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

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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

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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

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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

Posted in Terlingua Music, Texas Music | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

NWLYWD Starts Their Tour in Terlingua. Of course.

Austin by way of Las Vegas, NV band/duo NWLYWD played the first show of their national tour at the Boathouse in Terlingua, Tx. last night.

NWLYWD formed during the great vowel shortage of 2012, unfortunately.  They really couldn’t afford the necessary E’s to complete their band name, but it’s pronounced “newlywed.”

nw5

There’s a lot to unpack in that sentence.  For example, “band/duo.” Continue reading

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Grace Askew in Terlingua

I got a text message from a friend- “Grace Askew is playing the High Sierra tonight.”

“Who’s Grace Askew,” I asked?

“Bluesy, from Nashville, was on “The Voice.”

I responded, “are they filming the damn reality show?”

“No!!!”

Ok.  I spent the day working on vocals and guitar tracks at the studio, then to the Starlight Theatre for dinner.  Speculation was that the whole thing was about the Reality TV show.  After dinner, I went back to the studio to make rough mixes, and showed up at the High Sierra around 9:00, where Jeff Haislip was talking to a thin dark-haired woman at a table outside. No video cameras visible… good.

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

Continue reading

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Terlingua Goes Hollywood

Video crews, TV shows, Movies – in Terlingua?

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…  last night, I played a drummer.

In the last month, we’ve had a Japanese TV crew shooting a car commercial, a Dutch travel show filming an episode for Euro-TV, a French crew doing something, and the “reality” show crew is still slithering about.

Last night, another video crew was in town to film a 30-second promotional video for the Texas Tourism board.  At the same time, a local TV reporter was filming an interview with the local District Attorney.

Brewster County DA, Rod Ponton, explains for the camera how he managed to not get a conviction.

Brewster County DA, Rod Ponton, explains for the camera how he managed to not get a conviction.

Actors entering the Starlight Theatre.

Actors entering the Starlight Theatre… again and again and again…

When did Terlingua go Hollywood? Continue reading

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Voices From Both Sides 2015 – Fiesta Protesta.

For the third year in a row, neighbors from both sides of the Rio Grande River gathered in Lajitas, Texas to celebrate “Voices From Both Sides,” a peaceful protest against the closing of the border.

Hands across the water.

Hands across the water.

Before the border closing, this stretch of the Texas border actually extended into Mexico. The communities of Paso Lajitas and San Carlos, as well as Boquillas and Santa Elena were home to many U.S. citizens. Traffic across the border was casual, and crossing the border for groceries, dinner, entertainment, or to visit family and friends was common- and the traffic went both ways. Continue reading

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Donkey Flats – South County Music Corral

There’s a new community gathering place and music venue on Terlingua Ranch, and yesterday George and Anita Goss hosted a party there to get it going.

An old airplane hanger near Camel’s hump on the Terlingua Ranch Road – formerly Suzie’s Snak Shack – is coming back to life as a community gathering place and music venue.

The Bar-B-Que was donated, and sold for $10/plate- all proceeds to go to getting the electricity turned on. The stage was built with volunteer labor and donated materials. The vibe was “old Terlingua” and so was the music- hand made, acoustic, and from the heart.

“I’ve never seen this many cars at Suzie’s before,” was a sentence I heard at least a dozen times yesterday.  People came from Lajitas, Terlingua, Study Butte and Terlingua Ranch to gather, dance, sing, and enjoy life in the desert. There is certainly a need for a community gathering place at the Ranch, and it won’t take much to make it a reality. Terlinguists are famous for making their own entertainment- we don’t need much more than an excuse and a place to create an excellent time.

There’s still a lot of work to do. George has a vision of turning this place into a concert hall, recording studio, possible video location, and a tribal gathering place for family and friends. It’s going to take money, materials, labor, and lots of beer- yesterday’s gathering proved it could be done.

df1 df2 Continue reading

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New Terlingua Music: Paul Sprawl at the Boathouse

A couple of weeks ago, a tall lanky guy wandered into my recording studio by accident. We got to know each other, and found we had a lot in common.

Then, I pulled up a youtube video of him playing… wow. Here’s a video- you can go to YouTube and type in his name and be entertained for hours.

He and his wife have moved to Terlingua and are creating a space for artists called “Glint” on their land.  He told me a little about himself:  he’s a touring musician, does better in Europe than the U.S., is quite technologically savvy and knows his way around a recording studio.

We talked a while, and I encouraged him to play the local venues here in Terlingua so his neighbors can get to know him- and enjoy his music. Very soon, I heard he was going to play at the Boathouse. Continue reading

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