Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Playing accordion at ng-conf’s first karaoke night

Joey deVilla plays accordion while a karaoke DJ points two microphones at him
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Here’s a photo of Yours Truly playing AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long at the first karaoke night for the ng-conf programming conference in Salt Lake City. They didn’t have mic stands on the first karaoke night, but Brady from Rock the Mic Karaoke helped out by playing “human mic stand.”

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

I wore it better

Elon Musk looking like a fatter sadder Hunter S. Thompson in a black cowboy hat and sunglasses
Why go with the “bro-ligarch…”
Joey deVilla posing with accordion and cowboy hat in front of the American Flag ighting display at Voodoo Donut in Austin.
…when you can have the “Joe-ligarch?” (Photo taken at Voodoo Doughnut on 6th Street, Austin, Saturday, July 30, 2022.)
Accordion, Instrument of the Gods Slice of Life

If you go out drinking the night before and call in sick the next day…

Poster: “If you go out drinking and call out of work the next day... YOU ARE SOFT. My generation showed up for work in the same clothes we had on last night with a wristband.”
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And hey, you have even less of an excuse if you can work from home.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods Tampa Bay

I’ll be playing at Clearwater’s Ukulele Fest in the District on Saturday, April 23rd!

"Ukulele Fest in the District" logo.

Two Saturdays from now, I’ll be the one of the distinctly non-ukelele players at the Ukulele Fest in the District, which will happen at the District on Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater on Saturday, April 23rd from noon and straight on through to the evening!

The event is free to attend — come on down to Clearwater and enjoy some music!

Afternoon jams

Ukulele Fest in the District acts: Spirit Band, Ukulele Russ, Chris Tracy, Roaming Busker, Connie Mason Project, Moon Dog, Tom Hood and the Tropical Suns, and Joey Davilla [sic] The Accordion Man
I’ve tried to get them to correct my name a couple of times, but I’m honored to be in the lineup!
I’ll be playing with Tom Hood and the Tropical Sons from noon to 3 on Cleveland Street, along with a lot of other fine bands:

  • Spirit Band
  • Ukulele Russ
  • Chris Tracy
  • Connie Mason project
  • Moon Dog

Just listen for the accordion!

Evening concert

The evening concert starts at 6:30 with Steve and Amanda Boisen

Steve and Amanda Boisen publicity photo.

…and The Birdwatchers:

The Birdwatchers publicity photo.

Come and play ukulele! "Strum and stroll" ukulele players playing on Cleveland Street in Downtown Clearwater.

You don’t have to be a spectator at this event — there are many opportunities for you to play the ukulele in a group, or learn how to play!

  • There’s a “Breakfast Jam” session at 11:30 where you can get started with your fellow ukulele players with some warm-up numbers.
  • At noon, the first “Strolling the District” walk will begin, where you’ll stroll through the District and make a few stops to play a number or two. If you have a ukulele and can play the chords C, Am, F, and G, you’ll be good to play along with most of the songs. Emily Stehle, Mike Stehle, and Cosmos Sagristano will lead this one.
  • There’ll also be a “Happy Hour Jam” session at 5:15. Once again, it’s a chance to warm up with your fellow uke players.
  • The second “Strolling the District” walk starts at 5:30, and once again, it’s a walk roll through the District with stops to play a number or two. The stroll winds up at the Peace Memorial Lawn where you’ll play the last medley at the pre-concert reception. Cosmo Sagistrano and Two Happy Ukers will lead this one.

Learn how play ukulele!

There will be three 45-minute “Introduction to the Ukulele” classes — they’ll be held at 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30. Bring your ukulele if you have one, and they’ll have some ukuleles on hand if you don’t.

Are you an experienced ukulele player looking to sharpen their skills? There’ll be a couple of classes for you:


Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Four years ago today…

Southwest Airlines jet landing
Photo via pxfuel. Tap to view the source.

Four years ago today, I was flying into Washington, DC to both attend and give presentations at RWDevCon, a conference for mobile app developers.

The winds were high that day, and as the pilot made their first attempt at a landing, the gusts hit the plane with enough force to make it obvious that we’d have to do a go-around.

On our second landing attempt, the gusts were still there. There was a nervous vibe throughout the cabin, and one of the flight attendants decided to lighten the mood by making an announcement over the PA system:

“If we need to do another go-around, I’m getting the accordion man to play us a song.”

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

What happened with the accordion on Saturday night

Photos of Anitra and Joey posing in front of a neone sign that reads “Odd Birds / It’s ok to be odd”.
It’s OK to be odd. Tap to view at full size.

To celebrate our seventh anniversary, we took a a Thursday-to-Sunday road trip to St. Augustine. We had a great time, mostly because we had each other for company, but also because we brought this lucky charm, which made for an interesting Saturday night:

Joey deVilla’s blue “Valenti” 120-bass accordion.

Celebrating another anniversary

We started the evening here — Sainte-George Restaurant:

Exterior of Sainte-George restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida.

It’s a place known for its European cuisine and its outdoor deck with a view of St. Augustine’s fortress, Castillo de San Marcos, and the Matanzas River.

Anitra, smiling with a glass of wine, while sitting at an outdoor table on Sainte-George restaurant’s deck.

We’d lucked out with our early reservation and were able to get an outdoor table with a view of the fort, river, and partygoers wandering (or stumbling) down the pedestrian-only St. George Street.

Joey, smiling with a glass of wine, while sitting at an outdoor table on Sainte-George restaurant’s deck.

“What do you want to do now?” Anitra asked after we finished dessert.

“I figure we should walk around and see where the night takes us,” I said.

With that, we got up and started making our way out of the restaurant. We was starting our way down the stairs when someone called out: “Hey, you with the accordion!”

Interior of Sainte-George restaurant’s upper floor, with arrows pointing to where I was and where they were.It turned out to be a table of eight, two of whom were celebrating their twentieth anniversary. We told them that we were celebrating our seventh, and it was congratulations all round.

“Here, let me play something for you,” I said, playing the first fitting song I could think of — Praise You by Fatboy Slim. It got applause not just from the table but the rest of the room, and the couple insisted on giving me a $20 bill by way of saying thanks.

“Looks like they covered the first round of drinks!” Anitra said as we walked out.

Bagging a discount

St. George Street in St. Augustine, at twilight.

We started walking southward on St. George Street and saw that Cotton St. Aug was still open.

“Do you want to take a look?” Anitra asked.

“I’d love to check out their aloha shirts.” I replied, and we walked in.

Interior of Cotton St. Aug store.

We were greeted by the manager, Bridget, and struck up a conversation. Of course, the question came up — “Could you play me a song, please?” — and I went with the crowd-pleaser, Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time, which she recorded on video with her phone.

Anuschka “Lighthouse” handbag.

After the performance, Anitra started checking out their sizable selection of Anuschka hand-painted leather handbags. She picked out the “Lighthouse” design pictured to the right. As Bridget rang up our purchase, she looked at us, said “for the entertainment”, and gave us a discount.

“We’re on a bit of a roll tonight,” I said. We continued on our way south.

Turning music into free drinks

Exterior of Casa Monica hotel.

As we walked past Casa Monica (pictured above), a guy came up to us and talked about a friend of his who played classic rock on the accordion and asked if I did the same. I answered by playing AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long.

A couple overheard the performance and asked if I could play it again so that they could capture it on video for their friend. I obliged, and they invited us inside to buy us a drink at Casa Monica’s lobby bar, the Cobalt Lounge: 

Casa Monica hotel’s lobby bar, the Cobalt Lounge.

We enjoyed our drinks, and after a day that included climbing to the top of St. Augustine Lighthouse, touring Flagler College and the Lightner Museum, and miles of walking, we figured that we’d quit while we were ahead and call it a night.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Playing accordion at the Glazer Children’s Museum Birthday Bash (September 25, 2021)

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This was a fun one: The Glazer Children’s Museum celebrated its 11th birthday with a big party at Curtis Hixon Park, located right by their front door in downtown Tampa. We’d already planned to attend when they suggested that I play some accordion numbers between acts on the big stage. I was honored by the request and was only too happy to play for a good party and a great cause!

Ever better, Captain Fear, mascot for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, joined me onstage! We had a grand old time.

I played:

  • Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)
  • What Do You Do with a Football Pirate
  • Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? (The Clash)