For many independent musicians, day jobs are pretty much a way of life. While pursuing music is an unquestionable passion, the financial rewards can be limited, especially when a band is just starting out.
Michael Sullivan of Edmundston roots-rock trio The Lonesome Line knows this battle all too well. Sullivan and bandmates Marc Colecchio and Chad Ritchie have been building a name for themselves throughout New Brunswick and beyond since the 2011 release of their self-titled debut album.
But while the group’s name is getting out there, Sullivan acknowledges that the road to success is a long one, and one that requires almost infinite patience especially given the turbulent state that the music business is in these days.
“Nothing is guaranteed,” Michael says. “Balancing trying to get a band off the ground with the financial aspects of being an independent band, along with supporting a family, can be trying at times.”
Michael shares that The Lonesome Line is coming to a crossroads of sorts as Colecchio has decided to return to school in September. Acknowledging that he is nothing but supportive of Mark’s decision and that it does not automatically mean that he will be exiting the band’s line up, the toll of having so much uncertainty is understandably tense for the Lonesome Line.
“Mark has a child and wants to be sure that he can support his family which is completely understandable,” Michael says. “Mark wanting to have a backup plan is something that many musicians pursue because so seemingly few can make a career out of it. It is a bit of a scary prospect for me however because we have played together for such a long time.”
Although The Lonesome Line came together in 2008, the three members that comprise the group had previously performed together as The Troubadors along with two other members. When that group splintered, Michael began writing solo material. He soon recruited Colecchio and Ritchie to help round out the group and bring these songs to life.
It proved to be a great decision on Michael’s part.
In addition to releasing their debut in 2011, the group took home the Galaxie Rising Star Award at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival that year. The prestigious prize helped give the band unprecedented exposure to a whole base of new fans.
And since The Lonesome Line’s three Music New Brunswick Award nominations the following year, the group has busied itself playing live at virtually every opportunity presented to them.
The Lonesome Line’s free show at Robinson Court in Downtown Moncton tonight will give the band the opportunity to showcase songs from their 2011 debut. Michael shares that the group already has a number of songs written for a followup effort as well.
“We have eight songs completed in terms of pre-production,” he says, before noting that the band hopes to have the record completed and released for this coming November.
Asked how the band’s new songs could differ from those on their debut effort, Michael says that playing live has made a huge difference in the way that the group approaches song- writing.
“The songs are still upbeat and still very much in the same genre of music. The difference with these new songs compared to the songs on our first record is that we have the experience of playing live on our side. We’ve spent so much time playing together, we are much more in tune with each other. That is ultimately what is shaping these new songs.”
Article published in the July 11, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript