Rock Steady

By Brad Canady

When I returned to the Louisville area about 10 years ago, my intentions were to put aside my musical career and pursue other interests because I didn't think that Louisville would be a town that would have a flourishing music scene. Although I am originally from here, I had been living away, going to college or on the road since the age of seventeen.

Three days after I arrived, I found out that my preconceptions about Louisville were wrong! First, I got a call about a house band job. I have working gigging steadily since. I also teach drums and manage the drum shop at Far Out Music.

I found Louisville to have a great music scene and I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the musicianship I encountered in many of the local bands. For the last ten years, Louisville has been a pretty nice town for a musician to make a living in.

Unfortunately, in the last year or so, it seems our great music scene has taken a turn for the worse. I see musicians out of work who have made this their livelihood for many years. I suppose it could be blamed on the economy, but I think it goes deeper than that. It seems there is a lack of support for live music recently. More and more you are seeing DJs and karaoke where live music was once offered. A lot of clubs have even resorted to band battles, jam nights and audition nights to hold down their entertainment expense.

A lot of our younger fellow musicians fall prey to these practices. This creates several problems. First of all, you knock other musicians out of work and you are ruining the environment for earning money once you are established. You have a lot of time invested in your musical career. Don't give it away for free!

Bands are being offered and are accepting less and less all the time. I think we are cutting each other's throats!

Our musical community must be made aware of the problem and we need to make an effort to put Louisville back on track.

Stop providing free entertainment via band battles and jam nights. Refuse the ridiculously low amounts of money currently being offered by many establishments. Quit patronizing venues not offering live entertainment.

We went through this in the mid seventies. But then we rebelled, Remember the slogans? "Disco Sucks." "Support Live Music." We need to take that attitude once again.

Last but not least, we need to make the public aware that if they do not support good live music, it will become a thing of the past.

Brad Canady manages the drum department at Far Out Music as well as teaching drums there.