For anyone who wants to join her new band, Davina Yanetti had a simple request: play through Toto’s “Rosanna.”
The question was simple. It was incredibly difficult to pull off. The guitarists were to create a six-string run of Steve Luthor’s Steely Dan-meets-Schredder. Drummers were needed to master Jeff Porcaro’s halftime shuffle and Gonzo Phil. And that horn chart, come on?
“The big test for everyone was playing ‘Rosanna’ because I know how you’re gonna act,” Yanetti said. “The rhythm section in that song is so tight. For horn players, there are a lot of complicated parts. I figured if we could get this song to work, we would have the necessary attention to detail and the ability to get into a good groove right away. “
And this band is all about the smooth grooves.
The Boys of Summer features Yanetti – one of the city’s greatest pianists in front of the band as a vocalist and bassist – and a collection of full-time musicians performing yacht rock classics. The Boys debuted at Cambridge club Sinclair in February of 2020, before COVID shut down the live music industry (you can find a video of the shocking debut on YouTube). But as the peak of summer approaches, the group departs again at Sinclair on July 30.
“We’re a seven-piece band and we bring a boat to the stage,” Yanetti said with a laugh. “We’re very serious about spontaneous music.”
The Buoys came together because New England clearly couldn’t get enough soft rock and Top 40 gems. Now very popular with the nationally touring act Yacht Rock Revue for the 525-capacity Sinclair (YRR Dock at Leader Bank Pavilion on August 5), the venue is supposed to carry loads of AM Gold Nuggets a couple of times a year. someone is needed. Yanetti stepped up to be someone, and she’s taking a more traditionalist approach.
“Yacht Rock Revue plays ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and I’m a stickler, I don’t consider Journey Yacht Rock,” she said. “Our vibe is more about chilling on the yacht in port at sunset. Yacht Rock Revue plays smooth music but it feels like they’re more one-on-one at party-time. But I love that across the country.” There are a few different bands doing this music, everyone can do it differently.”
So what makes a perfect buoy of the summer set? Obviously Toto. Yanetti envisions getting to a point in the band where he can do one night where he tackles the album “Toto IV” into his eternity (including “Rosanna,” “Africa” in “IV”). Most of the hits are” and “I’ll Hold You Back”). Until then, she’ll be satisfied with the hits that define the genre.
“I had to do ‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’, I’m actually a huge Rupert Holmes fan, ‘The Lido Shuffle’ because I had to get my Boz Skaggs in there, and as much Michael McDonald as possible,” she Said. “Michael McDonald and Hall & Oates, those two are cardinal yacht rock artists to me.”
Always a deceptively intriguing style to master, yacht jazz borrows liberally from jazz, soul and prog (see “Toto IV”). So Yanetti hired professionals committed to perfection.
“Take Ambrosia’s ‘Biggest Part of Me,’ those vocals are so big and juicy and there’s a lot going on,” she said. “I went out of my way to find people who knew they needed to rehearse everything and get it right before getting into rehearsals.”
She knows that only a fool would believe that Dobie Brothers and Seal & Crofts are easier to do.
Visit sinclaircambridge.com for tickets and details.