Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Booking the Band

Since I've been on a music kick lately with our playlists, I figured I should fill you in on how we booked our band. We listened to many, many bands before finally settling and signing a contract. With the goal in mind that we wanted a bluegrass band, we initially turned to our favorite, the Infamous Stringdusters.

But a few quick e-mails proved them to be too expensive at $7,500 plus the cost of a production assistant. They are, after all, Nashville's hottest.

I started asking around. A co-worker connected me with the owner of Planet Bluegrass, a venue that holds bluegrass festivals year-round. A solid list of bands was recommended but none that really struck a chord (hehe) with us.

A bride who'd gotten married at Devil's Thumb Ranch on our date the year before had hired local, snowboarder, bluegrass musicians, Hunker Down. I liked them because they were fun and young and would be appealing to a broad audience. One of my worries is that our guests (90% of which are coming from Los Angeles and New York State and probably don't listen to much bluegrass) won't have fun with our band. But, Mr. CB just couldn't get into it.

We listened to great traditional acts like Sweet Sunny South and Spring Creek, but neither was quite right. Too slow? I'm not sure. They just didn't fit.

Eventually, I used Mrs. Joey's famous craigslist advice and advertised our need for a band on the 'net. The responses started flowing in (we'd advertised a budget of $1,000) and soon we had a plethora of bands to pick from.

Our faves?

After listening to all of them, though, we still couldn't find one that we really wanted to play our reception. Early on, as I mentioned, I asked friends who knew the bluegrass scene in Colorado. One band had been recommended to me and I loved them, but I thought they'd be too expensive. They're called Elephant Revival. Sure enough, their prices were pretty much double what we could pay.

Maybe the benefit of having our wedding on a Sunday is that it is a day that most of our vendors don't make anything. That means they're willing to work for less.

Whatever the reason, we asked and Elephant Revival agreed. They were willing to work within our budget. It just goes to show you that asking never hurts.

Here's my favorite song by them, although this rendition is a little slower than when they have the full five- to six-piece band.

They are going to play for half an hour while everyone gets seated at the ceremony, they'll play the processional and then, again, for three hours during the reception. Any, they're learning our first dance song, Harvest Moon by Neil Young, for us.

How did you find your band? What kind of band did you book? Or are you getting music to your wedding in some other form?

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