Showing posts from October, 2015

More Weirdness and a Wedding in the Woods

I failed to mention the biggest weirdness of Friday night's gig downtown:  I got home, pulled my truck into the garage, and as I walked around the back to go in the house, I noticed a cell phone. what?

A couple of thoughts:

1.  I tried responding to a recent text (I can swipe the message notification and reply without unlocking my phone), but that was not an option.  Same with returning a missed call.  The phone wouldn't let me do it.

2.  I noticed that this was a Verizon phone, so I wondered if I could turn it in to a Verizon store and let them track down the owner.

I mulled the whole phone thing over for a while, and then the "FIND MY IPHONE" alert went off.  I wanted to answer that one, too, to say, "I'm here!  Come get it!  I don't want your phone!" but that is also not an option.

Finally, the owner called and wanted to know who I was and how I got her phone, and of course, how she could get it back.  I told her I was in Marietta, and…

Weirdest Gig of the Year

Yacht Rock played a very strange gig Friday at the Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta.  Following on the heels of our sold out show last Saturday at the Variety Playhouse (and more or less selling out the Georgia Theatre in Athens the night before that), we played for around forty people, the vast majority of whom ignored us until the last THIRTEEN minutes of the gig, when two people finally set foot on the dance floor.  We played almost two full sets without anyone coming near us.  Maybe they were enjoying the music while hanging out (possibly networking?)?  I'm not sure.  Very strange.

Also weird was that fifteen minutes after we finished, a group of people who threw the party came into the dressing room to thank us for being there.  That's not weird (it's nice of them to do so), but we were almost all half undressed at that point (I was wearing underwear and socks when they came in), and they hung out talking/thanking for a couple of minutes.  Should I continue progressing…

Sunday Trio

After slugging through the Yacht Rock Variety Playhouse gig, I went home, climbed into bed, and slept for 10-12 hours.  Sleep was the best preparation for Sunday's gig, a jazz trio (with David Ellington, piano, and Kevin Smith, bass) for some sort of corporate reception/feeding.

Most of these corporate things are really uptight, but this client was super cool.  She came in and hung out for a second;  she even had Ellington take a picture of us while I was playing his new keyboard (a modern rhodes piano made by Vintage Vibe).

So...the gig was pretty great.  We all played well, the people were really cool to us, and it ended on time.  Check out the tunes (no repeats from Wednesday's trio):

I feel less bummed about my life.

In other news...

Fantastic pictures from the Thriller show by Emily Butler Photography.  Here are a few of me.


Saturday began early for me (after a very late night coming home from Athens) with a wedding ceremony in Smyrna.  I picked this one up after one of my Sunday church gigs--my friend Graham played piano and sang, and I filled in the spaces around him.  It was fun!  Always a good hang with Graham.

From there, I had just barely enough time to run home, change clothes, eat lunch and head to the Variety Playhouse for Yacht Rock's annual Thriller show.  This was also the day of the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade, so everybody came screaming in right before the road was closed.

This turned out to be a very difficult gig.  For one thing, I'd definitely crammed too much stuff in a week (I ended up with 10 gigs in 9 days, plus 2 rehearsals).  There was pressure because it sold out.  Also, the Thriller show has never settled--every year we change some things (adding solos, etc) and shift harmony vocals.  Whereas the Purple Rain show feels consistent from year to year, this one always fe…

Georgia Theatre

It's been several months since Yacht Rock made the trip to Athens to play the Georgia Theatre.  It's good to be back!  What was already a good sounding room has improved for us over the years with the addition of our own sound crew (yay Kip and Zach) and in ear monitors.

It's homecoming weekend in Athens, and we just barely beat the street closure and the UGA marching band.  It would've been a long uphill push of the gear if we'd missed it.

This was a pretty decent gig.  Nick tried to shake up the set list a little bit, so there were a few second set tunes in the first set, which felt kind of weird.   The set list also had a few previews of songs for Saturday night's Thriller show at the Variety Playhouse.

Joining us for the evening were two background singers, Keisha Jackson and Slick Barnes.  We met them earlier in the year on a big corporate gig in Las Vegas, and then they sang on our Purple Rain show.  Since they'll also be on the Variety Playhouse g…


Yacht Rock played our first gig at Nick and Pete's new room, Venkman's.  Pretty easy show, though it almost felt like we played twice because we loaded in at noon, sound checked, and didn't perform until after 9:30 PM.  

The show was pretty middle of the road for us--nothing unusual on the set list, except for maybe Everything She Wants.  I had a few better than average sax solos, which was nice.  Things got slightly 10 High-ish during our set, a nod to our old Thursday steady years back.  
We played one set, so it was over before I got bored.


The gigs roll on...Wednesday night was a trio in the World Congress Center, in one of their giant exhibit halls.  We were way off in a corner, supplying the tunes for tractor distributors who wanted a little jazz with their buffet dinners.  Twas a strange setting for sure.

Here are the tunes.  Kevin's bass pick up died at the Kind of Blue gig, so he used a mic on a stand, and after about five tunes he got off the mic and is thus difficult to hear.  It's his fault, not mine.

Cheddar, Beef, Etc.

Yacht Rock played a private party Tuesday night at, of all places, Park Tavern.  Pretty regular corporate gig.  No fruit in the green room.  Boo.
In between sets, several people asked to have their pictures taken with us.

Then a dude with a pink phone totally moved in on my shot, oblivious to my existence.

More people.

Starting to get a little weird.

Is that a Blackberry?

Here's one of a bunch of frickin' dudes.  One of these fuckers kept yelling for Freebird all night like 1.  We've never heard that joke before;  2.  We might seriously play Freebird.  

Back to the action.  We have the meats.  Not much of a gig, though they danced enough to get us through the night, but just barely.  Definitely not one for the books.

The good gigs are coming up next.  Stay tuned.

Kind of Blue

Last night was the inaugural performance of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album by the Pleaserock Horns (Rob Opitz, Richard Sherrington, and myself) at Venkman's.  Nick (dude from Yacht Rock and co-owner of Venkman's) had asked me to put a band together to perform the record, and I thought it would be a cool idea to tie in the horn section that we use for the Beatles gigs and other shows where we expand the band.

I think we played really well!  No rehearsal and a ten minute soundcheck, so it was very much a show and blow situation.  I'd been writing out the arrangements over the past few weeks, and thankfully there were no huge errors in the charts.

The second set was mostly comprised of songs and arrangements from one of my favorite albums of that period, '58 Sessions (now reissued as Jazz at the Plaza).

You Know You Make Me Wanna

Saturday night's gig was a wedding with Yacht Rock.  The big, um, thrill was playing Shout from the Animal House soundtrack.  I even wrote a chart for it.

Some attendees were a little more excited than others--some extreme air guitar and shaker playing.  It seemed like there was more than alcohol in his system.  Monkeyboy was freaked out by him, but he was pretty entertaining, I thought.  Then again, he wasn't three feet in front of me all night.

On our end, we were short a few of our regular guys--Nick was on vacation (we had Dude from The Shadowboxers covering for him), and The Great Bencuya had his sinus cavities mined/vacuumed/decontaminated/reamed this week (Dustin from the Yacht Rock Schooner performed his parts).  It remains to be seen how this will affect his texting.

Big MVP of the night was Mark Cobb, who began the day playing a gig in the Bahamas, jumped on a plane, flew to Atlanta, zipped over to Buckhead, and played a gig with us.  Probably some kind of record.  …

Northeastern Tour + TX

Alright goddamnit...I've put this off for as long as I could.  I've done enough stuff since I got home that I don't hardly remember anything anyway, but here it goes...

Thursday:  We (Yacht Rock) flew to Boston to begin our run of shows in the northeast.  The van and trailer (and our crew of Kip and Zach) picked us up.

Remarkably, we were kind of early for load in, which afforded us time for lunch.  An exotic place in Chinatown was selected.   Good food, but you had to work for it.  A large bowl of broth was set to boil on the burner in the middle of the table, and each of us was given our own ingredients to cook.  Probably easier when five guys aren't trying to fish their food out at once.

Our show in Boston was at The Royale.  It was a beautiful room with a nice sized stage.

Great show!  Somewhere around 500 people showed up, which I would say is a major victory for our third time in the city.  Other than that...I don't remember anything.  That probably means it w…