News from MB Washington Bureau
Economic Crisis Takes It’s Toll on Live Music
Early Reports Point to Many Changes, and Cutbacks
C.S. , Special Contributor
Amidst national concern over the failing U.S. Economy, many performance bands are streamlining their groups to cut costs. Large groups, with multiple instruments covering the same part, have seemingly become a thing of the past. Having already cut back on the size and scope of the technical aspect (dramatic lighting, over-sized P.A. Systems), many are now looking to the on-stage talent to protect themselves against cost overruns and poor profits.
One of the first to go, at least in the bluegrass arena, will be the rarely used “mandolin”. These parts will now be covered mainly by the bass player, as they historically have the least amount of notes to play.
Not to be outdone, folk and country groups are announcing a nationwide “cutback” on Dobro players. Again, the onus of their parts is expected to fall heavily on the bass player.
Rock bands are expected to be releasing upwards of 60% of their rhythm guitar players, just to save some coin. You guessed it, time for the bass player to step up yet again.
While bass players have been famous for carrying some of the heaviest equipment, and largest instruments, there seems to be a new grass roots campaign springing up to lighten the financial load for these artists. First in line will be the streamlining of the instruments themselves in order to save some coin.
Other campaigners are going for a more down home attempt, using only post-consumer recycled materials in their instruments. So far only 19 gallon gas tanks have been tested, but plans for a 31 gallon contrabass are in the works.
Bass players can only cross their collective fingers, and hope for a return to better economic times.
Be sure to check in on next weeks column, where we will weigh the pro’s and con’s of Apple’s new concept, the iPoo..