There’s something comforting about musician Kevin Daniel. The Americana artist just exudes contentment and relatability with the simple, down-home approach to his music. It was two weeks ago today that Daniel released his sophomore studio album, Been Here Before, twelve new songs that feel 110 percent authentic.
Been Here Before is the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed debut album, Things I Don’t See. There’s no pomp or pageantry when it comes to Daniel, who relocated back to his home state of North Carolina last fall to write and record in a familiar setting. He spent many a long day during this time at Echo Mountain Studios, a recording space with some epic scenery around it, that provided the perfect setting to get creative. Been Here Before casts a wide appeal with its accessible approach, but it is of particular appeal to fans of modern country rock like Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, and The Steel Woods.
You’ve probably already gotten the inkling that when it comes to his musical career, Daniel is a DIY kind of dude. This goes as far as even booking his own shows around the United States, a challenge that is not for the faint at heart. Joining us today is Daniel himself to share his own special list of five things he has learned about booking his own shows.
Five Things I Learned About Booking My Own Shows:
“I’m a DIY musician to the max which means I pretty much book 90 percent of my own shows. It’s by far one of the hardest parts about being a touring musician, but there are definitely some key things I’ve learned along the way.”
1. Keep it Simple
“Venue managers and talent buyers are bombarded with emails about gigs. They simply don’t have the time to read your origin story. Tell them who you are, what kind of music you play, and throw in some links to your music and a live video.”
2. Feel Free to Brag
“Played a couple sold-out shows? Opened for your favourite artists? Got a really nice press quote? Don’t be afraid to slip that in. Those little accolades can help you stand out from the sea of booking requests.”
3. Check the Date, Bro
“Before you even open up your email, check to see if the date you want to play is already booked. If it’s listed online, don’t ask to play that date. You’re just wasting everyone’s time. Suggest another one, or if it looks like they have multiple acts in one night, inquire about an open slot for that night acknowledging they already have some of the bill lined up. They’ll appreciate the little bit of effort on your part.”
4. Follow Up
“Wait a couple days after you send your initial email, and then follow up. Keep it short, just say hi, and ask if they’ve had a chance to check out your last message. Feel free to follow up a few times. I usually email a booker four times over a couple of weeks before I call it quits. I’ll even pick up the phone on the last attempt to see if I can chat in person.”
5. It Ain’t Personal
“I shouldn’t be the first to tell you, but if I am, sorry. Music is an uphill battle and it’s filled to the brim with failure and rejection. It’s just a fact. It’s not personal. Booking agents don’t know you and they don’t have an opinion on you, but they do have a job to do. Their job is to make the venue money and if they book acts which aren’t ready or right for the venue, it looks bad on them. Just bide your time, be nice, and keep on truckin’.”