Craig Cummings Music

Day #2 – Singer Songwriter Cape May Conference


Still Chilly in Cape May!!

The 2nd day of the music conference was filled with panel presentations by industry leaders discussing income streams, publishing possibilities, and recording tips. Folk singer Ellis Paul delighted the crowd with his keynote speech, presenting his “career by the numbers.” Mr. Paul is a very successful folk singer – much more successful than most. His easy manner with the audience and his incredible songs played in open tunings revealed much of why he has been so successful.

This was also the day of my performance. My set was arranged for 7:30 pm at Lucky Bones Grille, a local restaurant and watering hole of some renown. Sandy and I rolled into the place well ahead of the scheduled start time to find a line out of the front door and a stage the size of a postage stamp – well, make that no stage at all, just a tiny area near the front window with a microphone stand and a mixer mounted on the wall. There’s nothing like playing your songs while you move your guitar around to dodge all of the patrons moving back and forth in front of you as you perform. Only many years of playing bars and clubs helps you build that skill!

But, I’m not complaining, just describing the setting as it was. I played a set that began with songs from the first CD. I followed with songs from Whispering Low, and then launched into a couple of songs from my project in progress, “21st Century Poor.” I planned to finish with songs from another project in progress, which I refer to as the “CD I need to make” because I think the songs are very strong (Santa Fe and Natural Disaster among them). But time conspired against me so I never got to the last few tunes. The crowd was great…very attentive and enthusiastic. I talked with new friends from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, met someone who grew up in Towson and transplanted north, and worked the crowd as best I could. After the show, Sandy and I ate a clam and garlic pizza that was to die for…beers and a martini on the side.

It takes skill to play a show like this – it is not for the faint of heart. My strategy is to just go up there and command the stage, make people want to listen, and reward them when they do when a few words, a smile, and a download card they can use to remind them that they saw you perform and they liked it.

Time, to hit the road, south on 95 and back to Baltimore…”You’re in the front seat with the window down/golden curls blowing all around” Well, Sandy’s in the front seat but believe me, the window is not down. That won’t happen for another month or so.

Peace and a Cold Beer!


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