Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > younger kids booking gigs
younger kids booking gigs
Login  |  Register
Page: 1

610 posts
Jul 12, 2017
6:33 PM
Has anyone noticed or been in this predicament? Your band has played at new venues and the gigs were booked directly with the owner. As soon as these venues start doing more business, naturally, the owners delegate their booking activities to a booking agent. The agent has a tendency to be younger and, as it goes, the younger person is clueless about blues and begins to 1. book friends they know. 2. book more of the younger type music. 3. never return calls or e-mails. thoughts, gripes?
148 posts
Jul 13, 2017
4:28 AM
Pretty relative to what younger is..I'm in my 60's so even a 40 year old is a younger "kid".
If you are losing gigs to a younger crowd you might want to find a young en to join you for some tunes.

There are some fine musicians who are younger, just a matter of hooking up with someone to join you from time to time on a song or two.

Last time we played at a bistro we hooked up with a friend..a 20's something rafsta guy. He was great..did all the percussion including vocal percussion stuff, super nice guy...and the ladies of all ages swooned over his good looks..plus he was good.. better than myself on some things..and had the energy I once had ..once upon a time...

If the music is good the age difference means little..
at least that's how we look at it..
good luck
2315 posts
Jul 13, 2017
7:09 AM
I think we've encountered a sort of ageism as well, but our response has been to go in with confidence, as a duo, and work the management until we get a yes or a no, then move on. We had gotten a fill-in gig with a kid at a pizza place last year and after that first one he set us a date for the next month. When we showed up another outfit was loading in. The kid denied ever booking us a new gig. Since we had loaded our p.a. and amps we felt we were due something, and the kid's dad- who owned the joint- did give us half pay. We did not try to rebook since the kid was not dependable.
Email/telephone contact got us almost nothing in the months since we've been full time on the road, so we just changed our tactics. Many times a face to face is quicker and easier. A joint close by may be worth 2 or 3 visits, to get to the "right" person.
We've cold called like this and locked a gig sight-unheard at least twice now. And even got return dates on one so far. Even if you hand off a biz card with a link to your stuff online the odds are it will not get a listen and you will not get an answer. We spent a lot of time and effort finding venues in several cities, making contact by email, websites message boards, and phone. Very poor response to any of that.

Something else we've been willing to do- and actually done once for a bar owner- is live audition, acoustic, 3 songs, yes or no. This almost instantly got us work when we've "had to" go to that length. Seems like if you show up prepared, this is often enough to get a chance.

If someone doesn't want to deal with our gray hair, our position is that's not a venue we need to bother with. A thick skin and a business like outlook is essential when you sell anything, but especially if it's your art or music.

Recently we found a hairdresser for Jolene to keep her 'do nice. The guy turned out to be a good resource and we not only got Jo's hair done, we got a First Friday street gig downtown! It was a tip gig but still a good time. We'll be back next month. It's in front of a joint we may book at too. If not, no big deal.

I thought I had the market figured out about 18 years ago. I was so wrong! The scene changes not just with geography but with the economy, time, age, music trends, all kinds of factors. If you can roll with it and stay on focus, you can stay active and viable and have a good time. And not go broke!





Last Edited by jbone on Jul 13, 2017 7:13 AM
611 posts
Jul 13, 2017
8:27 PM
yeah the music biz will definitely humble you. I think everyone should experience it...it will make you a better human being. And I agree you got to be relentless and get used to rejection. to both of you, I like your suggestions.
2125 posts
Jul 14, 2017
5:46 AM
This younger guy booking friends and guys that aren't half the band that you are has been happening for over a decade.
The Iceman
3246 posts
Jul 14, 2017
6:03 AM
It's a common occurrence when decision making powers are transferred to someone else. Oftentimes, they bring in their own "posse".

I really enjoyed Charlie McCoy's description of how the music producers in Nashville changed over the years in regards to who is first call for sessions.

It started out with "Who is Charlie McCoy?". Then, "Get me Charlie McCoy". Next, it's "Find me a younger Charlie McCoy" and finally ends up with "Who is Charlie McCoy?".
The Iceman

Last Edited by The Iceman on Jul 14, 2017 6:04 AM
612 posts
Jul 14, 2017
4:25 PM
@iceman, oh yeah...that's great...lol.

there is a degree of comedy to all of this...

I remember being in court one day waiting for one of my cases to be called, when court officers escorted a scared, grey haired old man, dressed in drab clothing, disheveled, eyes wide open and popping out of his sockets, ankle shackles and handcuffs, shuffling along to the podium and the judge says "sir, do you know why you're here?" and he says, "Your honor, I'm befuddled by all of this." I looked at the DA and said this should be engraved on the front of the couthouse.

Last Edited by blueswannabe on Jul 14, 2017 4:48 PM
3373 posts
Jul 14, 2017
5:50 PM
If your ensemble draws consistently well, you get booked consistently. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily related to how good your band is. There's no lack of lame assed bands that draw...go figure.
272 posts
Jul 16, 2017
8:31 AM
since ive done solo a lot - I have used a rather strange method to get my foot in door-I can afford to do it as a solo --don't know about a band-

When an owner seemed dis-interested
I told the new or new younger owner "look I'll give u $50 --If u or yr employees and or the people don't like me -keep it- if I pass give the money back and at least get me a dinner--

Of course they say oh no we don't have to do that--then I say well give me an off night for u--I;ll play for tips and then if u like it we'll talk

I know unorthodox-- but unorthodox methods have worked well for me --most people have heard every type of sales pitch possible -

I never say " I'll play for $50 in an arrogant fashion usually joked about it--but with younger people it makes them think 'this old guy has a sense of humor and must be decent if willing to do the $50 deal

So "get yr foot in the door" with a new method of asking-tell a few of yr friends to go in the bar, restaurant whatever and ask " hey I heard bills band is playing hear etc

I'm getting sick of my 'pseudo, know it all thing' Im doing so im stopping

Last Edited by snowman on Jul 16, 2017 8:33 AM
673 posts
Jul 16, 2017
10:24 AM
i have heard of this,from friends,but it hasn't really had an effect on me.
my audience is often younger than other blues musicians in my area.

Post a Message
Guest Name


(8192 Characters Left)

Please enter the code shown above and click the 'Post Message' button. This additional step is required to help protect against message spam.





blues harmonica riffs - harmonica tabs - learn harmonica - play harmonica

play harmonica easily - harp tabs for beginners - blues harmonica lessons


ADAM GUSSOW is an official endorser for HOHNER HARMONICAS