Author: Williams, Dave

Where have all the photos gone and other random thoughts

Wow, what happened to June! One week in heaven and two weeks of business travel (hell). Fortunately there were a few gigs interspersed with the travel that while fun, certainly added to the whirlwind that was June.

I really need those 5 week months. I am just not that prolific. So what you get this month are my ramblings on a few varied topics that I can link to bluegrass in no more than 2 degrees of separation.

Letís start with the Festival / Music Camp experience. I know by now it is old news for most, but it is still fresh in my mind. I was the weak link in the dobro class but still had a great time and learned quite a bit that I can take to the woodshed. The highlight of the camp for me was singing a gospel song as the last act in the student concert with a group of about 20 people. The harmonies, in my humble opinion, were spectacular.

After that, it was right off to work at Vernís. I had two takers on my beer offer for those who mentioned reading my columns. Two is cool; I would have liked more but what the hey, it saved me some money. On the other hand I had a few more takers on my anejo tequila offer at our motorhome across the water ditch. The bluegrass connection is that if you spell check the word anejo, the first option is banjo. Anyway, we had a great time jamming with some new friends as well our regular jamming partners.

Shifting gears I have a couple things on my mind in relation to our band and gigs that I am hoping to get some feedback on from any of the seasoned pros or opinionated readers that are hanging out here.

Two Saturdayís ago we played a very nice gig at the opening of a new trail extension to the Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View, for which we were paid a fair fee. The issue was we were already booked to play a Farmerís Market that day and had to cancel that gig to take the trail opening gig. My question is how kosher is that? Our rational is that the farmerís markets are exposure gigs that we are playing for $40 plus tips and that when an opportunity arises to play a better gig such as a large community event we should feel okay cancelling and taking the better gig. Even with that justification, we feel guilty about cherry picking gigs. Certainly, we let the farmerís market people know well in advance and they seem fairly okay with it but stillÖÖ...we have significant pangs of guilt as the farmerís market association has been good for our band.

Are these pangs justified, have we broken some code, is karma going come back and bite us in the backside? I donít know. Oh yeah, since we are in the confessional, this is the second time in a couple of months we did that.

So what say you, are we giving bluegrass bands a bad name or is this just part of the rough and tumble dark side of the bluegrass business?

Anyway moving on and continuing to ramble, here is a very off the wall topic. At the gig mentioned above, there were many people with cameras and phones taking pictures or videos of the event. By my estimation which included some actual counting, our picture was taken at least 20 times and in addition there were maybe 5 video takers as well. I am dying to know where these pictures and videos go.

This is not the first time I have made this observation. At farmerís markets where there might be hundreds of people passing by, and more than a handful at each market pull out their phone or camera and shoot pictures. We are playing 12Ė15 markets a year!!!! I ask again, where do these photos and videos go. What do these people do with our photos, blow them up, frame them and put them on the mantle? Put them in the family scrap book? Are videos of Ďbout Time! playing on a street corner running in a continuous loop on some random TV? I donít think so, but where are they?

Sure, I know you will tell me Facebook or You Tube or whatever online place but go ahead look us up. Search for Ďbout Time! on google and I expect that all you will find is our website and a bar in Austin TX. What you wonít find are any of these photos. Is there a bluegrass cloud in the digital sky where all random bluegrass band shots go? I donít know. I have brought up this topic to my band and they look at me funny (probably the same way you are right now) and they ask me what the heck am I talking about and then tell me to go home and practice.

It would seem that I have exhausted your patience enough for this month. I hope you will check back next month when hopefully I will have found the missing photos and will tell you about it or maybe I will have a real hook by then.
Posted:  7/5/2012

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