With the summer winding down the members of the CE Pro All-Star Band are ramping their efforts up.
More specifically, the guys are deep into their practice routines working towards making their now annual appearance at the CEDIA Expo 2022 event as memorable as possible.
Coming off a three-year break in their live performances, band members are excited to play two sets of classic rock songs in front of their co-workers, peers and friends at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Welcoming a few new members to the band, Patrick Shaughnessy from Focal Naim America, Steve Haas from SH Acoustics, and Jason McGraw from Emerald make their stage debut with the CE Pro All-Star Band on Thursday, Sept. 29 at approximately 5 p.m.
The rest of the band includes the usual suspects: Tim Bigoness of D-Tools, Jim Garrett of Harman Luxury Group, Mitch Klein from Z-Wave Alliance, Dave Silkin of DSG Distributors and Digital Sales Group, Rick Santiago from Indy Audio Labs, Bret Jacob from Nice/Nortek, Vince Luciani from Apex Technologies, and Richard Charschan from AcousticSmart.
Taking time from their work schedules and practice regimes, band members took some time to look ahead to what it will feel like to play at the expo and they discuss the setlists in this episode of the CE Pro Podcast.
CE Pro All-Star Band Dallas Demolition Tour
Looking ahead to taking the stage in Dallas, collectively every member of the band is excited to play live in front of CEDIA Expo show attendees.
Santiago recalls the energy of the band back in 2019 and how much he is looking forward to feeling that excitement once again.
“It was such a great vibe when we played last time live. The band was so tight the rhythm, the foundation was really solid … and it was a fun venue. We had a great stage setup, we had a full sound system with a full sound company doing live mixing,” remembers Santiago.
“It’s just a fun environment I don’t get to play in that environment as much as I’d like. I’m more of a jazz kind of guy so I love breaking out some of the tenor [sax].”
Jim Garrett of Harman Luxury Audio notes that many of the guys play out in bands already, but regardless of the venue it’s just fun to go out and play music, and it is memorable playing with industry peers.
“All of us are in this business because we love music and so to be able to get on stage and share that with everybody there,” says Garrett.
“[We’ll] provide a little fun and levity to the evening that’s what I’m looking forward to is as Rick mentioned … we had a blast the last time we did this. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do it for a couple years but, as I say, we’re getting the band back together so I’m happy to be able to do it again this year.”
New band members such as Haas and Shaughnessy don’t have the experience of playing past CEDIA Expos, but both point out the work they are putting into learning the songs.
“I think all the excitement that Jim and Tim [Bigoness] and the others have been talking about is really what is appealing to me. I’ve been gigging more. I can do my best Billy Powell [keyboard player] imitation with all the Lynyrd Skynyrd songs that are on the list, but I think it’s just going to be so much fun getting together with everybody,” comments Haas.
Shaughnessy admits that he won’t be thinking about the pressure of playing in front of his co-workers and industry peers. He says his focus is balancing practice time with his role at Focal Naim America and his family.
“I try not to worry about that. I just practice as much as I can, and once you hit the stage you just kind of walk that tightrope and just do the best you can and sync with everybody you’re playing with,” he points out.
“Because of my extensive work situation with work and I have kids and everything, I play a lot of acoustic solo stuff. I prefer to play in a band, so I’m really excited to meet everybody in person and to jam and excited for the rehearsals.”
Highlighting some of the songs, Silkin recalls the fun of hearing the horn section join on “Domino” from Van Morrison, and he says that he’s looking forward to playing with Santiago and Nice/Nortek’s Bret Jacob who make up the band’s brass.
McGraw, show director CEDIA Expo and KBIS, and a CE Pro All Star Band guitar player, adds that it is simply exciting to see everyone in person again.
“It’s very exciting to join these esteemed colleagues here, more importantly, I’m just super excited to get back to the full-size, in-person show this year after three years since 2019 in Denver. It’s going to be a heck of a show,” he says. “We will actually be rehearsing right on the stage for our exhibitor friends that are we setting up Tuesday and Wednesday night so they’ll get to hear a little rehearsal action.”
To hear everyone’s thoughts on the band’s upcoming live performance at CEDIA Expo on Thursday Sept. 29 at approximately 5 p.m. check out the entire podcast episode.