Underneath the pile of leaves and above the dough, there are also prawns, tomato paste, and yangnyeom sauce (the sauce you put on Korean fried chicken, with a gochujang base, but then made sweeter and more garlic-y).
Wednesday is “open mic night” at Bayou Bistro, where anyone can hop onstage and play for the patrons. Since there’s no guarantee that anyone will bring an instrument, most open mic nights feature a “house band,” which in Bayou Bistro’s case is the Tropical Sons.
While Bayou Bistro is a short drive away for most of the other band members, it’s a fifty- to eighty-minute drive for Yours Truly, depending on the traffic. I can’t do it every Wednesday, but I try to play when I can.
Bayou Bistro is a charming down-home bar. If you drive past it, you might not even realize that it’s a bar — it’s hidden away by the water, and you could easily mistake it for a fishing shack. But it is indeed a bar, with friendly staff, and sandwiches that don’t disappoint (I’m fond of their mahi mahi, shrimp, and banh mi sandwiches).
As you might expect, a band called the “Tropical Sons” has a sort of uniform, and in our case, it’s aloha shirt and shorts with optional hat. For last night’s gig, I went with my “Disney Polynesian” shirt, which is one of my favorites. It’s a gift from my friends Natalie and Eldon, who somehow found it at a market in Ottawa:
We played from about 5:15 until 8:30, with a break to get a bite in the middle. Here’s what my view looked like at the start of the gig…
The fun starts at 5:30 and wraps up around 8:30. If you’re in the area and like seafood, beer, and great live music, come on over! It’s an open mic night, so if you feel like playing with us, bring your instrument!
Here are some scenes from the last time I played there, a few weeks ago:
Tampa Bay Ukulele Day takes place this Sunday in downtown Dunedin! It’s a day of workshops where you can hone your uke skills, a “strum and stroll” event where you can see scenic Dunedin while playing, and see local talent, including Tom Hood and the Tropical Suns, which includes Yours Truly on accordion!
There’s a lot going on, and it’s happening all day. I’ll be with Tom Hood and the Tropical Sons at Dunedin Brewery at the start, then moving to Pioneer Park later on in the day.
Improve your skills with these workshops hosted by The Flea Bitten Dawgs, a band who describe themselves as “ukulele jazz Americana!” The fee is $30 per workshop, or you can attend all three for $60:
Plays Well with Others (10:00 a.m.): This workshop is created to help a group of players playing the same instruments to sound exciting to an audience. The challenge is to become a group with individuals playing separate parts of a song. We’ll break into different groups, with each group learning their section of the arrangement, and we’ll then put it all together to create the song.
Finding Your Inner Chord (11:30 a.m.): This workshop is about think of chords as sounds instead of a form on the neck. You’ll learn how to make your songs interesting and how to get away from the habit of just strumming through a song. If you write songs, you’ll find a better voice for your chord progressions. While this is not a class about theory, we will touch on the basics of chord construction.
Percussion Workshop (1:00 p.m.): Explore how different beats give a song its character. Learn how beats move the music and engage better with the audience. We’ll start with basic rhythms and work into more complex ones. Our goal is to move away from strumming four beats to a measure and dig into the structure of the song. While this is a percussion workshop, you can use this knowledge with any instrument you play. We recommend you bring a shaker, or small hand drum, but tapping on your ukulele will work. This workshop comes with take-home lesson sheets.
Their song list crosses ten decades of music. They mix originals in with the covers they love. One of Thom’s songs was recorded by Supe Granda of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and two of David’s songs were recorded by the group for the Narrow Boat Sessions, Great Britain’s premier folk music organization. PBS produced a segment of Thom’s involvement with the ukulele which featured The Flea Bitten Dawgs.
You can buy raffle tickets — $5 each or 5 for $20 — to win one of the following:
The whole movie is Reaganism in a nutshell. The heroes are scrappy, risk-taking entrepreneurs who have been rejected by elitist academia, are hounded by meddling government regulators, and ultimately have to come to the rescue of a helpless government. They prevail in the end against a world-destroying androgyne by breaking their *own* workplace safety rules (“never cross the streams”).