Showing posts from August, 2013


The 80s live!

I played saxophone on an song that sounded like a Wham rhythm track today.  Much fun was had, and the hang was great, too.  I'll take one of these any day of the week.

Highlands Wedding

Unfortunately, I ended up with no Saturday night gig.

Sunday, I was up for my AM church gig.  There were no big surprises this week;  we did play some crazy seventeen page song with a million chords and three or four modulations.  Sightread that!

So long to our buddy Matt Sheren, who has been running sound for us ever since I began playing here. He's off to bigger and better things.  I hope the next guy is as funny and talented as Matt!

When the gig ended, I had enough time to race home, change clothes, and run out the door again to meet up with the Yacht Rock guys for an out of town gig.  Under our more catch-all wedding band moniker "Constantly Awesome," we played a wedding reception in Highlands, NC.

It was a really nice gig in a beautiful room.  We left the doors immediately behind the stage open and enjoyed the really pleasant weather up in the mountains.  Everything sounded good (using our very basic PA).

The first set focused on Beatles stuff.  On the break, we…

Park Tavern

Yacht Rock was back at the Park Tavern last night for our monthly show there.  Not much to report…a good sized audience, though not overly crowded.

We added a couple of new tunes:  Band on the Run (which technically we added last week, but I just started playing the keyboard part this weekend) and Running on Empty (which technically has nothing for me to play).  The former is much more interesting for me to play now that I have a greater role in the music.  To the latter, I added some organ to kind of fill it out--the live recordings I looked at had one keyboardist but two guitars.  We have one guitar and two keyboardists (well, one and a half, let's say) so I'm providing an anonymous layer of harmony and volume.

The gig began with Band on the Run, and the rest was kind of downhill.  I'd practiced that song a bunch, so I was confident and played well.  Everything else (other than Running on Empty, which I'd also played a lot during the week) was pretty sloppy.  My solo…

The Long Sunday

Sunday was a long day, with a Yacht Rock gig sandwiched by two church gigs.

AM church gig:  not too bad.  When we'd gone over one of the two big songs for the day, the main vocalist hadn't been in the room, so I played the melody as a place keeper.  During the actual service, it dawned on me (right around the time nobody was singing and the bandleader whipped his head around to see why I wasn't playing) that there would also be no vocalist!  Yikes.  So, I was in.  No problem.  Four bars into the verse, I tried to turn the page, but six or seven pages turned instead.  Uh oh.  I tried again, but no luck.  I ended up playing the entire thing from memory, which definitely got the adrenaline going.

I checked with the rest of the band afterwards, and nobody knew it was going to be an instrumental, which means I didn't miss anything at rehearsal.  Sometimes I don't pay attention...

After my gig, I had around forty minutes to get home, change, and load my truck up with Ya…

Beatles at Smith's Olde Bar

Please Pleaserock Me (Yacht Rock plays the Beatles) had a two night stand at Smith's Olde Bar.  Great gigs!  Also considering how much gear we have on stage for this show, it was nice to leave it all set up overnight (I did not leave my horns there, however).  The Friday crowd was decent;  Saturday's crowd was pretty full.


Canadian Tuxedo night (head to toe denim).

When I'm 64 went well, and I appreciated the reaction from the crowd, especially the guy who yelled "Goddamnit Dave!"  In spite of barely playing any clarinet these days, my sound and pitch felt good.

Lady Madonna is, I think, the only Beatles song with a sax solo (played by London's own Ronnie Scott).  It's funny to me that the main groove is the Fats Domino boogie, and the sax solo is phrased in half time swing.

Everything else was fine.  My solo on Jealous Guy held promise, but I couldn't deliver.  My solo on Will it Go Round in Circles (written and performed by the fifth Beatle, B…

Georgia Theatre!

Yacht Rock was at the Georgia Theatre in Athens Thursday night.  The seven regular guys haven't played together since July 27 in Hilton Head.  Reunited!  I could definitely feel the vibe of the seven of us back together again.  Coupled with the Theatre and a good crowd, we were in for a good night!

Wednesday afternoon, I developed (out of the blue) severe vertigo, so bad that I could barely get home.  I still had it Thursday morning, which made loading my gear down a flight of stairs and into my truck pretty treacherous, but Advil helped me get through it.  I made it to Athens and got loaded in and set up without issue.

Our soundcheck was more of a rehearsal for our Beatles show at Smith's, so I didn't do much more than nearly freeze to death under the Theatre's air conditioner.  When we finished, I took a walk around Athens to try and possibly locate a drug store with a clinic, but no luck.  I did almost fall down, though, in the middle of the sidewalk on College Ave…


Ouch.  On three hours of sleep, I wandered into my morning church gig.  Fortunately, it was pretty easy--all tenor (with a little bit of clarinet at the end), and the tunes had enough space for me to play a little bit.  My excitement of the morning happened in the introduction of the biggest song we did--the recording (I am told) began with a big trumpet fanfare.  The best I could do was to play it all up at the top of my altissimo range, beginning on a high C.  As we came up to this song in the service, my mind went blank, and I had no idea how to finger that note;  then I thought I remembered it, but there was no way to check if I was hearing the correct pitch.  It all worked out.

Having a late gig like the previous night with an early gig like this morning really messes me up.  I came home from my AM church gig and went back to bed for four or five hours.

My evening church gig was pretty good.  I think I've finally found a good spot on my soprano neck for intonation--things are…

After Party

Yacht Rock played an after party last night--not the party itself, but the AFTER party.  Wait…isn't the after party usually the drunkest of the drunk standing around the hotel bar?  Ugh.  On the plus side, this 10:15 PM-1:40 AM shindig didn't have four or five hours of down time between soundcheck and the gig.

Before we even got set up, there was an adventure:  I followed Monkey (presumably to go park after dumping our gear at the hotel loading dock), and we somehow ended up going into the underground parking for the office building next door.  There was a garage door at street level and a gate at the bottom of the ramp.  Security would not let us through the gate (no parking there), but the garage door was shut, and we had quite a time (after we made Austin Powers-esque ten point turns in this small space) trying to convey to an unseen security guard where exactly we were stuck.  "Please open the garage door at street level!"  was our version of "R2!  Shut down…


Yacht Rock had a private gig last night at the Egyptian Ballroom (Fox Theatre)--some kind of big entertainment industry party.  We played two long sets.

The load in is notoriously difficult, mainly because there is one freight elevator to service the ballroom (for production, catering, and the band), and it is not quite the size of a twin bed, so there's always a bottleneck of stuff going in at the beginning of the day, or stuff coming out at the end of the night.  To alleviate this, much of our gear was back lined.  I brought everything just in case…I guess if I'd checked in ahead of time, I could have planned a little better.  I ended up going half and half--I used their keyboards, keyboard stands, pedals, throne, and monitor, and supplied my rack so I could still have my EWI rig, and my sax wireless.  Along with that, I needed sax stands, tambourine…a little bit of stuff out of one of my boxes.

After getting the gear all sussed out, we endured a pretty difficult soundchec…

Cajoning It In

Busy day!

1.  My AM church gig--we had all of July off.  That worked out just fine for me because I was out of town almost every Sunday morning.  August, I'm back.  Time to make the money!

This gig was pretty low key.  I played four horns (tenor, flute, soprano, clarinet).  No choir, no extra players--easy stuff.

2.  My PM church gig was also easy.  I forgot my headphones, but I think the mix that I had was pretty good.  I mostly played soprano on this one, as I continue to get more comfortable on my new horn.  It feels like I've finally found the right spot on the neck for my mouthpiece to play in tune.

3.  I left straight from my PM gig and went straight to Ventanas for a House Live gig.  We haven't played this venue in a long time--good to be back!  It's a beautiful view.

This one was an hour and a half (with a five minute break for speeches).  Unlike some previous gigs, this one was a lot of fun.  I felt engaged in what we were playing the whole time.  Good, creati…

No EWI in Toto

Yacht Rock played a gig way up at Barnsley Gardens last night, a one hour show on a bill with the Ken and Drew from Sister Hazel, Stephen Kellogg, Emerson Hart from Tonic, Jay Brown, and Shawn Mullins.  Twas an easy gig in front of a nice crowd.

We loaded in at 2 PM, onto an uncovered stage that worried me--I'm not fond of leaving all of my gear in direct sunlight for several hours.  Fortunately (I guess), the threat of rain became real enough that the whole stage was tarped.  It turned out that it did NOT rain (yay!), so all gear was fine.  
The humidity did some weird things to my EWI, though--it appears that my train wreck at Chastain was maybe not a transposition button issue after all, but an issue with the heat/humidity.  I think it's possible that whatever senses that my fingers are touching maybe needed an adjustment (there's a small screw-like knob on the back that can regulate this).  

Hey Nineteen was early in the set and everything worked fine with the ol' …