Who all's in the band?
It's seven members. Me. Billy Brimblecom on drums, who's kind of the fearless leader of the thing. Billy's wife, Allison Brimblecom, sings. Chuck Whittington plays keyboard. J.D. Warnock. Greg LaFollette. And T.J. Fletcher plays bass.
What's the set list looking like?
We'll start around 10 p.m. and probably do about 25 songs, straight through, no intermission. We'll be playing all the favorites, plus I think four new tunes, to keep things interesting.
What tend to be the crowd favorites?
Hall and Oates always goes over well. People always like the Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald. The ones where McDonald sings backup especially -- Steely Dan's "Peg," Christopher Cross' "Ride Like the Wind." Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good." "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." And I hate to say it, because it's probably the dumbest song we do, but people go nuts over the "Pina Colada" song.
What was your point of entry with this type of music?
I'm the oldest guy in the band, so I grew up with this stuff. I had the "What a Fool Believes" 45. I had the "I'm Alright" 45. That stuff just hits my sweet spot. I get to relive my childhood memories when I play those songs. But as a musician, I love the musicianship of so many of these songs. A lot of the songs we play were made when studio musicianship was at its pinnacle. The very best musicians in the world were playing on these records and trying to outdo each other. And I think punk was a necessary reaction to that, but it's worthwhile to appreciate the level of skill that went into a lot of what people call "yacht rock." I mean, a lot of these songs are really hard to play. But you wouldn't know it because of how clean they sound. To me, taking technical proficiency and infusing it into a pop song is a tough trick to pull off.
What are the hardest songs to play?
"Peg" was really tough to learn. It has a really tricky drum pattern, and the chords and keyboard and guitar are just plain weird -- they're chords you just never ever hear anywhere else. Plus, everybody in the band has different ideas of how to play it. The harmonies are also really tight, which makes it hard to sing while playing. Thankfully I sing lead on "Peg."
It can also be challenging to nail the "X" factor of some of these songs. If you do Bee Gees, you have to mimic Gibb's voice a little bit. Same with McDonald. It's a challenge to figure out the degree to which you mimic without sounding ridiculous.