September has been a bit of an eye opener for me both on a personal and professional level. Apart from the usual busking and gigging I spent a week in Nashville for the annual Americana Fest and Conference that was taking place in the city at the end of september. And what an incredible week it turned out to be. It really hammered home what an amazing city Nashville is right now. I can only imagine that this is what it must have been like to live in London in the 60’s. The city is filled with musicians and there is a real sense of community between them, especially in east Nashville, the bohemian hub of the city. I found people very welcoming and was even invited to a party by some locals and treated to a private concert on their back porch. There is also a massive concentration of recording studios and record companies, and because of the city’s size you felt it was easy to rub shoulders with PR men and producers while out food shopping or drinking at your local bar. I even made it along to a party held at New West RecordsNashville office where I got the chance to network with agents and managers, and I hid a couple of copies of my CD ‘Rambling Man’ in the office for people to hopefully find later…
But I guess what I brough back with me from Nashville, (apart from a hangover!) was the importance of just getting out there and meeting people. When you’re a solo artist it’s easy to forget that no man is an island and the public are your audience not something to hide away from. And although shutting your self away to concentrate on writing songs and recording new material is important, so is talking to people and making new connections. And if unfortunately, to quote Hunter S Thompson: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” Then sometimes you have to be a pimp as well as an artist to make it in this business.
On my return to London, just couple of days after Nashville, I played a rocking gig with my band at The Monarch in Camden. I’d played at the venue before back in March at ‘Chalk Farm Folk‘ a monthly night run by the band ‘Mahoney And the Moment‘. It was a great night then and it didn’t disappoint this time around. I really enjoyed myself despite being still jet lagged from my trip back from the states.
Some friends who’d made it along to the gig kindly asked me if I’d like to play at a birthday party that they are planing at the end of the month, and I happily agreed. It was a very fun night indeed, if sightly drunken, and no doubt I’ll post some pics in next months blog if there not too embarrassing! If you’d like me and my band to play at event that your planning or even at a Christmas party then please do get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!