Newtown banjo picker Jr. Williams says that they are eager to take advantage of Moore’s contacts both in and out of the bluegrass world to help them capitalize on their greater visibility of late, and their new label, Pisgah Ridge.
And Jason tells us that he is happy to be back doing some more booking, after some time away from of it.
“I actually started my agency a few years ago. Mountain Heart was in between booking agents, and we decided to take it on ourselves. I worked very closely with our manager, Brian Smith, and we did pretty well for about 18 months. That would have been in 2010 and 2011. After that period, we signed with an agency that we hoped would be able to help more, and that was the case and has been since.
I enjoyed booking but it was also a lot of pressure when you are in the band you are booking. To know that many other people are counting on you, the pressure can really get high. So when Mountain Heart signed with New Frontier Touring, I just let my booking fall by the wayside to relax my brain.
Shortly thereafter, I started working all of the dates I could with Audie Blaylock and Redline. He mentioned helping his agent, Karen Kouns who runs Main Street Entertainment, to help pick up some dates that are outside of the box for bluegrass music. I talked to Karen, and after a lot of consideration, decided to give it another go in February of this year.
Karen does the vast majority of Audie’s booking and I try to compliment what she does with different types of venues or places she hasn’t worked with. So far, so good.”
He says that his work with NewTown is similar to his relationship with Audie. Kati Penn, Newtown fiddler and lead vocalist, has been and will continue booking dates for the band, with Jason’ assistance.
“I hope to get them into a few new areas and venue types that I have had access to in the past, but most bluegrass bands have not. Not necessarily get them away from festivals or anything like that, just complement and help them grow and amass a new and different audience. They are surely capable of it.
Same with Audie. Karen does a great job booking him but Audie can push into a little different market without leaving anything behind. That is what I am trying to help do. It is also nice to know that there are people with both bands that are helping so it doesn’t all fall on one person.
We plan to hit it hard in the next few months as it is time for places to start booking for next year so lots of hard work is ahead, but things are going well and I hope it continues.”
As if he isn’t busy enough, Jason is also offering bass lessons online via Skype. You can reach him on Facebook, or by phone at 336-613-6134.
Karen Kouns can be reached by email or phone (606-324-0106).