I live in a small town. Seriously. It makes South Park look like a thriving metropolis of doom!
In my town, we’re in the mountains, and about 45 minutes drive away from anywhere else. Sure, the views are nice, the air is clean, and it’s impossible to get a burrito after 9 pm…
The venues for music are surprisingly plentiful, but they all have their niche. One place loves jazz, and sometimes blue-grass. Another, all about the usual bar cover-songs (i.e. Brown-Eyed Girl…. Yeah…. No…), and others love classical music, or The Eagles.
My venue is a little different. It was home to my old rock n’ roll cover band, and has let a fair share of musicians come in and play. My venue is The Coffee House. And, again, small town – only one coffee house. It’s kinda a big deal. It is the central hub of most of the town and its visitors.
What makes it even more special… I play a mix of originals and covers. And, I have had people request both kinds of songs BY NAME! How bloody cool is that!
Sure, I have some friends (John) that think it’s funny (John) to call out things like Taylor Swift (John). In a small town, you get to know a lot of people, and they get to know you. I laugh, he laughs, the crowd secretly judges him for asking for such a thing – a good time is had by some.
What’s nice, though, is that in a small town, in a small community, I can support my friends who play music. I’ll admit, I don’t go out much to shows (introvert) – but, I buy their albums (Juls, hurry up and release yours! Been waiting YEARS!) – and I try and show them as much support as I can. Even the amazing musicians I used to play with still amaze me, and I can’t wait to see what they do! Joe, our drummer, is growing and becoming in so many incredible ways – Musically and in life, he just blows my mind. Shawn, our keyboardist & Doors enthusiast is back in Philly, and while he works on both political campaigns and the local four-legged folks, I know in his soul music still comes to him. He is also an amazing producer, song-writer, composer, and all around cool cat. When someone plays in town, no matter if it’s a weekly gig at the local pub, or the once-in-a-while-Summer-in-the-Gazebo gig, I try and send people their way and send good vibes to them.
I have to admit, there are a lot of musicians in my town. Sure, Radiohead says “Anyone can play guitar” – but there are a lot of amazing, fantastic musicians in my town! What makes it even better is that it never feels like a competition to me. It just feels good that when I’m setting up for my gig at the coffee shop, and the guys in the multi-vocal, awesome-harmony oldies band are setting up in the wine bar, we wish each other the best of luck (and fun) at our shows. And, we genuinely mean it! And, ya know what? IT FEELS GOOD! I dig their tunes, and we even have a few that overlap – Neil Young, in particular – but, we both have very different kinds of shows. I see people bounce back and forth from my show to theirs, and vice-versa, and it’s awesome! I don’t get angry when people leave my show to see other performances – hell, I would probably do the same thing!
So, life in a small town – full of hippies and hipsters, musicians and artists, more venues than most people would believe – and, for a gigging musician, it ain’t too bad.
Off-topic, here’s Minerva, my lovely and crazy tortie, joining me while I write my blog….