Monday, June 29, 2009

Clark County Public Library Gig Set For 7/6/09

I'm looking forward to playing sax and clarinet at the Clark County Public Library in Winchester, Kentucky, on Monday, July 6, 2009. They have asked that I play some tunes and share several stories of experiences encountered while working as a professional musician.


I'm not sure yet of the tunes or the stories I will choose to include in my presentation. Since the event will be held in a library, I'll certainly play very softly and keep my voice to a whisper. I can still remember hearing Mrs. Smart's "Shhhhhhhhhhh's" in the Woodford County High School Library.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Video Of Dining Experience At Caproni's Restaurant

The food, the river, the music, the train, the service...all of these are reasons why Caproni's Restaurant is a Kentucky favorite. During my first music set last night, I used my iPhone to make a short video when the first train went by. Click here to view the video.

It was great seeing so many friends later in the evening at the restaurant. I look forward to every gig at Caproni's.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fun Gig At Caproni's Restaurant

I'm having a good time at my gig tonight. Patrons are enjoying dinner
and my music. As a bonus, two trains have passed by already. I took this photo on my new iPhone and am mobile uploading this blog entry while on my break.!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Colonel's Choice Concert In The Park

Michelle was playing softball tonight at Irvine McDowell Park. From my seat at the ball field, I heard the sweet sound of Dad's trombone. Though I couldn't see the band and didn't know he was gigging tonight, I knew immediately that it was Dad playing. I walked up the hill to check out the band and saw that it was Colonel's Choice. Dad blew trombone, David "Hot Lips" Hummel was on trumpet, Big Bill McGinnis played clarinet and sax, Mean Gene Witt handled keys, Bob Hackett was on bass, and Rockin' Ron Salmon laid down the beat on drums.

I had my new iPhone with me and decided to try out the video recorder that is included on the phone. I uploaded the two videos from the park and they were on You Tube by the time I arrived home. How neat is that?

Here are the links to view:

Video #1 - Dixieland

Video #2 - Tuxedo Junction

I made it back to the game in the second inning and enjoyed watching Michelle play. Her team faced one of the best pitchers in the league tonight. Michelle did a great job hitting each time she came to the plate.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Remembering Mike Pugh

My friend Mike Pugh passed away last week at age 56. I'll miss him greatly.

I first met Mike on a gig years ago with The Sensations. He subbed for our regular keyboard player and instantly became one of my favorite people. He was a fine musician, businessman, and a very funny and clever individual.

On that first night we met, he told me about his passion for amateur radio (KA4MKG). The energy and excitement in his voice when telling me stories about the fun he experienced with amateur radio peaked my interest in the subject. I called him a few days later to find out how I could become a ham. He supplied me with support and the information needed to study and pass the Federal Communications Commission exam for amateur radio licensing.

I took my exam about a month later in Northern Kentucky. It was graded immediately afterwards. I remember the thrill I experienced when learning that I had successfully passed the test. The first person I called with the good news was Mike. He congratulated me and offered to drive to R & L Electronics in Hamilton, Ohio, that weekend to help me pick out a radio.

Mike and I also played music together as a duo or in a trio setting. Though we did not play together as much as we would have liked (for years he played every weekend as part of the Kentucky Jamboree and I played my solo restaurant gigs), we surely enjoyed the times we were able to play together. One of the fun gigs we played was the annual Kentucky Derby breakfast at Shirley Cunningham's home in Georgetown, KY. Vocalist Kyle Fugate joined us that day to perform for a large crowd. Mike had heard Kyle sing at the Kentucky Jamboree during an open microphone night, liked her voice, and asked her to join us for the Derby gig. Former UK Coach Tubby Smith was in attendance and told us how much he enjoyed the music. I know that Mike appreciated the compliment as much as Kyle and I did.

One of the things Mike liked best was getting friends together. Many weekday mornings he would talk about lunch plans in his ham radio transmissions. There were times when five or ten hams would hear the conversation and show up at the restaurant mentioned. Though I wasn't able to join the lunch group as much as I would have liked, it sure was fun when I did. Mike had a great sense of humor, and decided to help form a club made up of the folks meeting for lunch. He named the club "Fayette Amateur Radio Transmitting Society", also known as "FARTS".

I joined with several of Mike's musician friends tonight and played at the memorial service. It was a beautiful service that allowed everyone to remember the exceptional life of Mike. People shared humorous and engaging stories about their experiences with him.

I'll miss talking with Mike on the radio. I'll miss playing music with him. I'll miss seeing him at lunch meetings. Mike was a great person and everyone who knew him was touched by his kindness and friendship. He is survived by his wonderful wife Jeanie (KB8QLC).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Fun At Franky & Annette's Resort Style Restaurant

The rain held off long enough so that everyone had a nice time at Franky & Annette's at The Lansdowne Club last night. It was fun playing for the nice crowd as they enjoyed dinner on the patio. Read more about the menu in Business Lexington.

I played a variety of music, including songs made popular by Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Diana Krall, Patsy Cline, Chicago, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Buffett, and Spyro Gyra. The relaxed patio atmosphere also provides me an ideal opportunity for to play some music with beach and island flavor. I played some tunes on my EWI using sounds of the marimba and steel pan drums.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Upcoming Gigs At Franky & Annette's At The Signature Club Of Lansdowne

I'll be working some this summer, starting tonight, on the patio at Franky & Annette's at The Signature Club of Lansdowne. Tonight's show starts at 5:30. I am greatly looking forward to these gigs and will write more about them on future blog entries. I look forward to seeing lots of my friends at this beautiful venue. Many consider the patio to be the best in Lexington.