Showing posts from February, 2017

Mojo Dojo

Last Wednesday night, I got the call to play with Scott Glazer's Mojo Dojo at Blind Willie's. What a band! Mace Hibbard on tenor, Micah Caldwell on guitar, Brandon Bush on keyboard, Justin Chesarek on drums, and Scott on bass. The gig was fun--who wouldn't love standing in the middle of all those guys! I did the best I could to keep was a nice hang, regardless!

Train Cruising 2017

Our now annual gig, the Sail Across the Sun Cruise hosted by Train, took us from Tampa, Florida, to Costa Maya, Mexico and back last week. Cruises are easier for me when I lay low, sleep a lot, and focus on playing each of our three shows as best I can. I'm also less prone to jump overboard.
Wednesday: Unfortunately, I'd caught a cold, and this day was the worst of it. Coupling how I felt with the embarrassment of being late for the meet up left me in a pretty crappy mood. I was glad that we weren't performing on the first night of the cruise, so I took a couple of naps around the lifeboat drill and dinner, and then went to bed early.

Before we'd even left Atlanta: I was kicked out of the TSA Precheck line because "they use new scanners" and that my saxophones would not fit through. The TSA lady sent me to normal security (wait through another line, take my shoes off, take my jacket off, take my laptop out) only to find...the same scanners. My saxophones fit …

Moontower's Roses

Greg Lee and I worked on a new original song with the local Atlanta band Moontower (G Lee producing and me writing a horn arrangement). The horn section is Rob Opitz, trumpet, Richard Sherrington, trombone, and me on tenor and bari sax.

Here's how it turned out:

If you scroll down a few posts, you can follow along on my chart!

Nashvegas, The Noog, and The V

On the road again! Yacht Rock returned after a long hiatus to Tennessee: Friday night in Nashville, and Saturday in Chattanooga. Capping off the weekend, we played an "unplugged" show at Venkman's in Atlanta.

Friday: The Nashville show was in the Cannery Ballroom, where we have played on numerous occasions in the past. Still a boomy, doglegged shaped room, though they did bring the stage slightly forward (no more columns in the middle of the stage), and they upgraded the lights (no more old-school heat lamp PAR cans).

It's tough to get a read on the Nashville crowd. Their enthusiasm would ebb and flow quite a lot from song to song. Kip also mentioned a couple of times that they talk throughout the entire show, making it difficult to hear the band clearly. I can't hear too much of the audience because of the in ears, but they seemed to enjoy seeing us again. 
850 people plus guests.

Saturday: After plenty of sleep and a leisurely lunch burrito, we rolled into Chatta…

Greg Lee and Sazerac

Thursday night was a double treat--the Greg Lee Band opened for Sazerac at Venkman's. Almost all of the same guys in each band (Ben Holst played bass on Greg's stuff). Greg's show went really well, and since we had the horn section (Rob Opitz, trumpet; Wes Funderburk, trombone; and Gary Paulo, bari sax) on call for Sazerac, we added them to the last four tunes of his set.

The second set was equally fun, with about fourteen more tunes, all with the horn section. Hearing what I'd written for the four of us was quite a treat! We've got quite a book of tunes now, and hopefully we can do gigs regularly enough that everybody can be comfortable remembering everything.

Only two bad things: 1. My tenor reed died early in the gig, and I had to kind of baby it through to the end; 2. Thirteen people in attendance for the night! Ouch!

Anyway...we had fun regardless of the crowd. Our next Sazerac show is February 28, 6-7 PM at The Vista Room.


No gigs this weekend, but I did have a cool recording session for my friends in Moontower, adding horns to one of their newest originals. It turned out great! I wrote a nifty horn arrangement, and Rob Opitz (trumpet) and Richard Sherrington (trombone) knocked it out pretty quickly. Yay! More projects like this, please!

Thursday Night Corporate

Yacht Rock played a Thursday night corporate gig for a big legal research firm. Mark Bencuya is on vacation, so we had Dustin Cotrell sub for him on keyboards (excellent work by him). Home by 10:35 PM. Piece of cake.
I had a couple of pictures from the gig, but I got a new phone today and wiped my other one clean before bringing them onto my computer. Deal with it.


I know, I know...waaaaaaaaaaay late on the blog. I haven't felt like it.

Friday: The annual Dark Side of the Moon show at the Variety Playhouse, and once again, we paired it with Abbey Road. We've played this stuff enough that it's no big deal to get it back up to performance level, so the rehearsals leading up to this were fairly painless. Also, we used Keisha Jackson and her daughter Courtney as extra vocalists on Dark Side, so my responsibility on half the gig just vanished! For the night, I was just one of the horn players.

We opened the show with Abbey Road. I thought it was a good performance and the crowd really responded well to our arrangements of some of the songs; hearing Zach's mix a week later was kind of stunning! My solos were much better than I recalled, our stellar horn section of Rob Opitz, trumpet, Richard Sherrington, trombone, and the occasional Greg Lee, alto sax, sounded really strong and in tune, and of course the rest of the band was slammin'…