Latest Articles


10 Reasons Why Making Music is Good for Your Brain

Turns out Mom and Dad were right. Those piano lessons you despised and those endless hours in school band practice truly were good for you. From making you smarter, to diminishing the effects of brain aging, to improving emotional stability, it seems that playing an instrument has a hand in reconfiguring your brain and enhancing it. Permanently. And let's be clear...

A Dozen Great Music & Songwriting Quotes

Having spent more than two decades as a songwriter and musician, I've collected some wonderfully distilled pieces of wisdom from friends and music industry luminaries. Here are a bunch of my favorites that I find myself using/referring to often. 1. "They don't call it the music 'friend' or the music 'nice.' - Kate Wallace...

Five Truths About Today’s Music Industry

To achieve your music career goals, you had better focus on the realities of the business of music. Here are five truths that all musicians should understand if you want to get ahead. Even in this age of information overload in which we live, falsehoods, myths, and misunderstandings about today’s music business are prevalent. Let’s make one...

The Power of Data for Indie Musicians

In the music industry, musicians create music in isolation and then release it to the public. They spend weeks or months writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing and mastering. After all that work and effort up front, you don’t know how well the album will perform until after the fact – after you invested all that time and money into the music. The sales data starts rolling...

Six Albums That Sound Nothing Like Their Covers

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is the kind of phrase you use when you’re trying to G your mate up for coming along on a double date with a hot girl who, unfortunately has a less than impressive looking friends. What is a cover for unless to give an accurate representation of what’s inside? Now, I know not all album covers can be as perfectly on brief...

Heart and Talent

When presented with somebody who demonstrates proficiency as a songwriter and / or performer, the first comment that everyone makes is usually "What talent!" It's a very common thing to say to an accomplished musician: "Oh what a tremendous gift you have. You have so much talent. You are so lucky. I wish I had talent like you!"

In Defense of the Laptop Record

Many studio veterans maintain a certain stigma against “laptop records.” By laptop records, I mean recordings that are made outside of a traditional recording studio, without a collection of expensive analog gear. They are sometimes demonized in discussions during down time in pro-level sessions, even though many of them exhibit a higher level ...

Why Your Band Should Be Able to Play in a Few Different Configurations

Performance adaptability helps you play more music, earn more money, and build your audience. I have a lot of friends in Austin this week for SXSW, which means my Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of live concert photos. And one thing I noticed: in a lot of these shots, the bands are playing in some...

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – better known simply as “Coachella” – is coming to Indio, California over two fast-paced weekends, April 10-12 and again April 17-19. One of the best and most enduring modern music festivals on the planet, the 16th edition of Coachellafest has once again gathered up an eclectic line-up of artists...

Add a Downloadable Press Kit to Your Musician Website

If you want bloggers and journalists to write about your music, and if you want to impress talent buyers so you can play more gigs, you need to make it easy for them to write about you or get a feel for your music by providing them with all the essentials. A few weeks ago, I listed...

How To Get Your Music On NPR

I’m sitting at Cherrywood Coffeehouse about 15 minutes from where all the action is happening in downtown Austin. The conference portion of the SXSW festival wrapped up yesterday, but there are a few musical hangover brunches happening around the city. I ended up here at around noon with my crashing pad buddy and got to see a teenage punk...

Coachella 2015 Preview

The 16th edition of Coachella launches this weekend and simultaneously kicks off America’s major music festival season. Having attended the first one in 1999 - when Beck, Morrissey, Modest Mouse, Moby, Rage Against the Machine, Tool topped the bill – I’ve been amazed at how much the event has grown in stature over the intervening years.

6 Artists that Labels Should Get Off Their Arses and Sign

Let’s face it, records labels no longer hold the torch as what will make or break an artist. The music industry has changed and we all know it. We all know the power of social media, we all know that anyone can create a Bandcamp account to sell their music, and we all know that triple J Unearthed is open to taking demos from anyone, anywhere in Australia, everyday. But while all these...

Four Ways to Significantly Improve Your Verse Lyrics

I thought I'd start this article with an analogy. Verses are to a song as vegetables are to a meal. And, just as we should all eat our vegetables, we should make sure our songs have interesting, well-balanced verses. To that end, I've put down a few things to keep in mind if you'd like to improve your verse lyrics.
Ron Hacker

Terri'Touars Blues Festival - Thouars, France

This was the 11th festival held in the small market town of Thouars, about 60 Kms South of the Loire in SW France, an area readily reachable by car from the UK inside a day. As usual, the format included an opening show with a few US players and event sponsors and local big-wigs both present, followed by...
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