7/28/08

Press!

The folks at Northwest Noise are great. They're trying hard to bring attention to the lesser-known regional artists and they're just about as supportive as you can get. I've gotten to know them a little bit over the past few months and I'm very glad to have made their acquaintance.

I did an interview with them, which can be found here:

NWN Interview

Also, Leslie Waara wrote a review of Ten Cent Souvenir for the site, which can be found here:

NWN Review

Fun!

7/20/08

How to Promote a Show




I'd love to know how...

I played in Salem twice this weekend.

First, The Dimes had an early evening slot at the Salem Art Fair. Nice gig...the event is definitely one of those family-oriented, munch-on-a-corn-cob-while-perusing-booths-displaying-local-artists'-work affairs, but the pleasant weather and calm-faced families were a nice break from the usual bar crowd. I'd nearly missed the show due to an huge accident on I-5, but I showed up with just enough time to park behind the stage and set up my stuff. The Dimes set was good...we played the usual favorites and had fun. The guys were nice enough to include one of my tunes in the set and I sold a few cd's to people who liked it.

Last night, I played the Blue Pepper. It's a large space, part cafe and part gallery. Derek, the guy who books shows, is very nice, always accommodating, and doesn't freak out about low attendance. It was low...

So, here's what I wonder: What adjustments do I need to make to my promotional strategy to increase the draw? I recognized almost every person from the last time I played there...all repeat customers. Many of them were singing along with the tunes. My tunes. They'd obviously listened to the record more than once! I think that folks generally respond well at my shows, and they seem to like the record. So, what's the missing link?...

This is the very same question that is asked by 99.99999% of all of the musicians in the world. It's tough to get people out of their houses and through the door of the club. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Something I'm overlooking?

Honestly, I think that it is a matter of persistence and long term effort. I know that I can make improvements to my show. I need to keep it fresh and develop an undeniably good set. I know that I can do a little more to promote, even with my limited budget. I need to do this stuff for each and every show...





Still, the weekend was great.
I had fun with The Dimes, fun at The Blue Pepper, fun yard-camping with Anna and Louis (our pup ) last night, and now I'm going to go have fun on my Yamaha XS650.

7/18/08

Week Recap/Weekend Preview

Man...this has been a productive week!

- I finally found a way to effectively organize my mailing list and coordinate tour/music/bio information. See the Reverbnation post below.

- I have started filling out my September and October schedule. It's shaping up to be a great fall...I have trips to NYC and Chicago in the works!

- I renewed my domain name registration and directed it to this blog.

- I got Ten Cent Souvenir on iTunes.

There was more...these are just a few highlights.

This weekend should be fun. Today I'll be helping Fred record some more tunes. Later today I head to Salem to play an evening show with The Dimes. I'll try to get home in time to see the new Batman movie with Anna. Tomorrow, I head back up to Salem to play a solo show at the Blue Pepper. My last show there was fun and I'm looking forward to being back. I'll spend Sunday in the sun somewhere.

Good stuff!

7/16/08

Reverb Nation

Hey folks,

So, I came across a website this week...it's called Reverbnation, and it is already making my job easier. You may have noticed some new little widgets on the sidebar of this blog... The music player, tour dates and mailing list sign-up are all powered by Reverbnation. Now, instead of taking an hour to update each of my various sites (Myspace, Facebook, etc.), I can do it all from one site and it works extremely well! It automatically sorts my mailing list by region, age, etc...I can send mailers to specific fans without bugging everyone else, and the mailers look great!

I feel like a new man!

7/10/08

Fred

Hey Folks,

Last week I started a project with a friend from Eugene. Fred Van Vactor has been playing around these parts for years, but somehow he has managed to avoid releasing a CD. Thing is, audiences love his songs and he'd probably do quite well if he had a disc to sell. We were talking about this a few weeks ago and I offered to lend a hand. He took me up on it!

We recorded nine tunes in two days in the middle of last week. Mostly just Fred and his guitar but a couple of songs needed some extra sounds, so we banged on walls, smacked big pieces of tin together, etc., etc. I spent a couple of days mixing this week and Fred seems pretty happy with the results. He'll put it out in some form or another.



This weekend I'll be at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, OR. It is quite an event...I'll be sure to take some pics.
Hey Folks,

First thing's first...the CD is now available online at CD Baby! It will be available for download sometime in the coming weeks, but for now you can purchase a physical copy here:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/ehrenebbage


So...I had a couple of great shows and made some new friends last weekend.

I played in Astoria, OR for the first time ever. Astoria is the northernmost coastal town in Oregon. It is a nice little place whose claim to fame is that The Goonies was filmed there. Oh, and some significant historical stuff, too...Anna and I made the drive in a few hours and were pleasantly surprised when we arrived.

The show was at a brand new venue called Redhare (www.myspace.com/redharegallery2). It's part gallery, part performance space...the owner, Scott Docherty, renovated his cool old space and turned it into a great music venue.




The show was not well attended, to say the least. Scott seemed to feel a little bad to have brought me there to play for such a small audience. He and I ended up talking for a long time about the purpose and motivation for being a musician (he toured for years with some very recognizable groups)...why make the effort when, so often, the returns are so small?

They aren't small. They're huge. Okay...only a handful of people were at the show. I didn't exactly feel like a rock god. Still, each person listened very closely and after the show I was able to talk with all of them. They sincerely appreciated my effort, and I theirs. A few of them walked away with my CD. It was good.

The next day Anna and I drove to Seattle. The Dimes had a show at The Sunset...it had been a while since I last saw the boys and I was looking forward to catching up and playing the tunes.

We played right before Slender Means, a great poppy rock band that made me think of Elvis Costello. Our set was fun...seemed to go by too fast, though.

All in all it was a great weekend. I felt lucky to see and do such cool things, and I felt inspired and invigorated. I spent a lot of time thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to do this for a living. It gave me some ideas for the theme of my blog. I think I'll turn it into a sort of journal about the challenges and rewards of being a small-time songwriter trying to carve out a place in the world.

To sum it up:

Yes, I'd like to play for larger audiences. Yes, I'd like to be more financially stable. Yes, I'd like to be recognized for the work I've done and will do. But what is the purpose and motivation? Fame? Fortune? Not really. Read on...