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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

In Support of Live Music

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

When I started writing these Blogs to share with friends, family and the like-minded, I had an illusion. In this vision, I would pre-write and bank roll Blogs and then release them as needed, but instead I have found it more imperative to share what is on my heart and mind at the current moment.

Being around live music and performing is something that has been a part of me as long as I can remember thanks to my father being a musician. In my current career, and side projects, I have been blessed to interview many incredible singers/songwriters/musicians and bands that create new music, write books, support charities and tour. Live Music is omnipresent as a true art form, of which it is, it doesn’t receive the recognition it should nor do the artists that create it. In the past week, my family and I traveled to Monteagle, TN to see our friends in Flat River perform, I attended John Schneider’s show last night, I played church this morning and did a gig at Acme Feed & Seed this afternoon with my daughter. Since my family and I have moved to Nashville we haven’t performed “Live Shows” as frequently as did in Las Vegas and Southeast Missouri. Obviously, the music landscape in Music City is much more competitive. But also we aren’t trying to make it in the business, as many musicians are here, we just enjoy creating music together and sharing it with others. What struck me today as we were performing our first live gig on Lower Broadway together were the friends and family that showed up to support us. These included and an old high school friend and his wife, friends from church, work folks, neighbors and family. And even some of my Acme co-workers from my radio show stopped by to check in on us. It meant a lot to me that people would take time out of their Sunday to just come by and see Taylor and I play music together. It also made me realize why the brothers in Flat River appreciated us making the drive to see them. And why John Schneider, Christian Davis, Joe Robinson and Jacob Lyda appreciated me stopping by and staying for their show. As John stated at his performance last night no artists are making a living from the digital plays of their songs on Spotify or Pandora. The musical landscape has changed drastically and Record Labels and Companies are trying to figure out the new model and artists and songwriters are attempting to make a living and feed their families. Entertainers and musicians have been forced to become more creative in their music distribution, merchandising, fan engagement and tours. The days of giant tour buses and private jets are long gone except for the top 1% in the music business. Most of the incredible artists I know must work every angle of the music biz to make ends meet. This frequently includes teaching lessons, video lesson tutorials, guest gigs, tracking for other bands and artists, playing music clinics and being in multiple bands. Without the support of a Record Label artists music scrounge up enough money to go to the studio and record the songs on their own or do some form of Kick Starter or Go Fund Me so that friends and fans can back the new music. I don’t believe the public would expect a painting artist to give away a Picasso or a Rembrandt, but there are no qualms with acquiring music through free sources. Even though, musicians/singers/songwriters, have spent years honing their craft paying their dues buying their instruments, taking lessons and performing only to not receive the monetary compensation they deserve. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m hoping the new legislation that was enacted recently will be a step in the right direction for the makers and creators of music to be paid the fees they should. Supporting “Live Music” and the performers and bands that deliver it is one way we as a music consuming public can help. Putting money in the pockets of musicians we listen to through attending their shows, buying their merch and albums and even supporting a Go Fund Me campaign for their next album or EP. The only way that creative, new and fresh music can be created, recorded and shared is through our backing. I for one don’t want to see some of the most gift songwriters in the world stop writing because they can’t make any money doing it and I’m certain you don’t either. Songwriter rounds and other Live Music shows evolve into the recordings that we listen to in our cars, gyms, at home and in all facets of our lives and it has value!


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