The Land of No Guitar Players

erica bryan, behind the mic, beaverdamusa.comWell…I’m back from my honeymoon! I guess I could blog about that, but I feel like I’ve been all about getting married and not about the music lately. So, now that I’m back from the honeymoon, I’ve been hitting the ground hard with the music. In fact, I already wrote a new song yesterday! 

We also have some more shows coming up. The first show we’ll play this summer is at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta opening up for Ricky Gunn on 7/9. I accepted the offer to open for Ricky because I already knew of him from watching his music video on CMT…and when people are on TV- you open for them! However, since I’ve been kind of out of it with the wedding planning, I waited until we got back from the honeymoon to put the band together. 

As most of you know, my viola player and background vocalist, Katherine Holmgren, left me high and dry to move to….Kansas. I know. I don’t know why Kansas would be more appealing than Nashville….but moving on…I’m not upset at all at losing a crucial part of our band. So, I figured the guitar player we had been playing with could at least still do it…but he informed me he’ll be on vacation. So, I texted my plan B. My plan C. I texted a piano player. I texted my plan D. I texted my piano player plan B. And so on and so forth, times a million. NO ONE can do the show! I thought when I moved to Nashville I could throw a rock and hit a guitar player. But apparently, they’re all gone. Why did I even move here? I’d probably have better luck finding a guitar player in Kansas!

But alas, when you have no one to turn to, you can always turn to family. Luckily my brother sings and plays guitar, so he’ll be performing with me 7/9. He lives in Atlanta though. Maybe I should move there? 

Life on the Road, from a Violist’s Perspective

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micNote: Katherine Holmgren, viola player in Erica’s band, is guest blogging this week. Enjoy!

Hello, my friends!

This week, Erica Bryan asked me to guest blog about my experience touring with her “behind the mic.”  I think maybe the band is tired of listening to my lengthy monologues about “Viola Player Injustices” and “Progress Updates on the Ant Problem in My Kitchen” so they thought a blog post would be a nice creative outlet for me.

kh 1The first show I played with Erica was earlier this year at a little coffee shop venue in Nashville. I still had braces on my teeth from jaw surgery (a tale better saved for my inevitable medical journal blog) and I wore my “cool” Nordstrom Rack leggings with the leather stripe on the side because growing up as a classical player means I own 1 cool outfit, total.  We played a small set for about 15 people and I prayed I would remember what key each song was in.

Fast forward a few months to this past Saturday when we played at our favorite Atlanta venue, Smith’s Olde Bar, packed with fans, friends, and family.  I no longer have braces and I have at least 3 performing outfits including a COOL HAT I debuted at the show.  We’ve played shows all around the South, taken selfies with goats, and logged a lot of hours on the road playing Mad Libs.  The band has become a little family and our performances get better and stronger with every show.

kh 2I love the hours we spend practicing, driving, laughing, and performing because they are all acting as building blocks for an incredible story.  I’ve been in Nashville for 6 years now and I can’t tell you the number of people I have either met or played music for who hold on to a hope that life is like American Idol.  We see these television shows where people are moved through a consolidated 6 month process to start from nothing and end with millions of fans.  This isn’t how life works! A young man or woman does not enter the company at the bottom of the corporate ladder only to find themselves in a corner office 3 months later. The people I’ve known who have competed on American Idol have worked for years to hone their skill–the show has been a lucky break in the midst of intense work and preparation. Luck and good opportunity comes to those who put in the work every day and are prepared for opportunity.

Donald Glover, a favorite comedian of mine and a former writer for the show 30 Rock, once said in a podcast that people looking at his success rate cannot see the hours he spent working on scripts and churning out ideas.  He put hundreds and thousands of hours into his craft so that when opportunity knocked, he was prepared.  When 30 Rock needed writers, he had a spec script prepared to send in immediately.  The hiring process was fast, but the preparation was slow.

Mkh 3y daily life has changed as I’ve started leaning in to slow success.  Every day is an opportunity for me to learn, practice, and reflect on the skills I am building for the future.  In Atlanta last weekend, Erica and Billy (our drummer) told me about a goal they set earlier in the year to play at least one show a month in the year 2014.  If you follow the band at all you know we played 3 shows in 24 hours the weekend before we were in Atlanta!  Erica was not focusing on the end result (which I’ve made clear is my face on a tour bus!) but on the day to day goals that include connecting personally with her fans, writing great songs, and playing as much as she can!  Look how far we’ve come in only a few short months.

I am loving this opportunity to work and be a part of something this special. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Erica & Band Get Scattered & Covered After the Show

See Erica & her Band Live
at Pokey’s in Cleveland
Friday Aug. 1, 
9 p.m.

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micThis past weekend, my band and I had a show at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta. I documented each part of the day– so much so– that my band even sloganed the day:  #fortheblog because I kept saying, “let’s take a pic for the blog!”

8:30 am- We loaded up the vehicle and tried to make everything fit!
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9:00 am- We leave Nashville and hit the road. It was a very comfy ride.

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2:00 pm- We arrive at my parents’ house in Roswell, GA to eat some lunch and have one last rehearsal.

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4:00 pm- We leave for Atlanta.

5:00 pm- We load in and sound check at Smith’s Olde Bar.

7:00 pm- Show time! (And it was our best show yet!)

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9:00 pm- Now, I wouldn’t say this is typical for a show day, but on this particular day my friend hooked us up with VIP Luke Bryan tix–so of course we went.

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12:00 am- It wouldn’t be a good show day without Waffle House.

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If you couldn’t make it to Atlanta and happen to be in Cleveland, TN–I have a show at Pokey’s THIS FRIDAY, Aug 1 at 9:00pm. Would love to see you there! For more show dates, you can check my website: ericabryan.com

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