Over the past year, I developed an alarming habit of traipsing down to New Orleans at every imaginable chance with my wolf pack. Various traveling musicians and gypsy ladies routinely make the pilgrimage to work with my Crescent City counterpart, Jess Speer. Jess is a fiery swamp witch in New Orleans who inspires my ass into gear every single day. We met when Backside Pick played NOLA’s House of Blues. I hopped a caravan of Shawtys and we made the 9 hour drive in support of a wicked cool gig. It’s been down the River ever since.
It generally behooves a band to have a slew of ladies on hand to dance in the front row, man the merch table, and manage the show off stage. This is exactly how I met the most bad-ass, music-loving chicks on the road. Powerful women who devote their lives to supporting bands and musicians they believe in… we are a rare breed, and we make people nervous but there really isn’t really anything we can do about that (and we really have too much work to do to bother).
These women were my inspiration for my janky promotions operation, The Booty Shawtys. We are a team of ridiculous fans schooled in the ways of the hustle and grind. The Shawtys run Poster Girl duty (fliers), front end promotions, merch pushing — and we always have a few girls around just to enjoy the show. In addition to having a mad fun excuse to actually act like girls while playing in the boy’s club, we’re bringing new girls in and training them in the ways of The Road and the music business. I am extremely proud of my incredibly driven girls, and I don’t know how I ever got on without them.
Can I just say that being a janky promoter is a fucking great gig? I love it. It’s so unapologetic and — like pretty much every aspect of the music industry — a total sausage fest. Well, we’re going to just equalize that a little bit with our wee army of savvy women. Jess is our Big Chief in New Orleans, working with Ropeadope, Trombone Shorty, the Blue Nile, Howlin’ Wolf and, at last count, every single musician in the Marigny. We’ll be taking a few trips down the swamp to help her out. Once New Orleans gets under your skin, you’re done. Just go home.