December 23, 2009

Blues, or Bluegrass? Finding and Booking the Band

Posted in Mr. Junebug, Music tagged , , , , at 2:07 am by Elizabeth Nixon

Finding a band was something I originally asked Mr. Paisley to do, but gradually, as summer turned to fall, and Mr. Paisley got wrapped up in teaching and his Ph.D. studies (um, so FREAKIN’ proud of him, I’m not about to mess with that!), I realized I may as well take on the task. And what a doozie of a task it ended up being!

I started looking into big band music. Too expensive all around. I didn’t reeeeally want a DJ…so, I turned to my favorite ‘Bee, Miss Cowboy Boot, for her bluegrass band inspiration!

I contacted her band, Elephant Revival, and their manager was very nice and said he’d ask the band if they’d want to go to California in the summer. To encourage them, I spent hours researching Bluegrass festivals where they could get gigs around my wedding, to make it worth it.

Sadly, I never did get a response back from the band manager. No matter! My brother, a musician, insisted that whatever talent Colorado had in bluegrass bands, California had in spades! All that research into festivals paid off in that I had contact numbers of a lot of festival managers. You know what else led me to bands really well? Hotels and their entertainment pages. Some hometown boutique B&B’s gave me some good leads, too.

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I spent around 50 hours researching and listening to bands. I primarily relied on Myspace music and bands’ websites to listen to their stuff. I contacted a LOT of bands.

One day, I found a positive review on Project Wedding of an affordable blues band, called Quinn DeVeaux and The Blue Beat Review. My interest piqued, I Googled away.

After emailing Quinn, I got a reply straight away that they’d love to play at our wedding despite the 2-hour drive, and they could meet my budget, too!

My best friend and one of my bridesmaids also approved of their music, and suggested we go see them live in S.F. the day before our planned get-together to go see the 49ers play the Jaguars.

They. Were. Phenomenal.

Hip, young, interesting. A “backwater blues” sound mixed with Ray Charles. Dressed to kill, the ladies, three backup singers called “The Quinntettes,” wore chic black sheath dresses and each wore a different jewel-colored pair of elbow-length gloves. 🙂 The crowd was PACKED into the Revolution Cafe. They stopped letting people in, it got so crowded. People were dancing, and talking about how they loved this band.

Quinn DeVeaux and The Blue Beat Review

I hadn’t let Quinn know I would be there. I wanted to see them without them feeling a bit nervous that a potential client was in the audience (if that would even phase them, probably not). Anyway, I chatted with one of the singers after their set, and she introduced me to Quinn. I really liked him. We briefly discussed some more details, and he said he’d have his manager send me a contract.

I emailed him again, and was surprised when a whole month went by with no reply. A bit concerned, I emailed again asking what was up. They must have not gotten my other email, or let it slip, but I felt better when I got a few emails back right away from the band manager, and also got my contract. She was on top of it, writing my details into the contract perfectly, and so enthusiastically! You gotta love it when your vendors actually WANT your business. I’ve definitely had my fair share of vendors who didn’t seem to care and/or want my patronage.

All told, I’ve finished reviewing the contract and have mailed in the deposit, and I’m super, super stoked for our backwater blues band to play at the wedding!

Listen to Quinn DeVeaux and The Blue Beat Review on YouTube: Lil 45 by Quinn DeVeaux

Was it a long ordeal (that ended up being worth it) to find and book your band? Tell me the details!


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