“Now that my son has grown older, I’m reinserting myself into the local restaurant and bar scene,” says singer-songwriter Lenny Morris, who’s kept a low profile since his 2012 release No Secret. Up until his hiatus, Morris held frequent residencies at venues such as downtown’s Hard Rock Cafe, the Mosaic Wine Bar, Jolt’n Joe’s, Hacienda Casa Blanca, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Hooleys La Mesa, and Hennessey’s in La Jolla and Carlsbad.
...Ed Sheeran cover by Lenny Morris
“But I’m finding it a struggle, more than even just four years ago, to book gigs and get in contact with managers, because everyone is going through apps such as GigTown and Acoustic Spot. I’ve had managers tell me I have to go through those sources if I want to play at their restaurant.... I can’t seem to just simply get in contact with people or book a simple lunch meeting, like the good old days.”
Morris managed to avoid going through GigTown and Acoustic Spot (which collectively book about 30 area stages) to land several gigs at downtown’s Tin Roof, thanks to obtaining the general manager’s contact info from the club’s soundman. “I prefer meeting the GM in person, as it helps create rapport. Just like five years ago when I was filling my music schedule, I just approached as professionally as possible and tried to get a one-on-one with the GM.”
Directly contacting a venue’s manager, however, doesn’t always work around the booking apps. “Recently, there were a couple hotels I emailed. I got a response from both hotel GMs...they let me know that I needed to go through places like GigTown and Acoustic Spot if I wanted to play music for them. I admit, it kind of bummed me out.”
Morris finally capitulated and signed up with GigTown, though he misses the one-on-one salesmanship that once worked so well. “I initially must have submitted to about 50 gigs [with GigTown venues], and so far have only been selected for two.” Morris booked himself to appear January 25 at the Tin Roof, and he also has a show (thanks to GigTown) at Herringbone in La Jolla on January 27.