Music Morsels - March 2001
Music Morsels - March 2001
  • Crossroads - Donnie Van Zant
  • Industry Profile - Spitfire Records' Rob Gill
  • Unsigned Artist Spotlight - Anthony Fagiano of Midline

WELCOME TO THE MARCH, 2001 ISSUE OF MUSIC MORSELS This month's Crossroads feature interview DONNIE VAN ZANT This month's Unsigned Artist Spotlight Anthony Fagiano of MIDLINE This month's Industry Profile Rob Gill, VP Promotion/A&R at SPITFIRE RECORDS

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March, 2001
MUSIC MORSELS - The legal stuff
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Nothing happens unless first a dream.


1. CROSSROADS - DONNIE VAN ZANT by Mark E. Waterbury

2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - Spitfire Records' ROB GILL by Mark E. Waterbury

3. ALBUM CAPSULES -Van Zant, Midline, Eyes of Pandora, Live Honey, WJJO CD Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury


5. QUIPS & QUOTES - Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your music career

6. UNSIGNED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - Anthony Fagiano of MIDLINE by Mark E. Waterbury

7. MUSIC BIZ NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES - compiled by Sandy Serge

8. MUSIC INDUSTRY MARKETING SHOWCASE - the latest and greatest music industry products and services

9. MUSIC MORSELS SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

1. CROSSROADS.......... DONNIE VAN ZANT by Mark E. Waterbury
Pivotal moments in musicians careers propelling them from obscurity to infamy

Allman. Vaughan. Robinson. Van Halen. Gallagher. There have been many famous brothers throughout the course of the rock and roll era. Many played in bands together, others in separate projects. Perhaps one of the most noted sets of brothers is the Van Zants of Jacksonville, Florida. The elder brother Ronnie was instrumental in getting the words "Southern Rock" on people's lips far beyond the Mason-Dixon line as he fronted his legendary band Lynyrd Skynyrd. As his younger brothers Donnie and Johnny began to get things going with their own bands, tragedy struck as a plane crash took Ronnie's life along with other members of Skynyrd and their entourage. The two younger Van Zants mourned their brother's passing, but carried on as Ronnie would have wanted them to. Donnie fronted .38 Special, whose particular blend of more mainstream pop rock with that southern twang helped propel them to success, producing hits like "Rockin' Into the Night", "Hold On Loosely" and "Back Where You Belong." As .38 Special rode the waves out through personnel changes and various eras in rock music, Johnny, who fronted his own band for a number of years, took the reigns of a resurrected Lynyrd Skynyrd. Approaching the end of the twentieth century, the brothers were still rockin' hard, and finally, after so many years, decided to rock the world together.

The Van Zants had the typical rock and roll indoctrinations when they were growing up: watching The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, listening to Elvis and early Rolling Stones as well as the country music that their parents liked. Ronnie was the first to get things going in a serious band. "When I started getting into music, I wanted to be like big brother," Donnie remembers. "Ronnie's band at that time was called My Backyard and used to rehearse in our living room, and I remember sitting on the couch watching him thinking that he looks like he's having a great time, and maybe I could do that. He was definitely a great influence on my life." My Backyard was of course renamed Lynyrd Skynyrd and soon began their rise to fame. Donnie started playing in bands when he was about fourteen - several with his guitarist friends Don Barnes and Jeff Carlisi.

In the mid-seventies, Donnie was wondering if he even wanted to stay in the music business at all. "I had been actually thinking about going to work for a railroad in Jacksonville. So I went to Ronnie and told him that I had something stable going here, and what would he do? Would he do the stable job or would he go ahead and pursue the music? And he actually laughed in my face. He said, 'You love music so much, you owe it to yourself to give it one more try and give it a hundred percent.' So that's really when Don, Jeff and myself thought of forming a band." Adding bassist Ken Lyons and drummers Jack Grondin and Steve Brookins, they named the band .38 Special. They began to gig in area clubs as well as at Navy bases in the Jacksonville area. Perhaps in the early days, they could have relied on nepotism to launch the band parallel to what Skynyrd was doing, and while Donnie did not take that route, older brother Ronnie did give him some sound advice. "Ronnie came out and saw us perform at a club in Jacksonville. He liked what he heard so I asked him what he thought we should do. And he said, "I think you should go on the road for about five years and then come back and talk to me." It shocked me because that seemed like a whole lot of time, but that's what we did." .38 Special followed his advice and became road dogs, touring at a hectic pace throughout the Southeast and beyond.

In 1975, they were able to use Skynyrd's recording studio to cut a demo, and Skynyrd's manager Peter Rudge sent the tape to the president of A&M Records Jerry Moss. Jerry signed the band and they released two albums that had some great music on them but didn't sell very well. Then came October 20th, 1977, a tragic day in the memories of many rock fans. A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd to a concert in Shreveport crashed in Mississippi, and among those lost in the crash was Ronnie Van Zant. "It just stopped everything when that happened. It was just devastating,"Donnie reflects. "But we wanted to go on with the band because we knew that was what he would have wanted us to do. I still think Ronnie doesn't get enough credit; he was a great songwriter and a great singer, he can never get enough praise from me. But we didn't want to be just a Skynyrd clone. We worked hard at sounding different and I think we did that. It was about at that time that we started evaluating what we were doing musically in .38 Special." Targeting more of a mainstream feel to their southern-fried boogie, the band released "Rockin' Into the Night". Ironically, in 1979, the title track became their first actual hit exactly five years after Ronnie gave Donnie his advice about touring. Of course, the band still continued to tour heavily, and 1981's "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys" became their first platinum album, producing the signature top-40 hit "Hold On Loosely". 1982's "Special Forces" yielded a top-10 hit with "Caught Up In You" and through most of the 80's, .38 Special would continue to produce hot-selling albums and hit singles. Like many bands from that era, their overall popularity waned in the face of the glam metal, grunge and alternative eras. They also went through many personnel changes but through the nucleus of Donnie Van Zant, Don Barnes and Jeff Carlisi, .38 Special survived the leaner times. "There has always been the friendship to keep us together. We all grew up together, this was a neighborhood band. We know each other well. I know these guys better than I know my wife because I spend more time with them," Donnie muses. "But we know when to give each other space and when to back off."

As the nineties began to roll towards the year 2000, .38 Special was experiencing a popularity rebirth. And at the same time, Donnie's younger brother Johnny was enjoying success as the new lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd was turning out hit albums and successful tours. In the late nineties, Donnie and Johnny began to think about recording an album together. "It was sort of a natural process with us writing songs together because we'd written songs together all through the years." In 1998, Donnie and Johnny released "Brother to Brother" on CMC International Records, but even with the CD's popularity, due to the tour paces of their respective bands, they did not have time to tour with that project. Two years later, they returned to the studio to record their second duet "Van Zant II" which is slated for release on March 6th. "It took about two years to record the album because of our schedules. We had to do it two days here and two days there. But we thought it was a neat way to do it; we'd record a song and then take them on the road with us and listen to them. Then we'd get back in the studio and the songs would stand the test of time. We thought in our hearts we had something special with this album. We first tried to write songs that move us emotionally or spiritually, and if they move us, we feel that we can touch someone else with it." This time there will be a tour to support the album, something the brothers are looking forward to very much. "We've always wanted to get on stage together. I've done it a few times, like getting on stage with Skynyrd and singing a chorus to "Sweet Home Alabama" but had never done a whole show with Johnny yet." Looking ahead, there is no doubt going to be more recordings by .38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but in the upcoming months, the stage belongs to Donnie and Johnny Van Zant, two members of one of the royal families of rock and roll. And you can be sure every night they take the stage the spirit of their brother Ronnie will be right there with them as well. :->


2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - ROB GILL, VP - Promotion/A&R at SPITFIRE RECORDS by Mark E. Waterbury

Long Island native Rob Gill is one of those people who decided fairly early what his career path would be. While in high school he became heavily involved in the area's burgeoning hard-core rock scene, and eventually was recruited as roadie for Sick Of It All and Killing Time. "I stayed out as a roadie for a while and then became the road manager for the Killing Time when they were on Relativity. I just started learning the in's and out's of the business from the former road manager when I realized there was another whole business side to it. So I just pursued it that way." Rob attended a music business institute called Five Towns College where he received an associate degree in music business. After a year and a half on the road with Killing Time, he then attended C. W. Post College where he majored in marketing and also began working at WCWP on Long Island. "I took marketing as opposed to communications, and started doing research on my DJs and program directors. I didn't really want to stay a communications major. I wanted to get more into the marketing and development sides of the business."

Later in his years at C. W. Post, Rob began interning with McGathy Promotions, an independent promotion company working with rock, alternative and metal radio. After graduation, he remained with the company for five years in their metal department before moving on to Earache Records where he worked as a radio promoter and eventually as an A&R rep. "Earache Records was a company based in the U.K. so I would deal with them and they would help me out with the A&R. They were more into extreme-based music so it was a little easier because I didn't have to go after too many commercial bands, even though I was going after System of a Down at the time." After a year at Earache, Rob moved on to Slipdisc Records. It was then that friends Paul Bibeau and Dennis Clapp who were formerly with Relativity Records told Rob that they were forming a new record label called Spitfire. "I really liked their marketing ideas, what they were already doing and the plans they had for the future. Spitfire was already operating 3-4 months before I joined them." Rob began in radio promotion for rock radio, but worked his way quickly up the ladder to his current position of Vice President of Promotion and A&R, the number three slot in the company. Spitfire has a number of bands on its roster that were popular in the 70's and 80's and are now either making comebacks or enjoying a resurgence. They have two basic divisions: one division is the masters series comprising mainly reissues from classic bands like Deep Purple, Pat Travers, Robin Trower and UFO. The other is Spitfire proper which includes newer acts as well as other "heritage" acts like Alice Cooper. The company has also diversified recently, signing Gary Numan as well as a few new bands like Dog Fashion Disco. "We've really diversified - people used to think of us as just an 80's band label, but we're branching out and showing that we're not afraid to take chances. We're surprising people with different music we've signed recently. But since we are a small company and still an indie label, we try not to sign too many new bands like Dog Fashion Disco. Right now, we're not looking to sign another band at that level where it's starting from nothing and building up from the ground. We want to be able to make sure that we can put the money into a band and support them the way they need to be supported."

Looking ahead, Rob is very happy with what he is doing now and wants to help Spitfire continue to grow and stay successful. And as an A&R VP, he has some sound advice for bands if they want to get signed to a label someday. "It's really tough. I've seen that since day one. Bands need to stay on the road as much as they can and play as many shows as they can and instead of trying to make all these friends with the record labels, they should try to make friends in the towns they play in with the local radio stations. If they do enough local shows, the radio station is eventually going to want to get involved. If you're able to play a show and start selling out on any night of the week in a club that holds three, four, five hundred and up, the radio stations are going to start to notice. And when the radio station gets involved, they are your vocal point because it's not that the A&R guys don't listen to other people, but if the radio station is hyping you, that can start branching out. Then an A&R person will be a little more attracted to it. But you have to keep playing out in your home town, and once you break out there you have to start breaking out to nearby markets from there. Then you can start getting people to notice you." :->


3. ALBUM CAPSULES - CD Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

Van Zant II

CMC International - 06076 86301

The second compilation from legendary rock brothers Johnny and Donnie Van Zant is another great collection of potent rock tunes interspersed with some powerful ballads. The lead track "Oklahoma" written about the victims of the horrible tornadoes that struck there in 2000 goes from a country twang beginning to a headlong rock finale. "Heart Of an Angel" is in intense rock ballad with sweet piano lead-ins and a power-rock chorus. Although the brothers' roots and the influences of their respective bands Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special are evident throughout the CD, they put their own personal songwriting stamp on the music. The modernistic brash-rocking "Imagination" is in perfect contrast to the gutsy boogie of "Baby Get Blue". Johnny and Donnie's vocals are spectacular throughout, both individually and during the duets. The backing musicians are killer, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd lends his guitar pyrotechnics on a couple of tracks. While the brothers will be recording again with their separate bands, this CD makes you hope they continue to record together on a regular basis. URL:

Midline - Orange

The earth is shaking in the Northwest, not from a fault line but from the music on "Orange", the new CD from Boise, Idaho's hard rock institution Midline. The full-ahead intensity with a feel of roots grunge and a touch of newer metalsmiths like Static X is evident on thundering tracks like "Sorrow" and "Carney Girl". The sheer power of the instrumental work is tempered by the emotive vocals of Anthony Fagiano. There is also a definite harkening to Creed in the music; Anthony's voice does have a Scott Stapp intonation to it as shown on the moodily intense hit-worthy ballad "The Sun". But their own signature sound stemming from eleven years of performing together keeps them from being a Creed clone. Scott Elliott's guitar prowess is evident from the screeching guttural wail in "Removed" to the acoustic-tinged verses of "The Good Life" and the meltdown soloing in "Blue." Bassist Stymie and drummer Fred Fischer provide the nuclear rhythm power plant, tempering the core when the passages reach a mellower mood. The songs are well-written often reeling you in with a passive groove before slamming into you with an intense fury. The lyrics are thought-provoking and Anthony's voice is the perfect vehicle for the words. With the rising popularity of heavy music that has meaning and isn't annoyingly noisy, Midline could be the next band out of the Pacific Northwest to hit the big-time.

Eyes Of Pandora

Miami's alt rock band Eyes Of Pandora paints an interesting and very listenable mosaic of pop, psychedelia, Americana and other subtle stylings. Vocalist Susan Tojo sounds reminiscent of Tori Amos and Rindy Ross - one minute breathlessly emotive and the next honestly passionate. Guitarist and songwriter Robert Gueits drives the music machine showing many facets and abilities. Joined by noted south-Florida musicians, the duo proves an ability for writing songs that have a pop feel but keep a definite edge and carry a plethora of messages musically. "Damaged" has a great hooky groove laced with some varied guitar embellishments. "Hard Hand of War" is a passionate plea burgeoning from mellow balladic to hard driving pop. The obvious passion is what drives this band and will probably separate them from the pack in the tough Miami music scene. URL: E-mail:

Live Honey - Move Yourself

Buzz Cut Records - LH94362

"Move Yourself" is an apt title for this New York City band's latest effort, as the first strains of the lead track "Inspire" will definitely get you moving with its frenetic funk drive. But that's just one side of this foursome's musical personalities. "Play Love" has some reggae influences, "Even Though I Know" throws in a hearty dose of Ska and "Once In A While" is an R&B edged ballad. Singer Shelly Bhushan's voice sounds a bit like blues lady Joanna Conner, but with some of the inflections you can feel the influences of Aretha in there as well. Steve Roiphe kicks the guitar work in the seat of the pants with grooving rhythms, wicked solos and acoustic plucking. He also throws in a little harmonica to the slant of John Popper. Bassist Glenn Nataupsky burns the bottom end into the equation with fat cords and frenetic plucking, while drummer Tony Gibson fleshes out the rhythms with a soulful drive and expert stickwork. Live Honey's ability to weave several styles and tastes into a signature sound that has widespread appeal could prime this act to burst from the big apple scene in the not too distant future. With a presskit filled with real honey and Bit O Honey candies, you know this band is pushing for attention and they'll get it! URL:

WJJO Local Stage - Rockin' The Midwest 2000

For the third straight year, hard-rocking Madison, Wisconsin radio station WJJO has produced a CD of songs from the best of the local and regional heavy rock bands. Spearheaded by Local Stage DJ Susan Masino, the proceeds from these CDs are donated to the VH-1 Save The Music Program. WJJO is noted as a station playing the heavier brands of rock and roll, and most of this CD reflects this - from the blistering groove of "Necktie" by Next Of Kin and the guttural rumble and searing lyrics of Angels or Insects' "Dead Flowers" to the grungey fire of Signalflows' "The Need" and the full-bore death thrash of "Spoonfed" by Stone Misery. On a "mellower" side (like a 50 megaton nuclear weapon is mellower than a 25 megaton one), there is also the Satriani-esque instrumental "Joel's Groove Thing" by Lyden Moon and the melodically vocalized alt rocker by Push Thing, "Grid Lock." This CD proves again that southern Wisconsin and the surrounding area is becoming a real hotbed for heavy bands with talent, and it's great to see a radio station and staff that wants to support a local scene like this. E-mail: :->



The Crystal Chandelier

Many mornings each week, a group of old friends meet for coffee (and exchange lies) at a hotel here in Nashville. The group consists of successful writers, producers, executives and promotion people, and one of the 'members' is Ted Harris who not only wrote "Crystal Chandelier", Charley Pride's signature song, but also "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle", Glen Campbell's hit, and many other notable songs. Ted was also the SESAC Writer of the Year many times over before he moved his catalogue to ASCAP.

I was stunned when Ted recently told me that the Charley Pride cut of "Crystal Chandelier" was NEVER a single but rather gained its popularity through an album cut only and it is one of the industry's most memorable songs.

I have often stated that the new breed of ears in country music isn't too well-versed in the history of that genre. In fact, some of them think that Kitty Wells is an oilfield in Texas and Ernest Tubb is a sauna dealership. But Ted just related another great story about his standard - an independent producer recently re-cut "Crystal Chandelier" and when he played it for a music row executive, the individual remarked, "Where did you find such a great song?" And to add more salt to the wound, Charley had just sung the song when he was inducted in the Hall of Fame at the CMA Awards Show.

I guess the moral to this story is that if you're ever fortunate enough to create a worldwide standard, there are some people who give a blank expression when you mention the title. :->



Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your career

To worry about what you don't have is to waste what you do have. - Unknown

All great things are done for their own sake. - Robert Frost

Grasp the opportunity to manage change, not avoid it. Change is the very essence of life. - Unknown

Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow....they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles; for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost." - Sun Tzu Chinese Warrior/Philosopher 100 B.C. :->



For anyone who thinks that the music scene is dead in the Northwest, better listen to Boise, Idaho's Midline before you think of calling the coroner. For eleven years, this hard rocking foursome consisting of vocalist Anthony Fagiano, guitarist Scott Elliott, bassist Stymie, and drummer Fred Fischer has been touring hard in this corner of the nation, surviving the rise and ebb of the grunge era. Often receiving comparisons to Creed, Midline's intense live shows have garnered them opening slots with bands like Queensryche, Skid Row and Great White, and they were the only band to win a contest twice to open for Motley Crue in Boise and Idaho Falls on a recent tour. They have sold over seven thousand CDs and with new one in the works, Midline is prepared to take on the rest of the nation and the world. Anthony Fagiano sheds some light on the life and future life of a hard-working band.

MM: How did you get into music?

AF: My sister was in a band and I was just fascinated by the whole band situation so I started collecting guitars when I was really young. My sister was probably my biggest influence.

MM: Was Midline your first major band?

AF: I lived in Denver and eventually moved to Boise where I formed a band called Aurora which evolved into Midline. So yeah, it was a band that I started and recruited all the members.

MM: What was it about the concept of Midline that has made this band be the one you want to stay with?

AF: When I met Scott Elliott, we were in a band called Lighthouse and I was a guitarist at the time. When Scott brought me a couple of songs he wrote, it took about three seconds. That was it. We've never been apart since in eleven years. We've always had the same styles and influences. And once we found the right bassist and drummer, we named it Midline and we just knew it was the band.

MM: When Midline formed, was the Boise music scene comparable to what was going on in Seattle and Portland with the grunge and sub-pop things going?

AF: Yeah, it was probably like that before all that happened. When Midline formed, grunge was happening big-time already. Scott was listening to Soundgarden and Nirvana before they were big, and I was listening to KISS and 80's kinds of bands like Guns n' Roses. Scott said those bands were going to be huge one day. We're pretty close to Seattle and they were playing all the clubs. Soundgarden had already played Boise frequently. That scene was a big part of Boise's music scene.

MM: Did that actually make it tougher for a band starting out at that time?

AF: It really did. We were more into the show. We were always more of an arena type band. I always hated the people who stared at their shoes and sat around and turned their back to the audience. I was always a part of the big show like the 80's bands, but I was into the more serious music, not so bubblegum-ish. You've got to have a show, a good look, and always look different from the crowd. So when grunge hit, anything that had a show with any kind of glitter to it was really bad. We were caught in between. It was weird at the time.

MM: What were some of the things you had to do to grow your fan base to where it is now?

AF: One thing we always did was promote - flyers galore - but we always promoted our gigs. Scott and I always got to know the business guys - the people who had the power like the sound people. We'd go to the sound guys at the theater for all the gigs that came into town and learn everything about it, and they would hire us for the day. And we would work with Danzig, Metallica, whatever gig was going on, to get to know those guys, the light people and the people who built the stage. We were all good friends and when (Midline) would come to do a show, they'd come and do it pretty much for nothing. We had this big sound and big stage. We always had these people behind us so when whenever Midline played, it always looked like something that was big-time. Once we got to know the promoters, we were opening up for all these bands. Any bands that needed a support act, we got it.

MM: I see in 1997 you opened for Queensryche.

AF: Yeah, that was our first arena show.

MM: How did that feel, going out on that big stage in front of thousands of people?

AF: It was amazing. It was like a dream come true. We really worked hard to get in that because we had to do a battle of the bands. And this was one of the worst battle of the bands that I had ever been in because everyone was mad at each other and I didn't sleep for three days. Then after we won it, I didn't sleep for another three days. But actually playing it was probably the best day of my life. For one thing, Queensryche was so cool to us and treated us great, and their road crew was so nice. The whole day was like a dream. There couldn't have been any better of a day.

MM: You opened twice for Motley Crue. How was that even though it was your home territory?

AF: It was really great - the feeling of being on stage is like being at home. With Midline, I feel that is what we are meant to do. I think that's just us.

MM: How big would you say your fan base is right now?

AF: We have over five hundred people on our mailing list. Here in Boise alone we can draw up to three hundred to five hundred people if it's the right show and the right venue. We're really big in Idaho Falls. Every time we play there, we pack the place. When we get into Salt Lake City, we played with bands like Fight. We've played some big shows there and we usually get a good draw. We know a couple of the bands that are pretty big time in Salt Lake that we open up for and always get a good draw.

MM: What do people tell you they like most about Midline?

AF: When they see us live, our CDs sell like crazy. It's all about us live, that's what the fans like. We play all the time and they all turn out. We have bands here that are pretty popular, and they won't get that consistency. People come to see us and they know that we are going to put on a good show for them.

MM: A lot of people compare you to Creed. What do you think of that comparison?

AF: It's pretty cool. I get that every single day, and it's fine because Creed is doing great. We've been around longer than Creed and I have the same voice. I think they get that a lot from my vocals and how I sound. I'm a baritone like (Scott Stapp) is, but that's fine if I'm going to be compared to a band that's sold that many units. But I don't think we're going for the Creed sound. We've always been in that vein and Creed is in the same vein that we are so it is pretty comparable.

MM: What are your plans to take Midline to the next level?

AF: We've signed with a new management company. We've always had a manager working with us, but we found that we needed a management company. We had worked with Bill Aucoin who managed KISS for a while, but after that fell through, we decided our number one goal was to get signed to a management company. And we're going into the studio. We have a new album about ready to go. We're going to record a couple more songs and focus on booking a tour for late summer.

MM: Midline has been together for eleven years now. A lot of bands don't make it that long, even bands who have made it big. What has kept Midline together that long and kept you focused on the prime target of becoming a large scale band?

AF: I think that this band probably would have broken up a long time ago if we didn't have certain things happen to us. When we started, our first album we released out debuted at number one. The radio picked it up for two years. We had five singles in hot rotation. In Boise, Idaho, we were pop stars. Everywhere you went it was Midline, Midline, Midline. We sold a lot of units and we played a lot of big shows. All the promoters said Midline puts the meat in the seats. Opening up for Candlebox, playing big shows like that at the time, Midline has just always had something big happen. Just when it's starting to get down, something big happens for us and that keeps us tight. I think that the thing that keeps the band together is the belief in the music and the show and the brotherhood. We know that if we got a break, we would go full-bore with it. We wouldn't do it half-assed. We'd do it all the way. I think what keeps us together is the belief in what we do. We've had a lot of opportunities to be in a professional situation where we know we can handle the pressure when we get on stage. For more info on Midline, please visit their web sites at and :->



News and Opportunities Compiled for Musicians, Songwriters and Music Professionals by Sandy Serge

Music Morsels encourages all of you to fax your press releases to us at 678/494-9269 or email them to for possible inclusion in this column. This column will be featured monthly. Deadline for inclusion is the 25th of the month for the upcoming issue.

Attend independent music showcases during SXSW from March 14-17 featuring musicians from all over the country at Laughing at the Sun, 2209 S. 1st Street in Austin, TX...this is the event to be at during prizes and food!

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) has announced a spectacular line-up for this year's event, scheduled for Monday, April 2 thru Saturday, April 7, with the highlight being the Legendary Songwriter's Acoustic Concert. The NSAI has partnered with Turner South and Bank of America for the 2001 Legendary Acoustic Concert, which will take place Tuesday, April 3. The historic Ryman will play host to Gordon Lightfoot ("Sundown"), Ray Parker, Jr. ("You Can't Change That"), Andrew Gold ("Thank You For Being a Friend"), Sharon Vaughn ("My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys") and host Merle Kilgore ("Ring of Fire"). The week's activities will kick off Monday, April 3 with the Tin Pan South Songwriters Golf Classic at the Greystone Golf Course in Dickson and the World's Largest Open Mic Night, held at MARS Music in Nashville. The Open Mic Night is an opportunity for aspiring songwriters to perform and win prizes while hopefully gaining the attention of Nashville's prestigious publishing community. Wednesday(4/4) through Saturday (4/7) will provide a never-ending supply of talented songwriters and performers at Nashville's pre-eminent performance houses, such as the legendary Bluebird Café and Douglas Corner Café. Past surprise performers have included Carole King and Garth Brooks, so you never know who you might catch! The Songwriters Symposium held Friday (4/6) and Saturday (4/7) includes workshops and panels of seasoned songwriters and members of the publishing community to evaluate beginning songwriters on their craft. This educational series attracts as many as 300 songwriters from all over the world. This year's special guest is Mac Davis ("In the Ghetto"). Corporate sponsors for 2001 Tin Pan South include American Airlines, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Southern Living, The Jack Daniel Distillery, liquid audio, The Nashville Scene, WSM-AM, WSM-FM, Turner South and Bank of America. For more information or media credentials, please contact Jeny Duke at NSAI (615)256-3354 or

INDIEGRRL, the world's largest cooperative of female musical artists, and ALL INDIE, an artist development company focused on the distribution, promotion and marketing of independent music, announced the formation of Indiegrrl Records (IGR) and IGR's first artist signings. "We've chosen these singular artists out of the now 1100 Indiegrrl members not just because they are great recording artists and performers who have already developed names for themselves in the music industry, but also because they have shown a desire to work cooperatively when so much of the music business teaches artists to be competitive," said Indiegrrl Founder and President Holly Figueroa. "We're very excited about partnering with All Indie, a company in the forefront of indie distribution. We are confident that this alliance will create a new model for other indie labels and will show once again that women are a force in the music industry. "The signed artists will promote their releases cooperatively, with combined resources and IGR label tours, with All Indie providing regional and national distribution, and other distribution methods to be announced at a later date. Tom Chernaik, founder of All Indie, noted that "Indiegrrl has helped to guide thousands of independent musicians. We believe that Indiegrrl Records will expand on that mission and provide a unique and invaluable opportunity to its artists. These artists have faced the obstacles presented by the traditional music business, and together we have created a viable solution for them to succeed individually and as a cooperative."
Contact info:
- INDIEGRRL, Holly Figueroa,
(206) 579-0287
- ALL INDIE, Tom Chernaik,

The new instant download facility for issues of the industry acclaimed Bandit A&R Newsletter is now up and running and unsigned acts, songwriters, producers, etc. can at the moment try the system completely FREE. Getting HARD information about which Music Business companies are in the market for new talent used to be the province of 'industry insiders' or only available at great expense to the struggling artist. The Bandit A&R Newsletter has been breaking down those barriers for over 13 years in England and now operates globally with world-wide and US editions. With the new download facility you can buy individual current and back issues from just $3 or sign up for a 12 month subscription while getting the latest three issues immediately in the download.If you are looking for a record, publishing, management, production or licensing deal in any genre, check out the FREE issues at and click on the DOWNLOAD link.

You're one click away from Internet's N.1 Metal Magazine,daily updated with news, interviews, releases, reviews, tour dates and more! Log on to by clicking the Logo. - Metal up to the Minute!

Indie Filmmaker needs musicians! Seeking unsigned singers/groups with original material for my next project. No budget but a lot of people would be hearing your music. Location is not a problem (if u don't mind working via email/snail mail). For details, check out

Unisong Winners Announced - Soundclips of the first place winning songs are available at the Unisong website:

DJ Anderson hosts a program called the "120-Minute Power Hour" on WRFW 88.7-FM, River Falls, Wisconsin. My tag-line is "the best kind of music you hardly ever hear on the radio," and that's his programming philosophy. Any kind of music that strikes a chord, whether it's folk, pop, rock, blues, or whatever, has a fair chance of being programmed. Any CD's sent will be considered! Send them to:
410 S. Third St.
River Falls, WI 54022

SXSW Music panels chosen! Listed at ( they offer a rare opportunity to hear thought-provoking discussions and learn about the opinions and passions of the personalities who are driving the future of the industry. One-on-one interviews, mentor sessions, demo listening sessions, and receptions add intimate experiences often unavailable in traditional music industry conferences or festivals. Find yourself embroiled in discussions with people passionate about the same issues you are as you meander the halls at the Austin Convention Center. This year SXSW has designed a "Crash Course" track ( aimed specifically at providing basic information on how the business of music works for new and developing artists...and anyone else needing to bone up on how the music industry works.

CD Baby will be hosting a meeting on March 14 during the afternoon in Austin during SXSW at Stubbs 2-5PM. Visit for more details.

Attn: Musicians - Serge Entertainment Group needs booking representatives in all parts of the USA. If you have booking experience through booking your own band (or anyone else's) and you want to make some extra money by securing quality bookings for other indie bands, please email for more information. This is your opportunity to help other indie musicians and make money while doing so! Commission based with incentive program. :->



Looking for products or services to assist you on your path to success?? Then look here! Ad rates are only $15. Your ad runs for 3 months and has visibility all over the world. For complete ad rates, contact All ads are also posted on our web site at
Labels, musicians, songwriters - send your press kits with CDs for a possible upcoming review/interview to Sandy Serge - Editor, Music Morsels, P.O. Box 2760, Acworth, GA 30102 USA .


Music Morselsí Own Scott Turner Chronicles His Life In Audio Cassette Series
Scott Turner Audio Cassette Series Tape #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Are Now Available!
Scott Turner, renowned publisher/producer/songwriter and columnist for Music Morsels has begun his audio cassette series chronicling his 47 years in the music industry. Each 90 minute tape will highlight the important events in his music career from his first recording session and how he landed a recording deal to his days with Buddy Holly, Tommy Sands, Guy Mitchell, Eddie Fisher, Herb Alpert, Audie Murphy, Harry Nilsson, Phil Spector as well as his career at recording labels such as Central Songs and the country division at Liberty which eventually became United Artists. Each tape sells for $12 and will periodically include songs that have never been heard along with rare photos. The first tape chronicles Scott Turner's "Early Years" beginning in the mid-50's spoken by Scott Turner himself. Several publishers have approached him to write a book, but guess what? Scott Turner has graced us with the honor of presenting the treasured moments in his musical career on tape to you!

To order Tape #1, please complete this form (copy and paste is easiest) and mail with your check or money order for $12 plus $1 shipping and handling ($13 total) to: Scott Turner Cassette Series, c/o Serge Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2760, Acworth, GA 30102 USA . You will receive ordering information for additional tapes when you receive your first tape.

Name __________________________________________

Address ________________________________________

City, State, Zip __________________________________


Email __________________________________________

Please make checks payable to Serge Entertainment Group. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Thank you for your order!


Rock Candy Music Video Show is looking for videos from unsigned bands to air on their show. They are based in Vacaville, California and are currently cablecast in several Northern California cities. The show debuted on June 27, 1996 and has received great response from unsigned bands from all around the world. The response from unsigned bands has been so good that they have been able to do all unsigned bands "Rising Stars" episodes about every 10-12 months. Rock Candy is a non-profit show produced for the entertainment of its viewers. The show is one hour and airs one new episode per month. They feature top name bands that perform Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and Glam. On each episode, they feature one unsigned band on their "Rising Stars" segment of the show. If you would like to get your video on Rock Candy, check out the Rock Candy Unsigned Bands Page at
You will find all of the information you need to submit a video there.
You can contact Rock Candy with questions at:
Rock Candy
142 S. Orchard Ave
Vacaville, CA 95688
E-Mail us at:
Producer: Troy Correia
Rock Candy is a non-profit show produced at TCI Cablevision in Vacaville, Ca. for Public Access Television.
Rock Candy Music Videos is a Trademark.


Hitotsu (in Japan) is starting a review/link exchange section. They are interested in light pop/folk-pop.
For further details, email


Selling off stock of our first CD to make way for new 2001 releases. Mention this ad and get a special discount.
Light folk/pop. For more info, visit


T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST! 20,000 yen grand prize ($200US if winner is outside of Japan).
Details posted at
Winner will be announced June, 2001.
Simple design and slogan promoting 'oneness of mankind'.

================================ ~ Save Time & Promote Your Music Free!
1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles.
Where Serious Musicians Surf


SONGWRITER'S MONTHLY - the stories behind today's songs. For a free sample, call 1-800-574-2986.


"Best of Bad Boy", the CD on Surgeland Records by Midwestern rockers Bad Boy has sold-out its first pressing. On to the second pressing. To order, visit the best on-line indie store around - CD Baby - at Also available at The Exclusive Company, Mainstream Records, Nickelodeon, Dream Disc and Madcity Music Exchange. Overseas the cd is available through DSB Distributors in Germany. For more info on Bad Boy, please visit their web site at Order at or call 1-800-448-6369. THE LEGEND LIVES ON....


Musicians Tip Sheet - The Tip Sheet is a free newsletter for musicians which includes many industry contacts and informative information about the music industry. To subscribe, please send an email to: mailto:


The new alt/rock CD "Seeing in the Dark" featuring the single "Nothing at All" which aired on the ABC series "Making the Band" by NineDollarMelonBaller is now available at CD Baby


Like Hip-Hop? If you like the song "Baby Got Back", then visit and download the song "Sexy Thighs" by Prince EQ. coined the song the "Baby Got Back of 2000".


CD Baby - the best indie online store in the world -


JOIN INTERMIXX, the nation's first true indie music Internetwork. Indie musicians need to market themselves in every way they can, to reach the maximum number of consumers. The Internet has helped make this more possible now than ever before. Maximize your Internet marketing capability by joining InterMixx. Find out more by entering the InterMixx IndieGate: or call 1 800 MIXX MAG. Because Sandy Serge, editor of Music Morsels, is a valued InterMixx member, please mention Music Morsels and receive a special $50 discount off the annual membership fee of $150.00!


ATTENTION BANDS, LABELS, MUSICIANS & MUSIC BUSINESSES! Serge Entertainment PR gives you access to all of the music industry's top publishers, editors and journalists in print, broadcast and the Internet. We position you for success!! Visit our web site at


Get a FREE subscription to The Buzz Factor, Bob Baker's music marketing tip sheet. Every issue features inspiration and low-cost marketing ideas for your independent band or record label. To subscribe, just send a blank email to or visit


181.4 Degrees from the Norm! If you're looking for today's newest music, then stop by 181.4 Degrees from the Norm! We put out a new issue each month that's loaded with album reviews, regular columns, concert reviews, and more. No fluff - just truth in reviewing.


Labels, songwriters and musicians!
Check out the Bandit A&R Newsletter at
For a free sample copy and info, send a blank email to
Here is just ONE example of numerous listings that appear in Bandit A&R Newsletter:
FIREBIRD MUSIC is looking for songs and production collaborators for artist Phoenix J. Specifically they are looking for upbeat, contemporary, radio-friendly songs. No epics, complex lyrics or ballads. "First we beat the system, then we change it!" says MD, Peter Martin. For now, the need is for top 10 material only, the launch singles will be key in defining the future. No more than 2 submissions please.
Peter Martin, FIREBIRD MUSIC, P.O. Box 64, ROSS ON WYE, HR9 7WW, United Kingdom
Tel 01989 762269
[Return with SAE]


GAJOOB Magazine's DiY Report is a listing of DiY recording information, distributed freely over the Internet 2-3 times monthly for musicians. To subscribe, send an e-mail to Also available in hypertext format on the World Wide Web at


Fall into a place beyond earth listening to music by new age/classical pianist Mark Birmingham. Visit his web site at for a taste of his "Garden Life" CD that offers some true soothing and relaxing music as well as several uplifting, emotive tunes for your listening pleasure. Media members: For more info or a presskit, contact


ATTN: MUSICIANS! HAVE WE GOT THE 411 FOR YOU! Get the only directory you will ever need - A&R Registry (Regional A&R contacts not listed in any other directory with all major & independent labels in LA, NY, Nashville & London). All this for only $325.00 1 year (6 issues) or get a trial issue for only $65.00. Call the Music Business Registry at 800-377-7411 for ordering information.



To SUBSCRIBE to our FREE e-mail version of Music Morsels, send an email message to and put the word "Subscribe" in the subject field. That's it. Expect to receive your email issue the first week of every month. Please note: We do not share or sell our mailing list with anyone so your privacy is protected.


That's it for March! Thank you for your subscription. E-ya next month!


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