Saturday

Secret to Booking- 20's Pubs and Subs

The trick to booking 20's is all in the Monday night audition....Here's how it works:
First of all- DON'T bother trying to call to book it. Teresa is the one you want to talk to, and she will not talk to you about it over the phone. So the best time to catch her is 3-6 on Mondays. Or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays. She takes off Wednesdays (when she takes off). Any other time could still be good, but there is just a better chance of her being busy or short of time.

If you are playing somewhere else nearby, let her know and if she can slip away, she'll go to see you. She will be judging whether or not you play the music the crowd likes but also HOW you do it. She is not being critical of your talent or performance. She is judging your "fit" with her patrons.

Teresa will not book you until she has heard you play. If you are not playing anywhere nearby; she will ask you to play an 'audition gig' on a Monday night. Talk to her, book it, show up, and play your best stuff. Their crowd likes to dance and if you play the stuff that she believes their crowd will like, she will put you on the calendar for a weekend spot.

Granted , you may not be playing to a big crowd on that Monday, but at least you are being judged on your performance, and not your salesmanship. Also, What else are you doing on the average Monday night?

I like this because it puts things back into the perspective that we all want: We are paid to entertain their crowd- Although bringing a crowd is encouraged; we are NOT expected to kidnap people and drag them in.

Another plus: they pay all bands a flat fee. That's right; everyone who plays there gets paid the same thing.

 There is no bargaining or trying to sell yourself. No competing with fee. Which means the only way that you could compete with another band is by making the crowd happier, which COULD result in playing more often.

I really like this way of doing things. It puts the focus on pleasing the crowd; and I think that is VERY important. Thoughts?

Friday

BARWINKLES

BARWINKLES
111 W 22nd Ave, Cordele, GA
63.2MI from Macon   
31015

LONG SHOTS SPORTS BAR

LONG SHOTS SPORTS BAR
106 Harmony Xing, Eatonton, GA
36.1MI from Macon   
31024

STOP & SPORT

STOP & SPORT
650 Shurling Dr, Macon, GA   31211

SPARKS SPORTS BAR

SPARKS SPORTS BAR
3761 Mercer University Dr, Macon, GA   31204
 

REDECK HIDEAWAY LOUNG

REDECK HIDEAWAY LOUNG
3165 Gordon Hwy, Grovetown, GA
90.4MI from Macon 30813

OTHER PLACE THE

OTHER PLACE THE
2010 Central Ave Ext, Cordele, GA
63.2MI from Macon 31015

DURTY NELLIES

DURTY NELLIES
120 E Jackson St, Dublin, GA
53.4MI from Macon 31021

CHEVYS

CHEVYS
1225 Russell Pkwy, Warner Robins, GA
17.9MI from Macon 31088

SIDETRACK LOUNGE

SIDETRACK LOUNGE
120 S 1st St, Warner Robins, GA
17.9MI from Macon 31088

HOOTERS

HOOTERS
210 Margie Dr, Warner Robins, GA
17.9MI from Macon 31088

B & B BAR & GRILL

B & B BAR & GRILL
Po Box 97, Cordele, GA
61.6MI from Macon   
31010

CAMRIDGE BAR & GRILL

CAMRIDGE BAR & GRILL
5121 3rd Ave, Eastman, GA
51.2MI from Macon   
31023

ACES & EIGHTS POKER BAR

ACES & EIGHTS POKER BAR
2195 Watson Blvd, Warner Robins, GA
13.7MI from Macon   
31093

HOOTERS

HOOTERS
112 Riverside Pkwy, Macon, GA  31210

20S PUB & SUBS

20S PUB & SUBS
3076 Riverside Dr, Macon, GA   31210

ADRAIN HALL

ADRAIN HALL
2870 New Clinton Rd, Macon, GA   31211

D & H LOUNGE

D & H LOUNGE
2460 Shurling Dr, Macon, GA   31211

TARAS TAVERN

TARAS TAVERN
2455 Emery Hwy, Macon, GA   31217

MABLES PLACE

MABLES PLACE
3850 Ray Rd, Macon, GA   31217

THE DAWG HOUSE

THE DAWG HOUSE 
634 Shurling Dr, Macon, GA   31211

FOOTPRINTS NIGHTCLUB AND LOUNG

FOOTPRINTS NIGHTCLUB AND LOUNG
224 E Walton St, Milledgeville, GA
25.4MI from Macon   
31061

YESTERDAZE BAR & GRILL

YESTERDAZE BAR & GRILL
2607 Moody Rd Ste A, Warner Robins, GA
17.9MI from Macon 31088

B JS ORIOLES NEST

B JS ORIOLES NEST
2001 Moody Rd, Warner Robins, GA
17.9MI from Macon 31088

CLUB CORDELE

CLUB CORDELE
503 W 24th Ave, Cordele, GA
63.2MI from Macon   
31015

DIRTY IGUANA

DIRTY IGUANA
543 Plum St, Macon, GA   31201

HUMMINGBIRD STAGE & TAPROOM

HUMMINGBIRD STAGE & TAPROOM
430 Cherry St, Macon, GA   31201

DIRTY DINGUS MCGEES

DIRTY DINGUS MCGEES
2905 Joycliff Rd, Macon, GA   31211

STUDIO 32

STUDIO 32
1715 Shurling Dr, Macon, GA   31211

MONEYS INC

MONEYS INC
4740 Pio Nono Ave, Macon, GA   

COCKTAILS

COCKTAILS
4755 Chambers Rd, Macon, GA   

Monday

Make Money With Your Hottie

Let’s face it; musicians get the hotties. If you are a musician, your girl/guy is among the most attractive in the area. The better the performer, the more attractive his/or her partner is.

Having someone you can trust in the crowd is always a plus. They will let you know when things are not right, or maybe give you a little a nudge in the right direction.
But they can also help you promote yourself better.

How? Well, I’ll need your help in filling in the blanks.
The Clap
People need a leader. They do not know it’s worth applauding until someone starts it off. That little bit of excitement coming from a good looking woman, is usually enough to get everyone else to believe that you are pretty damn good. You must be, right?
Get Her Friends Involved
Women travel in packs. So if you can get your woman to get her pack of girlfriends together, big things can happen for you. Initiating crowd response is a start, but you need them out there as your little army of fanatics.

Your woman can help out quite a lot with the promo pics. A small inexpensive digital camera doesn’t have great quality, but it will get you through if used creatively.Her friends can either get people up and moving OR help to gather a large group up to the front of the stage. Any pics that show YOU playing to a large group of ravenous fans can only help, right?
T-shirts and Toys
Tshirts have historically been a powerful promotional tool. If they are designed well, and people like your band, they’ll throw down ten bucks for it. It’s great for advertising, and you will only have to make the initial investment.

What ways are you getting YOUR mate involved?

Friday

Why don’t we all just work for free?

There is definitely, a divide among musicians regarding the subject of fees. Seasoned musicians, usually, understand this part of the business better than the newbies; so here is my attempt to inform. All you veterans feel free to straighten us all out.
Some argue the “business” side of things and try to “compete” with the more established acts by charging less. This goes directly against all business sense. Here’s why:
By undercutting the competition; you are ruining YOUR future business.
First, you don’t know what I get paid, so you will probably guess.  Now if you are trying to undercut me by guessing what I charge, you’ll likely go too low.

Then again, you could just ask the bar owner. Now, the bar owner has a vested interest in telling you that I play for less than I actually do, doesn’t he? So, he’ll know whatever my normal fee is, and subtract $50, and tell you, that he only pays THIS much. You are just DYING to play out so you’ll take it; AND THE BAR OWNER EQUATES YOU WITH THAT PRICE. While the economy is down, he may hire you often. But when the economy picks up, you won’t get called for the weekends- If he calls you at all. If you’re a full band charging the same thing I am, (as a solo act) then, in the bar owners mind you look like chumps. No talent chumps.


Now, put yourself in the bar owners shoes for a moment. If this Friday night, he has a band of no-talent chumps coming to play, WHY WOULD HE ADVERTISE? He knows that new customers are going to see this no talent band play and assume it is par for the course in this bar. He knows that those new customers won’t be back. He also knows that you NEED this gig, so he’ll make YOU ‘bring a crowd’. His logic is that, anyone you bring will like what they hear from you, so it will give those people (your friends) a favorable perception of his club. “This bar let my friend’s band play here. This bar is cool!”


Now you don’t have to believe me- But think about it- How many times have you played for ‘a little less’ and the bar owner DID NOT PROMOTE THE SHOW AT ALL? OR, if he does any advertising, he will do it the CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE…..He’ll put out flyers on colored paper that his 3rd grade daughter threw together before soccer practice. He probably won’t even get a free posting in the Eleventh Hour, or The Telegraph. It is because he understands that you are a ‘shade tree businessman’, and he is going to use your inexperience and your misunderstanding of business to his benefit….Which is a nice way of saying, he looks forward to taking advantage of you.
You see, if you charge less, it means there is no demand for you. Isn’t it simple logic? The supply (you) remains the same, so if the price is low then the demand MUST be. Also, he has no incentive really to promote the show: It won’t take very many of your friends to cover the cost of you. Not that it matters-He will inevitably argue that you didn’t draw enough.

 I know, I know. You’re probably thinking “Well, this is temporary. We are just doing this to build a following.” Wrong, again.

How exactly are you building a “crowd”? The only people who are going to hear you play are the bars regulars (they aren’t going to follow you ANYWHERE) and the people you bring (these fans have been around since you started). You will get to play for the occasional new person, but rarely will they return regularly.
 This is not working, is it?
Here’s an alternative….Be warned. It is a harder sell, but totally worth it.
Charge the bar more than the average band gets.
Yes, it sounds crazy, but here’s why :
The bar owner wants to be sure that the night you play is successful because he has to recoup the expense of hiring you. (You charge a lot so you must be in demand).  So he will be sure to promote it.He knows that success requires investment. This means he will tell everyone how great your band is and how people should come out to see you…Specifically, on the night you’re playing at his club.
 You need to look like someone wants you

You can do this with your promo materials, pics of your gigs on facebook, or by having a presence on Itunes or the like….Promotion is not just tshirts and koozies, but those would be a good start.( I’ll give some tips on this later, but for now just get creative) So, if you want to play to larger crowds; Raise your prices,
and invest that extra money in promotion.

Building a following
Now, we all know that some people are not loyal to one bar. The advertising will get their attention and they’ll show up. If you’re any good, they’ll stay, and if they have a good time, THEY WILL COME OUT WHEN YOU PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

WHO are the most expensive acts in Middle Ga.? Now, are they expensive because they are in demand, or are they in demand because they are expensive? How did they get to be “in demand”  in the first place? We all know how hard it is to raise your price once it has been set, so this is definitely something to think about.
Booking a gig is not the same thing as selling yourself. ANYBODY can book a gig. You need to learn how to get the venues calling YOU. The only way to do that is by looking like you are in demand.

So when they ask the question- “What do you charge?” Maybe you should answer the real question…”What are you worth?”

Monday

Bringing the Crowd... Back

How do you get more people to your shows? That's easy; Marketing and Promotion. The best marketing tool you could have is your actual performance. So, what if it's not good enough?
EVERY BUSINESS THAT INTENDS TO GET BETTER, FINDS A WAY TO MEASURE IT’S PRODUCT OR SERVICE. If the product is razor blades, they will use high tech devices to measure how well the razor blades cut. If the product is customer service, then they use customer satisfaction as a measuring tool. Bars determine how well you satisfy their customers by noticing how many come out to see you play.
 There are many ways a band can grade themselves; and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for musicians to use the same measuring tool that the venues use.

Like it or not, the patrons in the bar/tavern/restaurant are the customers that you are hired to entertain. If you do not notice a lot of ‘repeat customers’ on the nights that you play, you have to look closely at your show, to determine what needs to be fixed. Find them and fix them.
Being a musician myself, and going out to see bands play, I have noticed that many musicians spend a great deal of time getting their instruments setup ‘just right’. They spend a lot of time and money on getting a good amp, and a good instrument or two, and they spend a lot of time learning to play the songs in the set list.
But when they get to the gig they come up short in a few areas; Crowd involvement and the crowds’ perception of the band.
Engaging the crowd is, in my opinion, the easiest way to get ahead in the ‘customer satisfaction’ business.
You already know how- you pull out the tired old tricks- “ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!?!” or “How are we doing out there?!?!?”  
You also pull out the old reliable- “ We haven’t played this one in a LONG time….but we’re gonna pull this one out of the vault, just for you, cause that’s what YOU want!!! YOU'RE the best crowd we've ever seen!

And of course, “We are going to rock this place ALL NIGHT LONG! You’re not getting tired are ya!?!?!?!!!!!
These are all cliché’ and we all know it, but it’s part of the show. They are OLD tricks because they work.
Check out Paul Stanley . He was - and probably still is - the king of stage banter….
Getting the crowd to scream with you, to get them laughing, or to get them singing along; all result in increasing their heart rate. Increased heart rate will cause the release of endorphins and sweating. The result: people get happy and thirsty. Lo and behold…There’s a bartender RIGHT THERE to help them quench that thirst. Hmmm….I wonder if the consumption of alcohol will have a positive effect?… Anything you can do to get their heart rate up is going to translate into a happier crowd. This is the crowd that will return the next time you perform.
There are certainly other ways to get the crowd going-you could buy shots. You could pass out Tshirts or play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’…. again. But stage banter doesn’t cost money, or require you to sell your soul.  Use it sparingly and you’ll be packing the house in no time.
Another issue is your PA system. For God sakes man….have a little pride in yourself. Spend a little to get your sound straight. It’s totally worth it. It doesn’t matter how good you are on guitar if the crowd is not hearing that awesome tone you dialed in.
It pains me to say this, but most lead singers in Middle Ga. break the cardinal rule regarding their vocal reverb….Only use as much as you need- no more. And most importantly, TURN OFF THE REVERB WHEN YOU START TO TALK TO THE CROWD.
When you talk with the reverb on, the crowd hears muddy talking. They can’t understand half of what you’re saying, and that alone is a pain in the ass. One thing you don’t want the crowd to say to each other-“I wish he’d shut the hell up and play a song.”  If used correctly; reverb is like a perfectly executed ‘levitation illusion’ to a magician’s show. Reverb is the magic vocal secret, and no one wants you to reveal it to them. People WANT to believe you’re that gifted. (On a related note, take the bag of rice out of your pants….NO ONE wants to believe you’re THAT gifted. Really. You know who you are.)

I’ve noticed a few singers don’t use any reverb at all. On rare occasions I’d say that it’s not needed. But in an awful lot of cases; it is. Figure out a way to turn it on and off during your performances, and keep it at the minimum according to your need.

There are plenty of people out there who will give you good, honest feedback that you can use to get your show better. If you want me to do it just ask. If you’ve seen me perform you’ll know I’m much better at GIVING advice than taking it.

You might also consider enlisting the help of a professional- There are a few around town which I will add to the ‘Musicians Resource’ , But one you should talk to would be Hugh Hession. He also has a website (Making It In Music ) full of great insight. A very wise friend to have if you want to be a performer.

If nothing else- get video of your show, and use it to find your flaws. Fix them and do it again. Don’t make excuses; If it’s a turn off you don’t need it on stage.
Ok. Let’s recap. Get the crowd dancing, singing, laughing, and screaming. Make sure your music is beautiful and your speaking is clear. Get video of your performances and feedback from veterans. Rehearsal is not the same thing as practice.

Practice is where you get the SONGS right…Rehearsal is where you get the SHOW right.
Oh…..and leave the rice at home. Seriously. Your kids are going to have to eat that.

Free Lance Ruckus

Genre: Mixture of many.
Members: Richard Martin, Emmett Hardwick, Chris Covey, Dustin McCook
Hometown: Haddock, GA

Mostly influenced by popular rock-n-roll of the sixties and seventies. Modern influences include Sublime, Phish, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, 311, Rage against the machine, ...you get the idea.

 Richard Martin (Lead singer) is a great showman, his vocals are in key, on time, and powerful. He can convey the emotion and attitude that the song requires and he does with gusto. He weaves together a tapestry of music that stretches across decades and genres and makes it look easy.

Dustin McCook (Lead Guitar) is widely regarded as a child prodigy. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if I have heard about that 'new kid'. Now that I have seen him play, I know what everyone is talking about. He has the SRV tone NAILED. He's got the licks, but seeing him play is an added treat. This kid is BAD. Every moment he has his guitar in his hand, is a photo opportunity. He is definitley someone to keep an eye on as he continues forward.

Chris Covey and Emmett Hardwick hold down the rhythm section like seasoned pros, while Richard and Dustin tear up the stage, give musicians inspiration, and the crowd perspiration. These guys are a REAL band. Without a doubt; one of the best-kept secrets in Middle Ga.

Bit Covey has gotten the best videos of Free Lance Ruckus around.
Start checking out the Bit Covey videos here, but don't stop! scroll through them all....and then go catch 'em live.

Booking Agent/Press Contact
Jeanne Hardwick (478) 414 - 8322
Or contact Richard Martin through facebook

Thursday

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Wednesday

Macon Music- Listening Room

Silence. The occassional sound of someone shifting in their seat. No glasses clinking together. No one talking about Daytona. No one over-imbibing and trying to hook up with your date. Just silence.

Well, not JUST silence. There's a performer there, too. He'd have to be ridiculously good. But tonight is not the night that he entertains you with his crowd surfing. He won't be destroying his equipment, or cussing out the drummer. There won't be pyro or tshirt cannons.

He has a guitar and a microphone. We are all grownups here. He doesn't play to help you drown out you cares, your problems, your relationships long gone. His songs help you relive them. To help himself relive them. He talks about his past, his friendships and his losses. This is the goal of a songwriter's life-to have a roomful of people stop and absorb all the passion, the heartache, the pain, and love that pours from him. The crowd is made up of musicians and music aficionados- people who appreciate what it takes to put your soul to paper.
 Scott Pallot and Travis Bryant host an experience that has been absent from the 'nightlife' that is the Middle Ga. music scene. Thankfully, they did it right. Every show so far has sold out, and I am sure that will continue, because performers who would normally play 4 hours to a crowded nightclub with out breaking a sweat-walk off this stage in less than half that time visibly drained; and the audience is better for it.In this venue, performers give you all they've got, and more than they ever thought they would have to give.

It's music therapy, and 'intimate' is a word left wanting .

Check 'em out here.

Or view this video of Jason Taylor Hobbs on stage accompanied by Scott Pallot.

Flat Bridge

4 piece band out of Macon. Aidan Dibble, Lance Daniel, Stephen Thigpen, and Steven Taylor. They are recording their first album right now and you can get a sneak peek here.

Sweet Mckenzie and Grey Sky Day are really cool, well arranged songs. Their music has a very 'signature' quality to it, although I can't exactly explain it. At first listen it sounds almost off key or maybe the vocals aren't mixed right, but in no time, you get used to it and it makes the song 100 times better than if it sounded "perfect" from the begininng. It is a much needed injection of raw and real, in a world of digital masterpieces.

They bring a great combination of Country and Rock- I guess you would call it Americana with grit. I'm really looking forward to listening to the whole album. I'm curious as to whether they have stumbled across something or if it's by design.

Rock on, brothers. You have set the bar high.

What is Mid Ga Live?

I'm glad you asked. MidGaLive is now a brick and mortar live music venue for all of you fresh local bands who need a place to gig....But...