Month: May 2017

I Know You Are, But What Am I

One of my favorite comedians, Paul Reubens (AKA Pee Wee Herman) used this tag line for nearly every interaction. When someone would say, “You’re silly,” Pee Wee would reply, “I know you are, but what am I?” When someone exclaimed, “I’m hungry,” his response was, “I know you are, but what am I?” And so on. When I hear artists and songwriters say, “I’m nervous,” or “I’m anxious,” I really want to reply Pee Wee style, but I don’t because the fact is their statements could not be further from the truth. They aren’t nervous or anxious.  It’s just...

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The Terrible Trouble with The Truth

The truth can be harsh. Brutal. And the terrible trouble with the truth is, well, it’s the truth! In my last post for artists, I discussed the idea of post mortems after performances and their importance in the learning process. But I may have left one thing out.  You have to be honest with yourself. If you’re a band, you have to be honest with each other.  Okay, maybe not Buddy Rich honest (WARNING: Filthy language alert!) You have to tell the truth. Lead or backing vocals “pitchy”? Tell the truth! Guitar solo not getting it? Tell the truth! Drummer...

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Keep It Stupid Simple!

I apologize, but the truth is it really is stupid simple. So, I say it this way:  Keep It Stupid Simple! In Marketing 101 it is universally agreed that the three most influential words ever were: Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The message is clear. It is elegant. And it is simple, stupid. (Or as I like to put it, Keep It Stupid Simple.) Now before you run off thinking I have absolutely lost my mind, allow me to explain.  Let’s start with a little word replacement exercise for all of you emerging artists. PERFORM If you are serious about being...

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More Lessons From The Vinton Dogwood Festival

U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Chris Keaton, Vinton Dogwood Festival 2017 The Vinton Dogwood Festival has always been special to me but last week was more special than usual for the lessons it taught me. WHAT DO YOU DO? One of main lessons came in the form of a simple question from Congressman Bob Goodlatte,  “So what do you do in Nashville?”  I responded with my typical elevator description and we moved on to talk about legislation which affects the music industry today. Before I go any further with my story, let me acknowledge the efforts on Representative Goodlatte...

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Lessons from the Vinton Dogwood Festival

This weekend was full of lessons for me. I was honored to be the Parade Grand Marshal of the 62nd Annual Vinton Dogwood Festival in my hometown of Vinton, Virginia. In addition to riding on a float in the front of  the parade, I also got to perform with my former band mates (and fellow North Carolina Music Hall of Fame Members), the Band of Oz.  I even saw my first manager, Bruce Dowdy and my musical mentor, Tommy Thompson and lots of friends and family including my mother who actually lives ninety miles away in Staunton, Virginia. LESSON...

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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.