I thought I'd take a moment to write this, because today our fortunes are UP. We've had a tough last couple of years. June of 2011, we played IPFW Rock the River, and everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE said we were "fantastic," and I thought the exposure, and the positive input might help us get better gigs. We had previously played some of the "premiere" clubs in the area, with varying degrees of success. We had done so with a less than fantastic drummer, and even though we liked the guy on a personal level, we had let him go, and his replacement was a dick, and the next guy, (the guy who played Rock the River,) wasn't committed to us. We had some ups and downs, including an outdoor gig in Ohio that was the biggest nightmare of my band life. Bad sound; idiot soundmen; nowhere near enough pay to justify the long trip out there; you name it, that was horrible. And some of the "premiere" clubs weren't having us back. So anyway, we finally got back to being booked into two clubs we really like; we finally have the drummer we need, and now things are happening. We did the Public Radio show, and that raised our profile a little. I did one show as a solo acoustic performer, and the band did two sets; one rocking set and one acoustic set. But now, the phone is ringing! Clubs have started calling US looking for a band! On Tuesday, the local music paper sent someone out to interview us, and we are featured sometime in September. We're not the cover story, but we're on the cover. That's better than our previous 200 issues, in which our status ranged from "totally ignored," or "appearing in some venues' ads, but sometimes misspelled." Tonight we played as the temporary house band at the local comedy club, and that was golden. The staff and patrons really loved us. One comedian didn't think I was very funny, but I can live with that. He didn't get anywhere near my best stuff, anyway. Playing people on and off the stage could've gone a little better. I missed a cue or two, but I was new to it, and they gave me conflicting information as to what we'd be doing when. It seemed to work out fine though. They would love to have us back, but they are nowhere near generous enough for us to do it very often. The only benefit is, they have a local TV show, and we are now on it, so that's good promo. We have some good stuff coming up, and I am not ready to say, "OK, here we go!" yet, because I know things can be up, and things can be down. But today, things are up, and I'm proud that we've stuck to our guns, as far as set lists, attitude, and style. We're playing music that we LOVE to play, and we've chosen it based on what we think people LOVE to hear. We're not playing anything that I'm not behind 100%. I have had tough times; frustrating times; times when I've wondered if it was all worth it. I have to say, whenever we play to a receptive audience, it makes me feel like, yes, it is worth it. So stick to it, people, and although you can listen to others as far as ways to get ahead, it is a great idea to follow your muse, and play something that you really feel passionate about playing, as long as you understand how to make it at least somewhat marketable. You don't have to literally do what others have done, or what conventional wisdom tells you to do. You should find that way to do what a band like Rush, for example did; find an audience for music you are playing REALLY REALLY WELL. And most importantly: NEVER GIVE UP.