The Direct Buzz January Issue 2014
the Direct Buzz January 2014 issue. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform.
James Kahn A True Renaissance Man Behind the Desk Heather Moody & The TVX Group Beyond The Song Janine Lutz Now Media AirPlay Direct & Radio Promotion The Writers Round | The Indie Way Three Questions for Radio A Stranger Look APD Global Radio Indicator Charts Featured Artists & Reviews Killer Tracks January 2014 10 Cover Story – James Kahn We speak with James Kahn, an emergency room doctor who has followed his muse into an even higher calling and entertained millions via a flourishing artistic career with successes in books, television and film. James has now taken his natural storytelling ability into the world of music and released two fine Americana records. James has followed many paths, but they have all led back into one creative road. We gain insight into his exciting journey. 17 Behind The Desk – Heather Moody In an interview with Heather Moody, we find she is a good example of how fundamental values can still be part of new concepts. Heather shares how her company, The TVX Group, is doing that by not reinventing the wheel, but by redefining where and how it rolls and how this takes a buy-in from everyone involved; artists included. 30 Beyond The Song – Janine Lutz This month in the “Beyond The Song” interview we take an inside look at how suicide affects us all. 28 The Indie Way: Local… Low Hanging Fruit 4 The Writers Round: “Dangerous Melody” Interview with Andy Joslin writer of 29 Three Questions for Radio: Interview with Bill Frater – KRCB, Americana Music Director 35 Now Media: How to use AirPlay Direct to make the most of your radio promotion 25 Killer Tracks: Duane Allman, Driftwood, Scott Holstein 22 A Stranger Look: Lives of “Strangers” 27 Featured Artists: About You” Artist Contest The 4 winners of tDB January 2014 “Buzz 36 APD GLOBAL RADIO INDICATOR CHARTS™ ---------------------------------------------------------------Publisher & Founder: Robert Weingartz EDITOR: Lynda Weingartz Director of Special Projects: Rich Mahan Contributing Writers: Clay DuBose, Rich Mahan, Kenny Lamb, Fred Boenig, Mark Logsdon, Ryan Smith, Rick Moore, Elsie Sycamore, Adam Miszuk, Dr. T. Roberts ART DIRECTION: Aleven Creatives (aleven.com) ---------------------------------------------------------------- © 2014 by AirPlay Direct, LLC. All Rights Reserved. FROM THE PUBLISHER Happy New Year! 2013 was an amazing year and we have had a lot of successes to celebrate and be thankful for. 2014 has already started with a bang. We have some very exciting new projects for 2014 that we will be announcing over the next several months. AirPlay Direct continues to grow and prosper at an extremely high rate. We are very proud that AirPlay Direct now delivers more Bluegrass, Folk, Americana and Blues music to radio globally than any other company in the world. AirPlay Direct currently has over 37,000 artist / label members and over 8,700 radio station members in 90+ countries globally. The January edition of the Direct Buzz will be the 23rd issue of our publication. It has been a lot of work re-launching the magazine, but it has been a truly successful endeavor and has been very well received by the professional global music industry at large. The Direct Buzz cover for January features James Kahn. James Kahn is the best-selling author of Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Goonies, and numerous other novels and novelizations, as well as writer-producer on television shows such as Melrose Place and Star Trek: Voyager. James has also recorded and released 3 Americana albums to date. Make no doubt about it… James Kahn is a true “Renaissance Man”. AirPlay Direct is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynda Weingartz to the post of Editor for the Direct Buzz. Also, Rich Mahan has been promoted to Director of Special Projects for the Direct Buzz. Congratulations to Lynda, Rich and all involved. As always I would like to thank the APD Executive team and all of our partners for their dedication, professionalism and on-going support. With fine regards and respect, Robert Weingartz Chairman & CEO – AirPlay Direct Publisher & Founder – the Direct Buzz Executive Director & Founder – Collective Evolution THE WRITERS ROUND by Adam Miszuk Andy Joslin “Dangerous Melody” AirPlayDirect.com/AndyJoslin Adam Miszuk [AM]: We’re going to talk about your song, “Dangerous Melody,” off of the album Soul Seed. It’s been almost a decade since you wrote this song. How, if at all, has the meaning changed for you? Andy Joslin [AJ]: You know, I was listening to it again today because I knew you would be interviewing me, and had that thought. It really hasn’t changed. I haven’t thought about it recently because I don’t listen to my own music that much. So listening to it today, I was really focusing on what I was saying, how relevant it still is today, and how relevant I still feel as an artist. I believe the song will stand the test of time. AM: Did this song come to you all at once like the flash of memory in the lyrics? AJ: I’ll have to say that mostly it did. When I write, I don’t sit down to write with an idea in my head. I usually let something emotional or something that is having an impact on my life inspire me. It will usually start when I’m playing an instrument, when I’m sitting to muse or when I’m feeling inspired to express myself. That’s where this song started. I was in a studio in Las Vegas working on a record with my good friend Mark Matson. He was working with this female artist and she really was the spark that ignited the whole thing. The first verse of the song starts with “when you passed by.” That’s how it really was. From the first moment she passed by, and then over the course of the next few days in the studio being around her and hanging out while we were both trying to be creative, I got to know her. That experience took me to a place and reminded me of another time when I was younger, when I first started writing and put together my first original band. All of that just came back. So it started coming together. That’s when the words came to me. And then my buddy and Co-Producer Mark who was recording with me helped me to write some of the lyrics. I’d get stuck in some places and he’d say, “Well, what about this?” Oh, yeah, okay, that works or no that doesn’t. So to answer your question, no, I’ve never really written a song where I sat down and wrote the whole thing. Well, you know now that I think about it, maybe there is one song. “In that Moment” which is also on my album Soul Seed. Something happened and I immediately jotted that one down. I know from experience with different writers and Jeanette Lundgren is the “Mom Hen” in Mother Hen Promotions. Affordable Social Media Management for Quality Independent Musicians and Related Businesses. Website: motherhenpromotions.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: facebook.com/motherhenpromotions ReverbNation: reverbnation.com/motherhenpromotions Twitter: twitter.com/MomHen “Indie Showcase… have found Mother Hen Promotions to be professional, efficient, quality minded, helpful and a sheer delight to work with.… This lady walks the walk and follows through long after first contact and airplay begins. I have never met any other promotions company that works so hard and diligently for their artists as Mother Hen Promotions.” — Shashona McCall / Indie Showcase Helping Independent Artists to Succeed since 2001 www.AmericanaMediaPro.com artists that everyone does it differently. I think more people probably do it all at once, but I don’t and I’m perfectly content with that. AM: Do you go through periods of waxing and waning creativity? AJ: Oh, yes. Very much so. Yeah, and I hate it when I’m not inspired and creative. But, I will not force myself to sit down and write a song!” It just doesn’t work that way for me. Sometimes I might work that way with somebody else when I’m co-writing, but for my own stuff, my own feeling, my own art; I need to wait for the inspiration. I’ll go through bouts of frustration, but it seems to be further and farther in between as I get older. Ha ha. Going from being young, dumb and inexperienced in life. Things that I’ve written about have been changes and the evolution in my own life. I wrote the album about the girlfriend and the break up and the whatever. Then there’s the Contemporary Christian album during my very young years when I found God. But, Soul Seed is more about life experiences, my journey. Not my philosophy, but the sharing of my soul and what I’ve learned. This song, “Dangerous Melody” in particular, is about wanting to remember what it felt like to be inspired, to be writing more, to be young, an innocent and not knowing where the next road, or gig, or song would lead you and of all the things that were new and exciting in this creative musical journey. The best part is when the universe brings special people and situations into my life that inspire me and kick my ass and that always helps to get me writing again. AM: You use the phrase “remind me” in this song both as an accusation and as a plea almost back to back. It’s directed at the focus of the song and then asked of the focus of the song to remind you. Is this remi- niscing that is dangerous, hinting at the title? AJ: You know, that’s a great question. I’ve never had someone look at it that way. Yeah, it can be. It’s not dangerous like I’m getting hurt, but dangerous like I realize I can’t be that young person or go back in time. Dangerous like it’s scary to think that the days and years are trudging by and where am I and what have I done and where do I want to be? But I’ve learned to accept and appreciate my place, my time and the experiences, and where I am. The experience that inspired the song was great to remind me who I used to be but then also to look at who I am now. Every time I hear the song or someone new hears it, I hope it can be a timeless kind of a thing. To make people think, and not see it as just a silly pop song, a power ballad or something meaningless. I think it has depth. It’s haunting, subdued and beautiful… yeah! AM: Explain the title. AJ: Well, that wasn’t the original title. I think the original title might have been “You Remind Me”. That’s simple and obvious! Actually my manager came up with the title. He was always checking in on me, listening to the demos and the production. As the project was almost done, he said, “I think we need to change the name of this song.” He actually came up with it. He took the lyric from the song and that became the title. And it really fits. I didn’t make that direct connection. Wish I had, but I’m not going to take the credit for it. I think it’s a great title for the song. AM: You said this song was inspired by a specific muse that walked by. Do you always need a muse and do you have one now? AJ: I wish I could meet another muse like that one. One of my current favorite artists, Sarah Jarosz, has a song called, “My Muse.” The first time I heard it, it reminded me, ha ha, reminded me of this song and how I would love to have that kind of muse in my life again. I think part of that is also being younger and innocent. That’s how it affected me then. I don’t know if having a muse now would affect me the same way. Maybe it would, I don’t know. At the moment this person was in my life, she reminded me of the person who was my muse so many years ago. So, it’s not something I think you can go out and look for and shop for, “Hey you wanna’ be my muse?”. No, it’s not going to happen. I’ve got to accept what the universe puts in front of me. Right now there isn’t a muse. Well, there is and there isn’t. I’m working in so many different areas. Some days I’m a producer and some days I’m a writer and some days I’m a performer… but most days I want to be an Artist. That seems to be the toughest one! But, I think I need all those things to help me, and inspire me in my writing and in my musing. So, as far as let’s say a person… no, no current muse in my life. AM: A theme in the song is a longing for innocence; being younger and having those things back. Is that a driving force for you now? Is that something that sticks with you? AJ: It sticks with me. The reality is I know how old I am, and I have experienced so much that innocence isn’t always there. But, I can sometimes find it in other people, other situations, and that can inspire me. Maybe not in the same way, but similar. I still feel like I’m 20 years old and the way I act in my daily routine is the same. I play with cars, I sleep in, I ride motorcycles, and I have my music. I still do all the same things, so in that respect I feel like I’m still young. But, I’m not innocent. Ha, ha. That I know for sure. ARTIST FEATURE James Kahn By Clay DuBose AirPlayDirect.com/jameskahnmanwalksintoabar AirPlayDirect.com/jameskahnwaterline AirPlayDirect.com/jameskahninstrumentalscenery T he Direct Buzz recently had the pleasure of speaking with James Kahn, an emergency room doctor who has followed his muse into an even higher calling and entertained millions via a flourishing artistic career with successes in books, television and film. James has now taken his natural storytelling ability into the world of music and released two fine Americana records. James has followed many paths, but they have all led back into one creative road. the Direct Buzz: James, the creative bug bit you early when you were just a kid. You grew up with a love for storytelling and even had a short story published in Playboy magazine while still in college. What drew you into medicine and was this a difficult decision? KAHN: First of all my dad was a doctor so I was kind of around it all growing up. It didn’t seem intimidating or daunting the way it may have been for other people. Because of the environment he created I always had a love for science and biology. When I was in college I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and you mentioned the story I got published in Playboy magazine. I thought, “Great, I’m on my way to being a writer.” I submitted a couple of more stories to various other places and got nothing but rejections, so medicine seemed like a natural way to go to at least be able to make a living, do something that I enjoyed and then maybe I could write on the side. tDB: How did you become an ER doctor? Working at L.A. County you must have seen your share of tragedy but also witnessed some miracles. How did this experience change you? KAHN: LA County is actually the biggest ER room in the world. At least it was then. One thousand patients a day came through those doors. They weren’t all emergencies but it was literally a thousand patients on the busy days. We did see absolutely everything. With the trauma the experience you got in the really serious cases was like nowhere else. One of the things that got me into medicine and certainly emergency medicine was this modern day sorcery aspect to it. It was the only place in modern life where you could pull people back from the dead with just your bare hands, your skills, your mind and your knowledge. tDB: Medicine has advanced to the point where some of the newer technologies would have been at home with Bones on the USS Enterprise. Medicine today is yesterday’s science fiction. Did you foresee any of this and was this part of the appeal? KAHN: When I was back in training there were all these ideas on the horizon that gradually did become fact. There’s an interesting way, which not only in medicine, but in all science where science and science fiction sort of leapfrog each other and always have for a hundred years or more. Science is at a certain level and some writer generally envisions some kind of fantasy scenario about where that technology could be taken in the future. Some kid reads the story, becomes a scientist and makes that what they want to do. They lead the way in discovering the technology to make that science fiction come true. tDB: You were still creating art on a parallel track to your medical career and wrote the first of a trilogy of science fiction novels while still in the ER. World Enough and Time and the subsequent two books are fantastical creations … time travel and genetically engineered creatures of mythology … how did you come up with this stuff? How did you do this while working in ER? KAHN: One of the advantages of working in ER as opposed to other types of medicine is while you’re there, you’re there and when you’re off, you’re really off. It’s really conducive to doing other things in your life. I could, for example, schedule myself for three 12 or 16 hour shifts in a row and then take four or five days off completely where I could write intensely for a few days. tDB: Can you elaborate on how you became a consultant on the movie – The ET? Your ER career, through serendipity, brought you into Hollywood. How did that happen? KAHN: I was working in St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica and we got a call from Kathleen Kennedy asking if anybody down in the emergency room could help her figure out how to resuscitate an alien. It turned out she was Spielberg’s producer and they were in the midst of making ET at that time. So I went down to the set and ended up majorly helping to orchestrate the resuscitation scene from ET, by pounding on his chest in my Hazmat suit and writing the technical dialogue about oxygen and femoral pulses and all that kind of thing. While I was there I got to meet Spielberg and I got him a copy of my first Science Fiction novel that had just recently been published World Enough and Time. I said, “Gee, after you finish ET, how’d you like to make a movie out of this?” We both laughed but he did manage to read it and passed it on to his other producer Frank Marshall who also liked it and on the basis of that they assigned me to write the novelization of Poltergeist. The condition was that I had to write it in under a month because there had been major deadline problems. So I got all my friends in ER to cover all my shifts for the next thirty days and just sat in his office at MGM for the next month that November of 1981 and wrote 16 hours a day. tDB: Wow, that was baptism by fire. That led to an incredible run of novelizations. I’m sure each situation had its own requirements. How much liberty were you allowed to Nashville Songwriters Association International Built by Songwriters, Developed by Songwriters, For Songwriters Pitch Opportunities The Bluebird Cafe Auditions Song Evaluations Weekly Workshops One on One Pro Mentoring Sessions Open Mic Nights Legislative Support Writers Rooms Discounted Events 150+ Regional Chapters Online Video Library ...and Much More! Join Today! nashvillesongwriters.com 615.256.3354 or 800.321.6008 facebook.com/NSAIofficial and twitter.com/NSAIofficial flesh out the source material? KAHN: Whenever I did one specifically for Steven Spielberg he gave me free range to write whatever I wanted. I had to follow the plotline of the movie and I would always use the first draft of the script as a skeleton and I used a lot of the dialogue that was in the script. But he gave me liberty to flesh it out in whatever way I wanted. In Poltergeist, for example, there’s twice as much story as there was in the movie because I brought in a lot of other ideas I had that seemed to mesh with the Poltergeist theme. He liked that a lot. That’s a little bit different from my experience working with George Lucas in writing Return of the Jedi in that he was happy to have me flesh it out as much as I wanted in terms of internal monologues and developing the characters but I was not allowed to develop any new plot or any story that was not specifically outlined in the script. tDB: 1n 1983, Return of the Jedi was the New York Times best-selling book of the year, topping the charts in both hardback and soft cover at the same time. This was unprecedented. Is there any chance you could novelize the JJ Abrams reboot of Star Wars? KAHN: Maybe an outside shot. I’ve thrown my hat into the ring. I’d love to be able to do it but I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to get that gig. tDB: Have you given any thought to revisiting your trilogy and writing an additional book? Given the advancements in digital technology, are you tempted to pitch the trilogy as a film or television series? KAHN: Actually, I tried to get them made when I first wrote them but I was universally told they would be way too expensive. The technology was not up to what it needed to be to make a good-looking movie and the budget would have been way too high. Things have changed so much. Digital technology has become so much cheaper and so much better that I think they are makeable now. I actually started rereleasing them. The first two have been rereleased and the third will be released next year. tDB: You’ve had a voluminous career as a TV writer and producer. With the renaissance in television featuring high quality and extremely popular productions, have you given any thought to jumping back into television? KAHN: I completely agree that a huge amount of acting and writing talent has shifted into television in recent years. Personally I feel like I had a long, twenty year run in tele- vision and I’m tired of that process. With one exception, and that is writing in general is a very solitary kind of occupation. It can get lonely. One of the wonderful things about television writing is the writer’s room. Five or six or seven writers get together everyday and make up stories together. It’s exhilarating and you get to talk to people who love the same kinds of things you do and you talk about words and dialogue and character development and you also talk about your lives and politics and culture. It’s a terrific experience and the one thing I miss most about television is writing. The other things I don’t miss so much. I don’t miss having to go into work early and stay late everyday. I’m feeling more like a retired gentleman in that respect now. tDB: You recently produced a film called The Bet for The Community Film Studio of Santa Barbara. The film recently won the best feature award at The Femme International Film Festival. What’s the story behind this film? KAHN: The Community Film Studio of Santa Barbara is something I helped found about two years ago. It’s a non-profit organization. It’s based on the idea of community theatre except instead of putting on little local stage productions, the idea was to make feature films. It’s basically pulling together completely community volunteers to cast it, to crew it, to do the lighting, to do everything about it. We cast it literally on Craigslist from all the people in the community. We charged twenty-five dollars to join and got members from all demographics. It was a completely enthusiastic group of people who knew nothing about how to make a movie. Fortunately in Santa Barbara there are many Hollywood refugees … people who have worked in Hollywood for a long time and do know what they are doing. I headed up the writing committee and we solicited local scripts. I gave notes to a local writer through six or seven drafts of a script until we had a shooting script. There was a lighting department person. We got a first time cinematographer who prior to this had been just camera operator. The director was Finola Hughes who’s a long time Hollywood actress and a star in General Hospital now. She’d never directed a feature but she’d been around the process a long time. I’d produced a lot of television but I’d never produced a feature film before so I produced this one. It was a tremendous experience and took us about nineteen days to shoot. The total budget all in for everything, for development, shooting, production, post-production, editing, music, marketing and distribution was sixty thousand dollars. tDB: Wow, that’s almost unheard of. KAHN: We sent it out to film festivals and we got best film award. These are all amateur actors but because Finola, who’s an actress herself, directed it, she was able to really get some performances out of these amateurs. tDB: Probably some real naturalistic performances . . . KAHN: Very naturalistic and yet it still looks like a Hollywood movie . . . a real professional job. tDB: You guys might make some money. Is it going to On Demand and DVD? KAHN: It will. We’re in talks now with some distributors to put it in Redbox and get it on Amazon and ITunes and Netflix. Now we’re also starting the process of looking around and seeing what our next film is going to be. tDB: Despite a multitude of long and successful careers – ER doc, novelist, TV writer and producer – you have now come full circle back to music, an interest you had as a child and young man. What brought you back? KAHN: As I grew up I never stopped playing music for myself. I played in rock and roll bands here and there in college and some jazz trios playing local parties. I got married and had kids and would make up songs and sing them to sleep and the family would have sing along gettogethers. But it was always again like writing was originally whereas I never had any thought that it would be serious in terms of a career or making money. It was just something I did from my heart. As all these other things have come to pass I found that I was really missing having music more in my life. I started taking guitar lessons with a woman in town here named Kate Wallace who was a Nashville recording artist herself some years ago. I played a couple of songs for her and she said “those are great I have to connect you with David West.” David is another long time recording artist who also lives here in Santa Barbara and has his own recording studio. Dave was the front man for the Cache Valley Drifters. They toured for twenty years and backed up Kate Wolf among others. He’s toured with Chris Hillman and all kinds of people. He’d gotten tired of being on the road so he settled down and opened a studio. I went to his studio and played a couple of my songs and he thought they were great and that I should record them. I started recording them and I realized that this was something that was a very meaningful experience for me. I started writing a lot of new songs at that point and ended up feeling like in my heart that music writing, both lyrically and musically, was closer to my soul than almost any other writing that I’d ever done. tDB: So that led to Waterline, your first production. KAHN: Exactly. tDB: It seems with Waterline you were writing from more of a personal perspective whereas on your current project your lyrics are more of Tom Waits storyteller style characterization. KAHN: The first one was much more personal and autobiographical with heartfelt folksongs. The second one was more of a craft kind of thing. tDB: You’ve been a successful writer your whole life. What do you find to be the biggest challenge and the most rewarding aspects of writing lyrics? KAHN: Very different. I love it partly because it feels more like wordplay. It’s much more related to poetry. You have to put a kind of tone and feeling that has a lot of depth into a very few number of words. You have to find just the right way to craft a phrase or a sentence to reveal a number of layers of what’s going on. It’s a very different kind of form from novel writing, for example, where you can just blather on and on for as long as you want. tDB: On Waterline you have a lyric that states “Thought I was a loner, I was just alone”. I found that to be an interesting sentiment, as many creative people perceive themselves as “loners” seeing as it takes thousands of hours of solo practice to gain sufficient skill at any instrument. Writing also requires solitude. But this pursuit can leave you alone and on the margins. What was the inspiration for this title track? KAHN: I think it’s everything you’re describing. I spent a lot of my life feeling like a loner and an outsider. At varying times, I felt like a nerd or a geek and sometimes like an outcast. I would tend to save my soul during those periods by going inward and making up stories and it felt like it was kind of cool to be a loner in a way but the realization that I was really alone was a turning point. It took the love of a good woman to bring me out of that. tDB: One of the songs on Waterline, “Gone One Day” touched me deeply. I assume you were writing this about your children? KAHN: Absolutely. That was a song I gave to her on her seventh birthday. Singing it to her on her birthday made her cry so badly she made me swear not to sing it to her again because it made her too sad. I talked to her about it just recently again and she said remembering thinking to herself on her seventh birthday that she’d never be five again. It was very personal and very specific to her and it makes me cry when I sing it. It’s a special song to me and always has been. tDB: Your follow-up to Waterline is titled A Man Walks into a Bar. Can you talk about the marvelous concept you had for this CD? KAHN: I had written a few songs about people in bars. I guess I just like bars. I started thinking about a concept album where every song was about someone in this same bar on the same night and how all their stories interlaced and interacted and see if I could find an overlying story that drew them altogether at the end. So with that in mind, I went ahead and wrote a half dozen more songs to fulfill that concept. tDB: Very interesting slices of life can be found in any number of bars like this so the concept that you created with each song illustrating a character is brilliant. The video for the song “Dolores Quits Dancing” has won some awards and is beautifully shot – languid and cinematic. Do you have more videos planned? KAHN: My idea initially was to do a video for every song and somehow connect them all into a single piece and that’s kind of one of the plans at the moment but I’m so busy with so many things right now I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to actually activate that plan. tDB: I heard through the grapevine that you recently had the privilege of working with Janiva Magness, a blues songstress extraordinaire. KAHN: She was great. It was great working with her. There’s a song that I had already recorded for A Man Walks Into a Bar and I rewrote it to be sung by a woman in a Bessie Smith blues style. I’m involved in a feature film project now that’s set in the 40’s that’s going to be set in a number of different cabarets and bars and nightclubs. It’s going to have some blues and swing music and I hope to incorporate this song into the film. tDB: There was a recent announcement that you have signed an exclusive management agreement with Collective Evolution. You are moving into yet another chapter in a long “storied” career. In closing, is there anything you would like to share about your upcoming plans, in any medium, with our readers? KAHN: The great problem with life is that it’s like a cafeteria. You’ve got a tray and you are walking down this line and you see all this great food and you keep piling it on your tray. Eventually it’s full and you have to make decisions about what to do. My wonderful problem is that there are so many different things that I’m involved with and interested in doing and that it’s always a challenge to figure out what to bring up next. I’m getting involved in feature films now both writing and producing. I’m hoping to direct a feature some time next year. I want to get more involved in music. I want to get my music out there and work with other songwriters and recording artists as well. I’ve got a novel coming out in the middle of next year – a reincarnation thriller that I’m just finishing writing right now as well as the third re-release of my science fiction trilogy. There’s a lot going on. tDB: You have so many varied talents that it’s exciting to follow your career at this point to see what you do next. Heather Moody and The TVX Group: Refining the Model www.tvxgroup.com re·fine verb 1. remove impurities or unwanted elements, typically as part of an industrial process. Heather Moody is about as down to earth as it gets in the music business, and a good example of how fundamental values can still be part of new concepts. Her company, The TVX Group, is doing just that. They are not reinventing the wheel, just redefining where and how it rolls. And that takes a buy-in from everyone involved; artists included. In fact, it’s safe to say that those relationships, and the ownership and participation that come with it, create the core to her business, rather than just being idealistic icing on the same old cake. In a music business that continues to change with every new app and digital platform, and is then greatly affected by the reactions and adjustments made by the players in the game, the domino effect is happening in real time. We are continually challenged to find new ways to look at things. What is a record deal? What do artists need today? How are those needs redefined by the current economic climate and technology advancements? How can a company that is in the business of investing in and promoting artists be involved in a way that makes sense? These are questions that by Kenny Lamb not only need answering, but need to be asked in the first place. It takes boldness to question the existing models. It takes follow through and execution to make the answers to those questions come to life. Heather Moody has been asking the right questions for many years. “I’ve had to figure it out.” she says. With humble beginnings in East Tennessee, and a dream of starting a business, Heather started a clothing store with her mother, Sharon, to whom she gives much credit. “Mama grew up in a poor family, the youngest of 12 kids. She is a survivor. I’ve learned so much from her, and those things have helped me along the way.” Their store was called The Refinery, and it grew from a small space and one register to a successful business that eventually sold in 2008. “There were some articles about it in business journals, and that’s when Gaylord Entertainment came knocking.” It was there where she began working in the Strategic Alliances Deptartment of Gaylord, starting as the new salesperson, and ultimately leaving as director of the department, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, and after achieving growth of 30 million in sponsorships and brand alliances. “It was a great experience, and being around the Opry was amazing.” As new opportunities presented themselves, Heather was approached by Kye Fleming, a Country Music Hall Of Fame Songwriter, to check out a group she was working with and to consider managing them. The group was Eden’s Edge, and Heather accepted. This new role led to her and Kye accomplishing the difficult task of landing a record deal for an artist, and experiencing the success of Eden’s Edge signing a deal with Big Machine Records. Over time Heather knew she had reached the point she needed to step down from that role, and move into new ventures. “I was receiving a lot of calls at that juncture to manage other artists,” she says. “There were some big names interested, but I just didn’t find what seemed like the right fit. Then I got a call from Mindy Smith, and it soon became apparent that I was going to work with her.” She states. “Beyond her great talent and the success she has already had, I could tell there was something genuine in her that made me believe in what we could do. Relationships are first for me, business is second.” Heather convinced me when she said that. I’ve heard that said before, but with Heather you can’t help but feel what you see is what you get. And to that point, her label is structuring deals that reflect that concept. “Master ownership has always been controlled by the labels. I believe we need to see master ownership being something that Artists can be part of, for all the right reasons.” This “ownership”, in both senses of the word, creates an environment that is team based; participation and decision making are part of conversations that are directed toward the common good of all involved. A respected business associate of mine once asked me if I knew the definition of a good deal. I could think of many possible answers, but the answer he was guiding me to was this: when all parties involved equally benefit, and would do it again. I love that. It’s a simple concept, but it’s clear to see how entitlement and power can create swayed models that keep control in the hands of the powerful. It is a ubiquitous, deep-rooted part of business, politics and culture, and in music it greatly affects recording artists, producers, and the songwriters who are at the foundation that supports the entire industry. It takes courage to invest time and money into something you believe in and keep it fair, resisting the temptation to be part of the problem. It takes teams that care about each other, and can remember what matters at the end of the day. “We all just want to do what we love to do, and be happy. If that results in the ability to serve oth- ers as we desire to then we have accomplished the goal.” It is obvious that TVX is a reflection of the people behind it. It’s a refreshing model that seems to hold firm to the beliefs of its founder and its staff, as well as the artists that fit with their vision. At TVX, master ownership resides with the artist, and their partnership with Mindy Smith is a clear representation of that concept. Mindy created her own “label”, which she fittingly named Giant Leap, and then licenses the masters to TVX, creating a joint venture. Mindy seems to be an example of the kind of artists that are doing well and can make things connect where others struggle. The talent needs to be there. That should be a given. But the motivation, the work ethic, the marketing mentality, and all of those intangibles that give an artist an edge, that’s the tipping point. I believe as we continue to see more music companies team with those kinds of artists in these ways, it will begin to shape the landscape more clearly. The indecisive chaos we see in the business now is leaning more and more towards the proven mechanisms of an industry in motion. More responsibility lies with the artist. But that can be an empowering feeling. It can take some time for an artist to reach a point where they can make good decisions, and have the skill set to do these things. And if you can’t do them, you need someone around you who can. That can take leaps of faith and trust that doesn’t always pan out. So experience is a denominator that has no replacement. Mindy is not only a very talented singer and songwriter, but her previous experience and releases on Vanguard Records have also given her a foundation of knowledge on a 360 level that gives her the ability to have a voice in all aspects of her career. Getting to that point is great, but it takes time for most new artists to get there. You’ve got to just jump into the arena and find your way with the smartest, most passionate approach you can, and know that it’s a journey. If you truly love to sing and entertain people, or write songs that will move someone, that journey is worth the effort. I spoke with Heather about some of the tools she is using for marketing and promotions. “Our relationship with Airplay Direct has been an important cog in the wheel. It greatly affects our goals in marketing, airplay, and exposure. We see the results.” Heather says. “It’s a great tool for labels and artists to do a lot of meaningful things through one platform.” I asked Heather what her views were on the heated topic of Pandora and Spotify, and the kinds of models they represent. “We try to use all elements available to help reach fans. Some of the problems that come with them are something you just have to work with”. She makes a good point. I think we all can see the good in these great new technologies and outlets for talent, and the ease and convenience we cannot ignore. The awareness, legislation, and fair royalty share for songwriters and artists will be an ongoing point of contention that must be worked out. Fairness seems to be joined at the hip with proportion and value. If fairness is the bar, then the proportionate sharing of royalties is the only answer. They come together. I will leave it there and save that for a future article. That’s another story. Moving forward, The TVX Group will continue to do much of the same. “We want to grow our relationships and reach more fans with the music.” I asked Heather what kind of artists appeal to TVX. “Artists that are true to themselves and their art. They are dedicated and ready to work. They are genuine, and want to move someone.” Heather said with a convincing tone, “Right now we are focusing on our work with Mindy and are enjoying the ride.” It’s easy to see that The TVX Group has a vision that defines its culture and creates its Modus Operandi. The effort and perseverance that goes into that vision will most certainly define its success. With achievements and successful milestones already being reached, I have a feeling we will continue to hear more great things from the TVX label. I like to root for the good guys. The “figure it out” mentality that starts at the top, and is supported by the right team members that reflect those abilities and beliefs is a force that’s hard to beat. A lot of ideas and companies will come and go, but the survivors will be the ones to not only stay in the mix, but grow and prosper as we enter into more unknowns ahead with the music industry. A Stranger Look: Lives of Strangers AirPlayDirect.com/TheHelloStrangers by Elsie Sycamore For the past several issues, The Direct Buzz has been following Americana duo The Hello Strangers, chronicling their AirPlay Direct “Win An Americana Record Deal” contest win in 2012, and their subsequent trip to Nashville this past October to record with Steve Ivey at Sound Kitchen Studios. Sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith have come a long way since 2012, with Larissa’s new baby, all new band members, and now, a longawaited debut album on the way. As we await the album release planned for early 2014, The Direct Buzz wanted to delve deeper into the lives of the sisters and explore (dare we say pry into?) the array of emotions surrounding the buildup to their album release. The Direct Buzz (tDB): Let’s dive right in. What would you say have been the most daunting aspects of your experience thus far since winning the AirPlay Direct contest in 2012? Larissa Chace Smith (LS): Well the first initial shock was of course winning the contest and realizing that our hobbyist relationship with music was about to change and we were no longer going to be the only ones pushing our careers forward. Suddenly, we were paired up with complete strangers who were going to help us release and promote our album. There was a new level of responsibility and obligation attached to our music and careers, along with excitement, joy and pride, of course. Brechyn and I both had our moments at first where we felt that we wouldn’t be able to handle it all, whatever “it all” was, especially since I was 6 months pregnant. There were so many unknowns, and there still are today. But that’s the thrill of it. Brechyn Chace (BC): Yes, we have definitely had our freak-out moments along the way. But the great thing about being in a partnership with your sibling is that you can each take turns coaching each other and putting things into perspective. Each of us has our breaking points and different anxiety triggers, so you just have to take one day or dilemma at a time. Our dilemmas back then involved how we were going to pay a lawyer and how Larissa was going to be able to work around having a baby. Today, the biggest anxiety is, “Will our album be well received by the music industry and consumers at large?” Not the worst problem to have, I suppose! tDB: Give us a glimpse into what your daily trials and joys look like at this moment, just a few months before VISIT HELLOMUSIC.COM your album release. BC: Larissa and I both manage many things at once right now, including our own “day job” businesses and managing the band entirely by ourselves. I think one of the biggest things we struggle with is how to best manage our time. What is the most important thing that we can do in a given day? That’s not always an easy decision to make because most of the time, everything is important. New merch needs to be ordered, band rehearsals, booking, getting paid, and then add to the mix recording this album with Steve and working on the ins and outs of the release with AirPlay Direct. That stuff is even more pressing. It’s quite the balancing act. We’re not 20 anymore. We have lives, a child, dogs, significant others, houses, so all of that must be balanced everyday. LS: Some days I wonder if the modern world we live in is a boon for artists or a hindrance. I mean, I could spend the entire small window of time I have while my son naps just getting through emails and working on social media. And then I think, what did I just accomplish? Technology-driven business is so intangible, and can be very unsatisfying. But on the flip side, you have Skype and Google Chat, which is how we often communicate with Steve. I can be in the comfort of my own home in Pennsylvania discussing tracks that Steve is working on in Nashville. So there are definitely pros and cons to the way the music industry and running a business work these days. tDB: Let’s take a little trip to the “dark side.” At this moment, what are your greatest fears? BC: Well, I could say “I’m afraid to fail,” but it’s never that simple, is it? How do you benchmark success or failure? I guess on a basic level, one of my fears is somehow disappointing myself and everyone involved in this process. There is definitely a lot at stake at this point in the game. A lot of time and energy has been put into our album, not just by ourselves, but by Steve and everyone at AirPlay Direct. Sometimes, it’s very scary and daunting if you think too hard about it. LS: Yeah, what if our album is a total flop? I mean, you can pat yourself on the back just for getting this far and making an album with a Nashville producer, but in the end, that’s just not good enough. We haven’t come this far on our own, and now with the team we’re working with, to see it all come tumbling down. Myriad fears run through my head every day, but in the end you just have to have faith in what you’re doing. It’s definitely scary sticking your neck out there like we’re about to do when this album comes out. We’ll never have the opportunity to release a debut album again, so we have to make it count. tDB: Now, tell us some of the things you are most excited about with the release of this album. What are some of your hopes and dreams? LS: I’ve never wanted anything more than to be a full-time professional musician, so it would be a dream come true if this album could propel us to that point. I really believe we have something unique to offer, and hope the album will give our songwriting a chance to be heard by a larger audience of listeners. As easy as it is to fear the un- known, at this point I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come. BC: I am really excited to hear the finished product, to have something to hold in our hands, and to hear what our combined inputs with Steve have come together to make. I’m excited to see what avenues open up for us now that we will have a professionally produced album and more of a support system through AirPlay Direct. No matter what happens, we’re still going to be super proud of everything we’ve done so far. And we’ll be forever grateful that we were even given this opportunity in the first place. The Direct Buzz offers reviews by a team of professional music critics. Any AirPlay Direct artist or label interested in being considered for a review should contact us. Choose three songs from your DPK, and we’ll give you our opinion of them. We can’t guarantee a rave review, but we can assure you that it will be honest and constructive. We will try to honor all requests, but it might take awhile. As such, your patience is appreciated. Skydog: The Duane Driftwood Allman Retrospective Pushin’ Against a Stone Scott Holstein Cold Coal Town AirPlayDirect.com/DuaneAllman AirPlayDirect.com/driftwood AirPlayDirect.com/ScottHolstein Once upon a time rock and roll was raw, pure, and powerful. Very few artists of any era have understood this as clearly as Duane Allman did. The highly influential guitarist accomplished more before his untimely death at age 24 than most musicians achieve in a lifetime. Even more impressive is the fact that there was no sign of him slowing down until his fatal motorcycle crash in 1971. “Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective” is a superb collection of his work not only with The Allman Brothers Band, but also numerous session recordings and earlier projects. “One Way Out” (AAB) and “Layla” (Derek and the Dominos) are songs even the most casual fan will be familiar with already. However, the most rewarding moments are found on lesser known cuts where Allman was sitting in with great artists like Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Lulu, and The Grateful Dead. What is most interesting about this collection is that you can hear Duane come into his own as a musician progressively. While his early projects like the Escorts and The Allman Joys flirt with psychedelic rock, he masterfully evolves into playing blues rock, soul, and jazz. Ryan Smith Driftwood has been compared to Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers, which is accurate as far as core instrumentation (guitar, banjo, upright bass). But Driftwood is much more than another Americana clone, with a unique compositional sensibility and female violinist/singer Claire Byrne covering the high harmonies. On their self-titled new album (their third), the band continues to grow in terms of songwriting and tightening up their sound. Hailing from New York’s Southern Tier region, Driftwood brings to mind Iowa minimalist William Elliott Whitmore and the Old Crow Medicine Show, but also incorporates the influence of another New Yorker, avant-garde innovator Steve Reich. Byrne can shred on her instrument and while the other band members aren’t exactly virtuosos, they do know what to play to make a good song even better. When singer/guitarist Dan Forsyth sings I know who I am and I know what I want on “The Sun’s Going Down,” he obviously means it, with the statement backed up by rocksolid rhythm and smart vocal harmony arrangements. This band is just hitting its stride, and is an act to watch for at next summer’s Americana festivals. Rick Moore The best records so often come from artists who sing and write about what they truly know best. They let the rest of the world in on their experiences, surroundings, and the tribulations of their environment. When it’s done right, everyone can relate to situations that they may have never experienced themselves. Such is the case with Scott Holstein’s debut album, “Cold Coal Town.” Holstein is able to sing with authority on the subject matter of his new record; he grew up in the back hollows and hills of Appalachia, and his family’s history in coal mining provides him the inspiration for many of these songs that shine with authenticity. “Cold Coal Town” tackles subjects like the disaster experienced by coalmining community Buffalo Creek in which many victims lost their lives due to an unsafe coal sludge dam. With the track “Clinch Mountain Hills,” he tips his hat to The Stanley Brothers who were major influences on his own music. Throughout the album, Holstein sings from the heart with integrity and sincerity. After backing up other musicians for years, it’s high time for Scott Holstein to find an audience all his own! Ryan Smith PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING Let Us Tell Your Story... PROFESSIONAL CREATIVITY INTEGRITY By Mark Logsdon Local... Low Hanging Fruit Ok, so you’ve got music recorded and it’s available to radio programmers around the globe on AirPlay Direct. Congratulations on your perseverance and persistence for moving forward with your dreams! Let’s take a closer look at your local community. What gigs are you missing? Who are you forgetting to network with? Are you overlooking sales? Gig a Little Love! 1. Local Radio Stations – While AirPlay Direct opens you up to a worldwide audience, your local radio station is an asset you have right in your back yard. In addition to playing the latest hits and keeping you updated on weather and news, it also keeps a calendar of events and is the most common sponsor of activities in your community. Remember those, “We’re live from the Honey Fest [insert name of your local festival] broadcast from your childhood.” The station serves as a great contact database for local events and often books the live entertainment. 2. Community Cafes and Restaurants – Now the chain restaurants are often a hard door to open due to their corporate policies and handbooks. However, your local coffee shops and restaurants are a great opportunity to share your tunes. Even if the location isn’t offering a live music night, share a promo kit and make a suggestion. No matter how successful the establishment is, every location has a slower night. Offer a trial period to get the event started and play for tips for a while be- fore you ask for a guarantee once you have a regular audience. Net-twerking 1. Department of Tourism/Convention and Visitors Bureau – Every community, no matter how small, will have a local tourism manager. I was reared in a town that probably had more cows than people and we even had a tourism office. This person or department is in constant contact with event leaders and companies throughout your community. It’s important that you are on their radar, not only to gather the bigger booking opportunities like fairs and festival, but often company and community celebrations will request entertainment even for small in office gatherings. 2. Community Groups and Organizations – Any membership oriented organization is an audience that can become yours if you work it correctly. Pick groups and organization that make sense for your sound. Christian and religious music has an extensive list of churches and community organizations to which you can become involved with. Pop and rock always tends to resonate with teens and young adults; consequently, find youth service centers and community leaders that run parks and popular hangs. It’s all about targeting your audience and working to make those that are influential in that market your own brand ambassadors. It’s the same reason that major brands find celebrity and high profile product endorsers; you will just be working it at a grassroots level. Store-y Bored 1. Gas and Service Stations – The album or CD isn’t just sold at a music store or big box center anymore. You have to be creative and make your product available to the customer nearly everywhere they shop. I actually prefer to buy my CDs or download cards at an alternative location because it makes me feel like I’m rewarding a local artist for being aggressive in their marketing. Finding outlets that have a connection to your music is even smarter. If you’ve got songs about driving or gassing up, then it’s going to make your pitch to the business owner even better. 2. Car and Auto Sales – Every town has at least one. They love building relationships with the community as they rely on repeat business and an emotional connection between you and the salesperson to bring you back. What better way to make that connection than championing a local act! The lot may even become a potential place to have a gig. Write about his or her brand and you have an extra edge coming in. Bring him a song about a competing brand and you’ll get the door shut quickly, so pitch smart. How would you like every new car owner driving home with you CD in the player? It can happen. 3. Barbers and Hair Salons – When you’re in the chair, you aren’t going anywhere until your barber or stylist is finished. Often they have music playing in the back ground and have you ever asked to see if they would play yours? I bet you haven’t. Do you want to make new fans? Then offer the salon a free download card or single for a promo period and offer the full CD at the counter. If you establish a strong enough relationship with the staff, you’ll have personal brand ambassadors spreading the best marketing (word of mouth). You simply can’t get better than that. Here’s what I hope you will take away. Every artist that didn’t score it big on some competition or reality program started just like you. You have to find your core audience and simply hit the ground running to build a community of followers. Is it easy? No, not at all! Is it possible? Yes! So get off the social media page and stop soliciting fans of bands you like and go make some old fashion, face-to-face relationships! THREE QUESTIONS FOR RADIO by Fred Boenig This month on “Three Questions” we interviewed Bill Frater, Americana Music Director KRCB and Weekend DJ from Santa Rosa, CA. AirPlay Direct (APD): What is your station I.D., and how long have you worked there? Bill Frater (BF): I volunteer at KRCB in Sonoma County CA. It’s a public station and we’ve just been changing weekday format from classical to an Americana/Rock/ Folk mix that’s working very well for us so far. I’ve been on the air there doing a weekly Americana show since they’ve been on the air, which is about 18 years. APD: How long have you been a member of AirPlay Direct and why do you use AirPlay Direct? BF: I’ve been a member of AirPlay for maybe 2 years. I find it to be pretty easy to use and a good way to get a track or album right away. APD: Tips for Independent artists on AirPlay Direct, one tip on what not to do with release page and songs and one tip what you should do with release page and songs. BF: Don’t write too long of a bio, even if you’re awesome. We just don’t have the time to read it all. Let your music do the talking! THESE ARE THE 4 WINNERS OF tDB JANUARY ISSUE “BUZZ ABOUT YOU” ARTIST CONTEST. Patrick Sassone Blues / Blues Rock Patrick Sassone is an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician whose unique style has been best described as “Patrick’s Blues”. Incorporating his many musical influences, he has developed his own blues identity. Patrick’s newly released album titled “Coming Home” testifies to that fact. He keeps his instrumentation clean, letting the vocals and lyrics tell the story. Patrick’s music takes your emotions for a roller coaster ride, so hold on tight! --------------------------------------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/PatrickSassone --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kevin Haynes Shantell Ogden David Bradley Mau AAA / Soul / Acoustic Americana / Alt. country / Acoustic Cont. Christian - Christian Rock Kevin Haynes and Matt Kupcso are a dynamic acoustic soul duo. Kevin & Matt bring something a little different to the world by putting a fresh blues, soul and rock spin on a simple but powerful acoustic set up. Their EP showcases the raw talent of Kevin’s vocals and Matt’s guitar instincts. The album is an intimate collection of tunes that discuss Kevin’s journey of love, life and spiritual experiences. Shantell Ogden’s songs have been recorded by multiple artists and have received airplay on over 145 commercial country stations nationwide. Four of her songs were featured on the CW’s popular TV series Hart of Dixie and another was included in the feature film Storm Rider. Shantell has released three acclaimed independent albums, including her new album Better at Goodbye. Shantell and her albums received press in Maverick Magazine (UK) and Performer Magazine. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/ShantellOgden -------------------------------------------- David Bradley Mau has been singing & playing around this country for over 20 years. His writing style has been described as “ Deeply passionate, soulfully revealing and instantly connective”. David has now teamed up with Multi-Platinum Songwriter and Producer Kenny Lamb; and is part of SongDriven Christian Vol. #1, which contains 2 of Dave’s newest tracks, “You Are My God” & “I See Your Face”. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/KevinHaynes... -------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/DavidBradley -------------------------------------------- Janine Lutz: “Body Mechanics Wellness Foundation” By Fred Boenig The Direct Buzz (tDB): Janine please share with us a little about Body Mechanics Wellness Foundation. Janine Lutz (JL): Body Mechanics Wellness Foundation We are a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting all populations, focusing on the underserved communities, to improve health and fitness levels and to reduce obesity and degenerative disease symptoms. We admire and respect the incredible sacrifice our servicemen and women make for this country. Proceeds from sales go towards helping us achieve our goal of providing events to raise community consciousness and coherence while contributing to services and programs that assist our soldiers with overcoming hurdles associated with Post-Traumatic Stress from war. tDB: You have a personal understanding of this issue of PTSD, would you share that story with us? JL: On January 12th of 2013, my son Johnny took his own life after battling PTSD for 1 ½ years after returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. tDB: We are so sorry; could you tell us a bit about Johnny? JL: September 11, 2001 we all remember that day. This was when my son John decided he was going to join the War on Terror and 5 years later October 31, 2006 the Unites States Marine Corps picked him up from my home at 5:30am to ship him off to Parris Island. It was 6 months later that I went to my son’s graduation and I saw the transformation of my18 year old son turn into a United States Marine. This was truly a proud moment for our entire family. Johnny could converse with a child of 3 or a 90 year old as he was well versed in many subjects. He believed in equal rights and would have given you the shirt off his back. We were very close and he shared many things with me, just being with him made my heart smile. A fond memory I have was when I was at Camp Lejeune hanging out with his brothers who were injured in Iraq, we were waiting for the rest of 2/8 to return. These Marines knew I was a Marine mom and that’s all that mattered, as Marines love all Marine Moms. After about an hour of cutting up and just plain fun one of the Marine’s said, “I know who you are your Lutz’s mom! You are just like him.” I smiled and said, “Yes I am” but corrected him and said, “No Johnny is just like me”. It was exactly one year to the day that he was deployed to Iraq 2007 and served six months there. He came home to the states stationed at Camp Lejeune and soon deployed to Afghanistan the summer of 2009 where our men endured sheer hell with 142 degree temperatures, no water and no food. They were dropped by helicopter so far south in uncharted territory that the caravans with supplies of water, food and ammo could not reach them because they kept getting blown up. Most of the men lost 30 to 40 lbs. There were many sick with heat dehydration and the heat would actually melt their watches. I received calls from my son and could hear artillery in the background, I said, “Johnny is that gun fire?’ He said, “Mom we are at war”. I said “I know, I just never heard that when you were in Iraq.” I stayed at home when my son was deployed as I couldn’t risk missing a call from him. tDB: As a mother that must be a horrifying experience. Once Johnny got home what happened? JL: In the summer of 2009 Johnny lost 14 of his brothers and America lost 14 sons from 2/8. 2/8 is referred to as America’s Battalion so therefore I am a Mother of America’s Battalion. When my son returned I immediately recognized he was different. The Johnny that left for Afghanistan did not come home. He returned with blankness in his eyes. Something inside my precious son had died in Afghanistan. When he was home I noticed that once the sun went down all windows had to be locked and curtains closed. The other thing I remember is that he was not able to make any decisions. I understood this as he was trained to follow orders so he hadn’t thought for himself for three and a half years. So I would push him at times to tell me what he wanted for dinner or have him choose what movie we would watch. When we would go out he would be hyper vigilant looking at every person and watching their hands and was always ready to defend. If someone bumped into him totally accidentally, his reaction would be to yell at that person. When I say yell it was a yell that would make your entire body shudder with fear. I would try and talk with him but he didn’t see it like that, he saw it as a threat or maybe it took him back to the battlefield. The Veterans Administration had him on about 17 different medications which I knew could not be good for his body or mind. The biggest problem was that he couldn’t sleep and when he did the nightmares were so vivid. One night he dreamt that there was an IED blast and his buddy had gotten blown up next to him and the carnage was all over his body. Once he awoke he got in the shower to rinse off all the blood but there was no blood only sweat. June 2006 the VA gave him a drug called Klonopin and one week later my son made his first attempt at suicide. He was found remarkably just as he breathed his last breath. I flew out the next day to find him in ICU with the breathing tube down his throat not knowing what he would be like when he awoke. We got through this and John went to an inpatient treatment facility for about 30 days and it was great because he was surrounded by other combat veterans that were dealing with the same stuff. He was surrounded by empathy not sympathy, which I believe is important in all areas of life. He had an empathetic connection. The Marines moved him into Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Lejeune. tDB: Did your son have access to a service dog? JL: He acquired a service dog that was trained to wake him from his nightmares, calm him when anxious, and stand between him and an unknown. John stayed in the Marine Corps for another year and was medically retired in November 2011 with a diagnosis of severe Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. John and his “things” were pretty good in the beginning; his dog Kobe was really a big help. John worked with me at my family’s manufacturing facility and also did some deliveries for us. He never told me no, it was always “ok mom”. The summer of 2012 my two sons and I traveled to Colorado and Tennessee to visit with family and we also went white water rafting in both states. This empowered us as a family. The rapids ahead were roaring in between the boulders, we faced that together and we made it through. I truly felt we could make it through anything. I’ll never forget how the three of us cheered when we made it through without the boat tipping. We returned home and John started falling into a depression after the break up with his girlfriend. The sadness he felt was a trigger that had awoken all those painful feelings from the loss of • • • • • • • • • all his brothers in Afghanistan. He started isolating himself and not showing an interest in things he usually enjoyed. He even started to separate himself from his service dog. I couldn’t get him to do anything. On January 1st, 2013 he was crying and scared, asked me to lock up his meds and all the guns. I did immediately. We talked through this and I gave him his meds as needed. He went to the VA and they gave him 14 Klonopin again and 90 pills of Morphine and eight days later my son was dead. I found out about the VA visit after my son’s death. He was never supposed to get Klonopin as the side effect is suicide and he experienced that in 2010. tDB: The tragic event of the loss of your son has inspired you to find a way to help. What is your mission? JL: I must now “Fight For Those Who Fought For Us” I have talked to so many Veterans who are alone and hurting and feel shame about their Post Traumatic Stress. I say there is no shame in it; the only shame is living in silence with it. tDB: How is Body Mechanics Wellness Foundation planning on helping? JL: I’m planning on the “1st Annual LCpl Janos V Lutz PTSD Ride” on the anniversary date of my beloved son’s death in Davie, FL. It is important to learn about PTSD so you can understand why it happened, how it is treated and what you can do to help. Raising public awareness will lead to further advancement in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. tDB: Has your local community been supportive? JD: Incredibly, the Town of Davie, FL just presented me with a proclamation that Sunday January 12 2014 is LCpl Janos V Lutz PTSD Awareness Day. The community support has been amazing, both locally and nationally- it’s just the beginning of a series of “Awareness Rides” that will take place around the country. TDB: Has the music community become involved? JL: Yes Soldier Hard from Redcon-1, an Iraqi Veteran, who is the voice of our Veterans will be performing live at the event. It is his song “Red Flags” that inspired me to have this event. I didn’t know that my son was showing me all the red flags when a Veteran has chosen suicide. I know now and I’m going to share that information with everyone I can. tDB: Could you share a few of the signs of “PTSD” with us? JL: A wide variety of symptoms may be signs you are experiencing PTSD: • Feeling upset by things that remind you of what happened • Having nightmares, vivid memo- ries, or flashbacks of the event that make you feel like it’s happening all over again Feeling emotionally cut off from others Feeling numb or losing interest in things you used to care about Becoming depressed Thinking that you are always in danger Feeling anxious, jittery, or irritated Experiencing a sense of panic that something bad is about to happen Having difficulty sleeping Having trouble keeping your mind on one thing Having a hard time relating to and getting along with your spouse, family, or friends tDB: What are the “Red Flags” you speak about? JL: My son, John, exhibited every one of the red flags listed below. I was with him through them all and did not realize he was planning to end his own life. I believe that had I known this information my precious son would be alive today. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The ripple effect of my son’s death has affected many who now suffer with the grief of his death. Suicide is the NOT the answer. The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide: • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves • Looking for a way to kill themselves • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain • Talking about being a burden to others • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly • Sleeping too little or too much • Withdrawing or isolating themselves by Rich Mahan How to use AirPlay Direct to make the most of your radio promotion • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge • Displaying extreme mood swings • Letting insurance lapse (1 month before) • Suddenly being at peace after coming out of a deep depression (one week before) • Calling friends and family just to tell them, “I love you” (the day of) tDB: What can we do to help? JL: Visit my website at www.PTSDAwarenessRide.org for more details about the event, tickets, t-shirts or if you would like to just give a donation. “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about…be kind” ~ Mother of America’s Battalion. What you can do to help: Your donation makes a difference! Please consider a tax-deductible contribution by visiting: PTSDAwarenessRide. org For more information on “Body Mechanics Wellness Foundation” & “PTSD Awareness Ride” contact: Janine Lutz PTSDAwarenessRide.org 954-445-1590 PTSDAwarenessRide@gmail.com We’re going to start the year off right by addressing some common issues that AirPlay Direct Customer Service deals with on a regular basis. Even if you’ve got a pretty good handle on running the AirPlay Direct machine, it’s always a good idea for a quick refresher course to ensure things continue to flow smoothly. Here are the top inquiries that come across the AirPlay Direct Customer Service Desk, along with the most common fix usually associated with that query. Problem #1: Artist members cannot see their songs in the player, even after they have spent the time to upload them correctly. Most common solution: This one is usually a simple fix – The AirPlay Direct player is Flash Player based, and if Adobe Flash player software is not installed on your computer, that dog just will not hunt. Upload the Flash Player software from adobe.com, it is free, it’s safe for your computer, and it will help other sites to run well on your computer too. If Flash is already installed on your computer, check to make sure you have the latest update. Problem #2: Artist Member can’t log in using their Username and Password. Most Common Solution: Make sure when you login that you do so in the proper section. AirPlay Direct has two types of members, Artists and Radio Programmers. Artists won’t be able to login in the Radio section and vice versa. Problem #3: Songs uploaded by the artist aren’t available for Radio Programmers to download. Most Common Solution: Make sure and check the box “Allow Radio Downloads” underneath where you upload your Hi-Fi song file. If the box next to “Disal- low Radio Downloads” is checked, Radio Programmers won’t be able to get your music and play it on their station. Also, check to make sure you didn’t check the “Hide song” box by mistake. Problem #4: Songs being uploaded to your AirPlay Direct profile page don’t conform to the required format, and therefore won’t upload. Most Common Solution: Make sure that your songs are formatted as 320K MP3 files. This is the only type of file that the AirPlay Direct System accepts. You can do this easily in iTunes: go to Preferences > General > Import Settings > Import Using = MP3 Encoder, Setting = Custom, Stereo Bit Rate = 320K If you do find yourself in need of technical support, read the FAQ’s first to see if your solution is there. If not, here are some helpful tips and things to include in your tech support ticket that will speed the process up and help get your issue solved quickly: • List the name on the account • List the email address on the account • Please specify whether your account is an Artist or Radio account, if radio, please notate the station call letters. • Give your inquiry a quick proof read to make sure it reads well and can be easily understood. • Please be respectful to our tech employees, they are there to assist you, and will do their best to help in a timely fashion Well that’s about it for now, all the best in 2014 to you, and may the songs flow to you like free beer at a major label industry party! 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