This summer was crazy! It seemed like I was constantly leaving my family to go play gigs. I'll be the first to admit that it was a lot. Hence the "crazy". Here's the thing though, I must've been doing something right! The band, solo, duo, you name it. I can only think of like one weekend that I didn't play. I just counted, over 25 gigs. To this point in 2019, I've played about 55 gigs and we are moving slowly towards September. That may not seem like a lot to somebody that is makes their living as a musician (lucky for me I'm a teacher...more on this is later entries) but it is a lot for my family to endure. My wife, Heather, is an angel......or is a saint better? Also, it is a lot on our two young children. I'll have more to say about my family in later entries so don't you worry. But I digress.
One more show remains in the summer (at least in my mind) and it is the day before labor day. The Dear Jimmy Band will play a Sunday afternoon gig at a local winery called Debonne. At this point, I feel accomplished but also a little sad knowing that the gigs will slow down. Trust me, I need some breathing room but the one thing about playing a lot is that it helps you to figure yourself out more and more as a musician. That's the one thing about the band as well. If we play a lot of gigs in close proximity, we are tight, if we have long stretches without a band gig, we usually leave some things on the table. Bob and Joel (my DJB mates) are fantastic musicians in their own right so we can usually gut out a song and to the naked ear it sounds good.
BTW it takes a lot of time, hard work, and (insert all the cliches here) to build a name for yourself. I think that was another point that I wanted to bring up about why I was grinding. DJB is pretty well established in the area but Jimmy Mrozek isn't and that had a lot to do with the grinding. Running and marketing for a band and for yourself as a solo artist gets tiring. That's always been the tough part about playing music. I had a friend tell me the reason why he never wanted to play live (and mind you this guy is fantastic, he can sing, play guitar, you name it) because he didn't want to resent it. I never knew what he meant and I kind of always scoffed the comment off. But I think that I'm beginning to understand what he means now. Not that I resent playing, I love it. However, the extra crap always seems to creep in. It's competitive out there and you are always looking over your shoulder to see who is taking what gigs where and wondering why you aren't getting a gig at the same place. This is another part of the grinding. But guess what......I started taking the approach of supporting my local musician brethren and all those uneasy feelings left me and my god it is freeing.
The one question remains......does the grinding ever end? Who knows!
Peace & Love