same question; "Are you enjoying being retired?" So here, I will
try to answer that, and some other questions.
"Do you enjoy being retired?"
For many years, my band work had to be secondary to the operation of Boyd Music Center. It was my dream to someday once again become a full-time musician and bandleader. Since we closed our doors last summer (2000) that dream has become a reality.
Indeed, lots of people still are surprised when they learn I am a musician too, and a working musician at that. I have, in fact, been playing the piano in bands, most of the time as leader or co-leader, since 1955.
"Are you still playing?"
Yes, playing is all a part of living for me, and a very important part. It is such a joy for me to work with David Higginbotham, Randy McDonald, and Sim Flora. David, Randy, and I formed the Bob Boyd Trio back in 1991.
David plays upright bass, plays guitar in our Mariachi and Italian groups, and sings lead beautifully. He is a superb music director and a very gifted songwriter. Randy plays drums and sings in the group. He also doubles piano and bass, is a master sound recording engineer at Zanbeck Studios, is a computer expert, and a gifted songwriter.
In addition to a busy calendar of private parties and other functions, we played at the Unity Church every Sunday for six years, and produced an album of original inspirational music, The Unity Trio.
Sim Flora, our newest member, is outstanding as our trombonist and flautist, and also does some masterful vocal work.
All four of us are bandleaders in our own right. But the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. We have played together so much that we can anticipate each other's every move, every note. The joy in playing I first had is back! I enjoy writing vocal arrangements for us. I look forward to every concert, to every tune.
Sometimes our new ideas just tumble over each other in exuberance. Jazz began as fun music, and we have put the fun back into it!
"What kinds of music do you play?"
Everyone tends to want to classify or pigeonhole a band as playing a particular style of music. So far we have successfully resisted that. We have presented Dixieland, Cajun, Polka, Mariachi, Italian, Irish, and Western Swing-style band shows. But most of the time we play a mix of popular standards, swing, and popular jazz from all the decades. All four of us sing lead on some tunes and we present many tunes in four part harmony, ala The Four Freshman or Manhatten transfer.
"Where are you playing, so I can come hear your band?"
Almost all of our engagements are private parties, like weddings and receptions, anniversaries, birthdays, company parties, and conventions. Unfortunately for us and for our potential audiences, most restaurants, clubs, and lounges don't hire bands that play our classic forms of jazz, popular, and show music.
However from time to time we do perform in the public venue. To view a listing of our current public appearances please click HERE.
"What do you do in the daytime?"
Well, God is not through with me yet. I continue to work on Friday at Little Rock Frets on Rodney Parham Road. It's a beautiful store, a great place to work and learn, and it keeps me off the streets during the daytime.
Now, in addition to my three Rs (readin, ritin, and runnin) I can book and work with my band all I want. If you need something, or just want to come see me and hang out, like in the old days, come on down to Little Rock Frets.