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September 2012 - Music Connection

SIGNING STORIES

NIKKI EMBRY

“I

Dustin Lynch

Date Signed: Aug. 11, 2011

Label: Broken Bow Records

Band Members: Dustin Lynch

Type of Music: Country

Management: Pete Hartung, L3 Entertainment

Booking: William Morris

Legal: Scott Stafford

Publicity: Natalie Kilgore / Dashboard Media / Natalie.Kilgore@dashboardmedia.biz

Web: http://dustinlynchmusic.com

A&R: Benny Brown & Jon Loba / Broken Bow Records / http://brokenbowrecords.com

had a dream I wanted to chase,” says Dustin Lynch, growing up in

Tennessee, not too far from Nashville. “And I tried in every way to

give that dream a chance.” Lynch moved to Music City with the hopes

of becoming a songwriter, as many do, and succeeded. After moving into

an apartment behind the legendary Bluebird Café, he did some open mic

nights and impressed the club's crew so much that he became one of the

its regular performers.

Artist manager Pete Hartung, who scouted at the Bluebird, got the word

and viewed a Dustin Lynch video on Myspace. In 2009, Lynch signed a

management deal with Hartung on a handshake. It was an association that

directly led to the deal with Broken Bow. “I didn’t have to do showcases, or

be shopped to other labels. I was immediately happy with Broken Bow and

its all-stars,” says Lynch.

“It all started for me with that call from Pete––he believed in me. A lot of

guys develop artists and set up showcases. Pete already had a relationship

with Broken Bow.”

“Don’t ever give a dime to

a manager or anyone else

trying to represent you.”

Broken Bow has provided Lynch with a multi-album deal, tour support,

and publicity. Many of his dates include radio promotion concerts. “Radio is

key for country music. I’ll play for 10 people or 60,000, as I did at a recent

festival. I’m not in this to be a flash-in-the-pan, and Broken Bow has an

investment in my career. It is so important to trust the people you are

working with.

“You will rise with your class, people told me, and I believe that,” Lynch

says, referring to the artists, managers, and other executives one does

business with as a musician. “It’s crucial to find the right team.”

The artist’s debut was released on Aug. 21st. The production of the You-

Tube video for his single, “Cowboys and Angels,” was funded by Broken

Bow.

Lynch's advice to other artists: “Don’t ever give a dime to a manager or

anyone else trying to represent you. If they aren’t willing to invest in your

career, you don’t want to be involved with them.”

——Brett Bush

T

Miss Willie Brown

Date Signed: 2011

Label: A&M/Octone Records

Type of Music: Country

Band Members: Kasey Buckley, Amanda Watkins

Management: Jon Leshay / Storefront Entertainment

Booking: CAA / http://caatouring.com

Legal: NA

Publicity: Kristie Sheppard / The GREENROOM / Kristie@thegreenroompr.com

Web: http://facebook.com/misswilliebrown

A&R: Jim Berkman

wo enthusiastic young girls working at a barbecue restaurant in Los

Angeles, CA, trying to break into show business, end up writing songs

together and performing in clubs. Sounds like a pitch for a sitcom, but

three years ago it was reality for Kasey Buckley and Amanda Watkins.

“We made fliers and handed them out at the restaurant," says Buckley.

"We recruited musicians, some from Music Connection ads and from Musicians

Institute, and worked every single shift to pay the band.” With all

this momentum, the girls decided to record an EP as a demo to get gigs.

According to Watkins, “We figured we might as well go ahead and do art, a

logo, put it together as though it were for real!”

Connections played a key role. “Through friends of friends, and those

early shows, we were spotted by the talent booker for the Jimmy Kimmel

Live show—who was there to see another band—and were invited to perform.

We were the first unsigned band to appear on the show!” says Watkins.

Through similar connections, a song was placed in TV , s Army Wives.

“We recruited musicians,

some from Music Connection

ads,... and worked every single

shift to pay the band.”

The duo signed Jon Leshay as management, who arranged showcases

in Los Angeles and in Nashville, TN. At one event, they were spotted by a

scout for A&M. The label offered to fly them to New York for a meeting, but

the duo refused to go unless they could do a private showcase. “We couldn’t

afford to leave our jobs for an office meeting.” The showcase was arranged

and the band was quickly signed as A&M/Octone’s first country act. “A&M is

one of the last labels that actually develop artists, which was a big factor in

signing with them,” says Watkins. “On the other hand, we signed with a label

that has had no involvement with country music!”

Because radio is so important in country music marketing, A&M/Octone

arranged a lengthy radio festival tour, which began in March. “Particularly

with country music, it is so important to meet the fans face-to-face,” says

Buckley. “Social media is very important, but nothing replaces that in-person

connection.”

Miss Willie Brown’s first release is due early next year, while singles have

been receiving radio airplay since earlier this summer.

——Fuchsia Black

26 September 2012 www.musicconnection.com

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