Expert Advice: Hire a band, not a wedding band

Recently, we covered a topic that many brides frequently ask us about: {What to look for when hiring a band or DJ}. To further delve into this dilemma, our friends of {Ghost Town Blues Band} chimed in to provide us their expertise.

writing expository essays

Together, this talented group of musicians make up a modern blues band with a twist - an energy like no other and an intimate knowledge of blues, rock and improvisational jams. Ghost Town Blues Band has gained quite the following and reputation beyond Beale Street, the area in Memphis in which they originated and have since become International Blues Challenge Finalists. The band’s front man, Matt Isbell, offers the following great advice.

“The wedding is the most important day of your life. Therefore, you will want everyone to remember how much fun they had at your wedding. So, the question is: do we get a band or DJ? That all depends on the bride and groom’s taste in music.

Isbell highlights a great point - a DJ works well if you’re on a tight budget, but there is limited entertainment with this option. “Most people listen with their eyes, not their ears,” says Isbell. “Unless the DJ that you hired has an incredible light show, there just isn’t much to look at. With a band on the other hand, you have different personalities, a couple of guys or girls getting the party started and a built-in master of ceremonies that is comfortable talking on the microphone.

When it comes to how much you should expect to pay your hired talent, Isbell notes that bands can range anywhere from $600 to $5,000. But, remember that you get what you pay for. “The bands that are in the higher range from $3,000 to $5,000 often have a booking agent that receives 20% of the fee. If you can find a band that doesn’t use a booking agent, you are actually getting a better deal!”

Another tip to keep in mind: most musicians don’t begin playing music with the aspirations of playing solely at weddings. And those that are wedding bands may not be the best option, as the choice of music is often stale. So, Ghost Town Blues Band is the perfect band for your wedding because they aren’t a wedding band - because they don’t play the same old “wedding” music and they’re fun and funky, yet surprisingly tame for the older family members in the crowd. “You really want to choose a band that encompasses your taste in music, while being a broad enough genre to appease the entire wedding party.”

For planning purposes, the bride will often want a set list. “I give a broad set list to the wedding planner with hopes that they’ll know that we are a decent band that doesn’t play the typical wedding singer songs. I also let the wedding party know that we do not play hokey-pokey. If they want this type of music, they can put it together on a playlist for the set breaks.” This is very important, as the band will need breaks and other forms of music/entertainment will need to be used to fill in the gaps. “I get the bride or someone in the family to make a playlist for set breaks. With iPods these days, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.” 

For more information on Ghost Town Blues Band, check out their {Facebook}, or view their {website} for shows, videos and more! We highly recommend these guys - whether it be for your wedding or special event, or for a fun night out on the town! Best. Band. Ever.