The Day Trippers

If you’re free this weekend and want to check out some live music come on down to Heights Fest in Berkeley Heights, NJ ( My band, The Day Trippers is kicking off the show at 4:00. It’s a fitting name since it’s a one-show-only Beatles tribute band. I was recruited to sing and play keyboards by my friend Ken, a.k.a Dr. Pluto, who is the bass player in my jazz combo. Ken is old friends with John, lead guitarist and mastermind, and his drummer Rob, who both live in NJ. We had one rehearsal over the weekend, and we all hit it off and the music came together really well. I was a bit surprised cuz I was singing lead and some of those Paul songs are pretty high; I figured my voice would be shot by the end but it got better as we went on. I could even hit the high notes in Band on the Run.

And So It Goes

It’s August now. Been busy with camping trips, seeing more family and friends, and getting things done at home. Work is still pretty busy too. I just finished a little skunkworks demo for my boss’s boss. My boss dropped it on me as she was headed out the door for vacation. Nice. Along the way I learned angularjs. It’s been a while since I’ve been deep in the javascript world, but angularjs seems like a nice framework, very helpful in writing logical, organized code. Or maybe my demo just happened to be in the sweet spot of what angularjs is good at.

Lots of churn on the band front. Right after my last post on the topic, our bass player and my good friend Mike quit the group. We got a new bass player now, who I found quite by accident. My friend Charlie guitar asked me to sit in one evening with his jazz group. I was unable to commit, but didn’t want to say no because we were scheduled to rock rehearsal that night, but with no bass I wasn’t sure it was on. I hit reply to all instead of just replying to Charlie, and one of the other guys in the jazz band said he’d be into playing bass with a rock group. This really confused me at first cuz the guy, Rob, plays piano in the bebop group. So he came down and it turns out he can jam on bass. He plays a fretless, which is pretty interesting.

Now the challenge moves to building up a set, getting more tunes and getting them tight. Our guitarist Jeff favors basic 70’s guitar rock and is reluctant to learn new material outside of his comfort zone. I like some of that stuff, but too much is not very interesting on the piano. So I’m trying to broaden the palette and some Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, maybe some Rush and Genesis and some other piano-oriented songs, as well as some more funk, ska, soul, new wave, etc. Should be interesting to see where it goes.

Meanwhile I have several other irons in the fire. I answered an ad for a group looking for a keyboard player in a Ronnie James Dio tribute band. They have some gigs lined up, so that could be fun. I also got an invitation to sit in with a group doing Beatles songs at some fair in New Jersey in a couple weeks, singing and playing piano with Dr. Pluto on bass. And lastly I’m trying to get Buzzy Tonic Live off the ground. Asking around to line up musicians. More on that as it progresses.

New Recording: Your Dancing Shoes

Here’s a rough mix of my new song Your Dancing Shoes. My friend Lee was supposed to come an lay down a guitar part, but we were never able to work out a time, so I did the guitar part myself. I used the Stratocaster thru my Roland JC amp. I had never really dug the strat before but this turned out to be just the right sound for the song. My part is pretty much straightforward rhythm. I had envisioned having a riffing lead guitar toward the end of the song, but since I don’t really solo on guitar I did that on sax. I’m sure now if the song gets too saxophone-y by then, but it’s pretty slammin’. So yeah, go ahead and enjoy.

Next up: To Be a Rock