Column by Toni Brown
Its been a long time since Ive had the
opportunity to write about music. Over three years, in fact! If
youve ever heard of Relix, youll know me as the long-time
publisher of the premiere magazine on the Deadhead scene. We were
also the launching point for following generations of Jambands.
Phish, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, String
Cheese Incident, Dark Star Orchestra, Govt Mule and so many others
got their first international media exposure through our pages.
The sister company to Relix magazine, Relix
Records, was formed in 1980. We were amongst the first independent
labels, and in twenty years, had released 120 projects. Our
distribution flourished, and we understood our market. We enjoyed
working with artists wed grown up admiring, such as Hot Tuna,
the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody, Flying Burrito
Brothers, Savoy Brown, Johnny Winter, Merl Saunders, Kingfish,
Robert Hunterwell, you get the idea.
Relix was sold in August of 2000.
Ironically, all of my years in the
industry left me poorly prepared for the reality of striking
out on my own. Having spent these last few years immersed in my
own musical forays, I have found myself humbled; amazed at how
difficult and complicated the business of music has become.
I had released my first two albums on the
Relix label. After our departure from the company, I put together
my latest efforta passionate, ethereal acoustic journeywhich
I released myself. And as proud as I am of Rabbit
Hole Soul, I now know how difficult it is to get a recorded
project from your head to the ears of the public.
Southbounds Ray Carver has offered me the
opportunity to write a column for his cyber forum. I hope to share
some of my experience and knowledge with fellow artists, as well
as provide reviews, news and information on some of the amazing
musicians that I have known for decades, talented performers I
meet on the road, and new artists I have yet to discover.
you have any news youd like to share, write me at JamTilDawn1@aol.com.
If you have projects youd like considered for review, please
send them to:
P.O. Box 470156,
Celebration, FL 34747.
JERRY CARES, A Charitable Tribute To Jerry Garcia
This worthwhile organization uses a quote
from Jerry Garcia, "Somebody's got to do something. It might
as well be us," to dig into the Jamband scene and bring
together some of the finest musicians from the New Jersey
areaand beyond. Charitable events are held several times a
year, and the proceeds benefit Jersey Jams Fund whose aim is to
help restore music and art programs in New Jersey schools. The
organization also helps to provide music scholarships and
The series of concerts are augmented by CD
Tributes to Jerry Garcia in which time and talent is donated. The
first release features Railroad Earth, Bernie Worrell and the Woo
Warriors, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Swampadelica, the
VooDudes, Lo Faber Band, and many others. Their next project,
slated for 2005 release, is planned as a three-CD package, and
will include a wide range of performers doing tribute songs to
Havana's in New Hope, Pennsylvania, will host
the next Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares the first weekend of August,
2004. They will feature ten bands throughout the day, as well as
an auction to raise money for the organization.
For more information, check out www.JerseyJamsFund.org.
J.C. Flyer was a long-time Relix contributor.
In addition to interviews and features, he wrote the popular Bay
Area Bits column (under the moniker of J.C. Juanis) for many
years. J.C. has just released a debut CD, Movin
On. His original high-flying country rock has him teamed
up with some special friendsThe Dead and Phil Lesh keyboardist
Rob Barraco, Chris and Lorin Rowan, former E Street Band drummer
Ernest Boom Carter, David Nelson Bands pedal steel ace
Barry Sless, Nash Bridges musical director George Michalski, and
Kingfish keyboardist Barry Flast.
J.C. Flyers music promises to touch you on
many levels. Ranging from southern flavored rockers to western
swing and weepy barroom ballads, this artists passion is going
to move you. For more on Movin
On, check out www.JCFLYER.com.
South Florida's favorite Jamband, Crazy
Fingers, has released a new CD, It's
A Crazy Life. From the opeing up-tempo bluegrass inflected
Morning Glory, to the anthemic and timely The Bomb
Song, this band incorporates a familiar tapestry of
improvisational sound while reaching beyond the borders of its
palpable Grateful Dead influence.
Featuring long-time cohorts, Bubba
Newton on bass, Pete Lavezzoli on drums, Rich Friedman on guitar,
Josh Foster on keys and Corey Dwyer on guitar and keys, the band
can boast of two decades of musical history.
Corey Dwyer has done a great job of
engineering the project, in addition to having co-written the
songs along with Bubba. Check out the bands website, www.CrazyFingers.net.
Dwyer also has a new recording facility in Boynton Beach,
FloridaDream Factory Recording Studio, 561-843-2842.
As a side note, and not to take away
from the excitement of the bands new release, be sure and check
out Crazy Fingers acoustic side projectThe Grass Is Dead.
Along with some special friends, theyve recorded a couple of
superb bluegrass CDs. Highly recommended listening.
Becoming a crew member for the Jefferson
Starship in the mid-seventies opened up some interesting
opportunities for New York-born guitarist, Billy Goodman. Hed
be invited to play bass on a few songs nightly during his six-year
run with them. During a Jefferson Airplane reunion concert,
Goodman cornered Jefferson Airplane founding member, guitarist
Jorma Kaukonen, and played some songs for him. Instead of being
tossed out of the room, as Billy expected, Jorma offered him the
opening slot on his upcoming tour. After being encouraged by Jorma,
he pursued a solo career in the blues.
Billy did an opening slot for Dave Mason in
1989, and was invited to sing and play slide guitar with The Dave
Mason Band for a national tour.
Billy and his brother Frank (who is known for
his involvement with Mesa Boogie, and now lives and performs in
Nashville) released Crooked
Smile on Taxim Records, for which they received rave reviews.
The Goodmans originally teamed up with
guitarist Steve Kimock in 1991, but for over a decade, Kimocks
hectic schedule with Zero, Phil & Friends and the Kimock Band
kept him too busy to record with the brothers. Finally, theyve
released a recent live, downloadable concert. You can get the show
by going to: www.archive.org/audio/etree-details-db.php?id=7623.
For more info on Billy Goodman, check
out his website at www.BillyGoodman.com.
For info on Frank Goodman, go to www.FrankGoodman.com.
The Goodman family also has a delightfully thoughtful webzine that
focuses on singer/songwriters and pop and roots music for
grownups. Check out www.puremusic.com.
NEW YEARS EVE
A brief listing of some end-of-year concert highlights:
Dec. 30-31 The
Dead, The Funk Brothers, Robert Hunter, Oakland Arena, Oakland, CA
Dec. 28-31 Phish,
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida www.Phish.com
Widespread Panic, Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia www.WidespreadPanic.com
String Cheese Incident, Auditorium Theater, Chicago, Illinois www.StringCheeseIncid
Leftover Salmon w/Del McCoury Band, Ryman Auditorium,
Nashville, Tennessee www
Ekoostik hookah, Promo West Pavilion, Columbus, OH www.ekoostik.com
Moe. and Maceo Parker, Tweeter Center, Camden, New Jersey www.moe.org
is a helpful site to search for whats happening on the live
music front. I recommend adding your name to their mailing list.
HELPFUL INDUSTRY HINTS
PUBLIC ACCESS RADIO
Musicians are, and have always been, hard
pressed to get airplay in the commercial radio market. At times,
with a little research and luck, an independent radio station will
listen to a new release and put it on the air. It might sound
unbelievable that a freelance artist would get a response, but it
really does happen. And for that reason, it is critically
important for the public to support their local non-commercial
In New York, WFUV-FM on the Fordham
University campus, and XPN-FM on the University of Pennsylvania
campus provide listeners with diverse alternative and creative
programming. They feature the Grateful Dead Hour, and provide air-time for a wide variety of
classic, new and eclectic artists.
Go to the websites of your local
non-commercial or college stations (often, these are the same),
and take the time to review the programming. Make a note of shows
your music might fit into, especially if they offer local
talent slots. Send press info, a bio, and a CD to the station
manager, program director and to the specific DJs that host the
shows you think are appropriate for your work. They get dozens of
releases a day, but with a little luck and a catchy cover, band
name or CD title, you just might catch someones ear!
Dont forget to support these
stations by contributing to their fund drives. You can also offer
them free CDs for promo giveaways during their fund drives, which
is a great way to get publicity.
Mojo Music Studio airs to over 80 High
School, College, Commercial and Internet Radio stations
internationally. Rock, Pop, Alternative, Ska, Punk, Reggae, Blues
Rock, etc., will all be considered. Go to their website at www.mojomusicstudio.com
to find out how to become a member. Airplay is free if your music
is chosen to be aired on The Studio Radio show. Tell them
Toni/SouthboundBeat sent you.
CD Baby is a unique online music distributor.
They will take your music and download samples onto their retail
site to help awaken interest in your project. They are honest and
hardworking, and with your promotional support, they provide you
with a legitimate outlet to get your music out there. I highly
recommend using this invaluable resource. Contact them directly at
You have nothing to lose!
Share your favorite non-commercial and college radio stations, or
any other helpful industry hints with our readers by writing to
Til Dawn Music is a trademark of Brown Communications ©2003.
out the Toni Brown music website at: www.ToniBrownBand.com.
Stuby & Rocking Horses new CD, Cosmic
Soul (Orion Rising Records), is a funky blues-rock
blend, and features special guests Bernie Worrell (Woo Warriors)
and Jen Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout). Ranging from rhythmic
improvisation to slam-against-the-wall fusion, the band is a
powerhouse of hook-laden sound. Not for the mellowly-inclined.
web site http://http://www.rockinghorseband.com