Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lessons? from the road...

First off, let me apologize for my recent ghost like behavior with the blog and podcasts. I assure you all that you'll be able to hear my nonsense, and not just read it very soon.  Thankfully Jon is always prepared for when things don't always pan out the way we planned....

Jon asked me if I was going to write about last weekend, and the adventures I was on with Brothers McClurg. I didn't think I would, but I guess I am. It was pretty eventful, and I learned stuff along the way.

Our Friday night event was cancelled due to weather, so we headed down the road to our Saturday event, which was nice, because it meant an early arrival, we would rehearse at a local church, have a relaxed dinner, and watch some TV, and actually be in bed before midnight. It was turning out to be a very nice turn of events....then...BANG! along with the worst type of shaking you can experience in a vehicle without tipping over.  We lost the rear end and drive shaft of our shuttle bus. Then it started to rain. Thankfully our friends in New Holland, PA were able to send a couple of cars and a truck to pull our trailer, to get us to our hotel. The bus was towed, and we've left it for dead/scrap. So much for rehearsing, and a nice fun dinner.  These things happen. move on. After a late dinner, and feeling like a drowned rat for several hours, I got a hot shower, and off to bed.

Saturday was a great day, had a great event, no problems, great crowd, absolutely perfect. Paul, our FOH guy had a great show was well and even got the attention of someone from Tait Towers who really liked the way he mixed. I'm so happy that I can rely on him to take care of getting sound up and running, which leaves me to tinkering with my guitar. The local guys at the event, Chuck, and John, as always were prepared and ready for whatever we threw at them. Lesson #1, make yourself invaluable to whoever you are working for. It's a load off my mind with other TM responsibilities to know I have that guy out there making everything pretty.  Which leads to lesson #2:  Knowing when to let go, and let the person run with it. Have I ever doubted my FOH guys abilities? No. But I definitely made sure to check on things, and talk with him during and after soundcheck to be sure things are in good shape.  Now our conversations revolve more around very specific details of the mix...what does the guitar sound like? Does that new vocal mic help with the harsh "sh" sounds we had before? How are the keys and acoustic guitar interacting to fill the space they need to?  Is he using delay effects on this song, and what does it sound like?  If you're running a venue, own a system, or managing a band and have people working for you, make sure you let them run with things and take ownership of it. Micro-managing your crew will only burn ALL of you out. Being a team is trusting the other guys to do their part.

Thankfully we all had a team attitude this weekend, which very quickly could have turned sour, given the state of things. Instead, it took all of 5 minutes to be laughing about the situation, and moving forward with a plan to get going again. Hopefully you all have smooth sailing, but when it gets rough, I hope you surround yourself with people who are going to get you on track quickly. Have fun, stay safe everyone!

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