Just got back from my gig tonight at the Villages...we backed up the great Lesley Gore, and did a half hour of our own stuff. Sold out two 700-seat shows! OK, for you kids out there, Lesley Gore did the original version of that new song Amy Winehouse has..."It's My Party." She also had a buttload of other hits like "You Don't Own Me" and "Maybe I Know." Probably 9 or 10 big hits of the early and mid 60's. She also gave Quincy Jones his first hits as a producer. Lesley requires a 4-pc horn section, so we figure why let this horn section go to waste? Why not use them for our stuff, too? We decided on a list on Saturday, flew home that day, and i wrote 4-pc horn charts for 5 of our tunes that night, plus i had two that i needed to add a couple horns to. We did stuff like "Twistin' The Night Away," "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," and "Sweet Home Chicago" among others. We had 4 of the very best guys in town, so we put them to work...seems like i did all the work writing those damn charts, though And if that wasn't enough, we recently had a personnel change and brought in a new singer and guitarist/singer, and this was the first gig we did at the big theater there with the new guys. Our new singer used to sing lead with the (real) Carl Gardner Coasters for the last 12 years, and he's doing a lot of really cool R&B stuff we weren't able to do before. Man, it was a lot of work...we did two 85-minute shows and a full rehearsal of everything, but I never had a day go by so quickly and smoothly. The horns were absolutely spot on and sight read everything like they played it all their lives. And Lesley's got a couple songs that nobody can sight read right the first time, but these guys nailed it. Best horn section I've ever worked with. Our portion of the show got three standing ovations each show. Oh, and I sang two songs tonight, too! And best of all, I didn't have any mistakes in my charts! I'll tell you, there is nothing like hearing a great horn section and not have any mistakes in your charts the first time you use them! We've worked occasionally with Lesley over the past 10 or 12 years, usually just doing 5 or 6 songs on Bowzer shows. But this is the first long form show we've done with her, and there were a lot of songs we've never done before. To make matters worse, she always brings a conductor who plays piano, guides us through the songs and cues us on background vocals, and she didn't this time. She just sent charts and a CD of most of the show. Lesley can be really tough on bands. She's totally no-BS when it comes to business. It's her show and you better make it happen or you'll get it. But she's always really liked us and I guess we've got her trust now. That's pretty big in our oldies circles. That's like a major stamp of approval. Anyway, I hate to brag, except now and then I like it. Tonight was one of those nights where I liked it. I'm supposed to be getting a board tape, so maybe I'll upload a couple choice bits. Hopefully our girl group harmony chops will withstand closer scrutiny. We weren't dead-on perfect with everything, but it really felt good while we were doing it. Now and then you get one of those gigs where everything converges to work in your favor. Let's hope the board tape doesn't prove me wrong.