Sunday, July 3, 2016

Jim Tyrrell - Live At The Flying Monkey (2012)

In 2012 I had the honor of opening Don McLean's show at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth NH. Here's my set in its entirety. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Band Spotlight: No Limitz

The classic rock band No Limitz has been playing the Lakes Region in New Hampshire for over a decade. We are a four-piece band: Stephen Hinchey plays guitar, Steve Ainsworth is on bass, Normand Breton is the drummer, and I'm on keys and acoustic guitar. And we all sing, which allows us to take on some pretty ambitious classic rock songs. "Carry On Wayward Son" (Kansas) is probably my favorite song in our repertoire.

We don't do much in the way of original material; my bluesy song "I Know My Rights" is the only one in our rotation these days. But originals aren't what our crowd is coming out to hear. They want classic rock from in and around the 1970s, and that's what we give them.

The band's web site is - you can find the latest schedule there. Come on out and shake it sometime!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Booking: A Peek Behind The Curtain

I get a lot of questions about my booking practices, from other musicians and from venues that I work with. Like many of my brothers- and sisters-in-arms, I've basically worked out a process that suits my own style/needs. Let me offer some insight, in the form of a completely fabricated interview. ;)

How far in advance do you book shows?

Let's see... I usually have bookings about a year in advance. There are openings in the schedule, of course; sometimes I'll pick up shows a few days out. Occasionally I can do a same-day fill-in. But I try to maintain a schedule that has months-deep predictability for me, just so I can be sure I don't have to go out and get a desk job.

Do you use contracts?

No, generally not. I always feel like I should, especially when a venue has to cancel at the last minute. But in my experience, handing a bar owner a contract doesn't go over well; there are a ton of bands/musicians who will book on a handshake, and the venues don't feel the need to take the added risk. Which, of course, puts the risk on me. So I get a little nervous when I book outdoor shows that are weather-dependent, or shows at new/untested venues. 

Every now and then I play a show at a venue that gives ME a contract, and I'm always grateful to get it. These are usually the larger venues, which I don't play nearly as often.

Do you have a 'standard rate'? 

Kind of. But not really. I have a general formula, which is affected by the length of the show, the required equipment setup, travel, the size of the venue, that sort of thing. I never want to take money out of the till; it's important to try and hit a fair number for me and the club. That said, my pay is rarely associated to the 'door'. Usually it's a set rate.

There are a few rooms I know of that 'charge' bands to play, either by making them pay for the house sound man, or by buying tickets to the show which they must then try to resell. I don't play these rooms. This particular interpretation of 'sharing a calculated risk' doesn't sit well with me. 

You play many different types of shows, by yourself and with several bands. What kind of show is your favorite?

I'm lucky to do what I love in a bunch of different and enjoyable ways. That said, playing my original material gives me the most satisfaction. At those shows, I can usually tell stories, and interact more with the audience. My solo shows are best for this, and The Midweeklings have a bunch of fun originals too.