How does an Indie band find success? That was my question when I started following the progress of a new band, Big Daddy Love, in early 2010. They seemed to come out of nowhere, but suddenly they had a presence. The band joined together in 2009 playing a mix of rock, bluegrass, and soul which they call, “Appalachian Rock”. They made an appearance at FloydFest and got an insane amount of recognition. That started everything.
What caught my attention was that for the entire first year, I didn’t even see photos of the band, just stories and pictures online about their fans. EVERYTHING was about the fans. They were playing a lot of shows and fans seemed to be getting fired up on social media. Finally, I decided I had to see them live. So I went to a club in the next town to check out their action. When I got there a lot of people were hanging out in the parking lot talking, dancing but the club doors were open?! When I inquired at the door, I was told they were at capacity, and people wanted to stay so they waited outside until one person left and another could go in. Wow, dedication. I knew the club owner and was able to get in. It was like a family reunion. The band was on break, and chatting it up with friends in the club. I was impressed by how many people they knew that had showed up to hear them. What I found out through the course of the night was that these friends were their FANS. BDL had spent so much time talking to people on social media and in the clubs that they knew their fans by name. Wow.
A couple of weeks later I checked out their facebook and saw a “fan of the week” photo with a brief story about how that person had drove a couple hundred mile to see their show. Every week, a new fan of the week. The gigs and festivals became more frequent and the fan of the week became very popular. Then I started noticing quotes around the internet with BDL at the end. People were quoting their lyrics! All ages too – 20 somethings to 50 somethings. It seemed to be an unstoppable train. Soon after I saw a new feature on their facebook called The Big Daddy Love Letter. A blog detailing their gigs, festival appearances and interactions with fans. Everyone who saw them live was subscribing. Without a blueprint, this band really got that the fans are everything and they made it a religion. Their shows are a blast. You really feel like part of their family, it’s infectious. The music isn’t bad either 🙂
What makes this band stand out is that in everything they do, they are consistent with their message. We LOVE our fans. And they live it. BDL fans are some of the craziest, most dedicated I’ve ever seen. A personal friend of mine has been following them from the beginning. She thinks nothing of driving 500 miles to catch a show. Then she has to go to the show the next night too if humanly possible. BDL shows are very high energy, lots of dancing and they burn the house down. No Holds Barred. They have gotten rave reviews from as far away as Belgium and now they stay booked constantly from NC to Ohio, Fla, and to Indiana and back. Last year they hit the national stage opening for Willie Nelson. Ha! It’s amazing. They are all over AAA radio and now have professional management. I recently noticed a great booking agency picked them up and they are on a small Indie label. So, they did all of this without a major Label. They do a lot of show sharing with other up and coming bands and have a wonderful collaborative spirit.
Trust me on this, BDL will get everything it wants. They are well on their way. I saw a kick-starter campaign pop up for their new record where they were asking for $5,000. It made me laugh. I commented to a friend that it would be funded in 24 hours. I checked it the next day and boom, over $5K already. That’s insane! I swear these guys could have asked for 50K and gotten it in a week.
So, when you are looking for the blueprint to becoming a successful Indie band that is in demand, has crazy fan love that has skyrocketed them to the top of the heap in Americana music and has built a fan base that funds whatever they need in their career, follow BDL. Just some high school buddies who loved music and wanted to give back to their fans who were kind enough to give a listen a come to their shows. BTW, they have 11,000 fans listed on Reverbnation. I guarantee you, every fan is listening.