Tour time!!!!!! I love touring! Performing almost every night, meeting new people, getting my music out there, seeing new places. Everything about it is tremendous! I have slept in my car in order to do it, and I’ll be doing the same thing again this time around. I have never been able to make it a profitable endeavor, but I have always loved it. My goal this time is to build enough momentum from it to make a living from it. I will work hard for what I love, as I always have. It’s been worth every bit of sacrifice to get to where I am.
Taking the next step is daunting and exciting at the same time. I have so much to overcome. There’s the obvious aspects of the music industry that make this a challenging journey. Much more music is pirated now than bought. There are literally millions of musicians/bands. Without backing, I have no budget for promotions, and no ability to get significant radio play. Then there’s the not-so-obvious. Even trying to book shows is tough until you’ve established that you can bring a crowd, but establishing that fan base is tough without being able to perform. That’s why I’ve spent years establishing the contacts that I have for the full shows, and am adding open mikes in to establish myself in new venues. Even putting together other musicians to have on a bill can be challenging for me at times, since my music is pretty unique. All of this has meant that on the official release date of “liberty island,” I did not have a single sale, even though I’ve spent the last 5 months promoting it as hard as I could. And that’s ok. I welcome the challenge, and it will be that much more gratifying when those sales do come, knowing that I’ve earned them.
I am tremendously grateful for everyone who has helped me get here, to be in a position to put together this tour which will hopefully open more doors. The fans who have spread the word, of course, are the most important aspect of being able to do this. Even the ones who are copying my music and giving it to their friends. I’m definitely happier when one person buys my music, and gives it to 10 others, than when no one hears it at all.
People often ask me why I do what I do, and the answer is the only thing it can be, “I LOVE IT!” There’s more to it, of course. Music saved my life after I lost my mom to cancer. Music helped me when I dropped out of college and I had to work my way back. Music gave me a place to go when Chicago didn’t work out. Music gives me a reason for being. It drives almost all of my decision making. Music is why I am who I am, which is why I do what I do.
The way I’m getting ready to do this seems crazy. I will be sleeping in my car because I’ll be leaving with just enough money for gas. Food, and everything else, will have to be covered by tour proceeds. If I have to eat peanut and bread again, I’ll be ok with that. This time, though, I feel like things will be different financially. There’s no empirical data to back this up, and the fact that I didn’t sell any copies of “liberty island” in the first 24 hours of its release certainly doesn’t support this feeling either. I’m just confident that things will happen. Partially because they need to, partially because I’ll work to make them happen, and partially just because I believe. I believe people will support me, by coming to my shows, buying my CDs, putting money in my tip jars at open mikes, etc.
I will be posting daily updates on MissionMan.net about the tour. Photos, video, and detailed information about miles driven, tour costs and revenues, will be provided. I want you to feel like you’re along for the journey. I know some of you will be reading and rooting me on! I know some of you will buy my music to help me get from a to q (17 performances) and hopefully past z. Thank you! This tour will be the last time I get this detailed about it, as I feel like this will be the tour that gets me there and I don’t want to take away from how special that is with those kinds of details the next time.
Tour time!!!!!! I’m so excited, confident, and scared at the same time. I have long odds to overcome, but because of my fans I feel like I will. This tour feels like the beginning of a wonderful career. Thank you so much!