Hi everyone,

Note: Please reply ONLY to justplainfolks@aol.com. Thanks!

We are now only 5 weeks from the start of the Roadtrip and we have a lot of work still to do to prepare. I am getting a lot of email's with the same questions, so I will answer them all here again for clarity.

The top 10 answers to questions we are asked:

1. Our showcases are community building events. We welcome ALL local/area members (or out of town members as well) because if we don't support and nurture our own members, who will? Our shows are similar to Open Stages in some respects because we may have 10-30 performers or even more at a given show. (We've had over 40 in Philly, NYC, Boston and LA previously). However, this year we have up to 40 different shows/events so I expect the numbers will be smaller because of that.

2. Our shows are FREE. In fact, we've never had a show where we charged a mandatory cover. This is very important if you are helping to find a venue who insists on having a cover. Our contribution to them is a big crowd of our members and no charge for the evenings entertainment. We've done shows at app. 100 different venues with great results, so if a venue has concerns, let me know, or if needed, look to an alternate.

3. Our shows average 40-100 people generated from our group. Obviously with 20 performers, that will bring out 50 or more people almost by default. (Hopefully all of you performing will bring 3-4 people each and it will be closer to 100.) Our smallest show ever was 35 people. Our largest 350. In most cases, I don't think we need venues larger that 80-100 capacity. I would rather have a smaller full venue than an empty large one.

4. We must have a qualified sound person and quality sound system for the show. Because most of our shows are solo/duo performances, nearly any small PA set up is enough as long as someone with a clue is assigned to operate it. The ONLY bad experiences we have ever had with any shows we have done has been solely due to a bad sound person on a bad sound system. That is a priority when setting up a show. We will definitely need to be able to accomodate a keyboard at all shows.

5. We welcome all genres. We've had punk bands followed by folk singers followed by Jazz trio's followed by Rap artists followed by classical cellist's at our shows in the past. (And then it got weird..) Seriously, part of the fun of our shows is seeing a menagerie of folks perform all sorts of different music. But the reality is, we still end up with a majority of singer/songwriters playing acoustic guitar/keyboard and singing.

6. Depending on the size of the sign ups, and the time allowed, people typically play 1-3 songs at these shows. This poses an obvious problem for bands who need to set up. If we have more than one interested band for a showcase, we will need a host band who is willing to share their backline to make it possible. The host band is usually allowed to play at least an extra song or whatever makes sense for that particular show. If no participating bands will share, then we simply have no drum kit or back line. These are community events and we need to work together.

7. Participating with other local groups is already a plus. We welcome local NSAI chapters (and frequently invite them out to join us at shows all around the US) and there are many great North East and Canadian organizations out there that we'd love to have involved in our events. We are happy to double or triple bill it and welcome those folks to perform on our stage. If you work for or with another organization or group in your area, please let me know.

8. Our shows typically start around 8PM and end around 12PM. Of course that is general guidelines and dependent on the number of performers. We set performance slots in a variety of ways and try to accomodate special needs within reason. However we discourage people playing and leaving and if that happens, we'll remember it. Someone has to go first and someone has to go last. If you leave early, I assure you the next time that someone will likely be you.

9. We do any local press that is interested, but simply due to the huge drain on my time setting up and actually making all these shows happen, it is impossible for me to set up interviews, radio shows, tv shows, press coverage etc. I totally depend on the locals to help out and if you work with local papers and media and can help out, please let me know. We've done about every type of media interview and segment in the past and we'd love to do more.

10. How do we pay for all this? Good question. As you all know, the group is free, I have been working 100 hours a week for nearly 3 years non stop essentially for free. We do usually sell Hats and T-Shirts at our shows and we appreciate donations (even 5 dollars makes a big difference.) I also depend on the support of our local hosts which have always come through for us to save hotel expenses and some meal expenses. I am traveling alone for most of this trip (until we hit Canada), so if you want to support the cause and can help host in the cities we still need someone in, please let me know. In addition, we've been talking to a great company whom we hope will sponsor the trip and help with expenses, but as that is still in negotiations, we are progressing right now as if it won't happen.

11. On the topic of Workshops: We set workshops up on open days in cities where we have a lot of member activity. I know we will do at least 1 in NYC and possibly Philly and other cities. It all comes down to total interest in each community. We've done studio recording, songwriting seminars, production demonstrations and so on. We may even have a product/technology demonstration workshop in NYC. But the showcases must be set first.

12. What if we don't get a showcase set up in a town? Depending on the location, we can either have a friendly smaller member gathering in someone's home, or we may drop the city and add days to the next or previous ones. We are particularly concerned with Wheeling, Pittsburgh, Vermont, New Hamsphire and Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto as so far we have no pending shows/locations for any of these stops. Most likely we will drop Wheeling and Pittsburgh from the list this week unless something changes.

13. Will there be "Industry" at the showcases. Lets put it this way. We don't invite specific folks to come to the show who aren't involved. (I.e. performing etc..) For the most part, being randomly discovered by an industry person at ANY showcase is a myth. A&R folks already know the bands they want to see, and can do so at any time they want. They don't need a showcase to do it and most don't have the time or resources to come out to the various showscases that happen. However, someone with a buzz who is playing in a town they may not normally appear in every week can use our shows to invite those folks out to see them while they are in town. Just be sure to let the contact know that it is a community showcase intended to be a community builder for everyone, rather than a career builder for one act. With all that said, we've had some VERY interesting people pop out to our shows around the US so as I always suggest, treat every audience and every show like you are playing for "Industry" and before you know it, you WILL be!

Here are the SPECIFIC dates we need help on. We have a large number of folks interested in helping, but it is important we start locking these down. In NYC for example, there are 5-6 great folks helping, but we need solidify the opportunity and move forward on promoting the show. IMPORTANT: If you have a line on a venue to book, contact US first so that we can let others know the date is claimed. I am aware that several of the dates below have people looking into setting something up, I am just not aware of a venue name or any specifics yet so I don't want to discourage anyone else from helping out.

May 6 Wheeling, WV Open For Showcase
May 7 Pittsburgh, PA Open For Showcase
May 8 Arlington, VA Open For Showcase
May 18 Philadelphia, PA Open For Showcase
May 20 Philadelphia, PA Open For Showcase
May 21 Philadelphia, PA Open For Showcase*
May 26 New York City Open For Showcase*
May 27 New York City Open For Showcase*
May 29 New York City Open For Showcase*
June 1 Woodstock, NY Open For Showcase*
June 3 Hartford, CT Open For Showcase
June 4 Hartford, CT Open For Showcase
June 6 Providence, RI Open For Showcase*
June 8 Boston, MA Open For Showcase
June 9 Boston, MA Open For Showcase
June 10 Portland, ME Open For Showcase*
June 11 New Hampshire Open For Showcase*
June 12 Vermont Open For Showcase
June 14 Montreal, Canada Open For Showcase
June 15 Montreal, Canada Open For Showcase
June 16 Ottawa, Canada Open For Showcase
June 18 Toronto, Canada Open For Showcase
June 19 Toronto, Canada Open For Showcase
June 21 Buffalo, NY Open For Showcase*
June 22 Cleveland, OH Open For Showcase*
June 23 Cleveland, OH Open For Showcase*
June 24 Detroit, MI Open For Showcase*

*means at least 1 member is trying to help out with a show, but has nothing set that we are aware of.

Already Scheduled Events:

May 9 Arlington, VA Showcase at Luna Park
May 10 Washington, DC Showcase at Velvet Lounge*(Possibly the 11th)
May 11 Washington, DC Business Day
May 12 Baltimore, MD Showcase at Parkers
May 13 Wilmington, DE Showcase w/Catherine Charlton (Location TBA)
May 14 New Jersey JPFolks/PSA Meeting Twisters
May 16 Philadelphia, PA Showcase at The Point
May 17 Allentown, PA Showcase with Lehigh Valley Folks
May 19 Philadelphia, PA Showcase/Picnic/Pitch-In Gathering
May 22 New Bruswick, NJ Showcase Corner Tavern w/Prnctn. Sngwrtrs.
May 23 New York City Showcase at The Bitter End (Perf. Booked)
May 24 New York City Business Day
May 25 Long Island, NY Showcase at Wrong Way Inn
May 28 New York City Showcase at Baggot Inn
May 30 New York City Business Day
June 2 Albany, NY Showcase at Borders Bookstore

This is our largest Roadtrip ever and we really need ALL your help to make it all work. Some of you are going to travel along with us, and we look forward to getting to know many of you for the first time and also getting to see all our old friends from previous visits.

Email with info at anytime at justplainfolks@aol.com!



Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney