Starting Over | Devon Sants | e.31


Beginning again is nothing new to a lot of people. I myself have had multiple “starting over” moments in my life. Some by my own choice and some forced on me. It’s an interesting thing though, going back to square one. In essence, you are shedding of whatever version of yourself you have crafted and, by all intents and purposes, becoming a new person.

There’s a level of freedom with that. Imagine looking out into the future with unlimited possibilities. Close your eyes and picture it. What would you do? Who would you become if you could at this moment, pick up and start everything anew?

My beginning a new moments all came with, shall we say, anchors. I couldn’t up and change completely, but I could change drastically, and certainly did. Talking with Devon for this episode of the podcast, I soon found that this was not the case with him.

He moved up here to Rapid City from that grand old state of Colorado after having built up a music career there all his own. He moved here alone, knowing literally no one. That is something I can’t really imagine. If I had to start over with my music career, I am pretty sure I would only play at home to whoever happened to be there at the time. I’m 35 now…and getting grumpier by the day. ;-

Anyone that has been or who currently is a local musician knows well enough the struggles of starting out and carving out a piece of the scene for yourself. It’s just flat not easy. There are already people well established who have gone through the grunt work of getting there and are not looking for new faces to compete against.

You’ve got to work countless hours behind the scenes just to not be another open mic performer. Let’s face it, those are a dime a dozen…and most of them aren’t looking to make a living off of playing music. It’s a Wednesday night, they are wanting to have a good time, and happen to know how to play Wagon Wheel. (insert physical cringe here.)

Now, to be fair, most local artists all started out with open mics. In a way, that’s kind of what they are for. You work up a few songs, and test out playing in front of a crowd.

However, and I can’t say this lightly, the thought of having to go back and start playing at open mics again to try and book gigs feels like a nightmare. I’m not sure I have the mental fortitude to do it. Late nights, sitting around until your name gets called. Let’s go on record and say if you see me at an open mic I am signaling you that I am in trouble.


Devon, though, has spent the last year rebuilding his music career here in the Black Hills. This has included a lot of open mics, and getting to know all the players here in the music scene. As I said, starting over. If you are reading this and you are a local musician, sit and think a bit on what that would entail for you. In a way, Devon is in a position that I don’t envy.

But in another way I do. As I said, there is something freeing about being able to start over. Clean slate your life a bit and build up on a new foundation. Devon finds himself in a position that only comes around once or twice for a person, if it even comes at all. To add to it,

Devon has the talent behind him to be able to carve a section out of whatever life he decides to build.

I for one am pumped that he has chosen the Black Hills has his home. I am glad that he did. You give us enough time, and we’re gonna see more and more artists moving to this area because they know that “this is where the music is.”

I highly recommend checking out this episode of the podcast, and while you do, ask yourself, would you have the drive to rebuild and create a new life for yourself, however slow and steady it might be? If you need advice on how to do it, ask Devon.