Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve Lesson

Mariah Carey gave all aspiring music artists an invaluable lesson during the Dick Clark 2017 New Year’s Eve celebration with Ryan Seacrest. Performing in front of an estimated one million person audience proved to be the perfect classroom.

It’s no secret that most pop artists now incorporate some kind of backing tracks in their show. The level of track dependance varies from artist to artist but most use them at the very least as a click track and voice-over guide to cue band members on stage. Track technology has proven to be a great tool for live performance but many have become too dependent on the tracks. What happens when the tracks or in-ear monitors fail to work? Apparently, Mariah Carey didn’t have a good solution for her dilemma on New Year’s Eve.

I remember a moment when an artist we worked with was given a huge opportunity with a prime time slot at a prominent music festival. Unfortunately, his track interface failed just as he was to begin his set. The artist used 35 min of his 40 min set trying to fix the interface. I surveyed the stage and saw a band of A level musicians who could have played anything on the fly and made it sound amazing without tracks. The artist could have turned disaster into a huge win with a Plan B.

If you strive to be a professional artist and you use tracks, you are crazy to perform without a Plan B. I will guarantee you will encounter a show where the tracks won’t work or your in-ears will fail. A true professional should always have a Plan B.

Plan B

  • require  a couple wedge monitors in your rider as a back up
  • pre-pare an unplugged type set and be ready to transition at any moment.
  • when issues arise, act quickly and explain to the audience that you are experiencing technical issues but will do something special for them instead of the normal show

If the artist has an ounce of talent, they should be able to pull off an unplugged set on the fly. Imagine what could have happened if Mariah Carey would have quickly transitioned to an unplugged or even an A cappella set?


Last Minute Merch

t-shirt-294078__180 So you’ve worked hard at mastering an instrument, writing a catalog of hit songs and are about to hit the road gigging all over the country. As you calculate the expenses you will incur touring, you begin to wonder how you could possibly make any money in the music business. Then you remember the article you read somewhere about artists making money from selling t-shirts and cds at their live shows.  Your tour begins in a week and you frantically call merch companies to see if you could get t-shirts printed and cds pressed in time to take with you. Sound stupid?

I’m surprised how often I run into artists who claim to be serious about a music career but wait till the last minute to think about the merch they will take on tour. Merch is one of the only money making areas left in the music business. Should it really be an afterthought? Artists who understand the importance of merch and treat it as such are the ones who create sustainable careers in the music business.




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.


Just Book It!

We get a few inquiries each day from new artists looking for an artist manager. Most have some kind of music recording they have dedicated money and time to but when I visit their website something major is absent. They either totally neglected to include a tour calendar or their tour calendar is blank. Four words pop into mind – YOU ARE NOT READY! The #1 thing someone pursuing an artist career should do is book dates to perform live. That is THE starting point period.

What are you waiting for? Just Book It!

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

StompTown Revival Hits The Road!

After months of touring silence, StompTown Revival brings a little Stomp to the Northwest with the Signs and Wanderers Tour! After playing the Rock of Ages Festival in Calistoga, CA in early October, the band will be doing a string of additional Northwest dates this week including Aberdeen WA, Astoria OR, Sherwood OR, Grants Pass OR and Elk Grove CA. If you live in the Northwest, you don’t want to miss this tour! Rumors surrounding new music from the guys are are also beginning to circulate. Stay Tuned!





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 Performs at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall

For those of you in New York area next week, this is a show you will want to put on your calendar to check out. New Curb Records artist, Ryan Corn, will be making his New York debut at Rockwood Music Hall on Friday July 11 at 7pm. There is no cover, so bring your friends and get the weekend started with some great music!

WinterJam Announces 2014 Line-up

This week we attended the Winterjam press event party where the 2014 line-up was announced for the largest tour in Christian music. Newsboys, Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North, Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb, Newsong & Colton Dixon build a strong line-up for Winterjam 2014. Winterjam will also once again have the Pre-jam show featuring newcomers Love & The Outcome and Everfound along with one of Christian Hip Hop’s top artist, Derek Minor. Nick Hall will once again be the official speaker for WinterJam. Newsong, Love & the Outcome and Tenth Avenue North performed a song at the event and Pepsi announced they will be distributing 1 million cans wrapped with a Winterjam ad. The Winterjam tour continues to be the biggest tour & event  in Christian music.