We are talking about Arts & Culture this month and asked Sean Lamb to share his thoughts: I have proudly been a part of Wayne County’s music community for the better part of 20 years. Over those years, I’ve seen so many changes at a local level that benefit people just like me. People that load up a car full of music equipment every weekend, and hit the road in hopes that they return with a tip jar that’s filled to the brim.
There are many factors that can be detrimental to the success of a “weekend warrior” musician. It can be your song selection. Or the way you present yourself on stage. It can be how well you interact with the audience after the music stops. You could excel in all of those departments and still fall short of success if you’re missing the biggest key element:
A community that supports and encourages your development as an artist.
Feast of Famine
For a musician, that makes all of the difference of whether it will be a feast or famine. At the end of the day, for a gigging musician, performing live is more than just a hobby, it’s a source of income. Without venues willing to book musicians, that income doesn’t exist. That’s not a problem we have in Wayne County.
Are you looking to be entertained while you enjoy dinner out on a nice patio? I invite you to try Lakeview in Cambridge City, or make a stop in Richmond to check out The Firehouse BBQ & Blues, or Smiley’s Pub.
Maybe you’re seeking a quieter setting with a unique ambiance? Did you know you can catch touring National Acts at The Barn at Helm? Or that you could sit under the big tent and see a show at Dougherty’s Orchard?
Want to spend a night out dancing with friends? New Boswell Brewery & Taproom has you covered every Friday and Saturday night. Local businesses play such an important role to local musicians. There is no way we could successfully do what we do without their support.
The summer and fall months are a great time to be a local musician for the simple fact that Wayne County loves a good festival. Canal Days, Archway Days, Jubilee Days, Warm Glow Candle Outlet’s Fall Festival, the 4th Street Fair, and the Williamsburg Farm Festival just scratch the surface of some of the area celebrations that you can enjoy with the entire family while taking in live entertainment.
Not only are festivals a great place to grab an Indiana famous Breaded Tenderloin or lemon shake up, but they also play an important role for musicians to gain exposure to a whole new audience.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel all over the United States with my guitar in tow playing music for anyone that would listen. The hard realization that artists have to face no matter what county you live in, is without community support, live music will not survive. The pulse is strong in Wayne County.
Art is Alive
Art is still alive and well. As a musician, every dim lit corner of a business is a new opportunity. Sometimes the stage is the floor right beside the kitchen door, and the marquee might be your misspelled name in chalk on a sandwich board, but we appreciate it all the same.
It’s never taken for granted. Never.
Music brings people together. It helps us celebrate the good times. It consoles us in the bad times. I’m grateful that my roots are planted in a place that not only allows an artist to grow, but encourages it.
The next time you’re taking a stroll through Wayne County, try to take a moment to catch some live music. Always remember that every requested song, every dollar in the tip jar, breathes life into a community that couldn’t survive without you.
Sean Lamb performs with the Sean Lamb Janet Miller Band all over the region. You can also catch him live on-air in the mornings on Kicks96.