Now, one cannot always be fortunate enough to always make their gigs truly “count”, but when a great opportunity knocks, you have to be able to make the most of it. To this point I am talking today about how I’ve been able to make some important gigs truly be at the “right time”. There are literally ways to make one gig seem as if it’s 100 gigs, and to be in the right place at the right time. In the early days of when I was starting to appear in Woodstock for example, I would jump up onstage and play with none other than Paul Butterfield, Harvey Brooks, Rick Danko, John Sebastian, John Simon and countless others. Also, there would be many luminaries in the audience who would hear me, and before I knew it the phone started really ringing, and the gigs were coming in!
Another example is to make the most of any radio or TV appearances you may get, because obviously, you are reaching a bigger audience, and folks have a way of never forgetting when they’ve really seen something that’s affected them. These days, with the advent of great things such as YouTube, you can also reach thousands, if not millions, with a great performance. You just never know where something like that will lead to, and the opportunities these days are tremendous, provided you use them in the proper way.
Sitting in at gigs is still a great way to be heard by many, and to “mix it up” with other players who may want to call you for other gigs and perhaps start to spread the word more about you and your playing. I was just asked on a big NYC radio show to play the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium this summer, which once again, is a perfect way to take one gig, and even just one song, and make it really count! Obviously, that will make a great YouTube clip, and who knows what that performance can lead to for me!
So, the bottom line is always be on the lookout for the gigs you can do that would mean the most for you and your career. You never know when you may just be in the right place at the right time, and when playing for one person could turn into playing for thousands! Keep up the good work, and always be ready!