Archive for the Independent Music Category

The Seventh Year of Damn Good Tunes.com

Posted in Guitar Nation, Independent Music, Indie Music, Interviews, Journalism, Nashville, Now Now Now, radio, recording, Reviews, songwriter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2014 by damngoodtunes

When I began this journey into the unknown of publishing a web-based music magazine there were no illusions or false expectations, just a vision and instinct  based on one simple philosophy – helping others.  I wasn’t this guy who had been president of the school newspaper or anything nor was I some kind of literary and grammar genius.  I just wanted to help musicians, and for the sake of purpose for the new readers who don’t know me / us at DGT, here is why:

The music industry is in a way like the eye of a needle, only enough room in the doorway of opportunity for a select few to enter, be promoted and  then to  become successful. That’s nothing new to  the art of music, dance, theater and art itself. There’s a lot of talent out there in the world, most would agree. But I saw it as  an  uneven challenge always leaning to favor the super-attractive, the more youthful and those with the most dollars behind them. With the way the world has been growing technologically there came some new advantages but not enough to break through the stigma of talent vs. looks and money and it all came down to one thing; promotion.

All songwriter-singers and bands no matter if they are Indie or signed to a major label need publicity, so we decided to level the  above-mentioned playing field by offering a new system that was not an exclusive club. It’s not closed to large, small, old, young,  black, white, red, brown people, grey haired, no hair, long-haired  – it’s open for everyone. Race, creed, political views and orientation have no meaning here at DGT and we  do not and will not ever spin a story that is based on bias or prejudice. We’ll let the big boys of publishing do that. All we want to do is write reviews and conduct interviews with deserving talent and keep it family friendly in the process.

Since 2007 we have been making friends all over the globe and  we have earned respect through simple guidelines and a shared philosophy among our writers. We have also partnered with some of the best other ” like ” industry leaders such as the Country Music Association, XO Publicity, Music Clout, Countrified Canada and as of most recent AudioSprout.com so that we might expand further and bring our readers more related news and information that they might not otherwise have seen. These affiliate partners provide content which  enhances our original features  and gives our fans and readers a great totally free web magazine experience. There are no fees or locked content – it’s all there for you to see and hear right there on your Pad, phone or computer.

This dream might never have come so far were it not for the efforts of my daughter Trinity, who heads up the art and design department and  doubles as a writer in many different areas of music. Then we have James Dean Fisher who has been with us for over five years bringing us the Indie Country music world the way that only a  Nashville Tennessee resident of near forty years could tell. James is joined by Linda Mewhirter, Randy Kamradt and Dr. Kenneth Love who are all outstanding people and extremely knowledgeable of the music industry. Last but not least, and perhaps our golden star is Lou Anne Michel, who has been bringing a smile to people all over the world with her exclusive Cartoon-Guitar characters in Guitar Nation and Fabulous Friends! We might have been a bit too determined and serious until our little guitar buddies came along, and they add something fun and  relaxing to the wonderful magazine we have become.

Yes, this article is laced with pride isn’t it? Yep, it’s been a great seven years and now damngoodtunes.com is on its way to becoming an internationally recognized brand known for truth and ethics and for being a real friend to musicians and songwriters  all over the planet. We didn’t buy our respect, we earned it. We didn’t buy our following with a SEO company, we couldn’t afford it so we built it ourselves through social networking and time-tested word-of-mouth. Imagine that !

Special thanks to all past contributors including Rocky Nelson,  Kris Edem,  Firelyn, Jessie Torrisi, Ms P, Linda Harboth and Kevin Limiti

Guitar Nation comic comes to DGT!

Guitar Nation comic comes to DGT!

Bruce J Maier / CEO

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Costs of doing ( Music ) business

Posted in Country Music, Independent Music, Indie Music, Music City USA, transportation with tags , , , on January 9, 2013 by damngoodtunes

JAMES DEAN FISHER
EDITOR, MUSIC CITY, NASHVILLE
http://www.damngoodtunes.com
Universal Sound Recording Artist

James Dean

James Dean

 
The music business is in a dramatic change mode and the economy is still making things very difficult for the industry. The price of fuel, food and equipment is still very unstable. The music venues are suffering from low attendance due to the price of the tickets and the cost of the travel to and from the concerts. Therefore, the clubs and the live music venues can’t afford to pay a live band what it needs to make ends meet and worth their time. This seems to be the ongoing status of the music world of today. Will it get better……um umum?
About this time some of our nonmusical readers are wondering where this writer is going with this, so, for them and the benefit of the young and upcoming artist today, is crucial that they know about managing his or her business, and that means their music business. This consists of not only writing songs, recording songs as well as selling their products, it also means managing their transportation, payroll, and overall cost of being a recording artist/ entertainer. They recording artist IS the business and the business consists of the aforementioned aspects that come with owning and operating a business.
Basically what prompted this writer to write this article was a young upcoming artist I met and was talking with at an event in Nashville called,” The Producers Chair.” This young artist has a record deal and is preparing for a radio and concert tour coming up in 2013. He wanted to know why it costs so much to rent or buy an entertainer Coach and he asked me if I had ever rented are owned an entertainer bus. I told this young man that I have actually owned four entertainer coaches over the years I have been in the entertainment business. At one time I owned three coaches, Two of which were rented out and the other coach, a series 10 Eagle, was my private coach and I still own this coach today.
I told this young man if he had a few minutes I would brief him on the cost and operation from entertainer Coach, so we set down at a table and I explained to this young artist that before he goes out and attempts to purchase an entertainer Coach he should know that this will be one of the major purchases in his business. He must obtain a well maintained coach and that the cost would be usually anywhere from a mid-five figure all the way up to a high six-figure and along with coach there would be mandatory insurance coverage as well as a commercial entertainer Coach driver. The cost of the driver is negotiable; however, the driver’s safety record, MVR and work history is ultimately important.
I told this young recording artist he should be sure that his artist management has him working and generating enough income to sustain the cost of his employees(roadies, musicians, and his driver) as well as the cost of fuel, average $3.85 per gallon, bus payments and maintenance on the coach. This artist asked me how much it cost me to run my bus and I told him approximately $1.50 per mile and that only covered the coach insurance and maintenance and fuel due to the fact that I have my own private driver and I also drive the bus sometimes. I told his young man that if he had to pay bus payments, insurance and keep the maintenance done and pay a driver, the cost per mile(C.P.M.) would most likely double to #3.00 or more. Therefore, if the concert or venue he would be playing is 700 miles away, his cost for transportation alone would be in the area of $2100 plus paying himself and his employees.
Was this young artist surprised? To say the least, he was utterly shocked! We talked about the time and the work necessary to get prepared for the road and the venues on the tour. I told him there would lodging and food and other expenses that come up unexpectedly and he and his management must be prepared to handle this sort of things on a regular basis.
As a general rule, most up and coming artist are not financially able to go out and purchase an expensive Prevost or a fancy MCI, however, there other options available to the new artist, such as a good used late-model large van such as a Dodge or a Freightliner or maybe a heavy-duty long wheelbase Ford. For a small group, the long wheelbase van will accommodate the artist needs for transportation that will carry the equipment for a three, four piece band. Years ago, when I first got started in the business, I pulled a 12 foot trailer behind a Pontiac Bonneville and it did a great job. Speed, snow and ice as well as the wind is detrimental to the safety when pulling a trailer, but, it can be done until finances and artist revenues get to the point where they are financially able to buy a bus.On a comical note, but from a real-life experience, I was forced , more or less, to purchase a bus after about four years in the music business. I had a band while living in Fort Worth Texas called, The Music Machine. This band consists of myself, as the artist, and four other musicians. The booking agency in Texas, called Joan Frank productions, located in Dallas Texas was booking me at the time. We were playing clubs as well as outdoor promotion shows all over the great state of Texas. As it were, we were booked for two nights in Ennis, Texas, a club about 40 miles south of Dallas. The usual club hours for the band was 9 P M until 2 A M and since we were a regular band having played the club several times, we were well accepted and the people loved us, therefore, the owner loved us.

Unfortunately I had to replace a lead guitar player even though I, myself, played lead guitar and did most of the vocals, I usually had a lead man in the band. The new guitar player stated that he knew where this club was located and that he would drive his own vehicle and meet us at the club around 8:30 for sound check and be ready to play at 9 PM. 9 PM came along and NO guitar player insight! I took the stage along with the other three musicians and played our first hour set and back those days, there were no cell phones, so this guitar player had no way to inform me. At 11:30 PM, 2 1/2 sets late, the lead guitar player shows up! This guy comes on stage, plays the rest of the set and the band took the third break. Needless to say, the club owner was rather unhappy and I was very pissed, so I ask the guitar player where the hell he had been and he states LOST! He said that he did not know North from South, East from West and that he had turned left on I 35 instead of right, unfortunately winding up in Dallas, Texas! When the show was over a called the guys together and told them all and IN an affirmative fashion that there would be no more, one more time for this to happen. Since we were very well accepted at this particular club, the club owner was generous enough not to dock the pay, however, he made it very clear that if this happened again we would not play his venue again. With the circumstances as they prevailed, I told the guys that in the future all musicians would meet at a designated location in Fort Worth, Texas and that anyone that did not show up would not have a job working for me! All musicians and equipment would be ready to move out at a designated time and would travel to the venue to be played together. I BOUGHT A BUS! I went out and bought a used 35 foot Brill! I bought my first entertainer bus and I have owned buses from that day until now. Just a note for laughter, no musician has gotten lost winding up in Dallas, Texas anymore.
Over the years that this writer has been in the entertainment business as an artist and a business owner, I have seen many young artists just getting started, having no experience and no one to help and lead and or, maybe teach them the ropes that they must learn. Learning how to start your music business is certainly not easy and without some professional help or at the very least, someone who has been in the music business long enough and successful enough to give them good advice about the”Do’s” and “don’t’s”, the up and coming new artist can fail, therefore, losing it all. I have seen that too many times and it can happen to YOU!
As a new artist, get your finances in order, as well as your personal life and your music business. Make certain that you make your music career a business, therefore, operate and treat your business as a real business. Get all of your expenditures, agreements, contracts in writing and write a receipt and keep a copy for everything you spend your hard-earned money on. Keeping your profit and loss(P&L’s), expenditures and payroll receipts will keep the IRS from banging on your door…………. And they will come calling if you fail to handle your business properly.
As an artist, I have traveled one and a half times around the world and played almost all 50 states in this great, beautiful United States of America. Did I get rich?……….. NO I did not, but, I have survived the ups and downs of the music business as an entertainer and writer/journalist for many years, investing in real estate when the times were good, therefore, with hard work and by the grace of God, I have survived and I am still doing what God put me on this Earth to do…… Entertain people and playing music and writing about it!
With Christmas just around the corner and everyone looking forward to the wonderful times, great food, visiting with friends and relatives and family, may God bless and keep all of you!
We, here@damngoodtunes.com love you, all of our readers and fans and we are looking forward to a great year, 2013! So please, if you love our magazine, go out and tell all your friends about us. We will try with all sincerity, to keep our readers entertained and educated and keep this magazine ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!
James Dean(Fisher)
Editor, Music City, Nashville
http://www.damngoodtunes.com
Universal Sound Recording Artist
Hear and buy James’ new record:“BLUESMAN” on CD baby, ITunes, Amazon and all places where great music is sold!

 

 

ROCK IT – David Shriver Tribute is now Launched!

Posted in I Have A Dream, Independent Music, Indie Music, Kickstarter, Memorial, Pop music, Short Film, Soundtrack, Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 13, 2012 by damngoodtunes

Full speed ahead! That’s what Bruce Maier and his dedicated team are saying now that phase 2 of the Kickstarter.com fundraising campaign has launched as of Monday. There is a brand new introduction video in place which will give the potential donors much more of the information and even a sneak peek at David’s live performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, along with a clip of actor-musician and author Mickey Jones who Maier recruited to play drums on the soundtrack for the film. Mickey was seated in the control room of the recording studio hearing back the song Rock It for the very first time when he is captured on  camera offering an emotional response.

This is a worthy project and there is an inspirational message of hope for anyone who loves music and has considered putting all their faith in the Dream of making it in music.

David Shriver and Mickey Jones along with their band-leader Trini Lopez sold millions of records and played the most important shows and broadcast in the world . But all this fame would come just a few years after David’s first time becoming famous as the electric Bass player for Rock icon Eddie Cochran. Cochran will killed in a tragic car crash in England, leaving behind millions of saddened fans and a young David Shriver asking the question of what would be next. After a stint with the Kelly Four, David was at the famed PJ’s in Hollywood when he meets with Lopez and Jones who were just then needing a good Bass player. The rest is an amazing history which includes moving from Malibu and buying a  farm in Washington state, joining with Northwest music legend Clayton Watson and performing in symphonies and Big Bands! David Shriver as the song says,  ” lived his life with passion ! ”

In order to tell this story in Rock It, we need your help. Please go to our Kickstarter page and watch the video and read the details. Rock It!

See The Video Here

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Charlie Louvin

Posted in Country Music, Hall Of Fame, Independent Music, Indie Music, Music Video, Nashville, New Country Music, News, recording, songwriter, vocals with tags , , on January 27, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Charlie Louvin's 2010 CD release

Unfortunately cancer has taken it’s toll on Country music legend Charlie Louvin. But he did give the devil a good run for his money and fought the good fight. Charlie Louvin and his brother Ira rode the top of the charts and hit number one in 1955. Ira lost his life ten years later in an auto accident, but Charlie, in unfailing memory of his brother Ira, pressed on for decades to bring the fans the great music that he and his brother had created. Please see our tribute today in damngoodtunes.com

Interview with Platinum Hit writer!

Posted in Country Music, Gold Record, Independent Music, New Country Music, Pop music, songwriter with tags , , on January 17, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Join us this week as our Nashville reporter James Dean Fisher brings us an interview with Roy August who enjoys the distinction of being a songwriter who has scored multi-platinum records including “Sitting Here Fancy Free” for the Oak Ridge Boys back in the 1980’s. Mr. August has written over 1000 songs to date and is able to live the lifestyle that many up and coming writers would one day love to emulate. The pre-story appears right now at damngoodtunes.com so stop on by today!

Roy August with some of his Gold and Platinum records

Our Most Important Story

Posted in Human Rights, Independent Music, slavery with tags , , on January 9, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Can music stop human slavery? Is it true that there are over 12 million known child sex workers in the world? How far will six ” Indie ” bands go to stop this madness? Watch for the answer soon.

Pacific Northwest Music News

Posted in Independent Music, Journalism, News, Patriotic, Peace, Soldiers, World News with tags , , on November 8, 2010 by damngoodtunes

We welcome yet another new feature to our ever-expanding lineup, with veteran Northwest native Rocky Nelson. Mr. Nelson who grew up in Lewis County in western Washington has been a senior journalist for the Washington Blues Society for a number of years and brings us a dedicated passion for all music that’s good, especially the Blues! When Rocky is not writing for us he can be seen in another role bringing the amenities of a better lifestyle to people in foreign lands.