Tour Blog from Missouri (“…when a venue does things right…”)

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2013 SHOW COUNT: 92!

Two weeks ago, I kicked off a nine day, nine show fall tour in Madison, Wisconsin (“Stop rubbing it in my face!”). After taking off the entire month of July, it was really nice to get back out on the road. This past week, the tour came to an end in Missouri with shows at Foam in St. Louis and Lindbergs in Springfield.

As a touring musician, both venues were two of the best that I worked with along this tour. Here are a few reasons why…

  • They both hung the posters I mailed them. You’d think this would be common sense for all venues, but I would say that only about 50% of the venues I play take the time to hang my posters. The photo above is a prime example of a venue doing all they can to help promote an upcoming show. Yes!
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  • They both promoted the show online. The musician I played with at Foam and the venue’s booking contact created a great Facebook Event Page for the show and put in the time to spread the word. The day of my show at Lindbergs, they shared my Bandcamp Page link on their Facebook page. Yes!
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  • They both found LOCAL musicians that agreed to share the bill with me. When emailing certain venues about dates I’m trying to fill along tours, some of them will get back to me and say, “You can play here, but it’s up to you to find a good local band with a strong draw to play with you.” If an Oklahoma City venue asks this of me, how am I- a musician that has never played Oklahoma City before- supposed to find a good local band with a strong draw? I will gladly put in a lot of time to help promote a show, but I feel that this request is a tall order. Foam paired me with the amazingly talented Bobby Stevens, and Lindbergs paired me with The Violet Lockets and Minor Miner. All three are local acts that brought friends and fans out. Yes!

Real talk. Being an independent touring musician without a label’s support is incredibly difficult and draining. Emotionally, financially, and physically. So when a venue does things right, it only helps the musician(s) feel better and more prepared for their show. Although it may be hard to pull out a crowd on certain weekdays, venues putting in the time and effort to help make every show at their location a great show definitely makes a difference.

To both Foam and Lindbergs, thank you for caring about my shows and promoting them as much as I did. See you again soon, I hope!

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Tour Blog from Northern Indiana (“…makes me feel less crazy.”)

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Okay. Look at this picture. Really take it in. This little guy jumps on stage at Folky Fish Fest in Angola, Indiana with his banjolele and the Woodstove Flapjacks welcome him up, give him a chair, set-up a microphone for him, and refer to him as their manager for the remainder of their set. This was just one fantastic moment packed into a weekend of fantastic people and music. Get to Folky Fish Fest 2014! I this it just became my favorite weekend of the entire calendar year.

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Friday night, I was in South Bend, Indiana playing at The Pool with Laura K. Balke, Brett Newski, and Bailey Williams (pictured above). All three are ridiculously lovely people and talented musicians. I’ve said that about others in the past, but it is always genuine. One of the best things about touring and traveling is meeting different musicians from all over the country. As Brett said to me as we took a walk on Friday afternoon, “Meeting other musicians out who tour as much as I do makes me feel less crazy.” Amen, Brett. Amen.

Thank you again to Gus and Dena at The Pool as well as Luke and all the organizers at Folky Fish Fest! Just the motivation I needed to wrap up my August 2013 Fall Tour in Lafayette, St. Louis, and central Missouri this week.

Tour Blog from Chesterton, Indiana (“Here’s to the underdog.”)

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2013 SHOW COUNT: 85!

Last Thursday, I shared the stage with Dave Davidson from Maps & Atlases (pictured above), Brian Johannesen, Keith Campbell, and Sweet People in Chesterton, Indiana at The Sound Cellar. The music shared that night was fantastic, but what stood out to me was the amazing character and kindness that ALL of the musicians displayed that night and the many sacrifices that the owners are making to bring great live shows to this small town.

Some musicians would prefer to play to dozens of people in a 21+ music venue with stage lights, fancy mics, and a great sound system in a big city rather than play to 20 people in an all-ages DIY basement venue in a one stoplight town. I am not one of those musicians. Give me intimacy. Give me a basement cellar. Give me owners who run a venue in their small town because they care about artistic expression and not money. Give me a back porch. Give me a midnight bonfire in northern Indiana. Give me a Wednesday night. Give me a living room without any microphones.

I’m booking shows for my November Tour right now. Between you and me, I hope every single show on that tour ends up being a house show or basement show.

Here’s to the underdog. Keep fighting.

Tour Blog from Madison, Wisconsin (“Stop rubbing it in my face!”)

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Two nights ago, I was able to grace the Frequency stage in Madison, Wisconsin for the third time this year (that’s Kelly Steward & The Restless Kind on stage later in the evening). Yet again, a great night!

During my 18 hours in Madison, I met up with an old friend an hour before the show, watched the Wisconsin sky change from blue to purple, was offered a free shot of whiskey the moment I walked through the venue door, felt great after my first performance in 40 days, hung out with Kelly and her great band members from Rockford, enjoyed New Glarus’ Spotted Cow, had several great music-related conversations with several different individuals, downed some delicious late-night pizza with Ben & Ryan from Independent Ear Productions, saw half a dozen adorable baby racoons hanging out downtown, rocked out to some Spoon after the show, ate chocolate-banana-whole-wheat pancakes for breakfast, and walked along the lake where I met this guy.

Madison, you’re great! I get it! Stop rubbing it in my face!

(No, actually, don’t stop. Call me.)

August 2013 Newsletter (Shows in Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri!)

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After playing 82 shows through the first half of this year, I took a much-needed break during July. This month, I’m back on the road for my August 2013 Fall Tour! I look forward to returning to some of my favorite venues like The Pool (South Bend), The Frequency (Madison), and Lindbergs (Springfield) and am also excited to perform at a handful of new-to-me venues, including The Sound Cellar (Northwest Indiana), Foam (St. Louis), and People’s Brew (Lafayette). This coming weekend, you’ll find me at Folky Fish Fest in Northeast Indiana sharing the stage with some amazing musicians like Andru Bemis, Woodstove Flapjacks, and Goldmine Pickers!

Here are all of my upcoming dates, cities, and venues (click here for more details):

Aug 14 – Madison, WI – The Frequency w/ Blue Sundays, Kelly Steward
Aug 15 – Chesterton, IN – Sound Cellar w/ Dave Davidson from MAPS & ATLASES!
Aug 16 – South Bend, IN – The Pool w/ Laura Balke, Bailey Williams, Brett Newski
Aug 17 – Angola, IN – Folky Fish Fest w/ Andru Bemis, Woodstove Flapjacks
Aug 18 – Angola, IN – Folky Fish Fest w/ Andru Bemis, Woodstove Flapjacks
Aug 20 – Lafayette, IN – People’s Brew – STARTS @ 6PM SHARP!
Aug 21 – St. Louis, MO – Foam w/ Bobby Stevens – STARTS @ 8PM SHARP!
Aug 22 – Springfield, MO – Lindbergs w/ The Gardenheads

This November, I’m going to be touring through the southeast (Georgia, Carolinas, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky) and am already starting to book shows along that route. Click here to see what cities I plan on hitting. If you have any leads, suggested venues, or living room/house show ideas for those cities, please let me know. Any input or help you can offer goes a long way!

“November? What about September and October?” Good question. The short answer: writing brand new music for an upcoming album or two. I’ll share more about that in my September newsletter. Until then, I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new friends this month. If you can’t make it out to a show, stay in touch online via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Peace & best,
Mike Reeb

P.S. Did you know I released a Beatles cover album back in 2009? It’s FREE to download and available at beatles.mikereeb.com. Give a listen, burn a CD, tell a friend!

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