The Rising Force In Contemporary Bluegrass And Roots Music
Nancy Cardwell Behind The Desk
Beyond The Song Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
The Indie Way
The Importance of a Promotion Budget
The Writers Round | Now Media Three Questions for Radio APD Global Radio Indicator Charts Featured Artists | Killer Tracks July 2013
8 Cover Story – Della Mae
Boston-based, all female quintet Della Mae is comprised of some of the most talented women in today’s world of bluegrass music. In an interview with band members Kimber Ludiker & Courtney Hartman, they share with us their story from being an independent band to being signed with Rounder Records, their experiences while writing & recording their latest album This World Oft Can Be and touring all over the US in support of their new release, as well as touring overseas in Central Asia as part of the US State Department’s American Music Abroad Program.
16 Behind The Desk – Nancy Cardwell
An interview with Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), in which she shares her love of bluegrass music and how she came to be a part of the IBMA, various professional development education projects, seminars, webinars, and workshops that the IBMA is involved in and the upcoming September 2013 World of Bluegrass Event in Raleigh, North Carolina, a week long business conference, awards show, and Fanfest.
28 Beyond The Song – TAPS
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Bonnie Carroll, the surviving widow of Brigadier General Tom Carroll, which provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, casework assistance, and connections to community-based care to those who are grieving the death of a loved one in the US military service.
26 The Indie Way:
The Importance of a Promotion Budget
4 The Writers Round:
Interview with Clay DuBose writer of “Too Far
27 Three Questions for Radio:
Galaxie / Stingray Digital
14 Now Media:
Interview with Greg Torrington –
How to Use AirPlay Direct More Effectively
22 Killer Tracks:
Peter Nostrand, R.E.M., Sarah Gayle Meech
23 A Look Inside:
Todd Sparks - Taking The Beach To The World
24 Featured Artists: Winners of tDB July “Buzz About You” Artist Contest
FROM THE PUBLISHER What an amazing year 2013 has been this far. An incredible amount of new music coming out by unknown emerging artists, as well from all the stars we know and love. We have also seen a tremendous amount of great catalogue making its way out of the vaults and into the hands of radio programmers globally via AirPlay Direct. AirPlay Direct currently has over 36,000 artist / label members and over 8,500 radio station members in 85 countries globally. July will mark the 3rd edition of the Direct Buzz since our re-launch. The hardest part of putting together this great magazine is going through the selection process of which artists to highlight and feature. The Direct Buzz cover for July features Della Mae. In a very short time, these young ladies have already left an indelible mark on the global Bluegrass community. This Boston-based combo has found an exciting way to mine and marry time-honored elements to fresh new sounds and themes. AirPlay Direct is also pleased to announce the launch of our new consulting firm, Collective Evolution. Collective Evolution is a boutique, high-end entertainment and media consulting company. I am truly excited about the launch of Collective Evolution and all of the wonderful new opportunities and services that we will be able to provide to the professional global entertainment community.
32 APD GLOBAL RADIO INDICATOR CHARTS™
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,
Publisher & Founder: Robert Weingartz ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Lynda Weingartz MANAGER OF OPERATIONS: Alexandra James Contributing Writers: Bronson Herrmuth, Michael Harnett, Fred Boenig, Rick Moore, Abby Montgomery, Ryan Smith, Rich Mahan ART DIRECTION: Aleven Creatives (aleven.com) DELLA MAE PHOTOS: David McClister
© 2013 by AirPlay Direct, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Robert Weingartz Chairman & CEO, AirPlay Direct Founder & Publisher, the Direct Buzz Founder & Executive Director, Collective Evolution
THE WRITERS ROUND by Bronson Herrmuth
Clay DuBose “Too Far From Heaven” From the CD, Rewriting History AirplayDirect.com/ClayDuBoseRewritingHistory The Direct Buzz (tDB): Did you sit down with the thought in mind to write this song or did it just come to you? Clay DuBose (CD): It was very spontaneous. It certainly wasn’t planned. As you can probably tell it’s a spiritual song about being fundamentally separated from God. I wrote this song real late at night. I was drunk and depressed, a little bit lost in the weeds I guess you would say. The yearning for sanctuary in the song is like there was just a little bit of desperation. That’s kind of where the lyric comes from. I have a three-year-old daughter, and when you’re a child the notion of God is accepted quite easily. Children are very close to the light I suppose, but as you get older, unless you’ve been tending your garden, the light flickers and then it can go dark if you’re not careful. At that point in my life I was living somewhat of a rootless existence and was not exactly sure where I was going. I probably should have just taken my butt to bed, but instead I grabbed the guitar and started playing this arpeggio in A minor, which is a very sad chord, which really didn’t help. I was just plucking it and plucking it and while I was doing so, I started praying. It was the first time I’d prayed in quite some time. I mean a real long time actually, and after
a while all the prayer started morphing into some repetitive lines that were somewhat lyrical. So I went from praying and playing to singing and playing. In essence the words and melody and the music underneath came together pretty quickly. It was like the song was writing itself. I was up most of the night. I think I slept a little bit towards the morning. When I got up I had all these illegible lyrics and probably the lowest quality recording in the world. It was on a little handheld cassette recorder and I honestly didn’t know what to think. I saw my manager the next morning and he looked at me and said, “You look terrible.” I was like, “Well, I was up all night writing this song that probably sucks.” He said, “Play it to me.” So I sat down and I looked at the lyrics and I worked through it, and he said, “Well, it doesn’t suck. It’s actually pretty good and you’ve got to record it.” So it went from
being a song that was sort of written in a sense of despair and it became a song of hope for me, because it was the spiritual cornerstone of a record that I put out a couple of years later. tDB: So it was in your catalog and when you started putting the record together you chose it for your album? CD: It was actually the first song written for that record. I had gone in and recorded it acoustically with Snake Reynolds, (Ron “Snake” Reynolds) who is a very good engineer there in Nashville, just to have a guitar/vocal. A couple of years later when I started recording the actual record, I had this really beautiful guitar/vocal piece. I played
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it for Snake and he was like, “We can go in there and put some bass and some mandolin and percussion underneath that pretty guitar and singing, and make it sound like something special.” So that’s what we did. We didn’t want to make it cluttered up and make it too big. We kept it fairly sparse and pretty. When I wrote the song, I guess because of the circumstances being late at night and buzzed and out of sorts, the tempo was actually quite a bit slower. When we recorded it we sped it up a little bit, sang a little bit prettier. The cool thing is the song was recorded pretty much the way it was written. I think I changed one lyric line and that’s really about it. I mean nowadays when I write, I tend to revisit and edit arrangements, and really spend a lot of time tweaking a song before I call it complete. This one rose so spontaneously because of the circumstances in which it came through which was very emotional for me, so I just left good enough alone. tDB: When you were writing this song, did you come up with the hook line “Too Far From Heaven” first or did you find your title inside the song? CD: No, I was just playing this arpeggio and I was praying and then I just started singing the first lines of the song. I repeated that a couple of times and to be honest with you, I don’t really recall at what point I back tracked and worked on the chorus. The verse definitely came first. The title of the song “Too Far From Heaven” came from the way that I was feeling at the time, which was very disconnected. I have one line in there, I believe it’s “I’m sitting in the dark looking up at the stars”… I wrote the first verse first. I’m not sure if I wrote the second before the chorus. Sequentially I don’t really recall. The message in the song was written quite a bit of
time ago, but the message of the verse just led me right into the chorus lyric. At the time I didn’t have to give it too much thought. The song felt like it was writing itself. The melody sounded like it was almost pre-formed and so the chord pattern underneath, I was just playing to accompany the melody. The melody and the lyric were in my head initially and then I just worked the chords around it. When I was in college I played in a classical guitar quartet and so I have a finger picking style, which probably comes from the classical school. That’s probably why on this song I start off playing an A minor arpeggio, because that’s just kind of what I fall back on sometimes. It’s just my classical teaching. tDB: So when you went into the studio with Snake Reynolds to record this song for your album, did you redo any of your original parts? CD: No, we left the original recording intact. Dynamically the way the guitars and the mandolin were laid down, I felt like the vocal had enough power behind it. Particularly in the chorus where you would want to have some punch. We felt that going in and filling in underneath with the other instrumentation would be fine. I would have, if it would have called for it, but we all liked the vocal as it was. It was the exact vocal, so the vocal predates the rest of the song. It’s somewhat of an unorthodox way to record, but for that particular song it worked out. We didn’t feel the need to go and start from scratch. I guess one reason I was driven to keep the recording was because we recorded it on two-inch tape. When we went back in to record the rest of the record we were in the digital world. The two-inch sounded so lovely that I didn’t want to discard that and record on digital. There was just no reason. I was pretty happy with it.
Della Mae by Bronson Herrmuth
n the cover of our July issue is Della Mae, an all female quintet comprised of some of the most talented women in today’s world of bluegrass music. Recently signed to Rounder Records, these ladies are road warriors and they’re very proud of that fact. Touring all over the US and abroad in support of their debut release on Rounder, This World Oft Can Be, they are quickly proving that landing their new record deal was no fluke. They earned it. Bluegrass music at its finest and some of the hardest working women in acoustic music today, Della Mae has the talent, vision, and the musical chops to take their music to the top of the charts worldwide! Della Mae consists of Celia Woodsmith on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Kimber Ludiker on fiddle and harmony vocals, Courtney Hartman on lead guitar and harmony vocals, Jenni Lyn Gardner on mandolin and harmo-
ny vocals, and Shelby Means on stand up bass and harmony vocals. Together, their very special bond of dedication to their craft and music shines through on stage and on their recordings. The following is taken from my interview with band members, Kimber Ludiker and Courtney Hartman, conducted in May 2013. The Direct Buzz (tDB): Kimber, you actually handpicked the group and were the founder of Della Mae? Kimber Ludiker (Kimber): Yes. A great bass player, Amanda Kowalski and I were hanging out at a fiddle camp in California and talking about fun projects to do and came up with this idea of an all female bluegrass band. You know it’s a very small world when it comes to acoustic musicians and I think an even smaller world when it comes to female acoustic musicians. I asked a bunch of friends and started making phone calls lining up some gigs in the meantime. We had a few
festivals and gigs before we even had a full band together. It happened really quickly. We found a lot of support for the idea and just ran with it. tDB: Your first album, I Built This Heart, was that an independently produced project? Kimber: It was produced with the help of a friend of ours from the Josh Ritter band, Austin Nevins, who’s a great guitar player. It was crowd source funded. We raised half the funds for it on Kickstarter and paid it off and did all the work ourselves. When we were getting ready to make the next one we decided it was a lot of work and if there were people that wanted to help us out, we’d love to gather a team around us. Rounder’s been really great for that. tDB: I Built This Heart has done really well on our AirPlay Direct (APD) charts. How did you first find out about APD? Kimber: I first found out about APD when DJs were contacting us and ask-
ing for us to send them albums. I think a big part of the process for us putting the album out was we found out about APD and uploaded it. Our engineer Erick Jaskowiak had a lot to do with that because I didn’t really understand what it was. This was our first time putting out a project like this and it was definitely trial and error for us. tDB: Courtney, how do you feel about your music being on APD and how do you feel it’s benefited you? Courtney Hartman (Courtney): I think it’s awesome! It’s such a great tool, as far as musicians and bands getting their music out to radio stations, and kind of figuring out how all this works. Another one of those steppingstones in this whole learning process for us, but APD has been awesome. tDB: Della Mae had a huge success recently and you went from being independent to being signed on Rounder Records. How did you go about getting signed on Rounder? Kimber: Rounder has been following us from the beginning and I think what’s really great about Rounder is that they’re really into the development of artists. Even before we had talked to them about potentially sign-
ing with the label, Ken Irwin (Cofounder of Rounder Records) had been friends with our (original) bass player Amanda Kowalski, so he found out about the project we were doing. He said, “If you need any help or advice, talk to me about it.” He would come to our shows and he was a mentor in getting the band going. After we released I Built This Heart we started talking more seriously about putting our next record out on Rounder. They’ve been really great because we’ve kind of taken it like a special little courtship. We’re really happy with those guys and they’ve been doing a lot to help us out. tDB: Now that you’ve gone from being independent to being signed on a label, what do you feel are a couple of the biggest differences? Courtney: I think a big difference is just knowing that you have a big team of people behind you supporting you and your music, supporting your careers individually and as a band. That will definitely motivate you in a certain sense but also to have people that have faith in what you do. It’s a really amazing thing. Kimber: There are many reasons
why Rounder is such a good entity in our lives. We had been doing all the work by ourselves, and when you’re doing that much work, you can’t always focus on music. I got to the point where I was doing so much work, with just the band members basically as people who could help, and I’ve noticed a big difference in our band and myself musically since we have gathered a team around us. It lets off a lot of the stress knowing that you have people that you can count on who are up to bat for you. You can disperse the jobs a lot easier and we’re able to focus a lot more on music, which has been fantastic. I went from working hours and hours a day to being able to pick up my fiddle and practice again and just play for fun. It’s been a huge blessing for me, being the one who started the band and kind of the point person for all the business. You can do it yourself, but boy it’s a lot harder. tDB: Your debut album on Rounder Records is called This World Oft Can Be and it’s also doing great on APD. How did you come up with the name for your new album? Courtney: The title comes from one of the tracks on the album called “This
World Oft Can Be.” That song was one I brought to the band that I had started a couple years ago as kind of a little banjo and vocal piece, a little ditty. That was a very collaborative writing piece that Celia and myself and the rest of the band all put together. I think out of all of the songs on the album, that was definitely the most collaborative writing process that we had done. Also, I think the title really kind of encompasses our journey over the last year. We’ve done a lot of world traveling in South and Central Asia that was pretty eye opening and life changing for us all and something that we want to continue to do. That title track means a lot to us in the sense that this world oft can be lonely, it oft can be joyful, it oft can be full of music, it oft can be full of many things. We’re excited to see where it takes us next. tDB: You chose to record your new album at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. What made you choose that studio? Kimber: A lot of good recordings have come out of there and we found out about the studio through networking and friendships. The opportunity presented itself and we went and looked at the studio and there’s no other place that we would have rather recorded that album. We stayed on the ranch and we were all there for 10 days, just living together and it was our maiden voyage with Shelby, our new bass player. We’d hired her and she came out to Boston for about a month and we rehearsed and finished writing the album. Bryan Sutton came out for preproduction and then a couple of weeks later we all hopped in a van and drove to Nashville and started recording. It was definitely a great place as far as inspiration and bonding as a band with the new lineup. tDB: Courtney, you had quite an honor while you were there. You got to play June Carter Cash’s vintage 1933 Gibson L5 round hole guitar. What was that like holding that guitar?
Courtney: It was so amazing! Laura Cash had let me play it a little bit and of course I totally almost peed my pants when I played it, because it was just so good. The last track on the album is called “Some Roads Lead On” and we ended up recording that around one microphone at the fireplace in the living room area of the cabin, which was really special. That’s the kind of energy we wanted to encompass, and before we recorded it Bryan came up to me and he said, “That L5, this song needs that guitar,” and I was just like, “Oh My God!!!!” That was such an honor to get to play that instrument. I think every instrument has a life of its own and that one has had quite a life. So many amazing people have played it. tDB: Kimber, you got to play John Hartford’s custom carved fiddle and that had to have been something? Kimber: It was pretty great, yeah. I got permission from the Hartford family, and actually the first track on the record “Letter From Down The Road,” that’s the song that I got to play that fiddle on. It was cool. Jenni got to play some Lloyd Loar mandolin on the record as well, so we were all kind of in
heaven out there being in this great studio. You know Johnny Cash built that cabin for his wife and so many great recordings have been made there. Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, so many things and getting to play those instruments was such an honor and an inspiration. That was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole session. tDB: You have mentioned that Bryan Sutton was the producer of your new album, This World Oft Can Be. What was it like working with Bryan? Courtney: Bryan has probably spent more time in the studio and behind a mic as anyone in the music industry in our world. He has an incredible sensibility for what needs to happen and what’s right, musically and vibe wise as well. He was so much fun to work with and also just had a lot of really great intuition. He’s been one of my guitar heroes for so many years, so that was pretty cool. I wasn’t sure how it would feel having him at the board telling me to retake my solo, but it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it could be. Kimber: I think that he’s just so intelligent and so full of music and he’s worked in so many genres. He’s really known in the world of bluegrass, but
he’s recorded with The Dixie Chicks and he’s worked with Mindy Smith. He knows music and he has such a great ear and really helped shape not only some of our arrangements, but also our time in the studio. He was just great to work with. tDB: When it comes to songwriting for the band, how does that work? I know Della Mae collaborates on everything but are there core writers in the group? Courtney: Celia and I ended up doing a lot of collaborative writing as far as in the songs’ key stages for this album. Of the eight original songs, six of them are ones that she brought to the table, and then two of them are ones that I brought to the table. The process after that was very collaborative, writing the music and obviously the arranging. Kimber: Courtney wrote “Mabeline” and also “This World Oft Can Be” and brought them to the band. You know sometimes when songs come to the band they sound completely different than what we ended up recording. I think “Turtle Dove” was a waltz? Courtney: Yeah, Celia wrote that song in Hawaii sitting on the beach
and it was a slow, slow waltz. A lot of the writing process is like, “Well, let’s try this in a different key. Let’s try this in a different time signature. What if we flopped the verses so this happens first in the story, or what if we put this chord so it makes it feel a little bit darker or sadder?” That’s a lot of what the bouncing stuff off each other is and that’s a really fun process. Kimber: With “Turtle Dove” we were playing it as a group and we tried so many different feels. One of them was kind of a finger picking bluesy guitar thing, and then we just started speeding it up and trying it in different keys. We had a lot of fun as a band coming up with arrangements for the songs, and both Courtney and Celia just have words pouring out of them. I think even on the next album, you’ll probably see a lot more group members bringing songs to the band that they’ve written. tDB: You girls are road warriors. In addition to touring all over the United States you also just spent 43 days touring overseas in Central Asia, as part of the US State Department’s American Music Abroad Program. Didn’t that also involve teaching music to children
along with performing concerts? Courtney: A lot of what we did was going into schools and teaching workshops. Every city or town we were in we had collaborations with local traditional music artists from that area. That involved a little bit of teaching but also a lot of learning on our part to learn their songs and teach them our songs. Most of the time … and this was something that was so beautiful … we couldn’t speak to the people there, we had to speak through an interpreter, but as soon as we started playing music, that became our language and we could communicate for hours. We didn’t have to speak the same language. Kimber: I think it’s become a really important part of who the band is. That experience has totally shaped and then reshaped the way that we’ll be approaching not only music, but opportunities to be involved in diplomacy. It’s really important for us to be involved in programs like that, bringing real people to real people and bridging gaps. It’s just become something that’s really important to all of us. Individually, before we started the band, several of us wanted to be in the Peace Corps, so we’re doing the educational thing and we don’t want to just go out and play music. We want to go out and teach and make a difference in people’s lives and be role models. Whatever opportunities we can get we’ll definitely take. Courtney: I think experiencing and seeing the things that we saw, opened us up in such a way that we can’t really play music the same way and we can’t really perform in the same way that we did before, having had those experiences. tDB: You refer in your bio for Della Mae, that you consider your band as more of a labor of love than a job? Kimber: Yes, I think that we’ve found something that’s really special and it’s important. We spend a lot of time on the road and a lot of it isn’t so glamorous. It’s not all just concerts
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and awesome experiences. You know, waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning and driving 8 hours, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. That’s the labor part but we definitely love what we do, and we’re so blessed to be able to do that. It’s not every person that gets to do what they love doing for a living. We talk on the road amongst ourselves all the time about how lucky we are, and how amazing it is that we’ve been presented the opportunity and the musical gifts that have made all of that a reality. We’re just kind of hanging on for the ride right now and seeing where things go. tDB: You’re going to be performing at the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Conference. Talk a little bit about your relationship with IBMA? Kimber: IBMA has been such a supportive entity in our lives and we’re really thankful for that organization. Yeah, we’ll be at Wide Open Bluegrass this year and we’re really excited for the new venue in Raleigh. I know the town’s really excited for us to be there. I was just talking to some IBMA folks last week and also talking to Katy Daley from WAMU. There are so many changes and great things happening. We’re really excited to be a part of IBMA. tDB: Moving forward, what would you say is your number one goal as a group? Kimber: Just to be happy and get to see the world and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives. We don’t know where all of this is taking us. There’s no way to tell what’s going to happen in the next month or the next five years or the next ten years, but just the fact that we’re able to get out and play music and get to do what we want is so important. I think everybody’s goal is to be able to continue doing that and reaching out to people. When you’re a musician that means the world. Getting to play, getting to do what you love to do.
by Rich Mahan
How To Use AirPlay Direct More Effectively Howdy out there all you savvy AirPlay Direct Artist Members… In the last issue of the Direct Buzz, we talked about a step by step guide to using the AirPlay Direct DPK (Digital Press Kit) feature to promote your music directly to radio programmers. AirPlay Direct DPKs allow you to send your music to key influencer’s email inboxes. The DPK is one of the best features of your AirPlay Direct Account, as it puts an invaluable tool in your hands that helps you get your music noticed by industry people who can increase the exposure for your music. Did you know there are ways to customize this DPK and give it a personalized look? You can add a custom personalized image/banner to your DPK at the top of the DPK email you send to programmers. (BTW, if you have an iPad and don’t have Photoshop Touch yet, do yourself a favor and get it. It’s cheap, and is a very powerful tool for creating flyers, banners, t-shirt designs, etc., and no, I don’t have a connection to Adobe, it just rocks, and I use it all the time.) After you decide on an image you’d like to use, you will need to host it. There are many free imagehosting sites on the web. You can Google “Free Image Hosting” to get a list you can use. Upload your image/banner to the Hosting Site, and they will provide a HTML code for your image. Copy and paste this code into the “Enter a Personal Message to Your Recipients:” section of the “Send DPK” page on AirPlay Direct. Personally, I like this image to be
centered in the email, so I add the following HTML code: <center> to the very front and very end of the HTML code string you just copied and pasted from the Image Hosting Site. This way your image will sit nice and pretty right in the center of everyone’s computer monitor when they open your DPK. Don’t forget to send a test to yourself first to make sure everything looks good, and when you’ve got it just the way you want it, enter the email addresses of the Radio People you want to reach and let ‘er fly! Here’s an unrelated final thought/ tip for you as well… Pick a genre for your music/profile that maximizes your chances to chart as best you can on the AirPlay Direct Indicator Charts. There are a lot of very specific genres listed in the drop down menu you use when building your AirPlay Direct Artist Profile, but make sure you take note of the charts.Pick a genre that has a chart, and if your specific genre doesn’t have its own chart, pick the chart that is the closest fit for your music. The AirPlay Direct Charts are a great way to gain additional exposure for your music to Radio Programmers, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot by picking a deeply obscure genre that won’t help you get your music in front of the right people!
ppointed in 2012, Nancy Cardwell is the Executive Director of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), and I must say the IBMA Board of Directors couldn’t have made a wiser choice than promoting her to be at the helm of this outstanding organization. Nancy grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and started playing bluegrass mandolin at the age of seven. Soon after she was singing and performing with her family in The Cardwell Family Band, at festivals and venues in Branson, MO and Silver Dollar City. Her passion and love for bluegrass music runs deep, as does her wholehearted commitment to IBMA and its membership. She’s a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and also Leadership Bluegrass (2000) and Leadership Music (2009), in addition to being an award winning journalist and author. The following is taken from my interview with Nancy in May 2013 at the IBMA office in Nashville: the Direct Buzz (tDB): You started with IBMA as their Special Projects Director in 1984. How did you go from playing music in Missouri to working for IBMA in Owensboro, Kentucky? Nancy Cardwell (NC): I applied for the job two years before that and I didn’t get it, I wasn’t even a finalist, but I so much believed in the idea of a trade association for bluegrass music that I stayed in touch with them. I joined and came to the conference and when the job opened up, I applied
by Bronson Herrmuth
again. I had taught school for seven years and in between two teaching gigs I worked for the Girl Scouts, but at that time my husband passed away in ’89 from cancer, and I was working as a musician in Branson. I had been to Pigeon Forge and played with the Wildwood Girls and then I moved back to Missouri and I was working in Branson as a journalist. I was the feature editor of Branson’s Country Review Magazine and writing for the Springfield/Branson edition of their paper, Branson This Week, and still playing in different combinations. I did the interview on the telephone backstage at Mutton Hollow with Dan Hays (former IBMA Executive Director). They were looking for someone to manage programs and projects and write publications and it just seemed like something that I had been preparing for, without knowing it, my entire life. I grew up around bluegrass and playing bluegrass in a family band. I had been writing about it since I was in college. I had an education degree, so I was interested in organizing things. Bluegrass In The Schools Program was a big part of my job at that point, it’s been moved to a sister organization now, but it just seemed like a good fit. So I just had to convince Dan of that, but that’s how I ended up in Kentucky. tDB: 18 years later and you’re the Executive Director. Congratulations
on that. As the Executive Director, I’m sure you have a hand in everything that happens with the organization? NC: I’m smart enough to know that I’m not an expert at everything so I try to do the things I’m best suited to do, and then hire people to work with me to do the things that I’m not great at. I think that’s what an executive director should do, but yeah, that’s my job: to oversee what goes on. We have a small staff, just four people, including me, and a board of 19 people. One lives in the Netherlands, the rest are scattered around the United States. We’ve got a good team. I’m proud to represent bluegrass music and to be in this job. There aren’t too many people that have a bluegrass day job and it’s a
gift from God to be able to work to support music that I care so much about, and to try to help people that are working in the industry. tDB: IBMA was founded in 1985. Now in 2013, how many members do you have? NC: I’ll have to check the current number because we’re having a membership promotion this month. May is IBMA membership month. In fact, we have some Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on AirPlay Direct (APD) right now, for DJs to download and use, but I’d say we’re around 2,500 members. We’ve had quite a few new memberships come in. We’re in all 50 states and 30 countries around the world. It’s just the power and the ability of bluegrass music to draw people together, literally around the world. tDB: In 2004, you co-produced the Discover Bluegrass: Exploring American Roots Music DVD with Greg Cahill and Dr. Tom Kopp. How did that project come together? NC: That was a part of our Bluegrass In The Schools Program. The message that we kept hearing from teachers was that they would love to include bluegrass music in their lesson plans for students, but they didn’t know that much about bluegrass. They didn’t play themselves and they didn’t feel qualified. What they needed was a resource to use in the classroom, so we thought this was the best thing to do as a starting point. I believe it has six chapters in it, about ten minutes long, that cover the history of bluegrass music, the influences that combine to create bluegrass music, the pioneers of bluegrass music, the instruments, the vocal harmony, the patterns and things like that. There’s a chapter called “Bluegrass Today” that we’ve updated once since it was created originally. Then there’s a lesson plan that goes along with each chapter. We have maybe 10,000 out there. It’s
also on our website, bluegrassfoundation.org, if teachers want to access it there. It’s been very popular. tDB: IBMA has always been very involved with education and now you’re even having monthly webinars. Can anyone apply to those and how do the webinars work? NC: Professional development education is very important to us. We have the seminars and mentor sessions and the conference during the fall and we have the monthly webinars. We have a program called Leadership Bluegrass that is similar to Leadership Music, but it’s only for the bluegrass industry. It’s 3 days at BMI in Nashville, every March. Webinars are open to anybody, but members get a pretty hefty discount. We use a format called webex.com and can use it as many times a year as we’d like to. We’re using it for the new IBMA Youth Council and for the International Committee too, which is great because we have people in Italy, Switzerland and Japan, and we can meet and see each other’s faces which is a cool thing. tDB: You mentioned earlier that you have PSAs on APD, and as you know many of our APD members
are also members of IBMA. What do you consider the benefits for artists having their music on APD? NC: I think it’s just a no-brainer. Here’s this vehicle to get your music out to the world. It’s a tremendous, effective and fast way to share your music with DJs that’s a lot less expensive than mailing hard copies. Some of our DJs prefer CDs and jewel cases and like to hold it in their hands, but some, a lot more everyday, are getting used to using the APD model and they like having the songs more quickly and accessible. I think it’s a wonderful service that you all provide and we’re happy to know you and happy that you’re in the business. Digital sales are important, but in the bluegrass market we
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tend to be a little bit behind the trend as compared to mainstream music. We still have a lot of people who love to buy CDs. I think it’s important as an artist to do both. To meet your audience where they are and do everything you can to get your music out to them and APD is one great way to do it. It’s very affordable and very effective. tDB: September 2013 you will be having your annual World of Bluegrass Event for the first time in Raleigh, North Carolina. Why did you choose Raleigh? NC: They have exactly what we need in the way of facilities and hotel rooms are less expensive there. Secondly, it’s an area that’s very rich in bluegrass music heritage. There are several amazing musicians and bands that have come out of the Carolinas. Also, there’s a very broad fan base. It’s a very welcoming place for bluegrass music and we feel at home there. The third reason is the overwhelming, impressive show of support from the local community. Everyone from the city officials, local arts and humanities councils, the folks at education, the visitor and tourist bureau folks, the convention staff, and Mayor Nancy McFarlane, they’ve been so welcoming. It’s like our staff has increased 10 or 12 times because we have a local organizing committee there that meets once a month, about 40 people, who are leaders in the community and local musicians who are working in different areas to help us make the events a success. They’ve helped us with some sponsorship developments and will continue to do so. They brought the North Carolina Whole Hog Barbeque State Championship that will happen during our events on Saturday. They’re planning a free to the public street festival on Friday and Saturday, where the street is literally right between the convention center, where one stage is, and the outdoor
amphitheater, where the other stage is. It’ll be a huge family community thing. They’re putting up banners on the streets, setting off fireworks. It will be the biggest event in the city for the year, I think. The enthusiasm is tremendous so we appreciate that. tDB: One thing about the World of Bluegrass is that it’s kind of in two parts. You have your business conference and then the Fanfest. What was the decision behind that? NC: That decision that you’re talking about, to combine the business conference and the award show and the festival, has been in place for a long time. I think the first award show was in 1990. I’d have to look back on the timeline to see when the first business conference was. Our events started with some musical events just held on the lawn in Owensboro, Kentucky. We’re a trade association so we were interested in getting together as a business community. It really was important to get together as a community and an industry once a year, like any other industry would, to conference, see each other faceto-face and make those deals and
connections and follow up with networking. That’s always been a part of who we are and what we provide at our conference. So that’s what happens the first few days, Tuesday through Thursday. Then we have the International Bluegrass Music Awards, which is similar to the CMA Awards or Grammys only it’s bluegrass music and we induct a couple of people into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and that happens on Thursday night. Then on the weekend we have what used to be called Bluegrass Fanfest, but this year the name has been changed to “Wide Open Bluegrass”, and that is a two-day festival on three different stages, lots of jam sessions and workshops going on with an exhibit hall. It’s a fundraiser and half the proceeds, after the expenses are paid, go to the Bluegrass Trust Fund, which is similar to the Opry Trust Fund. It’s a charitable organization that helps individuals out financially in times of emergency need. It’s one of the main reasons that IBMA was formed; to create this fund to help our folks when they need it. tDB: Your excitement is infectious
and it sounds like you have plenty of volunteers to help ensure this year will be your best year ever! NC: We do and like you said, it kind of starts out as a business event, and then more fans come out towards the middle of the week and come to the awards show and then it’s more of a fan focus on the weekend. It’s like the CMA Fest, where fans can meet with their favorite artist and talk to them and meet them. We have something called “Celebrity Jams” where Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out will stand in a circle and jam in the hallway and you can get your guitar and walk up there and play with them if you want to. One of the cool things about bluegrass music is that most of our artists are very approachable. They really appreciate their fans and they feel blessed to have careers that are decades long. If you’re really good at bluegrass, you will have fans for your entire career. tDB: You also have some incredible talent performing this year for Wide Open Bluegrass. NC: Oh my gosh, it’s amazing and we fully expect to sellout. Anyone who’s reading this, if they haven’t got their tickets, you need to go to etix.com or call 1-888-GET-IBMA and get your tickets for Wide Open Bluegrass. We’re having Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers with Edie Brickell, the Punch Brothers, and we’re having a special collaboration of folks who won some of
the first IBMA awards in 1990. Let’s see if I can get all the names right: Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck, Del McCoury and Mark Schatz on bass. Mark actually won his first Bass Player of the Year award in ’94, the year I came on staff. We’re so excited about it and then we have a lot of other great bands. The Infamous Stringdusters, Danny Paisley, Della Mae, Blue Highway, Claire Lynch, Dale Ann Bradley, Doyle Lawson, and the Del McCoury Band. It’s just a great lineup. There’s another website that our partners in Raleigh have started, it’s wideopenbluegrass.com and it has some more names like Peter Rowan and the Gibson Brothers, who are the current entertainers of the year. It’s going to be good. tDB: Is there anything else that you’re excited about coming up for IBMA? NC: The Steep Canyon Rangers are hosting the award show and we’re excited about that. Something new that we are doing at the conference this year is that we’re totally changing how we do evening artist showcases. Rather than have just one stage of official IBMA showcases in the convention hall and then also have showcases promoted by members and other independent folks around town, we decided to avoid schedule conflicts and just join forces. We’ll have a stage in the convention center for folks who don’t want to walk around town on Tuesday and Wednesday night from 6 to 10:00 pm, but we’ll also have six different stages around town. There’s an old church, an Irish pub, and four different clubs and they’re all pretty much in walking distance, but they have something called the R-Line, which is their free bus system, so you can hop on the bus or walk around. There will be music on Tuesday and Wednesday night from 6:00 pm to 2 in the morning, and then on Thurs-
day after the awards show and Friday and Saturday after the main stage acts finish, from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am at all these stages in town. It’s called the Bluegrass Ramble, which we borrowed from a Bill Monroe mandolin song title, because we’re just going to ramble around town and hear great bands. You’ll have either a business conference name badge or for the folks who live in town, who work or go to school during the day till 5, they can buy a showcase wristband that will get them into any of these venues all week long. We’ll have 30 official showcase bands that are juried showcase acts from IBMA who have applied to showcase with us, and they will play two or three times during the week and we’ll also have some co-sponsors. KCA Artists, which is Keith Cases’ company, is one and so is MerleFest. They’ll be previewing the acts that are going to be playing at their festival in 2014. Class Act Entertainment and some record labels are involved. It’s going to be a real strong lineup of music, a smorgasbord of bluegrass. They’ll be more music than ever. There’s always been a lot of music at the World of Bluegrass and a lot of jamming, but there will be more showcases and more stages and more venues and it will be very much a celebration for the whole town. It will be bluegrass week for the city of Raleigh and for all of us industry folks. The reason we have showcases is so that we can showcase emerging artists or veteran bands who maybe have a new lead singer, new product, or a new album to plug to radio, the press, or to event producers. We’ll have a very wide spectrum of bands performing. It’ll be a great place to check out bands and we’re very excited about it! APD Radio station members can find out more and help promote IBMA’s upcoming World Of Bluegrass Events here: AirPlayDirect.com/music/psa/
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.
Peter Nostrand The Duchess
Award winning American composer, Peter Nostrand, traveled across the globe to record his masterpiece, The Duchess, with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Prague. The Duchess is comprised of 12 wonderful compositions, a must listen for all lovers of romantic music. Truly inspiring from start to finish, Peter’s instrumental recording takes the listener on a delightful musical journey filled with passion, love and romance. From the moment it begins with the beautifully haunting intro of “Sunrise” to the final notes of “Symphony #1 (the Schubertian)”, you know you’re listening to a timeless work of art. The mastery of the musicianship makes these compositions well worthy to be heard as the soundtrack for a major motion picture. The liner notes for each track add to the enjoyment of listening, reading in Peter’s own words his inspiration for creating every composition. Track 15, “Come Home”, won Peter the 1st place Gold Award in the Instrumental Category of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, 3rd place Overall, and the BMI Songwriters Award. The Duchess has also been performed by the Cleveland Pops and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. Bronson Herrmuth
25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition AirPlayDirect.com/REMGreen
For the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.’s seminal 1988 release “Green,” Rhino has issued a remastered version of the original album accompanied by a disc of live performances from the Green World Tour. For many fans of college and indie rock, R.E.M. has been one of the most important bands to transcend the American underground music scene and permeate the mainstream. With the original release of “Green,” R.E.M. had clearly emerged as a significant band globally not only because of their music, but also their socially conscious lyrics. Revisiting “Green” a quarter-century after its creation, it is easy to see why R.E.M became such an influential group. The strong melodies, jangly guitar hooks, and smart lyrics are echoed in the sound of bands as disparate as Pavement, The Decemberists, and Nirvana. The live offerings serve as a reminder of R.E.M.’s place as one of the all-time great alternative live acts. The bonus disc includes solid renditions of tracks from “Green,” as well as staples like “Finest Work Song” and a dynamic re-imagining of “The One I Love.” Ryan Smith
Sarah Gayle Meech One Good Thing
With many of today’s country performers the big question is often, “Where’s the country?” But there’s no doubt about where Sarah Gayle Meech stands in the genre debates. Meech is a native of the Pacific Northwest who these days is heralded as the queen of Nashville’s honky-tonks, and she wears her country music on her sleeve, drawing from the Hanks – all three of them – to female pioneers like Patsy and Loretta. Meech has quite a few more tattoos though. Songs about heartbreak and unrequited love abound on One Good Thing, songs with titles like “Movin’ On Song,” “Sad and Lonely” and “Drink Myself to Sleep,” and Meech sings them like she’s lived them. Produced by Hank III’s steel man Andy Gibson, with some of Nashville’s hottest and most authentic country pickers, this album definitely won’t be mistaken for the latest Carrie Underwood CD. Meech is the last of a dying breed, and is sure to gain some attention with this release. Highly recommended for those who want to be able to almost smell the smoke and hear the beer bottles clinking when they listen to a country album. Rick Moore
Taking the Beach to the World AirPlayDirect.com/toddsparks From Calypso to country, story songs to up-tempo rockers, coastal Florida’s Todd Sparks makes music for everyday people no matter what their tastes are. He is a man of many parts, but a man who, above all, loves making music and entertaining the masses. And doing it mostly on the beach, no less, or taking a little of that beach with him wherever he tours across America. Sparks, who recently released his third album, Party in Paradise, spent years honing his craft in the ‘80s and ‘90s as the house act at a Panama City Beach club called Pineapple Willy’s, where, billed as “The Party Doctor,” he gained a reputation as a comedian as well as a musician and singer. “I started putting comedy with my music and played there for years,” he says. “It was a great time. But then, it’s always been a great time. I’ve always enjoyed my music, enjoyed what I do.” “I’ve pretty much played music all my life,” he continues, “and I’ve never really had a day job. I’ve just been very fortunate to be able to work (at music) all the time. I did get off the road for a while and just played locally. But my son Grant, who’s in college studying finance, is older now, and I’m able to get out and perform more with his blessing. So I’ve got a lot of pretty exciting stuff going on right now.” In addition to Party in Paradise, Sparks’ other albums include Gulf of Mexico
and the covers album My Window Faces the South, a tribute to some of the great songs about the southern states from Texas eastward. Sparks says that people from around the globe share his affinity for the beach and like his toes-in-the-sand type attitude. “It’s amazing that people all over the country, wherever we tour – and now, thanks to AirPlay Direct, people from all over the world – love this beach music I play,” he says. “Whether there’s a beach necessarily where they are or not, whether they’re in Ohio or New York or in the middle of Montana, everybody has the dream of wanting to escape the rat race and go to a party on the beach. They might not have a beach where they are, but I can bring the beach to them. Everybody can appreciate that and they love it.” “We have had so many folks who’ve heard us on the Internet e-mail us from Europe wanting more information, wanting us to do interviews, it’s been phenomenal,” he continues. “Every day it’s a new station or a new venue wanting to talk to us. We also do real well in Australia. The response we’ve been getting from all over the world has been fantastic.”
Sparks sometimes plays solo, but most often with an ensemble called the Shrimpboat Cowboys, which can range in size from five to nine pieces, depending on the venue. The Shrimpboat Cowboys includes drummer Billy Mason, who played drums for nearly two decades with country superstar Tim McGraw. Now in his early 50s, Sparks is really beginning to hit his stride, thanks to the international notoriety he’s achieving. “I started this career decades ago, and I’ve always said you’ve got to keep moving,” he says. “Keep trying to achieve your dream no matter how old you are. There’s no sense in sitting in front of the television. Get up and do something. It’s never too late. New doors are opening for me and it’s a wonderful thing.” For more information about Todd Sparks and the Shrimpboat Cowboys, go to www.toddsparks.com.
THESE ARE THE 10 WINNERS OF tDB JULY ISSUE “BUZZ ABOUT YOU” ARTIST CONTEST.
Tejas Brothers Americana / Country / Roots Rock After forming in the fall of 2006, the Tejas Brothers quickly became the subject of big conversation around the stockyards of Fort Worth. Within a few short years, they had earned the respect as one of the best live acts in Texas. The group’s debut CD was recognized as the 7th most played album for 2009 by the Americana Music Association. The group is now working on their third and most anticipated release. --------------------------------------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/TejasBrothers ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wily Bo Walker
Blues / AC / Alternative
Country / Pop / Acoustic
Acoustic Country / Alt. Country
Currently No. 1 on the Myspace Blues charts, Wily Bo Walker is a solo artist, songwriter and performer from Scotland noted for his characterful vocals and swaggering “live” performances. He also fronts his bands “Rattlin Bone” and “The Mescal Canyon Troubadours”. Wily Bo works across many styles and genres with his latest single “When The Angels Call Your Time” hinting at his love of the music of New Orleans. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/wilybo --------------------------------------------
When Maddy Rodriguez defines herself, she does so without hesitation, saying simply: “I write songs.” For the Toronto-based singer/songwriter and recording artist, music means everything. “It’s life,” she adds. On her debut independent record, Don’t Be a Stranger, Maddy shares her musical and personal life with a 12-song set of acoustic guitar based, country/pop that dwells on meeting every challenge and transition in life – large or small – head on and without regret. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/MaddyRodrig... --------------------------------------------
Country, Bluegrass, Old Time, Honky Tonk, AltCountry…Trailerpark Idlers are all of that, and none of it. The band is, since a couple of years back, strictly acoustic. The two lead singers, Morgan and Miss LisaLee, bring a variation into the music, from raw and mean to nice and sweet. The lead instrumentalists of the band, JK Anderson and Ben Dee, alternate between mandolin, guitar and accordion and take turns handling the double bass. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/TrailerparkIdlers --------------------------------------------
JULY 2013 FEATURED ARTISTS
The Smash Brothers
Hip-Hop / Rap / Pop
Country Rock / AC
Blues / Jazz+Funk / Instrumental
You can’t visit New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia without someone telling you about The Smash Brothers. Rappers CeeGramz & Husk the Great - collectively known as The Smash Brothers, recently released their debut EP entitled The G Pose. The Smash Brothers first single “G Pose” is currently receiving national radio airplay. They’re now preparing for their debut album release and #BurnBeforeListening tour in 2013. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/TheSmashBro... --------------------------------------------
Kimberley is a singer from Winnipeg, Canada who has won numerous awards in Canada and also a Native American Music Award. She is a seasoned performer who is very comfortable on stage and in the recording studio. Her powerful voice is reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt and K.T. Oslin. She can belt out a country rocker and her ballads are exemplary.
Richy Kicklighter is known for his soulful and melodic blues guitar style. He plays both acoustic and electronic and writes and produces his own music. Richy has had 9 CDs released on the jazz, blues and delta blues formats that have charted and received airplay on radio and TV internationally. Richy got a start with the Delrays band playing R&B and soul and worked with Rufus Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Bo Diddley and more.
-------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/KimberleyDawn --------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/RichyKickligh... --------------------------------------------
David J. Caron
Americana / Folk / Alt. Country
Rock / Pop-Rock / Progr. Rock
Rock / Blues Rock / Blues
Canada’s Andrea England has a unique ability to work successfully in two different music worlds: writing and performing as a folk/roots solo artist herself while placing pop cowrites with major label pop stars and fellow indie artists. England’s sensitive song craft and rigorous attention to lyrical integrity is grafted to a calibre of musicianship befitting her material on Hope & Other Sins, her critically acclaimed sophomore release, produced by Colin Linden. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/AndreaEngland --------------------------------------------
Still No.1 on the ReverbNation Rock Chart for Ireland since November 2012, David J. Caron is an Irish/Italian musician, writer, composer of unique & innovative melodic, modern, catchy, metaphoric, metamorphic, progressive, memorable popular rock music on a new dimension and approach from what you’ve heard before, attracting many new fans from all backgrounds of music. This is Different.
Phil Brown former Little Feat frontman, celebrated vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Los Angeles resident for over 35 years now living in Nashville. Cher, Pat Benatar, KBC, Ace Frehely, Bonnie Tyler, Willie D/ Tower of Power, Fiona, Paul Barrere, Kix, Kim Carnes and Steve Perry cut his songs. His own notable releases include Cruel Inventions, The Jimi Project, and newest release Imagine This. He’s a rare artistic combination of a life well lived. -------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/ImagineThis --------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------Listen here: AirPlayDirect.com/DavidJCaron --------------------------------------------
By Abby Montgomery
BUDGETING FOR YOUR PROJECT:
The Importance of a Promotion Budget As an independent recording artist, so much of the decision-making falls on your shoulders and having a strategy to go along with the financials for the recording process will give your new project an edge over the myriad of other artists simply spinning their wheels. Setting up a budget is one part of the business that most recording artists loathe. The inclination is to “sell the farm” in order to have enough money to make the kind of project that you can be proud of. But here’s a word of caution: if you spend your entire budget on the recording and duplication and leave nothing for promotion, you will be in the massively crowded “mosquito cloud” of hundreds of thousands of other recording artists relying on Social Media for promotion. If all you have in your budget is enough money to record your 10 favorite songs, but nothing for promotion, you might want to rethink your strategy… consider producing a 5-6 song EP instead, and the $2500+ you’ll save in production costs can then be earmarked for promotion, to at least let the world know your project exists! In today’s industry, an EP is a VERY acceptable product. Give your fans 5 or 6 fantastic tracks that best represent you as an artist - why waste your money (or theirs) on songs that may never make it into their iPod? Creating a budget calls for preparing for all the expenses of a record-
ing project, from start to finish… your costs for musicians, rehearsal and tracking, studio recording time, hiring an engineer and possibly a producer, and when the tracking is done, money for the mixing, mastering, ISRC and bar codes, a graphic artist, the printing costs, the packaging, and a duplication company. But what most artists forget is the cost of getting the word out once the project is done. As much as we all wish that after so much time, money and passion, the world would be waiting with baited breath to kiss our new baby, the fact of the matter is that rarely happens, and most of those “overnight successes” were 5 – 10 years in the making. So don’t make the dismal mistake of not reserving enough to promote your fantastic work of art when it’s finished and don’t rely solely on Social Media and local gigs to get the word out to the public at large. It’s important to let radio know you are inviting them to give your project a listen. With the record industry evolving into a digital industry, artists now have a better chance than ever to get airplay for their music. And, with the Internet opening up so many avenues and outlets domestically and overseas, it is much easier to attract global fans, sell downloads, and eek, at the very least, a basic living from a well promoted record. Remember, a well-promoted record is your calling card as a performer, helping you land
better paying gigs, as well as attract new fans who may never have known about you in the past. Many secondary stations are committing their airways to music “discovery,” and the playing field is leveling. If you focus your budget and attention on building your audience with the secondary stations, you have a greater chance of rising to the top. Many of those stations are in and around major markets and have a dedicated listenership that relies on them for music discovery. You have an opportunity like never before to get not just domestic airplay but international airplay, with a very basic promotional budget. The first thing to consider is putting your record up on AirPlay Direct (if you haven’t already) for digital delivery. Stations need a safe place to download digital music from and most stations will not open attachments that are sent from personal email accounts. APD has thousands of radio station members who rely on them for quick, safe and easy access to content. By taking out a Banner Ad on their site or even being a part of their Monday E-blast, you increase your exposure with those stations 100 fold, and ultimately attract stations to listen to your tracks, ones who may not have found you otherwise. Although there are many choices for where to make your music available to radio, dollar for dollar, AirPlay Direct gives you the largest database
of radio stations at your fingertips. When you begin to see downloads, you know the music has an audience and you can then go about finding a promoter to follow up with those stations and they will then invite their “starter” stations to listen and testspin your record. If their audience loves the track, chances are those stations will add you to their playlist and the ball will be rolling. Here are some examples of promotion and marketing costs: •
Internet Banner Ads: from “free link sharing” - to $500 a week (consider advertising on a radio station website once they start spinning you) Print / E-print Ads: $100 - $2000 depending on the publication (do your due diligence) Promotional CDs: keep at least 100 autographed CDs on hand to send out to stations when requested Internet Radio Promoter: $350 - $1750 (again, check testimonials) College Radio Promoter: $1500 - $3500. (will need 250 promotional CDs for hard copy mailing)
So here’s a good formula: Take your total cost of creating the project (ie. cost of everything from recording to duplication), take 20% of that number and reserve that for marketing and promoting your project. As sales accumulate at gigs and online, continue to reserve 20% of that new income for ongoing promotion and marketing. Attracting new fans is still very much a live gig and radio station game and if you budget correctly, you will never have to “sell the farm” to get the results you want. Abby Montgomery is the owner of RadioMavens, a multi genre radio promotion company located in Nashville.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR RADIO by Fred Boenig This month on “Three Questions” we interviewed Greg Torrington - Galaxie / Stingray Digital. the Direct Buzz (tDB): What is your station, location, format and how long have you worked there? Greg Torrington (GT): Well, actually it’s not a station, it’s a streaming audio service that is provided through digital cable internationally. Most of my channels are available in Canada and the US. It is called Galaxie, and the parent company is Stingray Digital. We have a couple hundred channels that digital cable providers can chose from, most take between 40 - 100 channels of every format. We are based out of Montreal, Canada and I’ve worked here three and a half years. tDB: How long have you been a member of AirPlay Direct and why do you use AirPlay Direct? GT: I signed on to AirPlay Direct shortly after I got hired here. I initially was hired to handle the Country Channels and didn’t need it for that but, I put together our Bluegrass Channel and used APD to get Bluegrass releases. tDB: Tips for Independent artists on AirPlay Direct, one tip on what not to do with release page and songs and one tip on what you should do with release page and songs. We want your insight to assist our artists in how they present themselves to radio on AirPlay Direct. GT: I am album art oriented because we broadcast on Television and the Internet. Many of the providers have a sophisticated service that has the album on screen so having album art at 500 dpi x 500 dpi is very important to us since we display it. Many of our Cable Providers also have internet and phone apps that are connected directly
to iTunes if they are listening on their cell phone. The app is “Galaxie” and is a subscription if you are not a cable subscriber. You can check it out at Galaxie.ca. We are in 12 million homes in North America and also in Europe. I don’t like to look at a blank page on APD - the more bio the better. I’m also big on knowing when the album was released. I’m looking for new releases. I don’t have time to be listening to back catalog. One thing that is very important for me is songwriter information included. We pay royalties to all the performing rights organizations. If it’s not there, I have to cross reference it and then it makes more work for me. I also don’t like when they pad the profile with music off of previous CDs. It may help with the AirPlay Direct charts, but it makes it difficult for me. I recommend AirPlay Direct to many artists because it is a really handy system for me to use and I can quickly check out new music and for me I’m not old school, I don’t want CDs. They take up too much room and it’s an unnecessary expense to the artist. I have worked in radio for many years. I have worked in Rock radio. I worked at a station, out of Ottawa, that was an AAA station before that term was even around for 13 years and was Music Director for 10 years. I also worked A & R at Warner Brothers / Canada and managed a lot of Roots artists including Colin Linden.
TAPS: Easing the Burden of Loss for Military Families
By Rick Moore
For family members of men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the stress and turmoil of watching a loved one leave for military service, sometimes even to go to war, has to be experienced to be fully comprehended. But that departure can’t begin to compare to the emotional upheaval of receiving the news of a loved one’s death in the service of our country. Everyone who loses a loved one faces a complex set of issues, but the surviving family members of military personnel have to deal with bittersweet emotions and difficulties that the civilians among us might not fully comprehend. In such times of loss and grief, increasing numbers of military survivors are finding camaraderie and solace in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, TAPS is a not-for-profit organization that provides help, hope, and healing to those who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, casework assistance, and connections to community-based care following such a tragic occurrence. Ami Neiberger-Miller is the public affairs officer for TAPS. NeibergerMiller had a history of working with non-profit organizations before she joined TAPS after the death of her own 22-year-old brother, U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, who was killed in August 2007 by a roadside bomb while serving with the U.S. Army in Baghdad. “TAPS was founded in 1994 by
Bonnie Carroll, the surviving widow of Brigadier General Tom Carroll, who died in a military plane crash on a routine mission in 1992,” NeibergerMiller explains. “Bonnie undertook two years of research after that crash to look for different services available to families of servicemen and women who had fallen, and to really try to design the organization to fill gaps in care. So the real heart of TAPS was designed initially to provide care-based emotional support, and we’ve really retained that as a core value for the organization over the years.” In addition to word-of-mouth recommendations, families of fallen servicemen and servicewomen are also referred to TAPS through the military itself. “Survivors are asked if they would like peer-based support, if
they would like a peer mentor, if they would like to be part of events with us near their communities, what do they need in the days ahead,” NeibergerMiller says. “So we try to customize what’s available for families. For example, the first time I called TAPS was for myself, after my brother died in action in Iraq. I spoke with someone who put me in touch almost immediately with another sister. And it didn’t matter that she didn’t live where I did, what mattered was that her circumstances were common to mine, as her brother had also died in Iraq. She also had surviving parents and siblings and was older than her brother like I was, so we had things in common that mattered, and that gave me a sense that I had met someone who understood what I was going through. So we’ve stayed in touch over the years. TAPS helps people find that connection.” Neiberger-Miller says that today’s technology plays a vital role in helping survivors of the fallen communicate. “We have a very active online community, with e-mail support groups as well as real-time chat in our chat rooms where people can meet virtually,” she says. “These are very important avenues for people who are seeking someone else who has had their kind of experience and knows what they’re going through.”
One survivor who sings the praises of TAPS is Rachael Hill of Alaska, who lost her husband, United States Air Force Captain Jeffrey Hill, during a training flight at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage in 2010. Rachael Hill has since been involved with TAPS, attending events in the Washington, D.C. area and even blogging on the TAPS website. “Jeff was a C-17 pilot and his plane crashed in a training accident at Elmendorf,” Hill recalls. She chokes up talking about the mishap, and at the remembrance of her late husband. “We actually both joined the Air Force right out of high school and we met after basic training in technical training school. So I knew the risks. But even knowing the risks, that’s still something you think happens to other people. I never in a million years imagined that it would be my own husband. He knew there was a risk and he would fly into Iraq and Afghanistan and get shot at...but you never really think that something’s going to happen.” Then Hill found TAPS and made the move to become involved with others who had experienced the same loss. “The first thing that I went on was the TAPS widow’s retreat, and they made me feel like it was made for people like me,” she says. “It was the first time (since her husband died)
that I was able to be around so many women who understood what I was going through. There were 40 of us, and it was just like this instant connection where you don’t have to be careful about what you say, because sometimes if I talked about my husband (in everyday situations) people would get weirded out...people sometimes don’t know what to do, don’t know if it’s okay to talk about it. But by going to that retreat I made friendships and relationships that I know will last a long time.” Echoing Neiberger-Miller’s comments, Hill says that today’s technology makes it possible for her to blog and to stay in touch with others, especially since she lives so far away from the rest of the country in Alaska. “A lot of it is through Facebook,” she says. “Coming out of that widow’s retreat we started a Facebook group, and it has now grown to 175 people.” TAPS is supported through corporate grants and contributions and private foundation grants, and special events such as marathons are also held throughout the country to raise funds for the organization. In addition to seminars and functions for adults, TAPS provides the TAPS Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors, which provides a safe and supportive atmosphere and opportunities for young people to learn
coping skills, and to create awareness that they are not alone in grieving for their loved one. The Good Grief Camp is America’s first established program for children who have lost a parent, sibling or loved one in military service to America, a place where kids can share, heal and have fun in a loving, supportive environment. “My little boys are seven and five, and they had just turned five and three when my husband died,” Hill says. “They love going to Good Grief Camp, where they can go and be surrounded by other kids who’ve lost a parent to the military. They feel comfortable there talking and sharing their stories.” “Military life is different than civilian life and most people don’t understand that,” Hill continues. “TAPS is an organization that deals directly with the issues and difficulties and struggles that you might be having as part of the military, and makes it so much better. I guess being part of TAPS has helped me get a better sense of closure, helped me find some of the missing pieces. It
really is a family. That might sound a little cheesy, but it’s true. Everybody kind of takes care of everybody.” Neiberger-Miller says her own position with TAPS can sometimes be rather daunting, as she herself has experienced what so many others are going through. “It can be challenging because we work with families who’ve been through a lot of trauma, and some of their traumas mirror mine,” she says. “Similar circumstances, similar situations…but if you feel you’re at a place where you’re comfortable helping others now in terms of dealing with your own loss, then you’re able to do that. For me personally, I have gotten a lot out of being able to connect with others, siblings in particular. Sometimes that’s what you really need, somebody who doesn’t try to offer solutions but just says, ‘Hey, I’m here’ and sits beside you and lets you know that they’ve been there too, and that the sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow and things will get better. And you may not believe it today, but it’s true. Things do get better.”
What you can do to help: Your donation makes a difference! Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to TAPS by visiting their website at www.taps.org/donate to submit either a credit/debit card donation or to fax or mail in your donation. For more information: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors National Headquarters www.taps.org 3033 Wilson Boulevard Suite 630 Arlington, VA 22201 Toll Free: 800-959-TAPS (8277) Main Telephone: 202-588-TAPS (8277) Fax Number: 571-385-2524
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Helping Independent Artists to Succeed since 2001 www.AmericanaMediaPro.com
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JAMES LEE STANLEY
ALL WOOD AND STONES
James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf have both been part of the Southern California music scene since its early 1970s heyday and have recorded more than 45 classic albums between them. All Wood and Stones — acoustic guitar albums like no other — 21 classic Rolling Stones songs, rearranged, reconstructed, sung and played by John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley. Not covers, reinventions
“At a time when you are lucky to get one great song on a CD, All Wood and Stones II delivers ten great songs and some of the best damned acoustic guitar playing you have heard in a long, long time.”
Exquisite acoustic renditions of classic Rolling Stones songs
Paint It Black • Ruby Tuesday • Satisfaction Under My Thumb • Let’s Spend the Night Together Mother’s Little Helper • Backstreet Girl Last Time • Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby 19th Nervous Breakdown • As Tears Go By
Honky Tonk Women • Miss You Get Off My Cloud • Jumpin’ Jack Flash Play With Fire • Before They Make Me Run Sympathy For The Devil • Tumblin’ Dice Wild Horses • Time Is On My Side
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the Direct Buzz July 2013 Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform. We see the Direct Buzz as a “Destination” for anyone interested...