WOW, writing this post on a Monday morning after I’ve played is really a rough deal. But is was fun!
Well, let’s look at it this way: It’s a biker bar out on the Sacramento River. It’s chock-full of beautiful women, great music, great food, and great people out looking for a good time. Gorgeous women working for Southern Comfort, passing out, you guessed it, free shots of Southern Comfort. Hell, what’s not to like?
It was one of those deals where we didn’t get paid what we were worth, but we met new fans, broadening our connections with other groups, got to share the stage with really good friends. The music is always great at these kinds of affairs. Also I learn quite a bit about promotion and what others are doing about it.
One of the conversations I had was with Jon-Emery, lead singer and songwriter for the Dry County Drinkers. They have a song in some sort of rotation on the Satellite Radio station, Outlaw Country. Also Jon-Emery and I have been part of songwriter circles and socials, and 45-90 have opened for Dry County Drinkers. Jon-Emery and I were talking about bars, gigs, promoters, money, and about getting our particular messages out to the folk who count the most for us–our fans and potential fans. We agreed that we are doing the right stuff and working it the way it should be worked. We just play. We play where we can. We play as often as we can. Sometimes it comes out of our pockets, sometimes we can pay for gas. Often we have fun. Mostly it is grueling. But we don’t back off.
There are as many formulas for success as there are people to write them. I have always wished that one or another would work for whatever endeavor I was working on at the time. One thing has come crystal clear in the success department–it takes a whole lot of work, and at first, the only one who actually gives a rats patootie is me. Later on, there will be fans who will hang their flags on your ship, and still later, if enough flags get hung, maybe a music mover and shaker (MMS) will decide there’s money to be made, and it’s off to the races.
I would like to add that the greatest think about gigs like yesterday is the camaraderie. Except for the headliner, Leroy Virgil and the Loaded Dice, who were really all about the headliner (as I suppose the should be), the rest of us enjoyed each other, and tried to find ways to get together again and share stages and rock each other out one more time.
The bottom line is that success comes from doing the stuff that needs to be done, when it needs to be done. I wrote last week about long-term and short-term planning. In a nutshell it is this: For your long-term plan, make a commitment to how you want to live out your life, and what you want do do with your life until you drop; for your short-term goals do the stuff that needs doing, to accomplish that. Life well, be kind, be honest and honorable, and, damn it, as Hank Jr. sings, live out the words to your damn songs!