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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tribute Acts - Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the virtues and money-making potential of creating a 'tribute act.' Now that you've had some time to think about how you might take advantage of the 'tribute act revival,' let's look at what you'll need prior to launch.

Your Capabilities - Take a close look at the configuration and capabilities of your band, or of yourself if you're going solo. Make sure that everyone can play their role. It's not enough just to 'cover' songs. You must be able to convince the audienc that they're actually seeing and hearing a close replica of the original act.

Lead Singer - Since the lead singer is usually the 'front-man,' and therefore the person that is most recognizable by the audience, his/her role bears special consideration. Make sure that the lead singer is a very close match to the original act. If you get this part right, your chances of success rise exponentially. A vocal match is more important that an appearance match. Try to get both.

Build An Act - If you want to get serious about making money with a tribute act, build one. Start with yourself and advertise for exactly what you need. Use Craigslist and the host of music-related websites to get the word out.

Ad Example: Wanted: Lead singer for a new Journey tribute band. Must have the 'pipes' of Steve Perry and be dedicated to making a living on the road. Band is located in L.A. and performs throughout the Southwest.

In my next post, I'll examine tribute act genres in terms of their popularity and earnings potiential.

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Tribute Acts - Part 1

Tribute acts, a performer or band that primarily plays the music of one band, have been around forever. Over the last decade, or so, they've grown in popularity.

Elvis impersonaters are probably the best known purveyors of this craft. There's 'real money' in the tribute arena, so, let's take a closer look.

There's a chain of 'chicken joints' that feature 'live' music in the Southeast called, Wild Wing Cafe. They locate primarily around big-cities and colleges, drawing on the 20-something crowd. They have incredible draws by featuring 'big hair' tribute bands. A popular act is, 'Slipery When Wet,' a Bon Jovi tribute band.

Before you scoff and say, 'I ain't cheesy, I'm a musician,' know that these tribute bands are pulling up to $1,500 from bars for a single night!

In my next post, I'll give you some suggestions of what you'll need to do prior to launching your tribute act.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Outdoor Gigs

The idea of playing a gig 'out by the pool' sounds very nice. And, it is nice, given the right preparations.

Shade - Make sure that your host has planned for your 'stage' to be out of the sun. Direct sun is bad for you and your gear.

Music Clip - If the wind is blowing, which it will, your music will blow away at just the wrong moment. A plastic 'chip clip' works well. Also, an extra capo does the trick.

Dry Surface - I've setup in the lawn for parties that go late into the night. We didn't have any rain, but the dew soaked all the gear. Lay down some plywood if you can't wrangle a covered patio.

Plan "B" - Make sure that your host has somewhere for you to setup if it rains. Also, make arrangements to get paid if the event is 'weather permitting.' I usually get 1/2 up-front, non-refundable.

Bring a Fan/Heater - If it's hot, a fan will save you. In the cold, a heater will keep the 'digits' moving.

Playing outside is great. Prepare well and enjoy!

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