March 15th, 2020 was a Sunday afternoon. My new band, Miller Holler, had been practicing and getting tight since Christmas, and we were looking forward to our first paid gig at the World Famous Wildhorse Saloon. As we were on our way to the gig we got the call: “All of Broadway is shut down until further notice”.
We turned the van around and headed back toward home. Devastated and worried about the coming months, we knew that what we were about to experience was going to effect more than just our 4 mouths. Everyone in the business is essentially unemployed. Not like,”no I don’t have a day job, but I am a musician”, more like “I don’t have any job and I’m not allowed out of the house to find one”.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard the news I wasn’t even surprised. This is the music business! In the 15 years I’ve been in this thing there has constantly been a wrench in the gears and you can NEVER count your chickens before they hatch! Was I disappointed that I wasn’t going to make any money, losing my first paycheck since Christmas!? Absolutely. Was I nervous and wondering ”How will I eat? How will I feed my family?” Definitely. I only knew one thing for certain. This town has knocked me down many times before, but here I am. Still grinding, still focused, still hungry, and still continuing down the path I am on.
10 minutes after the closing of Broadway I got a message from a dear friend from college. The message read, “you guys should do a livestream from the house!” and that got all the wheels turning in a positive direction once more! Just like a rat who is trapped in a corner, it never gives up and always finds a way. In Nashville we are all rats just trying to find our way. No clear path or direction, and there is an exterminator around every corner trying to make it as difficult as possible. But to me, that’s what separates the winners from the whiners. Winners don’t give up; winners never quit or complain. If you want to win in this business it’s more than just being “good”. Everyone is good. You have to be innovative.
With my friend’s advice I began organizing a live concert from our living room and with the help of some great friends we are on track to play our show and potentially raise a few dollars for our band to survive through these trying times in Nashville. The show will be broadcast LIVE on the BleepinJeep.com Facebook Page and we will hopefully be putting them on for the remainder of the lockdown! For those of you who don’t know about BleepinJeep, they are one of the biggest “HowTo” YouTube Channels on the web. Our relationship with BleepinJeep started when I was contacted about writing a theme song for them last year and after the owner, Matt, saw some of the work my wife and I did on our personal Jeep and he invited us to join his crew. Now we are a part of the channel and making content monthly, but this just shows that every avenue works together and leads to potential opportunity!
If I could leave you with one sentiment about the music business it would be that you must always keep your nose to the grindstone and continue to find ways out of the corner. We are all struggling all the time and this epidemic is no different than any other time this city and its people have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and forged ahead. The business and life as we know it could be totally different, and I expect it will be, as they have both been perpetually changing. It is our duty to make sure we are turning out great music that inspires hope, kindness, reflection, and faith that there are bigger and brighter horizons ahead.
Help your neighbor. Love your family. Keep making good music.
We love you Nashville.
Front Man @miller.holler