I’m writing this morning from my dad’s house in Carrboro, NC. Front Country’s fall tour is charging on. Since I last wrote here, we spent two days recording in Oakland, played a bunch of shows in Washington, Oregon and California, then flew east for gigs in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, including a really special one at Bluegrass Underground. I hope we’ll be back to do that again sooner rather than later. This has been a great tour, the band is playing at a very high level and I feel excited about every show. I’m particularly excited about what’s to come musically and professionally.
Today, the annual business conference for the International Bluegrass Music Association begins in nearby Raleigh. The band has been selected as an official showcase artist, which means that we’ll be playing a lot this week publicly and privately. Showcasing can be a little strange, it’s kind of like an audition. You’re not necessarily playing for fans, so much as you’re playing for talent buyers, DJ’s, promoters, etc. in the hopes of getting good festival bookings, airplay and generating some awareness of what you’re doing. Sometimes there are also fans in the audience, but not always. The result is that the energy you feel from the crowd is very different from what you might find at a club or festival date. If you’ve never showcased or taken an audition; the feeling is not unfriendly, but kind of clinical. You’re trying to do something that feels natural and spontaneous in an environment that is anything but. Nonetheless, you have to deliver as if you’re playing a regular gig. It’s weird and surreal, but fun. Conferences like this also provide a chance to catch up with friends who might only see in passing on the road, or not see at all. That alone can make it worth the trip.
If you’re attending IBMA and would like catch one of our sets, you can find our schedule and some great videos from our concert at Bluegrass Underground, here.
Thanks for reading, hope to see you in Raleigh!