This is part of the exchange that proceeded our gig at The Row tonight…

Alyson: “It’s a one-hour set. Usually a mix of covers and originals! They have tip jars out and post your Venmo as well on their board.”

Me: “Ok! Great. Sounds fun. One-hour sets are so easy!! We’re used to playing three to four hours!! Buuuuut we don’t play any covers. Will that be a problem?”

Alyson: “I’d recommend doing a few but that’s up to you! I’ve never seen anyone not do at least some covers there… or anywhere here, lol.”

So this sparked a discussion between Jared and I in the car on the way there. As most of you who have been CS fans for awhile know, we used to do covers mixed in with our originals. We had fun doing them and did some pretty off-the-wall tunes and always did them with our own unique CS flair. Our opinion with covers is to either do it as spot on as the original (which Jared and I never have done) or to make it sound so different, it takes people a moment to realize what they’re listening to. Do we always follow this advice? Probably not. But as a guide line, that’s where we used to begin when approaching the “covers” topic. Fast-forward to now.

After the pandemic, Jared and I returned back into the music scene with a renewed fervor for playing live, as many of our fellow musicians did. We were eager to get on stages and entertain people once again. However, one thing we thought about doing differently this time out was eliminating the covers. During pandemic, we never played them because that’s not what fans were drawn to or wanting to connect with, and that’s not where our passion or real talent lay anyway.  Plus, with so much great new music out there (yes, a shameless self-indulgent plug), we felt little need to duplicate stuff that had already been done. It’s totally ok if people don’t like it. Hell, in any major city, especially Nashville, if you don’t like something, walk two feet to the next bar and find something yo DO like.

I feel like there’s enough room and enough ears for all of us musicians to fill! Therefore, it’s been at least three years since we’ve done the Champagne Sunday covers. Will we NEVER do them again? I’m not saying that. I’m just stating that, for now, they aren’t in our set, and playing stuff we haven’t rehearsed is not our style, so right now, we don’t do them.

At this stage of the game and with what we are trying to do, our theory is this: 

We would rather do our original music and not be asked back, then pretend to be what they want and not be asked back anyway! Or worse yet, BE asked back for being something we aren’t. Best to remain gracious, thankful for the opportunity, but stay true to the mission: GET THAT ORIGINAL MUSIC HEARD!!!!

We will ALWAYS  find our places and our people. We will ALWAYS be ok if we just maintain our integrity. This system will chew you up and spit you out, even if you are yodeling your heart out through your momma’s favorite rendition of Jolene. You will NEVER please everyone. If you try, you’ll please NO ONE and you’ll be left empty.

All that to say…

We played the gig, and we did it the Champagne Sunday way, full of joy, life, and tons of catchy and upbeat original music to please just about everyone. It was late. The staff all looked like they wanted to go home. I get it. We weren’t encouraging people to buy shots, get up to dance, and drunkenly proclaim they all had “Friends in Low Places”. We did, however, connect with a few sweet people, as well as some tourists from our PNW corner, and the sound guy even had this to say, 

“I’m not sure what I was expecting when I saw you guys, but it wasn’t THAT! You guys were REALLY good. I have NEVER heard anything like that before.” I said, “Thank you. and we kept it pretty tame tonight too!” We also made $40 in tips! Our record best here in Nashville so far. So, all in all, we’re counting it as a win. No bottles were thrown at us, no one barfed into an ashtray, and no one pissed themselves…at least not on the stage. One day, when Jared and I become an “overnight success”, we’ll have nights like this to reflect back on and recall how much character they helped us build. However, too much more “character” and I may as well just be a muppet…

One reply to “Day 24: Part 2 – Small Victories”

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