What is THE OUTLAW ROADSHOW? with Ryan Spaulding
Oh hey there Ryan! Thanks for chatting with us at PVDlive!
You have brought Outlaw Roadshow to different cities like Austin, Nashville and New York and now Providence! What brings you to the creative capital?
We’ve also done Toronto and Tel Aviv, and helped book out a national tour with Counting Crows. The only reason why I mention that is we love working in cities and locations where music can shine and Providence is just that kind of place! I’m a New England-raised guy and I’ve always wanted to do more here. Providence is a great place to start a new tradition. So many of the right elements are in place here. For those who have been here forever, I hope you find us the perfect addition because we’ve got big plans!
What inspired you to start The Roadshow?
I was a music blogger long before doing that was a really cool thing to do and the thought of the Outlaw was much of the same. I wanted to put together lineups and provide opportunities – both for the musicians and for the fans, that didn’t exist. Call me an idealist or a dreamer; I just wanted to find a better way to put on a great show. In the meantime, the world has changed and our little Outlaw pop-up tent has become a bit of an oasis for a lot of people. It’s given me purpose.
What goes into the process of choosing bands to play?
You know, every night and each festival lineup is different. Every sound and genre is on the table. The important thing for me isn’t to come in with an overriding vision. I try to find a great local fit or two and I like to bring new sounds to a neighborhood. Whereas some promoters and venues have ‘theme nights’ I love to prescribe the ‘festival feel.’ It’s completely okay if the sounds of the bands don’t perfectly mesh. Shows can sometimes work best like mix tapes. Different sounds and genres can brighten energy and freshness.
I read that Adam Duritz of Counting Crows was a team player in this, is he still on board and are there others who have an active part in this project?
Adam and Counting Crows have been a huge participant for many, many years. When Counting Crows play The Outlaw Roadshow lineup they actually have a secret stage name. Adam was always wanting to take part and yet didn’t want to over-shadow the vision and the benefit for the emerging bands. A lot of big name acts have passed through. Adam and the Crows, who are dear friends, have an open door to return any time they want. That’s kind of what this thing is all about… having a place out there that’s music focused and ready to accept you. An adventure in music and friendship.
Roadshow has been running over 9 years strong, what are some epic memories and things you’re looking forward to?
Our festival lineups often end in all-together sing alongs. Some of my favorites were singing Band classics in Austin and Lou Reed in New York. Doing film video sessions during our lineups has been great. I guess the thing I am most looking forward to is producing a multiple-date, multiple-venue lineup right here in Providence. You heard it here first!
Thats awesome, we dig it! Especially that it’s freeeee! How is that a reality?!
Putting on a show with a great lineup is hard. But you know what’s harder? People taking chances with their time. We ask bands to come and play for free and take a chance on being a part of something really special. We know they can’t do that all the time and we are honored that they do. Fans then come in with almost no expectations. They’ve heard of Outlaw or perhaps they know one of the bands and their zero-dollar ticket allows them to have a child-like discovery. They leave with a handful of new favorite live acts and an incredible realization that music is not dead but yet it’s thriving in places. I love creating this place and sharing this vision. When it’s all over, everyone goes back to their lives having experienced something wonderful.
What can we expect from Thursday, January 18th’s line up at Alchemy?
We’ve already covered your ticket fee. Just come early. Bring a friend and soak it all in with open ears. Enjoy a brew or a drink and talk to the musicians. Meet other fans. Every single artist in our lineup is special. There are no losers here. And consequently, everyone wins.
Cheers Ryan! Thanks for all you are doing in the music community, we are excited for this show and the future events you bring to Providence!
This Roadshow catch The Quahogs, The Low Cards, High Fascination, Allysen Callery and Avi Jacob
for more info go to www.theoutlawroadshow.com/artists/
interview by Chrissy Stewart