the sorry state of local live music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lexington125, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Why are the rednecks having all of the fun?

    Check out this version of “Shake Your Hips” by the Legendary Shack Shakers -

    while Slim Harpo might be a bit confused about what they did to his song, there is little doubt that this band is a force to be reckoned with

    And they’re not alone. Without making a list of all of the crazy country blues bands, I think we can all agree that this is a trend, and probably a good one. But where are the urban, city slicker equivalents? Not saying that the world needs a Lower East Side version of the Shack Shakers, but where are the big city blues/r&b bands that play as well, rock as hard, and put on a comparable show?

    Last time I checked, “blues bands” here in the big city don’t rehearse, play the same damn songs as every other blooze band and don’t know a damn thing about putting on a show. (stretching out 3 minute songs for a 10 minute guitar solo doesn’t qualify as putting on a show – it just drives all of the ladies away…)

    How about a blues / R&B / soul band that works up a mix of originals and obscure cover tunes, rehearses until they are tighter than any James Brown band and actually works to entertain the audience? If anyone in the NoHo / Burbank / Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles is tired of long blues jams and wants to form a ***band*** well, I’d like to be your bass player.

    Steve (Lexington125)
  2. For some reason I kept waiting for the singer to go to the real vocal mic on stage but it never happened. Anyway, the music was tight.
  3. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Your impressed by that? That's just a bunch of nothing. Put your shirt back on your not even sweating.
  4. I guess I didn’t make my point very effectively. My purpose was not to focus on praising some redneck alt blues band. My goal was to get people to understand that current trends among blues bands are making live music even less popular among the younger generations . If bands treat gigs as just another 45 minute jam session, no different than an unrehearsed jam on “blues in A” , well they shouldn’t be surprised that the only people in the club are other guitar players waiting their turn on stage.

    But this crazy band of extras from the cast of “Deliverance” (with zero airplay or label support) manages to pack a club four thousand miles from their hometown – why? Because, whether you like them or not, they work their butts off putting on a show. They actually rehearse, they play songs, not shuffles with solos. And in a forty minute set, they’ll blast through a dozen or more songs, mostly originals, but with a handful of covers that they put their own unique stamp on. The audience may come away not sure what in the hell they just saw, but no one complains that they weren’t entertained.

    I’m just so tired of the endless guitar noodling version of the blues. And I’m not alone as the attendance for that type of blues is pretty much non-existent, except for those waiting for their turn to noodle. Yes, I know that there are a handful of national 'jam bands' that fill arenas every year - I'm talking about your local music scene. Those neighborhood bars that used to feature live music to a packed house of drinking and dancing customers. I believe that the reason so many of these clubs have given up on live music is because the bands forgot that the customers have other options for their discretionary time and money. Your band needs to really entertain people to succeed against all of the various competition, and too many bands just aren't willing to work that hard, after all, its only a blues gig.....
  5. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    well, its called show bizness for a reason.
  6. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    I understand the point being made about the sorry state of the local live music scene. But at the same time I was amazed how absolutely annoying that "lead singer" was in that video. I realize that this band is supposedly "famous," but even just watching about a minute of that was unbearable for me. I'd rather watch the most unprepared, unrehearsed blues band in history than to have to watch something like that again.
  7. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    IMHO people got bored of seeing all those cookie-cutter rock/blues bar-bands in the 90s. It got too predictable. I can't remember the last time a blues band surprised me. But to each their own. If you love blues, god bless.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  8. The harp/vocal guy would do well to study Mark Werner.

  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    In my area, it has as much to do with the clubs themselves, and their owners. The money is in private and corporate gigs around here. The bands that can put on a show and really hone their craft aren't going to play for $400 and a few beers. And I'm certainly not going to drive 2 hours to do it. And I'm really not going to rehearse 45 times a month for $400 bar gigs. (And don't even get me started on having to sell my own tickets and do my own promoting.) It's just dumb and a waste of time. That's not a gig. That's a hobby you are obsessed with.

    Now, I will put on all the show you you can stand and rehearse all January every year for $5K+. But, of course, wedding gigs and corporate picnics aren't "cool" and they make me a total "sellout". :thumbsup:
    bswag and Johnny Crab like this.
  10. AuBassMan

    AuBassMan Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Central Virginia
    I thought it was awesome! I watched several of their videos...I must be a redneck lol....thanks for posting it!
    OOD likes this.
  11. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    Maybe I'm a redneck, too, but one that seems to get annoyed pretty easily. Seriously, I wouldn't even be able to stand one song with that lead singer. I'm not much of a blues person, either, but I'd prefer it to that.
  12. AKG C535EBs for drum overheads.

    Don't see that very often. :D
  13. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I really dig the Shack Shakers. They put on a great live show and blow most bands off the stage. These guys have a punk/alternative background. Check out this clip, that's Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard/Tomohawk/H3 on guitar.

    A lot of guys who are now in their 40s and 50s but who were into punk/alternative in their 20s and 30s have gone the Americana and roots route, but you can hear their past in their playing. Bloodshot Records is full of bands like that.

    If you're looking for a blues/R&B equivalent, check out The Solution featuring Detroit legend Scott Morgan and Nick from The Hellacopters.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    GregC and AuBassMan like this.
  14. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Another good lo-fi R&B band made up of former punks, The Dirtbombs.
    bswag likes this.
  15. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Excellent points. I want to be in the Soul band you describe. I'm in NYC and the live scene for groove-oriented music is pretty anemic. As musicians and performers, it's never been harder to get people to come out and see live music. We are competing with Netflix and Youtube and a million cable channels and in NYC, most people I know are pretty exhausted after work and can't do much besides order dinner on Seamless and pass out watching some series. It didn't used to be that way. When I was growing up, there was a scene and people wanted to get out of their homes or out of the offices after work and go be part of it. Imagine what the NYC Jazz scene or Greenwich Village folk scene would have been like if people had a million options of home entertainment. And you are absolutely correct that it is necessary to put on a show, more than ever. Even the really accomplished, conservatory-trained cats I know struggle to get people to come out. Sure, there are a lot of hacks playing cliches for too long, or singers that are also actors, novelists, painters, sculptors, dancers, strippers etc that have good intentions, but aren't up to snuff and don't spend time in the shed the way serious musicians do (or should). It's damn hard to get people to come out. But we have to work harder and be more inventive and resourceful, and most of all, make the people feel complicit in what we are doing. Not just gaze at our shoes for 45 minutes and then wonder why no showed up to our gig.
    bass12 and bswag like this.
  16. red_rhino

    red_rhino Currently on Double Secret Probation Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Over Macho Grandé
    I found it to be entertaining and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I might based on some of the other comments. Yeah, I think the singer would get rather tiresome after a while, but I love a good up-tempo shuffle.

    Most of what passes for blues on the local bar scene is just a wanking platform for local guitar and harp players, and as a bass player I find it kind of boring. Really good blues players know how to energize and entertain their audiences.

    Know your audience; know your job.

  17. Maybe the pervasive pop-culture of all sizzle and no steak will someday die the death it deserves...

    Maybe music may someday start sounding musical again, actually being played by accomplished musicians...

    Could it be that edgy appearance in guys and high-maintenance plus a fat ass in gals will be no longer be the alpha/omega of celebrity?

  18. stinkybass


    Apr 23, 2014
    Toronto area
    I thought they were alright! They're entertaining their audience. Charisma is a funny thing. Axl rose or Steven Tyler can act like jack asses on stage because they're legends, but this guy is just called annoying. Instead of perfecting the music, they've chosen to perfect the entertainment value instead. Hey let me think, what legendary rock band of mediocre musicians chose that path? Oh yea, AC/DC! Worked wonders for them. Got to entertain the audience, not other musicians. They're never satisfied.
  19. I'd probably go see a band like that...if I could ever find out when and where they're playing. Smashville may be great for recording, but it sucks for networking their live music scenes.

    I do generally prefer to be able to understand at least some of the words.
  20. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    I'm glad I'm in Athens GA. Live music is alive and well. About 120 thousand people, around 900 bands, about a dozen great venues within a ten block radius and music everyday of the week.
    Acoustic356 likes this.