my life as a professional musician: saxophone, flute, clarinet, and EWI
Blind Willie's Again
Scott Glazer invited me to once again play with his group Mojo Dojo at Blind Willie's tonight. The band also included Mike Ewbank on keyboard, Nick Johnson on guitar, Darren Stanley on drums, and John Sandfort on saxophone. We read some new charts (two I remember off the top of my head: Wah Wah by George Harrison and Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan), which left us chuckling amidst the ensuing chaos. Not a big crowd tonight (at the beginning and end of the night, we outnumbered them), so very few got to see us fake our way through Cream's White Room, with Scott trying to read the lyrics off a phone that wouldn't stay open. Oops!
Anyway, Sandfort killed me again. One of the best sax players in Atlanta. Maaaaaaaaannnn...I was doing my best to keep up with these guys.
Yacht Rock (plus special guest Peter Stroud) played a show of all Led Zeppelin and The Who last night at the Variety Playhouse. As you might imagine, not much for me to do--of the twenty-six songs, I played on nine (2 background vocals, 2 tambourine part, 2 keyboard parts, 2 horn parts, and 1 cowbell part). Lotta hanging around...
I watched a few songs from the floor...
Watched a few from the balcony...
Hung out in the green room...
Here's my chart for the beginning of Stairway to Heaven. I've seen a few others on the internet, and I don't agree with them.
All of the moving stuff (particularly the entire second line) was difficult to play smoothly with the sustain pedal (but not overlap anything). Also, I made the mistake of not hearing my part against the acoustic guitar at soundcheck--at the gig, I had to back my volume way down so I could hear (and stay in time) with Monkeyboy.
Quick load out from this one. I was home by 12:15 AM.
Saturday: I spent last week on vacation (where the most musical thing I did was to quietly mock the Jamaican guitar player on the beach who seemed to know only three chords; he could play your favorite song, but it would always end up sounding like a reggae version of La Bamba). I left the airport and headed directly to my gig for load in (with a quick lunch pitstop). Wouldn't you know it--another private Yacht Rock gig!
Not much to report on this one; we butchered ninety seconds of Fly Me to the Moon, some guy sat in with us and clawed his way through Only the Good Die Young, and at some point early in the second set, most of the groomsmen stripped to the waist and finished the evening shirtless. I mean, this wasn't like the last five minutes of the reception--it was almost an hour of guys bopping around like they were really excited for P.E.
Sunday: Sazerac! We got a slot on Sunday night's Park Tavern concert series. Love the band, love the…
What a crappy weekend for Daylight Savings Time! We made it to our hotel in LA around 2 AM, which instantly became 3 AM (spring forward!), and then we were out the door back towards Las Vegas at 8 AM. Ouch.
This week's Vegas gig was a corporate event at Mandalay Bay. It's our fourth year playing this event, though the format has changed from an "American Idol" style show with seven or eight featured songs to more of a "Tonight Show" band thing, playing short snippets of songs (around fifty-five in total) to cover the transitions between speakers, awards, and video presentations.
We made it back to Vegas around lunchtime, ate, set up, and sat around at a rehearsal for a few hours. Very little music was made. Thank god for the mindlessness of smart phones. We were released around 7 PM.
Previously, we've always stayed at Mandalay Bay, but this year our hotel rooms were next door in the Luxor. I was curious to see what rooms would look like inside the pyra…