Quick Note: How to Help Emerging Artists

Artists will need record labels to get their albums on the shelves in stores.

1. Record stores ought to listen to bands they know are getting buzz locally. They ought to allow promising acts to sell their albums in their stores without charging huge fees nearly 40 or 50% of the record. The idea is to build trust in the industry and to become a tastemaker as well as a sales outlet.

2. Record labels should come up with a real and effective way to block illegal downloads. Certain options are being entertained and our colleague Matt Pruitt has an excellent one–you might ask him. matt@hungrytigeragency.com
**Eliminating such a threat would allow labels to take more chances on “non-club” sounds and music.**

3. Local radio stations can be useful in helping push the hype–especially on their locals only shows. Press, of course, is very useful.

4. More all age or no alcohol, no tobacco venues should open up–these can provide a safer and more enjoyable environment for the dissemination of music. Younger fans are impressed by music too and can provide long term listening. More importantly, alcohol or tobacco riddled environments frequently produce poorer quality entertainment, production, and music. They also produce stupider lyrics and song meanings.

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HONEST SOUNDS: ‘Heart of Gold’ by Neil Young (Reprise Recs)

From the album Harvest this was the biggest hit of Neil Young’s career to date.  It was #1 on the US Billboard 200 following Harry Nilsson’s Without You.  It was also a #1 in Canada and #10 in the UK.

Young wrote the song using three parts and using an acoustic guitar since at the time he was experiencing back problems and felt unable to hold an electric guitar.

HONEST SOUNDS: ‘Takin’ Care of Business’ by BTO (Mercury/EMI/Compleat Recs)

 Canadian band BTO (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) released this classic hit in 1973.  The album went to #4 and became platinum.  In 2010 Randy Bachman and C.F. Turner are preparing to release a new album and tour under the moniker ‘Bachman & Turner’.

HONEST SOUNDS: ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ by Leonard Cohen (Columbia Recs)

 Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2010 won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  He has been described as “highest and most influential echelon of songwriters” by legendary rocker Lou Reed.  He is perhaps best known for his single ‘Hallelujah’ which has been covered by numerous artists including Jeff Buckley (no.2), Alexandra Burke (no.1), Kate Voegele (no. 53), Rufus Wainwright (2x Platinum), and many more.   ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ comes from the same album as ‘Hallelujah’ (‘Various Positions’).

HONEST SOUNDS: ‘Guitar Town’ by Steve Earle (UMG Recs)

Steve Earle is a rock and roll great.  He won a Grammy Award for his 2009 release ‘Townes’ (cover album) for ‘Best Contemporary Folk Album’.  He has produced plenty of fantastic music over the years.  Here is the title track from his debut album, one of his earliest and biggest hits.