Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Obligations “Family Saint”

This is for anyone out there whose Rock N Roll dreams got sidetracked by life’s obligations. Read through and support one of your brethren . . .

My brother-in-law James played in various bands, around New York and Boston in the early 90s. You might have seen Johnny One Note at Toad in Porter Square or some such other indie music venue around town. They even got a mention in Rolling Stone, as one of the best unsigned bands in the country.

But like so many people who want to make a living in the arts, reality crept in and cast its shadow. Marriage and mortgage and kids and commuting from the ‘burbs followed, for James, and for his musical compatriots Hugh and Rob.

And, for most folks, that would be that. The dream may never completely go away, but the means usually do.

A few years back, the guys started talking about making music together. And though they were separated by hundreds of miles---Rob now lives in Phoenix---modern technology gave them the means to do it.

For months, they traded CDs and files and lyrics and ideas and demos, between their 3 cities, their 3 computers. Rob brought in new friend Paula, to play bass. And they coordinated a couple of vacation weeks, to get together in the same room and play live.

They named themselves The Obligations, booked a few days studio time, and made a CD, which came out last summer.

No real expectations, just the joy of playing, and the satisfaction of accomplishment. The creative spirit is still alive.

They received some nice reviews, some podcast and radio specialty show play, and after a few months, thoughts turned to what they might do next.

Then two weeks ago, from out of the blue, something quite curious happened.

Rob started receiving messages from tour promoters, asking if they were looking for representation for a UK tour.

This was particularly improbable, as the band hadn’t played ANY live gigs. Their jobs and their geography kept that from being an option.

After a bit of digging, here’s what happened. Their song, “Family Saint” is climbing the charts of the “UK Top 40 Unsigned Bands.”

If they are voted into the Top Ten, a panel of judges will select a grand prize winner, who will get a free music video made for the song.

Maybe you wanted to write a novel, or train dolphins, or travel the world, or study to be a chef in Paris . . . or play in a Rock N Roll band. But obligations got in the way.

Live vicariously. Listen to the MP3, and if you like it, vote for The Obligations.

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