Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tonight in Sarasota: 3/26/16

Oh, my, my, tonight is rich with sure things. You might have to do some club-hopping to catch it all:
  • 5PM - Jah Movement Reggae Band at the Five O'Clock Club on Hillview Street in Southside Village
  • 8-11PM - Ari and the Alibis at The Blue Rooster on 4th Avenue, east of Lemon Avenue in the Rosemary District
  • 7-11PM - Joey Lavallee and Bain Beakley at Marina Jack's, Sarasota Bayfront
  • 8PM - Lisa Ridings Band at Mattison's City Grille, Lemon Avenue & Main Street, downtown Sarasota
For complete daily live music listings, visit

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Art of the Looper

Dating back to the Great Recession, many local live music venues in Sarasota--restaurants and bars--favor single-player musical performances, in order to minimize the cost of hiring talent. 

In order to make up for the lack of band members at their gigs, soloists have added the "looper" machine to their setup. This allows them to record the various complimentary sounds that would have been provided by bass guitar, drums, vocal harmonies, and even horns. As the musician starts a song, he/she records each "other instrument" sequentially on the looper, layering the sounds required for that particular tune. The looper only keeps one song in memory, then is cleared before recording the next song.

Purists can deride the simple utility of this machine-based system, but when I see the looper in action, I'm impressed by the on-the-fly orchestral arranging skill of the performer. The musician has to hear each instrument's note-flow in his/her head, then has to know how to lay down each track so that it will cohere with the overall arrangement. 

In the Sarasota live music scene, some of the most talented looper arrangers, in my opinion, include:
  • Andres Colin - Not only does he loop a wide array of sophisticated instrumental sounds with his synthesizer guitar, he sings in multiple languages.
  • Tommy D (Doerr) - He dutifully introduces his "band", including the drummer and bass player. Creates a very danceable sound with selective use of the looper.
  • Bain Beakley - His arrangements, and the lead riffs he plays on top of them, have a jazz complexity that adds dimension to a clear musical thru-line.
  • Frankie Lombardi - King of the long lead guitar riff, he first layers drum, bass, and harmonic looper sounds that give him a solid foundation for his intricate instrumental breaks.
Next time you're out enjoying the hard-working solo musician onstage, with only the looper for backup, notice the impressive show-design process that's going on in front of you. And maybe throw a little extra tip money into the cup to compensate all the "band members" that he/she is creating for your listening amazement!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tonight in Sarasota: 3/19/16

  • 7PM - Mumbo Jumbo at JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe, Old Packinghouse Road (betw. Palmer Rd and Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota)
  • 8PM - Lisa Ridings Band at Mattison's City Grille, Main Street  & Lemon Ave, downtown Sarasota
For complete daily listings, visit

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tonight in Sarasota: 3/11/16

6PM - The Instigators at the Five O'Clock Club, Hillview Street, Southside Village - rare appearance, don't miss this show, great reggae
7-10PM - Seamus McCarthy Band at J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe, Old Packinghouse Road

For complete daily listings, visit

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tonight in Sarasota: 3/10/16

3-6PM - Frankie Lombardi at Hub Baha Grill, Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key
6-10PM - Kettle of Fish at Marina Jack's, Sarasota Bayfront
7-10PM - The Venturas at Mattison's City Grille, Main Street & Lemon Avenue, downtown Sarasota

For complete daily listings, visit