the Direct Buzz - October 09

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BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO The Pied Piper of Zydeco Clay Neuman Industry veteran reveals the motivation that inspired him to create an entertainment empire.

Plus: Songwriter profile with Coconut Radio How to make your radio airplay count! Global Radio Charts Featured Artists & Reviews October 2009

The Best in Blues & Roots from Alligator Records Tinsley Ellis Speak No Evil featuring “Sunlight Of Love” Add it October 5th! A phenomenal guitarist of heart-stopping intensity, Tinsley Ellis has built a huge fan base for his guitar-driven blend of hard-edged Southern rock and roadhouse blues. Speak No Evil features Tinsley’s most groove-laden playing to date, on twelve hard-hitting, soul-baring songs. A milestone album from an iconic Southern blues-rocker. “Powerful, spine-tingling guitar and gritty, soulful vocals…an inspired and passionate fusion of blues and southern rock” – Relix

Eric Lindell Gulf Coast Highway featuring “This Love Is Gonna Last” Add it September 21st! Regional cult artist turned rising national star Eric Lindell plays soul-infused, instantly memorable roots music anthems in the tradition of Van Morrison and Delbert McClinton. His infectious blend of R&B rave-ups, heartfelt ballads, New Orleans rhythms and frisky honky tonk have become a staple on AAA and Americana radio. “Passionate blue-eyed soul smothered with New Orleans funk... you’ll feel like dancing all the way down Canal Street” –Los Angeles Daily News

JJ Grey & Mofro The Choice Cuts featuring “Tupelo Honey” Add it November 2nd! “Tupelo Honey” is a newly-recorded track featuring JJ Grey on all instruments and vocals. It appears on The Choice Cuts, a vinyl-only collection of fan favorites from funky Southern rock ‘n’ soul masters JJ Grey & Mofro’s first four records. Mainstays on AAA and Americana and total road warriors who play in excess of 150 dates a year and will be on the road with Shooter Jennings through October and November. “Rich, funky swamp grooves...Celebrates life’s most fundamental joys with unforced talent and deep feeling” –New York Times

Search for more great blues and roots from Alligator artists on Airplay Direct or visit

6 Cover Buckwheat Zydeco is known as the pied piper of zydeco music. He’s not only the first zydeco artist to be signed to major label, he’s also one of the few to achieve mainstream success. In this exclusive interview, we find out how he did it and how he’s keeping zydeco relevant today.

10 Behind the Desk Clay Neuman has accomplished what many entrepreneurs can only dream about. He’s carved out a unique niche in the music business and established ground breaking companies. In this one of a kind profile, this industry veteran reveals the motivation and unique perspective that inspired him to create an entertainment empire.

22 The Indie Way Radio airplay is tough to obtain. But making it count, by getting tangible results, is even tougher. With this month’s Tips List, readers will get a step-by-step map to airplay success. We cover everything you need to know, from getting more spins to generating income in a radio market.

26 Now Media This new column explores all forms of new media and marketing strategies. In its debut, our media expert reveals his P2P past; and how the Beatles played a part in modifying his behavior. This funny, insightful and innovative addition to the Direct Buzz will be a monthly feature.

4 The Broken Poem

FROM THE PUBLISHER AirPlay Direct is pleased and excited to announce the launch of our new digital / interactive publication, the Direct Buzz. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform. We see the Direct Buzz as a “Destination” for anyone interested in general entertainment. And, although it will be music oriented, we will be bold in our exploration of pop culture, life issues and commonly shared interests. Most of all, we want to help and encourage those creative individuals who are striving to succeed in a changing world. We already have plans to introduce columns that will provide advice for those who may need help with their writing, recording or producing. Other sections will address the various needs of artists, reps and industry professionals, with videos supplying a large part of our message. We will always be a “work in progress,” because that’s life and, most certainly, it’s life in the field of entertainment. It’s a tough gig, but not an impossible one. And we think you’ll enjoy watching us grow. As the Direct Buzz evolves, it will become more interactive with every issue. In fact, we’ll be encouraging our readers to contribute content.

12 Global Radio Charts

For members of AirPlay Direct, the Direct Buzz will not only add value to their membership services, it will also give them the opportunity to let the world know about their art.

20 Featured Artists

We look forward to your comments, suggestions and thoughts. So, feel free to contact us at any time.

---------------------------------------------------------------PUBLISHER & FOUNDER: Robert Weingartz CONTENT DIRECTOR: Bernard Baur CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Clif Doyal, Dr. T. Roberts, Hans Fink, Tom Laurie, Jeanie Cunningham, Mike Hagler ART DIRECTION: Aleven Creatives ( VIDEOS: The Composers Corner


Robert Weingartz Publisher and Founder, Direct Buzz CEO, AirPlay Direct

The Broken Poem oem

a songwriter profile by Dr. T. Roberts

Coconut Radio


“Got it Good”

“Got It Good” Music and Lyrics © 2008 Steve Reeths and Sue Kittredge


oconut Radio’s music takes you to a beautiful spot on the beach where you can relax, think and ponder the joys of simple living. I discovered this acoustic duo playing in a thatched hut at a restaurant located on the coast of Florida. I was immediately drawn in by the different musical textures they created, and their honest, memorable melodies that I couldn’t get out of my head on the way home… specifically the song “Got It Good”. Meet Steve Reeths and Sue Kittredge of Coconut Radio and enjoy the vibe. The Broken Poem – “When did Coconut Radio start writing together?” Steve Reeths – “I have always written since I started playing music professionally many years ago. But for me it was always like pulling teeth. It was a very frustrating and typically unproductive process. A lot of writers can be more complex in their lyrical approach; I guess they paint with a different brush than I do. For awhile I kind of went into hibernation on writing. Then I had a break through in early 2007 when I started writing and collaborating with

my partner in Coconut Radio, Sue. Keeping it simple is important. I quickly discarded my self-edited and over-thought style for a deeper and more connected approach to the emotion in the song.” The Broken Poem - What was the genesis of the song “Got It Good”? Steve – “At that point in my life I was not real excited about what was going on with my career. We were on a road trip and I felt like I was sitting in a car going nowhere fast. I happened to be reading a book about grace. And how grace is not necessarily earned, but given as a gift. Then I started thinking about all “the bad things” that never happened to me… but easily could have.” Sue – “We had recently moved to the beach and were really starting to appreciate and enjoy life. We were also growing together and becoming comfortable with our writing style and musical sound. This song just felt good and came together in a very open and honest fashion. And most importantly, it immediately connected on an emotional level with the people we played it for.”


should be grateful/For all the bad things that never happened to me/Instead of angry for all the things that did/And if I/Took the time/To notice all the grace that came my way/Well, that would be amazing. It wasn’t easy/Looking myself in the eye/I’m done asking why. I’ve got it good, got it good/ Don’t you know I’ve got it good/I’ve got it good, got it so good/Don’t you know I’ve got it good. And when it’s cold outside/All i really need is your smile/Cause you warm up the room/Now don’t you baby/ And when I’ve got the blues/I can count on you/To put me on my knees/And bring me back to my feet. It wasn’t easy/Looking myself in the eye/I’m done asking why. I’ve got it good, got it good/ Don’t you know I’ve got it good/I’ve got it good, got it so good/Don’t you know I’ve got it good. It wasn’t easy/Looking myself in the eye/I’m done asking why. I’ve got it good, got it good/ Don’t you know I’ve got it good/I’ve got it good, got it so good/Don’t you know I’ve got it good. Don’t you know I’ve got it good/Oh yeah...


New Single "CRAZY" Follow up single to the TOP 10 Hit "Bring Me Down"

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BOOKING Jon Folk, 615-244-4336 MANAGEMENT Scott Welch Management Inc., 615-255-8649 PRESS OPPORTUNITIES Mitch Schneider Organization Angela Villaneuva, 818-380-0400 RADIO PROMOTIONS Apex: Clay Neuman, 615-297-1407 Rob Reid,

Available at Hastings and other fine retailers.

Buckwheat Zydeco The Pied Piper of Zydeco By: Bernard Baur


uckwheat Zydeco has been the ambassador for zydeco music since the 70’s. Born Stanley Dural Jr., he is one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success. But, he wasn’t always that into the genre. He grew up with it, but didn’t appreciate it until much later in life. Even more surprising, this world-renowned accordion player used to hate that instrument. What changed his mind, and how did he get to be who he is today? Well, those questions are answered in this wide-ranging, exclusive interview with the Direct Buzz. Taking a break from his tour stop in Oregon, Buckwheat Zydeco is both candid and charming in an old-world way. His stories are colorful, and his speech has a hint of the Louisiana Bayou. He was a piano prodigy and, although he was exposed to traditional zydeco as a child, he preferred more modern music, like R&B. In fact, around 1971, he formed Buckwheat & The Hitchhikers, a 16piece funk band that he led for almost 5 years. It wasn’t until 1976 that he fell under zydeco’s influence. At that time, he was recruited by Clifton Chenier to play organ in Chenier’s band. It was a

life changing experience for the young artist. Chenier was known as the “King of Zydeco,” and he became Buckwheat’s mentor. Two years later, he picked up the accordion and christened himself with his current moniker. He formed a combo called Ils Sont Partis Band, and was signed to a small record label. In 1986, he inked a deal with Island Records, which made him the first zydeco act ever signed to a major label. His band appeared in the hit movie, The Big Easy and he was nominated for a Grammy. Nonetheless, Buckwheat hopped from one label to another after that,

Alligator Records, a new album titled Lay Your Burden Down, and has joined AirPlayDirect for radio distribution. Even after all those decades of bucking the system, Buckwheat is as happy and feisty as ever, and proud of the fact that he’s introducing zydeco to a new generation. He even encourages young players to get involved and add their own touches to it. Indeed, according to Buckwheat, zydeco is still evolving and that, he believes, will keep it alive forever. the Direct Buzz (tDB): There are so many conflicting stories about your name. How did you really come by it? Buckwheat Zydeco (BZ): It actu-

“Kids are even incorporating hip-hop into zydeco. I love that.” touching down at Charisma, Warner Bros, and Atlantic. His record sales just didn’t hit the numbers the majors wanted. But, his live performances became legendary. He was, and continues to be, hugely popular as a live act, drawing crowds the world over. Today, he’s got a new deal with

ally came from “The Little Rascals” (the “Our Gang” series by Hal Roach). I grew up with six brothers and I had the wildest hair in the bunch. Around the 4th grade, kids started calling me “Buckwheat.” I guess I looked like him when I was young. Anyway, I thought it was cool. It gave me an identity, so I

stuck with it. tDB: You are one of the world’s foremost accordion players. Did you always like that instrument? BZ: I hated it… for a long, long time. My dad played the accordion. But, he played it so much, after a while, I could hardly stand listening to it. I preferred R&B music and playing the piano. It took years for me to even think about playing that instrument. I was a keyboard player. Piano and organ were my instruments. It was some time after playing with Clifton Chenier (the “King of Zydeco’) that I picked up an accordion; he changed my mind. And I haven’t put it down since. tDB: You call Chenier your mentor. What did he mean to you? BZ: Besides my parents, he was my greatest influence. Clif taught me what zydeco could be. He incorporated all these different styles of music into it, like jazz, blues and swing, and he made it all danceable. It was a real eye opener for me. My daddy was into traditional zydeco, using an accordion and washboard, but Clif made an old form of music new. He was also a great performer, and set the standard I ended up following. tDB: So, zydeco wasn’t your first love? BZ: No…it’s what I heard as a kid. I didn’t really get into it until Clif. I was an R&B cat. I loved the rhythms and beats. My first band was an R&B funk outfit, and that’s where I thought I would stay. tDB: What was the turning point for you? What made you change styles? BZ: It happened when I realized that you could blend zydeco with just about any other music. I was inspired to create something that honored the past, but also looked to the future. I wanted to add R&B and rock & roll to it, and get everybody jumpin’. tDB: You’ve been the ambassador for zydeco music since the 70’s. How do you keep it fresh?

BZ: Man, it’s always evolving. It may be an old form of music, but it’s relevant today. I just keep my ears open and my mouth shut. I like all types of music and try to incorporate something new whenever I can. As long as people can dance to it, I know I’ve done it right. tDB: Have you noticed any younger players breaking into the genre? BZ: When I first started, you could count them on one hand. It wasn’t a genre that attracted many young musicians. But, today, there are a lot of them. It’s turning the corner. Kids are even incorporating hip-hop into zydeco. I love that. The younger generation is going to bring it into the future. And, as long as they don’t forget where it came from, they can go in any direction they want. tDB: You seem to have quite a bit of time between albums – sometimes years. Why so long? BZ: Really, I could do a record every year. But, today’s market is very discouraging. People don’t buy as many albums as they used to. The Internet has changed everything. There’s so much music online, records have become a luxury. I even listen to music that way. A lot of times my kids will want me to hear something new, and they get me into it. It’s a new day, with a new way to get music. tDB: How do you think that affects the enjoyment of music? BZ: Music and food are critical for all of us. We will always need both. But, there’s pure joy in music. It speaks to our souls. I don’t think it really matters how we get it, just as long as we do. For me, I love playing live. I like the energy of a live show and the effect it has on people. tDB: You do have a tremendous tour schedule, and you’re no youngster. How do you keep going? BZ: Man, it’s just what I’m meant to do. It’s what I’m here for. When I get out on stage, it’s magic. I love performing. I like looking out at the crowd

“Do what you want to do. Don’t let people tell you who you should be.” and seeing their faces. I like knowing that I made somebody happy. There’s nothing better than that. tDB: The business has changed a lot since you entered it. How do you feel about all the changes? BZ: Well, I think this DIY (Do It Yourself) approach is a good thing. When I first started, you left everything to the professionals. After all, they were supposed to know best. But, I found out that’s not always true. Sometimes people and companies changed so much, I couldn’t tell “who” I was working for. So, I started challenging things --- even the so-called experts. Because of that, I founded my own record label about 6 years ago. It’s called Tomorrow Records, and it allows me to own everything I do. tDB: Do you have any advice for artists who want to break into the business? BZ: The best advice I can give is what I’ve learned. Do what you want to do. Don’t let people --- especially those experts --- tell you who you should be. If you love it, devote your time to it. Nothing comes easy, even in music. But, if it feels right, just do it. What it all finally comes down to is the audience. They will let you know if you’re doing it right. And, if you are, it’s the best feeling in the world.

Clay Neuman Radio Promoter Extraordinaire By: Clif Doyal


lay Neuman has accomplished what many entrepreneurs in the ever-changing music industry can only dream about. He carved out a unique niche in a growing segment of the business, positioned his companies (APEX Music, LLC and APEX Nashville) as leaders in the Texas/Red Dirt music scene, and built a roster of clients that is unrivaled. Indeed, few competitors have as keen an understanding of the marketplace as Neuman does. In fact, his business model has set the standard for artist development, promotion and marketing, and set up the grass roots breeding grounds for progressive country, a genre that is often overlooked and misunderstood by the “powers-that-be” in Music City.

“If you’re going to succeed, you have to work for it.” Neuman and his partner, Rob Reid founded Nashville-based APEX Music in 2001. Today, the full-service radio promotion firm boasts a clientele of major label and independent artists who define the Texas/Red Dirt movement. Their roster reads like a “who’s who” of music: Universal Records South’s Eli Young Band and Cross Canadian Ragweed; Mercury Records Nashville’s Randy Rogers Band;

Kevin Fowler; Jason Boland & The Stragglers; Reckless Kelly, Roger Creager, Johnny Cooper, Casey Donahew Band and Brandon Rhyder, to name a few. But Neuman and Reid don’t rest on their laurels. In 2007, they opened APEX Nashville, a record label division distributed by Thirty Tigers in conjunction with SonyRED. Projects there have included Brandon Rhyder’s LIVE, released

in 2007, and Jason Boland & The Stragglers’ 2008 runaway hit, Comal County Blue. “We approach APEX like a family,” Neuman says. “I had a great role model in my father. He was very strict and had high expectations for me. I learned that if you’re going to succeed, you have to work for it.” Neuman applied that lesson directly to his business. “At APEX we wear many hats and cover what-

ever needs to be done…that’s what we do. We have a passion for artists and their music and we work very hard to develop and achieve their dreams. When they succeed,” he declares, “it doesn’t get any better than that. Seeing an artist break never gets old.” However, Neuman’s journey into the world of music took an unusual route, highlighting his confidence, courage and spot-on intuition. “I was destined to become a doctor,” he reveals. “That was the plan and what my parents wanted. My father was a dentist, so it was a logical step for me to take.” Nevertheless, Neuman also nurtured a love for music. Self-taught on drums, harmonica and acoustic guitar, he developed his skills by playing along with the radio and joined bands in high school and college. That experience led to a bombshell announcement that stunned his parents. Just as he was about to take the Medical College Admission Test, he informed them that he wanted to enter the music business – as an unpaid intern no less. “They were shocked to say the least. They had real concerns that I was throwing my opportunities away to pursue a dream that might not reap any real financial success. But,” he asserts, “I was certain in my heart that it was my path.” In 1997, the young dreamer began his first internship in the publicity department at Arista Austin. “I worked with Robert Earl Keen, Radney Foster and other cool ‘leftof-center’ musicians that I was drawn to. I loved it,” he recalls. The following year, he was named the Promotion and Marketing Coordinator for Arista Nashville. In that position, he pitched the label’s roster, which at the time included Alan Jackson, Diamond Rio, and Brooks and Dunn, to approximately 30 secondary radio markets. “I knew that if I could show sales and market-

ing potential with those stations, it would be a winner. So, I focused on developing airplay to boost sales (in those markets) that were trackable through SoundScan.” Neuman believed that if he could influence multiple stations, it would have an impact on sales. And, he was right. By the time he finished that assignment, he had more than tripled the number of radio stations being worked. As a result, Neuman was named head of Radio Promotion at Arista Austin in 2000. Under his watch, the label earned a Gavin award for “Label of the Year (Imprint)” and he personally won “Americana Promoter of the Year” as well as receiving a nomination for “AAA-Promoter of the Year.” A year later, Arista underwent consolidation and Neuman left the label. He began independently promoting Pat Green, Rodney Crowell, Nickel Creek and Gillian Welch. To handle the influx of new business, he hired Reid to promote to Triple A, Americana and Texas. Soon, Green’s song, “Texas On My Mind” charted nationally off the strength of the Texas Monitored Stations – and, suddenly, everybody started paying attention to what Neuman was doing. “That was basically the beginning of the Texas Music Charts and APEX Music,” Neuman proudly states. When asked what the future holds for APEX, Neuman replies: “I see us continuing the same fundamentals that got us to where we are today; Working with great talent and utilizing our experience to help them achieve success. As long as we have the right people and the proper staff, there’s no limit to how far we can grow as a company.” Clif Doyal is a Nashville-based artist manager, publicist, independent record label manager and contributing writer to the “Direct Buzz.”




Architects and Designers of the AirPlay Direct Website

Marketing consulting, brand development, graphic and web design for the entertainment industry 404-848-7999 WWW.ALEVEN.COM


VIEW MORE CHARTS AT: The AirPlay Direct Global Radio Charts display the top tracks downloaded for airplay by radio programmers internationally. The charts are accurate as of the date published. You can view “real-time” charts at We take pride in having built a transparent charting system that accurately reports the hot artists and tracks available within the AirPlay Direct community.

Your Unique Voice Awesome Vocal Range Captivating Performance “The Deva Method is the closest thing to getting cosmetic surgery for your voice.” – Performer Magazine

Study with Jeannie Deva in-person or Online by web cam. Find Free tips and a Deva Method® teacher at: 818-446-0932




SAVE THE DATE! Registration opens Monday, November 2, 2009!

APRIL 22-24, 2010 Los Angeles, CA

Register early for the biggest discounts. To find more information along with videos, photos and attendee feedback from this year’s EXPO go to



VIEW MORE CHARTS AT: The AirPlay Direct Global Radio Charts display the top tracks downloaded for airplay by radio programmers internationally. The charts are accurate as of the date published. You can view “real-time” charts at We take pride in having built a transparent charting system that accurately reports the hot artists and tracks available within the AirPlay Direct community.


Corb Lund Losin’ Lately Gambler marks the American debut of Corb Lund, Canada’s acclaimed, authentic alternative country star. Produced by the noted Nashville drummer and vocalist Harry Stinson (of Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives), Lund’s first New West album is the Alberta-born singer-songwriter’s sixth. Lund was named Roots Artist of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association the last five years and was nominated this year. He collected the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year trophy for his album Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer at the 2006 JUNO Awards (the Canadian Grammys), and took home a CCMA Album of the Year award. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Listen here: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Evans “I produced and recorded this CD because I’m sick of hearing what’s on the radio these days!”-Paul Evans And so, Paul took 14 of his songs to Nashville’s Brush Hill Studios, and recorded them his way. The comments from Nashville’s “insiders” started: “It’s way too country. Way too politically incorrect. Way too un-commercial Nashville. Way too dated. Too much steel guitar! too much old-timey Danelektro guitar. breaks too many rules.” -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

Count Ridicula Romance is what’s on this vampire’s mind. A once-a-year occurrence for this guy, the character Count Ridicula is induced annually by the practice of dressing as a vampire for Halloween. This unsuspecting everyday Joe undergoes a total transformation and goes trick-or-treating... one night every year. Click below to listen to the latest track, “The Vampire’s Lament.” -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

Red River Mudcats The Red River Mudcats are “Texhoma Southern Fried” Americana Roots music, featuring a great blend of Southern Rock, Red Dirt, Country Rock, and fiery Texas Blues Rock - true to the notorious sounds of Texas and Oklahoma. Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mudcats members have been integral participants in the infamous Texas and Oklahoma music scenes for many years. Click below to read more. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------


Jimmy Wayne

Johnny Cooper


Jimmy Wayne’s Daryl Hall & John Oates influence runs deep: Jimmy Wayne is poised to hit the radio charts next week with his new single, a cover of the Daryl Hall & John Oates classic “Sara Smile”, the song that originally got Jimmy his record deal and turned him on to countless other Daryl Hall & John Oates classics.

Johnny’s new album FOLLOW (Tenacity Records) is an evocative blend of soul, blues, rock and pop that’s exemplified by the first single “Bring Me Down.” Over the song’s deep groove and buzzing guitars, COOPER lays down the law.

The song’s original writers and performers (who just happen to be the most successful duo in Rock history), make a guest appearance on the track. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

The disc expands on the style for which COOPER became known --“red dirt,” a Texas and Oklahoma southern rock, country and blues hybrid -- and was produced by Glenn Rosenstein and Dexter Green. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

Describing their sound as “Efficacious Poetic Fervor,” Los Angeles’s Backnbloom flaunts a sleek mix of nostalgic, well-read indie rock with harmonious, complex sonic layers, grooving rhythms and a sprinkling of electric violin. It all started in a cramped Hollywood apartment where Lori Steele and Alberto Beka penciled ideas, programmed drums and keyboards while waiting for a break in traffic and yells from the alley to cease so that the emotionally charged vocals could be recorded. Unplugging the fridge also helped. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

Mark Wayne Glasmire

Laurie Z.

Sounds of Blackness

Mark Wayne Glasmire writes and sings with a depth of understanding that only a dashing, well-traveled troubadour can. It is obvious that he’s lived life to the fullest - and taken notes along the way. His newest CD, Life Goes On, is a 12-song disc that includes 10 originals and two outside tunes. Mark’s lyrics run the gamut from heartache and jubilation; despair and love, disappointment and hope. His voice is a full-bodied, yet crisp tenor reminiscent at times of an early John Denver or a modern-day Collin Raye, but it is distinct and different. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

With a prodigious talent and plucky spirit, Laurie single-handedly crafted her career and took her place in the music world. Laurie Z., as she was known professionally, was slim, sexy, and smooth, but also smart, savvy, and self-possessed. She was uncommonly poised, even as a teenager, with a Mona Lisa smile and a quiet twinkle in her eye. Laurie Z.® (BMI) received a total of 15 Grammy nomination considerations for her recordings which combine classical, jazz, new age and ambient influences. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

The Grammy Award-Winning Sounds of Blackness perform the music of the African-American experience and for all people around the world. They cross multiple genres by infusing gospel, jazz, soul, R&B, and hip hop. Founded in 1969 at Macalester College in St Paul, Sounds of Blackness have released 11 records, including the album, The Evolution of Gospel, which received a Grammy in 1992. Their newest release, The 3rd Gift: Story, Song, and Spirit, hit stores on August 25th. It includes original songs along with traditional spirituals. -------------------------------------------Listen here: --------------------------------------------

Quick Tips M

any artists and labels have asked for a “Step by Step Guide” to success. Unfortunately, there is no map that suits everyone. What works for one artist or label may not work for another. But, there are some things that generally translate to positive results --- for everyone. THE INDIE WAY - QUICK TIPS will explore those tricks of the trade and give our readers “easy to follow” tips regarding a variety of areas in the music business.

HOW TO MAKE RADIO AIRPLAY COUNT CREATE A STORY When working with mass media (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, websites), one thing to keep in mind is that anything you can do to let them know that you are building a “story” will help tremendously. This is especially true with radio. To build your story, you need to inform radio stations about: 1. What your act is doing (regarding Marketing, Promotions and Live Shows) 2. What you’ve accomplished (awards and accolades are always cool), and 3. What other stations have added you to their playlists, or are playing your song GET MORE SPINS Once a station plays one of your songs, your mission is to get them to play it more. To do that: 1. Let them know that things are developing. Radio likes to know that you are working at it and making things happen.

2. Relay responses you’ve gotten from other airplay, such as “The song is getting great calls!” 3. Offer “Give Aways” – freebies that stations can use for contests, like tee shirts, CDs, show tickets, or any cool swag that listeners might like. 4. Offer to visit the station and perform on air – or do a call in. 5. Offer to play a “special event” for the station – perhaps for their favorite charity. 6. Offer to play a show at one of their “advertisers” locations. SCORE RETAIL SALES The truth is radio play alone rarely gets you tangible results that translate to sales. Airplay is simply a “tool” not an end. It should be part of your overall Marketing & Promotions Plan, not your only plan. Grasp this concept and you’ll avoid unrealistic expectations. To get the most out of airplay: 1. Schedule live performances in the broadcast area. Often a sta-

tion can recommend a venue you could contact; and may even copromote the gig. 2. Buy some advertising time. It’s much less than you think in the late hours; and it’s a great way to promote a show. 3. Contact local media – press, morning or late night TV programs, cable shows, etc. But, do a little homework and know what will appeal to them. Lastly, be sure to mention the radio station in any interviews. Radio loves getting media attention. 4. Schedule an “in-store” appearance/performance at a mom and pop shop. These shops do not have to be “record stores.” They can be any retail outlet that attracts your potential fans. UNDERSTAND DISTRIBUTION Many acts think they need distribution to be the real deal. But, indie acts sell most of their CDS and merchandise at live shows. This is called “tour distribution,” and is the most effective way to sell product. With that in mind, there are other types of terrestrial distribution that you could consider: 1. Traditional distributors will only be interested in you if there is a “demand” for your music. After all, if no one knows your name or music, your CD is not going to sell. 2. However, there’s also something called “consignment distribution.” That’s where you provide CDs to a store and they pay you when they sell. Often, you can get more CDs in a store this way.

3. Combine consignments with instore appearances and live gigs, and you’ll be hitting on all cylinders. PLAN FOR SUCCESS You should have a specific goal and a plan to reach it. Your ultimate goal may be long-term, but you’re going to need short-term goals to get there. Here are a few things you need to address in your plan: 1. Long-Term Goals (1 to 3 years): Do you want to sell CDs, generate attention, get paid gigs, and/ or sign with a larger company? 2. Internet Presence: A strong Web presence is essential today. Do your websites accurately reflect who you are and what you do? Do you have a site with articles, photos, bios, videos, and tour info? 3. Short-Term Goals (weekly and monthly): What are you doing to build a “buzz?” Do you have specific “targets?” What are you doing to reach them?

4. Determine the type of radio that works best for you. Generally, non-commercial (college, net, NPR) and secondary market commercial stations are the most accepting of new and indie acts, and may even “report” airplay to trade mags. 5. Put it all together and find a way to make it work. Yes, it sounds like a lot to do, but no one ever said success is easy. If you really want a career in the music business – one that will provide you with a living – you’re going to have to work at it.

GETTING THE MEDIA ON YOUR SIDE In the next issue, we’re going to explore “How You Get the Media to Work for You.” Media can be your best friend, or greatest challenge. We’ll let you know what you need to know to get media on your side...


he 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 a while. As such, your patience is appreciated.

Steve Martin

Merle Haggard


The Crow

The Bluegrass Sessions


I’m not big on banjo music... But when presented with the chance to review Steve Martin’s recent album, a gal like me grins and says “sure!” Mainly because he’s a “wild and crazy guy” and it might be fun — except this is seriously good music. Yes, the guy with an arrow in his head is a real player and also a gifted songwriter. On top of that, he’s assembled a great cast of artists with an absolutely brilliant producer, John McEuen, at the helm. Joined by Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Tim O’Brien and Earl Scruggs, it’s a masterful collection of artists and songs. Wonderful melodies, clever lyrics and McEuen’s sonically perfect mixes create pure joy. BTW. Don’t think Martin is void of his trademark humor. He pulls a real “GOTCHA” lyrically in “Daddy Played The Banjo” that had me cracking up for almost half a minute. His liner notes are pretty funny too, and very revealing. While this album might be a departure from what you’d normally listen to, you’ll soon discover that it ALSO ends up being a departure from what you were expecting. You gotta hand it to him. Steve Martin is brilliant. Geeez… Isn’t there anything he doesn’t do well? Jeanie Cunningham

Merle Haggard’s music is just plain finger pickin’ good. You don’t have to be a hardcore country fan to admire his musicianship. He’s a staple in the fabric of country music and his latest album, The Bluegrass Sessions is a beautiful stew, with a mix of bluegrass that evokes an awakening of the senses. “Wouldn’t That Be Something” draws you in and grabs hold with soulful lyrics and harmonies that that would make a butterfly sing. Merle’s past comes to life through his lyrics in “Runaway Momma” when he tells us about a fancy, free lady who proves to be a little too elusive. And he speaks just as eloquently about the present in “What Happened?” This patriotic tune explores where we are going as a society and inspires us to be what we could be. Snappy, sharp production values and distinct, concise playing grant the violin and banjo the opportunity to seemingly leap through the speakers like a panther on the prowl. Recently, Merle hinted that there might be more to come from this bluegrass excursion. Now, that would really be something. It’s almost too much to wish for.

Moody alternative rock quartet a’tris has the distinction of being dynamic and engaging, while somehow managing to be simultaneously tame. It really is quite a remarkable feat to embody such contrasting extremes. For example, the song “Dark Lotus” places rolling piano arpeggios over a deeply layered electronic beat, reminiscent of early Massive Attack and Linkin Park’s Minutes To Midnight LP. While this approach provides an interesting and engrossing sound, it sometimes feels one-dimensional. The most dramatic dynamics are often found in lead singer/keyboardist Mason Taylor’s soaring vocal melodies. Songs like “Automatic Doors” and “Light and Shadows” rock a little harder and actually incorporate changes in song structure. The overall result produces great ambient and emotive qualities but, still, could use a boost in the groove department. Even so, a’tris is a solid band and Taylor is a strong, capable songwriter with an excellent voice. His lyrics are well written and his vocals bring them to life. The songs are probably best described as lilting and emotive, rather than rocking. But, if you like your music ambient and flowing with emotions, you should check this act out.

Tom Laurie

Hans Fink

BAD REVIEWS - GUARANTEED A “Tragic Tracks” review is unlike any other. Simply put, it’s a bad review --always, all the time, no exceptions. It’s guaranteed. Why would we do such a thing? Because we want to help acts motivate their fan base. We noticed that fans respond nicely to good reviews, but don’t react strongly. However, when a “bad review” is published, they become proactive and rage against the injustice perpetrated on their favorite artists. They send scads of emails, tweet up a storm and inundate blogs, creating a virtual tsunami of publicity. There’s really nothing quite like it. With “Tragic Tracks,” artists can mobilize complacent fans and inject some life into their base. GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT As such, we’re challenging all artists… Send us your best song and see if we can deconstruct it; or, suggest a “hit song” that you’d like to see destroyed. In the last issue we took on “Yesterday” (by Lennon/McCartney), a song that has been covered more times than any tune ever written, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. And, true to form, fans took up arms and wanted to burn us at the stake. Some even got a little nasty. We like that. It means we’ve done our job. GET TRAGIC If you’d like to rile up your fan base, let us know. “Tragic Tracks” will review one of your songs, using the harshest judgment possible. Imagine how your fans will respond to the outrage. It’s open season… for those brave enough to accept our challenge.

A video-window into gadgets, gear and the world of music creation.

CLIFF MORRISON Royal Progeny or Scam Artist? Cliff Morrison claims that he’s the illegitimate son of The Doors’ frontman, Jim Morrison. The Composers Corner caught up with him at NAMM, and asked the question everyone’s asking. Is he or isn’t he? You decide… Click here to view the video.

SUPERSUCKERS, The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in The World The Composers Corner spent time with head ‘Sucker, Eddie Spaghetti at the Viper Room in Hollywood, CA. In this exclusive interview, he talks about his name, his band, and its phenomenal merchandising empire. It’s hilarious and informative… Click here to view the video.

THE FUTURE OF MUSIC Two innovative players in the new music business got together and formed an alliance. The Hollywood Music in Media Awards and Conference (HMMA) offered Brave New Network (BNN) the chance to publicize their services to conference attendees in a one-of-kind workshop that will explain how their college radio broadcast, Brave New Radio, actually works. The Music in Media Interactive Conference will be held from Nov. 20-22, 2009 in Hollywood, CA. Seen here, outside BNN’s multi-million dollar mansion studio, are L-R: BNN’s David Maxwell and Brian Dean with HMMA’s co-founder and executive producer, Brent Harvey. For more info on either company, you can go to www.bravenewnetwork. org and

A tour of music, lifestyles and pop culture

By: Bernard Baur

EXSCAPE TO THE FUTURE (with O.J., bloodstains and Howard Stern)


ho would have the guts to ask O. J. Simpson how to get bloodstains out of clothing? What kind of person would even think of something like that? Well, one man did…and captured it on video. Howard Stern’s intrepid reporter, Gary Garver is one ballsy dude. His outrageous celebrity interviews cast him as the “thinking man’s” shock jock and made him a star. Garver wasn’t always that crazy though. He began his career as a DJ over 25 years ago. “I even graduated from broadcasting school,” he states. “My dream was to be a rock DJ.” He landed a gig almost immediately, running the school’s station until he moved on to an indie station in San Fernando Valley, CA (the porn capital of the world), where he paid his dues and developed his skills. It wasn’t long before he broke into the marketplace at two infamous radio stations in Los Angeles: KLOS FM and KLSX FM. At KLOS, a classic rock station, Garver produced the Jim Ladd Show (Ladd is one of the few freeform DJs in commercial radio). At KLSX, Garver had a variety of gigs until he was asked produce the L.A. edition of the Howard Stern Show. “I didn’t even think twice,” he recalls. “I knew that could be my big opportunity. In fact, it was a turning point in my career.” Producing Stern’s show was a major coup, but also a headache of

monumental proportions. Stern was on the FCC’s hit list and had been fined substantial amounts. It was Garver’s job to make sure it didn’t happen in L.A. “Since the show ran after the live broadcast in New York,” Garver explains, “I would get calls from attorneys in New York telling me what to edit out. Eventually Garver became Stern’s West Coast Entertainment Reporter, and conducted the wackiest interviews ever aired, sometimes provoking on-air confrontations with the likes of James Garner, Andy Garcia and, of course, O.J. “Hey Juice, did you catch the killers yet?” Meanwhile, Garver noticed that the Internet was growing faster than any other medium. “I spotted the potential early on,” he says, “and thought a TV network would be way

cool.” That insight led to Exscape. tv and its flagship program, Almost Live, a variety show with interviews, music, and Garver’s offbeat brand of humor. Music acts are a big part of the show, opening and closing every episode. “I love all music and, I guess, I’m still a DJ at heart,” he laughs. But it goes even further… Garver’s vision for the future of entertainment has no limits. He has a slew of projects in the works, all Internet related, like his interactive radio show on “My plans go way beyond shock radio,” he relates. “The times are ripe for a revolution. It’s a call to arms,” he declares. And, obviously, Gary Garver wants to be right on the front lines.” Check out Gary Garver at:

File Sharing with the Beatles


reetings and welcome to “Now Media.” My name is Mike, though most people call me “Hagler.” I am 25 years old and, in addition to sitting on the Advisory Board for Airplay Direct, I also manage the New Media and Fan/Street departments for Dolly Parton Management and Dolly Records. I’ll be taking a look at New Media and New Marketing Strategies with this column. My background and experience have given me a unique perspective into those areas. I first started using Napster in High School. I had a Diamond Rio portable music player and could get any music I wanted on all sixteen megabytes. But back then we didn’t know that file sharing would lead to the decline of the music industry. Or has it? Recent studies have proven otherwise. One survey conducted by BI Norwegian School of Management, earlier this year, reported a similar pattern found in a 2006 study by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Both concluded that file sharers tend to buy more media than non-file sharers. That’s not surprising, since I was one of those media buying file sharers. I own 400 CDs and have bought 600 tracks from iTunes. My brother, who has done very little file sharing, might own about 20 CDs and hardly ever buys anything from iTunes. I started thinking about file sharing when I began ripping CDs in a higher bit-rate. I have more than enough disk space and the right gear

By: Mike Hagler

to hear the difference in quality. However, I’ve been asking myself where I obtained certain songs. I think I may have ripped some songs from friends’ CDs, but I have no idea where I got all my Beatles’ music. I stopped using P2P services quite a while ago but, for a short time, it didn’t stop me from getting music illegally. The RIAA maintains that file sharing and P2P downloading is rampant on college campuses. That’s probably true, since everyone on campus shares the same network, which allows you to see anyone’s shared library. In fact, it was on campus that I discovered a program called MyTunes. It used iTunes to grab music; and made it possible to take it! I’m almost sure that’s where a lot of my Beatles’ music came from. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Beatles fan and don’t condone stealing music. I’ve even worked at Capitol Records, where I got the chance to proof liner notes written for (the Beatles) “The Capitol Albums Vol.2.” But, now as I look back, even though file sharing was convenient I was never really content with the 96 kbps rate. Music just wasn’t meant to be heard at such a low quality. That became crystal clear when I bought the Beatles’ remastered box set and, after listening to it, realized that I had “never truly heard” the Beatles before. So now, I want to encourage everyone to stop settling for less and to always support your favorite bands… as I should have done a long time ago.

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