Yes, our online presskits can be found at both our Gigmasters and Gigsalad websites. You can book us on Gigsalad or Gigmasters, or you can book directly through us and avoid the middleman.
Are you guys any good?
Lots of happy brides and grooms and corporate event planners who have written unbiased reviews of our performances seem to think so.
What makes you guys so damn good and so highly sought after for weddings and corporate events?
Easy. We take a "customer-first" approach. You get what you want: great musicians, a band that pays attention to detail, musicians with years of experience playing wedding dances and corporate events, a professional, worry-free experience, and a band who will keep people entertained all evening. We deliver for you.
What factors affect pricing?
Type of event
Request to play on a Holiday weekend
Day of the week
Request to play in July or October
We generally accept 1 (one) booking a month but are willing to make exceptions. A request to book a second engagement in a month we are already booked may affect pricing. A request to book on a holiday weekend may affect pricing. Fridays and in general, weekdays are difficult for us (not impossible) because of our work schedules. We generally don't accept no or only one July or October bookings so the guys can take their family summer vacations, but hey, the worst we can say is "no". Several of the guys in the band are hunters which means turkey and gun deer seasons are sometimes difficult for us. That said, bookings during the above times are not impossible.
Pricing includes all our expenses excepthotel rooms if needed because of your location. We are happy to travel if we can make it work. Generally, our pricing starts with our going rate, or what we've recently charged others for the same service.
What kind of music do you play?
We are a variety/dance/cover band. We play most every style. Classic rock and "dance" music dominate the set lists. For the weddings and corporate events we play, people generally don't want to hear anything that's too far out there or not danceable. We cover Elvis, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, Blues Brothers, the Stones, Kid Rock, Lynard Skynard, Billy Joel, Zac Brown, and many others newer and older. Songs we play are "time-tested" by us. While we do play songs from the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s, most of our material would be considered classic rock, rock, pop and country. We can tailor an event for your unique musical needs. We're happy to learn a tune or 2 for your event.
How far will you guys travel?
Anything reasonable, or, if you feel like paying through the nose, we'll drive most anywhere. To give you an idea, the band members reside from Hudson to Janesville to Marshfield to Madison and Medford. We will consider gigs in neighboring states, and have played in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, but such gigs will be bid in the slightly higher range to cover our travel expenses and probably require you to provide us with motel rooms for the night (Billie Bob's Flea Bag No-tell Motel OK). Please ask us if we'll travel to your location. If it works for us, we'll do it!
How can I find your availability to play my event or wedding dance?
Call or email. Check out the gigs link on our band's home page. We generally only book 1 (one) gig per month by personal choice but with exceptions. Please don't be offended if we turn you down even if it looks like we're available. Particularly bad months (but not impossible) for us are July and October, spring break months, fishing opener and turkey and deer hunting seasons. Again, not impossible, though. Please Ask!!
Do you play for wedding dances and corporate events?
Is the bear in the woods Catholic? We've played more Wedding and Corporate gigs than any other type of gig over the past 39 years. We get great reviews playing wedding and corporate dances and are known for our ability to please Junior to Granny. Click on the "Wedding" and "Corporate" links on our home page for more information.
Maybe all you need for your wedding dance or corporate event is a live Jazz Combo - a live jazz combo that also plays some dance music and can adapt to the needs of your guests or clients? Innnnsannne!!!! Add our live Jazz Combo, or book it outright as it's own group - a classy, impressive "wow-factor" for your guests. And if you ask real purdy-like, we might just through it in for free, now, you hear?
What instruments do you play?
We take great pride in our musicianship. We feature bass, drums, guitars, vocals, keyboards, fiddle, banjo, accordion and a vast, seemingly endless array of auxiliary percussion featuring the oft-forgotten, and under-appreciated "egg". Vocal harmonies are an integral part of our sound. We feature a professional sax player and for almost all gigs a 2nd guitar player, turning the band into the Whoz Playing? 7-piece full sounding " Supergroup". The 7 piece group is extremely versatile to fit your needs and is our preferred booking configuration. But we can configure to as few as 4 based on your budget and/or needs. Ask!!
How loud do you guys play?
We'll play as soft or as loud as you want us. It's your event. You're the boss. You call the shots. We're rarely told to "turn down". There have been times we have been decibel-restricted because of the venue or due to one of these little decibel-device-ne'er-do-wells, but even then, we've never had a volume issue. We'd rather be told to "Turn Up". We realize that sometimes you just want to sit, listen and talk to your friends or reminisce with your long lost Uncle Wilhelm von Fursten-berger-mesiter-meister-burger.
Sure. We can make announcements, get people seated for dinner, announce cake cutting, birthdays or anniversaries, whatever is needed or requested.
Does the band need to be fed and do they need free drinks all night?
No. But take heed. Even your discarded table scraps, leftovers or floor droppings are appreciated. For most events we arrive early afternoon about 2pm because we want to be entirely set-up and sound-checked before the first guest arrives to the dance hall. We feel this is important so as not to disturb your guests or the flow of the event, especially when they start arriving to the venue. If the venue is not close to a place we can grab a bite, providing us some sustenance or even covering the cost of us ordering from the venue's restaurant or bar makes it easier for us so we don't have to leave the venue. This allows us to be available to you or your event planner if you need us for anything like adjusting the microphone for dinner speeches, toasts, background music, etc. It's always better for us to BE THERE than NOT there.
What do you need for set-up and staging?PLEASE READ - THIS INFORMATION IS CRITICAL.
We provide our own sound and lighting system and even sometimes, our own technician to run both sound and lights (think of him as the 5th Beatle). You are welcome to use our wireless microphone system for announcements, speeches, etc. Again, here is another reason you may want us at the venue and not 2 miles down the road grabbing a bite to eat - rarely does the venue have someone available to adjust or monitor the volume of their in-house system of microphones during speeches, toasts, announcements, etc to control feedback and the like. We do though. Ask!!
An elevated stage 15'x13' is preferred, even if only risers and 4" above ground level. But it's not required.
We need 2 hours to set up and 60-90 minutes to tear down. For wedding and corporate dances, we MUST BE ABLE TO ARRIVE EARLY ENOUGH TO BE FULLY SET UP BEFORE THE FIRST GUEST ARRIVES TO THE DANCE HALL - please arrange with your venue or event coordinator to let us in early for set up or have the venue or event coordinator call me. You don't want us setting up right before the dance starts, or right after dinner, trying to set up and sound check while everyone is visiting, eating, socializing and cocktailizing.
As a 7 piece band, we need a stage or area to play that's sheltered from the elements and roughly 15' wide and 13' deep. Please allow extra time between the cocktail hour and the start of the dance if you are asking the jazz trio to set up and play in a different room or in a different area from the full 7 piece dance band - in that case we need tear down time and transition time between the jazz combo performing and the full band starting the dance. But given your space, we'll try and make most anything work.
Good clean power is essential. We normally need 2 separate 20 amp circuits to be safe. We once played for a city festival and every time the Ferris wheel started up, our sound cut out. True story. Please give thoughtful consideration to the area in which the full band and the jazz combo is playing.
Will you show up in jeans and t-shirts?
Possibly only for set up (but we'll look great!). Come time to play, we are in suit-n-tie. Got a themed event? We can dress to your theme. And we'll have fun with it.
Do you require a contract?
Yes. Our simple one-page contract protects both of us. We recommend contracts so there is no misunderstanding as to the date, time and place, cost, payment terms, details and any other additional terms. We generally book 12+ months in advance. Contracts are essential.
Will you learn our "Special Song" for our First Dance?
Absolutely. But please use your best judgment on song choice: we are not an all-girl band, a slasher band, a death metal band or Lady Gaga or Whitney Houston (God rest her soul). We are also happy to learn an additional song for the father/daughter or mother/son dance, but again please make it a reasonable request. Many songs on our current songlist will work great for either your first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, or grand march, and are songs other couples have requested that we have kept in our songlist because they have worked great. Please ask me what's worked at other events if you are stumped; we're happy to help.
Will you play music during your breaks and during our dinner?
Yes. If our sound technician is available, you can get a DJ'd experience, otherwise, we'll always play songs (ours or yours) through our PA system through an IPOD on the breaks so the music doesn't stop.
Can we "pick and choose" what songs we want the band to play during the dance from your songlist?
We are certainly willing to have you pick certain songs you want to hear and even certain songs you do not want to hear. Please leave to us, however, the discretion when to play them and to "flow" the evening for you musically. Please be aware we have run into issues when told what to play and what not to play. When the bride and groom have said, for example "absolutely no polkas!", then grandma and grandpa of the bride come up and request a polka to dance to, it puts us in an awkward terrible no-win situation and our lead singer will have a coronary right then and there trying to decide what to do. You don't want that now, do you?
Will you take requests during the evening?
Yes. However, unless asked ahead of time, please don't get upset if we can't play "Whitney Houston" or "Lady Gaga" or "Beyonce". If we can't play it, we're happy to play those through on breaks, just tell us.
How long do you play/How many breaks do you take?
We play up to 1 hour for the cocktail hour with our jazz combo and 4 hours for the full band. We will not take any breaks for the cocktail hour music provided by the jazz combo. The full band will play 3 sets of music and take two short 15min breaks in the 4 hours of the wedding dance. During breaks, we'll have the IPOD music playing. We can play a bit longer for an additional fee, generally $50 per musician for every extra 30 min of music.
Can I come hear you before deciding to book you for our wedding or event?
In most instances, yes. Since we play mostly private events, I will always need to get permission from the bride and groom, or event coordinator to make sure it's OK. Some will want you to remain outside the dance hall to listen, others may say it's OK to step inside the dance hall to listen. But it's their call and they generally don't mind one bit. If we get permission for you to attend to listen, whether inside or outside the dance hall, please dress appropriately - I'm not saying suits and evening gowns, but I'm not saying jeans and Def Leopard t-shirts either.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, or personal check made out to Robert Lightfoot ONLY. If you are a corporate client, we accept your corporate checks made out to each individual band member, and paid anytime before or during the day of the event, BUT NO LATER THAN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE EVENT. PLEASE HAND THE CHECK(S) TO BOB LIGHTFOOT. WE CANNOT ACCEPT A CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO WHOZ PLAYING?
Where can I find the most complete list of songs you play?
No, but if the performance or overall experience exceeded your expectations, a tip, even a couple shekels, is always appreciated.
Can you provide special event music or wedding ceremony music?
Sure!! Please ask. We can provide instrumental music, with vocals if requested, with a guitar and/or violin at your option. Any combination of vocalist, guitar, violin and normally charged at $100 per musician extra. Ceremony music typically includes about 10 minutes of background music as people are seated for the wedding, then a processional, then a song during the ceremony if requested like for a candle or sand ceremony, then a recessional. If you need special event music at your corporate event like the national anthem, also please ask.
How will I know exactly what you are going to do, to Emcee, flow the evening, etc.?
About a month or so out from your wedding or event date (earlier if you prefer), I'll ask if you want to meet in person for a planning meeting or if you want to simply have a telephone call to go over everything. This meeting/call typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour. During that conversation, I'll go over everything related to the band/dance/music: set-up time, venue and wedding coordinator and coordination, speeches, announcements, grand entrance/grand march, playing times, 1st dance, mother/son and father/daughter dances, other special dances we offer, bouquet/garter toss and other things offered that the band would announce and Emcee. This is your chance to customize everything exactly how you want it. Once we have this conversation, leave the rest, including the worrying, to us!