Lately I’ve been trying to remind myself that living in the moment isn’t just a state of mind. It’s also a call to action. If the moment is all we have we should motivate ourselves to be engaged in experiences and make personal progress by taking advantage of that awareness. I’ve been telling myself to get off my ass and do the things I used to procrastinate on. At the time it seemed easier not to deal with finances or socials than work through them. The issue there, these things alway come back to haunt you. So this year I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’ve always been my own book keeper, my own manager, and now I’m also my own mental coach. We wear a lot of hats, us independent musicians, but I really did overlook the mental coach thing for a long time. Until now.
So here we are. 2023. What a life we have lived the last few years. Things are getting tight, gigs aren’t as plentiful. So now is the time to toughen up or drop out of the races. I’m planning on taking the high road, and continuing to pursue my lifes work regardless of the magnitude of all the new stresses we are facing. My goals involve a zero alcohol standard for myself and centring my energy on finances, personal growth and creative output. (hence the blog post)
What are your big plans for the year? Let me know in the comments.
My #1 goal this year is self improvement, I think that will be a catalyst for a lot of great changes in all the other areas of my life as well.
I just went through 5000 emails. I cleaned up my Desktop. I downloaded quickbooks for my accounting. I’m trying to be an adult. I’ve been working towards a more streamlined way to run this “business”. The whole get a real job thing is definitely a joke in 2022 and will be even more of a joke in 2023. Working in the music industry these days is like having 10 jobs at once. It’s hard to stay on top of all of it and also afford yourself an adequate practice schedule. I am doing my best to create a framework where these things can be done using some streamlining technology and then I can have a bit of an easier time of staying on top of my books and my accounting. Email organization also has something to do with it because so many clients and companies work with digital invoices and digital receipts these days. It was a huge job to go through my gmail account and correct three years of laziness, but we got there. Fresh start. Here we go. PS: I could use some words of encouragement. *hahahaha*
Looking forward I am hoping to make this business something bigger. I’ve been working on advancing my home studio and doing high quality productions out of my house. I also have this big idea for a documentary film about my friends around Alberta. I’ve always wanted to work in the world of movie scoring but haven’t been able to find any people to team up with. So with lots of thinking I came up with the idea that I’d hunt down a couple cameras and then just start filming my own documentary and coming up with the score myself. It’s a big endeavour but I have some good people on my side that can help me make this thing a reality. I want to underline the fact that so many people around this beautiful province are taking the torch from the folk musicians of the past, a new generation of extremely talented folks are populating stages all around Calgary and Edmonton and surrounding areas. I want to focus on this scene and highlight their talents. There will be interviews and artsy filler segments and live performances all compiled into a nice big feature film. At this point its just an extravagant idea, but I believe it’s something worth pursuing. The idea is that it will also be coupled with a podcast which will be released on streaming platforms and also have a visual series on YouTube. The future is bright folks. I’m looking forward to keeping myself very very busy over the next year. Lets ring in 2023 with a bang and close out my 35th year the way I intended, the second half of 35 will be filled with progress. Mark my words.
Winter gets to me. Acoustic guitar is what gets me through. I can’t really focus on anything else during the chilliest part of the year. I tend to pick songs to play that remind me of summer. Of times when the days are longer. Of times where the sun still warms your face at 9 PM and the temperature never drops below 20. I long for the outdoors and fresh air. I spend the majority of my summer sitting on my deck plucking away on the classical in the sun or sitting under the tree in the backyard working on fiddle tunes. If there’s one thing I can appreciate winter for, it’s the fact that when you miss summer this much you really learn to take in and appreciate those few months where the weather wouldn’t take you out if you got locked out of your house for an hour without a coat on.
Luckily, when winter depression hits, I usually have some gigs to look forward to that will help pull me through the dreary season. This Friday, ROOKS will be performing at the King Eddy. Cover is $15 at the door or $10 in advance. Our drummer Darryl has been gone for a few months on a big tour so we’re really missing the stage. Looking forward to letting loose and laying down all of our original material.
I’ve started playing a little bluegrass with my friend Dave and we will hopefully be booking some gigs around Calgary in the near future. I haven’t played much bluegrass publicly yet except for here and there in my solo shows. But I can really feel my playing getting to a place where I’m going to be playing that style a lot more soon. It’s an exciting transitionary times and the pandemic had a lot to do with me moving this direction. I’m not grateful we all had to go through a pandemic but I’m grateful for the time I had to study and progress.
My long term goals with the whole bluegrass thing is to put together some type of string band that can back me up on my original material. When I’m playing “solo” it will be bluegrass instrumentation whether or not we are playing bluegrass songs. I guess you could call it “folk” then, but there will be some grass standards peppered in here and there for sure. Keep an eye out for the advertising. I’ll plaster it all over this site and also spread the news on socials when bookings do happen. The search starts today.
Anyways, I hope you’re all well. Just wanted to spill my thoughts for a few minutes. Hopefully I will see some of your familiar faces at the ROOKS show on Friday! I’ve heard its getting close to standing room only, so if you want a seat you should call the King Eddy and book your table!
Hey folks, I took a fun little trip up to Jasper this week and played at the good ol’ Whistle Stop Inn. GREAT gig and I’ve been frequenting that place since 2008, feels like home.
I got that new Neumann mic and its been working wonders for me. Super clear recording, makes it super easy to mix. LOVE IT.
Happy to be home again and actively booking so if you are in need of some live music in December or January hit me up! Would like to fill up my calendar.
Bluegrass picking is coming along, I’ve been playing lots to metronomes and doing drills for technique. I’m noticing significant increases in my speed. I see a light at the end of the tunnel for getting most of these traditional songs on stage. I’m looking forward to jamming these with some bluegrass musicians at some point. Still building up the nerve to hit a jam at some point.
My pal Doug gave me a sweet Baracuda Tele to try out that I’m loving the tone of! Come check it out live at the King Eddy on DECEMBER 9TH when I play with ROOKS!!!
Winter hit hard and fast this year. No matter how many of them we go through we never really expect it to surprise us the way it does when the weather cools off. I was just down in LA and met some really cool people and had some eye opening experiences. It changed my world perspective a bit and opened my mind to parts of the music industry that I really didn’t even know existed. Getting back into the swing of “real life” has been challenging, but I’m managing.
I bought a Neumann Microphone in preparation for a slew of acoustic recordings that I’ll be sending your way in the coming months. I’ve started recording a new version of my album Bellow which will go by the working title Bellow Revisited. It’s just me, and my guitar… A few layers.. That’s it. If it’s going to be cold out and I’m gonna be spending time hunkered down I might as well be productive.
A couple years of lockdown gave me a lot of time to play guitar. I have played tons of covers in my life and I’m feeling the itch to really really push my original music. I’ve been tired of bar gigs and the same old same old. The goal here is to get to a place where the studio is more of a factor in my day to day life and I want to deliver less gigs that are higher quality. This has required me to streamline my workload and “let a few people down” by quitting a project here or there or opting out of certain gigs.
I’ve come to realize that in this complicated industry, our most valuable commodity is how we spend our time. I spent a lot of time with my guitar but I’ve become aware that I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should have been to important things like web design and photo shoots and all the things relating to the business side of music. I’m trying to change that a bit and start taking this more seriously. These new releases coincide with that vision. I want you as listeners and fans to be more connected with me regularly. This blog will be updated as often as I can with any musings or interesting happenings that come my way.
I have released a version of my song Hometown Hero on SoundCloud. https://soundcloud.com/jaybowcott2/hometown-hero <—– GO CHECK IT OUT! It is the first of a number of songs that will be in the new collection of recordings. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all!
On top of all my acoustic recordings, I have big plans for a full band album that I will release hopefully in the fall or late into next year. At this point that’s all prospective but some of the cards are falling into place to make that happen.
That being said. I love making acoustic recordings and that’s really where my heart is. It makes sense for me to lock myself in a room and pour my heart out on my HD28, it’s what I do at shows and that’s always worked for me, so why shouldn’t I make some recordings with the same treatment?
My life has been in a bit of a limbo for a long time. I’ve had amazing moments at shows and have had some brilliant times. Lived a LOT of life for a 35 year old man. Been through some serious lows as well, but we are the sum of ALL of our parts. I am using those lemons to make lemonade. Expect to hear a lot from me in the coming months. As a kid I always said 35 was my year. I don’t know exactly what I meant by that when I used to say it, but here we are, now is the time to take the bull by the horns. Let’s make some music!