Music Morsels - July 2001
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Music Morsels - July 2001
  • Crossroads - Don Brewer and Bruce Kulick of Grand Funk Railroad
  • Industry Profile - Tara Murphy of 360 Media
  • Unsigned Artist Spotlight - Lea Brennan
 

WELCOME TO THE JULY, 2001 ISSUE OF MUSIC MORSELS
This month's Crossroads feature interview
Don Brewer and Bruce Kulick of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
This month's Unsigned Artist Spotlight
LEA BRENNAN
This month's Industry Profile
TARA MURPHY - 360 Media

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!
Tapes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 are now available!
Please see the order form in the Music Industry Marketing Showcase at the end of this issue.

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July, 2001
MUSIC MORSELS - The legal stuff
Music Morsels is distributed worldwide the first week of the month by subscription.
The e-mail version is FREE. That's 12 educational issues brought to your computer screen! Feedback is always welcome at <MUSMORSELS@aol.com>. Thank you for your support! Disclaimer: Just because we print the stuff that doesn't mean we necessarily endorse it. Problems with content? Contact us ASAP and we'll tell you how we can help.
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Secure your standing place and you can move the world. - Goethe

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. CROSSROADS - Don Brewer and Bruce Kulick of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD by Mark E. Waterbury

2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - TARA MURPHY of 360 MEDIA by Mark E. Waterbury

3. ALBUM CAPSULES/VIDEO REVIEW - Ghoultown, The High Violets, Melissa Gibson, Terramara, Adrienne Blanton & the Singers of Faith, Purple Mustard (video review) by Mark E. Waterbury

4. SCOTT TURNER'S SONG PUBLISHER'S PERSPECTIVE - Certainly, Do Both...'Til That Ship Sails In

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

6. UNSIGNED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - LEA BRENNAN 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

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1. CROSSROADS.......... Don Brewer and Bruce Kulick of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD by Mark E. Waterbury
Pivotal moments in musicians careers propelling them from obscurity to infamy

Grand Funk Railroad is another one of those bands from the great era of music in the late 60's and early 70's that has been experiencing a revival since the late days of the twentieth century. Solid hard rocking classics like "Closer To Home", "Some Kinda Wonderful" and "We're An American Band" are still staples on classic rock stations, and the band's live shows have been entertaining from the very beginning.

Formed in Detroit with the core of guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner, bassist Mel Schacher and drummer Don Brewer, later adding keyboardist Craig Frost, Grand Funk Railroad prowled the stages of the world until the late 70's and briefly in the 80's, then going their separate ways as disco, metal and new wave brushed many bands from that era aside. But the recent revival of classic rock for both older and newer fans has put Grand Funk Railroad back on track with a revamped lineup that includes a guitarist who himself spent over a decade in another legendary rock band born in the 70's.

Alan Freed, Sam Phillips and Bill Graham can all be considered very influential people in the early days of rock and roll. But a name you really have to add to that list is Ed Sullivan because his variety show was always open to burgeoning rock acts who were eager to use the equally fledgling medium of television to showcase their craft to the masses. And these performances also inspired many a youngster to pick up a guitar, a microphone or a pair of drum sticks and take the rock and roll path, some becoming stars in their own right. With a young Don Brewer, it was Elvis' performances on the Ed Sullivan Show that prompted him to seek a career in music. Don's father was also a drummer, so he bought Don a beat-up Slingerland drum set and began to teach him the basics. Don emerged into the music idea early and played guitar in a band in elementary school. He then performed in several high school cover rock bands performing music by Chuck Berry and Little Richard. One of those high school bands became Terry Knight and the Pack, which enjoyed some moderate success in the Michigan/Pennsylvania area. A member of that band was Mark Farner, and when The Pack split up, Mark and Don decided to form their own band. Adding bassist Mel Schacher, they christened the band Grand Funk Railroad. "Before Grand Funk Railroad when we were in The Pack, Mark and I were working on original material," Don recalls. "But we weren't allowed to play original material because all the clubs wanted cover tunes, whatever was happening at the time. One of the points we made going into Grand Funk Railroad was to do original material. Mark started writing and we started at first performing cover songs, but in our own way, so people didn't even know they were covers, like "Inside Looking Out", which is a Grand Funk Railroad staple but no one knew it was a remade Animals song." In 1969, because they only performed originals plus their own cover song arrangements, they were not extremely successful in securing bar gigs, but those types of shows were really not part of their plan anyway. "We wanted to do concert type venues like the East Side Theater in Detroit and the Rockpile in Toronto. We wanted to play the high profile places where bands were allowed to play all their own stuff, not just play bars."

The band got a break when a friend at their booking agency secured a nonpaying slot during the first Atlanta Pop Festival, which included such huge acts as Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter and Pacific Gas & Electric. "We were the lowest band on the totem pole. We went on at one in the afternoon, and we just walked on stage, did our best and blew everyone away. Word of mouth spread from there and we started getting a lot of dates through the South. That's when Capitol Records took an interest in us." Capitol Records eventually signed the band and things took off from there. Rounding out their sound with the addition of keyboardist Craig Frost in 1972, they would turn out a number of top-five hits including "We're An American Band" and "Locomotion" both hitting Number One. But by 1976 the group's interest began to lag and they disbanded. Don and Mark reunited in the early 80's for a couple of new Grand Funk Railroad albums, but it was not a good era for their brand of rock and roll, so they split again, presumably for good. Don joined Craig Frost for several tours as part of Bob Seger's band, but towards the end of the 80's, Don quit the music business for awhile to spend more time with his family. Then in the mid-90's Mark, Don and Mel started talking about getting Grand Funk Railroad back together again. "All of these stations were playing classic rock, and we realized that they were playing all of this Grand Funk Railroad music. The record companies began reissuing CDs, so we thought that we should try this again." The band re-formed and did a test market tour of about fifteen shows. The buzz with the fans and the band was definitely there. In 1997, GFR did the Bosnia benefit concert where a full orchestra backed them on the song "Closer To Home." The "Railroad" was rolling again.

With the classic rock scene in full swing as the Twentieth century drew to a close, Mark Farner decided to leave the reunited Grand Funk Railroad to pursue a solo project. To replace Mark's guitar work, Don called an axe-slinger he met back in the early 80's. Bruce Kulick had also been bit by the music bug watching Ed Sullivan, although it had been the Beatles show that inspired him. Bruce began playing guitar in cover bands that would play at high school dances, parties and eventually clubs. It was a twist of irony that a future respected rock guitarist would hone his chops playing.....disco! "Our band used to wear suits because this was the time when disco was popular," Bruce recalls. "Next thing I know, the agent that was booking us hooked up with a disco guy named George McRae who had the hit single "Rock You Baby". The record took off in Germany. George was ready to do some traveling, but some of the people in his band didn't want to do it. Before you know it, I'm up in Toronto doing a show and then off to Germany for two months. It was very eye-opening for me. I was able to get a taste of life on the road. From that point on I wanted to get back and do that, but with a rock band, of course."

Things happened quickly after the brief disco foray, as Bruce caught the eyes and ears of Meatloaf, who tabbed the guitarist to be in his tour band supporting his smash "Bat Out Of Hell" album. Following that tour Bruce joined the band Blackjack with Michael Bolton during his rock-oriented days. Bruce would continue to work with Michael as Blackjack became Michael's solo project. Michael's band landed some opening slots for Bob Seger, who's drummer was Don Brewer. Don and Bruce met for the first time and also crossed paths a few other times over the next fifteen years. Then in 1984 Bruce received a call from Paul Stanley. KISS needed a "temporary" replacement on guitar for the "Animalize" tour due to Mark St. John's illness. "As opposed to the two to six week commitment, I wound up staying for twelve years. And it was great for my career of course because of KISS' fame. I visited some amazing places and played for some great crowds. It was really exciting, but the downside of it was knowing about the shadow of the make-up band. It was always an issue knowing that at some point they may get back together and I'd be left out on the side." Of course in 1996, the original lineup of KISS reformed, donned their famous kabuki make-up and headed out for a world tour. But before this happened Bruce joined in with the four originals and soon-to-be-displaced drummer Eric Singer for an MTV "Unplugged" session. "I got a lot of exposure from that unplugged thing, the non-make-up band were able to prove that we could really play. But to be involved with a group that is a household name is something I'm very proud of."

After he left KISS, Bruce was in the band Union with John Korabi who had briefly sang with Motley Crue. They put out two albums but, in spite of Bruce and John's lineage, just couldn't make headway with the rockers in the US. So Bruce released the solo album "Audiodog" in March of 2001. A few months prior, he received the call from Don Brewer who asked him to join Grand Funk Railroad. "Don called me out of the blue and it felt really good talking to him. We became serious in a short period of time about making the Grand Funk Railroad name live on with new people. I was a great fan of them when I was a kid and of course I still am now." Don remembered his meeting in the 80's when Bruce was in the band with Michael Bolton. Now, with keyboardist Tim Cashion and vocalist Max Carl in the Grand Funk Railroad fold, Bruce was the final piece to the new lineup. "Max was a key element because he is soul singer who can also rock and roll," Don comments. "Then I thought I would find out what Bruce was doing. I felt he'd be perfect for this situation. He impressed me as being a great guitar player that could play not just the big heavy rock music and solos, but even if you throw some R&B at him, he's right on top of it. There aren't too many guitarists who can do That." As a result, Bruce fits in well with Grand Funk Railroad easily filling the shoes of the departed Mark Farner. Bruce says, "As I learned with KISS, it is important when dealing with classic material that you capture the essence of what made the solo so special, and if it is a classic song, most people have heard it way more than one time. I try to take a lot of what Mark did and try to interpret it in my own way, but the vibe of it is very much similar."

GFR is starting to work on new songs together, and down the line somewhere, there may just be a new Grand Funk Railroad album as this legendary outfit enjoys a second life. "To have this kind of talent in this band," notes Don, " is like, woah, this is a killer band! And it's opened up everyone's eyes in the band because we can take this to another dimension if we want to. It isn't just doing the oldies thing. It's doing new music as well. It's doing the Grand Funk Railroad thing with a real energetic feel. It's striking!" :->

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2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - TARA MURPHY of 360 Media by Mark E. Waterbury

You could probably guess Tara Murphy's passion for music if you had a copy of her senior yearbook from her high school in New Jersey. Under "Favorite Hangout", she listed Meadowlands Brandon Burn Arena. "I literally went there once a week for a show," Tara remembers. "I wanted to be in the music business since the age of ten, and I continuously surrounded myself with music and constantly went to concerts." After high school, Tara's family moved to Atlanta, and instead of going to college in New Jersey, she decided to stay closer to her family and went to Elon College in North Carolina where she majored in corporate communications with a minor in business administration. "They didn't have a lot of music industry courses there, and corporate communications was close because they included music and TV and radio. At that point I still didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I felt it would give me a strong background on whatever I ended up in."

Tara did start learning about the music industry while at college by working at the school's radio station and interning at Mammoth Records as well as a music management company. After college she worked in record retail management at Record Town before moving back to Atlanta where she started looking for a different job in the business. "A good friend of our family Jake Barry was a pretty big production manager in the industry. I called him and told him that I was trying to get a job and no one was hiring even though I sent my resume everywhere. He gave me a list of promoters he worked with in Atlanta, and Concerts Southern was literally the last name on the list, but for some reason, it was the first name that I called." Two days after her introductory call to Concerts Southern, Tara was called in for an interview and was then hired as an intern. Her responsibilities included ticket sales for the various venues the promoters worked with. She left for awhile to work with R.A. Roth Lighting Company, but quickly discovered she was not interested in that aspect of the business, so she returned to Concerts Southern only to leave again and go to work at Ichiban Records. "When the position came available at Ichiban it was for a publicist, and at the time I had no idea what a publicist was. I ended up knowing a guy there, and I went in for three extensive interviews and after every one, I thought, ‘I can't believe I'm doing this. I don't even know what this will be.' But then I sent them a card saying thanks for the interview along with a top-ten list of why I should be hired and that's what did it. Still not knowing really what I would be doing on the first day they told me "Here's your desk, here's your computer, your first project is Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground. And I thought I was going to get fired. I didn't know what I was doing. But I found my own way, called people, learned things and discovered my own way of doing PR."

Tara worked her way up to Director of Publicity, but the company eventually split and she began to work for NMC Records. She was finally starting to find her niche in the business, especially when Concerts Southern called upon her services again. "It was fun because I was doing a little bit of everything in the music business from helping artists to A&R to production and public relations. I wasn't really sure exactly what I wanted to do. And then Concerts Southern contacted me and they needed a publicist for Music Midtown which I had worked on as an intern from day one. So I put in a bid and ended up getting that gig. I thought after that job was done in six months or so I would just head to New York or L.A. and work for another company. But then I started getting more clients and I thought, "OK, I think I have a company.'" So Tara christened her own publicity firm 360 Media. She continues to work with such prominent events as Music Midtown and the annual Atlantis Music Conference. She also works with other entertainment entities such as a yoga studio and a film premiere, and appears quite happy with 360 Media as the business continues to grow. "I've been told that I am very good with people and it is a people job. PR is what you make of it. It can be real interesting and real exciting, or it can be real monotonous and really boring. I've always kind of looked at it like making it as much fun as possible. And it's helping to create what the public needs to know. If you look at it that way, it's something amazing to be involved in." :->

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3. ALBUM CAPSULES/VIDEO REVIEW by Mark E. Waterbury

Ghoultown - Tales From the Dead West
Angry Planet Records - APR-5002
This band formed by guitarist/vocalist Count Lyle, who previously played with G.G. Allin and Solitude Aeturnus takes certain elements of his hard core punk and doom metal backgrounds and twists it with a southwestern soul. The avant-garde mariachi toned "La Noche Diablo" makes you think of a spaghetti western with someone like Bela Lugosi replacing Clint Eastwood. "RotoRiculous" has a full out drive with blasting horns, like early Scorchers meets Mighty Mighty Bosstones while the eerily moody "The Burning" brings to mind punk pioneers like the Circle Jerks and The Clash. The excellent musicianship and slyly warped lyrics add further dimensions, fleshing out the well crafted songs that if you strip them down remind you of what true punk was - rebellious, but with an eye for doing something fresh. URL: www.ghoultown.com E-mail: info@ghoultown.com

The High Violets - 4 song EP
From the one-time musical hotbed of Portland, Oregon, The High Violets have a very light touch of that northwest thang burbling through the background on their debut EP, but generous doses of modern psychedelia and breathy vocals from Kaitlyn ni Donovan and Clint Sargent produce a provocative vibe to the music. Think Syd Barret era Floyd laced with The Verve Pipe and a touch of Radiohead and you get the idea. Beautifully moody, this is the type of music that lets you close your eyes as it massages your senses while keeping your body in a relaxed groove. This would be great and uplifting music for a wind-down after a rough day. Much better than medication - less expensive and no physical aftereffects, but addictive nonetheless. URL: www.thehighviolets.com E-mail: thehighviolets@yahoo.com

Melissa Gibson - Lighthouse Point
MMG Records
Singer/songwriters from Nashville seem to be a dime a dozen these days so you need to have something special going, and it appears from her debut that Melissa Gibson does, by stretching a little beyond the common country feel that a lot of singer/songwriters get trapped into. Granted several songs including "Blue Streak" and "Falling Away" have a strong country base, but the free-spirited opening track "Ocean View" is just that - a bit of tropical island feel that makes you almost smell the salt spray and hear waves breaking on a beach. The first thing that strikes you is Melissa's fine voice which has a touch of Joan Baez albeit a little huskier. A real gem if you love passionate vocals is the piano ballad "Just Breathe". For those of you who like to tap your toes you won't be disappointed by the fiddle-laced "Coney Island Getaway" and the rollicking folk of "Dance With Fireflies". The lyrics are all well-thought, with a very earthy and life-inspired feel to them. This lady obviously has talent as both a writer and performer, and may have what it takes to break beyond the tough Nashville market. URL: www.melissagibson.com E-mail: melgibs@aol.com

Terramara - Self titled
Insight Galactic
The twin cities of Minneapolis/St Paul gave the world acts like Prince, Husker Du and the Replacements. Now they may be poised with their next gift, Terramara. The rock-fired funky groove of this band has a much larger sound then usually comes from a foursome, partly from added guests kicking in some choice harmonica and horn licks. Rob Meany's vocals remind you of classic rocker voices from the 70's, with that passionate but not-stuffy feel. He kicks in some great keyboard work as well, augmenting the jazzy guitar work from Jay Sonneberg. Bassist D.J. Sandau and drummer David Thomas keep the rhythm mechanism tight but lively. You can feel elements as diverse as Steely Dan, Royal Crescent Mob and Sting's earlier solo stuff, but these guys keep their own signature on it with a lively background groove that permeates the songs and gives them a kick that keeps you happy through all ten tracks. URL: www.terramara.com E-mail: rmeany@terramara.com

Adrienne Blanton & the Singers of Faith - God's True Love
As you can tell by the title of this work the music has a definite Christian message in it, but it conveys it in a very unique way. There are three versions of the song on this single, the first being a mellow electronica tinged ballad with a Gospel-esque chorus backing R&B rap leads, weaving older and newer styles to great effect. The second version has basically the same vocal structure with some slightly jazzed-up programmed rhythms, and the third version is an ambient instrumental version. Produced by noted multi-faceted musician Johnny Blair, this short CD is bursting with a cerebral music and faith-driven passion but in a relaxing way, and whets the soul's appetite to hear more from this group. URL: http://home.earthlink.net/~the3blrs E-mail: in care of Johnny Blair at: the3blrs@earthlink.net

MUSIC VIDEO REVIEW
Purple Mustard - A Letter To.....
Tetragrammaton Music
The latest video by Miami's modern psychedelic rockers Purple Mustard adds a slyly unique backdrop to one of their stronger songs, providing a stimulating aural and visual experience. The song "A Letter To..." has mellow verses with a slightly echoey acoustic feel, which is then dramatically fueled with a powerful Beatle-esque chorus graced with front-man Robert Wright's edgy and passionate vocals. The video was directed by Youree Henley, who did the Stone Temple Pilot's "Sour Girl" video and also worked with Macy Gray. It takes a fairly straightforward view of the band playing and adds a plethora of interesting tidbits to the mix. The bright colors of the band members, their instruments and the peacock plumes rising above the drum kit are enhanced by a pure white backdrop, fairly standard but then comes the little things like sudden splashes of muted blues and flashes from dark shadow to photo negative white. Interspersed with the shots of the band are scenes of a lady taking a doll and altering it by adding items like a piece of guitar string wrapped around its neck or a lock cut from her own hair. It adds to the mood of the overall mosaic, letting the story seep through as the music throbs in the background. The result is scenery that augments the music instead of taking away from it with too much flash and bombast, but still keeping things interesting in a wonderfully quirky way. :->

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4. SCOTT TURNER'S SONG PUBLISHER'S PERSPECTIVE

Certainly, Do Both...'Til That Ship Sails In

In the past four weeks, I've received some very interesting letters that accompanied song submissions. One stated that he wished that he would have listened to his father and pursued guitar lessons instead of going to medical school and entered the risky business of medicine...medicine risky??? WOW!! I would think that's pretty secure along with being lucrative. Another from a female was along the same lines in that she wished that (now that she's the ripe old age of 40!) she had stayed with her musical talent rather than pursuing her psychiatry profession, a successful practice, she added, but to add a personal note, many in the music business NEED the services of that lady!!!

The other two letters followed suit though they mentioned different, to them, "boring occupations", but once again, secure and lucrative. A rewarding factor though is that all four of them submitted VERY competitive material so my answer to them was DO BOTH. Today with the emergence of the Internet merchandising and other independent in-roads, these individuals can compete and maintain the stability of their respective family lives.

Granted, most successful writers are under monetary contracts and do nothing but write songs, but it did take considerable time (and money from their pockets) to attain that success. My personal story was along these lines and my parents were overjoyed when I received an athletic scholarship to attend the university, and then, an assistantship (at Texas Tech) to take my post-grad work in education - not music. But imagine how they felt when I told them that I was giving up an offer to teach at the R.C.M.P. Academy in Canada to play music!! Oh my, they were thrilled! NOT!! But thankfully they didn't discourage me and I guess they were a little pleased when they sat with friends watching me perform on many national television shows, and receiving postcards from all over the world. To top it off, some of the major acts I worked with actually came home with me during breaks and the folks were amazed to see how human and kind these superstars were.

When my folks passed away, I discovered that my Dad, who was an electronics genius (no, I didn't inherit any of it, but my son did) kept a huge scrapbook of my goings-on. It was a total surprise to me.

I guess the moral of this is to pursue that dream, but remember, you've got to eat so if you must hold down that other job to be secure, do it! No, my college education wasn't wasted at all because in the music industry, I found some of the courses I took to be very valuable in dealing with many of the individuals I worked with through the years. I still, however, can't comprehend medicine as being 'risky'! Try the music business on for size!:->

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5. QUIPS & QUOTES

Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your career

If prospects are interested in meeting with you, but are legitimately busy, try to arrange to "accidentally" run into them. Check with your network and find out what type of civic, music or professional organization they belong to and join. Use the meetings as a platform to set up an appointment or at least establish a time when you can call.

When a prospect won't return calls, try humor and leave this voicemail message: "I have not heard back from you so I am going to assume one of three things: first, perhaps you are no interested and you wish I would stop calling. Second, perhaps you really do need to speak with me, but you are trapped underneath a large object and cannot reach the phone. I hope not. Third, the timing is just off. In any case, please call me and give me some guidance." Remember to use a humorous tone when leaving this message.

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year. - John Foster Dulles:->

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6. UNSIGNED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - Country music vocalist LEA BRENNAN by Mark E. Waterbury

An original songwriter for the past twelve years, Lea Brennan has shown another side to her talents by releasing a wonderful CD called "The Entrance". A resident of Monroe, the Fairfield County, Connecticut hamlet, Lea had already garnered praise performing for a number of years with the rock band Misled and with her first solo CD "Passages" released under the name Brenda Lee Kokenos. "The Entrance" shows more of a classic country feel, and although Lea only actually wrote one song on the CD, her own interpretations of the music written by folks such as Reb Robinson, T. Douglas Bush, Nannette Malher, and World War II hero Audie Murphy graced with her stellar vocals are awe-inspiring. Add to this the writing and production of Nashville's legendary Scott Turner and you have a definite recipe for success. Now Lea has formed a band of talented musicians from New York and southern New England, and has started creating a buzz with her live performances in the Big Apple and beyond. This recent interview with Lea shows her perspective on writing, performing, and trying to make it in the tough northeastern music scene.

MM: Was there any one thing that sparked your interest in music?

LB: I think when I first heard the Fleetwood Mac album "Rumors" I was really blown away by it. Particularly the vocals of Stevie Nicks, watching her and hearing her sing her songs made me want to sing. I was truly enchanted with her and the whole group.

MM: When did you first begin performing?

LB: I was about twenty-one years old. I was taking voice lessons for a couple of years and it was my voice teacher who really pushed me to get out and get into a band. It's funny the way it all came about because before I even took voice lessons, I was at work one day and filing in a file cabinet. A girl I used to work with heard me singing, and she came up to me and said, "You have a really good voice. I think that you should take voice lessons." And she played guitar and fooled around with songwriting, and we got together a few times. It's funny how one person can make an off-hand comment to you in a good way and it causes an interest in something.

MM: Did you start writing songs right away as well?

LB: No, it came a little later. There was this publication in my area called the Advocate. It was the only one in the area that bands could advertise looking for musicians. So actually it was the first band that I auditioned for and they hired me. They practiced in this old factory building in Shelton, Connecticut where one of the factory owners used to rent out rooms for bands to practice. It was kind of a cool thing.

MM: So the band gave you your start in songwriting?

LB: Yeah, I always had an interest in writing but it really came to fruition when I joined the band. We always just did cover tunes, and after about three years, it was my idea to start writing original songs. And we did. Before the band broke up, we had a good ten or fifteen songs of our own.

MM: When the band broke up, is that when you started working on your songs for "Passages", the CD you released under Brenda Lee Kokenos?

LB: To the point that I realized there was something missing in my life and I had to get back to it. The realization came when I left the day job I had been at for twelve years. I started a new job and after the second week at the new job, it was just so horrible that I left in tears and thought, "I'm going to do this? No, I don't think so." So I went back to do my first interest and first love in songwriting. I just picked it up again from there and that's when I started writing "Passages". It was about a year and a half in the making, but I finally got it done.

MM: How happy were you with "Passages"?

LB: I'm very happy with the way it came out. Personally I felt it was a real accomplishment for me. I say that for a lot of reasons. It gave me a real sense of self-worth to do this project and put my name on it. And I think my heart and soul belong to music. Just the feedback I get from people who hear the music I'm surprised. Hearing all these people come back and say how much they love it, how this song or that song they can really identify with - that's a real nice thing to hear.

MM: What was it that made you decide to crossover to country music?

LB: I didn't consciously decide to "crossover". I just knew I wanted to do a follow-up CD to "Passages", and that I wanted Scotty Turner to produce it. I suppose though, that it was somewhat of a natural progression since I do sound so "country" when I sing.

MM: How did you connect with Scott Turner and what was he like to work with?

LB: I connected with Scotty Turner when I started sending out completed songs from my Passages CD in order to find a publisher. It was very fortuitous that I found Scotty. I'll never forget his first response to a song I submitted to him. Firstly, I was just so happy that I got a response from someone. But Scotty's such a class act--he always answers me back on an audio tape. You know, Scotty's just got a way about him. He's so genuine and so completely unpretentious. You can hear his sincerity in his voice. I was really so taken with his stories of his life and times in the music industry, and the fact that he worked with or knew artists whose songs I loved from years ago--songs I grew up listening to. I'm referring to artists like Harry Nilsson, Oliver and Jonathan Edwards. Scotty was great to work with. So easy going. He believes in letting the people he's recording with do their thing in a recording session. He doesn't try to control everything that goes on in the studio because he doesn't believe in interfering with an artist's creativity and expression.

MM: Nearly all of the songs on "The Entrance" were written by other writers. Did you have a hand in the arrangements, and are you planning on doing more of your own songwriting within the country genre for your next CD release?

LB: No, it was largely Scotty and Michael Behymer, my session pianist on "The Entrance", who worked out the song arrangements. I just left that part of it to these seasoned pros, so to speak. I placed myself in their hands and let them lead the way. I knew that was the best decision. I would definitely like to record more of my own songs on my next CD. I love to write songs myself. The songs on "Passages" are all my own. Although, it is nice to know that I have the privilege of using other writers' material as well. We've got a great collection of tunes on "The Entrance" and I have all of the writers to thank for that.

MM: What was your reaction to "The Entrance" after you listened to the finished project for the first time?

LB: I just couldn't wait to get home and let my family and friends hear it. I was so proud of the finished project. I didn't go into this project with a definite idea of what the end result would sound like. I'd just have to say I was pleasantly surprised and quite satisfied with it all.

MM: How did you go about getting the band together for your live shows?

LB: I found my band by placing an ad on an internet web site for musicians. It was easier than I had anticipated, luckily.

MM: You've already played several shows in New York City with the band--what was the reaction from the audience to the shows there?

LB: The New York City scene is cool. The audiences there are very open-minded and receptive to all different kinds of music. That's what's great about New York--anything goes.

MM: Are you enjoying performing country more than you did rock and roll, and do you feel you want to continue with country music and bring yourself to a level of success with it?

LB: Well, as I said before, the country just seems to come very naturally to me. Yes, I do enjoy it more. Although I do still love the energy of rock and roll, I'd say I really belong in the country genre. I also think as a country artist you can reach a wider audience. My best friend's sons who are 4 and 6 years old ask me to sing them songs from "The Entrance". Matthew, her 4 year-old, loves "Holding Strong At The Seams". I think with country you can reach more people of all ages, which I do not think is true of many other styles of music. That's my observation, anyway. So yes, I will continue down that Country Road and see where it leads me.

MM: The Northeast is a tough market for country bands and for that matter all music. What do you feel you have to do to reach a higher level of success?

LB: This is very true. I live in Connecticut and all you really see in the clubs around here are rock & pop cover bands. And I don't think the New York audiences come across many country artists either, so I see doing the country thing in this area as a challenge. But, as I said before, the NYC audiences are receptive to all different genres and they like to hear original music. That's why playing in NYC is very appealing to me. So, I'll guess I'll just have to keep performing as much as I can to gain more recognition and enjoy some success in this industry. It sure ain't easy, but nothing really worth having ever is, right? :->

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7. MUSIC BIZ NEWS & OPPORTUNITIES
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 MusMorsels@aol.com 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.

Attn: Musicians: Got Good PR??
Serge Entertainment PR is currently offering a special. With all the responsibilities musicians have in promoting their career, it can be a tough job juggling them all. Let us help you put your career on the fast track to success! Serge Entertainment PR is seeking additional rock (all styles), new age/instrumental and country music clients (musicians and labels) to add to its roster. We are offering three FREE hours ($150 value) to anyone those who sign a contract with us by August 1st, 2001. We have connections in the music industry around the world and have worked with national acts, labels and independent musicians for over 40 years now. Let us help you, too! For more information, please visit our web site at http://www.serge.org/sepr.htm . The site includes our philosophies, testimonials and lists our services. We help our clients secure shows, too! We believe you will find our services go above and beyond what other PR firms offer at much more competitive rates. We get results! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 678/445-0006 or email SergeEnt@aol.com. Remember, to qualify for your free hours, we ask that you sign a (very fair) contract with us by August 1, 2001.

Attn: Musicians - Serge Entertainment Group is always seeking DEDICATED 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 SergeEnt@aol.com for more information. This is your opportunity to help other indie musicians and make money while doing so! Commission based with incentive program.

Original alternative band seeks female lead vox. Management and producer in place, label interests in LA Atlanta and NY. The sound is Creed meets Cream with an aggressive female lead. This project is too far in the works to wait for any major imaging, vocal development, or artist development. Applicant must have the package together. Band will however take vocalist into their demo studio before going into the project/mastering studio. Applicant must be 18-25 with a pro attitude, pro look, and a slamming voice. No Gothic or Bubble Gum. For more info, please contact agurley2@bellsouth.net.

If you are coming to New York for the CMJ Convention September 13th through September 16th and want to have your company party/event at Luna Lounge, please feel free to contact us as soon as possible. This is the deal: 1) We do not charge any fee for the room. However, we do require that you purchase a minimum of 200 drink tokens at $5 a piece. 2) In order to hold the room for your event, you must send us a 50% nonrefundable deposit. We will not hold the space for you until we receive your deposit. 3) Reply to this email with details of your proposed event. Do not send $ until we give you a verbal confirmation for your event. 4) The party slots available are all in the day: Thursday-Sunday 12-3pm and 4-7pm. Please be quick. The slots are going like hotcakes... Rob Sacher Email: LunaSeaRecords@nyc.rr.com LunaSea Records/Luna Lounge http://www.LunaSeaRecords.com

MUSIC CLINIC MONDAYS ONE TIME ONLY AT GROOVE Drummer Damon Mendes brings back his series of music clinics featuring New York City's finest artists giving back to the community. The clinics are designed to share education, info and experience, not to mention mad networking opportunities. Each week features a clinic for a different instrument: drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals....don't miss it! They run every Monday! Doors open at 6PM. Clinics run from 6:30 to 9PM Call the clinic hotline at (212) 330-9138 to find out this week's lineup. Groove is located in NYC at 125 MacDougal Street on the corner of West 3rd. Take the A, B, C, D, E, F and Q trains to West 4th Street, exit at 3rd Street, turn the corner and walk east to the next corner.

A quick message to anyone out there in a band, or who knows a good band. Ignition Records are producing a Shudder To Think tribute (covers) CD. They are looking for good bands to contribute - but urgently. Casket Lottery, Rydell, Elemae and Dira are already confirmed. If you are interested get in touch with Syd at Ignition Records on label@ignitiononline.co.uk as soon as possible. Cheers, D.

THE FINAL DEADLINE FOR NORTH AMERICA SHOWCASE ENTRY must be postmarked by July 1, 2001. Entries can be sent to our headquarters in Amsterdam or to our North America office in Austin. Showcase deadline for the rest of the world is July 31, 2001. A2A will showcase 300+ artists of all styles from around the world. We have already received over 600 showcase requests representing over 30 different countries. Showcase entry forms are available on our website at www.a2amusic.com. A2A will announce 10 - 15 invited showcasing artists every two weeks and the final showcase schedule will be available in August. See the information below for the first selected showcase artists and panelists.

The new issue of Puremusic is up. This month's feature interview: Greg Brown. Check it out at http://www.puremusic.com

WAMPUS SEEKS ARTISTS FOR LOU REED TRIBUTE CD Wampus Multimedia is seeking submissions for a new CD tribute to Lou Reed. Following the success of Wampus' first tribute CD, 'If I Were a Richman: a Tribute to the Music of Jonathan Richman,' this compilation will feature selections from Reed's solo career as well as from his Velvet Underground catalog. Whether you see Reed as the Godfather of Punk, a Dylan refractor, a cross-dressing provocateur, or an earnest missionary for the cause of literate rock music, you might have something to say on record about it. Reed's career as one of the most influential songwriters in rock spans more than 35 years, from his seminal role in the Velvet Underground through his reinventions as glam jester, hardcore pre-punk, lovestruck Romeo, and, finally, acerbic rock 'n' roll survivor. Through it all, Reed has towered over most of his contemporaries, redefining the boundaries and potential of rock composition. Intrigued? Visit..http://wampus.com/lou.html

The 2001 edition of the Texas Music Industry Directory can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat by going to http://www.governor.state.tx.us/music/tmidpdf.htm. :->

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8. MUSIC INDUSTRY MARKETING SHOWCASE

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 MUSMORSELS@aol.com. All ads are also posted on our web site at http://www.serge.org/marketing.htm.
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 .

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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 __________________________________

Phone__________________________________________

Email __________________________________________

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

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ATTENTION UNSIGNED BANDS!
GET TELEVISION AIR PLAY FREE!
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 http://members.aol.com/RockCandyz/index.html
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
or
E-Mail us at: RockCandyz@aol.com
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.

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Indie-Music.com ~ Save Time & Promote Your Music Free!
1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles.
Where Serious Musicians Surf
http://Indie-Music.com

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

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"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 www.cdbaby.com. 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 www.serge.org/badboy.htm. Order at http://cdbaby.com/badboy or call 1-800-448-6369. THE LEGEND LIVES ON....

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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: musicians-tipsheet-subscribe@egroups.com

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Attn: COUNTRY MUSIC LOVERS - hearing is believing! If you haven't ordered your own copy of Lea Brennan's debut CD "The Entrance" produced by Nashville's Scott Turner, please do so now at www.cdbaby.com/leabrennan. If you like Stevie Nicks, Alison Krause and Dolly Parton, you will love this beautiful soprano's vocal renditions on this collection of wonderful traditional country tunes! http://www.serge.org/leabrennan

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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 http://www.cdbaby.com/ndmb2.

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Like Hip-Hop? If you like the song "Baby Got Back", then visit www.mp3.com/PrinceEQ and download the song "Sexy Thighs" by Prince EQ. MP3.com coined the song the "Baby Got Back of 2000".

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CD Baby - the best indie online store in the world - www.cdbaby.com

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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: http://www.IndieGate.com 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!

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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 http://www.serge.org/sepr.htm.

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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 00-BuzzFactor-subscribe@egroups.com or visit http://www.thebuzzfactor.com.

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181.4 Degrees from the Norm! http://www.181.4.com/dftn/. 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.

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Attention:
Labels, songwriters and musicians!
Check out the Bandit A&R Newsletter at www.banditnewsletter.com.
For a free sample copy and info, send a blank email to bandit.18@aweber.com.
Here is just ONE example of numerous listings that appear in Bandit A&R Newsletter:
Management and Production company FOXTOWN PRODUCTIONS are in the middle of recording an album with solo girl singer, Lornette. Lornette is signed to WEA Records and is urgently looking for a couple of extra songs to complete the project. The style needed is R&B ballad. If you have some top quality songs in this area, this could be a route to getting them onto a major label album! Send no more that 2 songs to:
Andrew P, FOXTOWN PRODUCTIONS, Bridge Works Studio,
Knighton Fields Rd West, LEICESTER, LE2 6LG UNITED KINGDOM
Tel 0116 283 8848, Fax 0116 283 8957, andrew@foxtown.co.uk [Return with SAE]

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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 gajoob@utw.com. Also available in hypertext format on the World Wide Web at http://www.utw.com/~gajoob/pages/diyreports/52.html.

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Fall into a place beyond earth listening to music by new age/classical pianist Mark Birmingham. Visit his web site at http://www.rosemeadrecordings.com 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 SergeEnt@aol.com.

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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.

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9. MUSIC MORSELS SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

To SUBSCRIBE to our FREE e-mail version of Music Morsels, send an email message to MusMorsels@aol.com 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.

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

-ed.

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