Whew!

It’s been a while since I posted and there are quite a few reasons for that. I was in South Korea on a business trip and the jet lag coming home really hit me hard. I was home for a week but I really didn’t feel very well the entire time. I followed that up with another business trip to San Francisco for the Game Developer’s Conference. I got back from that on Saturday morning (the 30th) and had a gig in Leesburg, VA that night and then another one on Sunday afternoon. When that was all done, my family and I went on vacation to Ocean City, MD for a couple days. The end result is I didn’t get a whole lot else done and that definitely included the blog. I’ll try to get back on track starting with this post.

The two gigs were a lot of fun. I played with Technicolor Motor Home in Leesburg, VA at a club called the Tally Ho¬†(here is their FB page). The Tally Ho is a relatively new club that opened in an old movie theater in downtown Leesburg. I think it’s only been open for about 8 months but they are off to a great start. They’ve had (and continue to have) lots of great artists in to play. The staff is incredibly nice and everyone seems to know exactly what to do. The club has its own PA and lights as well so you can travel light to get there. We had a pretty decent crowd considering we were very new to the area and they more than made up for the number with their enthusiasm. We also had a great young singer/songwriter named Andrew Sales (can’t find his web presence anywhere right now) open up for us and he did an outstanding job. One very cool thing was the owner of the venue came up and talked to each of us at the end of the night. He’s a really nice guy and it was a very nice touch that was much appreciated. Here’s a video from the gig but the sound is a little weird because the camera was just picking up some monitors and not the mains:

Also of note for that gig was we had three subs for the gig: one of the guitars and both backup singers. The band still sounded great even though there were a couple of interesting moments. ūüôā It’s a tribute the musicality and professionalism of the whole band but especially to Andy Shriver (guitar), Amber Letters, and Jen Smith (vocals) as they were right there with little or no rehearsal time.

On Easter Sunday we did something a little different. One of the big concert venues in my area, The Recher Theatre,¬†is closing its doors as a concert venue and reopening as a dance club. It is a sad circumstance but many musicians and bands took the opportunity to pay tribute to a great club that had meant tons to our careers and to support charity at the same time. I think there were over 20 bands involved and the festivities started in the early afternoon and went all the way to closing. Many of the Technicolor folks were tied up with it being Easter and all so we created a miniature version of the band that we called Technicolor Mini Van for the event. It was Glenn Workman on keys and lead vocals, Ben Sherman on guitar, Mark St. Pierre on drums, Anthony Setola on bass, and me on tenor. We ended up going on early so we had a little bit more than the usual allotted time (30 minutes) to perform. We were able to cover a lot of ground and it was extra fun because we really opened the solo sections up quite a bit. I don’t know if there is any audio from our portion but I’ll try to find out. As I said, I’m very sad to see this hall go away but I’m thankful for all of the years we had to play there and for the great care they gave us. Special thanks to house sound man Keith Nachodsky for making everything sound great over the years and for spearheading this wonderful event.

 

 

A Fun Night

I had a really great night on Friday. ¬†I was playing with Technicolor Motor Home at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD. ¬†This band is one of my greatest pleasures right now. ¬†First off, it’s a great bunch of musicians and a tremendous bunch of people to hang out with. ¬†It’s incredibly gratifying for me to be included in such a wonderful group. ¬†Second, the band is a tribute to Steely Dan but rather than trying to go the whole “Beatlemania” route and dressing up in costumes, we are content to be a tribute to the band’s live concerts. ¬†That means we are doing arrangements that are in many cases more complex than what was done in the studio recordings and we’re also able to solo much more freely rather than trying to mimic whatever was played on the original recordings…not that there’s anything wrong with Tom Scott, Pete Christlieb, Wayne Shorter, and Chris Potter but Walt Weiskopf and Cornelius Bumpus really pushed the envelope in the live shows. ¬†Another great thing is that the fan reaction to the band has been phenomenal. ¬†Of course, we don’t get to play together too often since people would get sick of us doing the same music over and over. ¬†Also a group of people this talented and sought after in the area (and a large group at that) is very hard to schedule. ¬†So it goes without saying that we end up cherishing the time we do spend together.

Playing behind the "mastermind" Glenn Workman.

Playing behind the “mastermind” Glenn Workman.

One more thing, above and beyond all that, this band has probably the finest total package horn section I have ever had the pleasure to work with. ¬†The Retox Horns, Dave Makowiecki, Jim McFalls, and I seem to have a rather special bond when we play together as a section and our ability to have fun while hanging out is second to none. ¬†We originally started playing together in another band called Expensive Hobby and have been together as a section for at least 5 or 6 years but I think it’s been longer. ¬†Currently, we are the section in TMH as well as for a band called Crack the Sky (where we are called the Crack Pack Horns). ¬†We’ve also been together in the studio for a few very fun projects recently. ¬†I’ll have more on that as details become more available.

We tried to do our soundcheck as quickly as possible¬†because¬†some good buddies of ours were playing a block party type thing right down the street from us and we wanted to check them out. ¬†Rumba Club¬†is an outstanding group featuring some of the absolute best jazz and latin players in Maryland if not anywhere. ¬†The band is always a great musical experience to see and it’s never less than a blast of a hang. ¬†If you ever get the chance to see this band please make sure you do it. ¬†We only got to hear a couple songs but it was worth the effort and a couple of the guys came over to see our show when they were done which was very nice of them.

Food was provided by the club…I had a turkey burger. ¬†ūüôā ¬†In deep rotation in the dad van this week is the new Pat Metheny album called Unity. ¬†Pat Metheny and Chris Potter playing together…how can you pass that up?