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Archive for the ‘Client Activity’ Category

I was recently contacted by John Dargan, a Florida-based computer programmer who is also the webmaster for a new music-related web site called www.Nurturemusic.biz.  The concept of the site is simple, and somewhat unique:  it is a “slide show” of publicity photographs of various musicians, artists, bands and related music industry professionals.  Dargan finds musicians to be fascinating people, so he founded tphoto_reviewhe site this past March with a goal of providing a marketing avenue for talented musicians allowing them to attract a wider audience.  So far, the site has engendered  an enthusiastic response from both the musicians and their fans.

To obtain the content, Dargan scours MySpace and other websites looking for musicians, artists and bands that have both great publicity photos and an apparent talent for music.  Dargan works hard to ferret out the best photos and the most promising musicians.

“It’s a tremendously fun hobby,” Dargan says.

A viewer arriving at the website is greeted simply with a photograph framed on the top with the site’s logo, a navigation bar, and the name of the artist, and on the bottom with various links and information related to the artist.  In the navigation bar, the user can move from photo to photo in the slideshow or learn more about the artists by clicking on one of the links or directly on the displayed image, which is generally hyperlinked to the musician’s website, MySpace page or the CDBaby location offering the musician’s CD for sale. In this way, Dragan hopes to drive web traffic to the commercial sites of the musicians.

In addition to providing free publicity to the musicians, the site provides credit to the professional photographers who took created some of the images as well as a hyperlink to the photographer’s website. Dargan makes an effort to contact each professional photographers not only to seek permission, but to ask them to comment on the the photo session, asking them to describe how they decided upon the location of the shot, the best angle, or any incident associated with the session that a reader might find of interest.

The goal is to enhance the viewer’s understanding and enjoyment of the photography and to provide a more intimate glimpse into the life of the photographer and the musician. Dargan’s approach to the website is drawn from the concept of “high-tech, high-touch,” a book by John Naisbitt, which introduces the concept that technology can help bring us closer as a community.

All of Dargan’s discover efforts seem to focus on quality.  For example, he searches for photographs in which the faces are clearly visible, i.e. not hidden behind microphones or musical instruments.

I prefer eyes that are visible, not closed, nor looking away. The expression on the face provides an insight into each person’s personality.

Dargan was surprise to find that a number of the photographs he chose were taken not by professional photographers, but by the artists and musicians themselves.

The key emphasis in the search for music is also on quality elements.  Dargan searches extraordinary talent and musical express. He listens for lyrics that are not only original, but have qualities and characteristics that are touching, heartfelt, plausible or engaging. 

In contrast, Dargan avoids photographs that contain disturbing elements, such as blood, or music that contains “excessive screaming or cursing.”

The music should engage the listener right away. The execution of the music should be crisp and should indicate a high level of musical skill. The quality of the instruments should be high. The vocals should be compelling and dynamic

Dargan says. 

Dargan has also been surprised by the number of extremely talented teenagers that he discovered in the plethora of musicians on MySpace and YouTube. While he generally he avoids direct contact with minors for obvious reasons, Dargan was particularly impressed with one young country singer named William Michael Morgan, so he contacted the boy’s father and obtained permission to feature William on the website.

Other examples of the talent featured on the website are

  • David Bradley, a singer/songwriter who is also an oil engineer.  Bradley wrote some of his songs while stationed in the forests of Siberia and on an oil rig in the middle of the Caspian Sea.
  • Colin O’Donohoe, an outstanding composer, conductor and musician who has developed hauntingly beautiful music involving wonderful instruments from the Far East.

Dargan is also sells “slots” in the slide show to attorneys and other industry professionalsDargan who specialize in the music industry.  Dargan chuckles at the thought of money trickling in from these professionals, particularly  attorneys, as Dargan, a patent-holder who has been involved in patent litigation, has sent tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys.  “Getting even a small amount of income from attorneys seems only fair to me,” he chides.

Dargan received a Bachelors degree from American University in interdisciplinary studies, and a Masters degree from Washington University in St. Louis, in Technology and Human Affairs. Dargan has one expired patent and one pending patent, both related to Touch-Tone interaction with computers, such as with text messaging. Dargan can be reached at nurturemusic@yahoo.com.

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Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. today announced that country legend Randy Owens was the recipient of this year’s Artist Humanitarian Award

Together with his cousins Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry, Owens was the front man for the one of the best selling country acts of all time, Alabama.  The band, which peaked in the 80’s, racked up over thirty No. 1’s on Billboard’s Country Singles Charts, with memorable hits such as “Love in the First Degree,” “Feels So Right,” “Close Enough to Perfect” and “Take Me Down.”  They also sang backup vocals on Lionel Richie’s 1987 single “Deep River Woman,” which peaked at No. 10.  The group has won two Grammy Awards for "Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal", in 1982 for Mountain Music and in 1983 for The Closer You Get.

Owen co-founded Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® in 1989 after meetingRandy Owen St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas the year before.  To date, Country Cares has raised more than $345 million to fund research in the fight against childhood cancer.  Earlier this year, more than 800 members of the country music industry gathered at the annual seminar in Memphis to celebrate 20 years of support for the children of St. Jude.  In 2008, Broken Bow Records released the Grammy Award-winner’s debut solo album, One On One, and HarperOne published his memoir, titled "Born Country." 

Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. leads the music industry in recognizing the humanitarian achievements of country artists.  In 1990, CRB instituted the Artist Humanitarian Award, which was first presented during the CRS-21.  Past honorees include Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels and Kenny Rogers.  For a complete list of past winners, click here.

Last year’s recipient, Clay Walker, presented Owen with the award Wednesday morning during the award ceremonies in the Convention Center. 

The Radio Humanitarian Awards for 2009 went to 97.3 WGH, Norfolk-Virginia (Large Market), 107.7 WIVK, Knoxville, Tennessee (Medium Market) and 93.3 WFLS, Fredericksburg, Virginia (Small Market).  The CRB Radio Humanitarian Awards are presented to full-time country radio stations for their efforts to improve the quality of life for communities they serve. 

This year’s Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award was given to CBS Minneapolis VP Market Manager Mick Anselmo, Sr.  During his tenure at KEEY-FM, Anselmo organized and created a radiothon which has helped raise more than $12 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  His partnership with Sharing and Caring Hands of Minneapolis during a run of Garth Brooks concerts in 1998 set a Minneapolis-St. Paul food drive record.  The former Clear Channel radio executive also created Project Northern Lights, an effort that collected calling cards for troops stationed in Baghdad.

The intent of the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award, given at the discretion of the Country Radio Broadcasters Board of Directors, is to recognize an individual in the Country Radio industry who has displayed a magnanimous spirit of caring and generosity in service to their community.  The award is given when the board feels an individual, through outstanding service, warrants the recognition. 

Congratulations to Randy and the other winners.

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My client, Ric Landers and Your Place or Mine Digital, LLC were instrumentally involved in the release of the new single, Some Sunday, written by Emmy nominated songwriter Bobby Don Bloodworth and recorded with his band the Gopher Broke Band.  The CD can be purchased here, or you can download and MP3 version.  Here is the YouTube video for the song:

Your Place or Mine Digital operates a multitrack portable digital studio, with mix down and mastering capabilities which Ric can set up at any location. 

Ric’s relationship with Bobby Don dates back to 1990 when he was the studio manager and chief engineer for the famous Denny Music Group in Nashville.  The duo decided to take the day off and go fishing on the Piney River when Bobby Don’s recording session was preempted by an emergency session for Allison Kraus.  The two have been friends ever since.

Bobby Don wrote Some Sunday as a retrospective on lessons that should have been learned from past wars, especially Vietnam, and to bemoan the hope of a quick end to the current conflict in Iraq.   Bobby Don served in the Navy during Vietnam and knows all too well the pain and loss that goes with the atrocity of war as an eye witness.

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I was surfing around yesterday and discovered that my interview with DigiMusicTV.com, recorded in 2007, was recently posted on brightcove.  Here it is in all it’s glory:

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Rarely do you get the opportunity to meet with some one who has the same “soul” that you have.  I had an interesting meeting with Scot Justice over the hScot Justice olidays.  Scot is a fellow blogger who writes the Virtual CF blog over at Typepad.  His article about out meeting can be found here.  Scot and I share a mutual client who found us both through out blogs.  After a good long conversation with Scot, I would recommend him for you small business accounting needs.  Like me, Scot’s background is extremely diverse, ranging from small businesses to large corporations.  His experience gives him a very broad base from which to offer counsel to small business clients.  I like what Scot is doing.   One article I found particularly helpful was the one dealing with CPA Mortgage Letters.  Check out his blog!

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britaritstoftheyear The Myspace “Featured Artist of the Day” page has made its nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Brittany is among them.  Click on the photo advertisement to the left to cast your vote!

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Clay Walker’s “Fall” Video

Together with Clay Mills and Shane Minor, my new client Sonny Lemaire is one of three songwriters on Clay Walker’s new single, Fall, featured in the video link above.  The song is currently climbing Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and, after a 31-week run so far, is breaking well into the top ten!  Expect it to hit the top five very soon!

If you’re as old as I, you may remember Sonny’s old band from the Seventies, Exile, particularly their 1978 blockbuster hit Kiss You All Over, which was number one on the pop charts for over a month and had a chart life of 23 weeks.  The Exiles toured with many of the other greats of that glittery era, Boston, Heart, Aerosmith and Seals & Croft.  Sonny either wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s greatest hits.

Since that time Sonny has spent his time in Nashville’s songwriting community.  He was named BMI’s Songwriter of the Year in 1986 and has over 500 songs registered with the performance rights organization.  In 2002, he scored big with another number one song Beautiful Mess, recorded by Diamond Rio, which was also co-written by Sonny, Shane Minor and Clay Mills.  Sonny is no stranger to number one hits, however, since he has scored over ten in his illustrious career and has over 17 other BMI awards and honors.

My wish is that Sonny makes it to the top of the charts again! Sonny now lives in middle Tennessee with his family and continues to crank out hit songs.

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