It’s time for a new “Artists on Independent Venues” interview and today, the amazing Eleanor Whitmore shares her perspective!
It’s time for number six in our series of artist interviews which we are running along with our cross-country trip to raise money for the National Independent Venues Foundation (NIVF) and Musicians on Call (MOC).
Eleanor Whitmore probably needs no introduction. She is a fantastic singer and fiddle player (among other instruments) who is an accomplished solo artist as well as a member of The Mastersons with her husband Chris Masterson, Steve Earle’s band The Dukes, and The Whitmore Sisters with her sister Bonnie. She has recently been nominated for Musician of the Year in the Ameripolitan Awards and we are absolutely delighted she has taken the time to give us her perspective on independent venues.
LH: What are the independent venues you remember from your neighborhood growing up?
Eleanor: Growing up in Denton TX, Dan’s Bar and then Dan’s Silverleaf was the place to be to hear songwriters and bands playing original music.
LH: Do you remember the first show you saw at an independent venue?
Eleanor: Guy Clark at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas TX.
LH: What was the first venue you played as an artist?
Eleanor: Dan’s Bar, now Dan’s Silverleaf.
LH: Is there a venue/city you particularly look forward to visiting?
Eleanor: I’ve been fortunate to play some pretty amazing venues around the world, but here are some of my favorites: The Continental Club, Austin TX; Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee WI; The Troubadour, Los Angeles CA; The Fillmore, San Francisco CA; Mercury Lounge, Tulsa OK; The Old Quarter, Galveston TX; Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix AZ.
LH: Do you have a bucket list venue? One that you’ve not performed at that you dream of playing one day?
Eleanor: Radio City Music Hall or Madison Square Garden, New York NY.
LH: Any special relationships with venue owners/anyone who particularly helped your career?
Eleanor: Rusty and Teresa Andrews at McGnnigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston TX.
LH: Weirdest thing that ever happened at a show?
Eleanor: A fight.
LH: As an artist, is there one thing that you would like venues to know/something they could do to make your life easier?
Eleanor: Art is already exploited and undervalued. I have a real problem with merch cuts and venues. It costs a lot of money upfront to purchase the merchandise that we well at shows and a cut by the venue can break any profit we make. I’m not taking a cut from the bar. They really have no right to do this and it’s basically extortion.
LH: Any last words on independent venues and their importance to live music in the US?
Eleanor: I’m very grateful to all the independent venues for providing a stage, a place to gather and celebrate independent music. I’d like to get the message out to all the fans post covid, that artists and venues could use the support now more than ever.
The Mastersons recently released a new EP, Red, White and I Love You Too. The Whitmore Sisters’ Ghost Stories is also out now. Be sure to check in on their respective websites and Eleanor’s socials to buy new music and see where you can catch her live.
To read more about our cross-country fundraising trip for the National Independent Venues Foundation and Musicians On Call, click here. All donations go directly to your chosen organization. To donate to NIVF, click here. To donate to Musicians On Call, click here.
PHOTO BY: C Elliott