The Yacht Rock Revue is the Greatest Show on Surf and the finest tribute to ‘70s light rock to ever perform anywhere. Ever. Their spot-on renditions of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, and the rest of the Time-Life Infomercial Catalog have enthralled fans across the United States. It goes without saying they have taken their act to the high seas, performing showcase sets on music cruises with KISS, Weezer, Kid Rock, Train, Zac Brown Band, Sister Hazel, and fitness guru Jillian Michaels.
By blurring the lines between a tribute, an original act, and a comedic troupe, the Yacht Rock Revue has forged a unique niche market and a special bond with their fans. The band attacks each song as if it were their own, and the energy exchanged between the band and the crowd has more in common with a stadium U2 show than that of a typical bar band.
The Yacht Rock Revue started as a goof, and their explosion into an empire of smooth music defies easy categorization. Although YRR purportedly exists as a tribute to the light rock music of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, their forays into curated theme shows, original music and comedy keep audiences guessing. “Our fans are crazy – they’re so enthusiastic and they treat us like legit artists. So we decided to actually become legit artists,” said singer Nicholas Niespodziani.
On their new self-titled EP, the Yacht Rock Revue reimagines the studio sounds of ‘70s AM Gold. The five-song disc bounces from the blue-eyed soul of “LA Lindsay” to the dorm-room haze of “Cartoon Butterfly” without ever sounding too self-consciously retro. The effort was produced by Athens legend David Barbe (Son Volt, Drive-By Truckers, Sugar) and Peter Stroud (guitarist for Sheryl Crow, Don Henley.)
The group self-directed and shot their first music video for “Can’t Wait For Summer” on iPhones. The happy-go-lucky vibe of seven grown men cruising around downtown Atlanta on Segways suits their self-professed goal to take the music seriously and themselves lightly.
“When taking yourself seriously is off-limits, you can focus on the important things without getting caught up in being too artsy. Important things like sax hooks,” Niespodziani said. “The same elements that we found compelling in our earlier artsier bands – great melodies, unique arrangements, unexpected twists – are still the driving force behind the great yacht rock tunes.”
“Our sound wraps around your ears like a full-body necklace,” said guitarist Mark Dannells.
The Yacht Rock Revue has hosted and starred in the Greatest Yacht Rock Revival in the Universe the last two years in Atlanta alongside Gary Wright (“Dream Weaver,” “Love is Alive”), Robbie Dupree (“Steal Away”), Peter Beckett of Player (“Baby Come Back”), John Ford Coley (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”), Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass (“Brandy”), Walter Egan (“Magnet and Steel”), Starbuck (“Moonlight Feels Right.”), Little River Band, Ambrosia, and the Yacht Rock Schooner.
But what does it mean to you? The first person who guesses which Popdose scribe just interviewed Peter Beckett from Player, then sends said info to dw.dunphy-at-gmail.com before this Friday (if you’re in the NYC region), could receive two tickets to paradise…uh, er…two tickets to Yacht Rock Revue’s Gramercy Theater show on March 16 (The winners will be placed on the guest list and need to bring ID to claim tickets). And for those who don’t win, you can find tickets by clicking here. First correct answer wins the tickets so don’t drag your feet. This contest ends Friday night.