Nowadays, even those with the musical ability of a turtle can feel like part of a successful band by plugging in their Xbox, starting up “Rock Band” and hitting a few not-so-perfectly-timed buttons. And in this virtual world, one gains hundreds of loyal fans, who show up to every show, simply by playing a few small, local basement-gigs.
If only that were the way it worked in real-life…
Real-life bands, even bands that rank among those at the pinnacle of musical talent, don’t exactly develop that easily. The effort to become successful is immense: actually knowing how to play not one, but several instruments ridiculously well; marketing; shooting videos; marketing some more; writing music; looking for gigs; spending weeks away from home touring and practicing. Practicing. Practicing.
Let’s take the case of Cobalt & the Hired Guns.
Now… these guys rock. Everyone who even briefly encounters the band knows this. Cobalt’s latest album “Everybody Wins” ranked at #4, (five places above the Grammy-winning Mumford & Sons’), on Independent Clause’s Top 20 Albums of 2012 countdown. It was also listed in Part 1 of Americana Rock Mix’s countdown of Top Albums of 2012, right alongside Alabama Shakes.
Yet with plenty of press and plenty of kudos, the scene at Chicago’s Elbo Room last weekend demonstrated just how direly important a band’s fans are to the band’s success.
Competing for a spot at South By Southwest (SXSW), the epic, rock-star launchpad of a music festival occurring annually in Texas, Cobalt & the Hired Guns, (despite their charisma, swagger, ridiculously catchy-complicated tunes, their horns, and their magic harmonica that make one forget we ever needed more cowbell) – just barely squeaked-by into the finals: at a literal, by-the-sweat-of-their-brow tie with another band.
Never has the importance of fan support been so clearly illustrated. If just one of their brood had decided to hibernate that night in the depth of Chicago’s winter, to give in to exhaustion at the end-of-the-workday… if one single person had decided not to show, Cobalt’s chance at their dream gig, chance at growing their fan-base ten-fold, would have ended right there.
And if just one more fan had showed up in support, Cobalt & the Hired Guns would have one less band to battle this coming Friday.
To celebrate their victory, Cobalt and the Hired guns is offering their album “Everybody Wins” for free this week only, while at SXSW. You can download it by clicking on the CD image.
If you’ve listened to any of the tracks off their album “Everybody Wins” you know that, well, everybody does. These guys have given their all to make an album of toe-tapping, head bopping, dare-you-not-to-be-in-a-good-mood music. And this time, finally, the band has won.
SXSW… Allow us to introduce you to Cobalt & the Hired Guns.