Here’s one I learned by starting with Jason Skinner videos on YouTube, but also by listening to the original from Don Reno over and over. I’ll never play it as well as he did, but at least I got to play on his banjo once.
During this insane quarantine time we are all stuck in the middle of, I started working on a new album that, unlike my last one, won’t be in the electronica realm. Now that I’ve finally built somewhat of a home studio where I can play instruments and be loud without the need to channel everything through headphones, my options are much more inspiring.
That, coupled with this deep, intense angst that many of us are feeling as we are trapped at home under this new but hopefully temporary way of living, led to the following track that I hope you enjoy.
It is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and all the usual places, but you can also listen to it here:
As an artist, especially an upcoming one, promoting your music is a demanding task. Doing it by yourself is exhausting and, at times, fruitless. Music promotion companies come in handy as they know what the music industry is looking for and know how to navigate the charts.
Various companies do offer music promotion services. Some have been around for some time; others deal with specific genres, while others have limitations on what music content to promote. So how do you get to settle on the right one for your needs? Here are some factors to consider.
Genre They Promote
You could be an artist singing various styles. As such, you need a platform that can promote any of them. You can benefit fromSoundCloud music promotion services since there is no limitation on what type of music you wish to promote. It offers free promotion services, and as a beginner artist, you can benefit from them.
You can later upgrade to the paid plans that offer your music unlimited followers and plays. You get to see your followers’ comments, and it helps you know how to improve on your next song release. You get to enjoy high-quality services and 24/7 customer support.
The music promotion company you go to should have the right licenses to run and experts familiar with their job. Online research could help you determine the right company to go to. A credible company will know how to treat its customers right and offer them the knowledge to help them gain popularity.
Experience in the Industry
How long a company has been practicing determines how much experience they have in the industry. As such, they have a clear understanding of what works and what does not. You can consult them before signing up with them to know how long they have been in the industry.
A new company may be struggling to set foot in the industry and may not be the best to go to. It can waste your time, energy, and money if it collapses. An established company knows the tricks of staying afloat in the entertainment industry.
Know What the Company Deals With
Before you sign up with a company, you need to know what it specializes in. Some deal with promoting your music by getting your plays and followers. Others offer event coordination, ticket selling, distribution, and marketing.
When you know what you want, you can choose a firm that offers the services you need. Getting more than one service is beneficial as it cuts costs and saves time.
The music industry is vast, and as such, competition is rife. You need to go to a company that is top of the game. If it is among the best, it shows it knows how to handle business effectively.
Your music is in safe hands when an expert is dealing with it. You spend your valuable resources on seeing your music business break even. As such, you do not have to compromise with the quality of service you get from a promotion service.
We played our second show recently, and the good George Hodges produced a fine live recording of it for everyone to hear.
The Internet Archive, the same people who bring you the Wayback Machine, is a great place where live music recording enthusiasts are posting all kinds of great stuff for free listening. Not only is the Ska City show there, but there are millions of other things you can get lost in listening to as well.
Way back in the good years of 1992-1993 or so I was in a band called Merle, based at Warren Wilson College. As a three-piece, we produced some insane sounds, surrounded ourselves with more insane antics, and had a hell of a time doing it.
Merle went on to become The Merle when Morgan Geer joined the band, and our notoriety in Asheville and beyond started to grow. Eventually, I left the band (I was the only one still in school at that point), but The Merle continued on and became an Asheville legend.
An old pal from Warren Wilson (Richard Stowe) recently dug up a tape of a live recordings and some demos that Merle had done from 1992 or 1993. Another old pal (George Hodges) cleaned up the tape, remastered it, and put it out there for you all to enjoy!
Beware: there are vulgarities at certain points, where we asked friends to join us on stage.
It’s been a while since I posted any musical updates here, and I don’t have a ton to share, but I did get a surprise email from the venerable Jason Lowenstein the other day, with a remastered set of Crain’s studio appearance on WMBR in Boston back in 1991 that he had made.
The previous version of this, mastered by Bob Weston, who initially recorded it in the studio late that evening way back when, is still here on my Music downloads page, and it is great, but I thought I’d add Jason’s version for you to download in one fell swoop.