Latest Articles


From Townshend to Trucks: 10 Giants of the Gibson SG

It’s hardly surprising that many of rock’s most legendary guitarists have plied their craft on a Gibson SG. With its warm sustain, silky fretboard and sharp cutaways, the SG is conducive to all types of playing—from searing solos to chunky rhythms to sinewy leads. Moreover, the SG’s sleek, lightweight design and striking beauty makes it a much-favored instrument for live performance. At various points such notables as Pete Townshend, Todd Rundgren...

The Rolling Stones’ Best Album Is…?

Even though The Rolling Stones seem determined to continue to tour, it’s unlikely there will ever be another new Rolling Stones album. After 50-plus years, that’s understandable. So, what about their catalog? The Rolling Stones have rarely been album “conceptualists” – unlike peers The Beatles or various prog rock troupes that followed – and most of their albums are simply their most recent songs laid-down and smacked out into stores. There are good and not-so-good albums...

How To Use Bonus Tracks To Sell More Albums

Why you should release two versions of your album, one for streaming and one for purchase. In a recent article on the Echoes Blog called “Optimize your digital music sales on iTunes,” Jon Ostrow advises that you differentiate between the version of your album on streaming services like Spotify, and the version that’s for sale on download sites such as iTunes (though his argument could also extend to CD and vinyl formats too). Why? In his own words...
Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta

Legendary humorist Garrison Keillor brought his live radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, to the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA. There, Keillor and his cast of regulars, along with Suzy Bogguss, Lynn Peterson, Bryan Sutton and Casey Campbell performed for a sold-out crowd of fans who packed the historic venue to see and hear stories from Lake Wobegon, Guy Noir and other serial radio skits from...

All Sons & Daughters Continue To Have Reasons To Sing

Music lovers worldwide are captivated, swept up in the surging wave of modern folk as heard in the likes of Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, Neon Trees, The Civil Wars and others. Organic, acoustic and packed with live energy and freedom, it’s the unpolished imperfection and open invitation to sing along that has catapulted these artists into the spotlight and up the charts. For All Sons & Daughters’ Leslie Jordan and David Leonard...

Review: Lady Gaga in Concert

Forget about U2, Madonna and The Police. That was all repeat business. Breaking an artist through to global superstardom in the digital age is one of music’s biggest challenges. But the industry found the perfect storm in Lady Gaga. The pop juggernaut combines a flair for the unusual and a trademark message of universal empowerment with with sheer talent. A whole lot of it. The result is a hyper-energetic, wildly produced two hour spectacle that mostly...

Three Ways It Pays to Follow Through

Songwriting is art. Like all art, songs require a healthy dose of inspiration which is nearly impossible to predict or control. In that way , the spark that results in the creation of a song is a gift but the rest of the process is nothing more (or less) than good, old-fashioned work. By following through in a variety of different ways, you stand a much better chance of achieving the goal of getting your songs out in the world and hopefully generating some income for you.

How To Release An Album So People Actually Want To Buy It

Many musicians look at the mastering and manufacturing of their CD as a kind of finish line. They work hard and drop lots of cash to record and mix their songs, and once the product is in their hands, there’s usually a great sigh of relief and/or a huge sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, at this point lots of bands make the mistake of saying, “Oh, we’re just gonna put it out now and see what happens." When hundreds or thousands of copies of your album arrive at your doorstep...

5 Super Simple Steps That Will Make You Money At Your Next Show

You write great songs. You record killer albums. You put on the most kick ass show. Yet your merch sales fall flat. Over the years I have discovered. “The best way to make money at your show is by simply asking people to buy.” I have spent the last 18 years booking, promoting, producing or having something to do with thousands of shows all over the world. My fascination with the psychology of selling is beyond conventional. I have learned an incredible amount over the years and...

Optimize Your Digital Music Sales on iTunes

Selling music is hard. Thousands of albums are released every year, which means that in a given week, your competition is likely to include dozens, if not hundreds of other albums also being released. And to top it off, digital music sales declined in 2013 for the first time (while streaming music increased). But no matter the competition or the state of the industry, educating yourself to be one step ahead and taking precise action is a great recipe for success. This applies to all aspects...

Vid O’ the Week – Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett has been welcomed to the sunny lands of the USA with open arms. Watch her play solo in a candy store for Nylon TV. So sweet. My favourite girl of the moment: Courtney Barnett. We first spoke about her in November last year, after stumbling upon her awesome Melbourne based label, Milk! Records, which is also home to Jen Cloher, The Finks, Royston Vasie and Fraser A. Gorman. Since then, she is just exploded into the hearts of Americans. So quickly...

Protecting Your Online Brand by Posting Your Perfect Press Kit

In the age of social media we are all focusing on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and Facebook and, we’ve forgotten an important basic: Your online press kit – the asset that makes it easy for others to publicize your brand. In many ways, your online presence is equivalent to creating your own online billboard. If you are in control of your website and your social channels, and you have a good grasp of 2-way conversation mastery, your online billboard will have the exact messaging for...

Vid O’ the Week – Broadwing

When I was 13 I spent a painful few weeks traveling through the desert of Australia in a campervan. A decade on it sounds incredible, but at the time I was trapped in a confined space with my family, armed with nothing but Agatha Christie novels to keep me occupied. I read more than I had in my entire life on that trip. When you’re stuck in pretty barren surroundings, you get creative. Case in point: Broadwing. When I first heard Broadwing, I assumed...

5 Keys To Indie Music Success

In this guest post from Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model and founder/former CEO of Berkleemusic, he explores five strategies and mindsets that can lead to success in music, and in life. There are always going to be new tools and services for artists to create and connect, but what success really boils down to is YOU. Your outlook on your music career can make all the difference, so get out there, be positive, and do great things. 1. Living a life in music is a privilege. Earn it.

What It Takes To Be A Successful Musician and Songwriter

I've written on this topic before, but I recently came across some hard statistical facts that seem to bear out what I've believed all along about the role of natural ability in achieving success as a musician and songwriter (as well as virtually anything else). I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers", a study of the most successful people in a variety of fields. Music is one of the areas he explores, citing specific scientific studies and the data they produced. Interestingly enough...
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