[Harp-L] death of live music?
Rosco's thread has certainly sparked some interest, here's my take
in our area (The Mid-Atlantic region.)
Lately our project is less & less intersted in 'clubs' & paticularly club owners.
We only keep 2 decent ones on that have 3 key ingredients:
1) pay min =100 a man
2) receptive audience
3) less than an hour away.
It means less gigs for us, but we would prefer to concentrate on festivals,
municipals, & special shows, like casinos or corporate gigs. Since we play
narrow 'niche' music we have to brand ourselves as you get what you pay for.
In fact the only way to survive is to do something unique that the other 40 bands
don't do. For instance, (It may not be news to this list) by insisting on a stand up bass/
piano & looking the part we get a lot more referals and stand out in the slush pile of submissions.
Take a Hazmat Modine or a good Zydeco band or the Asylum street spankers ...now that is interesting to people,
not the same old 4 piece blues band with a P-bass & a stratocaster.
When I was booking in Jan I had 'sold' a club owner on having our band play on Sat night,
big dance crowd 20-50YO's marina decking type place on the Chesapeake.
He only carried blues bands on Thursday night,
but since his manager told him we got the crowd dancing & having fun he wanted to try us out for 1500.00
a Sat night with sound...
Then he wanted brass on the stage..I said fine & lined up some horn players. Then he wanted more R&R
so I said fine but we would play old R&R 4/4 stuff rockabilly fats domino etc.. So he gave me 6 dates to
"see how it would go"..based on the response to the first date.
Well I can't lock up all my bandmates with a "soft maybe" if they don't like us
when they turned down other gigs with other projects. Then the guy went to the IBC and said:
"Blues will not work, I can't take the chance Jimmy."
So in short I bent over backwardsfor him & missed other dates messing around with trying
to make something work. He loves blues but no matter how I educate him on our brand of blues
he will not take the chance.
I book all the gigs & believe me EVERY GIG COMES WITH SOME KIND OF STRING.
James Day & the Fish Fry
"jump blues & greasy grooves"
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