Promoting the Promoters
There’s no shortage of ways to spread the word about a concert these days, but it often feels like these digital alerts and reminders and invitations are just inconsequential blips in an endless ether. So despite the fact that the live music game has evolved so much since the heavy days of Bill Graham, or perhaps because of it, the power of a good promoter is stronger than ever. Someone who really knows all the players within a local scene – the venues, the bands, and the local music lovers who make the whole clock tick.
We got a healthy reminder of those players these past few weeks. Andy up at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center runs a fantastic venue/cafe/ceramic studio that has truly become the cultural hub of the entire county. Lucas at the Portland Empire dug what he saw from us the first time we played there last summer even though the crowd turnout was less than stellar, so he made it his mission to bring us back to a full house by bringing in other local acts (the excellent Dark Hollow Bottling Co. and Tricky Britches) and doing a killer job of putting the word out to all the true music fans in the city. And what can we say about the irrepressible and magnanimous flannel clad Will Neils – the promoter/activist/freedom fighter who will tell you about the best month of Jimi Hendrix’s live performance career, the overlooked history of the Basques, and the revolutionary imperatives of all native Mainers, all while breaking down the PA system with you at the end of a raucous night.
This circus we call the music industry relies on contributions from all the clowns, lion tamers, and acrobats out there, so we’ll take this chance to toast the ever rarer ringleader we call the Promoter.