portable recording studio

Ambient music, modern dance, and cowboys.

There was something new and different at the Starlight Theatre last night.

Paul Sprawl and his wife Leralee Whittle are building an artist residency retreat here in Terlingua. They plan to have housing, performance space and audio/video recording facilities.

They’re still building, but their first “resident” was Ted Killian, a composer from Oregon. Ted plays guitar- actually, Ted uses a guitar as a source sound and manipulates that sound through walls of technology.

Last night, Ted and Paul improvised over two hours of very cool ambient music. Paul played Moog synthesizer, guitar, and sang. Ted played his guitar rig and a Daxaphone. Leralee set up a dance space and danced/performed while Ted and Paul played. Continue reading

welcome VTF starlight

Viva Terlingua Music Festival 2015 – Sunday

Sunday evening I didn’t know what to expect. How many people would stay in town?

Things were slower, as people gathered up their guitars and souvenirs and heading back to be at work or school on Monday.

This year, Sunday turned into a fun jam session at the Boathouse that was surprisingly crowded. I think this needs to be a tradition. Continue reading

jk 20

Viva Terlingua Music Festival Day 3 – Saturday night!

Saturday night at the Viva Terlingua Festival- rocked. My only regret was that I couldn’t be in all 3 venues at the same time. I missed some great music- and some great photos- while I was hearing great music and taking photos.

At the Boathouse, JW Louis, Matt Harlan, Patrick Green, and the Rock Bottom String Band played- a night of excellent songwriting and crowd-pleasing bluegrass.

At La Kiva, Bruce Salmon opened the show, Tahoma (with the new guitar player- even better than last year) played, followed by Penny Jo Pullus. The 7-piece John Bush Band closed the show.

The rock walls of La Kiva were vibrating with excellent music and Continue reading

rory crowd 2

Viva Terlingua Music Festival 2015 Day 2

Friday night at the Viva Terlingua Music Festival was another historic night- So much good music.

At La Kiva, Trevor Hickle previewed songs from his soon to be released CD, and then was joined by his dad, Danny, for some serious (seriously) outlaw country music.

Aaron Todd played an elegant set of classical and flamenco (flamingo?) music. Breaking Light played a stunning set of psychedelic instrumentals.

At the Starlight Theatre, Ashley Monical added a glaze of class with her songs. The Lavens rocked the house, and the Dead Pyrate Society played unapologetic rock and roll.

The boathouse had Texas acoustic music- Mark Allan Atwood, Claude Butch Morgan, Ken Gaines… they all played timeless “poets with acoustic guitars” music. We could have been at Sand Mountain or Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant circa 1972… Continue reading

chet okeefe

Viva Terlingua Music Festival 2015 – Day 1

Day 1 at the Viva Terlingua Music Festival this year was pretty amazing.  There was live music all night long at the Starlight Theatre, the Boathouse, and La Kiva.

It was the first time La Kiva has been open in a long time.

All the performers were great, but the closing act at La Kiva was historic.  Butch and Rory Hancock were joined by Bob Livingston and Bradley Kopp. Butch played and sang his amazing songs, Bob played bass and sang harmony, and Rory and Brad laid down some blistering guitar. Continue reading

george2

The “Ain’t No Honky Tonks in Jail” story

This is the story of how George Goss got his song, “Ain’t No Honky Tonks in Jail,” recorded by a major country star, got a publishing deal, and a shot at a career as a songwriter- without leaving Terlingua.

As George Goss stood with his wife, Anita, backstage at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic this year things got just a little emotional.

George’s hero, Johnny Bush, was performing. Previously, George and Anita had hung out with Johnny, his wife, and his band in his tour bus.

george johnny

When Johnny Bush and his band played George’s song, “Ain’t No Honky Tonks in Jail,” while the crowd sang along, things got a lot emotional. Continue reading

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 2.08.57 PM

Indie Music Promotion- Where’s the Money?

Indie Music Promotion- Where’s the Money?

I just put out my first CD in 11 years.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I spent most of the last decade creating New-Age music for motivational and inspirational products. It paid well and sold hundreds of thousands of copies but it was a lot like being an artist and taking a job at Hallmark cards. I got tired of it.

So, back to my first love, which is blues.  You can hear the music for free HERE.

Why would I want you to listen to my music for free? Keep reading. It makes sense.

This led to a very important question for performers who intend to support him/herselves with his/her music: WHERE’S THE MONEY?

Things have changed a LOT in the 11 years I’ve been gone. Also, previously I had a record company and they got my CDs in record stores. Today, I don’t think I want a record company and the CD stores are gone. I’ve been researching this, and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Music income can be divided into three categories: Continue reading

Logic - compressor - Moog controls.

Indie Music Promotion – getting the CD made.

Here’s how you can get your own online store and set up your CD duplication for free.

It’s a slow summer in Terlingua, music-wise, until the Viva Terlingua Festival cranks up August 20-23.  Since so many of the people who check out this blog are involved in the creation of fun noises, I’m using this space to share what I’ve learned recently about music promotion.

The first step is to actually create the music recording.  I’m not even going to try to cover that here. Any musician with a computer, a decent microphone, and some software has the technical tools to create recorded music.

I use an Apple computer running Logic, Tascam interface, JoMeek and Bellari pre-amps, and Neuman, Shure, MXL, Audio-Technica, AKG (etc) microphones. I have 27 guitars, 5 guitar amps + a Line 6 Pod (which is what I actually use most of the time), and several vintage and modern keyboards (which I use as MIDI controllers because Logic’s software instruments are better than the sounds in the keyboards). You don’t need near that much stuff to get acceptable results. Many hit records have been recorded with a Shure SM-58, and MXL makes pretty good large diaphragm condenser mics that are cheaper than that SM-58. Audacity is a FREE software program that you can use to make professional recordings.

Bottom line, gear is NOT your problem.

You may have a problem if you’re new to recording. I learned how to make records on 2″ tape decks and have been doing it for decades. I followed the transition from analog to digital as a professional. So, when I look at the controls of the virtual tube compressor I know what “attack,” “ratio,” “knee,” and the other techie words mean. I know how hard to hit the virtual tape emulator to get the sound I’m looking for. When I call up the virtual ARP 2600 in Logic, I know which patch-cord goes where to get the sound I need.

Logic - compressor - Moog controls.
Logic – compressor – Moog controls.

Continue reading

Terlingua Bootleg Front

Promoting Independent Music Online – Summer doldrums edition.

How To Thrive As An Independent Musician or Artist now.

It’s summer in Terlingua, and there’s not much going on right now. In August, the Viva Terlingua Festival will liven things up. Until then, let’s talk about how to make a living as an independent musician.

Just so’s ya know, I run a business that specializes in promoting independent musicians. I’m going to pretty much give away the basics here. If you’d like to hire me to promote you or your band, you can get the full details at: http://terlinguamusic.com/musician-services/

Right now, 2015, is the best time E.V.E.R. to be an artist or musician.
This is the best time in history to be a musician. That doesn’t mean that now is the best time to be a rock star. There’s a difference. Continue reading