Another beautiful day in Hawai'i Nei, with a beautiful breeze coming down the Ko'olau range and pushing some fluffies lazily through the sky. Days like this are when I wish I worked the outdoor gigs that used to make up the majority of my schedule when I lived in South Florida...but of course not actually IN Florida...same gigs, just in Hawai'i. Most of my gigs back then were of the "tiki bar" variety, feeding a constant diet of Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Bob Marley, CS&N and the ilk to outdoorsy folks looking to escape the winters of the north, or those who had permanently escaped and lived down there. I moved to South Florida in 1997 when I left the employ of Dolphin/Premier Cruise Lines and went into music full time. I spent an interesting seven or so years there, playing to a lot of people, meeting and playing with great musicians and always fearing for my life when I drove on the highway at night..or the daytime for that matter. Here are a few pics from "back in the day":
This is how I could usually be found in SoFla...on a small stage, with the tip jar out, and Bruce Freeland playing bass with me. Bruce is one of the best musicians I know, and he was in my large band as well as being at many of my other gigs. We did a ton of work together and had a million laughs...and almost as many beers. This is from our regular Monday gig at the Aruba Beach Cafe.
Bruce and me again at a city concert from Cooper City in Florida. This was with my band, Dave Soreff and the Coral Reef Revue. We started as a tribute band to Jimmy Buffett but became a tropical party band in the end...here is our promo video that got sent to the agents around the country...we used to do a lot of corporate work around the country...Colorado, Atlantic City, Puerto Rico...lots of air miles and lots of fun. This was back in 1998...many pounds ago...the core of the band stayed, but we ended up with a different guitarist and percussionist...the wonderful Fred Weng in the video moved over to percussion and was replaced by the amazing Eddie Saez.
Here is a shot of us in Atlantic City, playing at Trump Marina...this features two of my closest friends, Robert and Mandy France. They were at the beginning of the band, all during the middle and at the end as well. Great performers and even better friends. Many a night was spent with them over sake and sushi.
Lastly is a picture of the late amazingly great Carlos Benthien. We were so lucky to have Carlos in the band for a little while. He played with many of the greats and actually played Woodstock with Santana. He brought a whole new groove to the band...he passed away a while ago from cancer...he is still missed by anyone who knew him or played with him.
Anyway, just a few pictures from the past...I will cull through the archives in the coming days and see what else I can find.
So, like many guitar players, I have played, bought, sold, traded, trashed, lost, modified countless instruments over the years. My very very very first guitar was a Madeira acoustic guitar (a less expensive division of Guild) and I have played a variety since, ranging from Alvarez to Fender to Guild to Carvin to Godin to Rickenbacker to Gibson to Ovation to Breedlove to...well, name it and I have probably played it. (This of course does not include my real love...steel guitar) Guitarists are strange in that we very rarely find one instrument that stays with us for a loooooooooooong time. There are exceptions of course, but we are mostly looking out for the next great instrument. Now and then it comes in handy...let me explain. In trying to lighten my load, I went through many of the instruments I owned last year and tried to sell or give away or just plain divest myself of many of them. One in particular never suited me, and it was this one:
I got this one to play in the Wheelhouse on the Dawn Princess, and it just never looked or felt right on stage. Into storage it went until last year when I brought it into Dan's Guitars in Honolulu, who do all the work on my steel guitars. I thought they might take it in and sell it on spec, and I guess most everyone else felt the same way as I did, and it stayed unsold...until today, sort of. I brought in my steel guitar for some work...a double neck 8 string requires a lot of patience to change all the stings...and they did some other work as well...and I thought I would throw out an idea to the owner. Straight up trade...services for the guitar...bingo! The barter system is alive and well. Mahalos to Dan and the guys at the store for doing a rush job on the steel...it plays great once again and makes me oh so happy! It got me to thinking that maybe we as a society should look a little deeper into the barter system. What do I need? Do I have something that you need? A service, an item...something I have been keeping in the garage for years that will never see the light of day again? Can you paint my house if I play your daughters wedding?
Nice pic eh? A very quaint way of looking at the barter system.
So we are now parked at beautiful Pier 2 in Honolulu and Leialoha and I are getting ready to go play Sailaway. there have been some big changes on board the Golden in regards to entertainment, and in my opinion, for the better. This means more work for us but truth be told, a better product for the passengers. So, we will be playing our tunes under the Honolulu stars as we sail off to our next stop: