What's Next

Now that Naked Bourbon is finished and released, many people have asked me what’s next. One of the greatest benefits of being an independent artist is that I am in complete control of my artistic decisions, money, and time. As great as that freedom is, deciding what do next is daunting.

There are thousands of musicians in the country and even more in the world doing the exact same thing I am doing. Writing songs, releasing music online, playing shows; trying to establish themselves in a small town so they can maybe tour and break into bigger markets. The struggle is real sometimes when you are a solo artist without a steady band. My options are often limited by what I can pay for and who I can hire. A bearded guy with a guitar is a tougher sell to bookers and talent scouts than a group of bearded musicians. But, challenges aside, here’s what I imagine are my 2019 goals.

  1. Record and release more music. When I started Naked Bourbon last June, I chose 5 songs from a list of 10 possible choices. Over the last six months, I wrote more songs and even more in the last few weeks. I’m writing all the time now. It’s a great problem to have. My one release doesn’t reflect the amount of songs or sounds that I am capable of creating. I imagine a follow up EP and maybe a couple singles here and there, depending on what funds allow. I’m in the album cycle now. Write, record, tour, write, record, tour.

  2. Play more shows. Last year I thought I hit my limit at 4 gigs a month. Right now, I’m thrilled to say that I’m already booked out through November of next year, averaging 5 shows a month. It’s the busiest I’ve ever been and it’s only making me a better player. But really, these shows fund my recording projects. The more I play, the more songs I get to record.

  3. Play more shows with a band. If you were at my EP release, you saw that I played with a band and you likely saw how much more fun I had. Playing with other people is what I want to do more of more often so that is one of my main goals this coming year. There might be something brewing with those guys. I’m hoping I can make it work more in the future.

  4. Play out of town at least once a month. I love Rochester. I also love travelling. I want really want to start expanding my gig radius. Last year I got more gigs in the Finger Lakes and Buffalo, this year I’m hoping to take advantage of my sister’s couch in Brooklyn as well as some other out of state locations...look out friends!

Thank you all for reading, listening, following me on the Internet and coming out to shows. Creating music that resonates with you is why I do this.

Happy New Year.

The band from my December 12 EP Release Party. From right to left: Sara Shimmel, Eric Metzgar, Chris Bethmann, Chelsea Hill, Scott Kwiatek.

The band from my December 12 EP Release Party. From right to left: Sara Shimmel, Eric Metzgar, Chris Bethmann, Chelsea Hill, Scott Kwiatek.