Good day all,
I often have people suggest places for me to play shows and I really love the input, and especially when it comes from someone I consider a friend or fan. I know sometimes people will post a series of pictures on Facebook with captions like, "What mom thinks I do...What spouse thinks I do...What I really do." I hope you know what I mean by that; if not I don't know if I can explain it any better and don't feel like googling it to post a link as an example. I'll let you do that. It occurs to me some of you may not be aware that there's a process by which I select venues. Some people recommend the newest place in town because they're popular, full of patrons, and really fun. Some people recommend a place they really like, and I completely understand that. If I could get a musician I liked to play at my favorite place to go out it'd be a good day. Some people recommend venues based on who they know that could, "get me in." It's always helpful to have connections in this business so that sometimes can play a factor in whether or not I reach out. Just a few weeks ago I had a friend and fan help connect me with a venue I'd been trying to connect with. My point is, suggestions come from many sources for many reasons.
When I look for a venue, I try first to focus on whether I would be a good fit for the room, whether I have a relationship with a competing venue or not, and whether it will be good for my fans to be in that venue. Then, after they've passed the gut check on that, I have to decide what the business potential is for when we work together. For instance, on June 13th I'll be playing a place in Springtown called Maddie Lou's Bar and Grill in Springtown, TX. The young lady who booked me contacted me directly and we had a long conversation about how to make the best of having live music in the bar. Whereas, some places will just tell you the time and the pay without giving a thought to ask the artist what their experience might suggest. We reached what I think is a really good plan for that night. My expectations for the night are that venue, patrons, and artist, will all feel like they had a great experience. Win, win, win, right?
There are some other places that I already have a great relationship with so they get first priority when I'm booking. These are places like: Boomerjack's/Bedford Icehouse, Rock & Brews, Filthy McNasty's, Blind Horse Saloon, and others. Those are based on long-running, communicative relationships built on reputation; theirs and mine. It takes a long time to build that kind of trust in this business. I always look for new places but these that have been working with me for years are like finding diamonds in the rough.
There's another place that deserves mentioning. They somehow beat out my aforementioned gut test because I don't get what I normally would require from them. I play in a corner, barely visible, in a loud room. When they go on a wait the people waiting stand right in front of me and sometimes crowd so much it's hard to not feel jammed up. Sometimes I get asked to turn it down because people often aren't really there for the music. Sounds awful, right? So why do I keep playing this joint? The list of good reasons way out weigh the bad. The food is amazing and I tell my fans to come hungry. The staff, ownership, and management are among the best I've ever worked with, and I just can't imagine going a few weeks without stopping in. The biggest reason, however, is that they were one of the first places to take a chance on me when I set out to make music for a living. I'm talking about Big Fish on Main St. in Grapevine, TX. If you haven't been there, you are missing out. I mean, big time. Tell Mike, Brock, and everyone else I sent you.
I say all of this to tell you how excited I am to announce a new venue for me coming in May; and an old standby also in May! On May 11, I'll be playing at Shady Oak BBQ off 35W and Western Center. When I met with management, we had a great talk about concepts, what they want from music, what they dream for the future, and more. We agreed on almost everything and I told them I would put everything I have into getting a large group there on May 11. They made sure to let me know it was kid friendly so, those of you who have been waiting for one of these, here it is. Also, on May 31 we'll have the band at Filthy McNasty's in the Stockyards. This has been one of my favorite stages over the years because of who they are, how they treat my people, and that they know I'll work my butt off to fill the joint. Oh, FYI, this one is NOT family friendly :-) We will feature some brand new original songs and all your old favorites on May 31.
If you're still reading, thanks! Come to a show soon and pick up one of the new T-shirts. Keep watching this website for updates and shows, follow Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and highjinks, and tell your friends. If you're streaming on Spotify or Amazon music give a shout out online to say you are.
Thanks for Listening,