NewReleaseToday Sampler #1 on Noisetrade

Kevin McNeese and his team at have once again showed innovative marketing as they continue to build one of Christian music’s leading brands. The team partnered with the Creation Festivals through hosting a coffee house stage this year at Creation Northwest, Creation Northeast, Sonshine Festival and Ichthus.
While most festivals include side stages, never in the past have I seen a sponsor with such a huge marketing influence connect all the dots in the way did this summer.

In addition to hosting the stages, they supported the stages weekly on their website and partnered with Noisetrade to offer a sampler with participating artists. The sampler titled Recreation, debuted at #1 this on Noisetrade this week and featured tracks from DiscipleGinny Owens, Remedy Drive, Shonlock, Ryan Corn, Jonathan Thulin and others.

Utilizing their 150K subscriber list, NRT has managed to turn the normal low impact festival side stage into a viable marketing vehicle for newer artists. Its encouraging to see Kevin and his team lead the industry through new creative marketing initiatives that give new and independent artists opportunities to be discovered.


911 On The Stage

Every musician’s dream is to play on the big stage for thousands of people. A few fortunate ones get the opportunity to play the big stage on a regular basis. Some get their shot only to blow it. Seasoned musicians know the importance of being prepared for any circumstance on the big stage. When its show time anything can and probably will go wrong. Those who are prepared will not be shaken. Those who aren’t prepared will be shaken!

Vocal Warm-Up should be done 1 hour prior to show. It puzzles me to see vocalist eschew the warm up. I would compare that to driving an automobile with no oil in it. Cars engines die with no oil. So do voices. If you have confidence that your voice is strong and sounding great, issues with monitor mixes can be easily overcome.

Always have a back-up guitar on hand. When your guitar stops working or you break a string whats your plan? With only seconds to save a show or blow a show, having a back-up enables the quick save.

Bring that extra guitar cable. Ever notice that guitar cables never go bad when they aren’t plugged in? They seem to pick the most inopportune time to cause problems which is usually during a show. Check your cables in advance and always have a back-up for a quick change.

Install Fresh Batteries. Anyone using guitar pick-ups, wireless mics, wireless instrument packs and tuners should install fresh batteries before hitting the stage. Save the old ones for rehearsals. And always have back-ups on hand.

Tracks Plan B – Anyone using tracks should have a Plan B. Either have a backup computer booted up and ready to go or be prepared to make an immediate transition into a show without tracks.

When a 911 presents itself those who are prepared are able to think a clearer and act faster. Those who aren’t prepared experience a meltdown that could potential ruin a show.

Have you experienced 911 on the stage?







Ledisi Missing At The 2015 Grammy Awards?

Hard to believe but the 2015 Grammy Awards have come and gone. The great thing about that significant event is the fact that we will soon see the big contenders for next year’s awards begin to surface. I always look forward to the new music ushered in for spring.

I must say this year’s performances were much better than what was delivered last year on the Grammy stage. AC/DC opening up the show was a milestone and the guys didn’t look as old and tired as one might have expected them to. Lady Gaga finally sang a song that showcased an amazingly beautiful voice that has taken a back seat to her shock antics. Pharrell Williams had one of the most brilliant performances of the evening in which he gave his mega hit song “Happy” a new and interesting spin. Madonna looked more like Ertha Kit in Boomerang as she begged the audience to stand up to join her in granny aerobics. Katy Perry sounded fabulous while donning a new classy look and Ed Sheeran showed the world why so many folks buy his records. Miranda Lambert put on quite the show proving her worthiness at the top of Country music. Brandy Clark and Dwight Yokoam created what was probably my favorite performance of the evening forcing me to buy Brandy’s record immediately. John Mayer’s new look sporting a pink Charvel Jackson was indeed a surprise and the quick lead he shredded showed Charvels can reach well beyond hammer-ons! Beck winning  Album Of The Year was the big surprise and seeing Kanye West stupidness makes me extremely happy that Beyonce didn’t win. Can’t we ban Kanye Worst from award shows?

Speaking of Beyonce, why in the world would the Grammys have her perform the song that currently belongs to Ledici? I understand the Grammy Awards desire to increase viewership but I always thought the Grammy’s were a little more concerned about honoring great musicians than caving in for the popular vote? And Beyonce…come on…don’t you have enough? If I were Beyonce and asked to sing someone else’s song I think I would have used my influence to ensure my fellow sister got the deserved shot on the Grammy stage. That could have been a defining moment for Ledisi’s career. Instead viewers were forced to watch Beyonce again. Sigh.

JamTheHype Announces West Coast Winter Tour announces their first annual hip-hop Winter West Coast tour featuring NF, Je’Kob, V. Rose and Spec! The tour kicks off January 30 in San Diego with stops in Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle and Portland. Tour sponsors include Presonus Audio, Rise Above Republic, Save The City Records and Grateful Apparel. Pedro LaTorre of Hope In Motion will be the featured speaker on the tour.

For ticket info visit

JTH Tour Poster-1

Live In The Vineyard

My many years in the music industry have been a roller coaster ride with highlights that fill the journey with unforgettable memories. As I look back, there are a few landmarks along the way that really wow’d me. This past week, Live In The Vineyard proved to be one of those moments.

While the rest of the music industry is consumed with trying to figure out whether Spotify is a good or bad thing for music, Claire Parr & Bobbii Jacobs are consumed with creating a unique cottage industry within the music industry. Combining live music experiences with some of the finest food & wine over a weekend in Napa certainly accomplishes that.

Live In The Vineyard is centered around contest winners from various radio stations across the country. The event engages radio with various corporate sponsors including Southwest Airlines, Aloft Hotels, UPS, National Rental Car, Enterprise Rental Cars and Sutter Home to create a great promotional vehicle for music. When one of our artists, Ryan Corn, was booked for the event, I really didn’t know what to expect. I do know that music, food and wine make a pretty great combo and that created a curious excitement to see how it would play out. Live In The Vineyard celebrates the artisans of music, food and wine creating an unforgettable experience. Attendees are shuttled around on luxury buses to various wineries throughout the days & evenings for private dining and tasting experiences accompanied by musical performances from both well-known and newer artists. One of the memorable music performances for me was seeing Mat Kearney perform an acoustic set which gave the audience a sneak peek at some of his brand new songs. Other music performances included Ingrid Michaelson, Train, EchoSmith, Matt Nathanson, Meghan Trainor, Scars on 45, Marie Miller and Johnny Swim. The most memorable winery visit was our visit to Spring Mountain Winery which created a beautiful backdrop for a tasting of one of Napa’s best kept secrets topped off with a performance by Johnny Swim in a wine cave!

Ryan Corn with Mat Kearney

Ryan Corn with Mat Kearney

It’s great to see people like Claire and Bobbii finding unique ways to promote great music experiences in our ever-changing music world with events like Live In The Vineyard. We are grateful to have been a part of this year’s event!

Using Story To Build A Brand



Each morning I awake in search of that ingenious music marketing plan that will significantly change and impact the way music is sold. One that turns an ordinary musician into a house hold name overnight. While chasing that elusive groundbreaking overnight plan, I like to study other marketing and branding stories in hopes of gleaning nuggets that will lead me to the Holy Grail. Along the way, I stumbled across a branding story that captured my heart in a way no other brand has done. It’s the story of a Nashville based company, Imogene + Willie.

I first heard about Imogene + Willie a few years back from photographer, Joshua Black Wilkins. We were at a photo shoot for an artist that we manage and somehow got on the subject of Joshua’s jeans and how he hadn’t washed them in a year. What! Why? Surely those had to be some nasty jeans? Photographer, Thomas Petillo, was driving the shoot and he was also wearing a pair of Imogene & Willies. Both had done photography for the new jean brand and knew the owners and their story well. Thomas and Joshua shared enough of the Imogene + Willie story to spark my curiousity. After the photo shoot, I began to research the story and their well crafted marketing.

Being an avid blogger, I was instantly impressed to find that the Imogene + Willie website was built on a blog platform. I clicked the tab labeled Our Story and dove in for a read. Learning a bit of the story of the owners, Carrie and Matt, and the inspiration for the Imogene + Willie name began to draw me in for more. Reading the story and watching the video about their desire to make things in the USA and their excitement about building a small business that provided jobs for others was heart warming. Even though we had never met, I instantly felt as if I knew Carrie and Matt well. Even so, I still couldn’t get past the fact that it would cost me $250 for a pair of those special jeans that you aren’t supposed to wash. As I began to read more about selvedge denim, I learned from Carrie & Matt about the superior denim that was used to make the early Levi’s that built America. For some reason, I felt drawn back to the Imogene + Willie website on a regular basis to read more. Carrie and Matt had used story to pull me deep into their brand. I actually shared their story with others for a year before purchasing my first pair of Imogene + Willie jeans. My first purchase was fueled with a desire to support a local Nashville business with heart and soul and to become part of their story. After joining the mailing list, I noticed something even more brilliant. They tell a story behind every product they sell, offering the consumer more than just a piece of clothing. It’s pretty incredible how story makes it possible for them to sell a $68 t-shirt or a $62 bandana. At times, they send emails that tell the story of other local businesses. Through their story telling, I  discovered Otis James bow ties, Emil Erwin leather goods and the wonderful food of  Mas Tacos. How amazing that a company would go to such effort to build community by giving props to other local businesses. 

The catalyst that finally got me to purchase a pair of jeans was seeing the brand incorporate music into their story. Carrie and Matt began hosting Supper & Song nights in the backyard of their store. The Supper & Song nights were complete with live music, community and food trucks. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the Supper & Song until after they were forced to cease hosting them due to local sound ordinance codes, but I somehow felt like I had attended as I read through their blog. Recently, they announced that they will be starting them up again and I absolutely can’t wait to attend. Another way they incorporate music in their story is by creating and sharing Spotify playlists. Music appears to be a big part of the culture they are creating so naturally, customers would want to know what Matt, Carrie and the other employees are listening to. Wouldn’t it be great if all businesses incorporated music in their culture and branding?

Imogene + Willie has created quite the brand and finding themselves featured in the New York Times, Vogue Magazine and they were even invited to do a TED talk on their business strategy. Last week, I attended their five-year anniversary party to celebrate the remarkable Imogene + Willie branding story. Story was a huge part of the celebration as they asked customers to drop off some of their worn jeans ahead of time. They lined the walls of the party with customer’s jeans along with a short story card below each pair with the customers name, the age of the jeans and how many washes each jean had seen.

Congratulations Carrie & Matt on your 5 year anniversary of Imogene + Willie! You have successfully marketed your way into the hearts of many through your story.

Holly Starr Partners With Sisterhood Magazine For Fall Tour

Artist Garden Entertainment announces the partnership of Holly Starr, Sisterhood Magazine and author Laura Smith for the Through My Father’s Eyes tour. Young Adult author Laura Smith (Skinny and  It’s Complicated) and artist Holly Starr (Top 25 Radio Hits “Don’t Have Love” and “Through My Father’s Eyes”) will be delivering a night of celebrating true identity this fall. Confirmed dates will be announced soon.

For information on bringing the Through My Father’s Eyes tour to your city call 615-834-8615 or email

Ryan Corn Brings “Wonderful Things” To California!

Artist Garden Entertainment artist, Ryan Corn, announces new shows in California which includes a July 23 date at Room #5 Lounge in Los Angeles. As Curb Records begins the radio launch for Ryan Corn’s debut single “Wonderful Things,” Corn will be performing a string of west coast club and house shows starting in Sacramento, CA and ending in San Diego, CA with stops along the way in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach and San Clemente.  Corn will also be performing at the FMQB Triple A Radio Conference in Boulder, CO in early August alongside a line-up which includes Train, Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams and Paolo Nutini.