REO Speedwagon – “You Get What You Play For” – another example of a LIVE album bringing the band to the attention of teenagers in the 70’s.  Yea, we’d heard of REO Speedwagon, as they toured like crazy. What a great concert band!
However, the LIVE album got us excited and wanting to see the band! “Riding The Storm Out” was on of the three songs that we could not end a party without hearing the song (other two – “Stranglehold” – Ted Nugent and “Green Grass and High Tides” – The Outlaws”).
“Flyin’ Turkey Trot” and “157 Riverside Avenue” along with “Keep Pushin” a song that still motivates me when times get challenging! “Golden Country” – what soul and emotion in those lyrics!
Yes those great AOR – Album Oriented Rock stations that would play “Ridin’ The Storm Out” any hour of the day or night – we miss that format for the 70’s.
Gary Richrath, guitarist for the band passed away this past week. Great riffs on those REO Speedwagon songs.
I was blessed to meet the band in the 80’s after a show and talked with Kevin Cronin a couple years ago as Victoria Shaw brought him to Nashville to paly in a couple songwriter rounds. First class guy and I thanked him for “Keep Pushin” song!
Go back and listen to the entire, “REO Speedwagon – LIVE You Get What You Play For” album this weekend! One of the best ever LIVE albums in music history!
Thanks for the great music Gary and REO Speedwagon! What is your favorite REO Speedwagon album and song? Comment below!

Excellent Blog about the movie Shawshank Redemption. It can be like the music business – read below and the blog

I watched the movie for the 37th time (probably) this past weekend and will watch it another 37 times more than likely. isn’t it ironic after putting up with all the stuff for 20 years, his final swim out of the madness, is going through the sewage to spill our into the rain to wash him off??  Read the blog!

The final stormy night was just what he needed for that final escape. All those years chipping away little tiny bits by bits to finally his goals reached for freedom.
The movie is like the music business in many aspects along with life itself! Yet, having a plan, helping others to gain respect, finding how he could be of service making positives out of the journey, having others help when he needed it, and NEVER GIVING UP ON THE DREAM!! 

Then, he helped his friend when Morgan Friedman’s character finally got out of prison, leading him to the beach (hiding the money and having it waiting beneath the rock wall) – that is the story in the story!

What is a favorite movie that inspires YOU?

who-knew-125  A new event that happens about every other month in Nashville was started by Tom Truitt called Who Knew.

The February and April  2015 events were both standing room only, with the April event having over 300 music industry people in attendance. (8) music industry professionals have ten minutes each to discuss their company in the music business. The feature speaker was from Spotify and other speakers included someone from CAA agency as he books EDM artists, owner of a local music store, (8) project music leaders (one minute each) from Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center and other speakers of interest.

The May 13th event will take place at 3rd & Lindsley, doors open at 5:00. . Blair Garner – successful radio on air personality known worldwide, Kate O’Neal marketing professional, Freedm Riders – an EDM/funk band to discuss the EDM music business and they will play after all the speakers at the end of the program.  Freedm Riders will debut with a performance at the event.  Other speakers will be announced soon.

Tom Truitt is doing a great job of bringing the Nashville Muse Industry together with great professionals speaking and the networking opportunities with music professionals to make you say, “Who Knew” these people were right here in Nashville or visit the community with their business!

Nashville Muse is a proud sponsor of WHO KNEW.


NSAI’s Tin Pan South, March 24 – 28 is what I call, “The Greatest Week for Songwriters”. Ten Venues, two shows per night in each venue in Nashville with some of the greatest songwriters in the world! My first was 1996 and I have not missed one since as it is always a week I want to be in Nashville.

Regions Bank has been a long time Presenting Sponsor – thanks to Lisa Harless and her team at Regions for the support of Tin Pan South. There are several other sponsors, and Nashville Muse is a proud sponsor of the event.

From Tuesday at 6:00 through the last story of writing a song and sometimes how it got cut to the final chord played at the 9:30 show on Saturday, the attendees will be amazed, inspired and emotionally charged from the performances of Tin Pan South.

Songwriters and fans of songwriters come from about every state and some other countries to attend Tin Pan South. The “Fast Passes” were sold out in about :10 minutes of going on-line to be sold for the 2015 festival. You can also pay to get into the shows, after waiting until those with the “Fast Pass” get into the venues.

This is a great week to network and build relationships with the music community. Some of the best networking is while you are waiting in line for the venues to open the doors to each show, or with whomever you sit beside at your table, booth or bar stool at the show.

I hope You make the 2015 Tin Pan Festival one with many great memories and songwriters are inspired to write great songs after hearing some of the world’s greatest songwriters.

THANKS Bart Herbison and your great NSAI Team for The greatest Week for Songwriters!

Do YOU have any Tin Pan South memories to share – post them!

Another Year – what goals do you set for 2015 for your music business? Have you written them down, are you specific with your goals and have a plan for more cuts, that first big cut, get more gigs, learn guitar and other instruments and other goals you write down every year??

Ask yourself – how will I actually accomplish goals? Big Machine Label Group has a motto of “Think Crazy and Work Backwards! Well, they have certainly used that motto to make some fantastic things happen for their company and artists!

As we write our goals, make them big and have a plan to make the goals happen, those cuts, that publishing deal, getting booked into venues, touring and acquiring fans for the journey.

This music business is a relationship business. Perhaps make a list of professionals you want to build relationships with in the next year. How can you build those relationships?  Set a goal of perhaps one or two lunches or breakfasts with pros you would like to get to know – take them to share a meal and buy the meal.

Just get to know them, what they do, their story and what they do outside of business, interests in the music community, and advice they would share to help you, things they’ve seen other people on the journey where you are, and how those people advanced in the music business.

During your meeting with industry pros, DO NOT take a CD of your music, DO NOT ask them to go to your site and listen to your songs. This is to build relationships, not to pitch them your songs or to get you a deal!

Set goals and work every day to learn – your songs, how the business works, attend music industry events, support the industry, join the organizations that are proven winners, learn what not to do and who the people that are not really trustworthy, only want your money and have not really done anything in the music business or it has been 20+ years that they worked at a label and want you to pay them to record or whatever to get your money.

“Think Crazy and Work Backwards” – key words are WORK and have a plan to reach your goals!

What will YOU do to make 2015 your great year in music?

Here is another thing not to do in the music business – when you are an artists or your kid is an artist – somehow someone contacts you and starts telling you how good they were and the last thing they did of any value – was 20, 30, 40 years ago – if ever!

They will tell you stories of how artists you’ve heard of used their studio – you should find out WHEN the artists was in that studio and WHO is there now and what that person has to do with any project!

There are so many studios in this town, so many people that have been around people that you know, and some of those people try to impress you with stories, to get you 15 year old kid to come and record in that studio, tell you your 15 year old kid has fantastic songs that are going to be a smash. Sometimes it can be someone in their 20’s that believes they are stars and do not really know how to sing, yet the studio will tell them how they have the next hit song, tell their parents or investors that “artist” should be on The Opry and on the radio.

Some of these people find an investor or perhaps the parents want to get their kid in a studio so they can be the next star – which will not happen when you get with these people that try to impress you with stories of the old days in town.

I have seen this happen so many times, or someone will find a person out of state that has always written songs, always wanted to hear their songs recorded and the studio owner will sure do it, tell that person how good their songs are and they can add music to those “great lyrics” when the owner finds out sometimes that person has a bunch of money to spend and will find a young artist that knows no better, has not taken the time to learn the business, sing their songs!

There are producers that will tell you they knew someone, had a deal back many years ago, will tell you a BUNCH OF STORIES AND HOW YOU AND YOUR CHILD JUST BROUGHT THEM THE BIG SMASH HIT! Of course they will record it, bring musicians to the session and going to make you or your kid the next big thing! They will get all they money they can for you and smile as they tell you old stories and they have not done anything if ever in years!

PLEASE learn how the music business works, study, join NSAI, research and get advice from people that are CURRENTLY in the music business, learn about the business before you waste so much money and pay these people that have not done anything in many years and if they tell you they have – check them out with professionals in the music business.

Success Strategy #6 Follow The Golden Rule

Adapted from the book, The Success Strategies 99 Timeless Strategies for Life’s Journey by Deb Austin Brown.

The Golden Rule is really the only rule the world needs. It says simply Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

The music business is a small world. When you can help someone do it. Perhaps do a favor for someone in the music business, tell good things about people you know, perhaps you saw a new artists singing the previous night, tell people about it. You may hear a great song in a round, tell others, “I heard the coolest song last night and the writer was…”. Someone is having a challenge with their guitar in a round, offer to help them, you see someone making a mistake, help them learn the way to do the right thing. You go to lunch with a co-writer, every now and then, surprise them and buy their lunch!

Success Strategy #6 Follow The Golden Rule

Success Strategy #5 Tune Into Others and Really Listen!

Adapted from the book, The Success Strategies 99 Timeless Strategies for Life’s Journey by Deb Austin Brown.

Have you ever had a friend who really listened to you? They just didn’t hear you: they listened to understand what you were trying to say. That is what real friends do, they listen!

The music  business is a marathon, not a sprint. You will make friends in the business, develop relationships and want to help others on the journey – that comes with building your peer group.

One of the best ways to gain someone’s trust and develop that relationship, is to really tune in – listen to what is important to that person. They are not asking you to solve the challenge, just listen to them. There will come times when they ask what do you think they should do – to promote that new song, to get an appointment with someone in the business, to listen as they are dealing with real life.

Stay tuned in when someone is talking, do not let thee distractions of the computer, your cell phone, texts, noodling on the guitar when someone really needs your ear. Remember two ears and one mouth for a reason!

Success Strategy #5 Tune Into Others and Really Listen!

A great story from the Rich Redmond 2nd Annual “Drummer’s Weekend” in Nashville on October 31 through November 2nd, 2014.

Drummer Jack Bruno who played 20+ years with Tina Turner and a couple years with Joe Cocker, Elton John and now Delbert McClinton, told an interesting story of how he got his gig with Tina Turner (which led to the Elton John and other gigs).

Jack  got a phone call about an audition for Tina Turner – this was before her comeback, “Private Dancer” tour in the 80’s.  The person on the phone asked if Jack would audition and said he’d call back. A week later Jack called the person and was told they already had a drummer, and asked Jack if he knew a guitar player that may be interested in auditioning. Jack mentioned a friend of his that played guitar, which resulted in his friend getting the gig to play with Tina Turner.

A month later Jack got a phone call from the band leader, who told Jack the other drummer did not work out and asked if he’d like to audition for the job. Jack went to audition for Tina and his friend was there with Tina, Jack got the job! The bandleader said the guitar player that Jack recommended a month earlier, recommended Jack for the job!

For the next 20+ years, Jack played drums, toured the world many times, earned a great living doing what he loves, playing drums and making music for one of the world’s favorite and most successful entertainers – because he recommended a friend for a gig even though at first, he did not get the gig!

Lesson – help others, even when you are disappointed – do the right thing, keep a positive attitude! A  Zig Ziglar quote, “In order to get what you want out of life, help enough others get what they want out of life”!

THANKS Rich Redmond for a great drummers weekend and to all the pros giving advice!


From my friend, Ryan Bizarri, who recently has his first major song cut by a major artist:
My life long dream to have a major country artist record a song that I wrote has been fulfilled! On April 7th, my buddy Walker Hayes and I wrote a song called “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat” A cool fun up-tempo country love song. On April 16th, country super star Rodney Atkins put our song on hold. On April 17th, the very next day, Rodney took it to the studio and cut it! Saying “Eat, Sleep, Love You, Repeat” could be the next “Take A Back Road” one of Rodney’s fastest rising chart toppers. It has been the longest summer of waiting for this very moment to share this news. Available Today, order “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat” on Itunes and Amazon right now. It is already playing on country radio and the official add day is November 17, keep your ears peeled. LIKE my facebook fan page and post something to my page when you hear it! The celebration is ON! My wife, Jennifer and I moved to Nashville in March of ’03 to make this very thing happen; so after Eleven Years and some change.. the dream comes true! Never ever, ever give up! Never. God Bless ya’ll and thank you for believing. Here we go! !A BIG ol’ thank you to Rodney Atkins, Ted Hewitt, Curb Records, Walker Hayes, Lynn Gann, Russ Zaviston, my wife Jennifer & daughter Taylor Bizarri & Baylor Hayes and the Hayes family! And of course, country radio for spinning it over and over again! Oh and request “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat” at your local country radio station. Thank you & God Bless!