Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys—April 2009 to Present

In the spring of 2009, I got called to sub in for a sax player at a gig in San Antonio. Little did I know that the leader of the band would become one of the rising stars in the Austin music scene, or that I’d go on to become a regular member of her band.

Akina put on a great show that night for the folks in San Antonio. My first memory of Akina as a band leader came when we she called an audible on us in the middle of the set, a tune called ‘Ho Cakes.’ She turned from the mic and the crowd, looked back at the band and said, “16 bar blues in C! Stay on the I chord for 8 bars and watch for the break,” and then she counted it off! And bang, just like that I knew that she was more than just a good singer, she actually knew how to communicate to musicians what musicians need to know and in a timely fashion.

Since then, I’ve gotten to rehearse, record and perform with Akina many times, both in her band and my friend Shane’s band. Her upcoming album, Say Yes, is dropping August 1.