Be The Artist You’d Want to Play With


Kristen Graves

I recently played a gig with Kristen Graves – a Fairfield, CT singer/songwriter who was doing a weekend stint in Pennsylvania.  Upon leaving the show at the end of the night, I realized that this was one of the better experiences I’ve had playing with an out-of-towner.  Here are a few things she did and here’s why she’s a pretty great example of what it means to be a traveling artist.

Book The Show
Lets say you’re planning a trip to Philly and you want to play with a few artists. Do you ask them if you can join their bill? Or you do you book a show and invite them to join your bill?  Don’t mooch!  Musicians hate it when someone simply goes along for the ride.  If you really want to play with an artist, be willing to do the work. Set up a show and let them know you’re serious about the gig. They’ll respect you and they’ll be more willing to help promote it.  Most times, if you’re asking to get onto a bill where all the work has already been done, it simply looks like you want a free ride.

Promote the Show
Ya, if you’re from out of town, there’s a good chance the media won’t know who you are. But that’s all the more reason to let them know about you. Kristen sent out a press release to local Pittsburgh media promoting our show. Her emails generated interest from several  sources and landed a really great interview/concert preview from a local University paper.

But lets say you took the above “free ride” approach. You didnt book a show for a specific date, but a kind band is allowing you to open for them.  Ok understandable.  Sure, feel free to ask a band if you can get in on their show, BUT be willing to promote. And let the band or venue know that you would like to help in any way to get the word out. Do your best to show you care about the gig and appreciate the hookup.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Another thing I noticed about Kristen, is that she was mindful of her set time. A good 20% of her set was stories prefacing her songs. M
any artist do not factor in their talk time.  If you have stories or on-stage banter, make sure you factor that in. We’ve all seen 30min sets turn into 45 minute sets because someone decided to talk too much. When your mindful of your set time, it means your respect the other artists on the bill.  It’s a small thing that makes a big difference. (more on respecting your fellow musician)

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3 Comments on “Be The Artist You’d Want to Play With”


  1. […] The other blog feature was an entry written by my good friend, Joy Ike, who manages her own independent marketing blog called, Grassrootsy. She wrote a post about me after we shared a show in Pittsburgh with Heather Kropf. You can read that blog by visiting her site. […]


  2. Thanks so much for the kind words, Joy! It’s great to share shows with you as well! And I’m hitting the road again this summer, so if anyone wants to share a show – I’m up for it!


  3. Your WP template looks awesome!!


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