Showing posts from August, 2016

Shade Fest

I had no gig Saturday night, but I played in Greg Lee's band Sunday afternoon at the Grant Park Shade Festival.  With the exception of Eddie and the Cruiser's On the Dark Side and Dave Edmunds' Three Time Loser, we played all originals.  Good stuff!  I don't even know how long our set was, but it really flew by.  I guess we had a pretty good crowd, tucked into the shade because it's still super hot in Atlanta.  Will it ever end?

Speaking of On the Dark Side, I was annoyed with myself for not quite nailing the end, and then I remembered that we weren't playing Yacht Rock and so it didn't really matter.  Trying to cop all of this stuff note for note has become something of a disease.
Anyway...check out Greg Lee's stuff on his website ( and buy his new EP (

Immediately following Greg Lee were the familiar faces of Indianapolis Jones.  Their music is so good that it made g…


Yacht Rock made another pilgrimage to Birmingham, Alabama Friday night, our second attempt to break into another regional live music market.

But first...more tire troubles!  Remember, if you will, that we had a bad back tire on the van a couple of weeks ago on our trip to Nashville?  The other back tire went bad on this trip, so we had to pull over in Hoover, AL and pick up a new tire.  We were extremely fortunate that someone could take care of it immediately.

Our previous adventure in Birmingham was at Saturn, a pretty cool venue with a place to spend the night upstairs (you can read about it here).  This time, we were across the street at Avondale Brewing Company on their outdoor stage.  Pretty cool.  It's like a festival stage in the backyard of the brewery. The staff is excellent and friendly.  A very hip place to play!

Pretty cool gig.  It'd been a while since we'd played a regular ol' Yacht Rock gig, so there was a little rust, but nothing too major.  The crowd …

2016 Atlanta Revival

The 2016 Yacht Rock Revival in Atlanta is now history.  Another fine evening with the original artists and 4,000 people in attendance!


Ambrosia is extremely consistent from night to night.  This was my first time hearing them out front, and I was extremely impressed with how good they were.

I had a nice chat with David Shaver from Starbuck before the show about what he's been up to since the last time I saw him.

Their posse far outnumbered everyone else's at the show.  I'm pretty sure I could pick out the band members, but they also had crew, spouses, and the crew's spouses.

Robbie Dupree:  We've played with Robbie so many times over the past few years that we are extremely comfortable with each other.  His songs are fun to play--not so complex that you don't know what parts are important, but there's enough musical meat on the bone to keep you interested in playing them more than a handful of times.

Robbie through us a curveball last night whe…


Yacht Rock played a show in Nashville last night as part of our revival summer tour, featuring the same crew of originals we'd brought along to the northeast:  Robbie Dupree, Matthew Wilder, Player (Ronn Moss and Peter Beckett), and Ambrosia.  We've almost always previously played at the Cannery Ballroom or the Mercy Lounge, so this show was a serious upgrade--the Schermerhorn Symphony Center where the Nashville Symphony performs.  What a room!

But first!  We only made it as far as West Paces Ferry in Atlanta before we had to pull over with some kind of tire problem.

The caravan limped to Smyrna, GA for a repair.  It turned out that the steel belt was separating from the rubber.  We wouldn't have made it very far!  The tire guys were able to replace it immediately, though, so it didn't slow us down very much.

On to Nashville.  Beautiful room!

Easy gig!  Dudes to load our gear in and out and a plethora of dressing rooms made it all very easy, and the tire issues didn&#…

Greg and Glen

And now for something completely different!  I played at Smith's Olde Bar Sunday night with Greg Lee, and also jumped on stage for a couple of songs with Glen Pridgen.  I'd never played live with Glen or his backing band The Breeze Kings, but they seemed pretty cool and the quick rehearsal at soundcheck was easy.  Greg Lee's stuff was likewise fun and relaxed, obviously one of the benefits of playing so many gigs with four guys from Yacht Rock.  My only regret was that I'd failed to bring an amp for my keyboard, and since the monitors were along the front of the stage and I was in the back corner, I was probably a bit too loud in order to hear myself.  I'll get it right next time!

Crappy turnout, by the way.  Smith's Olde Bar didn't help us by mistakenly saying that there would be karaoke in our slot up until a four of five days before the gig.  Anyway, we'll be playing these songs again at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival August 28 at 1:15 PM.  Co…

Still Only in Saigon

I got called to sub once more on the Serenbe Playhouse production of Miss Saigon.  Bonus gig!  Right as I was walking from the parking to the pit, the helicopter flew by on its way to the staging area, and I got pumped about doing this all again.

I really enjoyed playing the show.  A performance can be a real test of what you do in practice--what sticks and what does not!  For instance, every show has a massive amount of flute, and it made me rethink the way I approached tuning with regards to lining up the third octave stuff with the first violin and the trumpet.  I also had to consider embouchure fatigue at the end of the show--stuff that doesn't matter at home!

In other news, I think I'm tired of fighting my clarinet.  I've had the same instrument since college, and I'm ready to investigate a different horn.  Some of the Buffet quirks that I've put up with for twenty years...I'm starting to think it's the horn and not me!  I feel good about saxophone a…

Naps, Eats, Beats

Yacht Rock played the Eats and Beats benefit at Buckhead Theatre Thursday night.  I think this was our fourth consecutive year of playing it.  There are never enough gigs in August, so I always look forward to this one, and it's an easy gig, and it's a Thursday night gig and I'm home by midnight, so...yay!

Like I said, easy load in, one set show, plenty of food.  The wait between soundcheck and our set is a good chance to take a nap (I took two).  Our show was a piece of cake, and I can't even gripe about the Buckhead Theatre too much--being on in ear monitors pretty much negates the vanilla sound and vibe of this room.

The playing was a little loose--it feels like we haven't played a normal gig in a couple of weeks (which it has been).  We're still a six piece band until Pete returns from paternity leave.

What else...someone in the green room coined the term food ghost as a metaphor for a fart.

Next weekend is the Yacht Rock Revival in Atlanta, so there shou…

A Night in the Box

This week's major activity was playing Miss Saigon, Wednesday through Saturday.  Four more nights in the box.

Complicating things was some sort of cold that I picked up in Chicago.  I thought my throat felt funny because of the air conditioner, but whatever it was stayed with me, gradually strengthening up until Friday, when it finally began to fade.  I hesitate to even say that it was a cold;  maybe a sinus infection or something, because there wasn't a whole lot of snot, just the other symptoms (headache, throat ache, coughing).  A coughing fit while playing a gig on a wind instrument sucks, and the feeling that you're going to have to cough right as you're coming up to a delicate flute part REALLY SUCKS.

Monday, Tuesday:  More chipping away at the book.  With the thoughts of what didn't work Sunday night (generally technical stuff I thought I could do, but couldn't play under pressure), I went through everything, trying to reinforce the trickier parts.


Another trip to the midwest.  No Pete on these gigs due to the impending birth of his son.

Friday:  Indianapolis.

We flew into Indy pretty early, giving us ample time to go find lunch.  Kip never seems to want to eat what the majority is eating, so the rest of us went to some place called Bakersfield and had really good Mexican food and left him at the pizza place.  We later regrouped at the van, where we found him trying out his new chair.

We still had time before load in, so the van made its way to Broad Ripple and we dispersed again, mostly to the record store.  Nice to see one of my college heroes, Rob Dixon, still making music in Indy.

The rain moved in while we were setting up, flooding the parking lot.

A sold out show.  Nice!

Saturday:  Chicago.

Indianapolis and Chicago are not very far apart, so we killed time with a band field trip to see Jason Bourne.  I hadn't been to the movies since the latest Stars Wars came out last winter.  This theatre served food, which was prett…