On the Road Again
Creating Magic Moments with Music
Weekend Update - May 4-6, 2017

On the Road Again

(Multiple Musical Settings in Savannah, GA)

Last week, the Jeremy Shrader Music crew travelled to the enchanted land of Savannah, GA. This was our first trip there and I hope it won't be the last. The Memphis-based corporation we entertained were hosting a sales meeting. They wished to allow their managers and vendors to let their hair down for a bit each evening. Over three nights of events, they tasked us to create four separate musical atmospheres.

Our solution was to use progressively larger bands with distinct styles of music. We brought along five of our incredible Memphis musicians. To fill out the larger bands, we utilized some fabulous local musicians, courtesy of another Jeremy. Savannah native Jeremy Davis called upon some musicans from his Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. The events were held at the amazing Westin Savannah Harbor.


The first event was a very casual 'Southern-style' welcome reception by the beautiful Savannah River. For the music, we turned to the classic country repertoire of our band Big Barton. The trio configuration (dubbed Tiny Barton), included Jeremy and Logan from the band and Michelle on guitar and vocals. They played laid-back classics with a bit of Memphis flavor. Michelle added some of the Nashville folk sound of Gillian Welch. Of course, we could't resist including a rendition of Dock of the Bay, considering the location.

The managers were 'slightly' more dressed up on Wednesday night for a dinner reception. The band that evening added Jim on saxophone and Earl on drums, having just arrived from Memphis. We also had the opportunity to perform with a fantastic local bassist, Mitch Hennes. The Brazilian music of Jobim and Carribbean and Latin jazz created a 'beachy' vibe. The bar almost ran out of rum that evening!


For the final night's award gala, the managers, and the band, donned their best dress. Michelle warmed up the crowd during cocktail hour with a solo performance.

After dinner, the guests retired downstairs for dessert and the 'Big Band' swing of Jeremy Shrader's Octocats. The band was once again expanded with local musicians from the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Jose on saxophones, Austin on trombone, Leif on keyboard, and Mitch, returning on the bass, swung along-side our Memphis crew. What a great cap to the event!


We love and appreciate the opportunity to travel and perform for different folks, but of course it is so nice to come home! Until the next out-of-town adventure, we look forward to the blues and soul of Memphis inspiring our daily lives and performances. What kind of unique atmosphere(s) would you like us to create for you?

Scroll through the post below for more photos and videos:

Creating Magic Moments with Music

Events, especially weddings, should be memorable occasions. Being surrounded by your family and closest friends is memorable enough. But with a well-planned surprise, you can make a moment magical. Whether with a special song or an unexpected guest, you and your loved-ones can remember this moment. Here are a few examples of Magic Moments from our experience.

Magic Moment #1 - Song and Dance

At a recent wedding, one great Father-of-the-Bride wanted to make their special dance stand out. He has been a life-long fan of Ray Charles and loves his song 'Ain't That Love.' He wanted to take it up a notch from a typical father/daughter dance. They took dance lessons and he asked us for a custom song arrangement. (Jeremy has a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging and offers this for an additional fee). The result was nothing short of magical:


Magic Moment #2 - Meet and Greet

From another recent wedding: Many of the guests were from out-of-town and the couple wanted to give them a bit of Memphis history. During a break of the band, the couple hired an Elvis impersonator to come and sing a few songs and take photos with the guests. They were definitely surprised and lined up to meet and chat, while getting photos with 'The King'.

Special guest at today's wedding reception! #elvis #memphisweddings #jeremyshradertrio

A post shared by Jeremy Shrader (@jeremyshradermusic) on

Brian Lee Howell - Professional Elvis Impersonator

Magic Moment #3 - Story Time

Several years back, Jeremy and Michelle Shrader's Quintessentials performed for a rehearsal dinner. The Mother-of-the-Groom had a very special song request which was a bit outside of our normal range of song styles. After hearing the story behind the song, I could not deny her request:

The story goes that when the groom was a child he was talking to his mother one day. He said that when he grew up, he would like to marry her. When his mother explained that she was already married to his father, he became very upset. He exclaimed, "Well what am I supposed to do, meet some girl just walking down the street singing 'Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do'?! When the band played that song at his rehearsal dinner, he instantly knew why and he and his mother shared one Magic Moment.

How would you turn an ordinary song or event into a Magic Moment? Our favorite thing is to help bring those Magic Moments to life.


Weekend Update - May 4-6, 2017

What a weekend! It actually started this past Thursday with a road trip to Northeastern Arkansas for the Hot Memphis Five with Michelle Shrader. (One of Jeremy Shrader's Hot Jazz Band incarnations). The band was booked for a private party in an airport hangar. The event was complete with vintage planes, an air show, and a theme of women empowerment. (Amelia Earhart was the inspiration).

 When the band arrived for soundcheck, there was a guitar already set up on stage. It turns out, it was Jewel's guitar (the Jewel) and she was asked to play a few songs after the band's set. We all had the opportunity to meet and talk with her and she couldn't be more gracious. (This was a special moment for Michelle, she told me later that the first song she ever sang and played on guitar was one of Jewel's). Jewel mentioned that she loved jazz standards and had sang many during her formative years. She asked if we knew “Summertime, in A minor” (which happens to be Michelle's key for the song) and if we would play it with her. Of course, we were happy to oblige!
 After we finished our performance, Jewel took the stage, played guitar and sang 2 beautiful original songs. She then asked us to accompany her for George Gershwin's 'Summertime'. Below is a Facebook live video of the performance that she posted on her Facebook account:

 Friday, the band made the trek back to Memphis, where Jeremy immediately switched gears (and hats) to get ready for the next gig with Big Barton. Country Fried Friday at the Cove is his monthly foray into classic country and western songs. This First Friday happened to coincide with Cinco de Mayo. That made for a great night and the donning of a sombrero by the band's drummer, Jesse Dakota. Here is a facebook live video of some of the band's second set:

 Saturday morning brought back the traditional New Orleans and 20's jazz. The Hot Memphis Four performed at the 3rd annual Cafe du Memphis at the Park, is a benefit for the Dorothy Day House. The event features fresh beignets, shrimp and grits, and morning beverages. The New Orleans staples were served outdoors at the East Parkway Pavilion in Overton Park. The morning was beautiful and hosted by WMC Channel 5's Joe Birch, who posted the following video on his Facebook page:


After a short #catnap,

Jeremy and Michelle loaded up with their quartet to make a quick drive over to West Memphis, AR. The evening performance was for a lovely wedding reception at the home of the bride's parents. The weather and scenery could not have been better and it made for a wonderful night.

 Not every weekend is as action-packed as this (thankfully), but this was one for the books. Looking forward to the next set of adventures, stay tuned here!