Saturday, November 23, 2019

Let Me Explain

What's been going on? Let me explain.

The day after Thanksgiving, Yacht Rock is playing a short set at Criminal Records in Atlanta--it's scheduled for thirty to forty-five minutes of music, and we're going to play several of our originals. Because there's a TON of keyboard stuff on our stuff, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were marathons of programming and practicing to get ready for Wednesday's rehearsal (plus, there was a fair amount of apathy which drug the whole process out). Anyway, Wednesday, big rehearsal on little sleep. We survived--Bencuya and I were, I think, pretty pleased that we were somehow able to cover pretty much everything that needed to be there without any sonic holes.

Wednesday night, I totally switched gears and practiced music for my Thursday big band gig. I worked through everything enough that I felt pretty comfortable. Luckily, I was playing the same book (tenor 1) that I played last month, so a big chunk of the music was somewhat familiar. At the end of the night, I went over the Yacht Rock music one more time to make sure it was still organized in my head.

Thursday was another rehearsal, and everything was a little bit more comfortable than the day before. I didn't even need to reference the charts that I'd written for any of it. Thursday night, I played with the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra at Venkman's.

Here's the gig. You'll probably want to skip to 39:45 unless you want to watch the high school band that opened for us.

So...Friday, Yacht Rock played at Venkman's.

I felt good, playing-wise. Played some pretty rippin' stuff.

Today was our first time using these new keyboard stand things. I think they achieve the desired look and they were plenty comfortable enough to use on the gig, but they are extremely frustrating for setup--figuring out how to route all the cables through it easily added fifteen minutes to building my keyboards. I'm sure it'll get easier once I figure out a system, but goddamnit. That didn't even include the time it takes to actually unfold and set the stand up. We're going to need a crew guy for this, or I might light mine on fire.

In other news, or first single has a remix by Jamie Lidell. Check it out.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Another Light Week

 Last week was light--just a Wednesday corporate gig in Atlanta at the Hyatt downtown.

I'll be honest...I know nothing about who hired us, what they do, what the event was for--nothing. We played ninety minutes, then packed up our gear and split. It was easy and mindless. The only musical moment that I can think of is that I quoted Wayne Shorter's Footprints in I Can't Go For That. I want to think that the audience really dug that.

Friday, I got called to play a gig, but Yacht Rock had a video/photo shoot thing, so I couldn't go.

Sunday, I had my church gig and played pretty comfortably. I didn't have much time to practice flute this week, so I was relieved that my face held up as well as it did on the gig.

This week has a couple of rehearsals, an Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra gig on Thursday night, and a Yacht Rock gig Friday night. Yee haw.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Not Much to Say About This

Friday: Yacht Rock played Bogart's in Cincinnati. Our third time, I think.

Duke on security!
All the usual stuff here. The gear came in, we set it up, soundcheck was quick and painless, and then I walked to an Indian place about a half mile away. The food is good (hadn't had Indian food in quite a while), but the styrofoam and plastic spoon hurt my soul.

We had plenty of downtime between soundcheck and the show (9 PM start), so I made use of it by warming up a bit more than usual. I felt pretty loose on the gig.

This room filled up quite nicely, and it was cool to see some familiar faces.

Saturday: Louisville. I like this room, too.

All the same things apply here--the gear came in, we set up and sound checked (this one also sounds good), went to eat (tonight at the Mediterranean place a few doors down), played a whole bunch of stuff on flute and saxophone in the name of warming up. We started at 9 PM.

Tonight was the first night where the response to us playing Africa was just kind of average. Has Africa's popularity crested? It's ok with me if it has.

Just like last night, the room was sixty or seventy percent full. Not packed, but no empty pockets on the floor. Another solid show, and some people made the trip from Cincy to see us two nights in a row.

Sunday: For the record, I redeemed myself on my church gig this weekend. My flute face was back to normal.

Monday, November 4, 2019


We successfully returned home from Charlotte on Monday at lunch time.

Tuesday morning, we were off again, this time to Miami for a corporate event. Matt Reed subbed on guitar for Mark Dannells (who was able to drag himself out of his South Carolina hotel room and make it back to Atlanta).

The gig was a major clunker. Very few attendees bothered to come back to the ballroom, so we played to maybe a dozen dudes (maybe one or two women, as well) who stood on the far side of the dance floor and watched us. This went on for two hours straight.

We flew home from Miami Wednesday morning.

Friday: Bonus church gig Friday for All Saints' Day, and my face was like James Friggin' Galway. Seriously, I wish my flute playing felt this easy every time--it makes it that much worse when I play like crap.

Saturday, we flew to Jacksonville to play a wedding for a couple of fans. An outdoor wedding in a tent on the beach...hmm...the weather worried me.

Nice gig, though! The weather was never an issue, the tent didn't sound bad, the crowd was great (the bride and groom are fans of the band and have seen us at multiple shows), and Georgia beat Florida (so Kip was happy).

Jason Nackers filled in on drums and Rob Henson played bass. I've been a fan of Rob's playing back to our college days twenty-five years ago, and he was awesome again tonight. Nackers was spot on with everything, and his new jacket looked very cool. Excellent sub work by both.

Sunday: Oh, hey shitty flute face. I was AWFUL at my church gig. My chops felt terrible and sounded bad until about halfway through the service, and it would've been cool if God had helped me in this time of need, but he didn't. Long tones in between the rehearsal and service did. A good nap would've helped even more.