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Thread: Cadillac sky fired at mountain view, ark

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    This weekend Cadillac Sky was scheduled to play five sets over three days at the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival in Mountain View, ARK. After playing one set, according to Lilozarkfiddler at Bluegrass Rules they were sent home. You can read Cadillac Sky's own account of this disgraceful event here.
    The ethical and professional lapse by the promoter far exceeds any damage that may or may not have been done to this very fine group. Nevertheless, such behavior deserves your attention.

    <Comment edited. It is not appropriate to list the email address of people outside of this web site without their permission>




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    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    That's pretty lame if you ask me.
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    "bluegrass isn't bluegrass"

    -fred s.

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    Now, fred s. may be on to something

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    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    Couldn't get the article - what happened?
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    Same here. I couldn't find it.

    Mark

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    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    This is from their Myspace page:

    Gather round kids and lemme tell you the tale of the Mtn. View Mishap.....

    The Mtn. View, Arkansas tourism board has an easy job. They have lots to boast about: beautiful rustic scenery, charming inhabitants, a quaint town square, etc. But there is one feature that they don't let the rest of the world know about in the pamphlets: Andy, the "Bluegrass Emperor".
    I'm not quite sure when he was brought to power, but he does reign supreme at the 5th Annual Mtn. View Bluegrass Festival, with the Ozark Folk Center his palace. I'm guessing that many have already made the long, switchback-filled, pilgrimage to Mountain View to find out the answer to that ever-ellusive question- what "is" and "isn't" bluegrass? Well, Cadillac Sky, unknowingly, went off to see the "Wizard" this past weekend. With our three-part harmonies and banjo-fiddle-acoustic guitar- mandolin-and upright-bass-instrumentation in tow, we approached "Andy the All-Knowing" (unofficial, but very deserving, nickname). And to our surprise, we were sent away from the "Wizard" with watery eyes and slumped shoulders, under the proclamation that we "weren't bluegrass". We were cast out of Mtn. View, never to return, as the crowds of one person chanted "that's not bluegrass!", "that's not bluegrass!".
    We were suppose to play five sets of music there in Mtn. View, but a 45-minute gospel set laced with such new-wave progressive titles like "Cryin' Holy?", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Rock in a Weary Land", and finally, "Never Been so Blue" (A tribute song to THE Father of Bluegrass Music: Bill Monroe with twin-fiddles?) sealed our fate, and led to our undoing.
    So to all of you who were there, expecting to hear us and instead got " the truths of Andy, the Bluegrass Nazi" (uh-oh, did I say that?), we apologize for our misgivings that we could, like wolves in sheep's clothing, play a "bluegrass" festival. "Andy" knows better than you do what you like and it should not be left up to you to decide. Thanks Andy for the insight......

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    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    No contract?
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    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    That is so sad! After hearing of this ...being from Arkansas I was ashamed of Mt. View. I have been to the folk center many times to see some great shows. The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Norman & Nancy Blake, The Jerry Douglas Band (do you think they sound like Bluegrass?), to name a few good shows, and did the traditional jamming around the old courthouse many times but this is just crazy. I don't think my band will go back there anymore.



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    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    So did this promoter have no idea who Cadillac Sky was? I find it hard to believe that they didn't at least listen to the band before hiring them.

    I also find it hard to believe that they didn't have some sort contract for the performance, perhaps they did. In any event I hope they got paid.
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    I don't want to offend anyone but I saw Cadillac Sky perform at the 2007 RiverCity Bluegrass Festival in Portland, Oregon. These guys were talented musicians but loud. I mean really loud. I went to some rock concerts in the 1960's and they could compete in volume with some of them. After one song I exercised my right to not stay and left the venue as fast as possible.
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree. They are extremely progressive, to put it lightly.
    If the promoter didn't want them there, that wouold be his right if and ONLY IF he honored their contract and paid them. If he stiffed 'em, he deserves a whoopin!

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    Excessive loudness is not good, IMO.

    Progressive is good, IMO.

    Getting stiffed is not good, IMO.

    Getting people to talk about the band is good, IMO.

    The mandolin and guitar guy think/play alike, IMO.

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    He could have asked them to play a little more traditional set, asked them to lower the volume (who runs the sound board anywho?) and done an number of other things to tolerate the band if they offended him so much. But to fire them outright in the middle of the festival is just really without class. Reward the guy with empty seats next year, what an egomaniac. I agree also with the post that said did he not listen to them prior to hiring the band?

    If he didn't he is the one who is unprofessional and he should be nailed to the floor. What a complete jerk to dishonor people who showed up to do what they were hired to do. An ego trip pure and simple... Now pay the price for your own actions.

    All you have done is make a Martyr out of a fine young band....
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    I was under the impression that promoters listened to what the band sounded like before they booked them. Some bands that aren't bluegrass fit in quite nicely at bluegrass festivals. An example would be the Riders in the Sky. I'm going to guess that nobody bothered to audition this band via tape or whatever. Seems like a lot of wasted effort and I hope they had a contract and got paid any way.
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    i saw them open for skaggs and thunder, and sam bush, on the same bill.i thought they were good and i had never heard of them. sam bush was way more progressive than them but thats not any new news. i love sam i wonder what this guy would have to say about his credentials, i thought i remebered a quote about learning to play bluegrass and then adding your spin to it. or something like that. i cant remember who said it, oh yeah it was bill monroe but what the hell does he know about bluegrass.

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    IMHO, Cadillac Sky is a fantastic progressive Bluegrass band. One of the bright spots on the Bluegrass scene. OK, they're progressive. If all you like is traditional bluegrass, well, they might not be your favorite, but to dismiss them as not bluegrass makes no sense to me. It's a good thing Ricky Skaags didn't show up with Bruce Hornsby!
    Tony Szczygielski

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    If you think they are loud check a Sam Bush show sometime. Loud in a good way...IMHO
    With all that I've heard and read so far this guy in Mt. View appears to be a jerk!
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    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (andrew gates @ Nov. 13 2007, 11:21)
    He could have asked them to play a little more traditional set...
    That's not right.

    Again, how do hire a performer without any idea of what they sound like?

    I mean, maybe he should have hired Carrie Underwood - she's gonna save county music ya know!



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    I heard the band at IBMA and their live performance was more 'progressive' than their CD, 'Blind Man Walking.' #Their performance at IBMA, if I recall, had a bow being used on the bass for a jam-band-esque portion. #Mountain Heart, among other bands, will occasionally go into a jam-band type of performance for some of their tunes and I really enjoy it. #I thought Cadillac Sky's was a little more self-indulgent than really showing off their musicianship, but thats my opinion. #

    I bring this up only to say that a band's live performance may come across much more progressive than their CD.

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    <Again, how do hire a performer without any idea of what they sound like?>

    By being a rank amateur which, unfortunately, too many people running bluegrass festivals are. I've spent a lifetime in the entertainment biz and continue to be amazed at the egomanical know-nothings I come across who think their little festival is a major entertainment event and they are some kind of kingpin. It's not exclusive to bluegrass of course, but there's still way too much of it. Most festival promoters are great, but the few who aren't tend to be completely over-the-top in terms of their self-image. They are, in a word, insufferable.

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    Has anyone heard the other side of the story? Maybe the meterial that he got when he booked them was more tradtionally oriented because thier booker knew that's what he wanted. Thats what good bookers do-target promoters. I don't think that there is anything wrong with a festival that wants to be more tradtional than less and that being the case isthere any possiblity the promoters were misled in any way. Albums and show can be VERY different and if this festival is known for being staunchly traditional maybe CS should not have opted to get into it. I guess I'd wanna hear his side bfore deminizing the whole festival.
    It also sounds like thier egos were bruised because he didn't think they were BG. If CS was totally secure with thier status as a BG band why were they seeking his apporval in the first place and why did they write such an unsophisticated and sarcastic attack instead of showing they were above it?
    -1

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    I believe the promoter has the right to his opinion. There is music I can't stand that's called "bluegrass". I won't name names, but you'd know them for sure.

    You have just as much right to disagree with him as he does to not like them because they "aren't bluegrass" enough for him.

    Everybody has an opinion.

    Forget about it and let it go.

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    No, we don't know the other side of story and I suppose it's in the realm of possibility that Cadillac Sky got up on stage and performed a vastly different set of music than what they have on their CD (Blind Man Walking). #I doubt it.

    I saw them last year at Wintergrass and their performance was pretty much what was on the recording. #They had some difficulty with the sound system, but that's no reason to fire a band IMHO. #If they were too loud that's an issue for the sound man. #Again no reason to fire a band.



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    Of course there are two sides to every story, but firing a band in the middle of a festival is such a drastic and unusual thing to do that it practically invites comment. As for the promoter having the right to do whatever he wants cause it's his festival - well, that's the kind of attitude that often results in exactly the type of individual I described earlier. Plus, it's total BS. You don't have that right as a festival promoter because you have obligations, both contractual to the performers and moral to the paying customers. It's highly unprofessional. I expect the band received some negative feedback from the promoter, gave him some of his own back and he got mad a told them to take a hike. The truth is often tawdry.

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