Showing posts from March, 2016

Center Stage

Rob Opitz laid a really wild gig on me, playing at Center Stage in a horn section backing Iranian pop star Reza Sadeghi.

So...this dude is huge in Iran!  For us, the gig felt kind of like an out of control salsa gig:  charts flying by, extremely long break between sets, and NO ENGLISH for three hours (except for the keyboardist turning around to make sure we were about to play the right chart).  You have no idea how weird that feeling is.

We received the music the night before, so I had enough time to sort of prepare, but the three of us (Rob Opitz on trumpet and Wes Funderburk on trombone) were much closer to sight-reading than mastery.  Thank God that both Rob and Wes can read anything--they nailed almost of all of it.  Anything we missed was probably covered by the horns on the track (we were playing along with a sequencer), and the keyboard played a lot of keyboard parts with us.  The keyboard player even played a sax part and TOOK A SAX SOLO using the sax sound on his keyboard. …

Dark Side of the Moon, Abbey Road

Time for the annual Yacht Rock Revue Dark Side of the Moon show at the Variety Playhouse, this year paired with the Beatles Abbey Road.  This show is fun and we always have a great crowd (just under a thousand people in the audience).

Everything went well!  We've played it enough times that there's not usually any playing problems.  The DVD that plays Gone with the Wind was a little shaky (we have a click track lined up with it), but the backup disc was good.  Stoner myth complete!  (

Abbey Road also came off without a hitch.  As with all the Beatles show, we utilized a horn section (this show was Rob Opitz, trumpet, and Tom Gibson, trombone).  Solid playing throughout.  My only gripe would be that I took two more terrible sax solos--one on Oh Darling! and the other on She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.  I can't seem to deliver anything, in spite of practicing ideas in B major all week.

For Kendra

Venkman's hosted a benefit for our friend Kendra, who's fighting cancer.  She's been a fan of the Atlanta music scene for the last fifteen years, so several of her favorite bands reunited to play for her and raise money.  The roster included Second Shift, Josh Rifkind, a really loud dude from The Whigs, Trances Arc, Telegram, and Y-O-U.  Yacht Rock closed out the night with a couple of songs.  It was a bittersweet hang.


Still reeling from jet lag, five of us (Greg, the three Marks, and me) played a benefit for Oakhurst Elementary Saturday night.  Easy gig--we played for less than an hour, the whole thing was very relaxed, and they raised a ton of money.
I played mostly keyboard, which made it a lot of fun for me.  The sax was not in the PA, and once we got cranked up, it was hopelessly inaudible.  

One of these a month would be really sweet.


The Yacht Rock Revue (plus horns and background vocalists) spent last week in Las Vegas, backing up about a dozen contest winners in a corporate extravaganza for a large hardware store chain.  Our third year performing at this even was different than previous trips--instead of only playing with the "stars," we also played walk-ons and music beds while the executives made speeches and congratulated winners.  It was an incredible, high end production, and no expense was spared.

Saturday:  following my shitty performance at the Dave and Dave Duo gig at Venkman's, I boogied home for around 40 minutes before returning to town to meet the band and head to the airport.  We flew out in the evening and landed around 10 PM in Las Vegas.

A few of us stopped in the sushi restaurant before we left, and the service was so slow that those guys had to chug their drinks and hustle to the gate.

The southwest at night is mostly dark nothingness dotted with the occasional well lit town.  Pr…