march Features:

Experience a piece of our American heritage as you bask in the shadows of New Orleans.  Famous for it's music,New Orleans features some of the best Blues, Jazz and Rock & Roll you will find anywhere.  

Guitarist Steve Price is packing his bags to board a plane to attend the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah to view “I Am Thor”, a documentary about playing guitar with the hammer-wielding rock warrior Thor, a body builder turned glam rock metal god popular in the early 1980s. The independent film documents Thor's precarious early career and the past thirteen years of his attempted comeback and is interwoven with footage from the band's early tour days.

Email lists are still one of the best direct-communication tools available, and you should use that to your advantage. The people on your email list have signed up because they want to hear from you, or they've purchased something from you in the past. Send regular updates about your upcoming online event to your email list. Make it special and exclusive. Don't make the mistake of sending just one email highlighting your upcoming gig. Schedule reminders and add new info each time.

Only a small percentage of musicians will ever become professionals. This is because many of them spend years wasting their time with things that do not lead them closer to their musical goals. Although a lot of musicians really try hard to make it in this industry, they only become more disappointed when their efforts don't pay off in the end. Here are six reasons why you have not become a professional musician yet, and what you should do to immediately move your career forward.

When you put your heart and soul into something for years and years, it can be hard to leave it behind. It can be even harder, however, to tell whether something's truly right for you after a certain point. The biggest reasons to be in a band are to find fulfillment from making music and to have a good time. If neither of those things are happening for you, then it could be possible that quitting the band will actually improve the rest of your life. Here are five signs that your band isn't right for you.

Follow these steps and maybe you will see a change in the results. Pay it forward and keep your eyes on the end goal!

Your press photos help define who you are as an artist. Poor quality, generic, or uninteresting photos generally get the same type of preconceptions with the music (quality, marketability, etc.) Local media love featuring artists, but won’t include photographs unless they are captivating or interested. It would be nice to say that it’s all about the music but the first impression drawn is almost always from the photos (they come up on any website and I end up staring at the photos until the music starts up). Like anything else you do with your career, you want something that stands out. You want it to reflect yourself and your band. You want good quality.

In The Biz:

Those of us who have been around for over 40 years know a little bit more about the evolution of the music industry than our younger counterparts. Remember the 45? You know back when the Jackson 5 was a group and Michael Jackson had an afro? You had an A side and a B side. Then there was the LP and the 8 tracks. Most of us bought singles in those days because it was all we could afford. However, we got the music we wanted and record labels made money. Even when the tape recorder came out and we started recording our favorite songs off of the radio the industry still made money.

A band is a unique and complex relationship, and with so many different personalities and goals among band members, things can sometimes get tricky. Some people are direct, some are passive, some are more organized than others. "Musicians are sensitive and odd creatures," says songwriter/guitarist Paul Hansen of indie folk band The Grownup Noise. "So inevitably, it will be a dysfunctional, but hopefully loving, family."

Mental illness and music isn't a subject that is often discussed, but it is one that affects a disproportionate number of musicians. Many, probably most of us, can think of a time that music listening to it, playing guitar, writing and performing songs helped us through a difficult time in our lives. I know I can. Playing music is a way of achieving catharsis, to deal with our emotions by expressing them. I'm a long way from the troubled teenager I once was, but even now, there's nothing like grabbing an axe and rocking out to lift my mood if I get low.

These are some of the worst and most common hoaxes because they seem so benign but they can easily cost you a lot of money without getting you anywhere. They tend to disguise themselves in the form of some sort of legitimate opportunity from a legitimate business whether it be getting your song played on the radio, getting you a record deal, or letting you play a showcase in front of a big time A&R rep. The common thread though is that they will all ask you for money to get access. With the exception of membership-based organizations like ASCAP or The Recording Academy, press, marketing, or radio promotion agencies, or a qualified professional industry consultant (determining that requires research though), there are hardly any legitimate music businesses that will charge you in order to get access to a career opportunity (and honestly the aforementioned companies aren't charging you for access, they're charging for their services- but I didn't want to confuse anyone into thinking they are not legitimate businesses because they cost money).

Congratulations, your album is finally finished and you are ready to share your masterpiece with the world! You have already read "The Secret to Using Social Media to Build a Massive Base" and you are eager to implement those ideas and promote your project. You have gathered a list of websites, DJs, booking agents, A&R's and promoters to begin networking. Well... on that list is a sketchy promoter, an unethical booking agent and a commercial DJ waiting to take your money. There are members of the music community who prey on unsigned musicians. "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."-Hunter S. Thompson.


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