IT'S NICE THAT YOU KEEP GIVING JAZZ A CHANCE. HOW DO YOU KNOW AN ACT WILL FIT INTO YOUR ARTISTIC PARAMETERS? HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY'RE A NARROWS ACT? I like to think I have an open mind. We want to book any act that we believe has something to say creatively. It's not about making money on every gig. I know that sounds contrary to what a promoter might say. We've been booking some jazz lately and, quite frankly, we lost money on lots of those shows. There comes a point when you can't continue with that, but there's a balancing act. We can try a Ben Allison because we have other successes, shows we know are going to make money. There's a certain circle of friends. Tom Rush, Cheryl Wheeler, Richard Thompson, they've become known as Narrows acts. But we're trying to branch out and get younger. We want to work with emerging artists. Eilen Jewel we've had for years, starting back when she was a shy little girl. Now she's selling out the place. That's the kind of thing I love. Audience development is a dying situation, but it's completely necessary.
I BET THE OLDER ARTISTS LIKE TO HAVE A PLACE THEY CAN COUNT ON. Well, artists appreciate the fact that we invested in good sound equipment. We respect them, and we let them know that we understand life on the road ain't easy. A little kindness can go a long way. It's a nice place to wind up. We treat the performers well. And we have curated a great audience. People who come to the Narrows come to listen to music, they're quiet. Other venues have popped up locally, and some try to do what we do, but they let people talk through the show. We don't have to police it; it's just the way it is. That said, we have a BYOB policy. People like to have fun. It's not a coffeehouse atmosphere.
Audience members love to share an experience like this. Some people see Savoy Brown listed and say we're selling a memory, but that audience jumps up and down and has a good time. Being together in a room [is what it's all about]. It can't be replicated with an iPod. We've been doing it for 10 years, I'd love to make it to 20.
THE NARROWS' 10TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: SONNY LANDRETH [November 2, $25 advance, $28 day of show] | DAVID WAX MUSEUM [November 3, $15 advance, $17 day of show] | JORMA KAUKONEN [November 4, $32 advance, $37 day of show] | ROSANNE CASH [November 5, $75] | All shows @ 8 pm | 16 Anawan St, Fall River, MA | 508.324.1926 or ncfta.org