I started a new thread for this because I didn't wan't to hijack the "Harmonica Relevance" topic that Tom Halchak aka Florida Trader started. In that topic Iceman or Larry Eisenberg asked some cool questions I bet a few of people were probably wondering about about too. Larry asked:
"It was fun to see "one of us" at that R&R Hall of Fame Butterfield induction on TV and we got all excited about the possibilities of this leading to bigger recognition and exposure for Jason, but did that translate into anything more than that one shot? Did new and exciting opportunities come Jason's way? Did Paul Schafer call him for more projects? Did young folk get all excited about that spot and run out and buy harmonicas?"
"I guess the first few questions only Jason can answer. IMO, the show did not inspire many to run out and start learning to play harmonica, but I have no evidence to back up my opinion."
To answer Larry's queries? (That should be a TV show!) As said in my earlier post on that thread, I think your right Larry (iceman) not a ton of "big" things happened right away as the result of that single TV show. But I'm not really sure thats how it works... Like I said in the other thread I haven't seen many big career explosions happen for others gifted with similar appearances. I think people believe or it's fun to believe that TV does more than it actually often does for people these days. I guess sometimes it can do all that but it's really not that frequent of an occurrence anymore. The romantic idea of overnight and sustaining success so many people imagine follows an event like that actually rarely happens. Even multiple performances in a starring acting TV role can be less than life changing. Theres a lot of media thrown at folks these days! You know these things are cool though and they add up and count for sure in the end. Great work if you can get it. I'm sure you know sometimes new offers come in five minutes after something cool and other times the ripple takes fifteen years! The gourmet Olive tapenade business is probably similar to some extent. That stuffs huge here in New Orleans! Speaking of New Orleans, food and TV I did two appearances on the Emeril Lagassi show with Big Al and the Heavyweights back in the day! Maybe I'll put a word in with Emril about your stuff...
But your absolutely right on the outside my life hasn't changed drastically and I never really thought it would, as you also said I've been around a "LONG" time... and you do learn that all that glitters ain't gold... However I'd be being falsely humble, ungrateful and definitely no fun if I didn't report a few cool results and really answer your questions...
I know it wasn't really your one of your questions but I have to say again first and foremost and respectively the coolest part was being chosen/asked by Akroyd, Shaffer and the Butterfield Family to honor this great player, thats there forever now. I'm going to omit a few things in the works now as I won't jinx em. So here's a short list of some things that happened right after that gig, some may not be directly related but I'm not in the habit of asking "Why" people hire me...Incidentally I did ask Paul Shaffer and and Johnny Winter and I won't repeat what they said. Tom Waites says: "Always keep a diamond in your mind". So here's a few things most likely from The ROHF gig.
1.) It was a huge factor in my newest record deal with Eller Soul. 2.) My gig prices went up and so did my audiences. There are clubs that will now book me just because of that gig. 3.) I got on Johnny Winter's Grammy Award Winning release "Step Back" as a featured artist shortly after. 4.) I hung out with Willie Weeks all night and we got kicked out of Miley Cyrus's after party! 5.) Singer, songwriter Ike Reilly who is on Tom Morello's record label hired me and my Wife for some gigs after that aired and we're friends now and he's producing my Wife's new record, which is rad! That guys great and is one of OUR heroes now. We ride around in cars n shit and him and his wife came and played and chilled at our wedding! Worth it! 6.) I got about 3000 new subscribers to my youtube channel in like a month...My internet and search engine rankings sky rocketed and I got quotes to use from USA Today and the Times etc, Interviewers love the subject. All the good, bad and especially argumentative internet banter about the whole thing really played into all the search engine rankings. Thank God for haters! 7.) The judge in my case was very impressed with the gig and especially Tom Morello thanking my Probation officer on HBO in the interview after! That was a bit better than anything FOR ME! 8.) Steve Cropper thinks I'm funny. 9.) I sold a lot of "Dirty Memory" with JJ Appleton CD's when that thing aired and every time it does I get a check from CD Baby which is rad. 10.) My family is really proud of me and my little nieces and nephews just LOVE it and giggle so hard! Priceless. 11.) I got a lot of sessions after that gig from rock bands, especially over sees after that aired. 12.) Lots of new students came to me directly or to me after that and still do. 13.) I do really well in Cleveland now. 14.) I got some phone numbers and peeps got mine.
So thats probably not exactly the stuff I'm guessing you were really looking for but yet it kind of is. Practical, measurable, improvement at least to me. Thats how this stuff goes most the time for us. It's built on relationships and some very cool ones started right after that gig. More will be revealed and if not what an awesome life event! Paul Shaffer has released one record since then and It didn't have any harmonica on it, hope thats not my fault. As far as people picking up harmonica as a result of that gig? I don't know? Stevie wonder played this crazy, cool, combo guitar, harpsichord thing that was mean as hell and I haven't seen anyone going out and buying those things yet so I'm not carrying that weight if Stevie doesn't have to.
This vid went miles with criminal justice system!
Heres that weird marcordi thing Stevie plays!
Last Edited by Moon Cat on Jul 14, 2017 3:43 AM
Wow! A lot of great things happened for you, Jason! You deserve it for all the hard work you put in. Jason is definitely the "kalamata olive tapenade, homemade by a famous French chef" of harmonica players.
I think that a lot of his success probably owes to his positive, "can do" attitude. I think that it was George Washington Carver who said, "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."
Remember that the Three Stooges were only able to successfully fly a plane because they believed in themselves:
Pretty extensive posting there, Jason. Glad some positives came out of it. It is easy to see how this would open the door to hanging with folks and situations that swirl around a corporate event like this. Once the door opens to hanging with a somewhat celebrity crowd, everyone "gooses" each other in their own way. Like finally getting those bouncers to let one into "Studio 54" back in the day. Once inside, everyone looks to see who else is there and networks the situation.
As to the parallels to gourmet foods, one of which is Olive Tapenades, when we won Flavor of Georgia (the prestigious gourmet food competition for the state held in Atlanta), it was a similar situation, although opportunities came fast and furious right away. Calls from food brokers, offers of distribution, news articles, etc. It puts you in a brighter light so more become aware, and then they decide if it will be fun to hang and/or, in a sense, "use you" to further their own agendas, which is what the scene is really about at this level. For instance, someone took our product to L.A to give to Emeril at his B'day party, which garnered us street cred and Emeril's praise (so no need for Jason to "put in a word about our tapenade" with him - he's already aware). Paula Deen and her sons now see us as contemporaries, which opens the door and gets us VIP tables and go to the front of the line in her Savannah restaurant - stuff like that. In a strange twist of fate, Peyton Manning now likes our tapenade - which stemmed from his hilarious ESPN silly commercial where he was a tiny man with fairy wings in a sports fan's refrigerator standing next to a large jar of olive tapenade and commenting on it. So, getting recognized at that level is mostly a kick and gives one bragging rights - people seem impressed when you tell them about it, and it gets their attention for a New York Minute. However, this dies out pretty quickly in the real world and unless you keep moving forward with new innovations/products/concepts, it quickly becomes "just a line or two in one's obituary".
Yes, people do like to see a "pedigree" of some sort, but one must also work to keep their attention after that short burst. The danger comes when one feels "OK, I made it" when winning an award, getting to perform on TV, or whatever, and then stops pushing forward, figuring the universe will now open up and shower success down on one. So, glad to see Jason is still out there slugging away. Hope more good things come your way. An overnight success usually comes after 20 - 30 years of putting in that time!
(final edit addition for Jason: Inspiration for my creation of the olive tapenade came from my working the IAJE Convention in New Orleans around 2001 - had Sunday off, so went to French Quarter to experience my first authentic Muffaletta Sandwich at the Central Grocery. Fell in love. Analyzed the sandwich - cold cuts, cheese, pretty cool bread, but the magic was in the olive stuff...so, read yellowed news articles on the creation and ingredients, took notes on a little napkin, went home and made some for friends and family - left out the admitted "filler" added to the jars of olive salad to bulk it up - chunks of carrots, cauliflower, etc. It was a big hit. Folk from New Orleans that sampled it admitted that I had the authentic flavor down. Fast forward a number of years - now we make Muffaletta Sandwiches in our production facility. Not the same as the original, as that bread is unique to New Orleans, but seems to resonate pretty heavily with folks enjoyment of same. Apparently, popularity of it and word has even filtered back to the Central Grocery, where the current owner - I believe it is 3rd generation of the original owner and his name is Larry - or so I've been told - has heard about us, as people have told him "You know, there is this guy up in GA that also makes a pretty mean Muffaletta Sandwich". So, in a sense, it has come full circle to the place that inspired me. Pretty cosmic). ---------- The Iceman
Last Edited by The Iceman on Jul 14, 2017 6:13 AM
HA! You rock Mooncat. Loved that post, caused me to watch that born in chicago take again. Goosebumps. I only wanna know one thing. What got you kicked outta the Miley Cyrus after party? Ah, never mind, a true bluesman would never tell. Glad good things are comin your way. Stay cool.
I don't think it was a hijack - Jason opened the door by talking about the parallels as well as mentioning it a few times in the initial post.
Now, if I did something self promoting like posting my web site - www.oliveaffairs.com - now, that might be considered a hi-jack. Glad I didn't do THAT (koff) ---------- The Iceman
Last Edited by The Iceman on Jul 14, 2017 8:50 AM
You rock, Mooncat! Thanks for taking the time to give us that detailed list. The big takeaway for me is that the music business, like any business, is a lot about relationships; it's also about publicity--being seen and heard. Relationships and publicity are both needed, and they work, or often work, in synergy. It took not just talent but relationships to bring you to the attention of whoever was assembling the band for the RRHOF gig. That gig, in turn, brought a burst of major publicity which led, directly or indirectly, to a range of outcomes, including new relationships with labels, fans, musicians, etc. A smart musician holds a diversified portfolio: musically (you play in several acts), relationship-wise, and publicity-wise. To expect one big-burst moment to break you through is probably unwise, but to acknowledge that such a moment has all kinds of ramifications, many of them quite positive, is vitally important. Life is a process; a musical career is a process. You've really helped clarify the process by giving us a vivid and detailed sense of how one extended aftermath of a big-burst moment actually plays out. Thanks.
I haven't tried my hand at tapenade yet, btw, but I've been doing quite a bit of semi-vegan cooking after getting back from Shared Harvest farm, and you never know which direction I'll turn. I'm a good cook. Not at icemanle's level, of course, but still: good with olive oil and olives. So never say never.
Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jul 14, 2017 10:38 AM
My girlfriend and I had front row seats for Jason and band at the Bradenton Blues Festival. The crowd ranged in age from 6 yrs old to 86 yrs old. He was the best all around performer of the festival. His playing has progressed from the first time I saw at Terra Blues in NYC around 2006 to a point where he is able to play what he feels and I think has really found his own groove. He told some great stories-some which I assume were true-very entertaining to say the least. As a person in recovery myself,I can truly say I anm proud of Jason. All of the trials and tribulations seem to have made him stronger-musically and personally. Thanks Mooncat-rock on bro!! P.S. as for Tapenade I could give two shits-
Last Edited by tmf714 on Jul 14, 2017 11:00 AM
Thanks guys your'e too awesome. I've been sick in bed for a whole week and have too much time on my hands so I'm glad this was fun. Adam as always thank YOU so much for everything. Yeah man thats it, relationships! Almost 10 years before the ROHF thingy I did one of those House of Blues Radio spots...They interview you then over dub Akroyd's voice asking similar questions, you don't even talk to Akroyd/Elwood... 10 years later or so, turns out the guy is really cool and really listens to all those shows and really researches his artists! You never know... You guys are so kind to me and I'm so grateful to be part of this community. Tmf714 let's do one of those gathering things in a one of those church basements sometime. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm coming back down soon.
I personally just wan't to say I don't think the Tapenade thing was any kind of real hijack but I do appreciate the protection.... I think the business points Larry made in his post were totally relative to the one's I was trying to make about the music biz...It's the same dumb stuff and I was actually surprised that even though I wrote so much the Iceman understood even more of what I didn't write but was trying too... and also, I did bring up the Tapenade thing... HAAAA!!! Additionally I really like Emril and mentioned him too and this post was really inspired initially by Larry and Adam (Ice and Kudz) from the other thread. I also fell in love with those damn Central Grocery Muffalettas too when I was a kid and MAN!!! Larry I hope you did't take out too much of that giardiniera they put in there I love that crunchy spicy filler but if Peyton loves your'e stuff you know it's good as he's a REAL New Orleanian!
Larry wrote: "So, getting recognized at that level is mostly a kick and gives one bragging rights - people seem impressed when you tell them about it, and it gets their attention for a New York Minute. However, this dies out pretty quickly in the real world and unless you keep moving forward with new innovations/products/concepts, it quickly becomes "just a line or two in one's obituary". "
"Yes, people do like to see a "pedigree" of some sort, but one must also work to keep their attention after that short burst. The danger comes when one feels "OK, I made it" when winning an award, getting to perform on TV, or whatever, and then stops pushing forward, figuring the universe will now open up and shower success down on one-"
Thats really all you can ever expect from these things... You know like the contests, awards and lists and all that stuff.... It's great when you win them but you have you have to say to yourself: "Damn you know... I've lost a few of these I should of won and also won a few I should of lost..." In the end on some level you earn it but it's just fun, stuff, it's not silly and they all really help in their own way and worth working towards but it's also not the real work...
You guys are great I'm going to go back to freezing, sweating, coughing and sleeping a little before my plane leaves tomorrow morning. I get to hang with Billy Branch and Sugar Blue!!! www.mooncat.org
Last Edited by Moon Cat on Jul 14, 2017 3:23 PM
Hey HonkinonBobo: I ain't a true bluesman so I'll tell you because it's not as cool as I made it sound. They actually would't let us IN to Miley's party.. even though we played the gig.. and then I got really mad because you know who cares about me but WILLIE WEEKS!!!! Are you kidding me? How does Willie Weeks not get in places??? So I got mad and started mouthing off to the door guy...Next thing you know he just yells: "RED JACKET" and like five huge security guys are physically escorting us away from the door... Willie thought it was hilarious and I got to talk to him a lot more anyway without all that glitter around. But everyone knows I'm a huge Miley fan so that kinda bit... ---------- www.mooncat.org
So after reading this thread and finding out Moon Cat was sick all week, I saw him with Billy Branch and Sugar Blue at the North Atlantic Blues Festival two days later. Man, if he was still sick I can't imagine what he would have sounded like healthier! He was the first performer of the whole weekend to get a standing ovation from the entire crowd ( I bet he doesn't even know that).
After the three great harp players performed and were at a table signing autographs, I mentioned to Jason that I was honored to support him on Patreon even though I was on a retirement income. He jumped up and gave me a hug like I had just handed him a winning lottery ticket. That was genuine from the heart appreciation that was equally rewarding to me.
We are all blessed to ever be in the company of these greats. Hearing Jason, Billy and Sugar Blue live was awesome.
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