Posted in music and the music business

not-so-slim, but plenty shady

now playing: patty griffin, “you are not alone”

so i did something pretty fuckin’ sneaky today.

as i mentioned in a previous post, i responded to an ad in gigfinder recently placed by a local singer-songwriter of some notoriety, whose music i’ve had a healthy amount of respect for. i thought it was interesting, from a timing perspective, that the ad turned up at the same time that quin was taking leave of the band…in that nice, cliched, “when God closes a door, he opens a window” kinda way. so, exactly a week ago today, i sent her an email – but not before i called a few folks and got permission to use them as references, so that she could check up on me first if she so desired.

now, obviously, i’m not gonna give her the names of references who would trash me, so i knew that if she called even one of them that i’d have gotten a glowing review. and my references kick ass – all total, there are a couple of artists i’ve done session work for, not one but two artist managers, and a couple of fellow musicians – one of whom is currently playing in lisa loeb’s band, and the other of whom is currently writing a score for a movie called everything’s jake starring ernie hudson, debbie allen, and lou rawls.

not too fuckin’ shabby. i’d hire me.

however, a week went by and nothing. not a word.

now, it should warrant mentioning here, before i go too much further – three years ago, i did a co-bill with her as a member of a friends’ band, and i emailed her the following week and told her that i thought she was a great writer and that if she ever needed a guitar player, i’d love to work with her – and she wrote back right away, but said that she wasn’t really looking for anyone at the moment. yet, oddly enough, her band sprouted a guitar player a couple of months later. i wrote that off, though, to possibly coming across someone after the email exchange that she really felt connected to.

so, having said that, back to the present.

yesterday, i hatched a sneaky-assed plan.

i decided that when i got home from work, i was going to download an MP3 from her website and import it into my computer in my studio and edit it and create some space to add some tracks to it. i edited out the solo section and replaced it with the intro section, which was the same chord progression. made the edit, piece of cake. then i plugged in my trusty V-amp and went to work. i cut two additional guitar parts, one with fills and one with some scattered arrpegiated parts here and there. then i added a mandolin part to a couple of passages for momentum, and added a lap steel part that essentially just augments a couple of chord changes in the song in different spots.

it made a world of difference – it really gave the arrangement a shot in the arm. i was proud of myself, for the scant couple of hours i sunk into it. i dumped it onto a blank CD and brought it to work with me today to mix it.

now, up until this point, i was still planning on sending to her from my own email address with no deception whatsoever inferred. however, as i sat here working on the track, it occured to me that there’s a means available to me here to find out whether or not my email was blown off.

and that has bugged me, to be perfectly honest. why would she not even bother to tell me to fuck off, with the credentials i have? what could that possibly be about?

so, i decided as i was putting the final touches on the mix that i’d do this nice and clandestine-like. i have a dead domain among the ones that i manage and i used it to construct a page with a link to download the final mp3 of her song, and added a bogus email account to it that i set up an autoforward on, so that it’d come straight to my regular email account.

i had a reply within two hours.

quoted:

i like it. sounds good. where are you located? we are looking for LOCAL folks. please send a photo with the replied email.
thanks.

so the only conclusion i can draw from all of this is that she must’ve gotten my original email, saw that it came from the tomhampton.com domain, and took a quick click over and decided that i was obviously waaay too hideous to appear onstage with, and didn’t bother to email me back based on that. ‘cuz obviously, there’s no problem with the way i play.

now, at this point, i’m torn as to what i should do. there are essentially three choices that make themselves the most obvious:

1. reply to her from my own email address quoting her reply and tell her to go fuck herself because she deserves less than me, and to learn a lesson about honesty and integrity in dealing with other musicians from all of this;

2. reply to her from the bogus email address and explain that i’d sent the email from this address because i thought there was a possibility that she hadn’t received my previous emails and that it was me who put the track together…and that if she’s still interested, i am. (it should be noted that none of this is really true, though – although i still think that i could be a serious asset to her band); or –

3. absolutely nothing.

as you can probably judge from its placement on the list, i’m leaning pretty heavily towards number one, but i’ll probably go with number three, realistically…i’m not a bridge burner, although this isn’t a bridge i’ll ever need to consider crossing again – considering that i’ve gone down this road twice now, truth be told.

what would you do in my situation? comments are most welcome….

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Author:

tom is a personally and politically malcontent musician, songwriter, sideman and session cat living in East Nashville, Tennessee.

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