Thursday, December 27, 2012

Soul Sax 1

Soul Sax 1 at The Dungeon by Dan Stafford on SoundCloud

12-28-2012 Practice

12-28-2012 Prractice at Oak Brook IL by Dan Stafford on SoundCloud

Thursday, December 20, 2012

By The Garage Lights 6

A little better here - I'm still no great singer, but at least my vocal monitor isn't introducing delay and making it impossible to sing straight - now it's all operator error. LOL

Rock on,


Garage Band 2

An update of our bluesey indiestrumental with new vocals.

Kinda funky and low-down cool...

Rock on,


Sunday, December 9, 2012

By The Garage Lights 5 - three new vocal tracks and levels adjusted across tracks

I just spent another three hours on this, and it's a lot better. Not perfect, but better.


By The Garage Lights 4 - Early Vocals & Updated Sax Track

I just spent about 3 hours tweaking the sax and laying in vocals.

I haven't done a lot of singing...except maybe in the shower or along with Elvis in the truck, maybe a little with the Beatles as a teenager, but not much public. I'm still getting used to the equipment and how different my recorded voice sounds as compared to what I hear by bone conduction (which is how most of us hear ourselves speak...or sing). It's quite a difference. I'm using Robin Gibb's trick of holding my hand alongside my face to my ear, and working on how far the mic should be from my mouth.

Here's the best of five takes, no written lyrics, but a general outline.

Rock on,


Friday, December 7, 2012

By The Garage Lights 3 - Audacity Evolution

This MUCH cleaner version was recorded in Audacity 1.3 Beta in multiple separate tracks. The drum track was created using the Pocket Drum Pad app for Android with my HTC Amaze phone.

Jon Ross laid down the guitar track after the drums were done.

I added the tenor sax last.

The tracks have all been cleaned of background noise and amplification levels adjusted to that all the instruments blend just right.

The result is nearly six minutes of smooth bliss. Enjoy:

Rock on,


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Olivia. Newton. John. !!

We just saw Olivia Newton John in concert at the 2,000-seat Paramount theater in Aurora, IL with our friends Janice & Tom. Olivia's voice is still phenomenal, and she was moving around the stage very well.

If only her Sound Engineer's head hadn't been blocking my view of center stage!!

Now chicken marsala & red wine at Carraba's.

Rock on,


Friday, November 9, 2012

By The Garage Lights - 11-9-2012 Jon N' Dan at Oak Brook IL by Dan Stafford on SoundCloud

MP3 version:

 This is a pretty little instrumental ditty my guitar teacher Jon Ross and I recorded together - on my Android cell phone with Soundcloud - in the underground parking garage at my condo building.

I'm playing Bello (my tenor sax) and Jon is playing Judy. (his electric guitar)

I think this is one of the prettiest songs I've done, and I'm grateful for the chance to play with another musician.

The song has a ballad / blues / indie rock fusion kind of sound.

Rock on,


Garage Band 11-09-2012 Jon N' Dan at Oak Brook IL by Dan Stafford on SoundCloud

This was Jon & I's first attempt to really play together. I'm pretty happy with the result, and I'm thinking we could really get a nice, mellow, and unique Blues/Indie Rock fusion going with a decent drummer and vocalist.

Jon and I are going to continue working on this genre for the rest of the year, especially By The Garage Lights.

Here's the MP3 version in case you're not so good with Soundcloud. I have some of the background noise and dead air cleaned out of the MP3 version as well. -

Rock on,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Westmont Theater- Live Entertainment for the Western Suburbs by Keith Erickson — Kickstarter

The Bugle: Entertainment Center coming to downtown (Westmont Theater) - Westmont Theater Re-opening As Blues Venue Fundraiser Deadline 10/31/12

Two local developers are trying to open a blues venue in downtown Westmont. They need help raising funds to make it happen. The campaign listed above is their online crowdsourcing effort, and it has a deadline of October 31st, 2012. (Halloween, that's right)

Having a great blues venue nearby would be a wonderful addition to local entertainment choices. This is only ten minutes away from York precinct 112, folks.

Let's show the community that we support local businesses and live entertainment, regardless of political affiliation.


Dan Stafford

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I've Officially Gone Garage Band... man, that is.

I've found out that the underground parking structure between our two condo towers doesn't reverberate up into the buildings, and it's heated.

I will be able to practice through Winter.


Boogie woogie ON!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 1st - Chicago Smooth Jazz Event Update - BIG Holiday Edition

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Date: Jun 30, 2012 8:47 AM
Subject: July 1st - Chicago Smooth Jazz Event Update - BIG Holiday Edition
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July 1st, 2012 -  In This Issue

Special Discount Ticket Offers
Videos - Show Previews for Paul Taylor & Maysa
Praire State College - New Venue Info
It's Hot Outside! So Cool off indoors at a show
The only thing HOT is the music! - A/C included with all tickets
On behalf of everyone at, we hope you have an enjoyable and safe 
4th of July holiday. To start the fireworks early - we have a special ticket discount
offer to show our appreciation to our frequent show goers. Details are below.......
We hope you will join us for our shows this month (coming up very soon)  starring Paul Taylor & Maysa Leak.  For a preview of these shows, be sure to check out the videos we have links to in this e-blast.  All shows are now on sale - and with all seats reserved, the very best seats go to those that get their tickets early. 
Yet, with our intimate venue having only 400 seats, there is not a bad seat in the house.
While Chicago's weather this summer is hotter then ever, the great news is our shows are indoors. While the live music of Maysa & Paul Taylor will be HOT, the venue is air conditioned and your comfort throughout the show is guaranteed.  As is always the case, you'll have a chance to meet the artists after the show. 
Paul Taylor ImagePaul Taylor Video Preview
Saxophonist Paul Taylor - Saturday July 21st @ 4PM - Tix at 
Maysa Video Preview
Vocalist Maysa Leak - Saturday July 21st @ 8:30PM  - Tix @

Customer Discount Offer

Purchase tickets to our first three 8:30PM shows starring Maysa, Nick Colionne
 & Peter White - and get complimentary tickets to see Norman Brown
and his special guest - saxophonist Eric Darius.*

If you have already purchased tickets to see any of the above shows
 - you are also eligible to take advantage of this offer

* Limit - can not be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Tickets must be purchased in advance either online
 at or by phone at (312) 725-0740.

 Ticket Rebate

Purchase a "premium reserved" ticket" to both the 4PM & 8:30PM shows on
July 21st  
and receive a $10 per person rebate check by mail.  Offer details here

Upcoming Shows - Tix at  or call (312) 725-0740
Sat July 21st - Paul Taylor 4PM,   Maysa Leak 8:30PM
Sept 22nd - Marion Meadows  4PM,   Nick Colionne  8:30PM
Sat Oct 27 - Steve Cole  4PM, Peter White  8:30PM
Sat Dec 15 - Norman Brown & Eric Darius  4PM & 8:30PM
2012 SmoothChicago Concert Series  
Paul Taylor and Maysa Leak
Great reserved tickets available for all shows
Order early & get the best seats!
Upcoming Shows
South Suburban Concert Series Location
Praire State College
Halsted St south of I-294 / I-80  at Halsted & Vollmer
For directions & more venue info - click here


** New venue added in Chicago's South Suburbs **  

Prairie State College Theater - 202 S Halsted
Chicago Heights, IL  60411
Our south suburban venue is accessible by interstate highways and major roads. For those without automobile transportation, the College is located on a bus route operated by PACE, the Chicago suburbs' main bus company. 
From the north: Drive south on I-94 to I-80 west exit. Follow I-80 west about two miles to Halsted Street south exit (Route 1). Take Halsted Street south about three miles to the Prairie State College theater for our shows. 
From the north/west: Take the Tri-State Tollway (294) south to I-80/94 east. Follow I-80/94 east about one mile to Halsted Street south exit (Route 1). Take Halsted Street south about three miles to the PSC campus. 
From the south: Drive north on I-57 to the Vollmer Road exit. Follow Vollmer Road east about five miles to the PSC campus on your right. 
From the east: Follow I-80 west to Halsted Street south exit (Route 1). Take Halsted Street south about three miles to the campus.

Listen Live Smooth jazz Videos  Facebook


Visit everyday!  

While hosting live shows and events thoughout Chicagoland is our primary business that pays the bills - there is much more going on at our website.


While we wait for a radio option to return to the FM dial - in the meantime, 

you can listen to Smooth Jazz via your computer and 24 hours a day, seven days a week. also has hundreds of High Quality live performance videos from past shows.  Videos are added often and we still have many hours of video clips still to upload.  These are all professionally shot via multiple cameras and direct audio feeds.


If you have not already done so - please "LIKE US" on Facebook as

 thousands of other Chicago area music fans have already done.



and bring some friends to an upcoming show! 


While this music format disappears from terrestrial radio around the country, the "LIVE" jazz shows in the Chicago area continue in a big way. Here at we have many great shows on our schedule with more shows all around Chicagoland in the planning stages.  But the music can only happen if the fans continue to come out and support these talented musicians that create all this great music. 


While we'll do all that we can to get this format back on FM, there is no disputing the fact that listening to a CD can never do justice to what fans experience at a LIVE performance.  As frequent show goers already know, a studio recording just can not match the energy and excitement of a live show with one of the stars of contemporary jazz.


The other thing to remember is - the artists that make the music we all love have families and bills to pay too. While it helps them become more well known, jazz artists They don't make a living from radio airplay. They make their living from traveling around the country playing live shows for their fans. 


We hope you will join us for several of our upcoming shows and please encourage your friends to do the same.  As long as you do - this great music will be around for a long time and Chicago will continue to be a stop on all your favorite artists tour schedules!



Thanks again for supporting live contemporary jazz music in Chicagoland and we hope you'll bring some friends to several of our upcoming shows.


Your friends at 




To Order Tickets

Upcoming Shows

Prairie State College Venue Info

Listen Live - Smooth Jazz Online

Concert Videos from

SmoothChicago on Facebook

Ticket Rebate Information



More great shows coming soon - visit for info on upcoming shows
Chicago shows are held at: 
Rumba   (re-opening soon)
Downtown Chicago
South Suburban shows are held at:
Prairie State College Theater
South Suburbs of Chicago
Northwest Suburban shows are held at:
Information coming soon
Order Tickets Online @  or call (312) 725-0740
Join our email mailing list @
to be notified of upcoming shows & events in Chicago  -
 many more great shows coming soon !!!!


Your friends at  SmoothChicago Footer
This email was sent to by | | P.O.Box 1119 | Elgin | IL | 60121

Louisiana Blue..

This sounds nice - I'll have to stream them a little.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

66 Sax: Tiny Practice Amp Vs. Small Gig Amp

The lttle guy is 4 watts, sounds great, $32, and great for practice or a lesson.

Rock on,


Friday, March 23, 2012

66 Sax: My Venture Into Fenderland... bringing me a lot of joy and soft melody. I'm pretty sure in the long run, I'll play both instruments well, but I think guitar is easier to practice in my current environment.

I love Bello & Rosie both, and that's enough. My sax is bright and my guitar is the prettiest red.

My guitar teacher is helping me learn a lot of little mechanical tricks to make playing easier, and of course a Beatles song to start. (Twist And Shout)

I have a million hours of practice to go, but it's a gentle journey with a lot of sweetness along the way.

Rock on,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rosalita - Fender Stratocaster MZ5204006

I got in almost an hour of practice today; what I call giving Rosie a ring. Mostly a few chord progressions I know and some scale exercises.

I found a teacher, too, a fellow named John Ross. His guitar is named Judy, like my Mom. I just found that out today, which is appropriate.

Rock on!