How many club owners would ask Lady Gaga or Keith Jarrett to play for free? None. Why? Because both artists can generate ticket sales and bar receipts that exceed their fees -- a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the club owner and the artist, which is how it must be.
My volunteer gigs with Musicians On Call present a unique challenge in song selection. I am escorted to a hospital room occupied by one or more patients. I need to size up the situation quickly and select the one song that might go over best.
All you starving musicians out there, take heart! I bring you good tidings that will inspire you to get your live performing chops in tip-top shape. A new golden age for live music is just over the horizon.