Filtering by Tag: Live Performance
I’m a Live Performer; I love connecting with an audience and feeding off of the in the moment energy that’s so palpable at a show. For the audience and myself alike live performance is exhilarating because we know that anything can happen…because it’s live. Case in point:
I’d be fooling myself if I said that that same in the moment thrill transfers over to a carefully crafted 140 characters on Twitter or an edited YouTube video (or this blog post?? 😬). I mean, apples and oranges, right? My scripted social media self is just different than my spontaneous stage self. Well…that was true until I discovered a social media platform that changed all that.
Periscope is a live-streaming social app that allows folks from all around the world to watch broadcasts in real time. In my opinion it’s the perfect marriage between social media and live performance. Alas! the two have found each other - what a love story! OK, I can’t help myself:
You’ve probably noticed that live-streaming is quickly becoming “a thing,” especially since sites like Facebook and Instagram have adopted the concept. It’s easy to see why. People are hungry to know what’s really going on behind the curtain; they’re ready to make a connection and to be in the moment with us musicians, artists, speakers or anyone who has something to share!
So every Sunday at 6p CST you can find me in my little music room, on Periscope, playing a different batch of songs each week. I’ve gotta say it’s been a learning curve to adapt to singing while reading comments and responding quickly to people’s questions. But it’s SO much fun, and exhilarating – like performing on stage! What I love best is seeing that people are ready to be active listeners, to engage and even to share about their own lives.
If you’re interested in joining me next Sunday find me at www.periscope.tv/raehering or download the app on your phone and search “Rae Hering.” While you’re there you can also view my past scopes like the amazing Pre-Valentines House Show I threw in my apartment (25 people in my tiny living room!!) on Feb. 12th.
While you're on Periscope make sure to stumble across more fascinating content. A few of my recommendations are Piano Around (a guy who takes his upright piano all around the world), Clare Means (singer-songwriter and street performer sensation) and Neil Gaiman (yes, the fantasy author). Have fun being in the moment!
What’s a musician to do with three shows this week and a raspy throat that makes her sound like Scuttle in the Little Mermaid?? Well, let’s open up the pantry…zicam, airborne, lemon, honey, zinc, garlic, chicken broth, vitamin C, throat coat tea, neti pot, cough drops, apple cider vinegar…
OK, I’ve got enough vitamins and superfoods to start a homeopathy side business, but even still, sometimes a cold manages to kick my I’m-sick-so-I-get-to-sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-Netflix butt! (Hey, any excuse will do 🤧 😬)
Point is, this up-and-down weather’s got me keeping Kleenex in steady business this year and it’s likely you’re in the same 2-play boat. Thankfully, I learned of a new trick to bolster my medicine bag when I visited Music City Tea yesterday…
First of all, I just love visiting this locally owned and operated teashop. I go there to stock up on this killer Black Water Fairy Oolong that's sourced straight from the Chinese province that the owner, Jenny, comes from; her family has been making green, white, black and oolong teas in the Wuyishan area of the Fujian Province for over three generations, and it tastes like it, too!
So I was about to head out the door with my oolong when Jenny noticed my hoarse voice and suggested Farmer’s Tea. Well…OK, let’s give it a try! Another great thing about this teashop is that you can try any of the teas before you buy. Believe me, if you sit down at her tea table the teas will keep coming!
So I sat down and she poured me up some Farmer’s Tea with fair warning that it does not taste good. After following her instructions to slurp (yes, noisily slurp), gargle, swallow, and repeat two more times I can say that indeed, you don’t drink Farmer’s Tea for the flavor; however, it doesn’t taste horrible.
As yesterday progressed and a few hours went by I’ve gotta say my voice started doing much better! Guys, I think I’ll be ready for my shows this week! Next time I feel a cold coming on I’ll make sure to get the Farmer’s Tea out right away.
To check out Music City Tea’s various teas and tea sets, visit: www.musiccitytea.com.
That's right! I've posted two of these babies over the last couple of weeks so I thought it was time to call it what it is.
You see, I've been exploring my beautiful city of Nashville for the tucked away (or not-so-tucked-away) places that inspire me to find my muse in Music City. I hope you'll come along with me...
Quick 'lil post...just want to put out this montage video that Jonathan made recently. We're hoping it will help us book regional house concerts and gigs, but really it's just some fun footage that I think you all will enjoy!
Happy WEEKEND! :)
Over the years I’ve heard varying opinions about songwriters including cover songs in their live shows. Some say having a sizable amount of covers (40-70%) is the best way to connect with listeners because it offers a measure of familiarity. Others say adding covers dilutes the experience the songwriter is creating for their audience.
Should songwriters perform cover songs?
As a songwriter, I go to concerts to see musicians perform their original material because I’m passionate about songwriting! But I know that not everyone is like me in this respect, so I posed the question to my Faceboook friends where a discussion got going...
Some folks said that performing covers can be a foot in the door and referenced Tori Amos (check out her version of Angie by The Rolling Stones) and The Beatles as those who have used this technique. Others staunchly opposed including even one cover in a set or echoed that they only want to see original music performed.
The resounding majority was somewhere in the middle: people like hearing one or two covers from a songwriter if they can perform it in a way that’s unique to their artistry.
I agree. I think it's really cool when a songwriter whips out a badass cover and kills it. For instance, when Ray Lamontagne sings Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” it sounds like a completely new creation. However, if the cover outshines the original material, the unfortunate comparison can sure make the audience cringe! Songwriters can find themselves with the opposite problem on their hands, too; if the cover song bombs everyone walks away remembering that one moment.
Considering these two pitfalls, I've come to the conclusion that songwriters can’t rush the process of finding covers to perform. It should be natural (almost accidental) coming across the right song - as though it fell into the your lap! Great cover songs also come from the songwriter's history. To offer a personal example, "Bei Mir Bist du Schöne" by The Andrews Sisters was my solo in my high school musical; I've loved it ever since and couldn't help but create an accordion version of this near and dear tune. Now, it's become a highlight and audience favorite at shows.
When it comes down to it, songwriters have varying abilities and inclinations to perform cover tunes and there's really no "one right way." I know of many songwriters who started their professional careers singing covers and transitioned to writing because, according to them, it felt more meaningful. There are some bands that even lead double lives as a cover band and an original music band, like The Empty Pockets (read more in this CD Baby article).
But for us songwriters that want to be known primarily as songwriters, we can't get caught up in representing ourselves differently! If we're cramming to beef up our cover repertoire for that 4-hour long gig (I've totally been there and it wasn't pretty) or if we keep giving in to singing those covers that everyone is used to hearing from us, we won't ever be satisfied with our musical selves.
Songwriters need to ask themselves this question: how do I want people to know me? and to realize that representing ourselves this way is not a future endeavor, it starts NOW. Know who you are and stick to it!!
If anyone of you friends, folks or music fiends out there live in or around Huntsville I'll be playing a show this weekend NEAR YOU! My fellow piano player and co-writer Robert LaSalle has asked me to share the show with him this Saturday. I've got to say, he's one of the most creative writers I know, and that's why I love writing with him. We'll even be performing a few songs we've written together.
The Lumberyard Event Bar is the newest addition to the well-established Historic AM Booth's Lumberyard property. It's the kind of intimate space that provides a true listening experience. If you plan to attend, just make sure you send your email to email@example.com - it's a requirement to come to the show! Once your email is on the list you may bring whomever you want.
On a personal note, I'm excited because this is the beginning of playing shows outside the Nashville area. If you would like to see me play in your city, the main thing that will help me to do this is house concerts. If you or someone you know would like to host a house concert, please reach out to me.
And to all you Huntsvillians - see you at the show!
Just had a killer Monday night playing at The High Watt for their weekly "8 off 8th" event (interpretation: the venue is off 8th Ave. and 8 bands play 3 songs each - it's a marathon night, but a lot of fun, too.) And WOW! I'm so blown away by the talent in Nashville! The bands playing represented a very diverse picture of Nashville, from a progressive rock/metal/jazz group to a catchy southern pop act to an energetic bluegrass/folk ensemble to a steel drum-fronted funk/fusion band.
To add to my excitement, my fiancé Jonathan took the stage for the first time since the early 90's playing bass with me!! Jonathan and I have written songs together and have jammed together, but performing with him took our musical relationship to a new level. He was even telling me the other night that he realized the performance aspect of making music completes the circle for him - it gives reason to the practicing, jamming and writing.
Also, joining me was my lovely and talented friend Arianna Fanning on drums. Jonathan has known Arianna for a couple of years now, but when she moved in to our same apartment complex it became toostupid easy to start playing music with one another! It HAD to be done!
And here are some other bands to check out from Monday night: