Latest Articles


“CMA Country Christmas” Celebrates the Holiday Season on ABC-TV

For Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of “The CMA Awards” and “CMA Country Christmas,” there’s a world of difference between the two ABC-TV specials. It ultimately comes down to one word. “Tension,” he specified. “There’s a lot of tension in the room for the Awards show because there’s so much riding on who’s going to win and it’s a live broadcast. The Christmas show is very different. It’s warm and open. People are there to have a good time. “ So they were on Saturday, Nov. 3, when Nashville’s Bridgestone...

Playing Profitable Shows as a Band: The 25% Rule

A recent article by Last Stop Booking highlighted the fact that touring is now more important than ever. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading through the article to get a basic feeling for how you should be planning your tours as a band. I’d like to add some tips/ideas to that post by going farther than just giving ballpark numbers and touring radiuses to go off of and instead dive into a profitable tour itinerary that just about any new indie band can use as a template. Before you begin planning where you can go on tour...

An Editorial About The Newtown School Shootings

In light of the shooting in Connecticut, I wanted to take a stand on the Constitutional Rights we enjoy and share an opinion. And, please realize this IS just that – an opinion, an editorial that does not necessarily reflect the position of the magazine or others who work for it. We are a music magazine. We exist because of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We report on all genres of music, including rap and hip hop which, at times, talks about killing the po-po, raping big-booty b***ches, etc. Do I support ...

Shower Singing - More Than Just Good Clean Fun

Shower singing has long been considered a humor-worthy activity. It conjures up the image of a hairy, barrel-chested man singing into a piece of Soap-on-a-Rope, head thrown back and accompanied by the family Bassett Hound howling outside the shower curtain. (Did I get this straight from Norman Rockwell?) What possible use could shower singing be to a professional singer or singer-in-training? Actually it’s an activity I recommend to all my singers. It’s good for us; the steam plumps up the mucus membranes of the nose and throat. It’s fun...

Social Media Really Does Drive Music Sales

For some musicians, social media is a pain. They'd much rather focus on writing and performing songs than tweeting, pinning and Instagramming from the tour bus. Does all that time spent on digital promotion even pay off? New research suggests that yes, it does. There's actually a correlation between an artist's social media presence and their album sales, according to data from Next Big Sound. For 38% of musicians, Facebook views had a significant effect on album sales, a stronger impact than traditional ...

6 Philosophical Reasons Indie Bands Fail

I’m lucky enough to be exposed to an extremely wide variety of independent bands, and it often seems the difference between a band rising fast, sinking like a stone or staying motionless in place comes down to the ideas and beliefs held by the band members themselves. Just like in life, ideas, philosophies and belief systems can cause us a lot of trouble internally and externally, leading us to do and think all kinds of irrational things. Some of the following list will be concrete things that many artists tend not to think about, and some of it ...

New Artist Spotlight: Florida Georgia Line

You don’t need to know that Tyler Hubbard comes from Monroe, Ga., or that his partner in Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, comes from Ormond Beach, Fla. It’s the music that lets you know these two guys know how to kick it in the studio and onstage, Dixie style. Scheduled to release Dec. 4 on the Republic Nashville imprint, Here’s to the Good Times is a pastiche of prickling banjo, walloping backbeats and muscle guitar, run through a blender of Country, Southern rock and a hint of hip-hop.

2012 Record Store Day Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas shopping is in full swing, and if you’re anything like me, that means it’s time to buy some music. On Black Friday, I stopped by a local record store and picked up some goodies available via Record Store Day’s “Back to Black Friday” initiative. Among my prized positions: the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s Incesticide on 12” vinyl and the limited-edition, 10” vinyl of Mad Season’s famed single, “River of Deceit.” The folks behind National Record Store Day have hooked up a bevy of holiday releases available exclusively...

Ozzy’s Great Guitarists

The quintessential heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne turns 64 on Monday, December 3. Starting in 1969 he’s cut seven albums with Black Sabbath that helped define the genre and 15 more solo discs that did the same for a second generation of fans. It’s safe to say he’s toured the world’s stages more often than he can remember. And Ozzy’s been the central figure in a rolling heavy metal festival named after him as well as a reality TV star. Sharon Osbourne isn’t the only person he couldn’t have done it without. A crucial part of Ozzy’s career has...

10 Amazing Solos Played on Les Pauls

With its rich sustain, distinctive tone and finger-friendly fretboard, it’s hardly surprising that many of rock’s greatest solos have been played on Les Pauls. Through the years, thousands of unforgettable solos have been unleashed on the instrument, often within the context of classic songs. Below is a sampling of some of the most brilliant. Please add your personal favorites in the comments section that follows. “Walk This Way” – Joe Perry (Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic, 1975). Joe Perry came up with the perfect solo for the bridge section...

Bucky Covington Blazes A Path Toward Fire Safety

Spectacular entrances are traditional at the CMA Awards along the Macy’s Walk of Stars, but it’s safe to say no one will soon top the 2012 arrival of Bucky Covington, who showed up aboard a vintage Nashville Fire Department truck as red flashers whirled. Aside from fulfilling every kid’s fantasy, Covington chose this vehicle to inspire support for firefighters who lost their lives or suffered debilitating injuries while on the job. This story begins about a year ago, when the young singer got involved with Help the Good Guys, which...

3 Doors Down’s Chet Roberts Talks Les Pauls

It reads like a rock star fairytale: Guy lands a gig as 3 Doors Down’s guitar tech. Said guy spends years on the road, learning the ins-and-outs of the band. A few years later, he’s in the band! That’s exactly what happened to Chet Roberts. The longtime guitar tech for 3 Doors Down guitarist Chris Henderson now holds down rhythm guitar duties in the band, and he couldn’t be happier. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world right now!” Roberts gushed on the phone with These days, Mississippi-based 3 Doors Down have...

Join the House Concert Movement

“House Concert” is a new buzzword in Independent Music. The concept is simple; fans open up their homes for private performances by their favorite musicians. While salon shows have taken place for centuries, Independent musicians are now viewing House Concerts as a viable revenue stream. Thousands are taking place each year. Even the big industry conferences like SXSW and The Independent Music Conference are now featuring panels on the importance of House Concerts. The House Concert movement has also...

Music Startups Aren't Dead - They're Just Changing

Rumors of the death of the digital music industry are greatly exaggerated, says former executive Matthew Hawn. While there may not be much room for profiting from recorded music any more, an entire generation of companies are building a different, more exciting future. For those of us who work in digital music, this week has delivered a nasty one-two punch to the gut. First David Pakman (eMusic, N2K, MyPlay) posted the text of his testimony during US Congressional hearings on his blog. It focused on how...

New York Rock Exchange Introduces Song Investing For Superfans

The New York Rock Exchange may at first appear to be a new form of investing in songs. Though that is a key element of the Exchange, owning shares seems more akin to joining an artist fan club and adding ownership to one of the perks afforded superfans. A campaign for Leslie Craig's "Rockstar" illustrates their approach. Introducing New York Rock Exchange. The New York Rock Exchange recently ...
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