Showing posts from June, 2015

St. Thomas

Yacht Rock played a pretty fantastic gig in St. Thomas, USVI Tuesday night.  Because of travel, we got there Monday afternoon and left late Wednesday morning.  Sweet trip!

Monday:  Fly day.  I'd stayed up most of the night working and packing, so I slept for the entire flight.

Greg Lee and Mark Cobb were unavailable for this gig, so we brought Tom Young and Ganesh Giri Jaya from the Yacht Rock Schooner along.

Backline was limited, so in addition to carrying saxophones and my EWI rig, we had to bring all four keyboards (plus a guitar and bass in road cases).

We also brought Kip!  Yay!

The roads of St. Thomas are pretty drastic, moving from the coast up into the mountains pretty quickly.

We happened upon a wreck.

The band was put up at the Ritz--individual rooms!  Nice.  We were greeted with some kind of rum drink upon arrival.

There was also some small food, which we devoured while we waited to be checked in.

Golf cart rides to our rooms.

Immediately after checking in, I realized th…


Woah...I almost had to play a cover band gig--the kind where they play Brick House and September and probably a couple of Bruno Mars songs, and I hate myself for submitting to such bullshit in the name of money.  Luckily, I had a hold for a trio gig, and it came through, saving me from all.  They probably would have wanted me to wear all black, too.  Fuck that shit.

Instead, I had a jazz gig with David Ellington and Craig Shaw at a showing for an upscale house in North Druid Hills that had just been remodeled.  I managed to talk the client out of having us set up under a tent in the soggy backyard (closer to the power! electronics and standing water are not a good mix!).  We moved to the patio.  Better.

It's funny when you get details for a gig from someone who doesn't deal with little trios.  We had forty-five minutes for "set up" (pulls saxophone from gig bag, puts reed on mouthpiece...2 minutes);  thirty minutes for "dinner" (which was appetizers from th…


I spent lunch time at Georgia Tech on Friday, giving my time and brain to researchers interested in viewing the brains of improvising musicians.  After sliding me into an MRI, they had me sing a Charlie Parker tune and then improvise/scat sing for two choruses.  This alternated with imagining the Charlie Parker tunes and imagining the improvisations.  I'm pretty sure I fell asleep a few times, but the researchers didn't seem to mind or notice.  I made fifty bucks, too.

Here's a cross section of my head.

After that, it was off to the Park Tavern to sweat with the Yacht Rock Revue.  This one came close to selling out, which was nice.

Instead of setting the stage up facing the back of the building, the Park Tavern set us up facing Piedmont Park.  I think I like it better this way.  It's never made sense to me how the PA is supposed to hit all the people when they're three times as wide as the stage.

Lots of griping after the gig about the in ear mixes (is the honeymoo…


The Dave and Dave Duo, back at JCT Kitchen.  The last time we played JCT, we got mostly set up and then the rain came, so we had to reset inside the bar.  Boo.  Playing inside the bar is HORRIBLE!    It's a concrete and glass box, and the people inside get louder and louder as they shout over each other.  Ellington and I are in agreement that we would rather forfeit the paycheck than play in there.  It's miserable for us, nobody's listening (they're all reenacting updated versions of St. Elmo's Fire), and the staff pretty much hates us for not playing something hipster approved.

So...right as we arrived on Thursday, a line of thunderstorms was bearing down on the west side of Atlanta.  We decided to wait it out for fifteen minutes.  Still no rain, so we began to build our set up, which naturally caused the drops to begin.  After back and forth with...a manager?...a bar back?...the guy in charge of the PA!...we negotiated to play outside but in the covered corner a…

Up To Chicago

The Yacht Rock Revue headed up to Chicago this past weekend via Chattanooga and then Louisville. An usual string of cities for us, but it turned out to be three great gigs in a row.

Thursday:  we convened at our usual meeting place pretty early to load the trailer and head to Chattanooga for our first stop at the Riverbed Festival.  I was operating on a couple of hours of sleep, so I slept the whole way.

We set up and sound checked around 12:30 PM on a nice stage.

I'm not sure what I imagined myself doing in this picture.

After a pretty good lunch, I went back to our green room and passed out on the floor for a few more hours.  Sleeping on a hardwood floor is not the best;  I was so stiff when I finally woke up, I thought I wouldn't be able to stand up.

Our stage for the evening.  A jam band from Nashville opened for us.  I think they were probably better than they sounded--their front of house mix was pretty rough.  I gave up pretty quickly and took a stroll.  Not far from our…