#SmallBiz518: Guthrie Bell Productions

On this episode of #SmallBiz518, we’re here at The Palace Theatre with Guthrie Bell Productions Greg, Kim, it’s an honor. Greg, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Guthrie Bell Productions? For years and years I went to a lot of shows, I had a lot of friends in bands, I felt that the local bands were not really getting their due, They were not being treated well, they weren’t getting paid to play So a friend of mine and I found a hall that we could rent, and we decided we were just gonna put on a party, and hire some local bands that we had, That we were friends with, and right at the time, the new wave of Jam Bands started. So, I went from having a couple shows a month, to having 15 shows a month, And it sort of just took off from there, and I’m still trying to make back that original money That’s incredible, and in your time working in the business, how have you seen the music scene change? I did most of my advertising back in the day with flyers, I had kids from colleges handing out flyers, Kids at shows handing out flyers, and I found that more productive than radio or press, or anything else, It was just, put a flyer in a hand, then people look at it and say “You know, that looks like a good show.” The Albany music scene has always been amazing, at any given moment, There are easily 20-30 acts in the area that I think could compete nationally, if you got to know them a little bit better. I do think, just around here, truly whatever type of music you like, you can find. Just last night, I was at Caffe Lena up in Saratoga, and it was just 3 solo singer-songwriters, and they did some songs together, But, you know, you can go to a big metal show too and have a few-hundred people there, So I think, no matter what you like, you can find it. There are waves of different bands, little scenes, little pockets of music collectives, That might do little shows together, there’s never a lack of it though. What are some of the top bands that you’re working with now? I have Dark Star Orchestra coming in here, The Wood Brothers coming in, we have Twiddle, I’ve done shows here with Moe., Disco Bicsuits, Black Crowes, I manage Eastbound Jesus, so they’re like the main act that I push right now. How have local musicians become self-starters in the music promotion business? I think, with advances in technology, a lot of people can kind of get their feet on the ground, and put out a record just from recording at home, And I think that is really important, there’s always been an underground DIY scene in Albany, And I go to a lot of those shows too, and my hope is to just always find new bands, We’ll find the right bigger show that we can have you open up for. The goal is, I don’t book anybody just for the sake of filling time, I book bands who I want to see, because I believe in the bands, and I want other people to see them, And my plan is always to build bands so that people will come to see them, and so that the band I have down here, will be up here someday. But everyone you talk to always says “Greg is one of the most honest guys in the business,” It’s really cool to learn from someone like that. ‘Which is why I’m still poor.’ But, you’re in it for the right reasons. What advice would you have to the young musician out there who is playing for 3 or 4 people, but believes in their music? If they believe their music, then they gotta keep doing it. To be successful here, you really just gotta be open to good music, no matter what it is, and work together. That wraps it up for this episode of #SmallBiz518, for more information about Guthrie Bell Productions, visit them online at GuthrieBellProductions.com!

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