All It Takes Is a Little Progress

Sometimes music gets hard.  It gets frustrating.  It feels like it is going nowhere.  Fast.

That’s when a little progress can help.

This last week, we found a little progress.  My wife has written some new songs and found one by a fantastic and well-decorated songwriter here in town, and we are itching to get them recorded.  This week, we made progress on finding a producer/engineer to help us make those songs come to life.  There is still much to do, but every little bit helps.

On top of that, several shows are coming together.  A show here, a show there.  Each one means another $1 in tips (really, that’s what we average – Nashville apparently doesn’t believe in tipping for music), more exposure, and if we are lucky, one CD sale.  Riveting stuff here, folks.

One day at a time.  One show at a time.  One song at a time.  It all starts with a song, and then that song must be sung.  That song must be heard.  That song must be loved.  Then that song can be sung back.  I can’t wait for that last one.

Can’t wait.

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You Get For What You Pay

“You get what you pay for,” or as the grammar-nerd in my likes to correct, “You get for what you pay.”

Music doesn’t make a whole lot of money.  Sure, there are some superstars, but that’s the exception.  For every superstar, there are hundreds and thousands of musicians (and drummers) who play for fun, play for tips, play for food, and play for beer.

Music, even as a hobby, is not cheap.  Let’s break it down to it’s cheapest form:

Buy a guitar.  That’s a couple hundred dollars, at least.

Take lessons.  You can either take lessons and pay someone for it, or you can learn yourself.  Either way, you’re spending your time.  Someone once said time is money.

Learn songs.  You have to hear songs before you can learn them, which probably means purchasing (or stealing, whichever your conscience lets you do) songs.

There you go.  You’re still looking at several hundred, maybe even thousands, of dollars.  No biggee.

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The masses don’t always understand what it takes to have music for an event.  I get that.  I don’t know what all it takes to build a hospital.  But I do ask others that build hospitals what kind of money it takes to build hospitals.  If I can’t afford it, I don’t build hospitals.  If music is expensive, I guess you’ll just have to go without.

Something that also goes into having music is amplification.  Most every bar, restaurant, clothing shop, and gas station in Nashville has a PA system because they all have live music.  However, go outside of the city limits, and people don’t always think about these things.  I get it.  However, it then puts the musician in a tough place – somehow it becomes the musician’s job to now track down a PA system.

The life of a beginning artist – you learn who your friends are.  The ones that have PA systems.  The ones that let you borrow those PA systems.  The ones that have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.  The ones that let you use it rent free.  Man, I love those friends.

Rehearsals Begin

We had our first rehearsal tonight.  Jessie sang beautifully, though she won’t tell you so.  I had a blast playing with some very talented musicians, Tim on guitar, Hitoshi on bass, and Julian on drums.  It was a very fun, relaxed, and great sounding rehearsal.  I can’t wait for the others, and the shows to follow!

These shows are to promote my wife’s music and to raise money to record a swampy soul album.  We started a Kickstarter campaing a few days ago, and we’re already past the 14% funded mark!  We are all pretty proud of this, and we’re pretty proud of the progress we’ve made so far.

To keep up with everything Jessie, go to www.JessieSmithMusic.com

To keep up with everything behind the scenes, stay right here.