Category Archives: piano bar

Company Event Entertainment Just Got Easier

So I want to talk about all the company event entertainment coming up that we have on tap for everyone, now that I know you all like my new logo,

As you know the Holiday season is upon us. If you’re not sure, then just turn on your TV or your radio> It’s okay. It’s safe to do so now that the elections are over and done with. When you do, you will see a semblance of Christmas ads already in full swing. I guess advertisers are getting a good rate now that the politicians are out of the way.

company event entertainment with live music and comedy

Company Event Entertainment

We have a wide variety of live music acts available for your company Christmas party again this year. Most importantly — it is very affordable when you go with one of the great piano players we have on board. Namely Me. Dan Gillogly. Okay … so it ain’t bragging if you can do it. But as much fun as you guys have, it is more fun for me. I’d love to hear from you so we can get things rolling.

We had another fantastic night of entertainment last Saturday night. People came together singing songs that everyone knew the words to and laughing along with all the improvised comedy and having a great time listening to live music as their entertainment.

Your party planning never got easier. Just pick up the phone and call Amber at +1 773-527-7417. We may still have your date available. It’s hard to say. There’s always one way to find out. If you’re the one in charge of finding great entertainment for company event this year, give her a call. I can GUARANTEE  you will have fun! You guys will be talking about the great laughs for months — possibly years after the superior night of live music and comedy entertainment at your company event.

PIano Music Maker Satisfies The Masses

As a piano music maker in the piano bars around Chicago  

I get the opportunity to meet and greet some of the finest of citizens.

It is my pleasure to introduce to one such group of fine patrons from the late night gig last week. Just a warning Poison Squirrels, I mean, Boys and Girls, alcohol was involved in this particular encounter.  

This is just one cute little tale I’d love to pull on your coat tails about, Gather ’round kids . . .

;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;/;

I took a break and walked around the room to talk with people at the club and see what they wanted to hear for the next set.

One highly energetic and slightly giddy trio of young women had a request of sorts.

The first one said, “Let’s find you some good songs to play. Do you play any Shania Twain?”

No. I haven’t played any of her songs in years.”

The next wanted to know, “Do you do any Taylor Swift?”

Do I look like I know any Taylor Swift?”

So the next one says, “How about some N’Sync?”

I said, “I thought you wanted to hear something good.”

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To All My Friends

They finally laughed. In fact, it was as if someone flipped a switch because then the first one said, “Well I just thought you could spice things up. What Lionel Richie do you know that will really rock the house?”

I smiled and told them, “Ummmmm … how ’bout none?” They got the joke.

I quickly changed the subject by getting someone to take our picture. I love my job!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The best part is I get to play to all kinds of people. When folks have an idea about what they think is going to be a good song, I can usually play it. But as a professional, I know which songs are going to work. Stress the word ‘KNOW’. I’ve been doing this awhile now. I’ve got a repertoire that expands decades. Anything you want to hear will fit. However, as a profession piano music maker, I can tell you, without a doubt, that Lionel Richie will never get the room rocking. Sorry my dear.  Thanks for playing along though. We sure appricate the thoughts and condolences.

 

Who Has The Best Party Ideas For Adults?

I gotta admit. It was not my best night of live music. I was feeling a little off. I felt like I was a beat behind. Even tho I was playing solo piano, I didn’t think I was keeping the groove too honestly. It felt like I was dragging the tempo in places. But I was the one who started it off. I set the tempo. There was no drummer on the gig. So what gives? party ideas for adults 

I had worked all day in the studio. I wasn’t really tired. But this was the late set at The Redhead piano bar in Chicago. I started just before midnight and I was going until 3 in the morning. So maybe I could have slept longer last night.

The place was packed. People were having a really good time by the time I got there. I settled in behind the piano and got people rocking and singing along. There were lots of dancers on the floor. Always cool to see that. But I was still trippin’ on my tempos. And then I started forgetting whole verses. Like entire chunks of lyrics. I could nail the choruses. But the verses were elusive. For example, I couldn’t remember the first verse of ‘Folsom Prison’ by Johnny Cash. “I hear the train a-comin’ ….”

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a.k.a.Captain Energy

Then came Justin. I nicknamed him ‘Captain Energy’. He was gonna be the guy tonight. The Alpha Male. Numero Uno. He had the impetus to get things goin’. He was my savior. My go to guy. He knew every lyric to every song I sang, or started to sing.

He brought the house down. It was amazing! Every lyric. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant? Nailed it. Africa by Toto? No sweat. He never came close to singing on key. But that silly little technicality did not stop Captain Energy. No siree-bob.

Plus he was willing to jump up and dance. What he lacked in melodic capability he did not make up in rhythm on the dance floor. Let’s just say he was an original.

He got people dancing by pulling them into his vortex on the floor. He pulled off Elvis impersonations with no shame.

Then he imitated Neil Diamond during our rendition of “Forever In Blue Jeans” by adapting the Will Ferrell line, “I wrote this song on the back of a dixie cup …” and added the line himself “after I stabbed a homeless guy to get an erection.” Captain Energy was on fire!

I was rescued. I fed off of his energy. I got my groove back. 3 ½ hours went by in no time. I didn’t want to leave when I was done. No one did. Except Captain Energy. He gave his all and he had to go. When he left we all felt like it was time to turn in.

Every room needs a Captain. Justin was ours tonight. Every party needs a ring leader to get things going. Who is going to be your ringleader? Call me to find out how to get your party going. If Captain Energy doesn’t show up, I’ll be sure to do my part before he does. Even if my rhythm is a little off, we’ll still have a great time. 773-527-7417 party ideas for adults 

You Call It Piano Music Entertainment. Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher

You Call It Piano Music Entertainment
Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher

It was one of those gigs where I was so happy I took piano lessons as a kid, I had stuck with it as and adult and, most importantly, remained a professional so that I could witness what I am about to tell you.

No one thinks they really need live music. Most importantly the ‘Bean Counters’ who sit around in their office and don’t realize that music truly is the universal language that we all understand.

That’s okay. We all have a job to do.

My job today is to let you know how important
live music and comedy can be for your soul.

It’s like Gatorade after a 60 minute workout. It’s like scratching an itch in a hard to reach place. It’s like a hug and a kiss from a loved one who has returned from a long trip.
Here’s the story …

piano music entertainment

Sing Like No One Can Hear You

This guy was your typical office worker who didn’t have anything else going on his life except to be an office worker. He was kinda grumpy. He had no sense of humor. He had no friends. So he was the guy that made everyone feel a little uncomfortable.

He wore the weird shirt that didn’t appear to coordinate with his tie – or anything else that he wore for that matter. And his hair was always a little bit messy. He didn’t talk much because, well, he liked to be quiet.

Let’s call him ‘Ralph’.

What nobody knew about ‘Ralph’ was he had watched his Mom die of cancer when he was 10 back in 1969. As you can imagine it was horrible.

She was a single Mom. He was an only child. They were not members of a church so there was no support network of any kind. After she died he went to live with an aunt he had never met, in a state he had never been to, with an ‘uncle’ who wasn’t married to his aunt. They had no other kids either. His aunt was nice enough and all. But let’s just say ‘nurturing’ was not a concept she knew much about.

School was also a little rough for Ralph in this small rural town of about 4000 people. They were nice and everything. But having come from a large city school, he felt lost and way behind the other kids.

He wasn’t very coordinated or even remotely interested in sports. He just didn’t get the importance of all that running around and throwing balls and stuff. No one had ever showed him how and he didn’t have any allegiance to one team or another. So, seriously. Like, what’s the point?

The thing about his new school tho, was they had a choir as part of their curriculum. He had no idea how it would change his life.

Choir allowed Ralph to be around other people – especially girls. It allowed him to comfortably shift into his changing voice as puberty set in. It allowed him to express his emotions which ran so deep and so pensive at such a vulnerable and tenuous time of his life.

He stayed with choir all through middle school and high school. He didn’t excel at singing. He was never a featured soloist or anything. He just really enjoyed it for reasons that a growing young man could simply not explain.

But that’s where it ended. College was not in the picture for Ralph. He went to work and learned finance. He was actually pretty good at analysis. He eventually learned accounting with a small local firm that had hired him right out of high school.

In 89 that small local firm was bought out by a much larger one which then grew into a multi-billion dollar corporation through the 90s. He was a good and consistent employee. He was promoted regularly but never to management. He got transferred back to his hometown city in 98 where he just slipped easily into the anonymity of the hustle and bustle. He lives there to this day.

He never married. He never joined a church or a community choir. He doesn’t do much of anything in the way of outside activities. He likes going to the movies. But he feels too shy to search for anything. No one ever gave him permission.

Until one night in February his company event consisted of a large Holiday Party featuring piano music entertainment.

‘Ralph’ was sitting alone, kind of in the background. I don’t think he was eating much off the buffet. I didn’t notice his beverage of choice. But I did notice he was alone.

When I perform I never call anyone out. I never embarrass anyone. What I use is a technique I call “A Saucer of Milk”. It’s like when you want to call a cat over. You don’t yell or command. You just lay out a saucer of milk. If you want what we have to offer, (and your soul knows you do), then you’ll be over in time.

This story is getting a little long. So I am going to finish this tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks for listening and let me know when you want to have great live music and comedy in the form of piano music entertainment and interactive, sing along fun that brings people together and creates life long memories for everyone in attendance.

Great Party Ideas That Create Lifelong Memories – The Cure for Presidents Day

So I have finally found one of the most perfect party ideas AND it will cure your next President’s Day.

Throw a party. Yes. That would be throw a party during Presidents Day and bring in a piano player and a award winning chef and see where that would lead.

I have many items on my bucket list. I frequently get new party ideas along with all my new song ideas and lyric ideas. But I don’t think I ever came up with throwing an afternoon party on Presidents Day. 

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No Need To Wait Until Next Year for Great Party Ideas

Well it happened for me yesterday. And what a success! Not a lot of people. Only about 10, maybe 12 folks. A few of their kids showed up. We ate great food, we sang some great songs, we sat down with friends and made great memories. You can too.

Plus, and here’s the good part, you don’t have to wait until next year’s Presidents Day. Start thinking about your outdoor BBQs and your graduation party ideas and your anniversary party ideas. We can make this another fantastic event filled and life long lasting memory creating event that will last a lifetime.

Call me to see what kind of ideas I can come up with for you and your memory tank.

Do You Want To Hear Some Great Piano Music Tonight?

So are you going to make down to the piano bar tomorrow night?

I’m going to be at The Redhead — one of the Top 5 Coolest Piano Bars in the World – Thursday Feb 5 2015 starting at 1130 PM. It’ll only be cool of you’re there though. So get down there!!!

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Chicago Piano Bar

Seriously!

You get to have a coupla drinks, a coupla laughs, a coupla great memories with your friends (we’re sure you got some) and if you do it right, you WILL make some new friends too!

Not a bad deal all around.

So get on down to hear some great piano music, sing along with the Chicago piano player, me, Dan Gillogly, and make some requests. You decide what I am going to play on the piano music that night. Plenty of room for dancing. Plenty of room around the piano (if ya’ get there early) and plenty of good times to be had.

See you there?

Chicago piano music at The Redhead Chicago – live music and comedy for you!

Piano Player For Hire Finally Decodes Priceline

So I think I’m finally figuring out how to use Priceline.com to my advantage. Since I travel so much as a piano player for hire, I figured it’s worth making it work for me and our family budget.

But I’m wondering something …

Who the hell picks these paintings? 

Piano music, piano player, dueling pianos,

Hotel Art

Not that they’re bad or anything. I’m just kind of wondering cuz they are exceptionally non-descript.

There’s nothing about them that make you go, “Oh. That’s really cool. I think I should get some for my collection. Let me call my art broker and see if he can cut me a deal on a bulk purchase.”

And what the hell is with this smell?

These NON-SMOKING rooms smell all perfumey. And not that good kind of perfumey, like wow I need some of this funk in my house right now too. It’ll go great with those paintings I just bought.

I would rather have the old stale cigarette smoke from yesteryear.

No. Wait. I wouldn’t. That was REALLY disgusting.

But this new smell seems like it’s designed to be cat house friendly or something. I can hear the voice over on the radio spot: “It smells like a brothel, but bring the kids anyway. It’s safe and won’t deform their growth. Plus, it’ll create all kinds of fresh and special memories you can share for a lifetime.”

Oh well. The price was right. Here’s to shopping on the Internet.

Bye for now.

How Does A Piano Player Learn So Many New Songs?

Learning new songs is part and parcel of our daily existence as a piano player who plays live music regularly. The challenge is sifting through all the new music and finding what works and what doesn’t work.

In my opinion most of the Pop and Country music these days has become homogenized. For those of you that didn’t grow up in the 60s ‘homogenized’ is not a sexual connotation. It means that everything is made the same. Some might say made to the same standard of quality. But I think what has happened is that most of the popular songs have the same chord changes and a drought of tasty melodies. I know there are some great and talented songwriters out there. But by the time their tune gets to the producer and to the recording process, there are changes that get made to make the song palatable. Axis of Awesome did this comedy music bit that has become a perfect example of what I’m taking about  

That’s okay by me. I don’t mind. I just know, as a writer, there are so many possibilities harmonically and melodically speaking, that there is no excuse for this. Even if a song were to have one ‘mystery chord’ in there somewhere, it would go a long way. It could be laziness. It could be ignorance.

But I think what has happened is when people like something, the creators replicate it because they know it’s a winning formula. This is true in every successful business. The music business is no different.

I think Adele has had some good success with adding tasty chords into her songs. Bruno Mars is copying many of the greats that came before him. They are both quite open about the fact that they are standing the shoulders of the giants who came before them.

My job is a piano player is to interpret what is out there and make it my own. For example, I don’t use massive amounts of music production techniques at our performances. I know some players use backing tracks and drum machines, even at dueling pianos shows. That’s cool. I never found it all that inspiring. As a piano player who works a lot I find I get inspiration from the people who are listening. I like that kind of energy rather than a technical energy.

The idea is that then the piano player turns the song into something of his own. Since we are all standing on the shoulders of the great ones who came before us, the only thing left for us to do is to personalize it.

That’s one of the things I learned early on as I was an aspiring musician learning to become a professional piano player. I used to think “Who is the best piano player?”. But then I realized it’s all one magic trick. Once you learn that one trick everything else after that is about adding the personality you were born with or that you are willing to let shine through.

So when I learn a new One Direction song or something from Jason Aldean, it doesn’t matter to me that all the same chords sequences are being used over and over again. I try to find the essence of the tune and make it my own. Sometimes I get it right, other times I need to keep learning.

Piano Music Entertainment is Not Gender Specific

It was Dumb Broad Night last night at the piano bar. I don’t know where they came from or why there was so many of them but they were everywhere and they came from all over the place. And they weren’t all women either. Piano music entertainment is not gender specific.

I had some guy who was being a dumb bitch because I didn’t play Pictures by Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock. Its a stupid song and as a guy he’s just stupid for requesting that song. So that makes him a Dumb Broad.

Plus there was a fat gay couple making out at the piano bar all night. I mean just devouring each other endlessly.

The thing is no one knew how to react. People get hyper critical of hetero couples making out for too long. “Get a room!” and “You’re doing it wrong!” are some of the the common phrases regurgitated over and over. “You guys are gross!”

But the thing is no one knew how to react to the gay couple. They would look out of the corner of their eyes and think “I didn’t know they could do that.” and “Is that legal now!?” As if their opinion is going to make any romantic couple change their behavior. “Where are we going to go now that gay couples can make out in in straight bars?”

And then I had the young woman whose silk blouse kept opening wider the drunker she got. She insisted on high-fiving me every time I played a song she liked – which was pretty much every song by the way. Her friends were nice. She was with another couple. But this young lady was single. Hhmmm – I wonder why? Not that she had any shortage of suitors. This was a piano bar by the way.

Piano bars are perfect for this kind of behavior. Everyone is welcomed and any one can do pretty much what ever they want. Legal or otherwise. But if this was Dumb Broad Night then I can’t wait for Ignoramus Night to commence. …. oohhh the stories I will have to tell then …

Piano Music Entertainment at your private party. Do what ever you want. You’re at a piano bar!

-1 773-527-7417 

 

Chicago Piano Player Has Some Fun w/ 29 yo Woman Celebrating Her 23rd Birthday

So I’m working a gig in Chicago as a piano player and there were probably 6 or 7 women in the room tonight who were VERY opinionated about what I was playing and singing at the piano. It was kind of sad. This was one of my favorite Chicago bars. Last night was the same way. Women who would give the thumbs down to the song I was playing or give the universal signal to cut the song. I didn’t know why that was happening. It was rare that I had that many young ladies who were so eager to express their views so openly. Luckily, and as is most often the case, for every one dissatisfied patron, there are at least 3 or 4 VERY happy people to more than balance things out and maintain equilibrium.

So after the third time of the yucky face being made by this woman who didn’t look a day over 35, I finally had to tell this one girl, who was celebrating her “23rd birthday” (Yeah, Right!), that it was okay to make a request instead of just putting down and dismissing what was already requested by someone else. She seemed offended that I would make that recommendation to her. It was like she expected me to KNOW what she wanted to hear or something.

I handed her a pencil and a request pad and said let me know what you want to hear. She appeared perplexed. Positively mystified. Befuddled even. No. I take that back. She was kind of befuddled anyway. I mean, alcohol HAD been consumed in great quantities by this time of night. Even so, she was searching her meager conscious memory banks for a song to ask me to play.

As she started to pull out her phone “to look up songs” (or so she said), the women on either side of her came to her rescue.

They saddled up to her and started talking her through the various selections that may or may not be within a definite possibility of being performed by me; the Chicago piano player in the bar. (It does help that I put out a song list of over 1000 songs that I know.)

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These were Not the Only Women Having FUN on the Gig Last Night

She eventually came up with a song request, scrawled it down on the pad and placed it on the piano.

I pretended not to notice.

She pushed it closer.

I continued playing ‘Desperado’.

Then she picked it up again and waved in front of me beckoning me to take the piece of paper from her pasty hand.

I looked right at her, smiled … then continued singing.

One of the ladies next to her whispered in her ear and pointed towards the tip jar.

Now I have to say here, that I usually don’t “play to the tip jar”. It’s crass and it doesn’t really make a difference. Some people tip and other people don’t. Besides, I really do want to play everything everyone asks for. It’s one of the reasons I’m a decent entertainer. I want everyone to have a good time. But I was having too much fun with our Birthday Girl to stop.

She placed a crumpled up 5 spot on the request and grimaced at me.

I immediately stopped and looked at her request. It was ‘Baby Got Back’. Not your typical piano bar request but a frequent one nevertheless.

I didn’t even announce the song. I just looked her in the eye and said roundly into the mic, “Oh My Gawd Becky! Look at Her Buu-utt!!!”

She exploded into a gleeful shriek along with 3 of her friends and started jumping up and down and hugging each other.

The women who had helped our Birthday Girl out just looked at me and we laughed.

Balance had been restored in the world of live music entertainment in Chicago.