There was a point in my musical life where I decided that I’m committed, with no holds barred. Not long after that I stopped taking bookings where I was supposed to draw an audience.
Drawing an audience is a big distraction from playing. If I have time to spend on preparing for a gig, I want it to benefit people’s ears – things like practicing, working on the set list, improving my equipment. Quality is hyperefficient. I have limited resources. The music is the best place to invest them..
Also, drawing a crowd is a con game. Making It In The Music Business is not what I’m about. As much respect as I have for people who make this game work, they are vastly outnumbered by people getting fleeced.
So I direct my attention to pre-existing crowds in need of music. Parties, for example. Problem solved. But then there’s a new problem – the music isn’t what they’re there for.
So last night I happened to play a gig for an audience which was there for other reason than to listen, and it was awesome. A quiet room. Comfortable seats. Ability to follow the phrases back and forth. I felt like they were disappointed when the big dumb songs arrived instead of relieved that the pointy headed stuff was finally over.
Maybe I can find a way to achieve both goals.