I went out last night at the urging of a friend to scope out a nearby club I would like to perform at. I was supposed to meet up with my band, who would bring our press kit and CD that we take everywhere we want to get booked. When I arrived, the club was absolutely beautiful, clean, and busy at 8 p.m. already--and just the kind of place I would like to play. I ordered dinner and waited for everyone else to join me. By 9:30, I was getting worried because my bandmates were not there yet, and suddenly my phone rings. My singer got called in at the last minute to work, and the club owner was heading over to see me about playing. I did not want to look flustered or unprepared, so I had to think fast. Luckily, I remembered I had a YouTube Channel to show on my phone! We retreated to the alley behind the club to watch a video we shot at a show last year. The club owner loved it and said we could play there anytime. I felt better, but filed away for future reference to be more prepared, having a press kit in the car, or even better--an EPK ready to send out. All's well that ends well…at least this time. *** DOWNTOWN TOMMY’S GUITAR LESSON OF THE MONTH One attribute that has helped me greatly over the years playing live is versatility. I developed this, jamming with all types of musicians, crossing over into genres outside of my comfort zone. It helped me as a kid that the widely circulated guitar magazines I read when I was young made many styles of music seem glamorous and fun. I loved reading about Jazz musicians playing New York's hotspots, or Country session players making appearances on Nashville stars’ albums. I never knew what fate had in store, but I wanted to experience the promise life held around the corner. I set out to sneak Jazz chords into my playing so I would feel as cool as HIRAM BULLOCK from DAVID LETTERMAN’S band. Nothing in the world would be cooler than to jam with STING on “The Letterman Show”, and I wanted to be ready when opportunity knocked. I learned fluid major scales, fingerpicking and "chicken pickin’, so I could wear a cowboy hat on RALPH EMERY. I learned SOL HOOPIE ukulele licks, so I could back up DON HO in Hawaii. I stayed with it, and now have a deep bag of tricks to pull out at gigs. I hear all the time, "I never knew you played Country, Klezmer, Arabic, Kirtan, etc.”…but you just never know. Music brings people together, usually with good food, dancing and the opportunity to make new friends. Don't miss out--broaden your horizons and be READY!