Monthly Archives: February 2012

Artist Success depends on the artist

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I just wanted to talk about artistic success today and how very few bands take control of their promotion and marketing campaigns. It took me two full years to get our band near the top of the search engines (without spending money but lots of time). Personally I think twitter, myspace and facebook are generally a waste of time for most artist. I am sure some have had some success but I don’t feel like our band, Southern Yankee has any success at all on these sites. I am learning every day that most people do not want to hear any new artist, they have to many to choose from now. While this seems that the current trend is to use web sites and social networking which I feel has a very limited impact on the sales of artist cds or merchandise or getting people out to shows.
With the advent of smart phones the new paradigm is mobile marketing. Sites like http://www.bsnet.us are leading the way with their innovative use of mobile marketing. Phone apps for bands, solo artist, painters, personalities as well as some types of business. Within a few years web sites will be obsolete and since fewer and fewer people read emails anymore at all, or at least not for several days, mobile marketing will move to the fore front of artist promotion and in fact most promotions for larger companies is already moving that way, since they can afford to have apps built. Now you to are able to afford a customized app for your band so that you to can promote directly to your fans. Check out the site at http://www.bsnet.us or email me your phone number and I will send over a sample app for you to check out.
This personalized promotion makes a more personal contact with your fans, ensuring they feel more connected to you.
Don’t be left using 20th century ideas when you are able to use 21st century technology today.

The Evangenitals Self titled debut CD

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From the very beginning of this CD, with the track Hello The Evangenitals bands offers up a bluegrass pop influenced sound that has a hauntingly winsomeness to it. Music that soars into happy highs and flows down into a quite and warm sound. Steeped in the art of songwriting The Evangenitals winsome sound comes out on Hard Luck Song as a sort of new country folk rock amalgamation that flows along with the high harmonies and a fiddle that hints at the loneliness of the music. But yet there is a upbeat feel to the songs that blends the aforementioned styles into their own unique offering of musical sound. Somewhere between The Roaches and The Strawbs you will find the Evangenitals. Juli Crockett’s voice reminds me of a old obscure singer, Kathy Gregory with her soaring sing along sound. This a fine blend of bluegrass and folk music from years ago. The history lesson the Evangenitals are teaching is that music never gets old if it is made your own. The Evangenitals don’t reinvent anything they merely offer an updated version with a few more options. Home has that Will the Circle Be Unbroken feel to it. Not as winsome and more fun and upbeat but the sing along style works well on this track.
So Sweet is a delightful easy going song with a happy feel that is reminiscent of the late sixties and early seventies with artist like the Melanie, Brand New Key or modern artist like Lindi Ortega. Simple works well on this song with its fun melody.
Bad Town is a straight up modern take off of classic up tempo bluegrass that never looses sight of its roots. I’m Sad captures the winsomeness of the CD better than any other track. Making you happy and sad at the same time. The vocals lonely and sad, the music easy going and rich in tradition of all the styles mixed into a modern formula.
I surely hope this band changes it name to something that main stream can handle because this is a CD that recaptures that glory of pop music of the past and creates a modern day classic. This music has staying power, the strength to be listened to over the years and stand up to the test of time. Singers like Melanie, Linda Ronstadt, who’s music has stood the test of time because it is timeless and that is due to the great songwriting, arrangements and musical performance such is the power of The Evangenitals.
Click the cover pic to buy the music:

Shannon Marsyada Trio For You

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Talent is a hard thing to deny, no matter what form it takes if the talent is there it simply can’t be denied. Shannon Marsyada Trio For You release has an inviting pop sound that I have not heard in many years. Never mind these overblown ballads or dance tracks by the latest diva when you can have the pure pop sound of SMT. Nick Lowe would be proud, so would all the sixties songwriters like Goffin & King, Holland Dozier Holland, Lennon & McCartney who wrote wonderful songs that fifty years later are classic tracks that ring in the history of music like a bell. Shannon is able to take her wonderful vocal in many directions with a superb sense of timing. This is a vocalist you are probably going to love or hate maybe not because of the voice but because of the style she employs with fifties and sixties harmony driven vocals. The songs are simple, keeping the melody enticing, inviting and Shannon plays the voice like an instrument that few can do, twisting and turning the melody into a dynamic and powerful statement of modern pop. Not afraid to rock the joint on Rock N Rolla she employs a harder edge but still keeps site of her ultimate goal. Shannon has one of most interesting voices that music has heard, with its expansive sound and her forth right expressions of emotions.

This is a fine female singer songwriter and time will show that Shannon Marsyada Trio are a powerful force. Not just some overrated pop diva but a talent that the universe needs to hear. Sappy Love Song is a hit record for pop radio and its not the only one. These are songs with substance and roots that are laid down deep into the psychic of the songwriting culture that has been missing from radio for many years and that is simply the music is fun. Like on the very last track I Just Want to Be A Kid Again. If you like the pop sounds of the Ronettes, the Crystals, the Beatles, and other classic pop music then go out and buy this CD and starting enjoying one of the fine new bands that will be considered a classic in years to come.

Click on the cover pic to purchase it right now.

The Houndstooth Bindles-self/titled ep

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Foot stomping, hand clapping music is the best way to describe Houndstooth Bindles. Way up in the hollers of the mountains this is what you hear on Friday or Saturday night when friends are gathered round to have a few drinks of dew and maybe smoke a few and just having some fun picking and playing. Steeped in the traditional sounds of bluegrass but adding a more jug band style with a very modern day punk “piss off” attitude to the mix. When you expect to hear great vocals you don’t, When you expect to hear good music you do. There is a attitude that abounds in bands like Houndstooth Bindles who don’t really care if you like them or not. Oh they would prefer that you did but with their offbeat attitude it makes you want to like them even when you think better of it. Virginia has a very old time feel to her vocals that reminds me of Mother Maybelle Carter or maybe the New Coon Creek Girls. Virginia’s old time voice and hillbilly persona and add warm charm to a rustic sound and oh what a sound it is. Picking and playing that starts your feet moving and your hands clapping. The same goes for Nick his vocals are very typical and fit the music like a glove. Remember we are sitting on the porch with a bunch of friends having a bit of “white lightning” and smoking a few and picking and playing and having fun on a Saturday night. Ya’ll have a good time.
Click the cover to go to the artist page:

Band Search Promotion

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Stage Band Network Mobile Promotion Submissions on Sonicbids

Stage Band Network is running a promotion for artist. Please go to SonicBids to check it out. (click on the Sonicbids logo to take you to the promotion) This is the new way to promote your band. The use of web sites is not nearly as effective as this new marketing and promotion tool. Contact your fans instantly to get them out for a show, or to check out your new t-shirt. Going out to a club to book a show? Use this tool as your epk and book the show while you are at the club.

Leah Finkelstein Feigning Composure

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Leah Finkelstein has produced a very good release with Feigning Composure, one only has to give it a listen and it will wear on you. It is not an instant love affair but Leah grows on you. Like a person you meet the first time and you did not think much, but then you meet them again and you listen to them and heard what they had to say and you realized how good they really were. On this release with her keyboard driven sound, Leah is making fine music with tracks like Taking it Slow. Her vocals on this track are captivating like a siren on the shore she beckons to you, her chorus is just as infectious as the organ that drives the song along. Leah being a keyboard player hails back to the sound of Jackson Browne with her song The Tree is Shaking Again with its winsome, melancholy feel. She also writes songs that hint at the past, songs that remind you but only hit at what might have been. Songs like Waiting For a Good Day are well crafted songs that lodge themselves into your psychic and remain. Another track is a fine mix of country blues infused modern ballad with a soft acoustic guitar playing some nice slide and along with a pedal steel and carrying the melody is the infectious Mama Says Hi vocal chorus.
The simpleness of Leah works is the strength of her music. The hooks she employs in the melodies are infectious and inviting, warm and familiar. A little bit of rock and roll and a little bit of pop make for a solid CD release with a host of excellent songs that are sure fire hits. Songs like Taking it Slow, Waiting For A Good-day, She sings of life and living in the world like the rest of us. Sharing our similar experiences in her songs about lost chances and lies told to us. She answers the question just like most of us do. On the track It Doesn’t Really Matter the point is driven home to perfect example. Another subtle hit song, waiting for the public to hear. Showcasing the soft touch of her piano style. On Brooklyn you are reminded of of how good a songwriter Leah is with this modern R&B influenced pop groove, sophisticated without being overblown along with Hot Coffee, both are examples of sophisticated city music with its jazz/blues influenced piano work by Leah and her city living influenced lyrics. The last track 3A is very country influenced stretching beyond what most artist are willing. With is warm rich harmonies and the inviting simpleness of the song one can only only hope to hear more of Lean Finkelstein soon.

Marketing and promotion in the 21st Century

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As you know from my review of your music I am always looking to help and promote independent bands and artist. That is why I started the blog in the first place to get reviews published for artist to help them along.
Until a few days ago this was the only way I could personally reach and offer something to artist that I felt would benefit your career. As you know from reading your own review I believe in positive feedback and thoughts. My motto is, if you don’t like something why review it, its not like I’m getting paid. LOL
But now I want to introduce you to something that I believe will be of great benefit to you as an artist who is striving to DIY. With the advances in technology you now have the opportunity to book shows, sell merchandise, run promotions or contest, or just say hello to your fans with instant results. And that is the key, not emails that sit in unopened files on computers that have not been turned on in weeks. Not web sites where people can reach your music and hear it, not social media pages with links to meaningless connections.
No its a world of instant contact that will be the new driving force in modern marketing and promotion.
I am involved in this project now and it will soon launch nationwide, I urge you to go and check it out for yourself and see what it can do for you.
We are working with major music industry players to start our promotional campaign in the next few months but you will have this opportunity to get in on the ground floor if you feel it is something for you.
I have provided two links for you, the company home page
http://www.bsnet.us and a band that is using this technology so you can see how it would benefit you. http://www.stetsonz.us

Sincerely,
Vernon
New Classic Music For Tomorrow

Erisa Rei Black Ball

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When you look for new artist to listen to and you like music that mixes older rock and roll with a blues rock feel to it and mix in some singer songwriter songs. Then Erisa should fill the bill quite nicely with her impassioned odes to gypsies, home and life. Drenched in the sounds of traditional rock and roll and singer/songwriters, Erisa. has a dynamic vocal style with a nice warm feel to her vocals that are wrapped around solid songwriting. Delivering a excellent performance on tracks like Gypsy in the Desert, Black Ball and News to See. There is a quite mellowness to Erisa, on tracks, Like Dominoes and Pushed with there pop leanings in the piano singer songwriter style. She mixes a bit of Joni Mitchell with Laura Nyro and some Mystery to Me/Heroes Are Hard to Find era Fleetwood Mac. Dynamic and driven by the music’s edginess, the mellow vocals on tracks like Pushed and To Bleed are impassioned and heartfelt and pure pop. The only modern artist I can compare her to is Kelly Willis with the laid back feel they both have but vocally they are not really close as Erisas vocals are more dynamic in range with more of a rock edge to it. As I sit here listening to the tracks for the second time I am struck by passion she delivers on track after track. Heartfelt passion that is real, that reaches out to you with its simplicity. Maybe a bit like Lindi Ortega as well, specially on the track News to See with its upbeat poppy feel. This a very mixed bag CD and depending on your taste you could easily put this CD every day till you have worn it out. There is a quite solidness to the whole CD as Erisa mixes a wide range of styles into this release and she pulls each and everyone off quite nicely.
The biggest surprise on this CD is Cannot Change. in stark contrast to most of the release. Cannot Change is a rockabilly driven track that fits right into the Alt Country scene. Though some of the other tracks have a bit of country feel to them, Cannot Change is just a so different it stands out.

The Great Unknowns-Homefront

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This is a good name for this band, hell you never know if you are going to get a Loretta Lynn drenched country song or a soul influenced rock track such as A Bad Way. Becky Warren and the band travel a musical road that few others can walk. The path is wide as this band brings the familiar sounds of several genre’s together with equal ease. The individuality of Becky Warren is the driving force behind this band. Her vocals carry the attitude of the songs with their haunting yet hopeful despair. You can hear elements of the blues in tracks like By the Time You Get to Texas. There is a melancholy edge to Becky’s vocals as she sings her songs, she brings the emotions to the fore front of the bands sound which has a laid back style.
Mixing country, blues and rock and roll, The Great Unknowns offer a mixed bag for listeners with a sound of their own. When you listen to The Great Unknowns it might remind you of Lucinda Williams or maybe Kelly Willis but Becky brings her own uniqueness to the songs by blending the various styles together. The sound of real music permeates the Homefront CD, not this fake stuff you hear on the radio. Music with substance that has staying power even in the face of the awful popular music of today. Down home and sophisticated Becky Warren delivers on track after track with her easy going vocal style without ever a hint of urgency.
The Great Unknowns are putting out some of the best new music in this Alt Country, Americana scene as she blends the folk, bluegrass, country, blues and rock and roll into a classic sound of powerful music that keeps you listening track after track. The subtle use of different instruments on different tracks keeps the tracks changing and moving forward that draws the listener in deeper with each song that finishes playing. From the days of great music the roots were laid and now years later The Great Unknowns take up the torch and release a warm and inviting release that will be listened to for many years, with its roots in the past but its sound warm and inviting today.
This band sent me their first CD as well and its called Presenting the Great Unknowns and it to is just as enjoyable as this one. The band laid the foundation with their first release, they have built the rest of the house with the excellent Homefront follow-up CD.

MIZ East Hope Avenue

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Click on the picture to listen and purchase

MIZ East Hope Avenue is an excellent blend of Rock, Country and folk into a wonderful sound of modern music. Folk without being bland, rock without being heavy and country without being stuck in the present or present. Blending these three styles into a modern amalgamation of sound. When you listen to music you search for your connection to the song, with MIZ you find it easily. With a sound rich and full much in the tradition of great artist like The Band, MIZ is the modern hope for a sound that seems forgotten in time but yet resonates down through the years of history like a beacon of hope to those who are lost in the world of charted music with its hype and lack of talent. October Skies open this CD with its harmonica playing against a rich melody. This song captures the full force of MIZ and takes the listener down a familiar path that feels safe and warm. The vocals are just different enough to make them inviting.

There is some fine playing and picking on this CD as well. Pen Y Bryn Road has a slight Celtic feel but may have more in common with a band like the Pogues without the Irish accent on the vocals. New Morning Sky is a modern love song that treads the land of Jackson Browne. The music is easy to listen to filled with excellent arrangements, a bit of soul and country mixed with pop. Miz is a blend of sounds that bring back the golden era of music for most baby boomer’s. Those magical years of the sixties to the early seventies when music made a dramatic change in direction this is the backdrop that MIZ pens his odes to. The days when the Rolling Stones dabbled in country, when music was played by musicians. A time when artist might play three or four different styles of music on their record.

Waste of Time is country rocker much in the vein of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and MIZ pulls it off effortlessly switching direction without notice and taking us down a path we remember from long ago. There are folk rock songs, singer songwriters odes, there are country rockers and sappy pop and its all MIZ. Reach out right now and play Heels of the Day, New Morning Sky, Waste of Time all are new classics for today. If you like Gov’t Mule, Greg Allman, Jackson Browne, The Pogues you’ll most like enjoy the sounds of MIZ New Hope Ave CD.