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How Soon Should You Work on Your Show?

Tom working with singer songwriter

I’ve gotten both kinds of calls — the kind where I’m asked to help an artist with their show 1-2 months in advance of a tour or showcase, and the kind where I’m supposed to be the “fix-it” guy working with someone a few days before a big, important show. So when is the best […]

4 Rules to Follow So You are the Opening Act they Remember

Stacy Stone showcase

In 1991, Pearl Jam opened for the Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In Kim Neely’s Pearl Jam book Five Against One, drummer Dave Abbruzzese said, “We’d play for 30 minutes, and it was like the Smashing Pumpkins had to earn their 30 minutes, and the Peppers had to earn theirs. By the […]

How Your Perspective Effects Your Success (or Your Failure)

The Audience

Looking out into your audience, it’s hard to know why they react the way they do — or why they don’t react at all! The reason it’s hard to know is because you’re facing the wrong direction. You’re not sitting in the seats out front like they are. Perspective is everything. And it’s not just […]

3 Ways to Get a Fresh Start

Nashville Performance Bootcamp 2014

We just had an awesome Bootcamp here in Nashville; one of our best, if not the best ever. Great speakers, great talent, great teaching & a fun time had by all! I walked away being freshly challenged in my own pursuits. I was reminded of something a musical mentor said to me when I had […]

Get Creative Before the Show

Get Creative

Most people think planning their live show will make it less creative or even make it boring. They’re “artists,” after all, and real artists are spontaneous, instinctive, organic, led by the Spirit… you name it. Really, it’s what I call “winging it.” Unfortunately for most musicians, planning and preparation means to: learn the songs in […]

#1 Reason to Get Out of Music

Lang working with a singer songwriter

I know you’ve heard it before — I’ve heard it as long as I’ve been alive: you can’t expect “things worth having” to happen immediately. So, no disrespect meant to anyone here, but if you don’t want to invest in your future music success by being committed to work on it… then get out. Saving […]

Why Knowing Your Audience is Crucial to Planning Your Success

Audience at festival

What are you focused on? I mean with your music. On songwriting? On how well you play your instrument? On booking shows, getting a manager, or handling your social media? Most of you know my main focus is on the live show. That’s because I believe it’s where an artist gets the most satisfaction, fulfills […]

You Can Learn Charisma

Dez Dickerson and Prince

It’s 1979 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Newly signed Warner artist Prince had just finished a showcase. Warner had a problem. Prince wasn’t good enough to take out on tour. So what’s a label to do? They sent him into the studio to record a second album. (And that’s a whole-nuther subject which I won’t get into […]

Should I Be Spontaneous – or Plan My Show?

Will McFarlane of Blues Counsel

It’s a question we get a lot. And the answer is yes. “Don’t confuse me, Tom!” Sorry! But the real answer depends on multiple things. I can count on one hand (maybe two) the artists I’ve worked with over 20 years who don’t think they are great with spontaneity. I admit, I really don’t understand […]

Share a Bit of Yourself Next Time You Perform

People come to see people

We listen to music through ear buds and stereo systems, on our laptops and iPhones, and in restaurants and elevators. We buy downloads, CDs, and albums. The majority of music we experience on a day-to-day basis comes through recorded music. But there is nothing that compares to seeing your favorite artist live! Being in the […]