If you haven’t noticed (Seriously, how could you not notice?), Julie plays a LOT of live gigs.
Why? It’s really quite simple. “I feel like I’m going crazy when I’m not performing,” she told me.
“Probably the biggest reason is one that’s very self-serving,” Julie said. “I really enjoy playing. I feel like it balances me.”
But that’s only one part of it. Julie just loves getting out there and performing. She loves meeting people – both other musicians and the folks in the audience.
With regard to other musicians, Julie understands that meeting and watching and performing with them makes her a better musician. As she explained to me, “Maybe you hear something and think to yourself ‘that’s a good way to do that.’”
As for the audience, first and foremost Julie just likes meeting people. I’ve never known a performer who connects with the audience as much as Julie does. She has genuine friends at every venue I’ve seen her play in.
And the audience provides valuable input for her songs as well. “I always get a good reading from the audience,” she said. “You can see what songs went over the best. That helps you determine how to fashion your sets. Where you place the songs in the set is a very important part of how much the audience relates to them.”
“It’s not about what you want to play,” Julie explained, “but it’s about fashioning your set to the audience. Sometimes I’ll even make changes while I’m on stage by skipping a song or re-ordering the set list.”
Julie tours all over the country. I asked her if she gets different feedback from audiences in different parts of the country.
“Definitely!” she replied. “Different parts of the country like different sounds. I think it has to do with what people deal with day-to-day. For example, Atlanta is always ‘go, go, go,’ so the audiences like music that reflects that. As opposed to a place like Custer, South Dakota, which is more relaxed. There, acoustic or old school rock goes over well. In a place like LA, you want more of an Indie sound.”
Julie said it has become easy for her to get in touch with her audience. “If you’re well-rehearsed, you don’t need to be 100% focused on the song you’re playing. So, yeah. I see everybody. I see everything. I’m very aware of the audience.”
Quite simply, Julie loves to play her music for people. “I do love it,” she said. “If you didn’t love it, you wouldn’t be doing it. It’s a pain in the ass. On any given gig, you don’t know if they’re going to hate you or love you. It’s a lot on your soul. The people who stick with it are the ones who really love it. “
“One of my favorite things is when people come up to me and say ‘You look like you’re having such a good time up there.’ It’s great knowing that comes through to the audience because I really am having a great time”.
So are we Julie. So are we.