These days, you have to be more determined than ever to take your show on the road to make it happen. Odds are, a performer won’t break even. The trade-off being the opportunity to take music to a new and, hopefully, welcoming audience. All these reasons mean most performers rarely leave the county line. Touring separates those who are serious about their craft and goals from those who are just happy to play for their friends and neighbors.
Such is the case with Casey Turner, a singer-songwriter who first arrived in San Diego from Florida around 2002.
Turner has established an impressive local circuit of gigs that sees him performing at numerous area venues over the next month, including the “Move to Improve Challenge” at the Cabrillo National Monument and the Catamaran Resort (both on Aug. 9) and Point Loma restaurant Las Olas on Aug. 16.
He has also established a circuit of gigs that takes him to Hawaii several times a year. He’s had success there, scoring radio airplay and building a following — but he admits it’s tough going at times.
“I don’t think there are too many bands touring Hawaii,” Turner said. “There are a lot of bands that come from Hawaii and get on the mainland and play because there is more opportunity. I’m doing it sort of backwards because it’s not like there are a lot of places to play or the pay scale is that high. It’s actually a little less than the mainland.”
He said the logistics of touring Hawaii are different, too.
“If your gig is on a different island, you can’t just drive there,” he said. “You have to cargo your gear.”
Turner is currently wrapping up his recording of a new album, “Same Day, Different Island.”
“The title comes from my most recent Hawaiian tour,” Turner said. “I had to ship my gear to a gig on a different island and was asked when I need it to arrive, so I told them that I needed it that same day. So when I got to Maui and picked up my box of stuff, it was stamped ‘Same Day’ all over. I looked up and the palms were blowing and it was a nice sunny, beautiful day. So it was ‘Same Day, Different Island.’”
Now an established San Diego performer, Turner said he is very pleased with his move here.
“It was an awesome move,” he said. “I lived in Florida for over 10 years, and there is just a lot more going on here. I’m into surfing, so it fits my lifestyle, and there is so much going on with music.”
He said he feels the local music scene has been very supportive — to a point.
“In certain genres, I think the indie scene is really supported in San Diego,” he said. “But for my style of music, not so much. There are a lot of reggae bands to be sure, but there are a few outlets playing my type of music. I’m kind of in between reggae and easy rock.”
Though touring can be difficult, it’s clear that the travel and the search for new adventures is still extremely appealing to Turner.
“I love to play gigs locally, but its great to immerse yourself in the culture and scene of a new place, as well as meeting new people,” Turner said. “You create a certain bond with people when you play music. Music is a whole ’nother language.”