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Concert Review: Martina McBride in Morgantown

Martina McBride had to take a mulligan last year in Morgantown, WV when she was postponed due to a conflict with a WVU home football game. In a town where football is king, they finally got to see the queen of country Saturday night. Having just wrapped her six week “Joy of Christmas” holiday stint, the “Eleven” tour resumed. The set has been predictable, but she threw a few welcome curveballs during the two hour show. Only three songs in, she broke out 1995’s “Cry on the Shoulder of the Road.”
 

Want To Have A Career In Singing?

A career in singing demands fierce and focused dedication from those who dare aspire to succeed. The average person has absolutely no idea how much hard work it takes to build an enduring career as a major artist. Yes, talent and looks are important, but they are only part of the equation. There are singers who have had successful singing careers in spite of modest talent or average looks. So what does it really take to start a singing career? In the real estate business it is said there are only three important words: Location. Location....
 

Practice Safe Sampling – Copyright, Licensing and Your Music

“Don’t infringe on copyrights!” If your forte is creating beat-driven masterpieces that use other people’s work as source material, how do you ply your craft and share your art without getting in trouble? Let’s dive into the murky waters of legality and copyright ownership. Understand copyright law. For better or worse, the law is pretty clear when it comes to using sound recordings that are owned...
 

Jason Aldean Rides His Night Train

Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party won CMA’s Album of the Year Award in 2011, amassing more sales than any other Country album in that calendar year. And if anyone still harbored doubts about his stature, the 2012 nominations list pretty much put them to rest. Aldean nabbed three nominations, including his second straight for Entertainer of the Year. But he also had a hand in the successes of some other acts that populated the finalists list. Eric Church, whose five nominations led the field, is one of Aldean’s former...
 

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Band Website

Well, it’s a new year filled with opportunities for your music and your career. It’s also a good opportunity to give your website a fresh new look. Here are just some of the ways you can make your website feel new and exciting again in the new year: 1. Change the Music. If you’ve had the same music on your site for a while, why not change it up a little for the new year? You don’t have to remove your most popular songs of course, you should always have those on there, but you can add some new songs, or other songs on your album that ...
 

Bluegrass Festivals in the "Old" Days!

I have had some crazy experiences on and off the road when it comes to music, but those early days of me doing Bluegrass festivals in the early ‘70s really took the cake! Back in those days I was mostly based in Woodstock, NY, and that scene had some bona fide “Bluegrass” players, but they were really from what most bluegrass “purists” would consider the “fringe” of that particular style. We’d go down to these festivals in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and see these incredibly well-rehearsed and “slick” looking bands such as ...
 

Eddie Van Halen Revolutionizes Rock Guitar

Eddie Van Halen, like many of his constituents at the highest level of musical ability, is both a revolutionary and a traditionalist. As wild as his tapping, delay drenched tone, walls of feedback and generally monster conceptions seemed when the Van Halen album arrived in 1978, his gear was frighteningly basic. His primary tools were his famously mutilated guitar — pared back to something akin to a glorified stick with a jack and pickups — and vintage Marshall Plexis. If the tonal bedrock of those amps...
 

Jimmy Page Un-Ledded

With the CD and DVD set Celebration Day riding high on theBillboard charts, we need no reminder of the potent magic Jimmy Page created as the leader of Led Zeppelin. With his beloved Les Pauls "Number 1" and "Number 2" on his shoulders as well as a variety of other famed instruments Page wrote his name across the annals of rock history in very large script indeed. The eight studio albums and the live The Song Remains the Samerecorded from 1968 to 1979 during Zeppelin’s original incarnation are still the...
 

Joe Walsh to Frampton: The Story of the Talk Box

When it comes to guitar effects, there’s something about the “talk box” that listeners especially love. A collective roar still rolls through the crowd whenever Peter Frampton breaks out the unit during live shows. The sound never fails to intrigue when Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” pops up on classic-rock radio. Considering that the talk box has been around for several decades, it’s remarkable how few musicians are familiar with the history of the device. Intricate details about the talk box’s various configurations are a story for another day, but the way...
 

A House Divided - Again

In 1858, soon-to-be President Abraham Lincoln used the words "a house divided" when talking about the secession of the south and the polarized differences of the American people at the time. Today, with the extremes of both sides on the gun control issue, we are again becoming that house divided. Many believe taking away guns from private individuals is the answer, while others believe arming even further is the best response. Whatever your belief may be, the one thing we all have in common is the desire to see less violence ...
 

Is Your Music App Compliant? #Conspicuous Privacy Policy

In music tech, the medium truly is the message. And as 2012 comes to a close, it is a practical truism within the industry that 'apps are the future of music.' In fact, if current analytics are at all reliable, it might be fair to say that 'apps are music's present.' As any developer or technology industry insider also knows, there always exists a significant 'law lag' between policy and technological innovation. When it comes to apps, the story is no different. While apps have for some time been driving mobile tech R&D and ...
 

Marketing To Your "Tribe"

An artist has 2 categories of fans - casual fans that may like you or your type of music but don't love you, and really passionate fans that love everything you do. Some call these your "true fans," "superfans," or "uberfans." Marketing guru Seth Godin calls them your "tribe." Here's a brief excerpt about marketing to your tribe from my book, Music 3.0 - A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age. "Be extremely careful about how you market to your tribe. Chances are your tribe wants everything...
 

Leveling Up: Is the Music Industry Ripe for Gamification?

I’ve become addicted to thinking about gamification thanks to a class I took about the topic via Coursera, an online education platform. It’s impossible not to. The course gamed my mind to think about game elements all of the time. I started to search for examples of “gamifying” music, but they often left me wanting more. For those that may be unfamiliar with the term, gamification is — as defined by Professor Kevin Werbach in the class — “the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts.” Foursquare is ...
 

10 Musicians to Follow on Twitter

Love or hate social media, there’s no disputing the fact it’s a quick and effective way for famous types to send information to the masses, whether that’s details on a new album or random musings about their dating life. We’ve spotted 10 rockers who are uber-active on Twitter and some of their latest tweets. Check out our list of “Rocker to Follow on Twitter” below, and follow Gibson on Twitter via @GibsonGuitar! (I’m on Twitter, too, via @localmusicbeat.) Who: Sebastian Bach. Twitter handle: @SebastianBach. Why he’s hot on Twitter: Former Skid Row...
 

10 Great Albums of 2012

Whenever I look back at a year, at first glance I think “there weren't many albums that I liked this past year,” or something to that effect. But as soon as I actually start listing them I always find myself having so many new favorites, and 2012 is no exception. I've decided to list 10 albums that I think stand out from the crowd. Some are obvious choices, and others might be a bit obscure, but well worth a listen, and a great way to discover some new music. ZZ Top - La Futura. 2012 was the year of classic rock. Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top all...