The Grammy Awards In Thirty Seconds

2016 Grammy Awards

 

Every February, many in the world gather around their television sets in hopes of catching a glimpse of something spectacular at the Grammy Awards. A music moment that leaves it’s mark in history giving us new “water cooler” discussion material to usher in spring. The Grammy Awards celebrate and close out a year of music signaling the end of the yearly race for the coveted  trophies.

My take on The 2016 Grammy Awards in thirty seconds.

Taylor Swift, the new boss of the music industry, delivers a glamorous opening that ends with a soaring vocal letting any remaining haters know she can sing.

Tori Kelly and James Bay duet together giving us a glimpse of music’s future. And I must say the future looks and sounds swell.

Kendrick Lamar gives the obligatory angry “black lives matter” performance that falls right in formation with Beyonce’s Super Bowl statement. He did use some cool glow-in-the-dark paint.

Alabama Shakes front woman, Brittany Howard, gives one of the most grateful acceptance speeches I’ve heard inspiring all those young kids jamming in their garage.

Adele showed how even the golden voice of the music industry can have a poor performance when left in the hands of a faulty sound engineer. The boring song choice didn’t help matters.

Our bad kid turned good kid, Justin Bieber, opened with an acoustic guitar performance showing the world that it is possible to Learn How to Play Guitar in a few days and play nervously on the Grammy stage. But smashing that acoustic guitar when not in a serious rock moment left the audience a bit confused about his new maturity? But he does have two new friends with weird names, Skrillex & Diplo, who make some pretty cool music.

Meghan Trainer accepted her “New Artist” Grammy Award leaving me wondering how voters missed James Bay, Sam Hunt and Tori Kelly?

Lady Gaga then took the stage for a David Bowie tribute. Very creepy!

And then, that moment tv viewers were hanging on the edge of their seats for. (Or at least I was) Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr and Bonnie Raitt delivered a B.B. King tribute performance that will go down as one of the best all-time Grammy moments!

The Grammy Award night ended with Taylor Swift’s Album of The Year acceptance speech delivering a classy coded message for Kanye West who thankfully we didn’t see all evening.

 

 

 

 

The Tail That Wags The Dove – Part 1

The Sound of Christian Radio

Something I often hear in Christian circles, is a common distaste for the overall sound of Christian radio. Many in the industry listen to Christian radio in short stints as a necessity for work but their personal preference is found in mainstream music. The complaints I hear are generated from college/young adult Christians, artists, producers, songwriters, record label employees and even some who work in radio. Reasons heard from those complaining include 1) the music sounds the same as what was being played ten years ago 2) every song sounds similar 3) radio plays the same handful of artists on repeat 4) the production isn’t relevant to what is being made in the mainstream. While some of those reasons may ring true, who is serving up solutions? Who feeds the music to radio?

I would argue that the radio playlists lie in the hands of the creators. If the artists, songwriters, producers and record company A&R teams refuse to feed radio the same formulaic music, wouldn’t radio be forced to change? When something new begins to work, what if creators resisted the urge to jump on the copycat bandwagon and instead chose to lead with even newer sounds? What if record companies refused to put so much stock into what radio research is asking for and instead fed radio with nothing but innovative music?   Imagine radio playlists chocked full of innovative artists like Switchfoot, For King & Country, Lecrae, Future of Forestry, John Mark McMillan, Social Club and The Brilliance. Radio might just sound a bit different.

Join the conversation, share your thoughts and stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore even more.

 

 

 

Mary Did You Know?

Mary Did You Know that Christmas is Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene’s favorite time of the year? December is a BIG royalty check generating month for the two songwriter’s of “Mary, Did You Know” as the song continues to build in worldwide popularity. This year Pentatonix is singing the song to the top of the charts. Over the years, the song has been recorded by Wynonna Judd & Kenny Rogers, Rascal Flats, Cee Lo Green, Scotty McCreery, Mary J Blige, India Arie, Reba McEntire, Clay Aiken, Jeremy Camp, Kutless and The Braxtons just to name a few.

This week I ran across a Youtube performance that puts a totally new spin on “Mary, Did You Know.” Below is a video with Ryan Corn giving the song a hipster busking vibe. Merry Christmas!

The Gray Havens Release New Christmas Song

At Last, The King

GrayHavens

Have you ever heard a Christmas song begin with the story of the serpent in the Garden of Eden?  Well, You’re about to! While many artists are busy releasing cover Christmas songs, The Gray Havens decided to take a new and fresh approach at writing and recording their new original Christmas song, At Last, The King. The new song, produced by Ryan Corn, is now available on iTunes. This song serves as a preview of what’s to come as The Gray Havens are busy working on their new Spring 2016 release. Below is a video of a live performance from The Gray Havens singing  At Last, The King.

YouTube Releases Music App

The music streaming race gets a little more interesting with the today’s announcement from Youtube. Youtube announced the release of their music app for IOS and Android. I’m just downloading the app so no opinion from me yet on its functionality, however, I’m sure it will quickly move to the top of every music marketing plan. Upon hearing the news, I found this amazingly produced video that Youtube made to introduce the service. Interestingly I was the 50th person to view it so I wanted to share with those of you who haven’t seen it. After watching this video, I’m stoked. How about You?

Nic Gonzales Releases First Solo EP

Frontman for one of Christian music’s all-time best live bands, Salvador, releases his first solo EP “My Life Is Yours” today through Lucid Artist. In typical Nic Gonzales fashion, you won’t see him attempting to grab headlines. Instead, he is quietly releasing his new collection of beautifully written songs with minimal self-promoted fanfare. Well sports fans, THE SECRET IS OUT!

This EP reminds me of the pure but powerful vocal presence that led Salvador to the top of Christian radio charts. Nic plays most of the instruments himself but is accompanied by Salvador producer/keyboardist, Chris Bevins. His brother, Art Gonzales, makes a guest drumming appearance and of course you will hear some BGVs from wife, Jaci Velasquez. Listeners will be drawn in by the vulnerability Nic expresses through his lyrics on the EP. “Good As Gold” is my favorite track as he sings about the joy of being a husband and father.

Do yourself a favor…GO BUY THIS RECORD!  CLICK HERE

 

 

Artist Garden Entertainment

Artist Garden Entertainment Signs The Gray Havens

Artist Garden Entertainment Signs The Gray Havens

Husband and Wife Folk-Pop Duo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. August 21, 2015 —Artist Garden Entertainment announces the signing of husband and wife folk-pop duo, The Gray Havens, to an exclusive artist management deal. Dave and Licia Radford blend fantasy story, lyric poetry, theology and song to create a sublime narrative-folk-pop. Earlier this year, The Gray Havens released their debut full-length recording Fire and Stone, produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Mitch Dane (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller). The Gray Havens Red Wall Square

Based in Chicago, The Gray Havens perform at colleges, churches and clubs throughout the mid-west and northeast. Their unique folk-pop artistry draws from such influences as C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Jonathan Edwards.

“We are thrilled to add The Gray Havens’ unique artistry to the Artist Garden roster. David and Licia have built quite an impressive following while stretching the boundaries of Christian music with their fresh blend of music.” states Artist Garden Entertainment President, Keith Stancil.

Dave originally stepped into performing at age 17 when he reached the Top 20 on American Idol. While continuing to write, perform and record in college, Dave met future wife Licia. The two connected with their love of literature, eventually marrying and forming The Gray Havens.

http://artistgardenentertainment.com

Thank You Taylor Swift!

Fourteen years ago, during Universal Music’s presentation at the NARM convention, Taylor Swift was introduced to the music industry. One could hear a slight bit of nervousness in her voice as she sang a few of her songs for the room full of critics. Little did we know how that little girl would change the music industry.

Last night, as I read the news that Apple Music had changed their decision to pay artists for streams during the 3 month launch, my heart was filled with gratitude for that little girl turned woman, Taylor Swift. Her letter to Apple single handed impacted every artist, songwriter, producer and record label in a positive way. Taylor exemplifies the artist no one thought possible in our modern age of entertainers. She has responded with grace in every situation the music industry has thrown her and showed the world how to lead. Taylor has endured incredibly tough situations throughout her career including jealous artists and music industry folks slamming her ability to sing, Kanye West sabotaging her MTV Video Music Award moment and of course all those boyfriends that treated her poorly. In every situation, she has responded with incredible wisdom and leadership.

Taylor – Thank you for being an example to the world, thank you for showing us how to lead and thank you for using your platform for something more than just yourself.

 

http://artistgardenentertainment.com

 

Riding the Music Stream

Warner Music Group recently reported last quarter streaming revenues surpassed revenue for selling downloads for the first time in history. It’s no wonder Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Google Play, iTunes Radio, Rdio, The Overflow, Tidal and Apple’s soon to be announced Beats reincarnated streaming service are quickly positioning themselves to battle for the top contender music streaming service spots.

The BIG music streaming wave is upon us and every music artist must decide whether to catch the wave or sit it out. If #1 ranked surfer of all-time, Kelly Slater, had decided to sit it out, he would never have been awarded Surfing World Champion 11 times, his band would never have opened for Pearl Jam and he would never have starred in Baywatch or modeled for Versace. I’ve heard every argument against and many artist’s financial fears of music streaming. Reality is the streaming wave is here and no one can stop it.

Will you catch the wave or sit it out?

http://artistgardenentertainment.com