Archive for Ideas

ND Listed as “Top 100” Artist for 2009 by Music Connection Magazine

Posted: Dec 22, 2008

Every year, Music Connection Magazine publishes their list of the “Hot 100 Artists” to watch for the upcoming year, and we’re very proud to announce that this year, Nick made the list!

Read the rest or post a comment

Mocha Club and How To Get The New Matt Wertz CD FREE

Posted: Aug 15, 2008

A few months ago, I signed up for a charity called Mocha Club, where you give up $7 a month to support a project in Africa.

Mocha Club supports projects like clean water, care for orphans, and relief for the victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

To us, $7 is the cost of 2 mochas, but in Africa $7 gives clean water to 7 Africans for a whole year!

I got into this after going to see Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz play live and hearing their stories about how they went to Africa first-hand to see the amazing work Mocha Club was doing over there. To show their support, they usually give you a free CD of theirs if you sign up for the Mocha Club at their concerts.

Read the rest or post a comment

Guitar Picks and Drumsticks Made From Wheat?

Posted: Sep 26, 2007

Wheatware Guitar PicksI’m really excited to write about this, because I know I’m breaking some major news to many of you. Kids, my music just got a lot more organic.

True, we’re only using real instruments with real players on the new CD, but we’re using some new organic gear that you really ought to know about.

Read the rest or post a comment

Nick featured on the Musicians Cooler Podcast

Posted: Jul 16, 2007

Just did one of my first interviews with a world-renowned podcaster by the name of Jammin Dave Jackson.

Dave hosts a show called the Musician’s Cooler that regularly gives away tons of great info in the form of audio podcasts you download right to your iPod.

(Perfect for those long roadtrips between gigs.)

I got into podcasts a few months back when I discovered I had 30+ Gb of free space left on my Video iPod, and didn’t know how to fill it. That and I’m just always hungry for good content.

They say you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so for the past few weeks, I’ve been soaking up as much knowledge from Jammin Dave as I could, listening to all the archived podcast episodes. I highly recommend you check it out.

So here’s my interview with Dave. He called me up and grilled me for a half hour on everything I’ve learned in my 365 days. Just push play!

Or you can download the whole show

Read the rest or post a comment

Advice to A Young Musician

Posted: Jul 31, 2006

From music veteran Slaid Cleaves:

1. Don’t believe the people who say you are good. Listen to the people who tell you where you are failing. You have to learn to be extremely hard on yourself in order to continually improve, or else you’ll just end up playing in your room. Everyone wants to be a musician, but only the ones who are self-critical, work the hardest, and stay with it the longest will succeed.

2. Songs are more important than anything else. There are thousands of great songs out there in the world. Why would people want to buy your songs if they aren’t as good as what’s already out there? You need to strive to write songs that say something interesting, something moving, something memorable, in a way that no one else has said it before. In order to get good songs you have to be hard on yourself. One of my favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier, says she puts about 40 hours into every song she writes.

3. For a long time, you will have to do everything yourself. Make your own records, bring them to record stores, book your own gigs, play for free, do your own promotions (create a web site, make posters, buy adds, bug radio stations, create mailing lists). Nobody will help you until they see something going on already. Only then will they want a piece of the action. You have to get the ball rolling yourself and convince them there’s some action.

4. It’s very hard to get things going on your own. Find a group of musicians who are at your level, doing similar music, facing similar challenges. Work together, help each other get better, write together, share gigs. You might have to move out of the security of your hometown to find a group that you can be a part of. I’ve found “comrades in arms” by moving to a big music town, going to a lot of shows, performing at open mics, even playing on street corners.

5. Big record companies are more trouble than they are worth a lot of times (they might even be extinct in a few years). Small, local independent record labels are doing better than the majors lately, and you are much more likely to get their attention. Big record labels almost never sign someone unless they’ve made indie records and already have a significant audience (thousands of fans). But you won’t need them anyway, because the future of music is in digital downloading.

6. Despite all that I’ve said, you must find your own way. Every successful musician has “re-invented the wheel” to get to where he or she is. The business part of the music business is always changing. And when it changes, smart, alert, creative people will see an opening where they can gain a foothold.

7. In sum, work on your craft, let people know what you are doing, be patient.

8. Oh, yeah. Most important: find a girlfriend (or boyfriend) who has a good job and is willing to support you for several years.

Read the rest or post a comment