July 14th, 2015

Monaco Journal July 13: Groceries, Over-loud kick drum, Steve Cropper & Eddie Floyd

Well, friends, I am in Monaco until the middle of August. I’m back for a 2nd year, performing in the house band of the Monte-Carlo Summer Sporting Festival. We’ll be opening for an unbelievable slew of artists like: Santana, Sting, George Benson, George Ezra, Anastacia, Enrique Iglesias and more! I’ll be chronicling the adventures here when I can! The band is: me (guitar), Justin Caldwell (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), Courtney Jaye (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), Ian Miller (keyboards), Taylor Jones (bass) and Ross McReynolds (drums, percussion). Follow me on Instagram or Twitter for more timely posts.

July 13: Groceries, Over-loud kick drum, Steve Cropper & Eddie Floyd

You would think that the day after meeting royalty and opening for Robbie Williams would be a step down, but not so much.

It started innocently enough with a grocery trip to replenish the mostly-working refrigerator and get copious amounts of coffee. There was less drama at the register this time since I had smaller bills. (They really really really don’t like breaking bills larger than 5 here.)

At the venue, we had dinner and started the show. There was some sort of cake-related event where there were presentations and such, so the timing was a little different, but otherwise things went well. At one point during our set, we were told that the kick drum was too loud which is an interesting note. “Can’t they just turn it down?” offered Ross. Ol' “Thunderfoot” McReynolds just doesn’t know the power he wields, I guess. They rolled us off on the moving stage to make room for another brief presentation before we were due to come back on to play a few more songs.

During this brief break, we got to meet absolute musical legends Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd. If you’re not sure who those guys are, Eddie Floyd is an incredible singer responsible for the song “Knock On Wood” which he actually wrote with Cropper. Steve Cropper is a giant of a guitarist responsible for tons of iconic rhythm parts in countless Stax tunes along with the rest of Booker T and the MGs. He’s probably best known though as one of the guitarists for the Blues Brothers Band.

That’s why they are in Monaco, for a guest spot in the Blues Brothers show that is here this week. I kept my cool as we chatted. It’s always good to have Taylor around because he actually asks to take pictures instead of pretending like he’s not geeking out like I was trying to do.

After meeting those guys we had to go back on for a few minutes which was a little weird (when they opened the curtains again to reveal the same band as before I could see visible confusion on the guests' faces, but they quickly returned to polite indifference) but it went well.

The Blues Brothers show is cool. Filled with all my favorite tunes, good singers, a good band, dancers, the works. I’m excited to watch it again at the end of the week to see how the show has morphed!