Bassist in a new region - looking at the road ahead

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DubHunter, May 26, 2017.

  1. DubHunter


    Feb 15, 2008
    Columbia Gorge

    Not looking to write a story here, but I feel called to share a few lines. I would love some input from the bass community.

    -jammed a lot with my friends growing up. always inspired by groove and soundwaves.
    -studied @ Frost School of Music @ University of Miami 05-09.
    With much love for jazz at school, my path ended up being in the world music realm. with fusions of soul and r&b, i have some kind of widely-inspired style, but original (if i may say)
    -many people end up correlating me with the reggae scene.
    -more pocket, not much shredding
    -Ended up living in Miami for a decade, give or take with more and more nomadic searching in the last few years. first half of my Miami time was with Jahfe, Haitian roots rock reggae group..a few international festivals and lots of hustling in Florida.. , after my time with that group - some Latin funk, blues and reggae gigs of different sorts.
    -varied times of sustaining myself financially by way of the music.. and time working labor jobs-mostly building/woodworking, museum/gallery gigs and some farming.
    -2014 - two National tours with Stephen Marley, along with his son and a few artists on his label. Definitely an inspiring time of my life, some great shows and professional production. Spent time of that tour around other Marley brothers, and bands Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone, and others on the Summer Sessions tour.
    -present day- living in the Columbia Gorge with my lady and stepkids - grateful for a peaceful home with room to grow food and a treeline to look at. Portland is an hour away and I'm doing my best to integrate in the scene. It is my intention to put a fresh new project together. I'm looking forward to meeting like-minded individuals..especially a rhythm section that wants to make some funky worldwide new sounds.. cue the synths, rhodes, funky drumkit, percussion..

    ..but it hasn't been easy. Didn't expect it to be, however I'm not really sure what to do to ignite the fire. I was surrounded by musicians a decade ago, a kid in a new place for the first time. the scene was just naturally all around me. Now I'm a little older in a new city and the vibe is way different..i went to some open mics.. and honestly it seems like people either don't take the music seriously, people playing a different style ( in the gorge, a lot of newgrass, they call it), or some cats are too cool/busy to be open to the idea of jamming with the new guy in town. And it's no stress.. a good lesson in calming the ego..and get back in the studio room and pick up that bass.. which is also the encouragement to step up my understanding of production, something that has been in the background for a while.

    I'm turning 30 next week-it's just a number..but i want to be touring again- I'd like to see it happen sooner than later. And i want to be performing music that I believe in, and that makes people smile. I can keep up some of the carpentry work for a bit..but it's time to make music the priority, creator/universe/great mystery willing.

    Any insight? recommendations and constructive criticism welcome.

    peace and more music,
  2. DubHunter


    Feb 15, 2008
    Columbia Gorge
    that's more words than i was expecting, but it's late night, chill tunes are flowing and so it is.

    thanks for reading/responding if you're called.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    The only things I can advise are: 1) Keep doing whatever you're doing in your attempts to forge connections within the local musical community, and if you haven't already done so, take full advantage of this Innerweb thingy to promote your touring pedigree and interests (ie., Facebook, Bandmix, Reverb, YouTube, proprietary website, et al.) outside of the local musical community; and 2) Have patience. Indeed, 30 is just a number, and there ain't nothin' wrong with taking a nonmusical day job in order to make ends meet or to bankroll some cash for leaner times ahead. Best wishes in your endeavors.
  4. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I'm just a bar band guy, but I had a similar situation: I'd spent 10 years in North Carolina, gigged a lot, was starting to pick up studio work (because I'll play any way anyone asks me to), and for family reasons moved to Massachusetts. I know everyone has a funny story about craigslist, but it also got me an audition the first week I was in town. I picked up a relatively lucrative weekend-warrior gig shortly after that via Bandmix. I even got a shot at a touring gig, which I did not take after I showed the contract to a lawyer friend who said "He'll own you for the next three years."
    Anyway, presumably you've got all kinds of evidence to show to a booking agent. I blow hot and cold on open mics. They're a way to meet people, and be seen by people, but finding a legit one is hard, and most of those become closed shops after a while, as it sound like you've discovered.

    So, no magic bullet. The advice above about social media stuff is good. I remember being 30 (long time ago) and freaking myself out thinking I was in the prime of my life and not getting anything going. I say to you now: It passes.

    One last heretical thought: If you want to tour, you're going to be away from home anyway. Why not take a few weeks, go back to Miami, get yourself a touring gig. And when you're not on tour, you go back to the Great Northwest?
  5. DubHunter


    Feb 15, 2008
    Columbia Gorge
    Thanks for the quality input Gary & Bunk

    Much appreciated
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