Holy smokes, it's been 8 months since we last had anything to say. Well, that's not true. There was plenty to say, we just didn't do it. So, just a few days into 2020 here is what's up. It's already shaping up to be a busy year. We're booking summer shows and it's looking like early in the spring we'll open a concert with two great progressive jazz/rock bands, District 97 and the legendary Brand X. Keep your eyes on our schedule (here and on Facebook) for an announcement on that soon. Not too far off from the nominating phase of the upcoming Detroit Music Awards. Can we make it 2 years in a row? Hey, anything's possible. That's pretty much it. Will try to do better at dropping a word or three in here a bit more often.
Detroit Music Award winners for outstanding tribute band in 2019 and 2020, Major Dudes is an extraordinary 6 piece group consisting of highly regarded veteran musicians who have all recorded and/or toured with numerous regional and national artists over the last four-plus decades.
This accomplished lineup delivers impeccable renditions of every Steely Dan Top 40 hit (fyi, there were 10 of them) and choice deep cuts that fans of the Grammy winning legends will love to see and hear.
Major Dudes have been captivating Michigan audiences since 2014 in nightclubs, at outdoor festivals, concert halls, and private events. Their tight arrangements, sizzling solos, and strong vocals capture Donald Fagen's unique stylings, and they ably recreate the challenging melodies and harmonies Steely Dan's classic music is noted for.
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for Major Dudes. Now that winter is finally in the rear view spring got off to a great start, first, with a packed house at Otus Supply on April 5th, where the band was hot and the crowd was with us every step of the way. We've had some great responses in the past for our shows but this one really took the cake.
Later in the month, Jim (drummer), Carl (sax) and I (bassist Paul, natch) attended the annual Detroit Music Awards. Why? Well, we were nominated for a second time in the Outstanding Tribute Band category and had to represent, even though we figured the result would be the same as in 2018. Nope. Surprise, surprise. We won! It really was quite the thrill. And unlike in 2018, where the tribute band award was presented before the main event, this time our category was presented during the big show at the Fillmore so the three of us climbed up on stage and all did a little bit of speechifying as we accepted our award. Fun.
Coming soon (May 14th to be exact) is our big show in Allen Park opening up for one of the world's finest progressive rock bands, Chicago's District 97. The big night will also include a set of Dudes' guitarist Waldon Reed original fusion jazz. Should be a blast. And then...summer!
Summer is history and it was a pretty darn good one for the Dudes. Nothing helps a band do the tighten up more than getting out there and playing the music in front of live audiences. For you musicians in the crowd, I'm sure you realize Steely Dan tunes are a bit trickier than most of what a band might typically tackle. The concept of being on auto pilot because you're so locked down on how to play a song is pretty much invalid when it comes to SD music. As soon as you think you can just relax, kick back and play it, you'll very likely get bit right in the butt. We're at a point where all the tunes are pretty much train wreck free but any one of them can still go off the rails anytime if you get too comfortable. But hey, that's what makes it so fun.
Anyway, we're expanding our reach in the coming months and we're getting right to it by heading to Flint tomorrow night. We'll be at the shiny new Buick City Event Center. Looks like a fantastic place to play. Later on we have return engagements in Dearborn and Wyandotte, a first time appearance in Novi as part of the Tributesville lineup, and in December we make it to Ann Arbor for the first time where we'll play The Blind Pig.
More news coming soon about a big New Year's Eve gig with our pals, Motown Eagles (led by our ace saxophonist, Carl Cafagna), our first venture outside of Michigan next spring, and a major hangout session in December with one of the great fusion jazz bands of all time, Brand X. Oh, and one more thing. If you've read this far it could be safe to say you at least have a passing interest in what Major Dudes are about. So, if you happen to be a Facebook user, and if perchance you haven't done it already, please look us up and Like our page. We passed 900 recently and we're driving hard to 1000. Would be cool to get there by the end of 2018.
The Dudes have been busy of late, and now we really pick up the pace. We're in the middle of our busiest stretch thus far - 4 gigs in 8 days - and tonight, July 6th, we're outdoors in downtown Farmington. Temps should be about 15 degrees cooler than the furnace we played in on the 4th. That was the pre-fireworks festivities in the city of Gibraltar. The band was hot, and I absolutely mean that literally and figuratively. All in all, a good time was had despite the mid-90s heat. Anyway, next Wednesday is tribute night at Brownie's on the Lake in St. Clair Shores, to be followed Thursday by our 3rd annual Wyandotte after the Street Fair bash at the venerable Starlight Room. Come and see us!
We had a great Friday night at the Waterfront in Wyandotte, MI. It was a packed house and very responsive for every bit of the Dan we delivered - the hits and the lesser known tunes. I mean when they go crazy for The Boston Rag either people are way hipper to Steely Dan than I ever knew, or we just played the hell out of the song. Maybe it's both. Not my call. Sure was fun though.
Most importantly, March 9th marked the first time Major Dudes performed as a six piece band. Carl Cafagna, our newest member, is just what the doctor ordered for a band that aspires to do the best job possible on Steely Dan songs with the fewest number of people. When ten to fifteen seems to be the norm, the Dudes get 'er done with half a dozen. Carl is recognized as one of the top saxophone/flute players in the state, is an excellent singer as well, and is also a fine drummer although we've yet to figure out how to use that particular talent. Give us time.
Spring and summer are right around the corner and the band will be busy. Do come and see us every chance you get. We'll make it worth your while.
Well, we've tweaked our site design again. Seemed like a good time to do an overhaul what with new pictures to use (thanks Terri!), a new promotional video, and a few spare minutes to actually play around with things. Hope you like. As this is typed, we're 10 days from our big return to Otus Supply in Ferndale. We'll be there January 19th. As the venue continues to bring in national acts with large followings, it's quite the honor to remain one of the few local groups that have made multiple appearances there, this being our fourth. And as an added vote of confidence, it'll be our first time playing a weekend night and the first time there's a charge - $10 in advance - to see us. We like to think we're worth it...in fact, we like to think it's a great deal! Hope to see you.
I wish I could remember the exact day I knew we had a band. All I know for sure is it was late October of 2015 when Jim, Danny, Waldon and I had our first practice and Dave joined us just a few months later. So we're well into our third year now and we're looking at being busier than ever in the coming months. As you can see, I played around with the web site design. Still needs some work but at least we have our cool logo (thanks Zach) front and center. Also, in a week or so we'll have a new promotional video that we expect to be instrumental in scoring a few gigs for us next year. Lots more news to share but rather than spill it all now, I'll instead commit to actually doing more frequent updates here on the site. Talk soon.