Monday, June 13, 2011

Where I've been the last 22 years and where I'm going

For the past 22 years I have headed up Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.  I’ve been all over the world spreading the Louisiana zydeco love.  When I started my band back in 1989, I worked an asbestos job during the week and traveled on the weekends.  When I finally had enough of the hot suit and mesothelioma testing, I decided to make music my full-time job.
I don’t know if I really knew what I was getting myself into.  Even though I had helped my dad with contracts and playing behind him on drums.  It was my turn to take the bull by the horns. 
Agents booking me on the west coast on Saturday and then on the east coast two days later.  Driving countless hours, all day and night.  I don’t think there is an interstate I haven’t been on. Buying an RV to try to make 3 month tours more comfortable.  RV’s weren’t meant to tour that much, so the cost of repairs were astronomical.  All the “people in the business” that said they would advance my career, but instead just took my money.  Training musicians and just when the band got tight, another member would quit.  It seems to be an endless cycle still today.  We didn’t have email or cell phones back then.  Eventually I got a pager and a bag phone.  Man, how times have changed.
When I was a little boy, we would have house dances.  We would move the furniture out of the family room to make room to dance and get out the instruments.  Throw something in the pot, and you’ve got a party.  It was pure fun.  Sometimes I think it would be so nice if being a professional musician was as easy as moving furniture, making some grub, and getting paid.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.  So many people think I have the best job in the world.  They just see the party.  They didn’t see the furniture being moved outside, or the food preparation so to speak.  They just saw the end result.
The music industry can be a tough cookie.  But I know this is the only job for me.  Being a third generation zydeco musician, I was born to make this music.  This music is part of me, my heritage, culture and history.
Although a lot has changed during my career, I know one thing will stay the same.  I will continue to play this music, teach people about my culture through the music, and continue to press forward.  There are so many advantages now that we didn’t have in years past.  There are opportunities to show the world about my music just with a click of a button.  Technology to help me work smarter and not harder.  To continue to prosper in the music business doing something I love is what it’s all about. 

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