August 11, 2013

The Pete Kilpatrick Band: A sound business plan

Thanks to advances in technology, making it in the music business nowadays is easier for everyone – and, just maybe, harder than ever.

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 5)

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The Pete Kilpatrick Band plays to a packed house at The Big Easy recently in Portland.

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Bandmates Matt Cosby and Pete Kilpatrick lug equipment into the Market Street venue before the show. These days, musicians often struggle to be heard above all the competition.

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Rolling Stone contributing editor Patrick Doyle, a Maine native who has profiled music stars ranging from Mumford & Sons to Glen Campbell and Willie Nelson, saw The Pete Kilpatrick Band recently in Bethel, and thinks the group definitely has a sound that can sell.

"When I saw them, they were having a lot of fun, and I know they've been playing with John Popper and Dave Matthews, which is good, because they can tap those fan bases," said Doyle. "I think people today appreciate more rootsy songwriting, and that should help them."

Playing with other acts like the Dave Matthews Band is not only a revenue stream for the band, but is part of Kilpatrick's long-term strategy for financial viability. The idea is to play with artists who can help the Pete Kilpatrick Band meet people in the business, which can lead to bigger gigs and bigger opportunities.

For The Pete Kilpatrick Band, the networking started when members met Adam Gardner of the nationally known band Guster, who moved to Portland a few years back. The relationship with Gardner led to bookings at ski resorts out West and gigs with major artists such as Dave Matthews and The Wailers.

Kilpatrick said the band's focus will be to keep building relationships with other acts that make a full-time living from music. In his time working on band management, he has learned that distribution and radio airplay aren't the gold rings they once were.

"We have to be better about developing networks, playing with bigger bands," said Kilpatrick. "I think (changes in the music business) have forced all of us to be more creative and multidimensional.

"It must have been nice, back in the '90s maybe, to just focus on the music side of things." 

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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