Over the years I have had some long touring summers that seemed like they would never end. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously love being a musician and being able to travel the world with my craft is an absolute blessing. I don’t know too many people whose full-time job it is to go traveling from town to town exploring all that this world has to offer. Most of my friends who I went to college with are stuck in their corporate offices working under fluorescent lighting wishing they could get away. So in that sense, I am so happy to be doing what it is that I’m doing.
But like I said, sometimes being a traveling musician can be hard. Spending weeks upon weeks on the road away from home is tough, but the worst part by far is not being able to sleep in your own bed. Hotels are great but they’re just not the same as your own bed.
But enough about the downsides, let’s explore the wondrous world that is being a traveling musician.
When I was a kid growing up, I always wanted to travel the world. I loved studying history books and learning about all of the great sites that America had to offer and I wanted to be able to visit them all. I can still remember that when I was ten years old my one dream was to take a cross-country road trip. Little did I know what I would doing that full-time just 15 years later.
I remember my first tour. It was a nine state tour spread out over 2,000 miles. I started in Texas and went all the way up to Seattle. Boy was that and experience. I had never been to Texas, Arizona, Oregon, or Washington before that tour and I had the experience of playing three shows in every state in just the matter of a few short weeks.
Playing my first show in Texas was definitely an experience. I wasn’t exactly sure how the crowd would react, being that country is so big down there. Now, I’m not exactly a country act, but I’m not too rock and roll either. I like to think I have a little bit of Johnny Cash in me, but a little bit of the Rolling Stones too. You know what I mean, a nice blending style that is influenced by all of the greats? Of course who doesn’t think that about themselves, though, ha!
I played at a western style bar and after my first song I still couldn’t get a good read on the crowd, but after my third or fourth song the crowd was really feeling it and they were singing along and dancing. One of the most rewarding things to a musician is to see new listeners enjoy and appreciate your music. Traveling to a brand new city where people have never heard of you or never heard a single song enjoy what it is that you’re making. Having those people support your music, that’s what it’s all about.