Friday, May 09, 2008

Stimulus Dollars for Gig Gas

As I stepped into the Beachland Ballroom last night just after The Gibson Brothers and their band started their set, I was not too surprised to find all of about ten people there, maybe a dozen. I didn’t know about the show until Monday, and just didn’t get around to my usual viral marketing tactics beyond the blog of the other day.

After the show, I thanked the band and their companions for coming to Cleveland. It’s a very tough market, and if a venue doesn’t go to market for you, you may end up with a near-empty house.

Today I saw a very cool thing on Drew McManus’ weekly Adaptistration email blast and I wanted to share it with readers in the hopes it will be passed along. Drew has devised a “Gig After Gas” calculator for the per-service musician. I expect that most musicians already use something of this sort when determining whether to pick up a gig, but if not, it can be found here:

How handy, and frankly, how scary. Now that gas in my ‘hood is pushing a whopping THREE DOLLARS EIGHTY CENTS per gallon, I can’t help but be amazed at the drive and dedication the road musician must possess. My 12-tank fill-up the other day was 46 bucks, and although I’m getting a fairly amazing 25 mpg for city driving, it still hurts. If I spent every other day racking up the mileage, and had to take that out on top of my band’s pay, instrument maintenance/repair/replacement, out of pocket health care costs, wardrobe, lodging and meals, marketing, studio fees, phone fees (to stay in touch with managers and family back home), and other odds and ends, I think I’d be tempted to hang it UP.

About halfway into the set, the Gibsons did a swell tune called Picker's Blues. Life on the road is tough enough. I really want to thank Leigh and Eric and the band for coming all this way to play their hearts out. It was a long way to come for a small crowd, but these guys sang and played every note as though we were all in the front row of a sold-out Ryman show. Thank you, thank you all so much for playing that little stage in Cleveland, and bringing your sound to 20 very happy, satisfied ears.

Here's the tune for the folks who weren't able to make it. Be sure to take your stimulus package to a Gibson Brothers show near you.

Picker's Blues


At May 09, 2008 9:28 PM, Blogger Ipsissimus said...

Hey, I saw Eddie From Ohio at the Beachland a couple years ago. Interesting place. They had a good crowd, but had just come from Toronto where they got a whopping 3 people the night before.

Yeah, wouldn't want to have to haul ass from gig to gig and get nothing because gas ate all the profits. Last year, before he retired, my Dad was having a hard time making ends meet coal truck driving. Now it's a buck more a gallon and independent truckers are going out of business. Which is also why food prices are skyrocketing as food is trucked from California and Mexico and farther to get to our market and prices are up because they need gas to get here. A good reason to eat as local as possible

At May 10, 2008 7:15 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

So true, Ips. Seen the price of bread? For real, the last time my kids and I were at the park, we came back to the car and there was a big ol' hummer parked next to us. I wanted to leave them a note, "Thank you for driving up the price of gas."

I remember growing up in coal country, and the tension of strike or the possibility of a strike. My dad had died and we were moving down into town over the summer, and so on the last day of school of my 6th grade year I went home with a friend in my class to play one last time. Her dad was a miner. I knew the tomato soup and cheese sandwich we enjoyed for lunch was generous and special.

Poor Eddie! They make the rounds at the Stage once in a while too. That's a terrible story, considering what a mecca Toronto is for arts and culture. Thank goodness summer is coming -- no school nights, more music for everybody!


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