I've lost count on the number of weeks that I've been in Nashville now (we're nearing the 9 month mark, so perhaps one of my smart readers can do the math for me).
As I suspected when I started writing this series in my blog, I've received very little interest in the daily happenings of a working musician in Nashville. I'm afraid we're all so busy with our own story that it's hard to find time to read someone else's. We're all most interested in telling our story and furthering our own careers, that we only make time for how-to's and gear reviews.
How would I know about the self-centeredness rampant in the modern culture? Because I'm sitting here writing a blog about me. Yes, I'm a pretty self-centered person, too. After long reflection, the reason I keep writing these more personal posts are threefold:
1. My mom reads this post. In short, a lot of people ask me what I'm up to these days, and it's simpler to post a blog en masses to keep everyone in the loop.
2. To let readers see an insider's view of the music industry in Nashville (or as inside as I can manage to get). Hopefully some of the things I'm doing not only lets you experience what it's like to be in a thriving, competitive music town, but also helps you apply some of the solutions I find to the problems in your own careers.
3. To let me see what my challenges and accomplishments look like on paper, keep in perspective how small and petty they are, and help me map out the path ahead.
With that said, here's what's been going on:
I've been staying busy with several recording projects over the last month, including doing tracks for a country band (had to learn how to convincingly play banjo with a keyboard). I co-wrote several sync licensing tunes with my friend Ben Jackson, which we're hoping to get placed in commercials.
I also had the chance to play keys on a variety of demos and singles, including a single for Greg Baggett, some music my dad is writing, and a few other projects. I love recording, and I've been buying equipment left and right to try and get my rig up to par with the high standards of the Nashville scene.
I got to catch a few local shows, including several by Jason Eskridge. Jason is a soul singer, and recently knocked the socks off a tribute to Ray Charles at 3rd and Lindsley. This was definitely one of my highlights this month.
I had a string of shows back in St. Louis with an acoustic covers group, playing some of the upscale clubs around the area. I also took a few shows around Nashville, including with the Jill Grossman Trio. I also had the honor to play at Harvester Church in St. Charles, which is always a treat because of the great people there. I feel like gigs are finally starting to pick up, and I'm just beginning to get calls from around town for gigs.
On a personal note, Sarah and I's apartment lease is up, and we're in the process of buying a house. We'll be moving in September, and we've been having a difficult time getting a loan since I'm 100% self employed, and the current loaning system in the U.S. does not look fondly on entrepreneurs. Prayer for guidance over the next few months would be much appreciated.
What lessons have I learned over the last few months? Here's a few thoughts:
Having great gear is important, but knowing how to use it is even more important
Scheduling downtime isn't a luxury, but a necessity. If you work too hard, your body will eventually make you slow down.
Bring nuts to long sessions, since lunch breaks aren't always as regular as you'd like.
Being persistent will almost always get results.