Not Country Music
There have been two events I have performed at that have become a bit of a pain, both of them Blackboard events:
These events are both held on the last Sunday of the month and require a bit of organising to attend both.
The Thorpdale event is a monthly fund raiser for the maintenance of the public hall.
There is a Whiteboard where the numbers from one to twenty are written. Participants write their name against the number and that becomes the order of acts.
I don't mind supporting that, but the expectations of the audience leave a lot to be desired. Anything off mainstream, be that Country, Old Time, whatever, leaves a rather cold audience who obviously have a rather restricted musical vocabulary.
The 'Country Club' generously support the event, and I think in that context, I will support it.
Latrobe Valley Rhythm and Blues Club
This is a monthly event promoted by the Latrobe Valley Rhythm and Blues Club.
I've had quite a few attempts at this event, from a lot of different directions, and for a long period of time, and have finally convinced myself that I am better off being somewhere else. Lets face it, the cards are stacked against you anyway.
The rules are:
- Put your name on a blackboard (White board really) stating the instrument you play.
- Wait until the powers that be direct you to perform with a group of people that may or may not be good or bad for three songs.
- It is at this point, that you realise that the people chosen to play with you just aren't capable of playing anything more then very basic R&B. They can't read music, chord charts or anything else you may have conjured up to try and play something that rises above the common denominator of 'Songs that everyone knows'.
The result is very good for a performer with limited abilities. However is does nothing for the more accomplished musician.
I have been a part, and, have watched other performers try to raise the 'Level of the bar' and fail, simply because the other musicians just aren't up to it. I know 'The Blues' sings about pain, I just don't want it to be my pain.
There seems to be some divergence of opinion between the audience and the organisers about what sort of material is to be being performed. In general the audience prefer a much wider range than what is provided. There is of course the added factor of the level that the music is performed at. Some performers believe that the closer you get to 'Eleven' the better you will sound. Let me tell you, in a brick building this can very quickly become a physical pain that drives some of the audience outside the building for the length of the performance. Doesn't fall into my category of 'Friendly'.
There is the additional issue of fellow performers listening to what is happening around them. Some performers do not listen at all. They just rage on as if there is no tomorrow. I would like to inform them, quite humbly, that, there is a tomorrow. Open up those ears and listen to what is happening around you!
Quite simply, maybe all the effort of putting three songs together, travelling a distance and performing, just isn't worth the effort.
Maybe I just just 'shut up' and make room for up and coming talent?