Bill, sorry for the confusion. My point was, Donny has an approach which is to be totally flexible, and it works for him. He will change what he does to get and maintain a paying audience. His approach works for him.
I'm not so flexible, but I have been able to work for 55 plus years with 9 total weeks off without straying too far from my roots. There are things I will NOT do. Things like use sequences, do DJ work, use tracks, harmonizers, sing lots of songs I find offensive or stupid (like UGH Marguretaville (SP?).
I have compromised in other ways...the type of venues, mainly.
Music is changing, but I'm about as traditional as it gets.
I was simply trying to say there were other alternatives to some of the activities others do and approaches they take. Again, part of that is the difference between musicians and entertainers. I'm NOT an entertainer (tried, just TERRIBLE at it). Wish I were, sometimes.
I won't do certain things. It has cost me, but I really can't complain too much. My work involves lots of recording (some national jungles and scores), playing with a philharmonic as guest soloist, working restaurants and clubs, playing many styles of music, on lots of different instruments. And, I've NEVER had to go hunting for work. I have an open invitation from 4 restaurants to do 4 nights a week if I ever want to change my current arrangement. I'm overseas playing for an international horseman for 6 weeks a year.
For all of this, I'm lucky and grateful.
Just wish it had been possible to have a lifetime career playing jazz.
Again all I can say is your one lucky pup to be connected to the circles you work in. Its all about who you know and being in the right place at the right time. You lucked out and are able to work for a appreciative, loyal and well heeled group. Around here you can be the best musician in the world and still you would have to adapt to doing what the public wants. IE: Show up for a party and just jam some heavy keyboard licks, forgedaboutit- they want to do the Cha Cha slide so you better be ready to DJ some current dance tracks.
I did lots of Country Club work in some big $$$ clubs. Picked up some nice private parties from some members but was still at the mercy of the club manager. I was the house band for 8 years at one club and went through 5 managers in that time. Had to resell myself each time.
I see your from Kentucky- went to college there about a million years ago. Had a band that wouldn't of gotten many gigs in NJ but being the only good act around those parts we were treated like the Beatles.
Ahh, the good old days of showing up in a U-Haul truck, dressed in jeans and t-shirts, opening the door and having the beer cans fall out, and seeing a crowd holding a banner with your bands name on it (Rennisance) and cheering. Maybe I should of stayed out there AND kept the B3 !!
Thanks for the input