Tag Archives: Social Media

Promotion – Everybody Point a Finger


I have written a couple blogs about the need and responsibility for promotion in an artists career, “Self Promotion – Why It’s Must” and “Creating A Buzz – It’s Your Responsibility,” but even with local artists that have read the blog, it seams to have fallen on deaf ears. When an artist builds a team around them to try and make things happen (especially if there is no money behind them), it is absolutely critical than the artist/band have an amazing handle on promotion.

I had a couple meetings recently with an artist that completely and totally gets it. It was so refreshing, but after talking about our pasts, we grew up in exactly the same camp so it was no wonder. I want to talk about the need for a committed, determined and long-term plan. If you are an artist with no history of success in the business, no name recognition and a very small fan base, there is no getting around this, and almost no team can make things happen for you with out it. Independent artists can do this for themselves and should as it is their responsibility, but many rely on others on their team to do it and don’t pay them at all for the work being done.

This isn’t the same scene it was 20 years ago for your team to gets big commissions on label deals and teams of people who are paid to do this once you get signed. Be prepared to do it yourself or be prepared to pay someone to do it for you. Most managers today are charging a retainer for small bands for all this extra work as this is a lot of work to break an unknown band. They are consultants like any PR or legal team and they deserve to get paid for their work just as much as any other consultant. Your team should be free to focus on the big deals based on your marketing, promotion and buzz, they should not doing all this little stuff they don’t make money on. You and your band should have this in hand especially if you can’t afford a team to develop your buzz for you. Trust me a small percentage of a bands door guarantee or $250 gig, is NOT getting paid for all this extra work. This band is YOUR business; you should be taking it on the chin for the extra work not your team.

So what is good promotion? I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not a couple Facebook posts or tweets. That is almost no promotion what so ever. Promotion covers so many things. It’s the art of branding your band, name and artistry. It’s a 24/7 job and it takes form in all media, merchandise sales and performance. You have social media, print media, radio/tv and live touring. All these have to be covered all the time. Let’s take some time with each.

Social Media: Having a consistent online presence is absolutely critical but is only a part of your overall media campaign. Unfortunately too many artists use this as their only or main promotion and even then do it very poorly. They only post a show a couple times or post it to late for it to matter. They don’t promote their interviews often enough before and after the fact. This goes for their press releases, newsletters, articles etc… Remember the latest statistic on Facebook is that only 7% of your audience sees your post so to post it once is very poor marketing and if you have a small fan base which means under say 100,000 followers you aren’t hitting many people. Promotion is all about the number impressions you can make for your band name. A social media strategy is necessary and it must have great content, be creative and be consistent without the artist getting trapped at the computer all day.

Print Media: Print media is everything from posters, flyers, table tents, cards, business cards, signs, pamphlets, brochures, one pages, advertising in the local rags, articles, basically anything on paper. This is VERY necessary still today. You name needs to be everywhere at every gig, on your merch table with signs, cards etc…. You should have contacted all the local media about your upcoming shows in print media to make sure it’s listed. With ArtistData.com this is much easier to make happen now and not time consuming at all. All of your interviews and articles should be reposted many times and printed out and left out for people to find and read about you. This isn’t rocket science kids, those that want it bad enough will do what it takes.

Radio promotion is another huge part of promotion whether it be having a single on the radio, touring stations in the cities you are playing to get them to play your single, promote the show, interview the band and talk about you over the airwaves. Radio is still relevant enough as their audience is much bigger than most of the bands will ever have on their own. Learn to utilize this tool and work it for all it’s worth. Create great relationships with Program Directors and always be very respectful and thankful that anyone cares enough to say anything about your band.

TV is the same thing. What is your story? Can you utilize that to get press coverage on TV? Are their local shows or shows in the cities you will be playing that your story makes sense for them to air?

When most bands tell me they are working their ass off, all I have to do is take a couple minutes to look at this and then I know the truth. Most artists have no idea what that really means and usually if a band or artist is doing all this, it is almost always to left one person in the group while the rest sit around with their thumbs up their butt expecting things to change for them. Then they find everyone else to blame their lack of buzz instead of realizing they simply didn’t do or have what it takes from a drive level to make things happen.

You have to understand what promotion, marketing, branding and buzz truly is. Branding is having your name or logo everywhere. People should be thinking that all they see is your name everywhere so this band must be doing something. If you do everything you can, you will see an uptick in your bookings and ability to get more yeses then no’s, which is what it is all about.

If you tell me that print media is irrelevant or nobody does this anymore, then I know you don’t understand anything about promotion, branding or marketing. Your fliers most of the time probably aren’t going to bring people to the show that first time they see it, but after seeing your name everywhere enough times, people will start to come check you out. It’s a process, sometimes a large arduous one, but it’s the way most things happen.

So here is my challenge to you. Quit blaming everyone else for what you are not doing. Quit making excuses as to why you can’t do it. Quit expecting people to work for you for free and thinking that a tiny percentage of your door is going to pay a manager, promoter or booking agent enough to do what you are unwilling to do for yourself. Build a budget, find a way to fund the budget so you can afford your promotional campaign and actually go work you ass off to make things happen. Remember, you can’t control or rely on what other people do to promote your band whether it be a venue, promoter or local rag for your shows or events. It’s up to you to really drive this. You will drive yourself crazy and blaming others is never going to change things. Take it upon yourself to run your business and promote as much as you can to ensure greater success.

It’s a brave new world out there for those that are willing to take control of their business and future. Respect the work ethic, make it happen and give your team something to work with otherwise quit complaining about what every other band is making happen and get out of the way of those who actually give it everything they got. You are just watering down the field and making it harder for everyone else with real drive to achieve the success they are looking for.

Good Luck!

Advertisements

From a Different Point of View


 By David Lowry

Many times when we read about money in the entertainment business, it’s from the perspective of what the artist makes. Most articles center on how artists are taken advantage of and that the “business” people are just greedy jack asses who do nothing for their money. Well for this blog we are flipping this point of view to that of the business that is putting everything on the line for the small artists that have no money, no fan base, have been gone so long that you have to basically start over or not enough tour dates to pay anyone for their time.

When an artist brings on a team member such as a manager, booking agent or PR consultant the artists considers it “hiring” this particular team member or members. Well if you aren’t paying the team member what his or her hourly fee or retainer is and your average show guarantee is say less that $2,500 per, then you haven’t “hired” anyone. What has happened, is the team member believes that artist is worth the extra work and lesser amount of pay at least for a short while unless the artist isn’t building up their business. If the artist isn’t building their business, then the team member will look elsewhere for it’s cash flow so it can stay in business. Making a small percentage of a tiny door deal where the artist can’t get 30 people into a room let alone sell it out is not enough money for anyone to survive on. Now most of the time, an artist like this doesn’t need any team members, but let’s say that an artist was lucky enough to find someone to help them in spite of the lack of fan base, gigs or cash flow behind them.

First off, if the artist is tiny and not established, then the artist needs to be realistic and know they are not going to get the bulk of the team member’s time. If the team member is working as hard as they can with what they have, then they expect the artist to do the same. That means everyone who gets on that stage and plays is responsible to work as hard as they can. Not just one of the band members. I know with my business, we make it abundantly clear before anything is signed, that if the artist doesn’t work as hard as we do then we will let them go. There are no guarantees in this business and we don’t want to waste time with artists that don’t work every inch of their career to the max.

What does this mean for the artist? It means that the artist needs to promote every show as much as possible in every form of media possible as much as they can. It means that they need to make sure that they sell as many tickets as possible so that everyone is making more money for the amount of work the artist isn’t already paying them. That means texting if no shows up, it means emailing last minute, it means having a superior social media campaign etc… this especially important for your booking agent to make money but also to be more effective in getting you better gigs. It means making sure you sell more merchandise at every show by being proactive and manning your merch booth, walking the venue with your product to sell. Engaging the crowd the whole time you are there. It means that understanding your job isn’t done until the bar is closing down. Once you get off the stage, you don’t head to the bar and drink. You work the crowd the whole night. These are your working hours. This is your opportunity to make the money you are complaining about that you don’t make. Your team can’t do this for you but it is why they work so hard to get you in this position. This is your time to shine.

This also means making sure your merch is in good shape. No crappy stickers, no broken plexi-glass holders, no pens that don’t work. Your merch area should be professional, clean and able to showcase your products and band to it’s utmost. It means always having a cash box with cash for your shows after we have told you a million times. It means having a checklist for your shows so you don’t forget anything after we have told you a million times. This is common sense stuff that for some reason has to be repeated over and over again. Eventually, we just quit telling those artists that just don’t care enough to make it happen.

I can’t tell you how many times an artist hasn’t paid our commission or fees to us but still expect us to work on their career. Has asked us to take less then our fee so they could make more. Has complained that because they knew someone at the venue they shouldn’t have to pay us what the contract states even though we booked the gig and the artist had nothing to do with it. Have made us push dates back time after time so we work three times as hard to just get paid way down the road. Has demanded we pay them the day of the gig but is always late paying us. If you aren’t paying us what the contract states, if you haven’t busted your ass for every second trying to get as many tickets sold or sell as much merch as you can, then you we don’t work for you. You haven’t hired us, you lied to us about how hard you were going to work and that you were going to do whatever it takes. Do you go to your day job and let them tell you they don’t want to pay you as much because they can’t afford it? Do you go to work everyday expecting to not receive a check?  Do you go to work every day to work for free? Don’t you go to work every day expecting the company that “hired” you to be able to grow their revenue to pay you your salary? Well guess what, we expect the same from you.

We aren’t going to babysit artists anymore that can’t get their business together. This isn’t the old days when contracts were huge and everyone had money to throw at an artist so the team actually made good money. It’s a new day, a new age in the music business and it’s harder than ever for your team members to make things happen for you. They aren’t going to do it for free, they aren’t going to “just believe in you,” especially since we see how most artists don’t have the work ethic needed to make this happen today we aren’t going to do it for a discount and we aren’t going to spend vast amounts of time on an artist that can’t sell 10 tickets on average per show.

You see, businesses like ours project how much income they see coming based on what the artists have coming in from bookings, deals, retainers and the like. If the artist arbitrarily decides it doesn’t want to pay, wants to pay less (which happens all the time) or constantly cancels dates or pushes them back, then it puts the team members in a very bad position and they aren’t going to work as hard on you and it makes you unprofessional. You are now an untrustworthy client on which you can’t be relied on and so your team members will find clients that can. You are messing with peoples livelihoods.

If the artist can’t commit to bring the absolute best work ethic, product and show to the table to make sure they are making as much money for their team as possible, they should never expect it from the team that is getting paid nothing to almost nothing. If you don’t want it bad enough to work your ass off, pay the people you “hire” and make sure you have a fighting chance at making this career, then don’t ever “hire” a team member. You can’t afford it and you shouldn’t ever treat your team like that. They are expecting you to bring it every show so they can make as much money as possible just like you are trying to do for your career. Remember, this is a team. A team works together to make it happen, not just the team members making the artist more money. If you want your team to make you as much money as possible, you should be doing the same for them as well especially in your beginning stages.

I hope this helps you see it from our perspective a bit. It’s not meant to be an harsh blog, it’s meant to point out that this is a business and we all have bills to pay and we can’t work with people who won’t do everything possible to make the team they “hired” as much money as possible to survive just like they expect the team to do for them.

Best of luck!


Booking….. How to make sure you don’t get the gig


By David Lowry

One of the major issues that we deal with booking whether it be as a talent buyer, booking agent or manager is a band that just doesn’t get it. As a band you have to understand your worth (not what you think you are worth, but actual worth) or whether or not you are relative to the area based on where you are playing. So many bands think they are worth more than they really are which can make it much harder for them to book themselves. This can be a big problem with an act that has success in the past, but hasn’t done much in the last 10 – 20 years. In a perfect world, we would all get paid to play but this isn’t a perfect world and everyone in this business is only as good as the last show or deal. If you aren’t producing the kind of numbers that determine what you think you should be getting paid you won’t. Never out price yourself because you make money in certain markets. What you make at a rally or festival is not what you are going to make at a club.

I think most of us have seen the picture of world-class violin virtuoso Joshua Bell playing at a subway for hours and only making $40. As sad as that is, that was his worth to the people walking by in that area. Why, because people don’t know who he is, they don’t understand his level of talent and he wasn’t entertaining as a spectacle. Was he brilliant in his performance of the music? Absolutely. Did the public care? Absolutely no, they did not. I have told this to many of my bands or friends in bands. Go stand on the street corner and perform to the best of your ability and what you walk away with is what you are worth. Because that is the level of value you brought to the public. If you did great, captured and audience that really stayed and watched you performing and threw money your way then you are on to something. If you only made $40 bucks after hours of street performing well then guess what, you haven’t found the formula that draws people in to actually pay you money because they loved your music and they were entertained. If can’t capture the crowd on your own merits without all the lights, venue and hoopla then the venue is right to not really pay you. All that stuff is just there to enhance your performance. There is no truer test than being without all the lights, speakers and comfort zone standing in front of a crowd and seeing the response to your music.

Please understand this is rarely if ever about how good a musician you are. It’s about how well you perform, entertain, write music, promote and how smart and shrewd a businessperson you are. If it was about talent almost all of would never make a dime compared to the classical, jazz and opera singers out there. They are the most brilliant musicians in reality. The rest of us are just well, musicians.

This is what venues are looking for. They are looking for you to entertain the public and crowd you bring in. This is really effective with a frontman or woman that really knows how to work the crowd. When you do, people have a great time, spend more money and talk about what an awesome time they had listening to your band at that particular venue. That means the venue can now expect this to happen more often and then the price they pay you will go up.  It looks good for you, the venue and the crowd now have another place to hang out and spend their money for entertainment. If you don’t wow the crowd that reflects on you, the venue and the public is left wanting more. This would preclude the venue to not book you again or if they do, not pay you well or at all until you can bring what they are looking for.

When it comes to booking yourself, make sure you can do the above better than anyone else. When you start talking to new markets about your band, don’t assume because you get $1,500 in one market, you will in another. Some venues will pay this, most won’t because they don’t know you, they don’t have any experience with you and if you have never played in the area before, well then you won’t be bringing a crowd either so why should they pay you what you make elsewhere where the opposite is true.

Most often when breaking into a new market you have to take your lumps and work up to your normal fee for performance. You might get your rate, or a bit below or maybe just a door deal because the venue doesn’t want to take a chance on you. This may not be fair to you but it is to them. Please leave all the venue is ripping me off talk out of the equation. All you can worry about is what you can do, bring to the table and make sure you promote very, very well. Don’t assume the venue or promoter will. You worry about you. When you are big enough, in your contracts you can put promotion guidelines other then that, the venue is paying for advertising in their local rags across the country. Most bands don’t pay to promote at all, so don’t say they aren’t promoting. Could it be done better? Yes, but usually by everyone involved not just the venue.

Out pricing yourself because you think you are worth more then you are is the quickest way to lose the gig. This is also very hard on whoever might be booking you and eventually they will just let you go if you don’t get it as it reflects on them and they are putting in so much work to help build you a business just to constantly here you say no. You have to warm up a new market like everyone else when you don’t have radio play or some other major thing happening in your career on a national level to draw attention to you. Learn to be flexible with your pricing and prove to the owner/talent buyer your worth and you will get paid as soon as you knock it out of the park.

Sidenote: If a couple people tell you how great you are, that isn’t enough. Sales must be up, attendance must grow and everyone must be all over you. Don’t let the hype of a couple fans let you think you are doing better than you are or make bad decisions. Be honest with your performance that night and do you best to track your market by getting the numbers on the night if the venue will give you the information.

Good Luck!


Agent Cooper “From The Ashes” CD Review


By David Lowry

Agent Cooper is a prog rock band from Atlanta, GA that has a gentle throw back sound to some of the classic prog rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s in it’s heyday but at the same time has captured some of the modern sounds of today’s prog monsters with one exception. Agent Cooper understands how to write a hook and make a song radio friendly which many of today prog rockers don’t do either by design or not being able to step out of their own virtuosity and simplify things. Neither is bad, one way has a certain fan base just as the other does. I know when I listen to prog, I am not looking for three-minute songs that are just ear candy. Agent Cooper has done a great job of melding the two together and hopefully on their end being able to capture a much larger audience because of it.

“From The Ashes” is the bands third CD but first with this current line-up. It’s more of an EP really with six songs on it and “The Stand” being the strongest of the six in my personal opinion. It’s a happy song in its melodic structure but a very strong song lyrically in standing up for yourself. It’s an interesting contrast in the way the music is written and the way the lyrics provide a completely different feel. It is an acoustic based song with soaring vocals, an uplifting pre-chorus, a very strong chorus and the use of the B3 organ and keyboards are a nice thing to hear again in today’s music. It’s definitely something we don’t hear enough of with the younger musicians of today.

Agent Cooper have the ability to weave in and out of time changes, key changes and tempo’s with the best of them and it always provides an interesting ride through out the songs, which is really the point of a song. To take you on a journey, the great thing about Agent Cooper is it isn’t just a lyrical journey, it’s a sonic one as well. Singer Doug Busbee brings back a vocal styling sorely missed in today’s rock music. He does his predecessors proud and the band as a whole does a great job with harmony vocals. There are plenty of spots in the songs where this is a highlight and adds a rich color and depth to the music without it ever feeling like they are showing off. This can be said as a whole of all the music and the musicians. The musicianship was brilliant from everyone in the band and played so well that it never took anything away from the song.

I thoroughly enjoyed this EP and am really looking forward to hearing more from this exciting band. A truly stellar effort on their part to bring us a style of music we don’t get enough of. Thank you Agent Cooper for bringing back a style of music that harkens the greatness of the 70’s prog rockers but catapults it into the now.

You can find out more about Agent Cooper at www.agentcooper.com.

At the time of this writing The Lowry Agency and Agent Cooper have no affiliation.


“Cry For You” – or the Problem with America Ignoring an Amazing Music Genre


By David Lowry

One of the blessings my job allows me to do is work with amazing musicians like Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner and Jon Finn. Having been a guitar player for almost 30 years and going to music school to be the next Steve Vai,(which obviously never happend) I have a special affinity for listening to guitar instrumental music. It really helps me to focus on my work and really dig into whatever I am doing at the time. This blog may center on this genre but it applies to all genres of music that get ignored by mainstream radio and TV. I have also interviewed many of these artists mentioned in this blog on my radio show “Live From Music City” and really have a strong desire to bring this form of music back to the masses as the music is incredible and deserves as much attention as any other genre of music.

Andy Timmons recorded a song called “Cry For You” that in my personal estimation is one of the best instrumentals ever recorded. It has a haunting melody that just sucks you in and makes you fall in love with it. It reminds of a person I once loved and although that brings a deep pain for me, it also reminds me that this genre of music holds the same ability to carry that emotional quotient that any other genre of music does. The songs that shape our lives should include all genres of music not just what’s on the radio, TV or being hyped by the powers that be. I recently did a review of Andy’s new cd “Andy Timmon’s Band Plays Sgt. Pepper.” I also reviewed Neil Zaza’s CD “212.”

These musicians have found a way to bring us music that doesn’t need vocals or lyrics because their instruments do the talking for them. They bring us music that can still capture our hearts, soul and imagination and most certainly shouldn’t be over looked or passed by just because it doesn’t have lyrics attached. Just like any other form of music you have some artists that are better than others, better songwriters, performers or improvisers, but if you just close your eyes and listen, you will be transported away by beautiful melodies, moving pieces and moody progressions that take us to new emotional places. Some times words aren’t enough to express the way we feel, but you can hear what you want to say in this music or other forms like it.

I encourage you to listen to instrumental music, jazz, fusion, funk, classical or whatever form of music you don’t normally listen too. Learn to listen with new ears and develop a new musical appreciation and understanding of pure musicianship that you normally don’t get in most pop music. Don’t be limited to what you hear on the radio or what’s force fed to you by those with the money and power to make it happen. With all the new music streaming services you can find any genre of music and test-drive it before you buy it. If you do like it please buy it and spread the word about the new music you discovered. Don’t let preconceived notions about what music is or isn’t keep you from discovering a new style of music that may free your mind, your playing or your feelings. As musicians we should always be expanding our listening range and really be able to incorporate the new things we hear to enhance our own playing or writing skills.

In other parts of the world this is a very popular genre. Many countries or continents don’t suffer the same form of genre ignorance that we do in America. To much of the world good music is just that, good music and it doesn’t matter the genre or era it came from. They don’t classify music the way we do in America and because of it, they are more well rounded in their listening tastes and many artists can make a living over there as opposed to not being able to here. Expand your boundaries and listen to amazing musicians that can create melodic landscapes in your mind that the average musician on the radio can’t.

Here is a list of amazing guitar musicians for you to check out in no particular order. Andy Timmons, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Tommy Emmanuel, Jon Finn, Neil Zaza, Steve Morse, Carl VerheyenDave Weiner, Michael Lee Firkins, Joe Satriani, Rusty Cooley, Rob Balducci, Guthrie Govan and Shaun Baxter. Obviously there are so many more like Andy McKee or Gretchen Menn that have really popped in the last couple years but this is a good start to finding people who have mastered their instrument and have learned how to write songs that reach you just like any other pop song would.

Good luck in your musical exploration!

Note: The Lowry Agency is affiliated with Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner and Jon Finn.

David Lowry is the President of The Lowry Agency, a full service artist management agency that works with musicians, speakers, entertainers, actors and models based in Nashville, TN. David manages and or books the musical careers of Brother Cane, Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner, Jon Finn, Kris Bell and Mindset Defect. For more information please contact The Lowry Agency at http://www.thelowryagency.com.


Expecting Greatness Without Proper Preparation


By David Lowry

“If you don’t think what I do is the best show on Earth, let’s see what you’ve got!” — Gene Simmons

You could learn just about everything you need to know about the music business from this statement alone. As a manager in this crazy business, I constantly hear things like “If someone would just give us a chance, they would see how great we are. We blow everyone else off the stage.” I have to admit I very rarely ever see something like this. Most of the time it’s just another band with very little stage presence, a set and show that never changes, improves or really entertains. Why is this, I constantly wonder? Is it because people don’t have enough time? They don’t have enough drive? Well it’s a little bit of everything really but mainly, they don’t know how to prepare and use their time wisely or efficiently. Many bands say “well the music scene has changed and it’s harder to get noticed” honestly that is just an excuse period.

The reality is that at the level most of the people reading this are at, it hasn’t changed at all. You still had to do everything I will talk about here just to get noticed and get offered that big record deal in the past. Today you have to do this, and at many stages in your career you may now have to do it all by yourself unless you can pay a team to help you, but the good thing is today you can keep control of your own music career, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the artist.

When I was younger and recruited as a tennis player to play for the Navy sports team, my coach once told me after I was getting frustrated with my inconsistency “Look kid, you may have got here on your own without lessons, but you can’t get down on yourself for not being able to pull of what you haven’t trained and prepared for. Unless you are Chris Evert the number one player in the world, you have absolutely no right to.” Okay I just dated myself I could have said Tiger Woods but the point is made. Bands that haven’t achieved the level they want shouldn’t get mad at themselves, the scene or the music business when they haven’t ever even learned to prepare properly for this business. If after years of serious effort, practice, planning and execution you still aren’t achieving the results you wanted, then you can get mad and frustrated. Until then you are swimming upstream. So turn yourself around and start swimming with the flow so you can get to your destination faster.

In order to get to the next level that every band seems to think they are ready for takes usually a lot more work than they are putting in and truthfully until you get the very basics down like I have posted in past blogs you aren’t ready for the next level. There are obviously many things to be covered here but for the sake of this blog let’s just talk about live performance.

Live performance is the proof in the pudding. If you don’t have the best show at least in your neck of the woods, then you really have nothing. You need to practice, prepare and plan your lives shows. From everything on how to talk to a crowd to how to prepare the right set list and how to put on an energetic entertaining performance. Your practice time should include all of these things and you should never practice with out playing like you would on stage. Why? Because, it takes practice to put on the best show on Earth! You have to practice moving like you would live so you are used to performing that way which leads to making fewer mistakes, check out what does looks good vs. what doesn’t and just as importantly keeping yourself in shape for your live performances so you don’t get tired or worn out. Live performance takes an extraordinary amount of energy and you should be in shape for it just like any athlete prepares for their performance.

You need to find a way to bring a live show or performance that blows people away. What does that mean? I don’t know for your band and can’t tell you until I see it, but the problem is no one is even trying to figure it out. Besides great songs, this is the most important part of your career. This is what creates viral social media marketing. It makes people buy your merchandise at your shows because it creates the emotional bond between fan and the band. It is wins over the skeptics and the industry people you need to help your career. Bands seem to be very unoriginal when it comes to live performance and it can be very hard to tell one band from the other.

To put it bluntly, “No one cares about your career, until you do.” This means until you are willing to truly focus, get together as a band, start acting like a business and a band that can actually blow people away, you are just another band taking up space and spamming every ones Facebook wall trying to get attention the wrong way.

I ask you this; can you beat Gene Simmons at his own game? Learn from the very best at what they do. Quit posing and acting like you are the next big thing when you aren’t because you really haven’t done what you need to do. Become the next big thing because you want it more than anything, because you have put in the time, effort, planning, practice and execution and then let the crowds decide who puts on the best show on Earth. Actions speak louder than words folks. If you are going to talk about how great your band is don’t you think you better deliver on that statement?

Remember you are only as good as your last show.

Till the next time. Get it together and good Luck!

David Lowry is the President of The Lowry Agency, a full service artist management agency that works with musicians, speakers, entertainers, actors and models based in Nashville, TN. David manages and or books the musical careers of Brother Cane, Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner, Jon Finn, Kris Bell and Mindset Defect. For more information please contact The Lowry Agency at http://www.thelowryagency.com.


Hannah Ford – Drums Renaissance Woman


By David Lowry

In our second installment of our “Musician Spotlight” blog we are showcasing an amazing young talent in drummer Hannah Ford. When I say amazing, I mean more than just her ability on her chosen instrument. Having met Hannah, her family, having attended one of her clinics and watching her use of her endorsements, opportunities and social media, this is one artist that has really learned what this business is about and what it takes to make it. More importantly is she hasn’t lost focus on why she does it. As important as the “business” sides of things are in music, Hannah has somehow avoided becoming jaded, negative and still has a childlike love for playing. Hannah attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and still works with multiple Grammy award-winning drummer Paul Wertico to constantly refine her skills. Hannah has also worked with music legends like Jeff Berlin, Wynton Marsalis, Ignacio Berroa and Butch Miles.

From a technical perspective Hannah is road ready for any gig. She has the chops, creativity and energy to drive the bus for any artist or band. Her performances are always energetic, engaging and her smile when playing is just as attention capturing as her skills or performance. She really is the whole package. Being an attractive young female, it would be easy to dismiss her skills and say, “oh, it’s all because of her looks,” which would be an incredible disservice to Hannah. She has substance, skills, and a drive that just wont quit. She works harder than just about any musician I have ever met and leaves you feeling like you have known her all your life when you meet her. She is engaging and most importantly she is there to inspire others. Hannah makes sure she focuses completely on the person she is talking too and you can see her passion for passing on her love of the drums and encouraging others to follow their dreams. She completely understands how to relate to her fan base and how important they are to her.

Currently Hannah is a rock band called “Bellevue Suite,” has a tour she puts on for her “Peace, Love & Drums” multi-media show and recently did some shows with bassist Nik West. Hannah is also doing workshops for Guitar Center, a judge for the “Hit Like a Girl” 2012 contest and is regular a feature on the drumchannel.com. In the recent past she has played with the fusion trio “Pandorum,” played drums for the musical “White Noise” produced by Whoopi Goldberg that ran for two months at the Royal George Theater in Chicago and the Hannah Ford Band.

Hannah and her father/manager Dave Ford with PLAD Productions have done an absolutely incredible job of marketing her without the money that everyone says you need in today’s music industry. Both are dedicated and hard working individuals that strive to make great things happen for Hannah’s career. It also says a lot about their relationship and family dynamic to be able to pull this off without all the drama many entertainment families go through.

Hannah is endorsed by: Gretsch, Zildjian, Gibraltar, Toca, Vater, Kelly Shu Concepts, Shure microphones, Wornstar Clothing, ThunderEcho Drums, Prentice Practice Pads, Roland, MaxHeads Custom Bass Drum Heads, and Evans. Quite honestly, I have never seen an artist work as hard to promote her endorsements and utilizes them to the full potential they should be used. She is one of the few artists the get the power of her endorsements and what you can accomplish with them if you are creative, hard working and are marketing to the hilt.

Hannah is rare jewel in the music world. She understands what it takes, works hard to get there and does it happily. She has set her self up since childhood to be as well rounded a musician as she could be. The breadth of her skills as a drummer, a businessperson, a marketer and being a genuinely nice person to work with are her major strength. While other musicians are out trying to be a rock star, Hannah is a rock star and is also building a career that most will never have because they don’t get it like Hannah does.

For more information about Hannah Ford please check out the following links:

www.hannahforddrums.com

https://twitter.com/#!/hannahforddrums

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Ford-Fan-Page/111758348891232

At the time of this writing The Lowry Agency and Hannah Ford have no affiliation with each other.