Friday, May 1, 2009

"Uncle Johnny's Tips for Musicians" (Scene) May 2009

Update: This entry is from my column that originally appeared in the Northern Colorado entertainment magazine The Scene. While I'm not doing this column anymore, I'm still as involved as I can be in the Fort Collins area music scene in general.

This edition’s topic:
A few words

Hello Fort Collins! Short column this month; I had considered not submitting anything at all due to time constraints, but I wanted to give a few props before summer insanity hits.

I was so impressed with the bands and the organization that went into our city’s first Fort Collins Music Experiment! We enjoyed two great nights out and I got to see a few local artists I’d only heard about. Take it from this happily weary, 25 year alt-rock veteran...Northern Colorado has one of the best locals scenes I’ve ever seen, much less been a part of. I hope FOCOMX grows every year, and thank you FOCOMA for supporting local music. It’s been an honor to be part of it.

Creating support for musicians at the local level is so important...without a local fan base, bands have nothing to build on. With the recession still in full swing, local music fills a community need for affordable and quality entertainment, to say nothing of the tremendous release that a night of musical escape from the day-to-day grind can provide to the soul and the spirit. So, folks, consider it your civic duty to hoist a few drinks in front of your favorite local band whenever possible! That said, I will be away from the Fort a lot this year.

My band Cracker has a new album coming out on May 5th. As my fellow musicians know, touring during a recession means more legwork and more dates, fewer patio lunches in Old Town, less time with friends and family. Summer can be grueling, but, this is what we do. We had an amazing time recording the Cracker album and I hope to bring tales of the road back home. We had great guest musicians on this record, like Patterson Hood, John Doe, and Adam Duritz. Due to a tight recording schedule, I didn’t bring home any tales of debauchery from the sessions, but if we spend any time with these characters on the road this summer, you had better believe that there will be adventures and misadventures to share. I will try to make time to write about them between festivals, long drives, hangovers and layovers!

Here’s to a fine summer, Uncle Johnny.