Thursday, December 09, 2004

Band Names

I've played with several bands over the years. My bands are fundamentally amateur, although we do play for money. It's nice when your hobby at least breaks even.

Band Names have always been an issue. You want something descriptive, catchy and unique. My main band is called "Smoke Creek". We picked that name because my brother (who plays guitar and sings in it) and I were raised on a farm/ranch in Eastern Montana where a creek of that name ran through our pasture.

We play what we call "Traditional Acoustic" music. It's somewhere in the space between old-time, folk, bluegrass, country-western and singer-songwriter. In other words, we do what we like, but our stuff is relatively simple.

We've been performing as "Smoke Creek" since 1992.

Over the years, a couple of other bands popped up using the same name as ours. One, located in North Carolina, seems to be defunct since the mid 1990s. Another, in Montana, seems to play out around Billings. I find this irritating, since a casual web search would have revealed to these folks that our band, in the same region of the country, was already using the name. But, there's not much one can do about it this sort of name poaching. Trying to trademark a name is too expensive to even consider.

You'd think they'd try for a unique name for their band, so if someone does a web search, it wouldn't come up with beau coupe references to us, but...

We've produced a CD, which we sell at Gigs and through CD Baby. It got good reviews, but there are a lot of CDs with good reviews out there. If any of the johnny-come-lately bands try to market a CD using our name, I guess we'll have to try to do something about it.


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