Thursday, March 23, 2006

I travelled to Wisconsin last Sunday with the MSCB to play a concert in a community theater in Prairie Du Sac. We were the visiting "stars" from the big city. There were two other bands who were local that preceeded us in a three hour concert. There were at least two hundred people there and the venue was a lovely auditorium built sometime in the past decade. The local bands were staffed by journeymen musicians; competent and fun to listen to. Apparently there is a thriving Bluegrass community around that area and these bands were representative of the quality of players found there. The pay was pretty good for the time spent performing but only so-so for the amount of time it took to drive there, do a sound check, play, and drive home. This is the musicians' lot. Very few people make a good living playing music. For that matter, very few people get any sort of return on the time they committed to learning their instrument. Why do people like me spend their Sundays driving for four hours one way to play for strangers? I suppose because they can. I related in an early post on this blog that I have been performing since I was a kid and knew one song on my instrument. The graduate students in the bluegrass band I hung around with thought it was funny. I was thrilled. I was hooked too. I have always enjoyed playing publicly and stage fright has not been an issue for decades. I play banjo and I like sharing the music I make with others who enjoy listening to me perform. I also enjoy the comaraderie of musicians. The jokes are good, the stories are amusing, and over the years I have amassed enough experience to have my own stories to share, some of which are in this blog.


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