The Unsigned Mind….. New Orleans or “Escaping the Artistic Desert”….

If you’ve been keeping up then you know we had a couple of really important shows recently. I’m not implying that all our shows aren’t important. These shows just had potential for being really huge for us.

 And in a lot of ways they were.

We had the honor of playing in a club that had been a Jazz and Blues club in downtown New Orleans since the 1890’s. The Ramp Room of The Little Gem Saloon is everything you might imagine of a place with such a heritage. Well lit corner stage surrounded by Red and Black seating and carpet with a hardwood bar. It was the perfect ambiance in a place with such a heritage…

But it wasn’t the room that really stood out. It was the performers…. they were awesome and there we were right in their midst. Treated as equals and receving the same accolades from those in attendance as the other artist that crossed the stage.

The next day we attended several seminars on the music business. Aspects of which we barely even knew existed and other aspects we had no clue about how to access….. it was a very eye opening experience. The panelist then spent time visiting with all the different musicians in the room and answering their questions about the music business and how to handle up and coming careers…… and there we were right in their midst. Treated as equals. Some of these panelist even expressing an interest in hearing from us in the days and weeks after the conference….. it was awesome….

Then onto another show at another club. This time in the French Quarter of New Orleans. There were other artist, people from a record company or two and all the scurry and excitement of playing music in such a historical place. You could hear other bands in other clubs up and down the street. Fans of all kinds walking by the doors and stopping to listen or coming in and sitting down to enjoy what ever artist was on stage at that moment…. and their we were right in the midst of the whole experience. Laughing and getting to know other musicians. Talking with people from a record company. Taking in the whole experience and being treated just like the rest of the musicians there….. it was an incredible experience.

We made new friends, some that we’ve already been in contact since the conference. There were other highlights too……

Our first day there as we were going into where the conference was held a man looked up so see us entering and hollered out “HEY, Captain Ledge Band!”…. it was the gentleman in charge of the entire event and he knew who we were! Now, that’s was a different kind of feeling. Eric introduced himself and walked us into the building, introducing us to his “people” and getting us checked in and registered. He event came to our second show and spent about an hour talking with us at the end of the night. Pretty big deal when you consider there were about 130 other bands playing over the 3 days and he chose to come talk to us……. there’s more to tell about how all that transpired but that’s another day for another post…..

And then it was over and we went back to our rooms to sleep a little before the long trip home…..

Honestly, it caused me some sadness……

We joked with people at the conference that our normal audience is the coyotes around the place where we live. We made the decision a long time ago to not be a bar band and instead concentrate on writing and recording. We’re honored to play most of the festivals in our area but those don’t happen on a regular basis so we just play and write music for our enjoyment most of the time.

This has had some positive results for us. We got invited to play in New Orleans for instance. We’ve had a video broadcast nationally on ZUUS TV. Our music and our band have shown up in various charts and rankings on sites on the internet. All good stuff but not near as satisfying as getting to play for someone other than coyotes.

But there’s another thing that we didn’t realize we don’t have until this experience. Something that we couldn’t possibly miss if we never knew we needed it……

The opportunity to hang out and communicate with like minded musical artist. Yeah, we don’t get much interaction out of those coyotes. We don’t get to sit around and talk music with industry professionals and we don’t get to spend as much time as we would like interacting with music fans and the techs that make those shows possible.

And in the process that was New Orleans and The Cutting Edge Music Conference and Festival it made me realize that is the thing that I thrive on the most.

So, we loaded up and headed back to the artistic desert. Yes, we have great friends here. Our family is here and our jobs BUT what isn’t here is that interaction with “music folks like us” and now we discover that this is one thing that is missing in our lives and we need very badly.

That, and more opportunities to share all that music with people that are music fans….

We thank each and everyone of you that take time out of their day to follow The Captain Ledge Band. We thank Web Greg and Tomy McDonald for being in our court and helping us to try and make all this possible. We need each and every one of you and New Orleans let us know just exactly how badly we need you……



The End of the World as we know it!

We had a great weekend Memorial Day.

It was awesome even if we did cancel a show because an emergency came up. I want to comment that we survived the cancellation. I thought it would kill me. I hated it. It caused me fear, frustration, pain and woe to me syndrome. I’ve always been one of “The show must go on” crowd. I’ve played gigs so sick that I had to be propped up by a bar stool and a trash can next to me so I could get sick. I played and never gave up. Yeah, I was the super trooper when it came to making it to gigs. I also stressed out beyond belief about each and every one of those gigs. It had to be absolutely perfect. Every gig had to be spectacular, unforgettable and monumental. All that is changing and there’s a benefit here that I never imagined. You see (insert crowd scenes from the local 12 step program) Hi, my name is Cliff and I have terrible stage fright! It’s awful. I can infect those around me by simply allowing them to look at me. I forgot what songs we were playing. I forget to sing. Heck, it was all I could do to remember what song we were playing even after it started. It was awful. I would be shaking, my heart beating in my chest so hard I was afraid it was going to exit my body through my throat. I’ve kept my terrible secret for years. Hiding it under a case of “professionalism” where everything had to be perfect. I drove people crazy.But that’s all going to change. Saturday we played an awesome show. The crowd of several hundred or more were all smiling and watching. Women were holding their young kids and dancing. I noticed two people at the festival in wheel chairs. They had incredible smiles on their faces and I think our music almost had them walking again. Inside I could feel those nerves beginning to rise, my stomach getting tight my hands starting to cramp. All those old terrible feelings starting to surface. Then something happened! A loud clap of thunder and rain. The promoter and sound man ran onto stage, we stopped playing, set our insturments down and watched people run for cover. Well, everyone except a couple that simply opened umbrellas and kept their seats. Obviously they were going to be there when the music started back. NOW that’s encouragement that we all could use. Then the rain stopped and we finished our set. The world didn’t end and fans were super nice to us. It was great. We got home after midnight and set the alarm for 6 am so we could head out again. The alarm went off and just as I woke up my cell phone did that vibrating thing indicating a message. No news at that time of morning is good and this wasn’t either. After some scrambling to wake up and assess the situation we contacted the promoter/booker for the show and cancelled. I thought I was going to die. This was new territory for me. I’ve been a professional musician for YEARS and never have I had to do this. It felt terrible! BUT later that day we learned that it was a mud bath at the other festival. The rain throwing the whole schedule off. And you know what? I lived. There was no phone call from an angry promoter threatening me. The sun came up the next day. Everything was still OK and know what else? I don’t think, after a rainy weekend plauged with bad news that things are going to be near as stressful the next time. Thanks to those fans for popping those umbrella’s when the rain started. Not only did you stay for the rest of the show BUT you cured my stage fright for that day AND you did something tremendous in helping a musician to cope with a bad situation the next day. I don’t know who you are but I owe you a world of gratitude. That’s what the great folks at Medicine Park did for me. You guys are awesome, we can’t wait until we return! Backwoods Bash, we’re sorry we had to cancel BUT, because we received text from fans that had come to see us at your festival, we know you still had a great time AND the world didn’t end for anyone. Maybe we all need to carry an umbrella sometimes!