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Chapter 54: What’ll I Do
Chapter 54: What’ll I Do
Avant Groove rocked the house and made it look easy. They played R & B, Soul, Funk, Rock and Jazz with uncanny precision and energy. Dominique’s voice soared on top of it all, an instrument unto itself, and complimented her bandmates’ effortless groove.
All of this wasn’t lost on James Parker as he watched them perform. Just listening to them, he knew this band had something special, especially, Dominque, the lead singer. Most singers used every vocal trick they knew when an industry professional showed up, like they wanted to show how good they were. Parker got the impression that Dominique was actually holding back. She commanded attention and truly knew how to work a crowd. Yeah, she was good. Great, actually.
As Avant Groove finished up their second set, Parker had already decided, he was going to sign Dominique LaSalle. If he could get the band too, that’d be a bonus.
“How y’all doin’?”
Terry turned and looked at the man who would possibly determine his future. He was dressed in a dark suit, with matching shoes and a smoothness to his manner that suggested he’d just stepped out of the pages of Ebony. Terry disliked him instantly.
Groove, on the other hand, seemed to like him and was unfailingly polite as he introduced Mr. Parker to everyone.
“Thanks for coming.” Eric said.
“Not a problem.” Parker said. “I already heard your demo tape, so I already knew how good you sounded on tape. I just wanted to see how y’all grooved live.” Parker nodded and smiled. “You guys are the real deal. Especially, you, Miss LaSalle, is it?”
“Yes it is.” Dom answered. “Please call me Dom.”
“So, what are our chances of getting signed?” Terry asked abruptly. Eric glared at Terry, who was oblivious to everything but Parker.
“Direct, aren’t you?”
“Yes. Yes, I am.”
“Your chances are good. Very good.”
“And you like what you saw?”
“Absolutely, Terry.” Parker said as he looked at his watch. “I have to go. It was great meeting all of you and, Eric, I’ll be in touch with Russell tomorrow around three.”
“Great. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.” Eric said as he shook Parker’s hand. Parker nodded and walked out of the door.
“Well, Terry’s rudeness aside, we may end up getting signed.” Eric said.
”I’ll believe that when I see it.” Lisa stated.
“Come on, y’all. We gotta have some faith.” Groove began.
Lisa folded her arms. “Groove, we’ve been running on nothin’ but faith.”
“We can’t give up just because things are a little difficult.”
“Groove…”, Rob interjected, “…Things ain’t difficult. They straight up hard, dude. We been tryin’ to get signed since forever, man.
“I know that, but…”
“Eric…” Lisa said and put a hand on his shoulder.” Frankly, I‘m tired of putting ourselves out there and getting egg on our faces. So, instead of tryin’ to impress some suit, let’s enjoy playing for our fans here.” She gestured towards the crowd of people who were waiting patiently for Avant Groove to take the stage and continue playing. Eric turned back to Lisa and smiled.
“You got a point there, L-Boogie.”
“I’m glad somebody else sees this besides me.”
“So, we’re giving up?” Terry asked.
“Nope.” Eric said. “Redirecting. We’re still gonna pursue a deal, but it’s gonna be on our terms. No compromises. If we stay independent artists, we can record and release records on our own or on one of the small labels around town. We can make the music we want to make without having to change anything about it unless we want to. I’m talkin’ real creative freedom, y’all.”
Eric looked at everyone in turn, the personal force of the man washing over each member of the group. “I’m ready to do this.” Eric said with a grin. “Who’s with me?”Almost everybody said Yea to his idea. Dominique kept quiet and sipped on her O.J. She felt Terry’s hand slide into hers. Dom closed her eyes. She knew he probably noticed that she hadn’t spoken up and was trying to get her to agree. She was fine with what Eric said, but, deep down, she knew what she wanted and if the chance came, she was going for it.
(c)2015 Courtney and W. L. Sherrod