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  1. #1

    Help Advice on Direction

    I live in an area that is filled with rock bands playing 60's - 90's stuff, I've played in a number of rock bands. What we don't need is another rock band doing Allman Bros. Grateful Dead and Clapton, etc. stuff. So, I started a dedicated Chicago Blues band and it went down well, however, after 3 gigs the harp player wasn't cutting it so I dissolved the band to a four-piece (guitar, bass, drums, & keys). During a rehearsal, I was talking about my younger years when I played a lot of jazz standards and we quickly realized we all have an affection for the Funky Hard Bop Soul stuff like the B3 groups and so forth. So my intention was to focus on the blues end of these compositions and call it something like Hard Bop Blues and bring it to the clubs/bars.

    My dilemma is when discussing this direction with the wife, she thinks I'm crazy, that no one wants to hear this stuff around here, it would be hard to pull off convincingly and would be hard to book. She has a point. What do you guys think?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sushko View Post
    I live in an area that is filled with rock bands playing 60's - 90's stuff, I've played in a number of rock bands. What we don't need is another rock band doing Allman Bros. Grateful Dead and Clapton, etc. stuff. So, I started a dedicated Chicago Blues band and it went down well, however, after 3 gigs the harp player wasn't cutting it so I dissolved the band to a four-piece (guitar, bass, drums, & keys). During a rehearsal, I was talking about my younger years when I played a lot of jazz standards and we quickly realized we all have an affection for the Funky Hard Bop Soul stuff like the B3 groups and so forth. So my intention was to focus on the blues end of these compositions and call it something like Hard Bop Blues and bring it to the clubs/bars.

    My dilemma is when discussing this direction with the wife, she thinks I'm crazy, that no one wants to hear this stuff around here, it would be hard to pull off convincingly and would be hard to book. She has a point. What do you guys think?
    It does strike me as a pretty small niche, but I like your desire to stand out rather than blend in. I'd be willing to bet that what fans you do attract are going to be much more devoted than those of the average classic-rock band playing club gigs on Fridays. Whether there'll be enough audience interest to make it worth your while is what seems to be the heart of the issue, and I don't know there's any way to find out without just trying it and seeing what happens. Are you looking for a steady-paying gig, or just something that gets you playing out and having fun?

    Judging from your description, I'd certainly plunk down a few ducats for a cool change of pace. I bet the kinds of places where that style would go over well probably pay better than your average dive, too.

  4. #3
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    Try mixing it up - play the more traditional Blues, and leaven your sets with the Bop and see how it goes. The paying guests are making the gig possible. Meeting them halfway is worth a try. Sometimes audiences are willing to grow along with the artists, sometimes not. Good luck!
    Best regards, k

  5. #4
    If you play Hard Bop Blues as well as they did in the 50's / early 60's, people will notice! Of course, no one does, or even can, so ....
    Last edited by princeplanet; 12-23-2018 at 08:57 AM.

  6. #5
    In the past two years I've gone to see B3 groups as often as anything else.

    I love that sound.

  7. #6
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  8. #7
    One thing I don't like is when performers ask the audience "How are you doing tonight?".

    Is this taught in the Live Performance 101 class?

    And as long as I'm ranting I don't like the "Everybody clap your hands!" request either.

    That's all for now.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  9. #8
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    As long as the audience can dance to it, you are fine.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  10. #9
    I always felt organ trio jazz to be one of the most accessible jazz formats, I love it. This mix of jazz, blues, soul, etc, is hip music!

  11. #10
    If it gets people up and dancing because you’ve got a killer groove, then playing something ‘different’ is a great way to separate yourself from all the cover bands.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sushko View Post
    I live in an area that is filled with rock bands playing 60's - 90's stuff, I've played in a number of rock bands. What we don't need is another rock band doing Allman Bros. Grateful Dead and Clapton, etc. stuff. So, I started a dedicated Chicago Blues band and it went down well, however, after 3 gigs the harp player wasn't cutting it so I dissolved the band to a four-piece (guitar, bass, drums, & keys). During a rehearsal, I was talking about my younger years when I played a lot of jazz standards and we quickly realized we all have an affection for the Funky Hard Bop Soul stuff like the B3 groups and so forth. So my intention was to focus on the blues end of these compositions and call it something like Hard Bop Blues and bring it to the clubs/bars.

    My dilemma is when discussing this direction with the wife, she thinks I'm crazy, that no one wants to hear this stuff around here, it would be hard to pull off convincingly and would be hard to book. She has a point. What do you guys think?
    I think if you do it well and funkily with short and to the point solos, people would enjoy it...

    Avoid the term 'jazz' lol......

  13. #12
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    Aug 2015
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    Miami, FL
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    If this is what you really want to do now, why not? you can always do something different if it does not work well.

  14. #13
    Follow your heart.
    Ignorance is agony.



  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    NJ
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    The reason there's all those rock bands playing that old stuff is because that music is familiar, recognizable, popular. At least among Baby Boomers. They play all that stuff in my part of NJ, too. It's not like there's cover bands for disco, New Wave, Grunge, etc.
    I think, for organ, people would recognize early Springsteen tunes.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ View Post
    The reason there's all those rock bands playing that old stuff is because that music is familiar, recognizable, popular. At least among Baby Boomers. They play all that stuff in my part of NJ, too. It's not like there's cover bands for disco, New Wave, Grunge, etc.
    I think, for organ, people would recognize early Springsteen tunes.
    YEah, that's not gonna happen

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