September 28, 2012

keeping your focus


I was in a meeting yesterday with the executive director of AMP Academy, as he was talking about the syllabus, and the different tracks, he began to talk about focus. While we where discussing developing the different tracks, it became  exceedingly clear how important staying focused was key to reaching your goal. Keeping the main thing, the main thing, is the main thing. 

In this multi- faceted space we live in, it can be extremely complicated, and distracting due to all of the different pieces needed to make it all work. These distractions can rob you of your dream, by getting you caught up in learning all the technical pieces of the business, while important,  can totally distract you from the main thing.

If your a writer, write. If your deal is sound, learn your skill, publishing learn the business of publishing and so on. My point here is; develop your main interest first. Don't allow the peripheral distractions to derail you. I'm not saying you don't need to learn about all the pieces, I'm just saying get good at what your good at, then add the pieces. I hope this short blog has helped you to see the importance of staying focused. I wish I had more time to continue writing , but have have some pieces of my own to get to. My final thought is; Hold on to your dream with all you've got, and never loose focus on the main thing.

September 27, 2012

Music business/ The truth

 I have been working in the music business for years and doing daily research, and have written around 200 blogs. I'm very fortunate to have and opportunity to write a book. The music business/ The Ugly truth. Here is an unedited version of the forward. I'm on chapter 9,The book should be coming out around the first of the year.


  Entering the music business fun, fact, fiction, or all of the above? After 25 plus years in the music industry, I have found that it’s a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly. From the outside looking in, it appears to be all glamour and excitement. Sorry to disappoint you, but that misconception and a box of sparklers will get you a nice refrigerator box under the bridge.
  My goal with this book is to show you the truth of what the music business is really all about. There is a lot of information out there from the academia perspective. That’s good, however most of that information belongs right where it sits; in a book. The real world of the music industry can only be learned through experience. And that’s exactly how we plan on translating this information to you.
In this book I am drawing from over 20+ years of personal experience in the industry, as well as from other seasoned professionals I have met along the way. The information you will be getting comes from Grammy award winning, Dove award winning, Stellar award winners, as well as others whom have achieved high levels of success and notoriety in this industry.
Our goal is to provide you with accurate, up-to-date information that will help you enter into this world without falling into all the traps and costly experiences of being unprepared.  Remember there are no short cuts. Miss a step, trip and you will land hard.
 I have dedicated my life to this cause, and I hope you will get what you need from this book to get you started and prepared for the exciting road ahead. Good music to you.

September 24, 2012



Recently we were meeting with Jody Robinson from HIS Radio to plan our November 10th event in Savannah GA, and he came up with a great tag line for AMP:  (CHANGING THE MUSIC BUSINESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT).  I nearly fell out of my chair when he first used that tag.  There was no doubt that this expressed our mission as clearly as anything we had come up with up to that point.

The cry I'm hearing from nearly everyone I speak with about the music business is for change.  The old days of Corporations reaping and controlling this industry needs to go away.  It's time the creators of the industry get their piece of the proverbial pie as well.  I mean the writers, musicians, artists, sound engineers, etc.  All the business folk deserve their fair share as well, but I mean fair and equitable.  It has basically been one sided, and the creative community has suffered. 

So what do we do?  Good question, and I'm glad you asked.  We have to change it from the inside out.  That means one person at a time with a new way of thinking.  The old paradigm must fade away.  I used the word fade in the previous sentence because that's the way it will happen.  How fast it happens depends on how pro-active the creative community wants to be.  AMP is on fire for this change and we are going to kick it off in a powerful way Nov. 10th in Savannah, Ga.  If you want to be a part of this go to Info will be available OCT. 1st.

We are going to be unveiling a new music business model -- a new way of doing business: a  win - win for everyone.  There's no need to say more, if you're ready for change stay tuned and join us.  There will be a limited amount of spaces so register early.

September 17, 2012

Music business secrets


When fans see their favorite Artist on stage, and see how flawless things appear; they truly have no idea how much work went into the show behind the scenes.  In all appearance it looks easy.  Most people think musicians are lazy, stay up all night, and sleep all day.  Ok, part of that is true, but not the lazy part.  The hours put in to become a true professional are unbelievable.  In order to succeed in this business you must have a passion and drive that is relentless.

Talent will only take you so far; hard work will get you the rest of the way. 

There is a misconception that the music business is all fun and Glamor.  I have a term I use called Glamoritis.  This means you are blinded by the lights, fame and  money and can't see the reality.  I take no hostages, this business can be a lots of fun if you have the passion.  However if you're not having fun and it's stressful most of the time, you're probably in the wrong business.  There are those people who are lazy that enter into this world.  They don't last long, and have to live with what could have been for the rest of their lives.  Don't let that happen to you.

All I'm saying is, if you don't have the passion, and you are not willing to do the work; save yourself lots of pain and disappointment and keep your day job.  I am not trying to discourage anyone, I'm just pointing out the reality.  Don't let the glamor blind you, get to work.

September 14, 2012

Getting started/ Songwriting foundation

excerpt from my book coming out soon --


It’s time to get our feet wet now.  If you’ve stayed with me this long I will assume you’re serious, and have already decided to dive into the one thing without which there would be no music business – SONGWRITING.  So let’s get started.
First, what is a song? Song:
1. set of words sung
2. art of singing
3. instrumental work in vocal style
4. animal call
5. Same as poetry
6. poem
Now we know the definition of a song , let’s learn a little history.
Clay tablets relating to music, containing the cuneiform signs of the "Hurrian" language, had been excavated in the early 1950s at the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit in what is now modern Ras Shamra. One text contained a complete hymn, both words and music and is the oldest known preserved music notation in the world.
Prof. Kilmer transcribed this piece of music into modern music notation. Other individuals have also attempted to transcribe this music, with differing interpretations.
The tablets date back to approximately 1400 B.C. and contain a hymn to the moon god's wife, Nikal. Remarkably, the tablets also contain detailed performance instructions for a singer accompanied by a harpist as well as instructions on how to tune the harp. From this evidence, Prof. Kilmer and other musicologists have created realizations of the 

September 13, 2012



Aren’t the flowers pretty!  Smell the roses!  Listen to those birds sing!  This is a theme of attitude I hear way too often from newbie’s.  After being in this business for a very long time, I have seen many people come and many people go.  One thing the goers all have in common is they all have what I like to call Glamouritis.  Glamouritis- The lack of ability to see past the bright lights, fame and fortune.
Sadly, the goers are always unprepared to take on the reality of the monumental task ahead.  You see, they have all missed the number one step to entering the music business.  They have allowed the bright lights to blind them of the reality of the music industry.  They have missed a step.  A missed step is your worst enemy, and will come back to bite you in the, well – fill in the blank.
Unfortunately the goers are all looking for the messiah of the music business.  Someone to save them from all the hard work and steps you must take to be successful.  Wouldn’t a short cut be nice?  So would winning the lottery.  However I choose to take the steps to get where I’m going.  I have found that short cuts cause deep wounds, and deep wounds leave us empty handed.
  Are you a GOER or a STAYER? If you answered GOER—SEE YA! If you answered Stayer, then we get to take 

September 8, 2012


In a Changing Music Industry, Carolina Liar Adapts to the Ways of the Future

Posted: 09/06/2012 6:29 pm

It's a perfect summer Saturday evening in Mansfield, Mass., and Carolina Liar lead singer Chad Wolf is hanging out backstage waiting for soundcheck. From his relaxed attitude, you wouldn't know how hard the members of Carolina Liar worked to get to this point. Whether it meant leaving the safety and comfort Atlantic Records to pursue music on their own terms or packing up a Prius and hitting the road last-minute to convince Kelly Clarkson they would be a good fit for her tour, the quartet fought at every turn to stay afloat. But a chat with Wolf tells more than just the story of their journey; it shows how the music industry is changing today, and the many ways in which it is the best possible time to be a fan.
Wolf and his bandmates have had a busy summer, using their nights off of the massive Kelly Clarkson and The Fray co-headlining tour to perform in smaller venues nearby. But in just a few short hours, they'll be hitting the stage in an arena that can hold almost 20,000. For Wolf, it's all about balance.
"You're at a small place you learn how to play like it's a bigger crowd, in a big place you try to make it feel like a smaller crowd," he says. "You do everything you can to keep that sense of intimacy as much as you can in both places. So going back to a small place you take that feeling that you have, keep that, and then bring it here and then try to give somebody in the smaller place the big show that you bring out here."
With ticket prices rising and the economy forcing individuals to save their dollars more and more, major artists have begun to hedge their bets when it comes to touring by pairing with other headliners, taking an ego check in exchange for a check they can deposit at the bank. That's how this summer you get Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Linkin Park and Incubus, or in this case, Kelly Clarkson and The Fray. Not only does this allow for fans to get more "bang for their buck," it can also create an atmosphere of friendship and fun that translates from behind-the-scenes to front and center.
"Everybody's been really cool on the tour, everybody's just been hanging out and being nice to each other," Wolf says. "It doesn't always... you get a lot of crazy egos and stuff. Especially as an opener, you don't have to be nice to the opener, but they have been."
So collaboration is key when it comes to touring these days, but how do fans discover new music in the first place? Well, if Carolina Liar's experience is any indication, video really did kill the radio star. According to Wolf, television placements can be attributed to "at least half" of their success.
"All of the sudden you're capturing an entire audience that normally you wouldn't be able to catch when they're all together," he says of having their music on shows such as One Tree Hill and Lost. "It's kind of like a new version of radio: people have their favorite radio stations but you're meeting millions of people. Instead of just kind of a localized audience, you're meeting an entire nation."
With traditional music pathways like radio shrinking and suffering majors eager to keep up with trends, conflict has befallen many artist-management relationships when it comes to image and sound. But while for some musicians leaving a label is either done forcibly or in anger, for Wolf, the experience was a sad one. He praises the people working behind-the-scenes as "die-hard music fans" and admits he misses their enthusiasm.
"It was our whole thing, we want to become a band that's actually signed to a major label, that's something you really work for all those years and then all of the sudden you're like, now we don't want it," he explains. "But the flip side is being free, being able to exist and only needing permission from ourselves."
Through it all, Wolf and his bandmates have kept an easy-going attitude and a smile on their faces, choosing to focus on the many laughs they had along the way (including playing on a two-story inflatable waterslide with members of the entire tour) rather than the hardships.
It's time for soundcheck at this point, and Wolf weaves his way through crew eating dinner, smiling and waving to The Fray as the headliners relax before their set later that night. What the future holds for Carolina Liar no one knows, but for now, they're going to enjoy the ride.

September 4, 2012


Understanding the technology of this age is very tantamount to everything you do in the music industry.  Whether you're a writer, publisher, Artist, producer or musician, if you don't have some knowledge of current trends of social media marketing and the digital world your chances are slim at succeeding in this fast pace world.

Here's an excerpt from my new book coming out soon:

This is a key development that will nurture new forms of entrepreneurship, education and group work.  Coincidentally, I spent the day with a group of techs, engineers and programmers working on a project for AMP. (The Association of Music Professionals). We were working on a membership software solution to manage content for AMP.  I was amazed as I listened to these highly trained professionals talking about all the changes coming up.  They stated that they launched a new change in their product every two weeks.  My point is, you must keep abreast of technology if you plan on living in this business.  It’s not a suggestion it’s a requirement.

They say there’s no point beating a dead horse; well I have my stick out and might as well use it.  Are you investing in your tech knowledge?  If you're serious about being in this business you must ask yourself; how much of myself am I willing to invest?  Do I really have the passion, the drive, am I willing to sacrifice?  The reason I‘m asking you repeatedly is I don’t want to see you waking up in a few years regretting your decision.  I see people dropping out every day, and it is very sad.  Don’t be another fatality!  Take this as seriously as you would crossing a busy intersection; remember this is your life.  One of the attitudes I see regularly from people coming into the business is, the insiders know all the secrets.  That’s just not the truth.  The truth is there are no secrets.  Have you heard of the web?  Talk to it, ask it questions, it will steer you to the answers.  Please don’t let that attitude be yours.

Here’s a quick summary of this chapter;
1.There’s a new way of doing things.
2.Technology is moving fast.
3. Learn the latest trends.
4. Be sure this is the direction you want to head in.
5. Work hard – Get up early - Stay up late.
6. The most important thing is to invest in yourself.