Showing posts from September, 2015

AM Church Gigs and Golf Gig #2

I wish I'd taken more advantage of my early Saturday gig by going to bed early, but I didn't.  Unfortunately, I was up extra early to make a trio of church gigs at St. Ann's.  Once I was up, it really wasn't that bad--it's the early afternoon crash that gets me.
The church gigs were super easy;  the songs aren't difficult and the people are cool.  As much as anything it was a cool hang with the the two guys who run the music there, a chance to work on my soprano sax tuning.  I'll be back to do it again one Sunday in October.

After lunch, I headed out to another Yacht Rock gig (a big weekend for us).  This was a kickoff party for pro golfer Stewart Cink's Cink It Challenge,  which raises money for two local charities.  We've played this gig (I think) four years in a row now.  It's an easy, well run event.  

My sax effects pedal was acting strange--it appears that I traded on electronic gremlin for another.  Fortunately, it wasn't sounding wei…

Golf Gig #1

Saturday, Yacht Rock played a late afternoon gig at the PGA Championship in Atlanta.  I'm not really sure for whom we were playing;  there was a small loop of corporate sponsor type tents set up in a VIP area, and we used one as a stage.  Unfortunately, the rain from Friday night continued all day Saturday, so the people who saw us were drenched.  I was a bit dumbfounded at the number of people (maybe 75?) who stood in the rain and mud and watched us, but they did, and they loved it.

I solved my EWI problems by switching out the little MIDI cable between the EWI and the wireless MIDI transmitter.  It worked like a champ.  A few spare cables have been in ordered and are in route to my mailbox.

Other than the rain, this was a nice, easy gig.  Monkeyboy had some guitar issues early on, but once he settled down, things were cool.  My sax mic was having some strange reactions to the on stage sound--probably because of the tent and the proximity to the main speakers.  There really wasn…

Park Tavern

Yacht Rock played our final Park Tavern show of the summer concert series.  Pretty big crowd (maybe 1,000?), in spite of the rain.  

My big excitement of the evening was some sort of EWI problem, basically with the laptop not receiving MIDI information from the EWI.  This is a major drag because there are several things that could go wrong:
1.  EWI problem 2.  bad MIDI cable between the EWI and the wireless MIDI transmitter 3.  problem with the wireless MIDI system 4.  bad MIDI cable between the wireless MIDI receiver and the MIDI to USB box 5.  bad MIDI to USB box 6.  bad USB cable between the USB box and the laptop 7.  laptop problem
The issue is intermittent, meaning I kind of have to wait for it to happen and then see if I can figure it out.  This happened years ago when the band was just starting to play bigger shows, and it took at least a month for me to solve it.  Fun.  I am now terrified of using my gear.
My initial hope/diagnosis:
1.  The EWI seems fine 2.  The wireless MIDI…

Second Beatles Show at Venkman's

I had the burger again (they were out of the bratwurst thing that I intended to order).  Still a winner.

This gig sounded much better.  According to Zach, the only difference was that he cut the level on the audience/ambient microphones down.  Maybe there was more to it (last Thursday, the guitar level moved up and down during soundcheck a lot, and we had some "Your ears should be muted"/"They're not" stuff), but whatever the science, the result was excellent.

Pretty good playing in front of a lackluster crowd, no doubt deterred by the rain.

I forgot my iPad clamp and my bari sax stand, neither of which I could do without, so in between soundcheck and the burger, Rob Opitz (our trumpeter, who also managed to forget his iPad clamp) headed back to Cobb County.  Not my favorite way to kill time, but there was no closer solution.

Polo Grounds

Atlanta has polo?  Atlanta has polo grounds?  I guess I never knew that.  Saturday's gig was at at the Buckhead Polo Grounds, which looked to be a pasture in the lowest (geographically speaking) part of Buckhead.

We set up on a stage in a tent, besieged by gnats, for some sort of benefit.  It was a pretty vanilla gig, albeit one with tall, expensive looking women.  In the second set, the band got a little silly, which made the time go by a little faster.  The gnats also excused themselves for the evening after sundown, which I greatly appreciated.

Other highlights:  I brought home four bananas from the green room;  we were fed BBQ, which was excellent;  I was able to drive up next to the stage for load in and load out.  A nice, easy gig, which I think was about all that we could handle.

Beatles Show at Venkman's

My burger was great;  my in ear mix was not.  We'll try again next week.  I may even order another burger.


Monday night was a cool gig for the Dave and Dave Duo (my sax/organ duo with David Ellington):  we played for the grand opening of Venkman's, a new restaurant brought into existence by Yacht Rock front men Nick Niespodziani and Peter Olson.  Congratulations to the whole crew that brought Venkman's to life!

Dave and I hadn't played together since late July at JCT Kitchen.  You can take a look at the videos from that gig here.

The Venkman's gig was a lot of fun.  Jazz gigs require a different kind of concentration than a Yacht Rock gig, and it was a very nice change of pace for me.  Plus, I played really well.  That always makes for a good night.  I even landed the two Brecker licks I've been trying to incorporate.  Yay for me.
Give these mp3s a spin.

I'll be back for a few Thursday gigs with Yacht Rock playing the Beatles (September 17 and 24).  I'll be leading a sextet in a performance of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue October 12.

Midwestern Gigs

Yacht Rock played a couple of gigs this past weekend in the midwest--specifically, we were in Indianapolis Friday night and Chicago Saturday evening.  Both were good gigs--easy, we played well, and had a good time.  Plus we flew in and flew out (and our gear met us up there).  I love doing it that way.

Friday:  We flew to rainy Indy.  The gear and our crew of Kip and Zach left Thursday afternoon and picked us up at the airport.

After lunch (and a nap), we made our way to the Indianapolis Art Museum for their fundraiser.

The situation there was not so great.  No rain contingency (and it was raining pretty steadily), the stage had standing water on it, and the canopy covering the stage had several holes.  I also heard mention of permits being revoked more than once.  It seemed like there was a pretty good chance that the gig wouldn't happen, so I took another nap.

Eventually, the stage was relatively dried, and we brought our equipment out from the trailer, setting up around the dr…

Quartet for Kids

I had a nice quartet gig last night in Buckhead, an annual event for Children's Healthcare.  I think this my tenth or eleventh year in a row doing the event (which has been the same format every year)--I've got it figured out!  For this one, I used Louis Heriveaux on keyboard, Kevin Smith on bass, and Mark Raudabaugh on drums.  Since I rarely do a jazz gig these days, it was nice to hang out of with some of my friends in the scene.  The four of us had a wonderful time.  It was a good combination.

I really enjoyed this one.  Maybe I've been starving for a gig with a lot of blowing, but everything felt especially great.  The gig ended before I'd gotten sick of hearing myself!

Grant Park, Greg Lee

And now for something completely different...Yacht Rock (in Austin) Wednesday, Beatles Friday, Yacht Rock Saturday, and then the Greg Lee Show at a festival in Grant Park Sunday afternoon.  I played on four songs at the end of the set.  I couldn't summon anything great;  hopefully nobody recorded it and we can all collectively remember that I tried hard and just leave it at that.  Sometimes I don't know what the hell I'm doing anymore.

Wedding Time

Yacht Rock played a Saturday night wedding.  Super big money--not just a tent in the backyard of a mansion, but one of those permanent tents with the plexiglass panels and real doors.  A tent nicer than my house.  Their house was amazing.  Their garage was also amazing, and nicer than my house.

Our backdrop was a wall of paper flowers.  Presumably handmade.  Impressive.

The crowd was very reserved and didn't give us too much attention or energy.  On the other hand, I got in a pretty good nap before we played.  We also watched Big Hero 6, and we set some kind of record for farting.  Nothing else to report.  It was that kind of gig.

Ted Time

Something different for Yacht Rock:  our Beatles band, Please Pleaserock Me, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's concert in Atlanta with a gig at Turner Field.

Before the game we played in the plaza.  It was a little rough in some spots, but we had fun regardless.

KDC on the job!

Once this part was over, we followed our gear down to reset it on the stage.  Here's the view from the right field corner early in the game.

During the game, we were provided with a suite (full of family and friends).

Post game, a stage was towed out in front of the pitcher's mound and we played a short (8 minute) medley, timed to a fireworks show.  Pretty cool!  We waited around in the tunnel until the game ended.

Pete was nervous.

We just barely fit on the stage.