Author Archives: Steve Smith

Tim Buie’s Piano Entertainer’s Convention 2017

The 2nd Annual Piano Entertainer’s Convention is in the books. Musicians, teachers, agents, club owners, managers, talent scouts and more from all over the world converged on Spirits on Bourbon from March 26th through 29th. It was a week of education, entertainment, networking and most of all FUN!! With classes held at the Sheraton and Chalmette High School and events at Spirits and Dmacs Bar and Grill, each night culminated in an all out jam session at Spirits on Bourbon until the wee hours of the morning. Some of the greatest talent in the world met and played on the Spirits stage including the convention’s Keynote Speaker and celebrity guest Liberty Devito. Mr. Devito is Billy Joel’s long time drummer of over 30 years. Industry leaders from all over the world came to Spirits including representatives from The Red Piano in Santa Barbara, Rockey’s in Gainesville, Rum Runners in Sandestin, Savannah Smiles, Carnival Cruise Lines, Red Piano in Norway, and many more!!

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Spirits house Piano Player Kyle Brody said “having the opportunity to play songs with Liberty Devito is a dream come true for a guy in this business”.

Convention Creator Tim Buie: “New Orleans and Spirits on Bourbon are a great fit for this convention.”

Brad Bohannan, Spirits owner: “We were happy to host Tim’s convention. Our regular great stable of piano musicians and regular shows plus the amazing talent that converged on us for the week led to some incredible shows”

“I met people in the industry from all over the world. It was a great networking opportunity and I met some people that will be friends for life. Most of all, our customers got a chance to see world class talent in addition to our regular awesome staff.  I can’t wait to host the convention again next year at Spirits on Bourbon!” said Steve Smith, Spirits owner

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Opening Day and sign in included  a New Orleans Crawfish Boil and Jam Session at Spirits. Visitors from all over the world got to experience  a real New Orleans Crawfish boil while meeting friends and colleagues both old and new.

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Monday began with a presentation by Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, Dr. Clark Rosen speaking on how these great singers can help preserve and maintain their vocals to flourish in the industry.

Next came a seminar by Piano Diva Susan Erwin on “Ladies in the Industry”. Susan was  a rock star all week Speaking, singing, and playing at Spirits every night  and in Monday evening’s second line parade that was a big hit with all of the attendees and led by the Spirits Hearse followed by a float featuring the convention talent.

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As the week progressed, convention attendees had the privilege of learning from long time Dueling Pianist Tom Basler. Tom has trained over 200 Dueling Piano Players. Also, presentations by Savannah Smiles owner Marty Richardson, Web instruction and  an Improv class by Music Social Media Expert Bob Baker, Performance by the Marine Corps Jazz Band, and a demonstration at Trinity Episcopal Church by organist Albinas Prizgintas.

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The convention headed to Dmacs Bar and Grill on Tuesday Night featuring a performance by Dr, Dirty John Valby.

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Again followed by a fun night of laughs,good times, and GREAT MUSIC at Spirits on Bourbon!

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The Convention’s last day included a presentation by legendary New Orleans Pianist Tom McDermott then a bus trip to Chalmette High School and their newly renovated world class auditorium for a demonstrations by Liberty Devito and David Clark as well as Grey Gregson.libertydevitodemonstrationgray gregson bobbakerstage

Of course the night culminated in another all star jam session at Spirits on Bourbon.

Stay tuned for updates on next year’s convention!!!

Spirits on Bourbon…Proud home of Tim Buie’s Piano Entertainers Convention 2017

 Tim Buie’s 2nd Annual Piano Entertainers Convention will converge on the French Quarter at Spirits from March 26-29.

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JOIN DUELING PIANO PLAYERS, GREAT PIANISTS, PIANO BAR OWNERS, AND MORE ON INFAMOUS BOURBON STREET FOR FOUR DAYS OF LIVE PERFORMANCES, MASTERCLASSES AND SEMINARS WITH CELEBRITY SPEAKERS, CELEBRATIONS OF NEW ORLEANS CULTURE AND JAM SESSIONS!

The convention is both an informational and networking opportunity for those in the business. There will be classes, seminars, celebrity speakers and live auditions for those in the business. It’s a great opportunity for musicians, entertainers, club managers, owners, and agents to get together and learn from one another discussing all topics in the field.

Seminars will include classes by

Liberty DeVitto, Billy Joel’s long time Drummer

Bob Baker, #1 Music Guru and Social Media Expert

Dr. Clark Rosen Vocalist Throat Specialist

Marty Richardson Owner/Pianist Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos

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The event will include a Crawfish Boil at Spirits during check in on Sunday as well as a very special charity event. Beginning Sunday at 8pm. Spirits will be open 24 hours for the duration of the convention with DUELING PIANO MUSIC featuring some of the WORLDS MOST ENTERTAINING MUSICIANS playing LIVE at Spirits for 24 hours a day from March 26-29.

In addition to our great staff of musicians at Spirits on Bourbon, performances will include:’l

Billy Joel’s long time drummer Liberty DeVitto,

Dr. Dirty John Valby #1 Comedic and Parody Specialist in the World

Long Island’s own David Clark

Award winning singer/songwriter Chris Foster

Piano Bar Diva Susan Erwin

World Renowned Dueling Pianist Tom Basler

All these great talents and more will converge on Spirits on Bourbon for this 24 hour 4 day event.

Steve Smith, Spirits on Bourbon, “I can’t wait to host the 2017 Piano Entertainer’s Convention.  It’s a great opportunity for musicians from around the world to learn and network with the best in the business. It’ll also be a huge treat for our customers who will reap the benefits of having all this talent under one roof for 4 days. We are going to have great shows 24 hours a day for the entire event. It’s my hope that we can expand this convention into a Festival!!”

Brad Bohannan, Spirits on Bourbon, “With our already great crop of entertainers at Spirits, partnering with Tim Buie and his Piano Entertainer’s Convention was a no brainer. We are so proud of our staff of entertainers and we can’t wait to host this event”

Tim Buie, World Famous Piano Entertainer, “Spirit’s is a a natural host for our 2nd annual event. In the heart of Bourbon St and already with tremendous talent on staff. It’s going to be a great 4 days at Spirits”.

Please Visit PIANO ENTERTAINERS CONVENTION WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS!!!!!

 

 

 

Steve hits his Hometown

Last month Steve and his wife Sharon visited Steve’s hometown of Freehold, NJ. “I always love getting back to see the family and old friends. Sharing my roots and stories of my past with Sharon is always very special to me”. 13406789_1025354627513642_1922466715059833721_n No visit to Freehold would ever be complete without a stop at Steve’s favorite pizza spot, Federici’s.  “I really think Fed’s is my inspiration for Turtle Bay Pizza. I love their thin crust” Smith says. “The best part of it all was having many family members their to enjoy it with me. We had a small family reunion and it was very special.” 13339602_1023838064331965_3394171108479526434_n13417680_1023833460999092_1716341617587186860_n Smith says there are a few eateries that he has to hit while back home. He always gets a sub from Sorrentos, Ice Cream from Jersey Freeze, and a few beers with friends at the Court Jester. 13428577_1025485440833894_2247747415007116815_n Steve and Sharon spent a lot of time with his parents Agnes and Bill and sister Tracy. “We took a few rides to the beach and hit the boardwalk. I really miss the Jersey Shore. This area will always be special to me. By far though, the most important part of the trip was spending time with my parents. Living so far away is difficult at times especially as time rolls on. I realize I definitely would not be where I am today without them.” Smith went on to say, “They always gave me great support and encouragement growing up. I always played sports and I was a fair athlete at best but they always made me feel special. Like I could always succeed. I also realize now that I surely got my work ethic from my parents.” Steve’s father, Bill, worked for the local electric company as a mechanic and mom, Agnes, drove a school bus for the local school system. “I remember every power outage getting calls in the middle of the night for my dad to go into work and he would. Also, I don’t think i ever remember my mother taking a day off from work. Not ever!” 13507138_1027343863981385_4692743097831393904_n13435540_1027343143981457_6217225507308813472_n Steve and Sharon also made a visit to Freehold Borough High School. Home of the Colonials. They met with Steve’s former baseball coach Jon Block, also spending time with former teachers and coaches Jim Gill, Stan Parker, and Rick Lister. Smith says, “I was surprised to see that there were still a few familiar faces around. I had so many coaches and teachers I’d like to be able to thank. It was really nice seeing them”. 13445738_1205560356129217_8356064586266342973_n “This place will always have great memories for me. What a thrill it was to get a chance to walk the halls again. I haven’t been back inside since 1988. Much has changed and the place looks great.” Smith explained the he learned so much from Block about preparation and attitude. Smith’s senior year was Block’s first as skipper of the Colonials squad. “It was really amazing to see the transformation. In my first 3 years at the Boro, we stunk. Never finishing at or near .500. When block took over, things instantly changed. We prepared like never before. With that preparation came confidence and an attitude that we could win every time we took the field. Knowing that we were prepared allowed us to play with a confidence and attitude that we had never had before. Nothing was really different about the players, same guys. But we were always prepared and knew we could succeed. I feel like I keep those lessons with me in my work still today”.  Block led  the Colonials to their first conference championship in years in ’88. He has had many since and recently gone on to win his 300th career game as a head coach.  

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Turtle Bay’s 4th annual Alzheimers fundraiser collects close to $4000.

The Saints had their bye Sunday but there was still plenty to cheer about at Turtle Bay‘s,Spirits sister bar on Decatur St). As part of  the Walk to End Alzheimers, fund raiser organizer Mardi Johnson held her 4th Annual Fund Raiser Raffle.

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Mardi teamed up with  Turtle Bay again,  to raise money and awareness for Alzheimers. The fund raiser consisted of  individual raffles every hour, on the hour. Great prizes were donated from friends and local business, as well as some national organizations. The big prize of the day was a signed Jimmy Buffet guitar which was awarded at the end of the day.

“Mardi does an incredible job getting donations and hustling the raffle tickets. She works at the fund raiser all year. It has grown and raised more money  each year we have done it. We are proud to work with her on this” said Turtle Bay owner  Brad Bohannan

The event has grown each of its four years. Sunday’s fund raiser was a great success raising nearly $4000 for the charity. It is not too late to donate to the Mardi/Turtle Bay team page. Please go to this link and add to the total here.

“Thanks to everyone who helped in any way with our Alzheimers event. I’m amazed at the outpouring of love! The day flew by because of the laughter and caring from all of the Turtle Bay community. It really does take a village and we have a great one. See ya next year!” added Johnson.

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“It’s such a great day for a great cause that is near to my heart” said Turtle Bay owner Steve Smith “I’m proud to be a part of it and we will do everything we can to help the fund raiser continue to grow every year! Not only is it for a great cause but the customers love it and thanks to the many donations from local businesses, very few people leave empty handed”.

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First Saints Game for Spirits Hearse

The Saints played their first home game of the season in the Dome last night. Saturday was also the inaugural Tailgate Party for the Spirit’s on Bourbon Hearse. Tom Brady, and the  New England Patriots were in town to face the black and gold fresh off their Super Bowl victory and “Deflate Gate”. Saints fans of all ages were in full force ready to cheer on the home team.  The Who Dat Fans were also ready to  give the Pats, especially Brady, some good natured ribbing. “We couldn’t wait to get the hearse out here to the Dome for the fans to enjoy”, said owner Brad Bohannan.

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The Saints played much better this week even though they didn’t come out on top in the end. At least the starters gave the fans something to cheer about and great hope for the upcoming season.

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“One thing we learned for sure  is that people LOVE the Spirits on Bourbon Hearse,” owner Steve Smith added,” Keep an eye out for us at every Saints home game this season!!”  The hearse will also be making some trips to Baton Rouge for some LSU games and many more events in the coming weeks. Make sure to look out for us outside the Dome, and around town. Get your picture in the hearse with our skull man mascot, have a beer and do some pregame warm up with the gang from Spirits on Bourbon. Whether you just want a picture, a beer, shot of fireball, or ride in a parade; the Spirits on Bourbon Hearse is a traveling great time!!!

JOIN US FOR THE SAINTS 5K Kickoff Run

Football season is here and the Saints play tomorrow night. That also means we are exactly 1 month away from the Saints 5k. The Saints 5k http://nflrunseries.com/Saints/ is September 12th. It’s a great time for an awesome charity, the Louisiana Children’s Museum http://lcm.org/. Yes. 5k is 3.1 miles and we are looking for people to join the Spirits/Turtle Bay team. We joined the 5k last year for the first time with 2 members and we are looking for more to come out and have a great time with us. The run starts outside the Superdome and ends at midfield by crossing the  50 yardline. 5K veteran and Turtle Bay VIP Dave McIntosh convinced me to do the 5k last year as more of a dare after a few adult beverages. Maybe this year we will even get Brad Bohannan out for the run!

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We had a great time, finished the race, and lived to tell about it. There is only one month left so start training now. If you want to join the Spirits/Turtle Bay team, go to the Saints 5k registration page and click “join team”. Look for Spirits/Turtle Bay and our password is Resurrection.

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If you have any problems, let Steve know at spirits.steve@gmail.com. If you join our team you will get a Spirits or Turtle Bay Tshirt, whichever you choose and you’ll get to hang out with us for the day huffing, puffing, and panting for a great cause. Also, registration gets you an official Saints 5k shirt and a medal(if you finish). None of us are marathon runners so we are just out to have a great time. Run, walk, or crawl at your own pace.

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Spirits Behind The Scenes

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to own a bar? What about a bar in the famous French Quarter, New Orleans? Better yet, a Bourbon St bar that waIMG_2712.JPGs featured on SpikeTVs hit series Bar Rescue? We know you have. Here is your chance to get a behind the scenes look atimage imageIMG_2761-0.jpgthe daily operations of Spirits on Bourbon and its sister bar, Turtle Bay on Decatur St. Maybe you are thinking of buying a bar and want to see what it’s like. Maybe you already own, operate, or work at a bar/grill and need some tips, advice, or feedback. You’ve  come to the right place. We want this to be interactive.

We will do this for a little while as a trial run. We are open to all questions, suggestions, and  input you may have. Who knows? Maybe this blog will turn into a leading industry resource or maybe we will write it two more times and give up. At least, maybe we can make it a somewhat entertaining look behind the scenes of a Bourbon St bar.

I’ll get you up to speed real quick on the last week or so and we’ll start from there. Woodard Events put on a convention for Intuit Quickbooks professionals. Jon Taffer was one of the keynote speakers, along with “Catch me if you can” Frank Abignale. The convention had a corporate happy hour and rented out the bar on Monday Night. On Tuesday, Taffer spoke solo and Brad and I followed on stage with a panel discussion about small business and our experience on Bar Rescue. There were a couple thousand people in attendance. I never thought I’d be speaking in front of a couple thousand accountants so it  was a real thrill. Brad is always reaching for the stars so this may have been his plan for us all along, not really sure.

After our panel discussion we got to take pics and talk to some of the folks at the convention. It was a lot of fun. Meanwhile, Tuesday Night we had another party in the Spirits courtyard. This time it was for Edtrainingcenter, a teacher training website. The parties Monday and Tuesday went off without a hitch and we had a ton of great feedback from both.

With all the special events in New Orleans: Super Bowls, New Years, Sugar Bowls, Mardi Gras, etc, I hadn’t been as nervous about a party  as I was on Monday Night in a long time. I knew I’d be speaking in from of all the attendees the next day and with Jon Taffer there as well. Talk about pressure. Those few days went over great and I was real proud of our staff. I think they did a great job at the events. Trust me, if we continue this blog you won’t hear praise about the staff all the time but for these events they did great! Then, over the weekend, we had the Very Bad Santa Half Way to Christmas Pub Crawl.

 

This weekend coming up is of course the 4th of July. There will be fireworks on the river Saturday. Also, beginning Thursday Night and going through Sunday Night is the Essence Festival. Headlining this year’s Essence Fest is comedian Kevin Hart and singer, Usher. So we have to get geared up for the events this weekend.

We are in the process of really tightening up our inventory and ordering processes. Today we completely cleaned out our liquor room at Turtle Bay. Labeling every shelf and counting the bottles. Organization is just the first step to inventory control but it is very important. Everything must have a place to go.

We are trying to get everything as organized as possible since I’m going on vacation next week!!! Cruise with the family. But it usually does mean a few more things for me to do in order to get out of here for a while. It’s a lot easier with Brad staying in town. When we leave for an event together that is when it is most difficult.

Some employee issues for the weekend:

1. FIND OUT WHO IS STEALING  TSHIRTS! One of our employees is stealing tshirts and leaving dirty ones laying around the bar. We have it narrowed down but like to catch them red handed.

2. See what is the deal with one of our cooks! Our cook left the other night after closing with everything laying out. Kitchen wasn’t clean, things weren’t put away, etc. just ran out the door at closing time. Have to check and see if he was drunk or on drugs. He acted like he had no idea he did it when we say him the next morning but looked like he had been on an all night bender.

Ok. There you have it. This will be a little different than our regular events blog. We are open to any and all feedback you may have about this and we are here to answer any questions you may have.