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What is the Atlanta to Athens music scene like?


BluesKeys

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I'm thinking about relocating to GA. and wondered if there are many full time bands needing keyboard players. Or if there are solo spots that are not all jazz piano but wide mix. May even break down and use tracks if I have to.(Don't hate, it's just technology.)

What is the overall musical climate for keyboard/lead vocalist?

 

I know there are a lot of venues in Athens and Atlanta. Are there many solo or duo spots or should I look to bands to make a living? Just wondering what you guys know about quality and quantity of KB players and demand for seasoned musicians.

Thanks

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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There are a million places to play in and around Atlanta & Athens and even more bands lined up to play them. For that reason, there's a lot of "open mic nights" on every corner where musos play for free which kills the market for paid entertainment. Those gigs that do pay don't pay much.

 

Sorry for the negative outlook but I moved here six years ago from a much smaller market (Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA before that) and both towns had more opportunity and better pay once you got in the know. Atlanta is a huge market and bad bands that play for cheap and bring all their friends to party are everywhere.

 

I played fulltime in several smaller towns, I have a dayjob in Atlanta. Obviously there are some big time opportunities here but that's another story.

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That's my home area. Lots of opportunities available. There's a shortage of (good) keyboard players in my area (NE Suburbs). It's bad and good.... bands are using tracks more often and opting to not search for a keyboard player.
Roland Jupiter 80, Roland FA-08, Yamaha MOXF6, Nektar Impact LX61, Macbook Air
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Thanks Jim, as I recall, you were doing mostly solo work is Hilton Head and Savannah. You find solo work not paying as well in Atlanta?

 

blong, I have seen exactly what you describe in Athens, but have only been to a couple of clubs in Atlanta.

 

Thanks guys... anyone else? Please chime in!

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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I make the 4 1/2 hour drive to Atlanta for sports, trainings, and marketing shows. For a city of that size Atlanta seems pretty quiet in music. Other than a bit of hip-hop there does not seem to be much going on. Nothing that you hear about outside of Atlanta. I don't personally know anyone that has moved to Atlanta for music.
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Thanks Jim, as I recall, you were doing mostly solo work is Hilton Head and Savannah. You find solo work not paying as well in Atlanta?

 

I used to play mostly in restaurants on the coast... not in Atlanta. I do play solo still but it's for weddings, Christmas parties, special events, odd jobs etc. Occasionally I play some big gigs too, but overall the frequency is down and if I had to play fulltime I'd move back to Hilton Head.

 

I also play in bands but that's mostly for fun ($100/man is norm). Also there's lots of gigs to be had in guitar-dominated contemporary churches if you like that sort of thing.

 

But Atlanta is a pretty hot place - after all, this is the home of Elton John, Whitney Houston, Outcast, Ludacris, Stevie Wonder, Zak Brown Band, Travis Tritt, etc. Lately it's where Justin Beiber hides out too. You can see all the big names in concert (one of the reasons I moved here). And the weather is nice (well, usually...).

 

Look in Craigslist and check out the musicians section... that'll give you an idea of what's up here.

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I have been on Craigslist and it seems slim. Just sort of testing the water to see what might be available. Thanks for the heads up Jim.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Thanks Jim, as I recall, you were doing mostly solo work is Hilton Head and Savannah. You find solo work not paying as well in Atlanta?

 

blong, I have seen exactly what you describe in Athens, but have only been to a couple of clubs in Atlanta.

 

Thanks guys... anyone else? Please chime in!

 

We should probably classify Atlanta as 2 areas. 1) Inside the perimeter (Interstate 285) - which I have only played a single gig at a brewery. Very few of the bands I socialize with ever play that area. I do agree that the hiphop scene is big there. 2) Outside the perimeter - A great music scene on the weekends. You are probably never further than 10 minutes from seeing a good band on the weekend. I am also seeing some restaurants/bars start to pony up the $$$ for better party bands because of more competition. We are now playing a few places that we flat-out turned down previously because we couldn't come to terms with pricing.

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All of the above is essentially true. Shortage of quality, versatile keyboard players; I get at least 2 calls a week, but mostly to join, not sub. Most are jobs I wouldn't (or couldn't) take (Allman Bros. tribute band, wedding band, Rock, Metal, ect.). I do work with a couple of locally prominent female vocalist so I do work THEIR gigs, but mainly I only work jazz gigs and usually in one of the wall-to-wall Country Clubs in my area. Most stemmed from playing at the one in the CC community that I lived in and then just connections from there.

 

The secret to finding gigs is to find a market niche ie. a CC, high-end restaurant, Nursing home circuit (I couldn't bring myself to do that), etc. where there is a better shot at repeat business and decent pay. Mucho private gigs come out of CC gigs (corporate, weddings, private parties, etc.). There are a lot of 'rich folk' in the Atlanta area that are willing to pay for your services if you've got the goods. But then, isn't that true most anyplace? I've reached an age and stage in my life where I can pick and choose which gigs I will work and which musicians I will work with. Gigs seem a lot easier to come by when you're not starving to death. Why is that?

 

chas

 

Legend Exp,NC2x,Crumar Seven,KeyB Duo MK111,Nord C1,Nord C2D,Triton Classic,Fantom G7,Motif ES,SonicCell,BK7m,PA1x pro,VP770,TC Helicon,Leslie 3300,MS Pro145,EV SXA250(2),Traynor K4,PK7a,A70,DM10 Pro.
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And the weather is nice (well, usually...)

 

But not today! (Said the guy in warmer, rainy Savannah...)

 

..Joe

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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Chas, these jazz gigs, are they solo? Cocktail/Dinner muchie type gigs? Where you are just background? Or is it more jazz club feel?

 

I appreciate the info guys, you each have good info for me to kick around. I'm just speculating right now. I have a good rapport with several booking agents up here that have been helpful in the past. No one has mentioned that as the case in Atlanta.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Chas, these jazz gigs, are they solo? Cocktail/Dinner muchie type gigs? Where you are just background? Or is it more jazz club feel?

 

 

All of mine are trio gigs w/organ, guitar, and drums. We sometimes add a female vocalist and (very rarely) a horn player just to add another solo voice. A lot of the larger CC's will have solo piano in the lounge or dining room. There are a few clubs and restaurants and micro-breweries that feature a 'jazz night' but only a handful (that I know of) that are strictly JAZZ CLUBS and those tend to have a lot of 'open stage' nights with a (poorly paid) 'house' band. There are also several large pro studios but they mostly do Hip Hop.

 

chas

Legend Exp,NC2x,Crumar Seven,KeyB Duo MK111,Nord C1,Nord C2D,Triton Classic,Fantom G7,Motif ES,SonicCell,BK7m,PA1x pro,VP770,TC Helicon,Leslie 3300,MS Pro145,EV SXA250(2),Traynor K4,PK7a,A70,DM10 Pro.
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Chas, I would bring a different vibe. I do play some jazz, old chestnuts, think Harry Connick, Ray Charles styles solo piano/vocals. But I was also thinking of adding tracks and turning on the dance music side of me. Old soul, RBB, Carolina Beach music, with a bit of Huey Lewis, Michael McDonald flavor. To be able to handle dances and such. Not opposed to making a full band gig but able to handle it solo/duo/trio etc.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Did U find a new girlfriend, Jimmy? :love:

 

Howzit goin'?

 

I'm sick. I'm laying in bed with gastroenteritis. :sick:

 

You don't wanna know.

 

Wanna come by for a beer? :laugh:

 

Ummm, kidding!!

 

I'll catch up with you soon, I hope!

 

Tommy :cool:

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I did find a new honey Tom. she's my sweet little thing, she's my pride and joy.....

 

I'd love to have a beer and catch up, after you get better. I have enough crap in my life. LOL

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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