Filling in last minute at Taco Surf – 2/3/12

every so often we get a last minute call to perform in just a few hours.  this video is one of those last minute calls.

as you can see, we managed to have some fun!

having the ability to be flexible and create a fun atmosphere is something i take pride in……….especially when it is last minute.  we’re not Prima Donnas in this band.  we’re into working, performing, playing, and creating a fun memory for everyone to enjoy.

please let us know if we may be of service to you!


It’s Summer! Let us eat hot dogs and drink beer…

We’re back at The Hot Dog Shoppe this Sunday, 1:30p to 4:30p. It’s officially Summer, and we intend to enjoy the afternoon on the sunny patio with a hot dog and a beer, and some live steel drum music. If you’re looking for something to do, you know where to find us.

The Hot Dog Shoppe
5125 Candlewood
Lakewood, CA 90712
All ages.


Father’s Day at Taco Surf with Steel Parade!

looks like we will be doing our thing at Taco Surf for Father’s Day this Sunday.

actually, Taco Surf works well for such a celebration.  in my limited observations, i have noticed that many fathers do enjoy tacos, beers, margaritas, and live music.  i’m happy to be of service for such an occasion!  check out this vid from last year’s Father’s Day Celebration at Taco Surf:

we’ll be toasting to all the father’s.  they’ve earned it.  let’s honor Pops with a beer held high!

Taco Surf is located at 16281 Pacific Coast Highway, in Surfside, California.  some people call this area Sunset Beach, but it really is Surfside on one side of the street, and Sunset Beach on the other side.  the event is FREE, and all ages are welcome.  Steel Parade will perform from 4p-7p.

your comments are always encouraged and welcomed!



Hot Dogs and Beer this Sunday, June 10th, 2012!

it’s a strange path as a musician.

we end up performing just about everywhere.  concert halls, private homes, corporate buildings, yachts, rooftops……… name it, we’ve played there.

so it’s interesting to see where we end up each week.

this week we will play at The Hot Dog Shoppe in Lakewood, CA, which is the city next to our hometown of Long Beach, CA.  we’ve played here twice this year, and it’s been surprisingly fun.  it’s a relaxed setting on the patio with picnic tables an umbrellas.  this setting works well for our style of laid back music.

oh yea, there are hot dogs.  not just regular hot dogs, but well crafted “gourmet hot dogs” of every kind imaginable.  it’s difficult for me to say which hot dog is my favorite, because each dog i have eaten has been delicious.   with close to 100 gourmet hot dogs on the menu, there is surely a dog for each person to enjoy.  which brings me to the next thought…

as strange as this may sound, one of the reasons we agreed to perform here is because of the hot dogs.  there is so much negotiating that can sometimes happen when hiring our band.  location, time of performance, length of performance, number of musicians, reason for performance, budget, etc, are often the make or break reasons for each event.  while i do my best to make everything work for each potential event, there are factors that are more desirable than others.  in this case, gourmet hot dogs are part of the “desirable factors”.  funny.  it was never discussed while we were working out the details to perform here.  it was just understood, with out words.  plain and simple: the band likes to eat hot dogs.

well, most of us do.   Chris the Bass Player is a vegetarian, so he might enjoy the Vegetarian Dog that is offered at The Hot Dog Shoppe.  but Chris the Bass Player is out of town this weekend, so Joe the Percussionist will be Joe the Bass Player for this event (see our previous post on the importance of being versatile).  this means we will enjoy playing our music while eating gourmet hot dogs and drinking ice cold beer on tap.   not too bad of a way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon in SoCal.

finally, The Hot Dog Shoppe fits the criteria of “all ages” and not “21 and over only”.  why is this important?  simply put, i like the energy of children in a group setting.  it allows for the audience to be more of a family rather than a club.  as a general rule i attempt to perform at venues that allow for all ages.  it just feels better.  i guess you could say that we are a “family band”, but it goes deeper than that for me.  i’d like to think we are coming from service, and this particular service is to provide a space and atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

it’s not about the band.  it’s about the band serving the community.  you’ll never hear me say “support the band” or “support live music” or any other common catch phrase that our local art nazis proclaim at every turn.  nope.  i’d rather say “join the party!” and “we’re here for you to have fun!”  i’m weird that way.  so be it.

Steel Parade will perform on the patio this Sunday, June 10th, from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

The Hot Dog Shoppe is located at 5125 Candlewood, Lakewood, CA.

if you’re looking for something to do, you know where to find us.

as always, i welcome your comments.



First performance for 2012, and the importance of being versatile.

this is a “Video Souvenir” of our first performance for the New Year, 2012, at good ol’ Taco Surf in Surfside, CA.  they contacted us just a few days prior, and i asked the guys if they felt like playing on New Years Day and everyone was cool with it.

if you watch the video, you might notice that i play drum set, and other times i play steel drums.  this is because i feel it is important for all of our players to be able to perform on different instruments.  in this case, Gabe the Drummer plays steel drum as well, hence my need to back him up on drum set.

why do i feel this versatility is important?

i feel it is important for several different reasons.

the first being the awareness as a musician.  i played drum set for years, as i backed many singers, as well as instrumentalist.  the first time i stood in front of a band and sang and played, i was amazed at how important the drummer was to the song, the gig, the vibe.  it was a real eye opener, and i don’t think most drummers ever get the chance to stand in front of the drum set and perform.  this awareness helps the drummer be more sensitive to the singer, and to truly understand what it means to support and add to a musical situation, rather than detract………something many other musicians often complain about in regards to insensitive drummers.   when i stood in front of the band, i became aware of how the dynamics of the drummer will dictate the dynamics of the band.  this is important if a drummer would like to work and get paid……….what a concept, huh?

secondly, i have a policy in this band that everyone must be able to lead their own gig…………with out me present.   i do this so that nobody is absolutely dependent on another musician.  we can all work and gig, even if the leader is gone.  i have booked duos, trios, quartets and more with much success to hundreds of clients.  sometimes a client gets in a jam and desperately needs a band that evening.  in this scenario, i am able to send some players one way, and other players another way.  it all works out for the best, and i believe this practice to be one of the unique strengths of Steel Parade.  when i interview potential musicians, i ask “do you play any other instruments?”  i ask this question so that i may see the versatility of each musician.  in my 21 years as a full time musician, i have found being versatile is a necessary quality that helps pay the rent.

thirdly, i believe being a leader helps one become a good follower.  booking gigs, relaying information to the players, communicating with clients, directing the band, etc, are all issues a leader encounters and a follower does not.  it’s good for the follower to understand the leader.  this makes for a good team atmosphere, and everyone is on the same page in regards to creating a great performance for each event.  in this band, there really are no issues with leader vs follower.  as the leader in Steel Parade, i couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of musicians. they’re professional.  they’re good.  it’s cool.

Chris the Bass Player also sings, plays acoustic guitar, djembe, and various percussion.

Joe the Percussionist also sings, plays bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and double bass steel drums.

Gabe the Drummer also plays bass, acoustic guitar, djembe and various percussion, tenor steel drum, and double bass steel drums.

Max the Conga Player also sings, plays djembe and various percussion, drum set, and tenor steel drum.

each musician is an experienced band leader.

that’s how we do it around here.

your comments?



Thanx for the photo Jennifer!


This is a photo of us playing at Taco Surf a few weeks ago.

Thanx for the photo Jennifer!

Much appreciated.

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