more in the center of the piano.  It's already an improvement over the "58 in one of the sound holes" approach we've been using.  


Wow!  Yacht Rock held this year's revival at Chastain.  What a great place to play!  It really was an amazing night with a great crowd.  I can't wait to do it again.

Big thanks to Elliot Lurie, Robbie Dupree, Walter Egan, Jeff Carlisi, Bill Champlin, and Bobby Kimball for joining us.  They're all legendary musicians and pretty incredible people.  Thanks to the Schooner and Starbuck for opening things up.

Awesome job by Pleaserock--Nick, Pete, Esther, Kristen, and Nackers for putting it all together.

Great work by our crew of Kip, Zach, Hans, and Kerry, as well as the Chastain staff.

There's nowhere to go but down.

Just kidding.

The crowd estimate I heard from one of the Chastain people was 3,500.

Here's the rundown:  
What a Fool, fine…LA Lindsay, totally bullshitted my solo (blame it on adrenaline)…Dancing in the Moonlight and Brandy, no problems…Good Thing, solo started great but kind of died at the end, and vocally, I'm still wandering around…You Make My Dr…

Rehearsal, Day 2

Yacht Rock held one last rehearsal to check in with the guys on tomorrow's show with whom we hadn't yet played--those guys being Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) and Jeff Carlisi (formerly of .38 Special).

I had nothing to prepare for the .38 Special stuff--there's no saxophone, and barely enough keyboard (if at all) for one guy.  It's probably a good thing--the Champlin stuff was kind of a butt kicker.

Right off the bat, we worked on Turn Your Love Around (a tune he cowrote with Jay Graydon and Steve Lukather) down a whole step from the original A minor.  I played that for hours yesterday, so I was ready for the album version.  Bill threw in some of his own arrangement, including a gospel walk up that scared me to death.  He came around to each instrumentalist and showed us really quickly, and I kind of freaked out.  You can't tell from this picture, but I am scared to death.

Reaching out to my keyboard, he played it quickly a couple of times and then was lik…


I got up at 8:30 (that gave me around 4 hours of sleep) and played through my Bill Champlin/80s Chicago tunes for a Yacht Rock rehearsal.  By 10 AM, I was in midtown setting up my gear.

Some of my playing was up to speed, but the majority of it still needs work at home.  Fortunately (I guess), we spent a large chunk of rehearsal sorting out the vocal harmonies, the highest and most dense of which are in You're The Inspiration, which saved me some embarrassment with regards to the state of my instrumental parts.  Vocally, I think I was getting it at rehearsal;  good on the way home;  no good at home.  I can't remember where I was.  It's probably better that I concern myself with playing the right notes.

After rehearsal, I came home, set up my keyboard, and spent almost all of the afternoon and evening bringing my parts up to speed.  Things should be much better at tomorrow's run through.  I also have tomorrow night to hit it once more before the big day.

Much too Early

Yacht Rock played CBS Better Mornings Wednesday to promote our big revival this coming Saturday at Chastain.  Normally, it wouldn't be too bad to be there at 7:30 AM, but after coming home at midnight on Monday and then a Tuesday of laundry and getting back to normal, it was pretty tough.  We played fine, but I had a lot trouble paying attention to what we were doing.

Hopefully, this link still works.

CBS Atlanta 46

From there, it was home to practice, teach, and then go to a thing that I can't tell you about.  After that, it was back home to do some more practicing for rehearsal.  I finally gave up at 4 AM.  Ouch.

Summer of Smooth Tour

Yacht Rock just finished our longest tour to date, with a stretch of eight shows over ten days.  The final show happens this coming weekend in our hometown of Atlanta at the big Yacht Rock Revival at Chastain.  For most of this particular stretch of gigs, we brought with us several of the famous guys:  Robbie Dupree, Walter Egan, Elliot Lurie, and Bobby Kimball.  Traveling with these guys has been an experience like no other!

This was also our first tour with a crew--Kip Conner and Hans Furman as our sound guys.  It made a HUGE difference.  The sound was consistent from night to night (allowing for different acoustic situations), and they also did lots of the driving and loading and unloading of gear.  Worth every penny to me!

Friday:  Mercy Lounge in Nashville.  A great show in a great room!  The Mercy has lots of vibe, and when we play there, lots of people.  I'm pretty sure this one sold out.  We played well--off to a good start!  Special thanks to Daniel Morrison from the Scho…