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I Could Have Sold Guitars

Pile of guitars

Years ago I had to make a decision. I’d been playing in a band for quite a while. I’d helped build a studio and done some producing, engineering, and mixing. But I was on the verge of getting married, was a little tired of life on the road… I had to make a career decision. […]

Timing is Everything (When it Comes to Moments)

Tom and Amy working with a band

It was a torturously slow rehearsal. Imagine your movie downloading on Netflix, seeing the little spinning wheel, waiting for the streaming speed to work its way up from 0.2 — that’s the way this rehearsal felt! I was working alongside Tom with a major artist, and the pace of the day was so much slower than […]

Making it in the Music Industry: 3 Things that Must Happen

Singer Charity Vance at microphone

Are you trying to “make it” in the music industry? You have the talent, you feel like your songs are good, and you’ve got a passion to do this thing called “music.” You’re special. You are confident that what you have to share with your music is unique. Now you need to get someone to […]

Summer Sweat (for Success!)

Sweat and hard work

Vacation from the drudgery of work & stale daily routines… sunny beaches and sounds of surf & seagulls… boating with the feel of wind & salt spray in your face… Summer means ‘play time,’ right? Ever since Kindergarten, we were conditioned to know summer meant no school and a lot of goofing off. We still […]

Bonding Lessons and “Let It Go”

Let It Go

You have been living under the proverbial rock if you haven’t heard “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen recently (or one of its 1000’s of parodies). YouTube views of almost a quarter of a billion! And that’s not counting the covers and parodies, which are as diverse as a mom and dad duo in the […]

One Product that Always Sells!

Merch Table at Event

Many artists — whether singer, songwriter, band, instrumentalist — have a product of some kind to sell to fans. Most have a CD. Or (in this day and age) at least some downloads available online. Maybe an EP. Even some of the youngest artists I work with have a few tracks recorded and available for […]

Persistence… or Foolishness?

Lead Singer Onstage

We’re told to be persistent. Keep trying… don’t give up… it’s the only way you’ll win. Follow that with “perseverance.” Then add the word “patient,” and you’ve got the popular trio, the supposed “true keys to success!” However, Mark Twain said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again — then give up. There’s […]

I Know Who’ll Win the NBA Championship

Basketball

I love sports – and the NBA Playoffs are always exciting to watch! What I love about them (besides the obvious talent of people like Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, etc.) is the strategy — from the coaches perspective — that goes into winning the game. I even enjoy the interviews after the games. […]

Lessons Learned: Spose and the Record Deal

Band performing live

Record labels convince naive kids they’re rock stars. Then they “cast” artists in a role to fit what they need, they write songs by committee, and their whole world revolves around the “second single.” Now before all of you in the recording industry start writing nasty comments and emails to me, I’m not the one […]

You Learned What from Who?

Tom Jackson teaching at CMW

Ever read the comic strip Tiger? In one of those strips years ago, the little boy Tiger and his kid brother are discussing their dog. The little brother claimed he’d taught the dog to whistle. Peering at the dog for a moment, Tiger declares, “I don’t hear him whistling.” To which the brother exclaims, “I […]