Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chicken Pickings

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The Middle of Nowhere: where is that exactly? When I say Middle of Nowhere, it brings to mind Home; it brings to mind a place where I can be creative and uninterrupted most of the time.

In real estate, the three most important factors are location, location and location. Not so for musicians and other artists. Being in the Middle of Nowhere is more than just a location: it’s a frame of mind. Because you don’t live close to anything, you must begin to think of yourself as being equidistant; then it’s a choice between thinking of that distance as being “half near”, or “half far”.

Even in the middle of nowhere, there are always talented people worth knowing. This is an opportunity to hone your networking skills. Get to know the musicians, studios, repair people, teachers, Arts Council staff and media people within a 50 mile (or so) radius. This gives you a list of resources, and you can become a resource for referrals.

In a perfect universe, there should be no trade secrets among musicians. Make it happen: share with the other musicians in your area. Share names, share venues, share phone numbers and email addresses. They say what goes around comes around; help other musicians and they may be able to help you later. And even if they don’t, you are no worse off than before, and at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone.

Most often, musicians in the Middle of Nowhere have chosen to live there. Whether or not you chose to live where you do, don’t rant about what it lacks. Every place has advantages and disadvantages; look for the unique features of your situation and build on them. John Sebastian wrote in 1967, “And the more I see, the more I see there is to see.” Good advice, even if Sebastian did grow up in the middle of New York City.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Hi, I'm Tom Rasely, Musician in the Middle of Nowhere. I'm a professional guitarist, composer, and church musician pursuing my music in upstate New York.

Living in a county whose bovine population exceeds it's people count has its share of challenges for someone trying to survive as a musician. In this blog and on my Facebook page, we'll explore the pleasures and pitfalls of living far from the madding crowd!

I welcome your comments and would love to hear your stories-- whether you live somewhere or nowhere, play music or not, we're all on this journey together.