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topic icon Author Topic: Why is it.....  (Read 19270 times)
Billy Blaze
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URL icon « on: September 07, 2008, 08:41:56 AM »

I have been a musician for about 12 years playing for money in north Texas.
The last 3 or so years I have been writting my own songs and will be releasing my first CD "Under the Covers" Monday Sept. 7th 2008.
I already have the second CD written, as I put off the first one off so long trying to figure out if I wanted it to be a solo singer songwriter experience or have a backing band.
I chose to do the solo singer songwriter route and will likely stay that way on the second CD.
However I am finding it very difficult to break into the singer songwriter venues, festivals etc.
People from seniors in high school to seniors in life have found my music to be to their liking and I play all over Texas but just can't seem to get a break into these Festivals that are all over the country.
People often offer suggestions as to what i should do but generaly don't know the hoops required to get anything to happen.
One festival in Texas for instance...you must play at a specified venue to be considered for the Festival, however the person that makes the decision may or may not be there at the time of your performance.
This sort of thing makes it very difficult for people who are undiscovered to be found, and to me it's sort of a high brow way of looking at music.
Often times I have heard someone on stage at an event like this and said to myself...wow, I could do much better.
Not that I think I am the end all be all in this game but geez.
It seems like there is a Festival mafia running things and if you dont do something for the familly you dont get in. Once in your in but trying to get in is turning me off to the whole idea of being there in the first place.
And it's not like I can change the music I feel in my heart so I can just go be a pop artist.
So......
Why is it so difficult getting in the Festival circuit????

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landshark
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URL icon « Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 09:00:45 AM »

 I beleave that's what they call "paying yer dues".
                                        Flower I absolutly love that there are trubidors of men and women on this planet,,, music is important,,, what you do is important.Love you brother,, keep pushin'
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 02:15:54 PM by landshark » IP address Logged

" Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world. " -  Albert Einstein
Billy Blaze
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URL icon « Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 04:00:58 PM »

I think I have paid my dues...lol
I am ready to start reaping the reward for the years of playing, creating, and paying hard cash on equipment, gas, wear and tear.
I am on the edge...I can feel it.

Thanks for the nice comments as always Landshark...maybe one day you will be able to see me play somewhere :)
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URL icon « Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 04:11:24 PM »

When was the last time you went to a festival just for fun Billy?
Did you know Drew Emmit was discovered at Telluride Bluegrass Festiiivaaaaaaaal in the Town Park campground just havin' fun pickin' with new friends..... Flower
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" Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world. " -  Albert Einstein
Ron N Deb
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URL icon « Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 02:41:58 AM »

Hey Bro ... Im a Old fart Ex musician
Ive Played with SRV my One claim to fame
Thatwas back in the day
I sucked!
Bro if you love it Just keep going for it !
You will hit !
Good Luck
 Cheers
and yes Ive have been on Willies bus Too !
Keybroad players suck on a genal
unless you Had the B3
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Billy Blaze
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URL icon « Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 06:06:40 AM »

I cant remember the last time I went to hear live music as a participant...lol
My sense of despiration in this is that I am 40 years old and never seen a mountain, an ocean, or been on a plane, ship, or train, but I have been shot at, stabbed, fell off a bridge, and been in multiple motorcycle and car wrecks...oh and snakebit.
Arthritis is setting in my fingers and that means I am on a timer
On top of that I have Avascular Necrosis which will require a total hip replacement...still plugging through that though.
All things considered I have already shaved the list of things I want to do when I'm grown up to a one thing...and I'm finding that to be almost impossible.
So I am here to gain insight on how to get heard.

These days I have to drive up to 300 miles out of the DFW area to get someone to even hear my music, not that I cant get gigs in the Metroplex but people dont "hear" what you are saying and for a songwriter that's like being on life support for the whole gig.
I want to be more than background music to someone's night out of drunkness and chasing the opposite sex.
If people dont listen to what I am saying it's just another guy playing guitar and singing....hence the need emotionally to find a listening audience. I figure what better way than to find a festival where people are gathered to hear a person's songs on purpose....lol

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URL icon « Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 07:31:56 AM »

Hey Billy, did you ever look at the curriculum for the workshops  Planet Bluegrass offers at Rocky Grass Acadamey?? Is is full of management information and perhaps if what you say is true you might think of a different marketing approch.

Tons of professionals to guide you and connect with.... reach out to others that are a success!! Mentors are where it's at BiilyB. Get on the train.... where did I hear that... Rolleyes

Keep playing and meaning it and don't let the internal struggels come through. People are smart and intuitive. Ever hear a really happy song but it sounded sad?
People can feel your vibe,, have fun and if it's really good,,, people can not help but listen. Flower
Oh and I'm just a girl... no one special... no great talent.... just love music, feel a connection and deep appreciation for it.... it moves me Flower Medal Flower

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« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 08:04:42 AM by landshark » IP address Logged

" Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world. " -  Albert Einstein
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URL icon « Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 09:48:39 AM »

I know of band that plays country/bluegrass/blues, right up the Telluride Bluegrass fest. style. They have in their state won awards for best album (one produced by a Grammy winner even), they have been voted best band in the state, in their town,  they have won national song writing awards, they sell tickets locally etc.. They should have made it to the next level 10 years ago, but for reasons they don't know they just haven't. They've sent videos, CDs, etc to Planet Bluegrass and other festivals and have never heard a word back.

I don't have answer; I am just saying it's a hard world to crack even with a good resume.
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Billy Blaze
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URL icon « Reply #8 on: September 09, 2008, 10:08:47 AM »

I feel ya there apallo.
It's tough.
I guess you got be someones brother in law or already have made your own way.
It's kind of like in life you get the lesson after the test.

Who needs help when they are already famous? nobody.
I just wish there were a venue that could help a musician further themselves instead of waiting on them to get famous first...it's backwards.

I thought about the songwritting schoold landshark but, my music really doesn't follow the conventional rules of songwritting and I dont want to corrupt what good things I have going for me.
I tend to be successful once I get my foot in the door it's just getting the door to open that i have a problem with.
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URL icon « Reply #9 on: September 09, 2008, 10:37:56 AM »

[quote author=Billy Blaze link=topic=4595.msg31489#msg31489 date=1220976527

I thought about the songwritting schoold landshark but, my music really doesn't follow the conventional rules of songwritting and I dont want to corrupt
[/quote]
Personally,, it's got to be a full moon,,, while eating bacon fer me,,,, I mean really BillyB, I think everyone has a unique way all their own. So being conventional to a degree is a skill to manage rather than corrupt.. But what do I know.... Flower
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" Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world. " -  Albert Einstein
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URL icon « Reply #10 on: September 09, 2008, 01:44:26 PM »

Billy, You really need to come to Song School next August.  Your unconventional rules of songwriting will fit in just fine, and you just might learn something new.  At song school you will meet and hear and play with all sorts of musical personalites, who like you, have been banging on the door for quite a long time.  Also why don't you enter the RMFF Songwriting contest, finalists get treated pretty well at PBG and the winnner gets a mainstage set the following year.  You say you've paid your dues but I'm not so sure that they ever are paid in full.  You gotta just keep pluggin' away.

Good luck and hopefully we'll see you in camp, next August.

Eddie
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URL icon « Reply #11 on: September 09, 2008, 03:58:29 PM »

I would second what eddie said.  I just attended my first sng school and feel certain that anyone, no matter how unconventional, would benefit from the instruction.  In no way did any instructor try and change the way you wrote, they just really want to help you write the way you write better.  None of us should ever be afraid of learning that, should we?

There are plenty of contests out there to enter, so I say enter away.  I think it is hard to expect  festivals that offer contests to songwriters (that have several hundred entrants each year) offer up a festival slot to someone who has one self distributed CD out.  Your situation is exactly what the contest at RMFF and the Telluride Troubador contest are made for. 
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Billy Blaze
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URL icon « Reply #12 on: September 09, 2008, 09:03:57 PM »

I did enter last year, heard nothing.
no skin off my nose but a "no thanks" would have been nice.
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Cindy Lou
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URL icon « Reply #13 on: September 10, 2008, 05:08:45 PM »

Billy if you live in the DFW metroplex then get yo'self down to Poor David's Pub. They are always looking for new talent and they often have songwriters' showcases.  Great little venue that I used to go to all the time before I moved up here in '76.  He's still there; I get the emails with the schedules regularly.
You can always go on YouTube too with your own stuff.
Yee-ha! :dog Concert
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Billy Blaze
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URL icon « Reply #14 on: September 10, 2008, 07:52:40 PM »

Hi Cindy,
Thanks for the suggestion...i talked to the folks over there at Poor David's pub more than once.
To be frank, i pretty much done with the clubs in Dallas and several in Ft Worth.
Here's the breakdown... all the gigs out there that want you to play for the door, or a percentage of the bar sales, or a sliding scale....these things make me run.
It seems to be all about the free entertainment around here, and when you do show up and play the gig you are background music.
I even had one gig have the audacity to tell me the reason I didn't reach the top tier of their sliding scale is that the bar business before the band got there was slow.
Nevermind the fact that i brought in 120 people slamming booze all night.
I dont mind playing for free but if I am going to do that i want it to be in front of a crowd that actually wants to hear my lyrics.
I do travel out to Midland once in a while because people out there actually appreciate artists, here in the metromess there are too many cut rate bubba bands that shouldnt be out of the garage making things tough for the people with talent.
I am friends with Roy Orbison's son Wesley and he's supposed to take my disc out to some record execs in Nashville that are friends of him and his father....so I may be on my way already.
I will keep you guys posted with what happens with that.
I plan on going back in the studio in a month or two to record my second CD too.
Thanks for the suggestions, anyone know how to get into the Folks Fest though? a cousin's brothers sisters mother on the inside?
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