An Inquiring Musician Wants To Know: i.e Local Bands & Audiences

Steve Patterson

Musician and friend to Barefoot Music Group Steve Patterson is a gifted finger pickin’ guitarist whose own music is like a soothing salve that heals open wounds on the heart. Steve’s chops come through the spirit of who he is right down through his fingers transposing all that soulful emoting right on to his fretboard.

As a writer whose focus is often music I am fascinated with the ways other musicians think and find ways to use social media as a tool to suss out questions in the music industry, especially the Independent music scene.

So Steve asked…….

” What qualities should a local band have to keep an audience happy, in a club situation? And, what is your biggest complaint about live music in the same situation…..”

……and so they answered.

Marvin ~ Play more upbeat songs…i hate to hear nothing but slow sad ballads.


Lynette ~ More Mustang Sally & Free Bird……
Mike NAlways to loud for me.
Windell ~ Excellent question..
Robert H ~ Audience participation. We have seen a local to Grand Prairie TX band (Jurassic Rock) and they would have a group of the lovely ladies from the crowd come on stage to play tambourine, the triangle and maracas during Mustang Sally or some other song. It was lots of fun.

Ruth WI would love it if local bands would choose a club where the audience goes to listen to music and not drink all the beer on the planet. And if those local bands could play original music, it would be heaven.


Madalyn ~My one complaint is musicians playing so loud that you cannot hear vocalist. When it’s all instrumental cut loose. I really love nuanced pieces showcasing different instruments. 

Robert H ~And sing-along songs (John Prine – Dear Abby, etc

Gayle ~ Play different songs…Hearing the same songs week after week gets old…


Sue B  ~ My biggest complaint is the loudness issue; drums mic’ed in small rooms; instruments too loud for the vocals–and don’t turn the vocals up, turn the instruments *down*. I do not want to have to lean over to yell in a friend/companion’s ear to be heard or vice versa! Loud does not equal better.

Steve Patterson: ~ Could you who liked this post give feedback please…

Windell ~  I for one think the bands should be payed more, that would have a huge impact on presentation, performance, and new material…

But it’ll still be 100 bucks a gig for time immemorial.

 Charley B ~Variety.
 Steve Patterson Absolutely!!!
Terry GYou said a mouthful Charley!
Gerado ~ A good quality is that the band should be able to make people sing and move. When people get happy they consume more.

A big complain is when there is no connection between musicians. The audience perceives it and is not good. I’m in a band where we talk at each other just by looking at the other. And we make the craziest arrangements on the fly, when someone makes a mistake we all manage to cover and make it look like it’s part of the trip. Musicians need to have fun on stage so that the audience will have fun too.

 Amanda S ~ As a member of a touring band.. We try very hard to keep the balance of relevant music, classic favorites, and our own originals. I love a good original, but too many times you see bands playing originals that aren’t really that good, nor is it fun, ear catching, or indicative of the music the band’s style reflects. I also think it is important for a band to have a “look” one that isn’t just a group of people who randomly come together by happenstance. You don’t have to be a size 6, as s female, to be attractive on stage, nor do you have to be in a suit or khakis to be pleasing to the eye. I also try to make sure that we tell a joke or have good rapport with the other guys in the band. I like to see the banter when I am seeing another band. There should always be a show, within the show. Just my two cents, and yes venues should pay more.

Ann S ~ Your groups are the only bands i have ever went into a club to listen to and it isn’t visual, but more good music and connecting to the audience, such as making them forget they are in a club, but hanging out with friends instead. also, most club bands are underpaid, and really need the support of those enjoying their music.
Tony G ~ More crowd participation. I think it makes it more fun for everybody. The more fun(participation) the crowd has the more likelihood of coming to the shows. Biggest complaint would be repetitive shows. Same songs same set list. Granted that with a new cd, the new songs need to be played but not every one every time. AND for the record you KNOW I love local live shows
Toni ~ Mixing under covered tunes with originals
I wish folks who turn out for live music would listen to the music and save their chatting for another time.

Steve PYes!

 Heidi S ~  Atmosphere is key! Too many loud drunk people take away from those who really enjoy listening to the music. As long as the atmosphere/vibe is right, live music is the best form of entertainment and we have too little of it in Jackson!

Steve G ~ I have been playing for the public since the early 70’s and it didn’t take long to figure out that MOST people don’t care if you perform great guitar solos or if your song selection is made up from super hard songs. MOST people don’t really come for the music. They want to hear familiar songs at a reasonable volume.
All the songs that musicians hate to play.
They notice if the vocals sound good but MOST could not tell if you made a mistake or nailed it.
Being TOO loud is the biggest complaint. People want to be entertained, have interaction with the band, and be made to feel special..

Colin H ~ Sound balance between voice and instruments… put the drums behind sound shields if the venue is small and check the balance as the crowd fluctuates throughout the evening.
Toni ~ Bam! 

Todd K ~ To be sure to know the genres of music the crowd enjoys. If you play covers, I assume that would be especially important. And I think it would be equally as important if you play your own stuff

Peter D ~ VARIETY! VARIETY! VARIETY! The band member that usually does the “TALKING” etc. needs to be very interactive with the crowd but also don’t forget the other hand members…and the biggest pet peeve of mine would be….transition time between songs…lag time loses people’s interest….that’s my 2 cents worth! 😄😆😝😜😀

Angel F ~ Mix up the tempo. Play some originals but also play covers so people can hear some songs they know. Don’t talk between every song. Always use a set list. I like to dance, so dance-able songs make me happy. And my pet peeve is when the bass is mixed in too loudly. It drowns everything else out.


Brenda D ~  In some cases drums screens.

Tonette W ~ No more free bird…even the old tired covers were done by bands that had more than one song. Originals. No muddy vocals…ego maniacal guitar players don’t have to be the loudest. Drowned out vocals… And when you get offstage for a to folks. Make sure your genre fits the bar. And remember it’s a bar…people may listen..may get drunk..may not. And look as if you are having a good time.
Jeff S ~ Good singing trumps good playing. Great comment.
Tonette W ~ I owned three bars. Reel to reel aka fuel. Scratch monkey… Lots of great bands played at cotton bowl.
Jeff W ~ I love the real B3 and swelling of a Leslie tone cabinet live.
And a guy that can sing like Gregg Allman.

 Not to forget ,sweetest of a good Sultan of swing lead guitar sound.
Tommy C ~Guh
Jeff S ~ Play happy songs that people have heard before


Johnnie H ~ MORE COWBELL !!!

Lorraine R ~ When you can’t hear the person singing because of other instruments. Then of course people talking while you are playing.


JD Talor ~ Costumes ….would be great ….maybe each gig could have a theme… Lol

Steve P ~ We’ve tried that….lol

JD Taylor Steve Patterson lol

Dianne J ~Too loud. And that’s not my age. I hated it too loud when I was young.
Tony R ~ I surely agree

Dianne J – Tony R     I hate when you can’t even talk to people.

 Doug M ~ Easy…. A band with such a ridiculous amount of fun playing together it is contagious along with the desire to grow as music
 Kevin A ~ Honestly, involve the audience. Guy that wrote Delta Dawn was at the center downtown and the entire crowd sang the song with him. can’t remember his name but remember his comment how great it was to play a song that everyone knew the words to.
Jeff L ~ Absolutely . . . involvement is the key . . . be it sing-a-long, dance, cowbell, kazoo, any way you can get the audience involved . . . they’ll love it & you will too. 🤓
 Kevin A ~ As far as a complaint, don’t just play the “can”, Express yourself, expand the music with your own interpretations, rifts, etc...
JR Parsons ~ Just keep playing “Rawhide” and everything will be fine! :-
Dena S ~  I’m like the rest… if you’re enjoying yourselves, having fun playing together, and talking/involving the audience it’ll keep their attention. 🙂

Arlene TUsually the same set, maybe have different playlists or something new your working on. You can see how a live room reacts. You might get more new faces in to expand your following.


  Hello lovely Music Tribe ~ 

Excellent shares! Thank you so much to everyone for expanding your thoughts that became this fabulous dialogue. Loved this thread and saw great merit in the comments and posed topics as incredibly valuable sharing for the world of independent music and artists for which Barefoot Music is a steadfast advocate for.
A shout out of massive love and gratitude to musician and superb human Steve Patterson, from who this piece was inspired by

Stay Peacefully in tune ~Barefoot Music Group




MIM Chain Reaction Series #2 w/ Toni Taylor-Helser

MIM Chain Reaction Series.
Here’s how it works.
On Wednesdays an ‘Interviewing Artist’ who will choose (tag) another artist and ask 10 questions which will be posted here to the group.
The “Interviewee Artist’ will have the until the following Wednesday to answer their 10 questions by posting their responses in the comment box.
Following the artist will choose a new (another) artist with 10 new questions and post a new post and continue with the Chain Reaction again.
#2 in the series – Barefoot Baroness aka Toni Taylor-Helser interviewed by Ron Kauffman
promo_chain reaction_edit1
From Ron: ” I tried not to use the same questions. Besides, I believe these are things people want to know about you.” 🙂

1. What is it about music that drives your passion?

I feel music on so many levels that I can’t imagine living without its impact in my life. That’s always been what drives my passion I think, that personal need to hear and feel music every single day. To let its inspiring and healing magic play out in my own life. Although music tends to be very personal I think music should always be shared because of its universal language and messages.

2. At what age did music become your passion?

I can recall being very young, about 3 years old and sneaking out of bed at to hear my parent’s jam with family & friends late into the night. Back in the day of big console television sets with picture tubes there was a cubby space under the picture tube that made a perfect listening spot for a small child. A hiding spot… not so much. I was caught a few times and sent back to bed, but after about the 4th time my parents realized I wasn’t giving up. I knew even then I needed to be part of it and they finally saw that in me. I lived all week for those Friday & Saturday night jams and began singing with this group of adults.

3. When you write, do you write melody and lyrics together, or separately, and why?

I am not a musician by any means (still only play AT playing the guitar) Both my parents however were musicians and music has always been a daily part of my life. Singing since a tot my parents use to say that I didn’t start talking; that instead I started singing sentences together. So in answer to Ron’s question, although I might hear a melody in my head I’m not adept at writing it. To date lyrics have been a separate thing for me. I need the music maker’s to turn what’s just a string of words into real music.

4. What do you consider success as a writer / artist?

I find success in knowing finally that I no longer need to look outside myself for validation and contentment. Knowing too that I am able to share that awareness through my words so that others might identify with it is absolutely where I see my success in writing. Having someone share with me that what I wrote has impacted them is absolutely my most satisfying reward, that I see as my success.

5. I know your very passionate about Indie Artists / Writers. Why is that?

Firstly Independent music/arts is what I was raised on and the community I grew up in. So some of my passion is pure sentimental devotion. Secondly there is a spirit that I am humbled by with Indie Artists, it’s the desire and maybe even need to create their art, regardless. Regardless of the artwork’s destination an Indie Artist does it because of the journey. Thirdly I am enchanted by indie music for music sake, and I feel a kindred spirit with artist’s who work so hard to create their amazing music without the losing any creative control. Deep Respect!

6. How do you feel about chasing the near impossible dream in today’s music industry?

Well, well…. I could be very wordy answering this and write a novel length response, but suffice to say that IF I had given up on chasing ‘my’ near impossible dream I’d not be doing what I am today. My feeling is that chasing dreams is what inspires hope, and I am not about to ever abandon Hope.

7. You have tons of fans. I’m sure they’d all like to know what kind of support you have at home?

That’s so kind of you Ron. Thank you. Interesting question and I am going to be very personal in my answer because I realize today that not practicing what I am most passionate about [because it denied someone else’s comfort] was killing my spirit. This is very personal subject for me and I think supporting what your loved ones are most passionate about IS part of being emotionally invested in that relationship. I believe that emotional investment is the foundation for any home and community. Today I live alone and love that my bizarre lifestyle and hours no longer tread on anyone else’s joy. Support today for me comes from daughter, grandchildren, close friends, and the Indie community of artists themselves. My daughter Janis is my #1 fan, she embraces my “Barefoot Baroness” alter-ego respectfully and devotedly as an individual chasing her own dreams, this means the moon and stars to me.

What inspires you to write?

People. People and how we as a humanity navigate life on the Universe’s terms and timetable.

9. If you could write music with your favorite writer, who would that be and why?

Oh my… there are so many. Many of them may not be household names. If I had only one wish then it would be Jackson Browne.

The why? Because Jackson has impressed and impacted me since a young teen with his lyrics, and music compositions. That a young man could be so transparent with his feelings and express them at just age 16 with lyrics and an acoustic guitar left me in awe. Songs like “These Days” and the volumes of storytelling that he’s written in song has touched me for more decades than I’ll admit to.

10. You’re the “Barefoot Baroness!” What inspired that name and idea?

My maternal grandmother nicknamed me “Barefoot Baroness” as a young girl because of my great distaste for wearing anything on my feet. Even socks. The nickname and the distaste for anything on my feet stuck throughout the years into adulthood. In 2006 I created a blog for my writing, albeit it took me a couple of years to find the courage to publish anything. Naming my blog “Barefoot Baroness” was the first time I considered using the nickname on any professional level and it has snowballed; in 2012 I founded Barefoot Music Group as part of my dream chasing that I spoke of earlier, and in June of 2014 I began an independent radio show called Barefoot Rock n Blues on Mixstream radio.

Thank you Ron, great questions that made me stop to think about my responses. I enjoyed this, hope y’all enjoy my responses.

Post Note: *see below

The TrueVulgarians are a brother-sister independent duo that honored me & my alter ego Barefoot Baroness by writing and recording a promotional song for my radio show Barefoot Rock n Blues. It’s a song, not just a promotion. …..

A song that I am humbled and honored by Bill & Jackie creating for me. What a gift! Thank you both.

*Here you can have a listen.

Watch next Wednesday as I tag Ira Walker to be the next link in the Chain Reaction Series.

Christmas Time in Heaven by Kit Mann

Barefoot Music is celebrating this 2013 holiday Season by sharing Christmas Music by Independent Musicians

Happy Holidays from Barefoot Music and all the amazing artists who are so generously contributing their music.

Christmas Time In Heaven

Independent Singer/Songwriter Kit Mann
(his) “Christmas Time In Heaven
An original Kit Mann tune
Please visit link

For your enjoyment:  Kit offers this tune and many more his original compositions for your listening pleasure and/or free downloads.

Visit Kit @

Thank you Kit for your beautiful sharing of your music. You are a gift to Barefoot Music and myself.

Please meet Independent Music Duo -The TrueVulgarians.

The TrueVulgarians

The TrueVulgarians are a brother-sister duo hailing from just outside Cleveland, Ohio, having sung together for longer than they’d want to admit.  Song’s range from the melancholy to the ridiculous with a story-telling vibe. We’re just a couple of amateur musicians who have the need to create and perform without expectation beyond that.  All our tunes are written and arranged by (brother) William Thompson, who plays acoustic guitar and does the lead vocals.  (Sister) Jacki Grapentine provides back-up vocals and much needed moral support. We hope you enjoy our material as much as we have enjoyed making it available here on Mixposure for public consumption…

Please simply click the link below to the duo’s fabulous story telling, outstanding vocals, beautiful harmonies, and awesome acoustic accompaniment. While you’re there please take a moment to comment and just say you were there. Independent artists thrive on feedback from their fans.

Barefoot Music would like to say thank you to The TrueVulgarians and to Mixposure Radio, the home of Independent Music for sharing.


What Blues Really Mean by John H. ( Original )

blueskiesjem’s avatar

“What Blues Really Mean”
        by John H.
John is a vocal extraordinaire with just the right balance of range for singing the blues.
It s Barefoot Music’s pleasure to feature this independent artist & his original tune today.