When most people ask us what we do for a living and we say, “We’re in a band,” the next logical question asked is, “So what’s your real job?” For the past several months we’ve been able to say, “This band is our real job.” We all took the plunge of quitting our full-time jobs (some of us with actual real grown-up salaries and benefits) to make this L.A. based Americana-bluegrass-rock ‘n roll ensemble our real full-time gig.
This year we’ve driven over 15,000 miles to play shows in ten states and two countries. We’ve shared the stage with bigger names like Rascal Flatts and raised over $20,000 to crowd-fund our new EP-“Run for Your Life."
But even with all this exciting stuff going on, this musical adventure has us on the edge of comfort, stability, and the calculable life.
With all the excitement surrounding the funding and recording of our new EP, we wanted to make sure that we had an awesome show to debut the new songs. We set a date for the release party: October 24th. This date would coincide with our P.R. company’s release schedule, but we had one problem—we announced our release date before we had a venue locked down.
The Troubadour in West Hollywood was our ideal location. We had been bugging them for months trying to schedule a show, but they kept telling us “maybe.” After pleading with them well into September, we stopped getting responses to our e-mails and all the other potential venues in town were already booked up.
We were scared we were going to have to cancel our announced date and reschedule for a date after our EP was already available online. That would’ve been like our fans opening their Christmas gifts before Christmas Day.
But then on October 1st, two days before our fall tour, we heard back from The Troubadour. They wrote us, “October 24th is yours.” We were ecstatic! But we only had 23 days to promote the show, and 18 of those days we were on the road playing 17 shows in 7 different states.
We had to design and mail out posters, coordinate other bands to open for us, and promote the heck out of our EP release party—literally from the back seat of our tour van. A week before the show, towards the end of our tour, we heard from our booking contact at The Troubadour, “I’m a little concerned. Only 44 people have bought tickets to the show.” Not a great message to receive considering The Troubadour can hold 500 people.
We were biting the nails of our crossed fingers until the night of the show trying to get the word out and sell tickets any way possible. Ticket sales ramped up days before the show, but not enough to fill the venue. Finally, the night of the release party the venue was packed! Having just played 17 consecutive shows on the road, we were as tight as ever and gave our best show yet at one of L.A.’s most historic venues.
When people see us at a show, they see us having a blast and pouring our hearts out through our music. What they don’t see is all the work it takes to be a self-managed, mobile small business on top of being artists. They don’t see the risks we take and the uncertainties we overcome. We are “The Show Ponies,” and underneath the show are five workhorses that know the show must go on regardless of what stands in the way. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.
The same way our fans don’t see the work we do behind the scenes, we often don’t acknowledge the products we use to get that work done. Every time we take a picture, video or mobile audio recording to create content for our fans, the information is recorded onto a memory card. Our photographer that took our photos at our Troubadour show, Caleb Ackley, trusts SanDisk as well. When we do anything on our computers, we’re using solid state drives. We are working our hardest to be a staple in Americana music and SanDisk helps make that possible.
Story by: Kevin Brown