Small U.S. cities that have a killer music scene

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by harpinon, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. harpinon

    harpinon Silver Supporting Member

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    For one, Marietta, Ohio. A small riverside city. Lots of blues enthusiasts. Tons of clubs, lots of live music. I love it.(unlike my crappy town)

    Name some more and tell us what's going on there.
     
  2. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Not a small city...but Minneapolis has an incredible scene that's often overlooked. If I could've talked my wife into dealing with the cold, we may have gone back up there. I'm originally from Knoxville, TN...they've been making some waves out there as well!
     
  3. SG_Growler

    SG_Growler Member

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    Every guy in every band I've ever talked to says Asheville, North Carolina is THE place to be.
     
  4. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    I almost moved there before deciding to return to TX. It's a gorgeous place, very inspiring...
     
  5. suckamc

    suckamc Member

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  6. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    And how sad is it that I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a local band live in the last year or two?
     
  7. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Sad! I'm hoping to get back up there this year...see you then?!
     
  8. {Bold-as-love}

    {Bold-as-love} Member

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    I've been their and I swear it's the most amazing place you'll ever go
     
  9. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    Just give me a little warning, and I'll be happy to meet up and buy you a drink (or six) of whatever you prefer! Also... I just finished poking around your website, and I must say this: Solid songwriting, solid playing, and an exceptional voice!
     
  10. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I wouldn't say that Madison WI has a "killer" music scene, but it is a pretty damn good music scene for a town of 200,000

    I've heard that Asheville NC has a great music scene

    The best small town to world class musician per capita city is Franklin, TN
     
  11. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the kind words Brian and for the offer!
     
  12. GilH123

    GilH123 Member

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    +1 on Denton
     
  13. wundergussy

    wundergussy Member

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    Portland. Amazing place for music.
     
  14. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I think a better question is what small towns have the most places for a band to play at? I've been to Asheville, NC a few times and it may be a place for singer songwriters and artsy folks and the Biltmore Estate, the question is number of venues.
     
  15. mcdonaldkd

    mcdonaldkd Member

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    Yep.
     
  16. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Another question that your post made me think of is this - what genres thrive in those places? For someone like me who's a singer/songwriter, self contained type (in that I don't necessarily need a band to perform), places like Asheville are perfect. I can roll into town and find plenty of places to perform that people will gravitate towards.

    On the other hand, I've heard that hard rock and metal bands practically get ran out of town out there. I've talked to several artists who've said, "There's nowhere to play!" but they're almost always not singer/songwriters and are dependent on joining a band in order to keep afloat. That, or they haven't put the time and effort into themselves as a musician. I call this the "Momma Syndrome." American Idol auditions are great examples of this..."but (enter a relative or close friend's name here) says I'm GREAT!" I always tell people, when someone other than your family and friends like your music, you might be onto something!

    I've said this many times and always seem to get a little heat for it...but almost any town can be breeding grounds for great bands, venues, etc. It's a collective process. You can't expect to throw together a garage band, practice once a week for a month, and hit the circuit with flames on the wheels. People who really put the time and effort into it almost always shine through and find a way to make it happen. Some people are thinking, "But...but...but..." Nope. Get out there and do it. If your music's that good and people want to hear it and for whatever reason there isn't one good spot to perform in town - make one. Scrape up some cash, rent out a room or storage place, print up some fliers, and have a great show.

    Also, and I stand by this strongly as someone who's been at this "full time" for years now - unless you're in an orchestra, cover band, corporate gigs, or other salary (I use this term loosely here) type situation, making it financially long-term locally is nearly unheard of. You have to get out there and hit the road, share that music with the world, and hope that by doing so, more opportunities will arise that can sustain you (the band, etc) financially and keep you doing what you love.

    I know and have met many talented artists who like to be a "local celebrity" and apparently be broke. When I ask them why they're not taking the show on the road, I usually get a barrage of excuses or the deer in the headlight look.

    It's not enough to be a great musician - you have to be willing to get out there and make it happen. I get calls and emails all the time from other artists (and sometimes managers of other artists) asking how to get their music on the radio, into TV shows, etc. I'm always willing to help those who are willing to help themselves...but more times than not, they never follow up with the advice I've given them and I run into them a year later and they're still hanging around town doing nothing.

    There may be thousands and thousands of people out there who think they want to be "musicians" on that level, but very, very, very few of them are willing to put the boots on the ground and make it happen. That's just the reality of the business. Ask anyone who's been around Nashville as a pro...they'll tell you the same. They'll tell you, this lifestyle isn't for everyone.

    Whew, did I just write all of that? Sorry for the novel...been barraged with people's questions lately so I guess I needed to vent!
     
  17. HP Hovercraft

    HP Hovercraft Member

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  18. Prerequisite

    Prerequisite Member

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    Ashville, NC has a big music scene. A lot of indie rock stuff too.
     
  19. Staticbuster

    Staticbuster Member

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    These Asheville responses are funny. Yeah, the singer/songwriter/coffeehouse vibe works up there, but it's hard for a band to break up there. Especially an out of town band. I'm only two hours away from there, and my band has played up there. I got a bunch of friends that live up there, so promotion for our gigs happened. It's a simple fact of there is a definite "in" sound going on up there, and if your band aint "that" sound, forget it.

    Mostly what seems to be big here is the folk-rock thing, ie bands like Shovels & Rope, Andy the Doorbum, Appalucia, and Sinners & Saints.

    Which I guess qualifies for a scene, and I'm just not a part of it. Go figure.
     
  20. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    +1. It's an amazing city in general.
     

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