Showing posts from January, 2014

Giving Kitchen Benefit

Yacht Rock closed out the weekend with an easy gig for our chef friends at the Giving Kitchen's event.  This one was special because we were also celebrating the life and times of Ryan Hidinger, one of the founders of the Giving Kitchen who recently lost his fight with cancer.  Our third really cool gig of the weekend with a full house of really appreciative people.  I could get used to this.

Dustin subbed for Bencuya.  No big deal, though I wish we could've continued to polish the new tunes we added for the Anchorman soundtrack gig at the Variety this past Friday.  
They had a digital photo booth that we enjoyed a lot.

The music at load out was extremely loud for NO APPARENT REASON.

Taste It

Yacht Rock played the Taste of Dunwoody for, I think, the fourth year in a row.  Even more so than in previous years, this was a pretty big party with a rowdy crowd.  Dunwoody was rocking as much as the suburb could handle it.

Peter showed up with a new 12 string.  Reports from the guitar players are that it plays easily and sounds good, though the bridge is pulling up a little.  None of this means anything to me.  Still, congrats on the new purchase!

The food at the gig was pretty good.  We, of course, tend to gravitate towards the tacos.  Good ones from Tin Lizzy's and wherever Monkeyboy is in this picture.

So…three sets, no problems.  I think after the Variety Playhouse, everybody was pretty relaxed tonight, and some things that we played again might have even been a touch better because of it.  A good night all around!

Towards the end of the night, some dude jumped up in front of us and stage dived, then got up and did it again.  This is something different, especially off a …

Dark Side of the Moon/Anchorman

Yacht Rock played a sold out show at the Variety Playhouse last night, performing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and most of both Anchorman soundtracks.  Great gig, particularly the DSOM.  I think we've now played it enough times that it's automatic.  For me, the show was much better than last year because I had a great reed.  Last year I had an ok reed and I think I played just ok.

The Anchorman (Anchorma?) stuff was cool--it was a mix of songs we play all the time (such as Ride Like the Wind, Lowdown), stuff we play but not regularly (Treat Her Like a Lady, Who's that Lady), and new songs (This is It, Hold Your Head Up).  I had a good night and felt mentally present through the whole thing (sometimes that is not the case and I have to wait for half the set for my brain to show up).  In particular, I enjoyed This is It, which is super hard I think for everybody in the band--instrumentally complicated and vocally challenging.  I worked on that one a lot, especiall…


I subbed into a friend's latin jazz gig yesterday evening (Thursday) for a gig at Georgia State;  we provided background music for a reception following the MLK Convocation.  Interesting gig!

The parking lot attendant couldn't find my name--after several minutes she discovered it because she was looking for David Freeman and it was listed as Dave Freeman.  Really?  Then as I made my way through the deck to find a parking spot, another car passed me in the garage!  Never seen that before.

I was right on time for load in at 3:30 (me and a saxophone and a music stand, so not much to load).  Other band members trickled in, with the last of them arriving forty-five minutes late.  More standing around until 5:30 when we began.  Due to our proximity to the MLK event, there was no soundcheck or anything.

My position ended up being directly behind a large column (and next to a trash can).

Once we got going, the gig was really fun.  I was sight reading the book, which seemed to be mo…

Run of the Mill

Yacht Rock played a nice and easy private party at Roswell Mill Saturday night.  Easy load in, nice crowd, relatively close to my house (I made the drive home in about fifteen minutes).  I was sitting on my couch at 11:30 PM.  Not too bad.

It sounds like we're going to add in John Lennon's Watching the Wheels to our sets (we'd learned it for Please Pleaserock Me the night before), except I'll be playing the synth part on a keyboard instead of approximating with a horn section.  Cool tune!  We also played one of my other favorites from the PPRM gig, Band on the Run, which was very well received.  A few others that made the setlist were tunes for this weekend's big show at the Variety Playhouse--That Lady (Isley Brothers), Sunshine (Go Away)  (Jonathan Edwards), and Treat Her Like a Lady (Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose).  Good stuff.

My PM church gig was once again pretty light on improvisational space, so I mostly focused on my tuning.  Well…mostly I focused on …


Please Pleaserock Me (Yacht Rock Revue plays the Beatles) was at Smith's Olde Bar last night.  It was a pretty good show with a couple of new additions:  Magical Mystery Tour, Hello Goodbye, Watching the Wheels, Ticket to Ride, and Yellow Submarine.  I arranged horns for everything except Ticket to Ride, and for the most part I liked what I ended up with.

Mark Dannells used his new Kemper amplifier tonight.  Success!

In the midst of playing our encore of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with me sitting dead center of the stage playing organ, I happened to notice some drunk guy get up on stage with a saxophone.  My first thought was "Oh God, this is going to sound bad!"  My second thought was, "HEY!  THAT'S MY SAXOPHONE!"  No one on the Smith's Olde Bar staff had noticed the drunk guy walk on stage, pick up my tenor, and pretend to play it.  I couldn't decide what to do--what if I crawl through three guitar players (and probably mess up Monkeyboy duri…

Churchill Grounds

I led a quartet gig at Churchill Grounds last night, playing two sets of my original tunes.  The band included Kenny Banks Jr on piano, Kevin Smith on bass, and Justin Chesarek on drums.  Amazingly awesome stuff--it thrills me to no end to hear stuff that I wrote brought to life by such spectacular musicians.  I want to do it again and again!

Here's audio.  Check it out!

Thanks to Churchill Grounds for having us.  I'm already looking forward to the next one.

A New Year of Sundaze

So…post California.  Here I am.

My AM church gig died.  I got an email from the head honcho saying that they weren't going to keep me in the rotation of weekly services this year.  I'll be brought in for specific stuff, and hopefully some of the orchestra stuff (like my big clarinet performance a couple of weeks back).  Booooo.  I'm assuming that it has to do with the music budget and not my performance.  Perhaps the Playboy bunny pictures did me in.

My PM church gig is alive and well.  Still kind of a snoozer, musically.  My personal highlight was playing the flute riff to Marshall Tucker's Can't You See over something (I can't remember what song it was).  I bet when people look at me and see tears in my eyes, they have no idea that I'm crying because of self-amusement.

Big shows this week!  My quartet is playing at Churchill Grounds (next to the Fox Theatre) this Wednesday, January 15 at 9 PM.  Also, Please Pleaserock Me (Yacht Rock plays the Beatles) is…

Happy New Year!

The new year is here!  So far, things are pretty incredible.  I'm not sure if this pace will hold up, but the first seven days have been nothing but great gigs and amazing experiences.

Yacht Rock ended 2013 and began 2014 in California. The weather was perfect--highs of 70, lows in the fifties.  Much better than pretty much everywhere else in the country.

Here's what I remember:

December 30:  we flew to LA on a huge plane (our sound man Hans drove our van and trailer full of gear out).  Unfortunately, a young mom and screaming kid got sat down right in front of us.  It was immediately obvious that the kid had a dirty diaper.  Mom was oblivious;  kid was apoplectic.  She left him sitting in it all the way to California, a four hour flight.  The band (a row of dads) was unaffected by the screaming, but the poopy diaper was not cool.

Rather than stay in a hotel for a week, we opted to rent a house in Marina del Ray, just blocks from Venice Beach.  Totally awesome.  Separate rooms …