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Audition Surprise (Long Post)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ransombass, Aug 15, 2012.


  1. ransombass

    ransombass

    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    I went to an audition last night at the behest of my chiropractor who is the drummer for the band. Well, he told me very little other than who the players were, I had heard good things about these guys but had never heard them myself, and that they would be booking at primarily country bars and honky tonks. I'm thinking, I'll go but I really don't want to play in a country band again. I much prefer blues, soul and r&b and that's the music I've been playing lately.

    We ran through some country songs that I knew and then some newer tunes that they are adding to their set list that I had never heard. No worries, easy enough to follow. They seemed pleased so far. Then they start looking through their set list to find some other songs to run through.

    The guitar player asks me if I know "Let's Get It On". Yeah I know, it's obvious to me now, but at the time I was still thinking country tunes. I say that I don't think so. The guitar player starts showing me the chords, slowly and without any rhythm. I then inquire as to who the artist is and he says Marvin Gaye! Of course I know that tune! That's my music, but I'm still thinking that it's gonna be a bad country version. The drummer counts down and the guitar player leads in, Bwaa bwa bwa bwaaa! OH YEAH! They're are playing laid back greasy groovin' soul! The singer nails it. The guitar player sounds like he was born to play soul and the drummer and I are slinkin' through the changes as if we'd been playing together for years.

    We then run through, Superstition, Pride and Joy and a very funky version of Billie Jean. It turns out that they are really more of a blues and soul band but are adding country to get more gigs and to help get into the casinos around the state.

    As we're packing up the mood is good and they're very complimentary about my playing and overall vibe. Needless to say, this is one "country band" I won't dread playing with.

    Have any of you had really pleasant surprises at auditions?
     
  2. jonas_24112

    jonas_24112

    Jul 11, 2011
    Good deal! I must have left my bands set list at my last gig for them to pick up, lol. All good tunes and just like us adding a lot of new country right now to get into the bigger country dance halls around here. Throw some good vocal harmonies in LGIO and they'll flock to the dance floor!
     
  3. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Dude, stick with that outfit and don't let go. Sounds to me like they've figured out that variety is where it's at and they're on their way to getting a lot of gigs and making some real money.

    My band does about 60% country (old and new), with the remainder consisting of 80s standards (Love Shack, Billie Jean, Hands to Yourself), modern pop (GaGa, Black Eyed Peas), and oldies/novelty tunes (Elvis, My Girl, Stand by Me) and for us it's been a ridiculously successful formula. In a lot of markets these days country pays the bills so unless it just turns your stomach to play, I'd say roll with it and laugh all the way to the bank.

    Just be advised that casino gigs aren't always all that. Good money often, nice perks sometimes but really really not that fun at all and you're usually subject to some pretty strict "house rules" with regard to stage attire, drinking, volume etc. It's nice this band is trying to expand their customer base but I'm not sure based on my experience that casinos are where I'd be looking first.
     
  4. ransombass

    ransombass

    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    Thanks! The singer and guitar player's harmonies were tight. I can't wait to join in. They also have a Rhodes/organ player who plays harmonica and sings harmonies. I think this is gonna be fun.
     
  5. ransombass

    ransombass

    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    Yeah, I've played all of the casinos in the area. The money is good, but load in is usually a pain in the @$$!
     
  6. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    FWIW we shared a bill with a good little local band a few weeks ago that does a lot of casino work and they said if you want to break into that market you need to focus on oldies and old country (i.e., nothing newer than about the mid-70s... think George Jones, Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline etc.). Garth Brooks is pushing the envelope with those folks... they want their country old-school.

    Maybe it's different down there than up here and your bandmates may already know all that, but that's what the scene up here looks like anyway.
     
  7. ransombass

    ransombass

    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    Most of the casinos around here have dedicated country only bars and then a rock/variety bar. The Hard Rock casino here also adds a jazz club.
     
  8. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Interesting. Around here the casino bands also tend to be found playing the VFW and Moose lodges which have much the same client demographics, volume expectations, etc.

    My band is more in the "party band" vein ... a little too loud and "showy" for those venues ... but other musician friends of mine are making a nice income in those markets.
     
  9. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    You just described the dream I had last night. Sadly, I woke up and it was only a dream. :D

    Good luck and have fun with it! :bassist:
     
  10. The first post describes, essentially, my audition with Golden Road a few weeks ago, except substitute the Motown/Soul for Classic Rock.

    And I'm having an absolute HOOT with these guys.....
     
  11. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    man, anybody tired of country-oriented cover bands should move to Canadia; i don't think I've ever seen one here (Alberta, and Saskatchewan notwithstanding). I tend to find it's mostly modern and/or retro Top 40
     
  12. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Curious and I'm wondering why you think that is? Is it a supply issue (people want to hear those bands but nobody wants to play that kind of music) or a demand issue (people would play it but no one up there wants to hear it?)
     
  13. fraublugher

    fraublugher

    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    Lots of country/cover band's in canada ,just not in TOWN.
     

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