Music Morsels - May 2001
Music Morsels - May 2001
  • Crossroads - Kyle of Dexter Freebish
  • Industry Profile - Andy Martin of Deep South Entertainment
  • Spotlight Review - Kip Winger's "Songs from the Ocean Floor"

This month's Crossroads feature interview
Special article for Independent Musicians
This month's Industry Profile

Special offer for Music Morsels subscribers!
Scott Turner, renowned publisher/producer/songwriter with over 20 songs in the TOP TEN 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. With over 20 Top 10 hits and numerous others in the Top 20, you can learn from Scott Turner's experience. 24 tapes in the series. Each tape sells for $12 (+ $1 shipping & handling) and will periodically include songs that have never been heard before and rare photos. The first several tapes chronicle Scott Turner's "Early Years" beginning in the mid-50's spoken by Scott Turner himself. Here is an opportunity for you to learn from his experience! Several publishers have approached him to write a book, but guess what? Scott Turner has graced us with the honor of presenting his musical career on tape to you!
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May, 2001
MUSIC MORSELS - The legal stuff
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3. SPOTLIGHT REVIEW - KIP WINGER's "Songs from the Ocean Floor"
& ALBUM CAPSULES - Dexter Freebish, Rorschach Test, Season's End, Surrender, Woof, Steve Dillon by Mark E. Waterbury


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


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

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

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1. CROSSROADS.......... KYLE of DEXTER FREEBISH by Mark E. Waterbury
Pivotal moments in musicians careers propelling them from obscurity to infamy

One of the unquestioned music capitols of the world is Austin, Texas. From the famous strip of bars on 6th Street to the twenty-five year run of Austin City Limits and the high-profile South by Southwest music conference, Austin is a city that bands and musicians tend to flock to like the famous Mexican fruit bats do annually. Of course there are the indigenous bands - Dexter Freebish for example. With the Texas State capitol being such a huge music community, it can also be an extremely tough market for bands and musicians, even ones who grew up here. There are just too many bands and the expectations run very high. Dexter Freebish has overcome the obstacles through hard work, making connections, a "little" help from a songwriting contest, and of course some great tunes which are reaching the masses with their Capitol Records debut release "A Life Of Saturdays" and its award-wining single "Leaving Town."

Kyle always had a keen interest in music while growing up, as he amassed a library of record albums. He also sang in choirs through high school, although he never really thought of being a musician until in his early twenties when he bought a guitar and began playing with a rock band. He became involved with the band by answering an ad in the newspaper placed by bassist Chris Lowe. Soon after that, Chris and Kyle met guitarist Charles Martin at a party, and Charles had a drummer friend named Rob Schilz. They would later add another friend, guitarist Scott Romig to the lineup. Kyle muses, "We all are really good friends and it's kind of crazy but we never fight or anything like that. Unlike all those horror stories you hear about bands, we just all have the same kind of sense of humor and we all get along very well." The band took the name Dexter Freebish from an old rollercoaster, and over the next six years, they worked hard to gain notice in the area. "We thought to ourselves if we want to do this we have to build a huge following in the area. Our music was not the classic Austin sound. A lot of that was more bluesy, funkier kind of jam bands and we were very rock and roll melodic pop. For us, it took a while to build a following and find a niche with clubs that wanted us to play there all the time. It's such a saturated market to get people to come see your band every night. It is very tough and competitive." The band kept performing and building their following in Austin, as well as Dallas, Houston and College Station, and then reached the point to proceed to take the next level. "We wanted to spend some more time at home writing. So we played those markets about once a month, packing all of them, but then we stayed home to write and tried to make those songs as good as possible. We figured that would awaken some A&R guy's ear." They eventually would get a four song demo out and had a demo deal with MCA Records, but the label wound up passing on taking things any further. So the band took one of the songs on the demo called "Leaving Town" and entered it in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. They also continued to send the demo to A&R departments as well as anyone else in the business they could make a connection with. A friend of theirs named Paul Bassman who had worked with some local bands in Dallas met Steve Schnur from Capitol Records A&R who, in turn, listened to the CD. Steve liked it so much that he flew out the next day to meet with the band in Austin. It was at about that time that Dexter Freebish would start winning the various phases of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Paul Bassman also introduced them to Andy Levine from Atlanta's Sixth Man Management, who managed Sister Hazel and then would sign Dexter Freebish as one of their clients. In 1999, the label interest was growing, and after their showcase at that year's South by Southwest, Dexter Freebish signed with Capitol. Shortly thereafter, they found they had won the Song Of The Year in the John Lennon contest. "We had so many labels looking at us, but of all the A&R people we met, we liked Steve Schnur the best. He had a similar vision to what we had for the band, our career and the future that we wanted to do. So that's the reason why we went with Capitol - so we could have the artistic freedom to do the album we had always wanted to do." So Dexter Freebish went into the studio with Schnur, John Travis, John Shanks and the band themselves doing the production on the debut CD "A Life Of Saturdays". "When it was finally finished, it was somewhat surreal listening to eight months of songwriting along with some of the songs we had written before. It was just great how it came together. We were definitely blown away just to have that opportunity that so many musicians and bands look for - to have that finished product in your hand and to hopefully be able to give it to the world so they can hear any message that you have It was just a beautiful moment." Currently, the second single "My Madonna" is ready to be released, and Dexter Freebish is in the midst of their first nationwide tour supporting the new release, both as a headliner and also supporting bands like Sister Hazel, SR-71 and Everlast along with a slot at Atlanta's prestigious Music Midtown Festival. "We're getting some great reactions and building a big following in the Southeast and places like Chicago and the Midwest. Our music tries to talk about real life things and give hope to the world. There's not much of that out there with music these days. We get kids' parents who come to our shows and say the really like our music because we're not cussing all over the place and we try to write about real life. But we're going to keep touring through the summer big time, and that's probably the biggest thing that we have to keep doing along with visiting all the radio stations and doing all we can to keep promoting ourselves. For Dexter Freebish, it's always touring, and keep on writing music and keep having a good time playing music." :->


2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - ANDY MARTIN of Deep South Entertainment by Mark E. Waterbury

If Andy Martin's classmates or teachers in high school wondered where he was when he was absent from school, they may have wanted to check in line at the local ticket outlet. Andy had a profound love for rock and roll and admits he was the kid who skipped school to camp out for concert tickets. When he attended college at North Carolina State majoring in business management, Andy found a closer tie to music; working at the school's radio station WKNC which was one of the top hard rock/metal stations on the East coast at the time. "Whenever people like Savatage or Dio or whoever would come down the East coast, they would stop in the Carolinas including a stop at the radio station," Andy recalls. "It was an opportunity to meet a lot of people. Then in 1989, we had Lars Ulrich from Metallica come by the station. That was one of the first things that really opened up a door for me and showed me how the business worked on a grander scale."

From there, Andy would start a small fanzine called Requiem and would then go to work for the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh. He started at Walnut Creek as an intern in marketing, eventually working into other areas such as promotions directing and production management, learning all that he could absorb. He was still attending college when he saw an ad in the NC State paper for college reps at EMI Records. "I sent in my resume, and they told me that I was way too overqualified for this job because of all my work in the many different facets of the industry. But I wanted to work at a label and find out what that was all about." Andy started at EMI as a college rep and actually worked for the label until it folded in 1996, and then went to a distribution company where he worked briefly as a marketing rep. It was also about the time EMI folded that Andy along with David Rose started an indie label called Deep South Records. They had seen a label called Aware Records put out a compilation of mainly rootsy "Hootie" type bands, and they wanted to do a compilation as well, but focusing on bands from the Southeast and east coast with a broader spectrum of styles. "We wanted to get the bands who were the best of the best. It didn't matter what type of music it was as long as it was a great song and it was a band that was really doing something, we wanted to put them on there. For example there, was a song by Marcy Playground on the first one that didn't fit in with anything musically at the time, but we thought it was something that was cool and unique, and we wanted to get behind it, so we put it on there. It's just kind of the attitude we take with about everything. We also got known in the industry as people with good ears." Marcy Playground of course would get a label deal, as would six of the fifteen bands on the following compilation a year later, solidifying Deep South's position as sort of a launching pad for bands in their region. They also set up showcases for their compilation bands in New York, and began their foray into management with the band Collapsis' lead singer Mike Garrigan, who was on the second compilation. "The compilations, in a way, are an avenue for us to get out there and aggressively find new bands. It's easy when you're a manager or record label to get caught up in the every day operations of putting out records and managing your artists. But since we're focused on finding new artists, we get hundreds and hundreds of demos a month. And knowing that we had to find fifteen tracks each year that we really liked helped us find some of the bands that we found." One of those bands became another Deep South management client; SR-71 who was one of the bands that landed a record deal after the attention they received from the second Deep South compilation. Deep South also has released about twenty-five CDs by indie artists, including the first indie recording from Marvelous 3. Currently the label division is on hiatus as the management division of Deep South Entertainment grows. Joining the roster of Collapsis and SR-71 are Bruce Hornsby and Headstrong, and another known artist is in the works. They do plan on releasing a fourth compilation later this year, and have just started a publishing company called Songs of Deep South.

Looking back at his college years when he was deciding which path he would take in the music industry, Andy reflects on how some young people who look to work in the business are pursuing a relatively new college degree called Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. "I could be wrong of course but I can't imagine them having a guest speaker or a teacher for that matter who can teach students what they need to know about the industry. Whenever an intern comes into us, whatever they do, whether it's us or the local rock radio station, or a local fanzine or management company or a record label, they need to intern, intern, intern. Input as much knowledge as you can because you can quickly find out what you need to know about the music industry and what facet you want to work in. For me, it took seven years, going from press and publicity to radio to the live concert business to working for a promoter to finding what I was; putting out records on a small scale and being really creative and involved with the day-to-day workings and inner workings of bands and their careers, i.e. management." :->


3. SPOTLIGHT REVIEW - Kip Winger's "Songs from the Ocean Floor" by Mark E. Waterbury ALBUM CAPSULES by Mark E. Waterbury

Kip Winger - Songs From The Ocean Floor

When the name Winger is usually heard, of course there are those decadent folks who imagine the passe hair band era or the Beavis and Butthead nerd that wore the Winger t-shirt. Then there are the people who know better - the ones who respect Kip Winger's works of art. Granted, some of Winger's music was simplistic, straightforward, pop/hard rock, but the band still created several Billboard-charting hits and then went on to release some even better tunes on their excellent swan song "Pull" (obviously overlooked by an industry too quick to kiss up to the new flavor of the times - grunge). The primary focal point of Winger's music was the talent of Kip himself, with his well-rounded vocal, instrumental and songwriting abilities. After Winger seemed to fade into obscurity, Kip continued to record and write primarily solo acoustic music, some very good work that also went primarily unnoticed. His latest solo effort "Songs From The Ocean Floor" should be the album that re-solidifies Kip as a true musical artist. "Songs From The Ocean Floor" is a concept album that reaches deep within Kip's soul and blossoms out through his heart almost in the form of a musical healing as he dealt with the tragic loss of his wife. And while a plethora of emotions went into this songwriter's treasure, the music is by no means mopey or morose. On the contrary, you can feel a particular life force throughout the CD. There is a profound ballad "Two Lovers Stand" with beautiful string arrangements and reverently breathless vocals by Kip, but the album has a healthy amount of driving rock instrumental work that is very complementary to Kip's stellar vocals and lyrics. The lead track "Cross" is a haunting cry of pain set to an intense rocking groove. "Landslide" has a new-age flavor with perhaps Kip's most solid vocal rendition on the album, mirrored with a backdrop of mystical percussion and luscious piano. As the CD progresses, you can feel the cathartic impact writing this music had on Kip as "Faster" turns up the power featuring passionate vocals with a potent guitar attack. "Songs Of Midnight" weaves hard-driving rock, ambient string passages and a Middle Eastern tinge. "Resurrection" is an intense slow-tempo tune with multilayering that may also have a prophetic title, for joining Kip on this song is Winger's own Reb Beach on guitars. The final emotional release is "Everything You Need", an uplifting song of hope with a catchy light rock pulse. And let us not forget to mention the talented Winger drummer Rod Morgenstein lends his brilliant skills to Kip's songwriting arrangements throughout the CD. Foremost however, we find on this collection of music a man with plenty of talent stripped down to his emotions who lets his soul loose with amazingly wonderful results. These results manage to touch your heart without overzealousness and hold your attention with an intensity symbolizing an aura of new-found inner peace. That is the mark of a versatile and truly gifted songwriter-musician which - face it, all you cynics - Kip Winger is. For more info, visit Kip's web site at

Kip Winger Tour Dates
05-01-01 / New York, NY / BB King's
05-02-01 / Boston, MA / Paradise Rock
05-04-01 / Pittsburgh, PA / Banana Joe's
05-05-01 / Youngstown, OH / Varsity Club
05-09-01 / Clifton Park, NY / Northern Lights
05-10-01 / Allentown, PA / Crocodile Rock
05-11-01 / Old Bridge, NJ / Birch Hill
05-12-01 / Wantagh, NY / Mulcahy's
05-16-01 / Milwaukee, WI / Shank Hall
05-17-01 / Madison, WI / Annex
05-18-01 / Cleveland, OH / Odeon
05-19-01 / Detroit, MI / I-Rock Club
06-02-01 / Atlanta, GA / Cotton Club
06-08-01 / St. Petersburg, FL / State Theater
06-09-01 / Fort Lauderdale, FL / Culture Room

Dexter Freebish - A Life Of Saturdays
Capitol Records - CDP 7243 5 20464 2 3

"Leaving Town", the first song on this debut CD by Austin's Dexter Freebish won the John Lennon Songwriters Contest, and with one listen, it is easy to see why this song is so highly regarded. Snappy pop hooks are interspersed with crunchy guitar passages and great melodic vocals, but the fun isn't even close to being over with. "Higher" has a rootsy feel born of the Texas hill country with soaring harmonies, while by contrast "What Do You See" puts a spacey dose of psychedelia into a hard driving rock groove. Throw in the gutsy headlong rocking title track and you have a killer musical stew from a quintet of guys who really know how to write and play. URL:

Rorschach Test - Peace Minus One
E-Magine - EMA 61023-2

"Peace Minus One" is the third CD by Denver's Rorschach Test, and it firmly implants them as one of the fiercest metal forces in music today. Blistering music that harkens to bands like Pro-Pain and Sacred Reich, the band kicks in a healthy dose of industrial embellishments to add further fuel to the already blazing fire. James Baker's snarling, gravelly vocals and twisted preaching are borne upon the guttural twin guitar attack of Aaron Slip and Kris Cannella. The thrashing rhythms of drummer Jason Kowalski and programmer/keyboardist Troee takes the megatonnage up another notch. The electronic work keeps a fresh perspective on the fairly straight ahead approach to writing. And with a fan base growing from touring and opening for a number of national acts, "Peace Minus One" could send Rorschach Test ballistic with hard core metal fans. E-mail: URL:

Season's End - Trenches

The opening track "Always There" on this second release by Columbus, Ohio's Season's End kicks off with a compelling keyboard passage with a slight Elton John flavor. Then the song intensifies into a driving avant-garde rock flight with gritty melodic vocals. This band's music is full of popish hooks, but has several inequities. Alex West's vocals sound kind of like a male version of Deborah Harry with a little David Byrne, and he's not afraid to add some choice solo guitar work into his jangly rhythms. Keyboardist Matt Ebright puts great flourishes into the music, while the rhythm tandem of bassist Dan Morris and drummer Danny Little keep things tight and lively. Definitely alternative, in a comfortably weird sort of way, but it is quite enjoyable and has a base personality rooted in pop while straying from the norm enough to stamp a further signature on it. E-mail: URL:

Surrender - Full Circle
Pro Digital Records

It's usually not normal for a band to lead off an album with a quasi-ballad, but it works with "Could've Been", the lead track on the third CD from this foursome from King's Park, New York. The music has a bit of Beatles in it, but the breathy vocals of Paul Carey give it a nice edge. The next track " Till The End Of Time" kicks the rock up a notch, with a driving roots fervor, a gritty guitar punch provided by Greg Polcari and a sweet melodic chorus. The rock and roll fire burns a little hotter on tunes like "Do You Think About Me" and "My Baby And Me". Reminiscent of White Lion and a touch of "Departure"era Journey, the music is good solid rock and roll with an exclamation point being the killer vocal work. A tad retro but a happy reminder of the simpler, happier days of rock. E-mail: URL:

Woof - 2nd And Goal

You may have a conflict while listening to this second CD by the Big Apple's Woof. Your feet may tell you to dance, but you may be laughing too hard at the humorous lyrics from Ernie Munick. With elements of rock, boogie, blues and honky tonk the lyrics and the way Eddie sings them really gets this music rolling. Think Tom Waits, Zappa, and a little B-52's even, and you get an idea of this crazy bag of tricks. Along with his obvious talents in writing songs both lyrically and musically, Ernie has also found some solid musicians to surround himself with, as the songs could stand on their instrumental merit alone without the comic litany pouring from Ernie's lips. A great party album even if you are by yourself, you can imagine a party just by listening. E-mail:

Steven Dillon - First Of All

This debut CD is a finely composed introduction to a very talented and multi-faceted acoustic guitarist from Virginia, Steven Dillon. The slyly country fried picking of "Whistle While You Walk" leads things off, and is followed by a treasure trove of stylings ranging from haunting classical to rootsy folk and low-key rock pyrotechnics. Sometimes these styles can be present in the same song, ebbing and flowing like a sparkling moon-lit tide crescendoing to a crashing surf. It is obvious that Steven puts a lot of effort into writing songs that complement his talents without being too showy or flashy. Even with the panache to a minimum, his fingers tell his stories and they are very adept story tellers. E-mail: URL: :->



It Just Ain't That Easy Anymore

Currently, there's a national commercial using the Buddy Holly "chestnut" "It's So Easy", but when it comes to landing major cuts these days, it's "not that easy". To paraphrase a recent article about Garth Brooks' final CD release before entering retirement, the songwriter states, "I'd hoped to release that CD in May, but don't look for it then." And here's the kicker - Brooks said that even though he's listened to some 4000 (four thousand!!!!) songs so far in his search for material, he's considering recording only TWO - one as a possible duet with Trisha Yearwood. With the latest figures showing that there are 14,000 songwriters in Nashville, there are still 10,000 of them that haven't sent Garth a song.

When I was the General Manager of Herb Alpert's publishing company in L.A. and also General Manager of Central Songs (a strong source of country material) in the 60's, at least I had people, in-house people, to both establish a rapport with and personally bring songs to, but today it's scattershot just finding out who to send the songs to, mainly because of industry individuals changing labels, and artists. Even going further, when I was a house producer at Liberty/Imperial and United Artists and put out a call for material for any one of my artists, maybe 150-200 songs at the most would come in and I always gave the artist the benefit of the doubt in listening to the songs. That was the only fair way to do it as the artist may have found something to their liking that I may have not caught in the first listen. So the ratio would be 200 songs to find 12. But 4000 to find TWO?!?!? That's what I mean about it not being that easy anymore. Not long ago, I was visiting backstage at the Grand Ole Opry with a current hot artist who is also a great writer and he said that he had listened to 1400 songs so far and the session was 4 months away.

I guess that the message in all of this is to be thankful if your song firstly, warrants a publishing contract; secondly, that it at least gets shown to artists (but don't expect a quick yes or no); and thirdly, if it happens to find its way into a session - any session on any artist. If it did, you just became more fortunate than 14,000 other writers in Nashville alone who didn't have a song cut that day - or perhaps 13,950 of them! :->



Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your career

Jeffrey Keller, president of Attitude is Everything, offers these tips for bringing luck into your life:
• Be proactive
• Have a dynamic, positive atttitude
• Possess a burning desire
• Be prepared
• Display incredible persistance and a long-term perspective
• Pay your dues
• Create crystal-clear objectives
• Demonstrate flexibility
• Be a risk taker
- from the Monthly Motivator,

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure." - Eric Wilson :->


by Mark Waterbury and Sandy Serge

"Without struggle there is no achievement" - Frederick Douglas
"Money had never been the main thing for me. It's the legacy that was important." - Berry Gordy, Motown Records
"You never stop paying the price, you never stop making the sacrifice." - Berry Gordy to Diana Ross

So you got a good band going with a solid core of musicians and some good original music. You've grown a good fan base in your local area and you feel like you're ready to take that next step towards that holy grail of a major recording deal, playing giant concert halls, platinum albums and millions of dollars...

Whoa there! It takes more than just having a local following and some good music to even get a chance at making it...a LOT more. You have to be ready to go that extra mile to open up as many doors of opportunity as you possibly can for your band. Sure you can get a slick press kit together and zap off a bunch of copies with your CD to managers, booking agents, radio music directors, A&R reps at labels and the like, but do you think that merely listening to your music and seeing that you can bring a couple hundred people out in your hometown is going to turn their heads? Better think again. These people want to see many more accomplishments towards success on your part before they think of taking you on. And one thing that needs to be done is taking your show on the road. You don't really have to tour the whole country right off the bat (although some famous bands did do that right away) but start getting the buzz going in your region first. Then you can grow beyond that to your next region, and the next region, and so on. Sound easy? Not in the least!

When you go out on the road one word is paramount that you need to remember: SACRIFICE! Because if you really want that holy grail that is what you need to do. You have to be ready to sleep in your van or on someone's couch, travel for ten hours to a gig where you end up playing for the sound guy, the bartender and a couple of their friends. Eat fast food and sometimes only make twenty bucks at a gig. Encounter bad weather and flat tires. Deal with unruly people who just flat out don't like your style of music. Getting to a club and finding out your gig is canceled at the last minute because the power is knocked out. Or the club booker overbooked the show and didn't bother to call you to notify you. Sounds grueling, doesn't it? But rarely do you ever hear of a story of any band who has made it to the big time that did it without becoming road dogs first. To grow your fan base via touring outside your area there are a lot of sacrifices you have to make. The following are some ideas for increasing the chance of success on your tour:

PROMOTION: If you are doing it all yourself, then you know you need to make flyers and posters for the club and the surrounding area. Use a gimmick to promote the show - give away something FREE at your show and advertise it on your flyers. Make sure that you send outlets the posters/flyers in plenty of time, and find out what the local policy is for posting flyers, because many municipalities are now passing laws against flyering telephone poles, etc. Call local CD retailers and ask if they will put posters in their windows or mini-flyers in their customers' bags. You should also obtain various reference materials for contacting the publications and radio stations in the area to invite them to the show to review it or perhaps do an interview with you. Even if you have a promotion or PR firm working for you, you still need to augment their efforts to make sure as many outlets as possible know about your shows. One idea to help with promotion is to get to a gig as early as you can - maybe 4-5 hours - and pound the pavement to promote your show. Some of your best promotion can still come from personal interaction - meeting people. If there is a college near the club you are playing at, a commons area may be a good spot to hand out mini-flyers or talk to people about coming to your show. If you can draw even a few extra people by leaving for a gig a couple of hours early then it is definitely worth it.

PERFORMANCE: It is paramount that you always put on your best show no matter how many people you play in front of. Even if you make only three fans in that one bar in bum-f**k USA, those three fans could turn into thirty fans the next time you come around. And then that could turn into three hundred. You should get out and mingle with the fans before the show, during your breaks, and after the show, and thank the attendees for coming to your show. Give them a bumper sticker or button to remember you by, and pass out cassette samplers containing one or two songs if they don't have the money with them to buy your full-length CD. This is also an excellent time to carry around your CDs and promote your CD personally to each person at your show. Make up mailing list cards and make sure that not only do the people get them but that they fill them out. Include a space on it for their e-mail addresses.

MERCHANDISE: While on stage, let people know your CD and t-shirts are available as often as possible and do it enthusiastically. Ask them if they are having fun tonight...let them know they can take the memory of the night along home with them by purchasing your CD. Give away something for free if they buy a CD like a button, sticker or refrigerator magnet. Selling more merchandise can offset a slow night at the door. To ensure higher merchandise sales, carry around your CDs on breaks or after the show while you are talking to your new fans. Model your own t-shirts especially if they have a catchy design on them. They will catch people's attention and if you get any remarks about your shirt, suggest they buy one.

SAVING MONEY: You or your booking agent should always try to get you free or discounted rooms, food and beverages when you are touring too far from home to return immediately after a gig. But a lot of clubs won't offer freebies or discounts. You should think about bringing sandwiches or other food and drinks in a cooler with you. Many musicians like to party a little after playing. Be careful because if you don't get free drinks you can burn up your night's pay pretty quickly if you get carried away. Even if you do get free drinks, if you go overboard and start draining the bar's supply of Glenfiddich and imported beer, they may change their policy next time you come through. For lodging you may want to bring sleeping bags and tents if the weather is nice. Sleeping bags would also be handy if you want to sleep in a motel but want to fit your five piece band into a single room. And if you get out and schmooze with the folks in the audience, you never know who may offer you a place to crash, buy you drinks or take you out for breakfast. If you go the extra mile for your fans, you may be pleasantly surprised to see some go the extra mile for you.

MAKING MONEY: If you are in this business for the money, consider getting out of it and make way for those who are in this industry for the sheer love of making music and bringing their creative work to the masses. You will be expected to perform for free, giveaway free merchandise and do things for others in this business FOR FREE throughout the duration of your music career simply to promote your music. If you are not willing to do those things to help your career, you do not belong in this business. Focus on your day job instead. "Do what you love, the money will follow - Discovering your right livelihood" is a highly recommended book by Marsha Sinetar. Also, remember that you are expected to invest your own money in your career. If you don't invest in your career, why would anyone else want to (like a major label)? So save every dime you make from your music and dig into your day job pockets. Put most of (if not all) that money into promoting your career. You are a small business and like any small business, you have to re-invest in it to get a buzz going so you can eventually prosper. Something terrible happens when you don't promote your music - NOTHING!

EQUIPMENT: It is presumed that most musicians treat their guitars, amps, drums and other equipment with utmost respect considering that these are the tools of their art. Why not treat your mode of transportation that will carry you on tour with that same respect? No club owner likes to hear a band call them to tell them they won't be able to make their gig because their van broke down, especially if that club owner sunk some of his/her own money into promoting your show. Some club owners may not be too keen on booking you again if you cancel for that reason. Always have your transport vehicle checked out before leaving town, and if you are leaving for several days or plan to travel a long distance from home, make sure you take your van in at least a week or two ahead of time. That way if your mechanic tells you he needs three days to fix your vehicle or has to order parts, you won't be screwed if you're playing five hundred miles away in just two days.

YOURSELF: Try to do as much as you possibly can to keep yourself healthy. Touring can take a lot out of you and if you are not healthy you could end up getting sick, thus causing another reason for gig cancellations. Try to eat as properly as possible on the road, and if you can't then bring some vitamin supplements. Energy or granola bars can also be helpful. Get a flu shot in at the start of flu season, and you may want to think about herbal remedies like Echinacea. Try to avoid too much contact with people who are sick before going on a tour. And too much partying can make you more vulnerable to sickness as well. Get plenty of rest and remember to exercise when you are on the road.

YOUR ATTITUDE: Face it folks, this is a very tough, cut-throat business. A bad attitude will ruin everything good about you so keep your attitude positive, yet real and humble. Even if your music is great, the chances you are going to make it big are slim at best - only 1% of the thousands of bands out there get signed to a major. And only 6% of those signed sell over 10,000 CDs so they are often dropped by the label after a year due to slow CD sales. But if you don't get tough and get out there and tour, promote your band, make sacrifices and heed the above suggestions, you can be ASSURED you are not going to ever make it! You can't just expect that when you put out a CD it is going to just take off by itself and fly off the store shelves or out of the internet sites. You need to go that extra mile, and if you have that real drive to be successful in this business, then these suggestions should become an integral part of your overall attitude towards your career. Afterall, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

To augment all the points mentioned above, here are some quotes from famous musicians formerly interviewed by Music Morsels over the years. They have been there, done that so, hopefully, their words on touring, sacrifice and general attitudes to make it in this business will be sound advice for you all. Read and take heed!

Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes: "We put out "Shake Your Money Maker", and then did two tours. It wasn't any one thing [that made us successful]. It was touring and touring, singles, radio, MTV, a lot of hard work, sort of a combination of everything."

Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special: "I had been actually thinking about going to work for a railroad in Jacksonville. So I went to Ronnie (Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd) and told him that I had something a little 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 (Barnes), Jeff (Carlisi) and myself thought of forming a band. (After 38 Special formed) Ronnie came out and saw us perform at a club in Jacksonville. He liked what he heard, and 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."

Bill Leverty of Firehouse: "In the early days, we lowered our cost of living to near poverty level so we could afford to go out and play clubs and make thirty dollars a week. That was a tough part. If you wanted to get out and get on this circuit where you could start working with other bands and agents and what not, you had to get out there. I rented a closet that I could just barely fit my bed in for a hundred dollars a month that I lived in when I was in my hometown, but most of the time I was out on the road. You have to be willing to sleep in the back of a U-Haul and travel thirteen hour trips which we did many times. But you still need to be a songwriter, so we worked real hard at that, and if we were not gigging or riding in the back of a truck, we were working around a little four track and writing music."

Butch Walker of Marvelous 3: "We've always had the fuel for the fire and the fire lit under our asses since we started. We always had a little taste of success along the way with every band, whether large or small. We were able to want it enough and be hungry for more. In this business it's good to have an open mind. If you say you want to sell a million albums and you only sell half a million, that's great, but you're setting yourself up for a fall. After years of playing at bars, wondering if anyone is going to show up, you learn to expect nothing, and then you get something."

Mark Trojanowski of Sister Hazel: "After Ryan joined the band and up until the point we were signed, we had a plan - we wanted to methodically make a record that would appear like a national release in every aspect, from getting radio stations to play it in Florida and the Southeast, buying ads on radio, getting the CD into stores, and posting flyers in stores. In every way, we spent a good amount of money to make it look like a national release."

Jacob Bunton of Mars Electric: "You can't measure success in album sales because you'll drive yourself crazy if you want to sell a lot of records and you don't. The main thing is you have to be happy and that way you are successful."

Chip Z'Nuff of Enuff Z'Nuff: "It was a lot of hard work - to reach your goal, you've got to want it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We were pretty obsessed by it."

Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo: "We did whatever we could, sleeping in the van, sleeping on the floor, playing some shows for fifty dollars, some shows for free. We knew that was the only way a band like us could make it."

Margaret Becker: "A lot of people have financial security and job security right away, but sometimes you have to take chances and make a lot of sacrifices to do what you love the most."

Colin Hay of Men At Work: "There weren't any record deals for acoustic duos, so we went to form a rock and roll band and that's how Men At Work happened. We worked for about two years in pubs and (built) a strong live following."

Mark Cope of Candyskins: "We had always been hard on ourselves for songwriting so we never take the easy options when we write. It's like painting - the more songs you write, the better you become. We've been touring for so long, and we rehearse a lot so everything is tight. Go to gigs and meet people. You get the same buzz whether it's a hundred people or several thousand people."

Ben Friedman of Cigar Store Indians: "You've got to have a band with the proper chemistry. Even if that means you have to sacrifice playing with the best musicians, you've gotta play with people you see eye-to-eye with. You have to go around and beg for gigs sometimes, and there's not much pay in it at all. But if you can get that buzz going in town, just to get people to talk about you on the street is a good start. And if you have a tape to sell it helps. Sometimes we'd do three or four times a month in town, but when we finally got around to going on tour, we didn't want to burn anyone around here out on us, because if you play too much in the same town, it's not special anymore. So we tried to build a following in the region rather than just the city."

Jon Crosby of VAST: "For most people you just kind of knock on doors until one opens if you get lucky. The way I've always worked, it's been little steps, not any big jumps. To tell the truth, I don't feel that I've ever had a break. It's always just kind of happened. I force it, one thing at a time."

Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes: "Rather than just going over songs that we knew and were ready to play, we just went out on the street. Some cities have reputations for street performers, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin was not and probably still is not one of those cities. Basically, it was never done there so it was a very strange thing for people to see what we were doing. Then we had a finished project which became the first album. And we sent it to everybody, and they said "no" if they responded at all. Someone actually thought it was a demo that should be re-recorded, which when you think of that album now, is just incredible."

Kyle of Dexter Freebish: "We thought to ourselves if we want to do this we have to build a huge following in the area. And our music was not the classic Austin sound, a lot of that was more bluesy, funkier kind of jam bands and we were very rock and roll melodic pop. For us, it took a while to build a following and find a niche and clubs that wanted us to play there all the time. It's such a saturated market - to get people to come see your band every night is very tough and competitive." :->



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

Thriving Nashville independent label, JIPrecords, is accepting artist and member packages for review. Artists enjoy artistic freedom, airplay promotion, ground and Internet distribution, and publicity plans. JIP members have their mp3 online, a members webpage, and CDs for sale in the JIP Outlet Store on Membership is lifetime free. email and subdomains are available to online artists (no review necessary.) See details on Join the alternative, legal way to make money online with your music and participate in the JIP world. Latin, bluegrass, worldbeat, alt rock, spoken & soundtrack, poetry books and collectibles. Hard to find and specialty orders.

OPETH is on the road with Metal stalwarts NEVERMORE, ANGEL DUST and GOD FORBID, and will now embark on a new mission: the in-store appearance. Getting up-close-and-personal with fans is a logical option, as the band has been attaining acceptance with Rock and Metal audiences alike as they advance through each market on this, their debut tour of North America. OPETH will be participating in the following in-store events:
Saturday, May 5th / Fords, NJ / Vintage Vinyl (4:00pm - band will raffle off one of their own autographed guitars!)
Monday, May 14th / Houston, TX / The Sound Exchange (6:00pm)

Mike Galaxy Presents is now a radio show at so listen in to hear if your band is played....
Click on one of the speeds below for a direct link to show...
128k -For broadband, T1 , and cable modems
56k -for medium speed dial up connections
28k -for low end dialup.

D-Rock SOUL-Jah, the host of WRFG, 89.3FM's "ALTERNATIVE ROCK SOUL-U-TIONS", which airs late Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings from 12 midnight - 2 am on WRFG-Atlanta features Rock'n'Roll with a SOULFUL twist from diverse artists of all ethnicities! If you would like to submit promotional music (preferably on CD) for radio play and a possible interview, then please send it to the following address:
Albert Johnson a.k.a. D-Rock SOUL-Jah
3909 Campbellton Rd.
Apt. C11
Atlanta, GA 30331
Ph: 404-344-5154

This link will lead you to an article written by an insider about how much it costs to get a song added to commercial radio playlists. This is a mind expanding experience about the state of commercial radio today. Please read this article if the topic is of interest to you. and

Want to take advantage of the world wide mobile phone texting SMS revolution (for free ;-) ? How would you like your website URL to be attached to SMS text messages sent to music fans world wide by record labels promoting their new releases (off-line branding) which fans will pass on to their friends (viral brand marketing) ? See 'MoTexT' inside

Dedicated to the support and promotion of independent music, Wampus Multimedia is home to Arms of Kismet, Mancini, Wampeters, Kowtow Popof, and, soon, to a growing roster of indie artists. Wampus purchased, a dominant online retailer in the indie CD market, on January 26. The acquisition gives Wampus access to a targeted database of indie music enthusiasts -- the fans who care the most about independent music. For artists who have marketed their work in the past through, Wampus is developing new programs to help them reach their audience. Wampus is interested not only in signing and producing new artists, but in marketing and distributing the existing work of artists seeking broader exposure. Wampus will announce details of its new signature and affiliate programs later this spring. For more information, visit...

"Unsigned band" contest sponsored by Jim Beam! More details about the contest can be found at . :->



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'.

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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:
BMP is interested in both pure writers and acts with strong material in the Dance, Commercial Jazz, R&B, Pop and Indie markets. NO Country, MOR or Hard Rock!
If you're looking for a publisher/label with a global perspective and an enthusiasm for new media send your demo to:
Jurgan Dramm, BMP, Riverbank House, 1 Putney Bridge Approch, LONDON, SW6 4NZ. Tel 0207 371 0022, Fax 0207 371 0099,


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 May! Thank you for your subscription. E-ya next month!


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