Wed 4/20 - Cedric Burnside
& John-Alex Mason ($10 Cover)
Thu 4/21- Terablu
Fri 4/22 - Laurie Dameron Band
Sat 4/23 - Willie "Big Eyes" Smith ($10 Cover)
Sun 4/17 - Blues Jam w/Heavy Cats
Fri 4/29 - Otis Taylor - Trance Blues (Tix $20 - Call)
These bands and venues need our business to survive, and I do mean our business. I know there are folks who frequent some great clubs ( only if there is no cover-charge) and never spend a dime in them! Sadly some of these ‘blues fans’ have been doing it for years. To me, that’s not much different than stealing. Live music isn’t free. Bands can’t play for free. Heck, a $5-$10 cover for an evening of entertainment is pretty darn cheap. I think every venue that has live music should charge a cover, even if only a nominal one. A bad movie will cost you three to four times what a good band will. If the venue isn’t charging a cover, then make a point of buying something to eat, or a few drinks, and toss a few bucks into those “tip jars” every band has on stage.
Keeping the venue alive as well as the bands is the only way we can keep this music alive. Clubs pay these local Blues bands anything from $200 on up to ‘maybe’ a $1000 for the best of the best. Without a cover, 50 people spending 5 or 6 bucks just doesn’t do it for a venue to survive. And the money the band is paid get’s split between 3-6 performers. After expenses, these guys aren’t making a whole lot either, often scrambling to break even. Even National acts find themselves playing 250+ gigs a year to make ends meet. Let’s face it, the performers that play the Blues aren’t doing it to get rich, otherwise they’d be playing rock or country which sells a whole lot better. No, they play the Blues because they love the music, but remember they all have families to support too.
So please, do your best to support live music and keep the Blues alive. We ALL need to patronize our local blues venues. It’s the responsibility of all of us to keep the venues going and booking acts, if we don’t, the music we love will be disappearing. Spending money on the blues is one of the rare times in life you will actually get some value back on your money.
Hope to see you soon at a blues club near you...and don’t forget to bring your wallet.
And one last thing. I received this via email a couple of days ago, and it struck me so hard, I thought I’d share it. It was sent by my Aunt Ramona.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
by Naomi Shihab Nye, from Different Ways to Pray, 1980