On 6/7/2016 2:39 PM, David Kirchner dekirchner(a)gmail.com
I think that Chris K's advice is spot-on, but I would leaven it
bit. Take charge, but take charge of the _dancing_, not of the music.
Don't try to tell musicians what to play or how to play it when you
don't know what you are talking about. But you DO know what you are
talking about with dancing, and approach it from that perspective: This
is what I need for the dancing to be successful: no vocals, a constant
tempo, play until I tell you to stop, etc. If you respect their area of
expertise, they will respect yours.
I've already told them that instrumentation, key and arrangement are
totally theirs, and that tempo and # of times through is in my hands.
We're talking about tunes, now, since I just sent them a long list of
tunes with video links, most very close to dance speed. They should be
able to get an idea of the sort of music that works, and may now be able
to suggest other tunes in their repertoire that are in the ballpark.
I would be wary of providing sheet music; even if you give them the
perfect tune, what they will play may sound nothing like what you are
expecting. I've learned from experience that even when a band knows a
specific tune, you may still be very surprised by what you get.
I'm hoping our phone chat later today will be useful for that.
Definitely try to get there very early and talk with the musicians.
out what they are comfortable doing, then modify whatever you do to fit
in with that. (I agree with Chris, from your description, the chances
they play any jigs are pretty minimal).
Given how short the set is, 3 reels in a row will be just spiffy. No
need for jigs.
Be ready with dances that do not
need standard-length As and Bs to work, e.g. the paddle dance,
Rock, a grand march.
Even the dances that do need 32 bars are pretty flexible (at least the
ones that I'll be using for this gig). Honestly, the dancers probably
won't notice, and I can end things with a big circle in and out until
we're at a good place in the music.
Another reason to get there early is to figure out what the sound
for this gig is. Are you using a band mic? Are they expecting you to
work from the floor without a microphone? etc.
They've got a mic for me. We already talked about that. No way am I
going up against a miked band without sound support. Been there, done
that. Once was all it took. :>)