It’s been another busy week living in Music City, and I feel like I’m finally starting to fall into a routine: drive to St. Louis on Mondays, head home on Tuesday nights, and hustle like crazy the rest of the week to make connections and drum up work in Nashville. As many people warned me before I moved, you just don’t walk into this town and start working. You have to earn your reputation, and I’m making a effort to make sure that it’s good one, based on honesty about who I am and what I can offer.
All of my contacts have been very friendly and helpful, but they’re completely consumed with their own careers and we haven’t been able to hang out as much as I would have liked. Still, I’m grateful they’ve been as involved as they have been. No one owes me anything here. I am sure as I have more to offer them we’ll be able to have a more meaningful, less lopsided business relationship.
Here’s some of the highlights from this week:
• I got to attend two music festivals in Nashville on Saturday. The first was to hear songwriter and talented upright bass player Scott Mulvahill perform at Centennial Park in downtown Nashville. Scott’s one of the finalists for this year’s guitar center singer songwriter competition (he’s at No. 2 in the United States last I checked), and if you get a chance you should check out his page and vote for him. When you hear the song, you’ll understand why he’s worth the vote. You can vote for him here.
• The second festival I attended was Blocktoberfest at Nashville's Marathon Music Works, where my friend Andy Herrin killed it on drums with his surf rock band Repeat Repeat. Andy also plays with the rock group Cavo, who’s running a fundraiser right now for their latest album. You can check it out here, and might find a new favorite rock band. They rock pretty darn hard.
• On Wednesday I did my first recording project in the Nashville area with the talented singer Kiley Phillips. We recorded a previously unreleased 1950’s tune for a friend, and she did a masterful job getting that Grace Kelly croon into the song. She’s got an awesome band, too- check them out here.
• On Sunday I got up at 5:30 AM and drove back to St. Louis for an 8 hour practice with the Trans Siberian tribute group I’m going on tour with this winter. It was our final practice before tech weekend, and it’s shaping up to be the most amazing group of talent we've ever had. You can find a list of our tour dates here.
• On a personal note, Sarah and I took it easier this week than in the past, sleeping in more, hanging out more, and purposefully slowing down our lives before I ramp up for the holidays touring season. I’m so lucky to have known this woman for over 5 years, and she’s been a constant source of inspiration for me. She makes me stop working and relax, something I’m terrible at doing on my own.
What have I learned this week?
• Consistently practicing music every day pays big dividends in your performance abilities.
• Giving grace is essential to working with anyone in any industry, but especially in the music industry.
• Follow the boy scout motto: always be prepared. You never know who’s listening.