Latest Articles

Travis Tritt

Collaborating With an Audience

I have long stressed the value of live performance for songwriters. Get out there and play your songs whenever and wherever you can! Get some feedback from a live audience. I'm not necessarily talking about doing a full-on live show, but rather performing a song or two at an open mic type event, or a songwriters night. By the way, if no such event is held in your area, you may want to look into starting a songwriters night where you are. Of course, if you live in or near Nashville, well, need I say more?

It's the Season Of Harmony for Restless Heart

One of Country Radio’s most played Christmas songs of the 1990s was Restless Heart’s stirring version of the classic “Little Drummer Boy.” Despite being one of the most successful groups in the format over the past three decades, that track has been the group’s only Yuletide song – that is, until now. Restless Heart has just released their first holiday album and have just embarked on a tour titled THE SEASON OF HARMONY to promote...

Concert Review: Carrie Underwood in Pittsburgh

Carrie Underwood came to Pittsburgh looking to score a first round knockout at CONSOL Energy Center. The arena managed to endure seven bruising rounds of a high decibel beat down before she let up with “Temporary Home.” The “Blown Away” tour is a 23-song auditory assault from the scorching opener, “Good Girl.” The show includes about a third of the songs from the new album and showcases a spectacular main stage featuring moveable screens and floors. The video screen was mostly filled with tornado imagery throughout.

10 Tips to Make You a Better Jammer

There’s no formal guide to jam etiquette, but like the Boy Scouts, a good jammer’s motto is “be prepared.” That, good citizenship and serviceable chops go a long way in the world of jamming. So here’s a list of tips you might want to consider before bringing your axe down to the local watering hole and making a B-line for the stage. Maintain Your Guitar. For working players, this is a no-brainer. But if your guitar lives in the closet for extended periods of time, be sure it’s properly intonated, that there’s no rust on the bridge (which can create buzzing...

Cameras, Lights, Guitars… Action: 10 Classic Movie Themes

In recent years, movie soundtracks seem little more than a ragbag of songs underpinned by a big-name hit that appears to have little relation to the movie. Face it, the only earth-shattering thing about Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” (for Armageddon) was that it was their first #1 single. Other times, the “why the hell is this here?” factor is intentional, as with Huey Lewis’s “Hip to Be Square” soundtracking the most violent murder of American Psycho. But sometimes, music and movies come together in harmony…

Ten Tips For Better Guitar Overdubs

Overdubbing is an art form with compositional options as complex as the act of songwriting itself. And the electric guitar is the perfect instrument for creative overdubs thanks to its melodic reach and huge sonic palette. For an extreme example, check the studio recording of “The Star Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix, who was an absolute master of creative overdubbing. He used tape speed variations, different guitar and amp tones, distortion effects, the whammy bar and his imagination to create a truly symphonic — and twisted performance.

Carl Black Keeps It Country

That Chevy Silverado in Kip Moore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” video didn’t just happen to be out in that field when the cameras started rolling. No, it was borrowed from the Carl Black Chevrolet Automotive Group, whose support has helped shift more than a few young Country artists’ careers into high gear. The dealer’s ties to Country reflect the musical preference of its president, Mike Bowsher. Even before the Nashville store opened in June 2003, Bowsher had built Carl Black’s business in Atlanta (Kennesaw and Roswell, Ga.) by advertising...

Unique App Brings Swift Up Close And Personal To Shoppers

Taylor Swift fans who will be hitting the stores to do their Christmas shopping this holiday season may just be getting more of Taylor than they bargained for during their retail experience. Big Machine Records and Aurasma - an HP company, the world’s leading augmented reality (AR) platform, announced that it has added augmented reality to the official Taylor Swift mobile application. Exclusive video content featuring Taylor Swift...
Caduceus with First-aid Kit --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

How To Help Protect Your Health as a Musician

Hard working musicians subject themselves to irregluar working hours, late working hours and often find themselves in areas of slightly different risk compared with many other professions. This article is definitely not meant to replace seeking medical and postural advice if you have a problem that needs addressing. However it does offer some basic and sensible advice which is easy to neglect during periods of heavy work load and stress, whether you are writing an album or on tour as a musician.

Inbound Marketing And What It Means For Musicians

Have you heard of ‘inbound marketing?’ A lot of my non-music clients are getting quite obsessed with it. And rightly so, as when employed correctly it is a powerful way of attracting and retaining new customers. ‘What the feck is inbound marketing then, and can it make me a pop star?’ I hear you mutter. All right then, I shall elaborate. Inbound marketing typically revolves around the internet, and involves three key steps: Getting found (i.e., driving traffic to your site); Converting (capturing data and generating sales)...

Context Culture: The Next Music Revolution

Smartphones have changed nearly every aspect of our lives. They have become the personal assistant and digital companion that keeps us punctual, social, and sane. Still, these devices don't quite shine until we push them - manually launching apps and inputting information. Pandora demands an artist, Urbanspoon requires a cuisine, and Maps wants a destination. These minor, but collectively time-consuming requirements signal that our devices have yet to integrate our physical settings with our personal interests.

Band Blogging Worthy of Your Fans’ Attention

Blogging 101 for musicians—because the basics are all you need. Chris Rockett of Music Marketing Classroom recently asked me to contribute some advice for his upcoming blogging masterclass for musicians on how to create entertaining blog posts worth sharing. The advice I offered is basic, but it bears repeating: there’s no secret to successful blogging—just keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it visual. Want to create entertaining content that is worth a minute of your fans’ time? As with most pursuits, it’s really all about the rudiments.

What Bands are Missing by Staying Inside Their Comfort Zones

If you’re not getting out of your comfort zone, you’re effectively turning down all of the amazing opportunities that exist outside of your comfort zone. This is as true for musicians as it is for anybody else. A few months ago I had the honor of talking about comfort zones at TEDxMelbourne. After speaking to one musician at the event, I was inspired to share what I’d learnt about comfort zones with other musicians, in the hope that it might motivate some artists to get out of their comfort zone. Why do we need to get out of our comfort zones?

5 Ways to Activate and Engage Your Fan Base for the Holiday Season

Ah, the holiday spirit. This time of year, people of all ages and religions come together to bask in a feeling of unity and… well, presents. For you, this means two things: 1. There is no better time to work on building engagement within your fan base 2. There is no better time to sell (what you sell will be up to you, more on that later) Unfortunately, this also means one last thing; you have exactly one week to create a strategy for the holiday season if you hope to take full advantage of this opportunity. But not to worry, the following...

Buffets Restaurants Cook with Country

Charlie Daniels is among many who are already nostalgic for the days when you could explore new releases in a CD store. “Of course, I hated to see vinyl go away first,” he noted, smiling. Plenty of fans feel the same, which is one reason why Daniels’ partnership with Buffets Inc. feels right. With more than 350 restaurants operating in 35 states under a variety of names (HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s and others), Buffets serves around 100 million customers each year, many of whom are already fans of Country Music.
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