Wow! What a year 2020 was (understatement, I know)! For so many working musicians, the events in the month of March 2020 shut down live music and their means of income for the year. Just like that -- and there is still no word on resuming, though we are hopeful this year will not repeat itself. I have absolute Faith it will not because musicians are creative and resourceful beings. We will not be kept down in 2021!
So much new music was released last year. Folks made well with the time spent off the road. I had already begun a recording project in the fall of 2019, so I had every intention of seeing it through to the end. The question was if I should wait and hold it back from release, which I ended up not delaying. The musicians and I worked for over eight months on the project and I was eager for people to hear it. It was also inspiring to see all the FaceBook live concerts and events. No matter your level of fame, everyone found a way to keep their fans engaged in their careers and new musical pursuits. When the 'stay at home' order lifted, there was a bit of a stampede getting back to the club circuit. I am fortunate to live an hour outside of Nashville, so when a small bar in my neck of the woods called wanting me to play in early summer, I was thrilled. That led to several other gigs including the Wartrace Music Fest series in July. It was largely due to "being at the right time and in the right place doing the right thing" (my old high school principle's famous quote). I was in the process of final mixes for my album "Sage" at the studio when the booking agent/promoter happened to call my engineer looking for opening acts. I leapt at the chance to promote the album and was so grateful for the opportunity. I hired a backing band of wonderful fellas who loved the music and were excited to be playing an outdoor event with all the restrictions in other venues. I usually perform solo or with a trio of my friends from Nashville so this was a treat for all involved. We put a very different spin on the songs from the album (I debuted my Fender Strat named "Layla"), and we managed to make a little money to boot!
Then, a local radio station in Murfreesboro, 89.5 WMOT Roots Radio, played track #7 from the new album on the air (twice) two weeks after the release in October!! Again, I have very high hopes that other tunes will get a spin on the WMOT as well, so keeping in mind a lot of artist's released new material lately, I'm about to start sending emails again---LOL. Networking is a full time job but I am up for the task.
So here we are in 2021. No worse for the wear, not afraid; full of inspiration despite the previous months. Each January I plan the year personally and musically then resume my playing schedule in February. My goals will be higher for this year. I still have a new album of great material to promote. There are venues out there I have never played that I want to experience. I want to do at least two album release parties that didn't happen last year with those nice fellas I met and hired to be my band (and now are my friends). The point is I plan to make the most of what is given to me. Opportunities do not come to you if you are negative or if you're a "no" person when a smaller venues want to book you. No matter how big or small, each gig is a gift to me. An opportunity to share my music and a bit of my soul for a moment. In my humble opinion, if you say no to the small venues, you're not worthy of the big ones. Guess who has a gig on January 30th??So stay positive, keep playing, and be grateful for another trip around the sun. Let's raise a glass and toast the promise of a new year -- and may God Bless you all on this journey.