I hadn’t been sleeping well as this concert drew nearer. This was a novel experience for me as a self-proclaimed arts/entrepreneur, producing a major event with no other organizations involved. I haven’t done this since my early days booking Godfrey’s so I had to figure out a budget (pay the musicians, sound crew, hospitality, etc.), find a support crew for the night of the show, work on FB, radio, newspaper promotion and find a viable advanced ticket process. Thanks to Ramona at Godfrey’s I had a few leads. And I had to secure the players, get out chord sheets, rehearse the band (hell, even introduce the band to each). put together a set list, remember the lyrics and then perform. Amazingly, it worked.
I started early enough to line up the musicians months in advance, which is especially hard to do with the busy schedules we all have. I was fortunate to land Terry Mutchler and Dave Reichard and Mountaintop Sound for staging, Back Door Bakery for food for the crew, Jack Murray’s poster and Brown Paper Tickets as a online ticket venue. Working Dog Press donated a fine banner and the money to pay for the crew catering.
Still, as the gig rolled into Saturday, I had not yet broken even with ticket sales. A small snafu with a FB page confused some folks and add to a wobble in the process. I was hoping for walk-up ticket sales, and, somehow, that all worked out.
As the musicians gathered around 4 pm, we started to do some last minute rehearsing of some of the arrangements, beginning with Piper’s Request. We’ve played these tunes over the last months so the session was productive and sounded nice. There was certain confidence right off the bat.
The sound system was being constructed as we started to set up on stage, and I started to work on other sections of the show with Dan, Kevin, Kris, Craig and Nyke. Terry from Mountaintop Sound actually had the leisure to tweak the sound as we worked on the latter parts of the set. As Kevin had said, things were moving organically. The communication between these players was crisp and professional and was remarkable in its efficiency. I love working with pros.
Wendi and Moe came in later and I added them to the mix. There actually was a point around 7 pm where I could enjoy a moment of relief. Things were in hand an hour before show time. Again, an amazing feeling.
I had asked Dave Reiber to do onsite sales, Dale and Georgia and Viola to take on lobby greetings and Mike Duck and his no-longer ducklings to work the merch table. Good friends, all.
Thanks to Back Door Bakery’s catering, the green room was a delightful mix of folks introducing each other, chatting about music, mixing it up, renewing connections. Many of these folks had never met before, much less played together. But having heard each other on the CD, there was instant connection. I wish I had more time to watch all this interplay happening, but, in reflection, tremendously gratified with the community set in motion with the Troubadour CD. Magic happened even before the show, and was part of the process that came out on stage later.
As showtime neared, I talked with Dina Hall, who I leaned on to emcee, gave her a list of thank yous, saluting the musicians who couldn’t make it, the sponsors and this community gathered for the evening. I nodded to Dina about three minutes after 8 pm to get started. And away we went. Let’s play….