The Music Gardener’s Blog Has Moved

31 07 2009

The Music Gardener recently changed from a to a blog. Please visit the new blog at


Dave Matthews Band Live

29 04 2009

This weekend was a special occasion for me as I attended my first Dave Matthews Band concert ever. I have been a huge fan for many years buying every cd and dvd the guys release. For one reason or another, I just never had the opportunity to attend a show. First of all, the show was an incredible experience as they played Vanderbilt Stadium on a weather perfect evening in Nashville. Dave worked it like it was going to be his last show ever. What an incredible showman! There was one thing that puzzled me though and that was the addition of Tim Reynolds. I love the acoustic stuff Tim has done with Dave in the past but this rock guitar thing just felt out of place. Tim also looked out of place among the rest of the band. Never thought I would see a Flying V guitar on stage with Dave Matthews. They also featured him way too much. I would rather hear Boyd Tinsley go off on the violin or Dave throw down some acoustic lead than hear Tim Reynolds play out of place sounding rock guitar. I guess there has to be some reason they have added this awkward element to the show? Anyway, glad for the experience and looking forward to the new record!

GMA Week

27 04 2009

Artist Garden Entertainment attended the artist managers track of GMA Week this week and we were pleasantly surprised! Coming from a record label perspective in previous years, I really didn’t know what to expect. For GMA Week, someone would hand me a badge, a schedule and point me in the direction of where I needed to be for specific meetings and showcases. I have taken in a few seminars in the music professional track in the past only to be disappointed by the attendance. I kind of expected the same this year, however, I was really impressed. This year, I participated in the MAPs track which is designed for managers, agents and promoters. One of my favorite seminars was “Deal or No Deal” with Roy Morgan, founder of  Premier Productions.  I walked away from that seminar with a ton of new knowledge about live concerts. There were other great panels including the artist symposium with Amy Grant, Marty Roe of Diamond Rio, Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay, Stephen Petree of Shiny Toy Guns, Brad Arnold of Three Doors Down, Cedric Dent of Take Six, Brian Littrel of Backstreet Boys, and Michael Sweet of Stryper (and now lead singer for Boston). Probably the highlight of my week was seeing Jars of Clay perform an acoustic set at 3rd & Lindsley.

One thing that I continually heard all week was that this was the last year for GMA Week. Not sure where that rumor started but it spread fast. It strikes me as a little odd that people in the Christian music industry would want to speak that into being. Yes, the industry is changing and GMA week should evolve to reflect the change but I would hate to see GMA Week disappear. Apparently many of the Christian radio stations chose not to attend this year for political reasons and are planning their own separate convention in Florida? If that is true, it is extremely disappointing. Of all industries, the Christian music industry should be a team and work together to build the presence of Christian music in the world.  Anyone who chose not attend this year really missed one of the best GMA Weeks I have attended in the last twelve years!

Mufreesboro, TN Tornado Victim Benefit

23 04 2009

Great Benefit concert this weekend at MTSU!


New Music From Circleslide

22 04 2009

As Artist Managers, there is nothing more exciting for us at Artist Garden Entertainment than hearing newly recorded music from one of the bands we manage. This week we were overwhelmed with excitement as we listened to three new songs from Circleslide. Wow! The growth in Circleslide’s music is refreshing. Front man, Gabe Martinez, has been writing with some great Nashville writers over the last few months  which is really paying off for the band. There are also some new members in the band which contribute to the new fresh sound. Producer Chris Bevins (Salvador, Jaci Velasquez, Saturn Project), brought a new production approach to Circleslide’s music giving it a bit more commercial flavor. Circleslide still rocks but I think they may have some music that radio will love with their next release. We will be sharing some of Circleslide’s great new music soon so stay tuned.

Pay Your Manager!

21 04 2009

At Artist Garden Entertainment, we meet with artists looking for artist managers on a fairly regular basis. We have noticed a common thread among artists who have previously had management. They are very gun shy about paying someone to represent them due to some bad experience they had with past management or the artist is too focused on saving money. First of all, let’s clear the air. All managers are not lame. If you do want to grow your career, then you absolutely need a manger. There are good managers available, you just need to do your homework to find them. Talk to other artist they manage, booking agents they have worked with or record companies they have worked with in the past. A Google search should reveal people they have worked with. Contact those people for references just like any other business hiring an employee would do. If you hear about more than one negative experience, then you should proceed with caution.  A good manager should be paid from the beginning of the relationship if money is being generated. Your manager is working all aspects of your career, not just things surrounding live dates. Personally, I wouldn’t want someone working for me that I was unwilling to pay. How hard do you think they will work for you knowing they aren’t being compensated? Let me ask the question “would you take a job under the premise that you will not get paid for your first few months of work?”  We know it is a tough decision finding management but once you find them don’t ne afraid to pay them!

Dude Perfect

20 04 2009

This week has been interesting around Artist Garden Entertainment. We got an e-mail at the beginning of the week from one of the members of Manic Bloom, a band we manage. Apparently some college guys at Texas A&M put together a video showing amazing backyard basketball shots and posted it on YouTube. They call the video Dude Perfect. The guys chose a Manic Bloom song “Running From The Scene” for the soundtrack to the video and they were kind enough to add a link to the Manic Bloom website. By Thursday evening, the Dude Perfect video was blowing up! The video went from 40k views to 100k views by Friday morning. As I was checking voice mail Friday morning, there was an urgent message from Good Morning America. I also had an urgent e-mail from Good Morning America. Thinking it was a prank, I called the number on the voice mail. It was indeed Good Morning America. They were looking to get in touch with the guys in the video. We scrambled around on our end trying to find a phone number as all we had was an e-mail address. Good Morning America aired a clip from the video Friday morning and plan on airing again this week with an interview with the Dude Perfect guys. All I can say for Manic Bloom is Dude Perfect!