Revelry Soul signs with 768

Revelry Soul, with a Soul Rock, Alternative, Blues sound from Rock Hill, SC, has signed a management agreement with 768 Productions.

“We are ready to go to the next level,” says band leader Gary Baker, Jr. “With our expected debut of our EP in 2018 and our desire to tour more, we are looking to grow as a band and as serious musicians.”

With Baker Jr. on drums, the band grabs attention with Josh Hamilton’s gritty classic-rock voice. Mitch Kelly matches talent with Hamilton’s vocals on lead guitar. Ben Smyth fills out the bands sound on base and newest member, Mathew Harnage, provides keys and back up guitar.

The band is approaching three years together and currently working on a 6 song EP slated to release in Summer 2018.

“We have such a strong fanbase in Rock Hill,” says Baker Jr. “We appreciate our fans so much and look forward to growing that throughout the SC and NC markets.”

The band recently opened for Michael Tracy at the Underground in Charlotte, where they filmed three of their original songs: “Working Man,” “Collide,” and “Gypsy Soul.”

More on Revelry Soul can be found on their web site; Facebook; and Instagram

Wild Root Music signs with 768 Productions

Paul Fournier and Wild Root Music, hailing from Bradenton, FL sign a booking agent agreement with 768 Productions.

Wild Root is Hard Soul – a fusion of Soul, R&B, Funk, Jazz and Rock. Led by frontman Paul Fournier, the Bradenton, FL based Wild Root is an inspired blend of blues guitar lickes, funk beats and sharp vocals. Shows consist of solid originals and covers that connect with audiences creating new versions that adapt to getting people on their feet.

Fournier is taking Wild Root on the road to create collaborative shows with local musicians and develop original video content for the social media world. Adding new dimensions of engagement for local shows and venues, Fournier and Wild Root seek to draw new and expanding audiences.

As the creator and songwriter for Wild Root originals, Fournier is the driving force, inviting different musicians to share in live performances on tour and in the studio. “This creates something that is fresh and always growing and never forgets its roots,” says Fournier.

Wild Root will be on tour throughout 2018 and producing new original songs and video content. See all Wild Root’s content channels and tour stops:

EPK | Web | YouTube Channel | Instagram | ReverbNation

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Sycamore Brewery Springfest 2017

Brews, beautiful people and bow-wows.

We experienced our first Sycamore Brewery Spring Fest and between the excellent beer selection, to the food trucks, to the band line up this is a must return Fest for 768.

You should expect plenty of beer, food, the hang out of the beautiful people of Charlotte and lots and lots of dogs.

Sycamore’s location and set up is perfect for this kind of event. We Ubered there so no comment on parking, which did look problematic and made us thankful. Once inside though, this is a ready-made ‘fest’ venue.

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There were three tap locations around the lot and food trucks along the back of the property. This was wise because even though the lines would back up for beer, they would not interfere with the food lines.

We had tacos, shrimp – mmmmhmmm – and ‘Dillas from TIN Kitchen. Both were fantastic. The shrimp tacos were especially tasty with a homemade topping.

Although it was VERY busy especially later in the day, the crowd management was effective and there were places to sit to eat, grab a water, etc.

 

We discovered the Sun Grown Lager and stayed with it – despite a healthy line up of Oats Sodas. This beer is delicious! We are not IPA-hoppy fans and this brew had zero hop. It was refreshing and tasty – almost too tasty. Perfect for the hot day in the sun. It left us searching local groceries for who carries it.

Let’s talk about the bands!

We stuck to the main stage, mainly because the garden beer area location of the second stage was always packed. So no slight to those bands.

Late Night Special

Let’s face it, anytime you are lead off on a main stage, you have to gear yourself for providing the background music for folks coming in and getting their first beer. No one is loosened up enough to start dancing and rushing the stage.

At the same time you also have the chance to be that sound that tells folks arriving – yep this is the right place.

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Late Night Special filled the bill with their 5-piece high-energy full folk sound and concert-ready vocals. Natives of Mount Pleasant, NC, Fred Heintz has the classic-rocker rasp in his voice backed by members: Bradly Cannon on drums; Ben Robinson on bass; Derek Furr on guitar and Gillian Zambor on keyboard. 

The juxtaposition of this group is Fred’s energy on vocals backed by clear musical power from each instrument against the relatively calm stage presence. It actually pulls you into the performance with Ben, bassist, sitting the entire time – there is always something cool about that – like “yeah I know something” and Gillian swaying behind the keys. All the while, Derek is shredding and Bradly is keeping the tempo tight smoking a cigarette from his lips.

After the set, we caught up with Fred to learn that they are hosting their own festival in Concord, NC, May 12 and 13 with a line up of close to 30 bands. Called the Shakedown Festival it features music, yoga, camping: www.shakedown.rocks (If we weren’t committed to Skaky Knees in ATL, we’d be there!)

Swim in the Wild

Shorted to “Swim Team” hail from Charlotte, NC took the stage second. Having the benefit of a growing crowd by mid-afternoon, Swim in the Wild continued to add to the energy level of the crowd. The Hall Brothers, Micheal and Steven with long-time friend “Gersh” (Cameron Godwin) form the nucleus of this 5-piece band with Jeff Small, guitar and Grant Gautreau, guitar flanking them on stage.

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Playing lots of originals, the draw is the full glory Magnum PI stash and stage energy of Gersh. His kentic movement on stage is hard to stop watching, while Micheal’s vocals and the band’s full sound gave reason for Gersh to move and jump and stand on amps.

The Sycamore team selected bands for the main stage that were all in a similar lane and the Swim Team built nicely on to the sounds of LNS. Somewhere in between blues, rock, indie and folk, Micheal and team have a distinctive sound that is perfect for the out door jam fest.

Catch them next also at the Shakedown Fest in May.

Porch 40

Continuing the build of energy on stage Porch 40 delivered. Based in Sylvia, NC, this heavy funk alternative rock band features a diverse sound starting from the distinct vocals of lead singer Andrew Duncan. Almost “Adam Levine” like he pours himself into the mic and the songs.

His energy on stage is matched by every other band member: Scott Burr, saxophone, Mitchell Metz, violin – yes violin which is visous, Brett Wilson, drums
Carter McDevitt, bass.

Between Carter disappearing behind his hair like “Cousin Itt”; Brett whaling the drums to keeping time, Mitchell on sax and Scott on violin exchanging leads through songs, these guys deliver on a live show.  They moved the crowd closer and provide no excuses to start moving to the beat.

The highlight of the set was Brandon Hucks of Of Good Nature joining on stage for a jazz, funk, reggae version of ‘Tequila!’

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These guys are on the move throughout the summer around the southeast. Catch them next in Boone with the fest’s headliners Of Good Nature at the Local.

Of Good Nature

If you haven’t heard of Of Good Nature, you will soon. They are building momentum and a fan base. The headliners and co-host with Sycamore, they are the crowd pleasers calling Charlotte home.

Throw a trombone into your sound and it’s easily to expect jazz – to call these guys ‘reggae’ as categorized by their website and albums sells them short musically. They are all of it and rock, funk, folk in one very tight sound.

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Formed in 2011, by lead vocals Cameron Brown and percussionist, Joey Vachon the band has 2 albums under their belt and plenty of line up for a live gig like this. And the crowd loves them – even without the day drinkers who had been there since noon! Brandon Hucks on Trombone and Jon Reed on bass pulled the estimated 1500 fans in close. David Hamilton on drums centers the band with intricate timing with Cameron and Jon.

These guys will be at Jazz Fest or Summer Fest in no time.

Sycamore has got to be feeling very good about their Spring Fest and hopefully this cements this event into the Charlotte music scene. If you missed it, set a reminder for next year and watch out for their anniversary Fest in the Fall.

It’s simple: make money. 

“Happiness don’t buy money.” Ari Gold.

I have presented many times to entrepreneur groups looking to glean some magic trick to successfully starting a business. Whereas I do believe and have experienced that success in business is a formula (for another post), there is one undeniable, inescapable, truth to a successful business: make money.

And a band IS a business. If you don’t agree with that statement then what you have is a hobby. Any a band that is serious about ‘making it’ IS a business. Period.

Let’s now pause to give you my version of the “common” man’s definition of “making money” and success. My last name isn’t Gates, Jobs, Bezos, Musk, or several other “once and a billion dollar people” who through a lot of work and extraordinary circumstances go from 0 to 1 billion, making money, changing the world, etc…these folks are not like you and me.

In the music world, it would be analogous to last names like McCartney, Jackson, Bono, Madonna, Swift, Gaga…these are titans. You aren’t going to be a titan…I am not going to be a titan…and what I can be is successful, profitable, and MOST importantly love what I do and enjoy my life. (I am really channeling Ari’s voice here – maybe not so much of his “spirit”…)

What you and I can hope to be are successful fish in our own pond – and guess what, success is defined differently by both you and me. What I think is success isn’t what you may think is success. And that’s OK. The point is success is happiness defined by you AAAANND in order to achieve that happiness you have to pay for it…

As an entrepreneur, I know I am successful – why? Because I am still doing it…I am NOT thinking about, hoping for it, dreaming of it…I am DOING IT.  My company, Insignia has generated well over $28 million in revenue over the last 15 years. We employ today 40 people and we are expanding our business and operation every year…I am damn proud of that. No, I am not a billionaire and I AM HAPPY – having the time of my life.

So at that moment in my presentations when I build up my audience for the delivery of my Moses-like-epiphany – “the most important thing is…is…you…HAVE TO MAKE MONEY! PERIOD” – there is always this visible let down.

“What? That’s it?”

Right there half my audience tunes out. Good. They came to hear me speak hoping for the get rich, shoot to the top, Fantasy Island junk. There is no short cut. There is no escaping making money.

So back to your band: unless you have that amazing “rich uncle” that is an endless supply of cash and if you want to make a living doing what you love – then you MUST MAKE MONEY at it. There is no guitar tree. There is no amplifier shrub. Pretty sure that van of yours doesn’t run on combustible air.

If you are ready to turn your hobby into a real business then you need to start to understand fundamentals like income statements, contracts, negotiations, marketing, etc.

Many artist glaze over, tune out and generally would rather bury themselves in a hole than think about the business basics that will enable you to build you craft. That’s where we can help.

Our mission at 768 Productions is to provide you – the artist – with the support to build a business out of your craft. Yes, that means you need to be invested in the business aspects and we can teach you, and support you through our experience in business. No, running a software company isn’t the same as a band AND there are basics fundamentals shared by both: contracts, marketing, product pricing, merchandising, strategy. The product is your music…everything else is how to sell and monetize that art. AND guess what…making money on your art isn’t evil or selling out or any of those other stupid concepts. Making money enables your art. It sustains your ability to continue to MAKE art.

In this context, money CAN make you happy because it can sustain and enable your passion. If you get this…then we’d love to work with you.

768 expands team, adds producer Fahey

768 Productions announces a new addition to its team: Jimmy Fahey, music producer and engineer.

Fahey, who has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 2007 is also a music production instructor at the Los Angeles Recording School since 2015.

He has worked on a number of records for artists such as The Deftones, Daughtry, Bon Jovi, Santana, Nicki Minaj, Earl Sweatshirt, Boyz II Men, as well as Grammy winning records for Halestorm and Kelly Clarkson.

According to manager, Michelle Stringer, Fahey adds to the teams balance with music production experience.

“This gives us an added dimension to our support of young, up and coming artists,” says Stringer. “It also gives us the added flexibility to produce music.”

Rabbits and Elephants

Early in my career as a graphic designer, I worked for an Alpha Graphics copy shop in downtown Charlotte. I can’t tell you the number of logos, business cards and letterheads, I designed for various companies – new and established. It was fun at first – variation was cool – being creative with each new business was a thrill. Eventually the novelty of another logo became routine…I got excited when someone wanted a brochure or a maybe a flyer – OOOHH yeah a full page flyer…and yes soon flyers and brochures were boring…what I started to want and desire was to do it all for one company…THEN people would see my real talent! And then my boss would bring me another logo to design…meh.

In my many years of observing the music business, BANDS are like DESIGNERS. First, when a band starts playing together it’s mostly covers. Maybe someone in the band is a budding song writer and one or two original songs are written to mix in with the covers. Small engagements are booked – a coffee shop, bar or wedding and the covers and the one original become like the logos and brochures of the designer. Each hoping for, wanting and waiting for that BREAK, that one cover that is going to grab someone’s attention. That one brochure that’s going to get someone to say “Wow! You are good!”

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I call this the principle of Rabbits and Elephants: “We live on rabbits to hunt elephants.”

It’s happened to me several times: Back at Alpha Graphics, I was churning through logos and letterheads as usual when a cool project crossed my desk to develop a multi-fold, odd cut brochure. It was for a company called Metasys. Their logo featured these sharp angular edges. The marketing director for the company wanted to match the angles of the logo with the brochure in someway.

So I worked with my production specialist and we developed a design, pitched it to the marketing director and by the time the brochure was printed, scored and delivered, the marketing director offered me a job. It felt like my BIG BREAK. Two weeks later I was lead designer in the marketing company for an 85 person software company. This was it! I had made it…

Yeah not so fast…I soon realized that I hadn’t “made it.” Yes, I had certainly stepped up from the copy shop and yes, I was doing some very cool things (like developing a cgi video in Macromedia Director on a WindowsNT environment…toootally cutting edge!) And I was still designing logos (product logos now) and brochures and flyers, now just for one company – wait…isn’t that what I wanted??? I began pining for that “next big break.”

Many bands do the same thing. Like designers, and even like entire companies, the desire for the next “big break” becomes this all too consuming churn. “If I could just land this huge deal, we will have made it.” Hunting the elephant becomes the focus.

After nearly 20 years as an entrepreneur (yes, I realized for me to get the next level, I wasn’t happy being a marketing designer, director…I wanted to run the whole company!), there IS NO BIG BREAK. There are only rabbits and elephants.

Think of your favorite band. What are they doing RIGHT this minute…touring? recording an album? maybe forming a new band? maybe producing? The point is they are doing something…at any given level of success there is always another level, another challenge, another “elephant” to hunt.

Over my own career and my study of “success” there is no “making it.” There is no magic Willey Wonka Golden Ticket. There is only the next level. And to achieve that next level you must “eat rabbits and hunt elephants.”

Rabbits are like the designer’s logos or brochures; the band’s covers and gigs; the small company’s first customers. These things – though mundane are what keep the lights on, pay the bills and sustain us while we are hunting the elephants. You can’t get the next level if you aren’t still hunting.

Elephants are the level ups. The project that gets you another higher level project. The brochure that leads to an advertising campaign; the song that gets you an opening act on a tour; the sales win for a company that opens a new business channel. And here’s an important point: once you land an elephant, you don’t hunt it again.

Success is not defined as landing that elephant. Success is defined by aiming for the next level and then the next and then the next ALL while sustaining for the next hunt – the next album, the next tour.

Bands that “make it” as defined by the industry are those that understand this – they keep producing…Actors, who “make it” understand this…company’s who make it understand this.

T.Boone Pickens says “When you are hunting Elephants, don’t get distracted by rabbits.”

That’s easy for a multi-millionaire to say who doesn’t want for a meal (metaphorically).

The rest of us need to eat and learning how to eat rabbits and hunt elephants with a cohesive strategy is how your band will level up and one day look back to say, “We made it.”