one-man band


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one-man band

A company or organization where most or all of the work is handled by one person. Most small businesses start out as a one-man band with the owner doing everything himself until he can afford to hire help.
See also: band
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a one-man band

COMMON If you describe a man or an organization as a one-man band, you mean that one man does every part of an activity himself, without help from anyone else. He seemed to be a one-man band, taking orders, and cooking and serving at table. I'm a one-man band, Mr Herold. At present I haven't even got a secretary. Note: A woman who is like this is sometimes described as a one-woman band. I am no better at being in two places at once than the next one-woman band. Note: A one-man band is a street entertainer who plays several different instruments at the same time.
See also: band
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

one-man band

A person able to perform many different tasks well. The literal term applies to a musician who can play many instruments, sometimes even simultaneously. In one of his shows the composer and musical humorist Peter Schickele blew a bassoon while at the same time playing the piano with one hand or elbow. The term dates from the 1800s. The Burlington (Iowa) Hawk-Eye had it on July 1, 1876: “The one-man band, comprising drums, cymbals, violin, and a squeaking pipe . . . had one thing to recommend it. You can kill the drummer and thus obliterate the whole band.” The term is also applied to multitalented individuals in other fields.
See also: band
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Dubai: Ranging from Oud and guitar players to one-man bands and innovative artistes, Metro Music Festival is all set to enthral commuters from March 17.
The one-man band is sometimes part of the package offered by funeral parlors.
Corey Evitts is a one-man band playing everything from the ukulele, to live guitar, to a drum, to a keyboard.
At The Disco (or should I say Brendon Urie) returns as a one-man band. It turns out Urie does fine all by himself.
Joining them for the first time is Bandaloni the One-Man Band from Kitchener, Ontario and Al Millar, aka Al A Kazam the Human Knot.
One man band Initially, he started performing as a lead keyboard artiste with a local band and then started his own one-man band. "I am the first Omani who had launched one-man band and I want to keep it that way," he says, with a big smile in his face.
It's just one dude - a one-man band who uses loop pedals and amazing vocal techniques to build up and create layered songs.
Support on the night comes from Teesside's own top one-man band PHIL SAUNDERS.
The Futureheads played to a home crowd as did Wearside one-man band The Lake Poets and FORMER SEX PISTOL John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, at the festival Mercury-nominated Field Music while South Shields' songstress Lulu James also took to the stage.
Then, while musing on days when circuses and travelling fairgrounds regularly came to Cardiff, I remembered Pegleg the Wonder Diver, and the one-man band who'd descend on our town to amaze us with his virtuosity.
One-man band: Prince Charles plays a drum held by musician Ayan De Fist at a Clarence House reception last night.
Throughout the day there will be bands around the village, including a brass band and a one-man band. The popular stilt walkers will be back along with jugglers, belly dancers, face painters and balloon modellers at various venues around the village.
Liner notes: One-man band Dylan Baldi unleashes a swarm of fuzzy guitars, lurching beats, and incomprehensible lyrics on this instant classic, recalling the murky exuberance of early R.E.M.
Shifting from feral, amped-up Delta blues to stone-cold country weepers, Austin, Texas' self-proclaimed Dirty One-Man Band Scott H.
Briatore said: "This is not a one-man band. I always believe it is the team that is most important.