Noticing that it has been awhile since my last update, I figured there was no time like the present to let everyone know what we have been up to. I am pleased to say that our spring and summer so far have proven to be quite successful. It has also proven to be very HOT. Yes, this has indeed been a sweltering season down here in good ole’ Hotlanta. Seeing that the majority of our shows are outside we all have lost a little weight…uh..I think..:-)
The last half of 2014 and all of 2015 has been a huge year of change for A1A, and not all of our changes have been at all easy or pleasant. Yes, it has been a really tough year of growth in many ways. But they say out of great pain, change and struggle that great success is possible. Looking where the band is today as we sit here in the dog days of 2015, I can say this to be true. All of our shows this year have been extremely well attended and our popularity seems to keep right on moving. For this I am eternally grateful. We have had many people come up and tell us that they have never heard the band sound any better than it does now. That really means a lot and has given us all an excitement for what lies ahead.
I have updated the photo section here at a1a-live.com with many photos from some of the shows we have done this year. I invite you to check them out so you can share some of our memories with us. I have also added photos to our Facebook page. So get your social media hat on, grab a margarita, sit down and catch up with us. Then drop us a line and give us your thoughts. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. Thanks for everyone who has been out to see us this year. But the year is not over yet and there is still music and memories to be made. So check our concert calendar and make it out to a show. I look forward to performing for you.
Let’s Get Tropical!
Archived review - click here
Lead vocalist Jeff Pike, along with Eric Baumgartner, Rick Meeder, Chris Blackwell, Wayne Viar, Scotty Sells, Vance Kelly, Tom Morfoot, and Foe Davis, will be performing at the Geranium Jam 2016, following the Geranium Festival this Saturday, May 21.
The A1A band—the official and original Jimmy Buffet Tribute band—formed over their absolute love of Jimmy Buffet, his music and the laid-back lifestyle his music describes AND provides.
According to Pike, “In 1991 I asked Atlanta Parrot Head Club Founder, Scott Nickerson to join me in my already successful one-man tribute to Jimmy Buffett.”
“In 1992, we won a Jimmy Buffett Sound-Alike Contest for Margaritaville Records, and the A1A ball started rolling—a ball that is still rolling 25 years later,” he said.
As the band grew, they were instrumental in the fundamental building and growth of the International Parrot Head Club community—the official fan club of Jimmy Buffet—as well the Trop Rock Music genre as it is today. They’ve released 3 original Trop Rock albums, in addition to their tributes.
“Jimmy Buffet and other members from his band, Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Mac McAnally, Michael Utley, Robert Greenidge, Peter Mayer, Nadirah Shakoor and Tina Gullickson have all performed with us over the years,” Pike said.
In 2009 Nadirah Shakoor chose A1A to be her back up band to help promote her Mailboat Records release, ‘Nod To The Story Teller.’ Not only has the band been surfing the music scene, but the big screen as well. Jimmy Buffett was instrumental in landing A1A in the Lions Gate Major Motion Picture Release, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting,’ where they recorded the classic “Why Don’t We Get Drunk,” which was included in the movie and on the soundtrack released by Capitol Records.
A1A is so awesome, they were even asked to be Jimmy’s band for a private performance for The World Surf League at The Master’s Open. “Not surprisingly, we were very proud to be Jimmy’s ‘Coral Reefer Band’ for a day,” Pike said.
Pike said his favorite song to play is “Come Monday,” and this week he’s been listening to a lot of Al Green, Daryl Hall, Hall and Oates, George Strait and Thin Lizzy, proving that they are well-rounded musicians and are not one-trick ponies. Additionally, all the musicians in the band have a broad background in music, which attributes to them putting on one heck of a good show.
“I could write a book on the accomplishments of the esteemed members of my band,” Pike said. “They are all career musicians and have been involved in many successful projects and bands, from bars to theaters, arenas, stadiums, Broadway and back again,” he said.
“I am blessed to have some of the best musicians in the state of Georgia and I do not take it lightly. I am very blessed and humbled.”
Be sure to attend the Geranium Jam JailHouse Beach Party outdoor concert at 55 Harkins Street on May 21, from 6 p.m.–10 p.m. to check out A1A Let’s Get Tropical, The Georgia Flood, and the McDonough Rhythm Section!
If you can’t make the event, blend yourself a margarita, lay back in a beach chair and check out the A1A’s Facebook, Twitter, and music pages.
Well, I have to say that the gig this past Saturday evening at Pinckney Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina turned out a lot different than we thought it was going to. The event was for a Del Webb retirement community and it was their first Parrot Head Function. Being a 55 and older retirement community I don’t think we were expecting the kind of party and reception that we received. Much to our surprise, the entire event was sold out and the hall and attendants were decorated to the hilt. With party attitudes to match! They stayed all night, danced pretty much nonstop and had one of the best conga lines I have ever seen. It was a fantastic evening and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.
The band looked and sounded wonderful and we were all very happy with the gig. I want to send out special thanks to Vance Kelly and Kathy Mullen for help with the BEAUTIFUL new backdrops that came in just in time for the gig this weekend. Absolutely stunning! You two really made it shine. Also thanks to Vance for getting us a trailer, and for Wayne and Eric in helping with rehearsals and sets while I have been absent for the past few weeks. The extra effort everyone has put forth is paying off and it is greatly appreciated, by me and the audience. Nothing can be finer than to be in Carolina…..with cheeseburgers.
Let’s get tropical!
Hello Friends and Phans,
Well, we played our first show of the season on March 21 and I want to share my enthusiasm with you. The event took place at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia where we were part of the Founders Day Celebration and annual fundraiser for their scholarship fund. Their goal for the evening was $25,000.00. We are pleased to say that they reached it before our performance was even over. Everyone at the College enjoyed the concert so much that they had one of the longest conga lines in A1A history! This first show of the year was very important to the band for many reasons, and I would like to share them with you.
First, it marked the first show with our new guitarist Chris Blackwell. Chris is one of Atlanta’s finest guitar players and we all knew what a blessing it was for us when he joined the band. He blew everyone away on this first gig and brought a different feel to our show that we have never had. In one word – Wow!
I am also extremely pleased to have Vance Kelly back with the band. Vance has worn many hats in A1A over the years and it is just not the same when he is on hiatus. Looking back onstage to see him behind the keyboards and blowing the saxophone again had me smiling all night. Having two keyboard players in the band has always been something I knew would add something very special to our sound. Guess what? I was right.
It was also long awaited treat to welcome back Chad Stewart and Stewart Productions into the A1A Family. The quality, work ethic, professionalism and state of the art audio and lighting production that Chad and Stewart Productions bring to A1A is unprecedented. What he brings to A1A is of the highest quality. Quite frankly, he is the best of the best and the sky is the limit when he is involved.
Working alongside Chad Stewart this year is Mark Joseph. Mark runs his audio and light production company, MJ Sound Solutions. We were unsure at first how two companies would work together but it is turning out to be perfect. Mark brings a friendly and professional attitude to the band that makes us all feel like family. It is going to be a joy to have him on board.
Last but not least I want to thank our new business manager, Kathy Mullen. Kathy came on board this year to help run the band and move us upward and onward to the next level. Her willingness, strength and passion to continuously go the extra mile has been a key factor in us being able to turn a lot of things around so quickly in 2015. Starting our year out with a great success.
I am humble and thankful for all of the multi-talented people that I am blessed to share the stage with. I am very proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to having you hear this amazing band, once again giving you the best Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show that money can buy.
Let’s Get Tropical!
Well, here it is the first week of 2015 and I honestly cannot believe it. Even though we are warned by our elders throughout our entire life at how faster time goes by when you get older, I don’t think anyone ever really believes it until they get there. Well, at least that has been my experience.
I do hope that your Christmas season and New Years Eve were pleasant. Mine definitely was. Aside from having the great opportunity to perform with The Rhythm Jets and Mercy Myra at The SERV Ball in Atlanta, I was blessed with the good fortune of spending a lot of time with my family and my girlfriend, more so than usual than in recent years past. It was absolutely wonderful. It all just went so fast. I really do wish that it had lasted a lot longer…But it didn’t and we are now 5 days into a New Year with a lot to do.
I want to thank everyone who has stood by the band for the past 24 years. It really has been a wild ride. Actually, it still continues to be one and we are loving the track we are on at the moment. 2014 was a year filled with of a lot of changes in my life and I am hoping to implement many more in 2015. I hope you will join me, and I wish you also a year of change, prosperity and happiness.
See you on the road! Let’s Get Tropical!
Greetings A1A Friends and Fans Old and New,
As the old year winds down with a new one fast approaching, I am feeling a lot of emotions about my past 23 years with A1A. The importance that A1A has played in the birth of the enormous and still growing Parrot Head and Trop Rock Community still fills me with pride. The fact that the band, and myself, have managed to last this long is also something I am very proud of. Especially in the declining state that the music industry has been in for quite some time now. Yes, I have seen much come and go since I first joined, and then started performing, for The Atlanta Parrot Head Club (The very first club for those not in the know) way back in 1989. And while there is much I could probably complain about, I sit here today writing you with much thankfulness, gratefulness, enthusiasm and awareness.
I am very thankful for all of the people who have stuck with the band through thick and thin for the past 23 years. I am also quite grateful to all of the band members and behind the scenes people that have helped keep this machine rolling during their time aboard. We have moved fast and we have moved slow, but we have always managed to keep the wheels rolling. Of course, occasionally a wheel would roll off and we would crash. So yes, some members have come and gone. But I have learned that if you are really going to grow, as an individual and as a business, then change is inevitable and it should be looked at in a positive light. Not being one keen on change I have always had difficulty with that concept. But it seems that with each incarnation of the band we manage to find a new level for us to aspire to. It keeps things periodically fresh, new and has brought to all of us our own personal and professional challenges for growth. Be that as it may, it is with mixed emotions when I say this is where I sit with A1A on the brink of 2015.
I will tell you that in many aspects of my professional life I feel that I have been drifting for far too long. It was through much soul searching, coaching, life recovery work and wonderful opportunities of growth and awareness which entered my life, that I came to a realization in early 2014 that it was time to get back in charge of the team. The time was right and I was once again ready to be the ball and make some changes. It has been a long road to get where I am today and I will be honest in saying that it has not been without conflict, pain or loss. But amidst the difficult changes within the band, we can all say that we have grown and are looking forward to what the future brings with our own respective projects. So while it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Chaz, Ansley and Nico from our A1A family, we are very excited and looking forward to what Chris Blackwell, Scotty Sells, Vance Kelly and our new management/marketing/media team of ImageMil Studios and Mullen Music Management have in store for us.
I can honestly say that I have never had this much high end creative, marketing, media, musical talent and power within and around A1A throughout the entire history of the band. The dedication, drive and team spirit that all of these people around me are conveying is deeply soul stirring and very big. Great things are happening and I am feeling extremely blessed. Stay tuned for our new website, our new promo video, our new EPK, and a new show and look for 2015. I have to say, A1A is a beast that will not be put down. We always seem to get back up again. Stronger than before and ready to grab the biggest Parrot by the beak.
Wishing everyone a New Year full of growth, awareness and positive changes.
Now….let’s get tropical!
A1A performed in the Lionsgate Major Motion Picture Release, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” which was released in May of 2012. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker and more. We are happy to announce that we also have one song on the soundtrack. The movie was released in May of 2012 and the DVD and Soundtrack are now available. Pick them up and enjoy!