If you play it, they will come

This article over at ABS got me inspired. When I was a young teenager playing in my first rock bands, hitting the road was the ultimate dream. Just the thought of piling in a van, living off 7-11 hot dogs and blitzkrieging town after town was enough to make me tolerate lousy singers and lugging my gear to every drummer in town’s garage.

Why hasn’t that attitude carried into the jazz world? Is it the relative comfort of having a weekly gig in your home town? Maybe a bit of ego, that DIY touring in clubs is for rock bands, and as a more sophisticated jazz musician it is below us?

I think it is a bit of both those things, but more than either I believe it is young jazz musicians buying into the notion that most of the country doesn’t want to hear what they’re playing. Why should a young jazz group spend a couple grand with little to no hope of seeing a profit just to play in front of empty bars and clubs in places they aren’t welcome?

Well, the Father Figures’ story pretty much shoots down that idea. They played 25 shows in 28 days, stretching from NYC to LA. Researched, booked and financed the tour themselves (with help from the great Kickstarter, an amazing resource for artists).  You don’t need a booking agent. You don’t need a promoter. And you absolutely do not need a record label.

So now what’s stopping you?


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