Dear PoPville – Looking for Affordable Musicians

Photo by PoPville flickr user DG-rad

Dear PoPville,

We are looking for someone who can, at a very affordable price, perform for a few hours (singing, piano, and/or guitar) contemporary pop / alt-rock songs (Radiohead, Ben Folds, The National, Deer Tick, Wilco, that sort of thing) at a DC area event. Someone who doesn’t mind performing songs from a list of possibilities selected by the event host?

9 Comment

  • I could potentially do this. Is it acoustic or full band?. I just headlined the 9:30 Club and live in the area. but if they’d like, and I’d prefer, we also have a lot of original tunes we can do that I’m sure they will like. I am in The Morrison Brothers Band.

  • You should specify what you mean by affordable. The range of prices is huge.

    • This. Also, they should clarify what they mean by “a few hours”. And what kind of event this is going to be (providing background music for a party, entertainment at a fundraiser, highlight of an evening, etc…).

      And for a “very affordable price” you don’t get to give the musician a set list and ask them to learn the songs 🙂

  • White Ford Bronco band sounds like what you might be interested in. Not sure how much they charge, but they are definitely highly entertaining:

  • OK, I’ll out myself as the person who sent this question in. I have no really good idea what is reasonable / expected for this type of situation or really where to start looking, hence the question. I was thinking something in the $200-$500 range for 2-3 hours, but perhaps I am way off if this is doable. It is entertainment for dinner in one room for about 75 people. Ideally, it would be one single person (singer/guitarist or singer/pianist) who enjoys and already knows a decent repertoir of songs from bands like those above, The Smiths, Talking Heads, Magnetic Fields, that type of thing, so that they might already have some in their arsenal. A few originals would be cool too if they fit the general vibe. Hopefully I’m not way off in thinking this is possible in the constraints I have … (and addressing one response, I am guessing someone who headlined 9:30 would be out of my price range, but who knows …).

    • Hello, I came across this and I think i could offer exactly what you need. I will admit I have no yet headlined the 930 club but I have do exactly what you’ve described about 3 times a week as my profession. You can find upcoming/past performance dates, audio of originals and some videos of covers & originals at (in fact our first music video was shot in CH). I have played solo acoustic house parties all over the city so I am very familiar with the needs of reading the crowd and keeping the music appropriate, i could even provide references if you would like. You can drop a line to brent.h.peterson(at) and I’d be happy to send you my song list.

      This all being said, the Morrison Brothers Band are great guys and while I dont know the White Ford Bronco band I’ve heard they are great. We’re all in this thing together.

    • Not to low ball Brent and Co here (sorry, man), but I’d happily do this for the price of free food and drink (and the pleasure of your guys’ company, of course); I just love playing for and meeting new people. I don’t have a website, but this seems like my jam — this is generally the kind of thing I like to play and I dig the sound you’re looking for. I already have some of those bands in my repetoire and with enough notice could learn every song you guys would want. Please feel free to get in touch if you’re interested and we could set up some sorta audition or I could send you some recordings or what have you. brilevin[at]gmail[dot]com. Cheers!

    • I had friends who recently did this search– they actually found their guy playing at the Potbelly in CH.

  • $500 for 3 hours (with breaks each hour) for one person seems quite reasonable. As a hired-gun musician, I’d call that more-than-fair wages compared to what I get on any given night playing in bars or restaurants.

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