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Bev Carrol (Traverse City, MI)

Solo performers Interview

Artist Name: Bev. Carrol

Age : 50

Date: Feb. 14, 2013

Are you an instrumentalist only? No

What instrument do you play? Guitar


1. What inspired you to start singing and Playing?

Always sang. Started Folk Music/guitar at 15. Peter, Paul and Mary, Gordon Lightfoot’s music.

2. How long have you been performing publicly?

Singing with the guitar on stage at 16. Mentored by Detroit Folk Artist Ron Coden.

3. How long did you play before you stated gigging?

Less than a year. Did a Folk Music competition at Cobo Hall and came in #7 out of 200 acts.

4. How long have you been playing guitar?

Over 30 yrs

5. How did you learn to play guitar?

Self taught, then took about 2 dozen lessons in my 20s. Asked those who played better to teach me some styles they knew. Learned finger-picking styles from G. Lightfoot books and records.

6. Have you taken lessons if so do you take lessons now?

Yes, I’ve taken lessons a “long time ago”, not now.

7. Where was you first gig?

The Raven Gallery in Southfield, Mi.

8. How did you get it?

My Mentor at the time, Ron Coden set it up for me. He was a regular big name entertainer there at the time.

9. How scared were you?

These people were connected with the agents that handled P,P and M, and other big names of the day. I did the whole first song and never felt my hands playing! I made sure I could do that first song in my sleep! I still make sure the first song of the night/day is always very tight!!!.

10. How do you get gigs?

Look for ads. Use a listing of festivals I’ve had for years. Listings for the State of Mich., festivals and fairs. computer listings. Sometimes just walk into a Club(when I did bar work) and ASK.

11. Do you use an agent, if so how did you get that rolling?

Have not used an Agent since I was 28.

12. What do you use for equipment?

PV System, lots of Mics and monitors.

13. Do you use a monitor?

Yes, sometimes.

14. Do you have any tips you can share as far as setting up your equipment for a gig?

Take lots of chords, mics, batteries,power strips and industrial 25/50 ft chords. Better to have a little too much , than need it and not have it. Get there early. Hate to rush to set-up and then have to “hit” the stage.

15. How long was you longest gig?

6= 45 min sets-New years! Was with a band and/or a trio. Did an outdoor Art Show that was 6 hrs, wondered and sang, wondered and sang. It was 90 out, with no actually stage and no sound, all acoustic under a shade tree all over the place.

16. How long was your shortest gig?

1=30 min set at a Folk Festival

17. How do you choose what songs to learn?

I’ve collected a lot over the years and wrote a lot during my 12+ yrs working the Florida Festival and Fair Circuit. Now I do not write as much. Used to do shows in grade schools and learned and wrote music that talked of the Fl.history of sailing ships, Lighthouses, Civil War (n&s), eventually Mich. Great lakes songs, history and Lighthouses. Like to do Lighthouse Festivals in the Summer. Learn songs for holidays also and for weddings(church solos).

18. How do you learn new songs, by ear, YouTube, books?

All of the above. Used to learn from a lot of people in Fl. Very good networking system down there. Mich. does not have the same commoratory.

19. Who are a few of your favorite artist?

P,P&M, G.Lightfoot,Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, John Denver, Joan Baez too many to mention here.

20. How often do you play out?

Used to play out once a week, but do to 2 Sr. parents being ill at the same time downstate, have not done as much in the last 2 yrs. Mom passed and Dad in Sr. Living. Responsibilities have lessened, and am looking at doing more out again.

21. Do you have any CD’s out?

Yes=One had cassette tapes year ago, but no one used those anymore and I see no reason to make them into CD’s at this time.

22. Do you have any aspirations to take you music further than your current success?

yes, but at 50, having traveled all over and done 2 tours with a group called “Up With People” in my teens and 20s, I think that big ship has sailed.

23. How far will you travel?

Depends on the Gig, the length(festivals are 2-4 days), the pay, if accomadations are included(festivals), the weather/winter, whether it is a day or night Gig. Just have to judge each Gig as it comes.

24. How far have you traveled to do a gig?

300-350 each way, but this was Canada and it was for a week. Another was Fl.(1500 each way) and that was for 6 wks., downstate(Mi,) , for 500 mi.R.T. for 10 days and I’d booked several different Gigs.

25. Can you recall you best show?

Mahafery Theater in St. Pete, Fl. and Fl. State Folk Festival-Main Stage(oldest Folk Fest in the USA)

26. How about your worst show?

School show. I asked them to clap along and 200 kids started clapping “off the beat”! never did that again!!!

27. Do you have any advice for a person just getting in to gigging that you would like to share?

Practice, Practice! Memorize all your stuff. Do not read off sheets on a music stand! Stand up. Look at yourself playing in front of a mirror-Smile. Look at the audience! Learn to talk. DRESS for the Stage! have Stage Clothes. Do not look sloppy and like you’ve been working on your car! Ladies-do not look like you are dressed to stand under a “red light” on a street corner. Just my personal opinion. People have to have something nice to look at. Respect the Stage and have some good stage presence.

28. When you practice do you go through a P. A. or just you and your guitar?

Depends. Years ago before I was really used to a PA, i would practice at home with it. When I had a partner and we used different PA systems, we would practice at his house on them. Now, not that much.

29. Anything else that you would like to share?

I suggest when you Gig have a contract or a letter of Intent. That way each party knows what the other expects and you do not have any misunderstandings later. Be very clear about what is provided, times for set and break, starting and ending times. Mix with your audience after performing(when possible). let them know you appreciate them being there!

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