Month: March 2017

Navigating the Music Business Maze

ASCAP, SESAC, BMI? Pub or co-pub? Admin? P & D deal with label? DIY or record deal? What the heck? The music business maze is confusing at best and most times downright confounding! Didn’t it used to be easier? It’s like the maze in the book Who Moved My Cheese? Is This a Joke? Nope. Let me state the obvious: things change in the music business. Every five minutes.  New ways to make money with music and new avenues for distribution arrive all the time. Artists used to be able to start out in clubs to hone their craft...

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Are You In The Groove or In A Rut. Say What?

Are you in the groove or in a rut? For the creative mind it’s either – or; you’re either rocking right along or stuck.  But, if you think about it, they are both kind of the same thing. Hear Me Now. When you’re in the groove, you’re in that flow state, you know, the zone.  You are so in sync that the melodies arrive seemingly from nowhere and everything magically rhymes. On stage, the right notes and licks appear and you deliver them flawlessly. When you’re in a rut it’s the same old same old. Routine. Boring. You just...

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March Madness – Music Business Style

I’m not talking about basketball March Madness. In this case, I’m referring to how I cast songs for projects. Actually, it’s kind of the same thing. The simplified version of March Madness (basketball style) is this; Sixty Four teams earn the privilege to compete for the title of the NCAA National Champion. You’ve probably seen those teams graphed out in what’s called The Brackets. Through the process,  some win and proceed (Sweet Sixteen) until all but four are eliminated (the Final Four) and then the two winners from the Final Four compete for the National Championship. Working Those Brackets...

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The Business of the Music Business

(L to R, Norro Wilson, Billy Sherrill and Bobby Braddock) It’s a well known secret – this business of the music business. The late Al Gallico knew it and taught it to me.  Music publisher and entrepreneur Buddy Killen knew it.  In fact, all the great visionaries of the entertainment industry knew it.  Norro Wilson knows it, too. I’m proud to call the legendary songwriter, music publisher and hit record producer, Norro Wilson my friend, but more than that I’m glad to call him a teacher.  Along with Al Gallico, he taught me the business of the music business;...

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Building Bridges (Take Two)

My most recent newsletter was entitled Building Bridges and dealt with how I was able to get the Top Ten Single and Vocal Event by Brooks and Dunn (featuring Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill)  recorded.  My friend and client, songwriter Mark Crawford emailed me after reading the article saying, “My first thought when I saw the title was you discussing how to build bridges in songs, which can be hard to do.” Take Me To The Bridge So, let’s discuss bridges in songs.  A bridge offers a melodic respite and introduces new subject matter or lyrical information to the...

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Tools of The Trade. Do You Have Them?

If you intend to be a great songwriter or artist, you need the right tools. Not hammers or nails or drills (Oh, my!) but the tools of the trade. Here is my list; Desire. You really have to want it so bad you can taste it.  The path will be incredibly tough and crowded with other songwriters and artists seeking the same goals. You have to want it more than them. Perseverance. When everyone else packs up and goes home, you stay in that practice room or writers’ room and give it one more try. Take it from the...

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Chris Keaton

Chris is a Nashville-based entertainment industry executive, award winning music publisher, artist management consultant and a 2016 Inductee in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.