Happy New Year, everybody!
On this first blog of 2015, The WannaBeatles face an exciting period of activity, including a trip to Florida in February to perform three concerts with the South Florida Symphony.
Those dates comprise a homecoming for WannaBeatle David, who attended middle and high school in Key West, where his fellow band mate Sebrina Alfonso grew up to be the conductor of the South Florida Symphony.
For much of the last few months, David has been writing, producing and arranging a song to capture his feelings for his home town, "Come To Key West," which will soon be released as a new WannaBeatles video as well.
In fact, just yesterday, David was fine tuning the mix with Gary Dales, our engineer.
David and Gary mixing, at Dennis's WannaBeatles studio
Here's an image you're likely to see
when the video is released.
We look forward to a great 2015, and we also look back over a very eventful 2014. We remember this time a year ago, when we were anticipating our first visit to New York and a big show at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville on February 9, celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first appearing on Ed Sullivan.
The trip to New York was our first time on national television, and the Omni show was totally packed with fans, and simulcast over the internet, thanks to the promotional efforts of Hippie Radio, who brought along the American Roots production staff to handle the video.
We had a great year with Hippie Radio, from playing their 2013 Christmas party, appearing on the air several times, helping launch a new Beatles-themed weekly show, and appearing at their fall event, "Groovin' and Cruisin.'" That's the subject of this blog.
On October 18, Hippie Radio sponsored an all-day music party at Fontanel, with six local bands who specialize in sixties and seventies music playing continuously on one stage.
Here's the poster advertising the event:
The event was a celebration of the music that Hippie Radio plays, and the sense of community among people who love that music. It has become more popular lately as several Nashville bands have formed dedicated to playing songs from the sixties and seventies. Some, like World Turning, who do the songs of Fleetwood Mac, focus on one particular band, while others, like Vinyl Radio, cover a wide variety of rock artists.
The event was called "Groovin' and Cruisin'" because Hippie Radio also caters to an audience of car buffs, and they were invited to Fontanel to show off their classic cars.
The WannaBeatles have become friends with many of the other musicians in these other bands. We're all fans of the same music, and fans of the other bands. Among friends also playing at Groovin' and Cruisin' were Gary Talley, with whom we had played a benefit a few weeks previously (see Bloggin' Bryan Oct. 7, 2014 "La Hacienda"), John Foster, Ronnie Kimball, and Tim Buppert.
John Foster, a super talented guitarist and singer, opened for us at the Omni show back in February. He's toured with the Beach Boys and released several solo CDs, and has played plenty of Beatles songs as a member of Fab. In addition to playing in The Consoulers, he also started the Fleetwood Mac tribute band World Turning, which meant he was performing in two bands that afternoon.
Likewise, TIm Buppert, who's been playing drums and singing with Fab, plays with two other bands: The Consoulers and Vinyl Radio. Ronnie Kimball, like Tim, known in Nashville as a studio veteran, revived his bass chops to form Vinyl Radio with Tim, Chip Martin and Ron Wallace.
And so, in addition to playing this fun event, we had the chance to show up early and hear a bunch of great bands. Unfortunately, we didn't get there early enough to hear Gary Talley's band, or World Turning, or The Bicho Brothers.
When we arrived, The Consoulers were playing. Jim Hoke, one of Nashville's finest sax players and creative band leaders (Aqua Velvet) was sitting in on sax.
Jim Hoke on sax, Joel Atkins on percussion
Here's Tim Buppert on drums.
Of course, there were classic cars.
It was great to see our friends, like "Hippie Barb," the general manager of Hippie Radio, who booked us as the closing act for the event.
Hippie Barb, having a good time and getting into the spirit of it
The American Roots Radio truck is the same one which had provided the video production when we teamed up with Hippie Radio earlier in the year at the Omni Hotel.
And of course, Richard Courtney, who this year has grown from being not only a Beatles author ("Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles") but a Beatles radio show host ("From Me To You," on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am on Hippie Radio) was there with his twins.
Richard Courtney with his twins
Meanwhile The Consoulers were rocking'.
John Foster and Don Barrette onstage
Joel Atkins on percussion
side view of Consoulers
I got to hug John Foster backstage.
Sorry about the closed eyes, John. I still haven't learned to use that "burst shot" feature on my cell phone.
Here's another shot of the audience, including Barb, Richard Courtney, and two members of Vinyl Radio.
Hippie Barb, Richard Courtney among crowd at event
After The Consoulers came Vinyl Radio, introduced by Hippie Radio's Whit Hubner, in his psychedelic tee shirt.
Ronnie K shows his tattoo as Vinyl Radio gets announced
Here's Chip Martin, all dressed up in sixties flavored coat & shades.
Here they are all lined up, rockin'.
Chip, Ron & Ronnie
Ron and Ronnie
Chip, Ron and Ronnie again
We enjoyed watching them from backstage.
Vinyl Radio backstage
Getting six bands on and off stage quickly meant thinking strategically about moving gear.
Here's my stuff, and Dennis's, parked in the gravel, right behind the stage, ready to be moved quickly after Vinyl Radio's show.
Our friend Richard Courtney gave us a customized announcement to introduce out set.
Naturally, Bloggin' Bryan was busy playing during the WannaBeatles set, but The Good Yoko used my cell phone to capture some folks dancing while we played.
Multicolored dancers, with Sally B in the middle,
while WannaBeatles play
Hippie Radio's founder Tony was there, along with the entire staff, who gathered onstage to say a final goodbye at the end of the day.
Chris Lucky at the mic with Hippie Radio staff onstage
It was a very fun day, filled with music. We're happy to be friends with Hippie Radio, and all the other Nashville bands having a good time playing such fun music.
Bloggin' Bryan 6January 2015