A Creative Mind by Hannah Greer

This past Monday and Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting the band Bearfoot, which came to Ruston on a three-day residency. Bearfoot is a blue grass band originally from Alaska. Now, however, they tour across the country. On Monday, the band gave Tech students a witty presentation about “How to Market yourself as a band.” The presentation included a performance of their song, “Before You Go,” a deeper look into the business side of the music industry, their personal experiences, and a sneak peek of their brand new music video for their song, “Tell Me a Story.” Beginning when they were only teenagers, only two of the founding band members remain. They got their start by performing at festivals and being sponsored by a local fisherman’s market. In 2001, they generated their “first real resume builder,” according to band member, Angelo Oudean, when they won the Telluride Band Contest. Both the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek have won this contest in the past.

Years ago, Bearfoot offered camps for kids to learn more about Bluegrass and how to play this type of music. According to the band’s members, the best way to learn Bluegrass is to listen to it and practice it, not to read sheet music. Today, the band no longer offers camps, but they focus on “music in the schools.” Bearfoot gave students useful advice and tips. They talked about how a good band functions together as a team, finding a niche market, how to reach out to your fans, and many of the financial aspects of being a musician. They even gave advice about the best places to spend and save money, and how to best keep track of your all of your social media sites and networking tasks. Their advice to students was both entertaining and beneficial.

Last night, their concert took place at the Dixie Center for the Arts. The event was sponsored by “Divine Wine and Spirits” and wine was made available to the guests at intermission. They sang songs from both their old records and newly released album, “American Story.” During the performance, each band member had the opportunity to sing. Many of them changed instruments throughout the show, from the bass to the bass guitar, and the mandolin to the fiddle. They even had an a cappella song in their lineup which sounded great with all five band members standing around one “omni-directional” microphone. They even sang “Tell Me a Story,” which is now one of my new favorite songs! As promoted by the band, anyone who joins their email list will receive a free download of one of their songs.

Today, the band will be giving a school performance q/a at the Dixie Center for the Arts. I personally want to say Thank You to all of the band members for coming to Ruston. I loved seeing your presentation and performance, and hope to see you back here soon! Also, a big Thanks from me to the Louisiana Tech Music Department for all of their help arranging the band presentation and the Dixie Center for the Arts for hosting the concert.

To learn more about Bearfoot and support them, you can find their Facebook page under the name “Bearfoot Fan Page,” or on their website, www.bearfootband.com.”

Here are a few pictures from Bearfoot’s on-campus presentation and concert!

Also, ArtOberfest is tomorrow! It starts at 5. I can’t wait to see everyone there!

NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

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