In my early 20s I was the band leader for a church youth group in Longmont – Planet Youth. It was a singular experience and highlighted by being in a band with my brother, Dave. Growing up I remember us jamming on Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze even before he was a teenager (I was thrilled and proud my kid brother played guitar so well), but we’d never been in a band before.
Over the years I would frequently come back to the idea of being in a band together, and, while we would play on occasion, nothing consistent worked out. And honestly, we’ve had our ups and downs and it’s taken time and perspective for us to iron some things out.
But now, here we are! Presenting the band MountainCity 🙂
Dave and Tara (his wife) have laid a ton of ground work to get MountainCity started. The first song, This Is Love, has been recorded and released, website is up, social media is in place (see Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and the first show is in the books.
We’re also doing a Kickstarter so we can record some more music. See below.
Like with any business, you need start-up capital – someone who believes in you and is willing to invest. Traditionally this would be a record label but the music business landscape has changed making this a less feasible option. So rather than go into debt or try to find a record deal that would leave us hamstrung, we’re asking people to listen to the music, check out the social media and consider donating to help us see if the music will strike a chord.
Regardless, I hope you’ll enjoy discovering MountainCity! This is something I never thought I’d be able to do and I’m grateful for the chance to play in a family band 😉
My daughter and I were having a conversation a few months ago about what it is you actually learn in school. We were going through how important academics are and how it’s a big deal to try to understand and retain the information coming at you – to really get it. And we were also talking about the social side of things, how school is a training ground to learn to deal with different personalities and to see how forming and maintaining good relationships affects your day-to-day life and potential to succeed.
This got me to thinking about my work in music and, it’s the same situation! Whether I’m jamming with people, playing at church or on the road, trying to get along makes a huge difference. It’s important to come as prepared as possible musically and be ready to give your best effort, but you better hope you’re close to a living legend if you’re going to be a jerk to people, because they won’t WANT to work with you. They’ll just be trying to make money off you.
Leland Sklar, bass player wizard, said in this article (quite the picture!!) that the supporting musicians’ job is to come prepared and be a cheerleader for the other musicians. He’s addressing the same issues my daughter and I were talking about.
Granted, musicians do have a reputation!!! They can be prickly, moody, inconsistent, tardy, bad at communicating, sensitive and awkward BUT, if you TRY TO GET ALONG and simultaneously keep the bar as high as possible in terms of musicality, things can work out so well! Time flies, people have fun and inspired playing can take place.
I don’t know, maybe this is just how my personality works best, but it seems to be working for Leland 🙂
BE PREPARED. BE NICE.