These days, as anyone can tell you, it’s getting harder and harder to actually secure some real and consistent work as a musician. This means work on the road, or in the studio has gotten really spare, and places to play have really been drying up. The economy has a lot to do with it, but so does the current state of entertainment in general.
I can tell you that more than ever, it is important to keep an open mind regarding what kinds of gigs and sessions you’d be willing to do, because I certainly have had to, and this has been a gradually evolving pattern I’ve noticed over the last bunch of years. Today, for instance, a friend asked me to record a track with him so he can take it over to Italy and have a track to sing over when he performs there. Now, this piece of music will also end up on an entire cd that we will make together later on, but for now, he will be taking this track, along with the other album I already made for him overseas so he can sing a various gigs to these backing tracks.
Now, years ago, I first of all, would never have even been ASKED to play on such a thing, let alone actually have done it, but the combination these days of loads of talented people and loads of them making self-published cds means you’ve got to be really creative to make sure your music gets “out there”, and that you can find some niche to fill.
So, as a session player, in addition to being a solo artist in my own right, I have to really be able to experience a myriad of gigs. Hey, I’ve been doing this now since the mid-sixties, and one thing you learn is that you never know what may end up being offered to you, and what impact it will have. The whole thing about being “really careful” about how you are perceived as an artist by the kinds of gigs you may take is far overstated. I believe it’s also great to be known as a true professional, or a “trooper”, who’s really willing to do whatever it takes to put food on the table, and to experience new musical ideas and concepts, no matter how “unacceptable” they may seem to you at the time. Remember, “just when you really think you’ve paid your dues, you get another bill”!