Showing posts from September, 2013

More of the Same

More gigs!  Bryan Lopes tells me that October is the new December (I tend to agree--our October looks great, and December looks bad).  I'd have to say that September has been slammin' too.

Friday:  the final Yacht Rock Park Tavern show of the summer.  We had a great, very appreciative (and not too drunk) crowd of around 800, so it wasn't too out of control.  The band was relaxed and loose, so it made for a fun show.  Plus, we had Kip manning the PA--everything sounded as good as it could.  Even the weather was good.  A nice night for an outdoor gig.  Daniel (of the Schooner) subbed for Mark Cobb on drums.

A video!

Saturday:  Yacht Rock played a wedding in Asheville, NC.  It was on the grounds of the Biltmore, but we were in "the barn," which of course was not a barn…maybe once was a barn?  It was a really pretty space for reception, though I wonder how loud we were out in front.  Kip ran sound for us again, so it's safe to assume that it sounded good.

We did a…

Double Duty!

I was fortunate to have two nice gigs back to back last night.  The first was a corporate jazz gig;  the second was the debut of Sazerac at Smith's Olde Bar.

I think this is probably the fifth or sixth time I've played this particular jazz gig--an awards dinner for Children's Healthcare.  The basic flow is solo piano in the pre function area, twenty minutes of music to get them in the room, thirty minutes of jazz while they eat, walk up music for the award winners, and a tune to play them out.  They even feed us and pay for parking!

Tyrone Jackson (keyboard), Kevin Smith (bass), and Chris Burroughs (drums) rounded out the group.  Good stuff from all four!

Here's the audio.  I moved my recorder from my music stand to Kevin's, so the final three songs sound a bit different (the microphone being behind the saxophone).

Following this gig, I was out the door and on my way down Piedmont (hit every green light!) to Smith's for the first Sazerac show, opening for the …


Yacht Rock was in Savannah Saturday night for a wedding.  Nothing too exciting…when we loaded in, there was some kind of military school having a formal dance, so there were lots of middle school kids in uniform.  What's the point of a wrist corsage?  Seems like the most annoying thing--"here's a branch that you can tie to your arm."  Gee, thanks.

My Sunday PM church gig sounded pretty good.  There was a lady in the front row on her cell phone for a while.  I wondered if maybe she had a bible on her iPhone;  at what point will we see people following along on tablets (and when will that be acceptable)?

Also, no mention of the Pope's baby steps into the twenty-first century this week.

P.S.  Today is John Coltrane's birthday.

Thursday night is the debut of Sazerac (opening for Reynolds-Williams band at Smith's Olde Bar).  Here's the first release from our upcoming EP.  Dig it!

In Other News...

Wednesday:  My AM church gig held a paid soundcheck so that our new sound guy could get a feel for the room, the system, and the band.  He had the PA pretty cranked--I wonder if he'll be able to do that on Sunday.  I guess I won't know, since I'll be riding home from Savannah...

Friday:  Yacht Rock played the Mito benefit that we've played for the past few years.  Not too bad of a gig, without any kind of hellacious load in, and the sound was provided.  Show up and play for us.  Of course, it's an art gallery with concrete floors and a metal ceiling, so it sounds like we're playing in a parking garage, but the scenery (both on the walls and the dance floor) was very nice.  Ganesh subbed on drums.

We had feedback through almost the entire second set--a B natural.  It fit in well with several of our selections.

Big excitement:  Monkey brought his new guitar, a Gibson 333.  Pretty cool.  He played it for the first half of the first set before switching to his regul…

On the Move

Wow…kind of a crazy weekend I just survived.  Following Wednesday night's trio gig, I went home and packed for a Yacht Rock fly date and Yacht Rock road dates.  The travel made this one weird.

Thursday:  we met up at Thunderbox, loaded our new trailer with it and all of our gear, and then headed to the airport.  There, we pulled out our fly date gear for a one-nighter in Orlando.  The van and the remainder of our gear headed on to North Carolina for Friday's event.

We had our first trouble flying with gear.  No big surprise that it was at the Delta counter in Atlanta!  We checked four keyboards, a bass guitar, and my saxophone case.  The rules for musical instruments, according to Delta's own website and confirmed on FIVE separate occasions over the phone with Delta agents:  total linear dimensions (length + width + depth) cannot exceed 115 inches, and total weight cannot exceed 100 pounds.  The four keyboards and the bass were ok, but they challenged the dimensions of my s…

Trio Gig

I had a nice trio gig at Ventanas tonight with Tyrone Jackson and Kevin Smith.  It's been a while since our last one--almost two months ago.

Here's the audio.  Mid gig, the crowd was really noisy, but the beginning especially was pretty clear as most of the people were on the opposite side of the room.  It always baffles me when businessmen are standing in front of the band, and as soon as we begin, they stand their ground and yell over us rather than move to somewhere else in the room.  Often they are loud enough that I can hear what they are saying while I'm playing.


I did my usual church gigs yesterday.

The AM church gig was a lot of fun.  I got an email earlier in the week saying "bring alto and clarinet," which I assumed meant it I'd be playing the first alto part in the concert band.  When I showed up, though, it was a horn section, and they'd made good charts and everything!  Yay!  I so rarely get to play alto beyond the realm of Yacht Rock, so this was really cool.  It also gave me a chance to practice my concert-pitch-to-alto-sax transposition (major sixth/minor third).  I did really well at it--I'm not sure if my brain has finally learned how to do it, or I just got lucky for ten minutes.

We did two services…extra time on alto!

My PM church gig sounded better than it has in a long time.  We've had vocalists in and out all summer, and I think everybody's back now.  Also, the piano sounded really good--my microphone solution has worked out well.  I was listening to the group play and I had to consciously remind…

Day of the Donkey

Yacht Rock was fortunate to have not one but two gigs yesterday (Saturday).  Yay!

The first gig was an open house for Creative Circus, which is an Atlanta school for graphic designers.  We were on stage behind the building in kind of a spot where you'd expect to be a loading dock (but there was no dock)--just a large open area under a tin roof.  Since you could pull right up to the stage, load in and load out were pretty easy.

If I'm remembering correctly, this gig had four donkeys on the sound crew.

This was a pretty easy, albeit strange, gig.  I guess there were about fifty people back there, and they sat and watched from afar.  We played one set of just over an hour of music.  It was a pretty easy gig.

I got both my main and alto and tenor repaired this week, and Saturday was my first chance to play them (I got them back Friday evening).  In my hurry, I'd swapped the saxophone bodies but kept the necks from both my back up horns.  Guess what?  The octave keys didn'…

West Coast

Yacht Rock just returned from a great trip to Los Angeles--2 House of Blues gigs and a wedding, plus some cool sightseeing.  I had hoped for a celebrity sighting and an earthquake, but neither materialized.

This was our first time flying keyboards--my sax case has made a couple of flights now, but our four keyboards had never taken to the air.  Evidently, the cost to rent two Fantoms and two Nords is insanely high, so in order to make the trip more cost effective, we had to do it.

I think Bencuya was more concerned than I.  Our cases are ATA rated, but you'll never really know until you actually hand them over to the baggage guys.  It looked bad slamming on to the baggage carousel, but all of the gear worked perfectly--no damage whatsoever.  Take a bow, SKB!

Thursday:  we flew out in the morning, landing (due to the time zones) at LAX around lunch time.

After dumping our gear at the hotel in West Hollywood, we strolled down Santa Monica Blvd to a Mexican restaurant for a late lun…