Posts tagged #live show

My Bluebird Blog (try saying THAT out loud)

Like any good starving artist, I have been trying to play as many shows as I can. This includes the ever-interesting "Open Mic Nights." As one can imagine, open mic nights are GREAT people-watching. It's kinda like the DMV of the music industry, if you get my drift.... I kidnapped my husband last night, and we drove down to the historic Bluebird Café in Nashville. I've decided that's why God made marriage. So people don't have to go to awkward Open Mic Nights alone. Among other things.

I knew it was going to be a bit crazy, as the Bluebird is quite the tourist attraction, and it's probably tinier than any other bar or restaurant ever, in the history of ever. But alas, this is what people do if they wanna be a singer/songwriter, so I better get in line.

We walked up to the  unassuming line with a smile on our faces. We were ready to OWN this thang.

But as a few hours passed, standing in line in the cold, our attitudes got a little cold, too. We tried to entertain ourselves, and as the line grew, it worked for a little while.

But we quickly got cranky. Like, super cranky. I'm not posting pictures of that.

We finally got inside. Yessssss. We signed in, got a hot chocolate and prepared for a long night. They then called out by random drawing, who was playing when. By the time they got to #30, they said, "The following people MAY be able to play 1 song tonight, but it's not guaranteed: JESSIE SMITH...."


Just kidding. I didn't say that. I just made this face.

I was fading FAST. Then, the announcer guy said, "If you want, you can take a number and come back next week and have the opportunity to play in the first hour, because this is a big pain my @$$." (That was a loose translation.)

So we took our number and happily got outta dodge.

Maybe next time we will ACTUALLY get to perform.

A Most Peculiar Concert

Before I begin this, I want to say, I am in no way "above" performing for small crowds. I've played many-sized concerts, large crowds and small. However, playing for small crowds is kind of the norm for a starving artist like myself. That being said...

My band and I performed a show yesterday at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in Cookeville, TN called the Upper Cumberland Music Festival. Now, before I continue, I must say 1. the music festival apologized to us, and 2. it's a pretty small town. They were very nice about the whole thing.

THAT being said...

We pulled up in our packed-out Suburban to the fairgrounds around 1:30 PM. We would go on at 3:30 PM. The festival had food vendors, games, little animal rides, a small stage, and a really big main stage (where we were to perform). The only problem was...

There were ZERO people in the parking lot. And when I say ZERO, I mean ZERO attenders. There were lots of workers buzzing around, trying to find something to do. Keep in mind, this was the 3rd day of the festival, and it had begun earlier that morning. And it was now the afternoon.

Imagine going to your local county fair. Now imagine not a SOUL is there but you. Funnel cakes, corn, and fried beef sticks, and only you, walking awkwardly around them, not knowing quite what to do with yourself. That was us.

"This sounds kind of weird, Jessie, but not THAT weird," you say. "Oh really?" I ask.

"Take a look at the stage..."


Or this angle...


Or... this one. Image

(Note the sound booth there in the middle).

Like I said, not a soul. Plus, the grandness of stage size (and fairgrounds size) created a slightly eerie, never-come-here-by-yourself-at-night kind of feel.

Lucky for me, I have a built-in travel fan-base.

Everyone, meet my in-laws!

They parked their travelin' chairs right down in front of the stage, the perfect place for doing "The Wave." They helped triple our fan base that day.

This embarrassing humbling experience, however, did not get our spirits down! (Ok, it got my drummer's spirits down a little, but he's almost through the anger stage of the grief process, so he'll be fine...eventually.) We put our stompin' boots on and performed the crap outta that empty  ghost town fairground! And that's kind of what it's all about right? Besides, you know, actually making money.


Posted on October 22, 2012 and filed under Concert, fair, Festival, Live shows.