You might know (you might not) that I produce a small concert series in the town of Seward, NE. It is called, very uncreatively, the Seward Songwriter Series.
We just finished our 4th season. I think it’s probably our second real offical season. Our last concert was on Friday night when we hosted Sarah Sample and Edie Carey. They were amazing and the crowd loved them. I love them. I was so excited to share my friends with the listening audience of Seward.
Emily Dunbar opened the show with her wit and charm and her effortless storytelling. I loved to hear the audience reaction to “Chlorine” and “Big Nebraska Sky.” Sarah and Edie then took the stage with their Lullabies collaboration, ethereal harmonies and then traded off playing their own songs. I told them afterward how great it was to finally see the whole show since usually I only get to see them in Colorado when they play an abbreviated set in the Wildflower pavilion. If you get a chance to see the whole show- DO IT.
Hosting a concert series is both magical and also the most stressful scary venture ever. It’s making posters, hanging up the posters, trying my best to publicize the shows, go on the radio early in the morning, write press releases, invite people, get the word out, find sponsorship and financial support, make dinner, set up the sound, most of the time I’m the opener and then the doors open and I pray to the Father in heaven that people come.
And then, no matter what, the lights go down, the music starts and the evening is magical. It’s exactly what I was hoping to give to the wonderful people in attendance- a peek into the world of songwriters, into music full of heart and soul and story and by the end of the night, hopefully, people walk away feeling inspired, lifted up, like they got to see the magic show first hand and they’re better for it.
This season we hosted Emily Scott Robinson, Moors and McCumber, Tim Grimm and Jackson Grimm, Dan Weber and, finally, Sarah Sample and Edie Carey. Past shows include Mare Wakefield and Nomad, Beth Wood and David Stoddard, Katie Dahl, Laurie McClain and Andy Miller. And more who don’t come to mind at present.
This season has been so great. I think we’ve got a following and that feels so so good. The other night someone said, “I’m obsessed with the Songwriter Series. I can’t wait for the next one!”
Someone else said, “I can’t believe not everyone is here for every show. This is the best.”
It took four seasons to get a core group of people showing up time and again and, man, I can’t tell you how awesome that is. Seward is new to songwriters. Seward is being introduced to this whole world of amazing artists touring the country and singing their guts out and it feels like an honor to be the one who gets to open that magical door time and again to something so wonderful.
And we do it with the help of our friends and neighbors- Red Path Gallery and Tasting Room, U.S. Cellular, Zabka-Purdue Funeral Home, Jones Bank, La Ruche Bed and Breakfast, and now Triple E Equine Bunkhouse.
All this is to say- are you thinking about growing something? Are you thinking about building something new? Are you fearful of the risk or the biggness or that you don’t know what you’re doing?
Me too. Same. Recently I heard someone say that staying stuck feels uncomfortable and so does moving forward. If you know you’re going to feel discomfort either way, why not put it toward something new instead of letting it fester while remaining in the same place?
Be sure that I will stress out over future concerts, over asking for sponsorship and ticket sales and all that crap, but I won’t die from any of it. I’ll keep building and moving and learning and, hopefully, growing into the more realized version of who the Good Lord created me to be in the first place.
Have a great day. Go be amazing. Love, Hope. And stay tuned for the incredible upcoming line up at the Seward Songwriter Series to come!!