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Kelly Cheats

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Kelly Cheats by Trevor Mercer.jpg
Photo credit: Trevor Mercer

Kelly cheats, or so I'm told.

Seriously, the Kelly Cheats band got their name from an incident at a poker game. I'm sure it serves them well as it's both intriguing and easy for the audience to remember. So they can be sure to come back to see the band the next time they're in town.

There's no cheating when it comes to their sound. A well seasoned group of musicians that like to have fun. Currently finishing up the final touches of their second, soon to be released, album Out of the Patch. 

Always ready to tour the southeast they will be appearing this weekend at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday, October 23rd) with their blend of rock, reggae, pop, and blues.

The Hinson Girls

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As a performer, your job is to entertain. No matter how much a virtuoso you are on your instrument it doesn't mean a thing if you are unable to entertain your audience.

The Hinson Girls succeed at both of these things. Playing a combination of bluegrass and gospel each member can hold their own in a room full of pickers. A young band, ranging from 15 to 20 years old, all sisters. Katelyn, Allison, Melissa, and and Kristin.



kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Dubbed as Hell Raisin' Country, Early Ray is certainly catching fire and heating up stages all around the Carolinas and the Southeast!

This young magnetic, good-looking country singer-songwriter delivers his powerful songs with a rock edge, but with the core of a country purist.

 I love the intro to his bio, which reads: I've never liked bios much as they are typically filled with cream puff quotes about how artsy, powerful or amazing an artist's music is.  Instead, I'm going tell you a little about myself...


Country music lovers, and country music artists, down here in the South... we don't separate the artist from his music. We liken it back to Hank Williams Sr. and George Jones, Loretta and Dolly. Music and Life Experience co-exist, co-mingle, and are so inextricably intertwined that they are one in the same.


Good goin' Ray! You ARE it!

UP CLOSE ~ Ananda

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Ananda Image

Public Domain Image by Burman2k via Wikipedia

My first impression when I heard about this musical act was the interesting and unusual name. Taken from Sanskrit, Ananda means perfect bliss. After a first hearing, we quickly realize that the name is a perfect fit for this ultra-talented duo. A gentle intertwining of beautiful piano and violin, weaving threads of melody and harmony as each player improvises upon the suggestions of the other. It truly is blissfully beautiful music to hear!


Classically trained musicians, PJ Brunson on piano and Laurie Neal on violin, masterfully perform classical masterpieces, traditional Celtic treasured and their own inspired original pieces with a new age feel.


Their latest CD, Still Waters, is a mixture of the duos own new age compositions and traditional classics, seasoned with a slightly modern flavor. Rife with originality and laden with the talent of these two performers, this album is one that you will want to hear again and again. I passionately recommend it!


kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

If you are a musician, (like me) you got 'em! It's the promises we make to no one but ourselves this time of year... usually involving being a little more dedicated to our instrument(s), honing our talents, and so many of us, (me included,) promising ourselves that we will Practice! Practice! Practice!  Hey! How else are we gonna get to Carnegie Hall, right?


Of course, ALL OF THE ABOVE is on my list of musical resolutions this year! (Just like last year and the year before, and... well. You know as well as I do!)


I DO resolve to be a better musician this year! And I DO resolve to practice more! But... in 2012, I have added another layer to my musical resolutions. 


Music is by far my first love. From my earliest memories, I have always dreamt of living my life filled with music, making it my career and my life's ambition. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to fulfill that dream, at least in part, most days of my life.

Cary Ann Hearst plays the Visulite Theatre this Wednesday with Michael Trent.  Elonzo, from Rock Hill, South Carolina will open.

Cary Ann Hearst currently has three albums out: Dust and Bones (2006), Shovels & Rope (2008), and Lions and Lambs (2011).  She has a sound that is somewhat country honky tonk, rock & blues and sings with the passion of a tent revival.  Two of my favorite songs are Dresden Snow from Dust and Bones and Mexico from Shovels & Rope

Busking - Just Do It!

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Image by AndyArmstrong via Flickr

Busking is a great way to make a little money, sharpen your chops, and get used to playing in front of a crowd.   It;s a chance to get close and personal with the people and learn what works and what doesn't.

The Courtroom at Gettys - Interview with Mike Gentry

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Mike Gentry.JPGMike Gentry champions The Courtroom, a place where bands can play in downtown Rock Hill. He invites bands from all over, mixing them with the local spices to create a mega-hit of punk/indie/hardcore and more at least once a month! When did this start, where can I find out more?  Right here...

The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Rock Hi...

The Gettys Building (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)

Eddie's Attic Sold

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Duane Allman playing guitar at the Filmore Eas...

Duane Allman - Image via Wikipedia

Eddies Attic, where Sugarland, the Indigo Girls, and many others launched their careers, has been sold to Alex Cooley and Dave Mattingly.  Alex is a concert promoter and has worked with acts like The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, etc... The list goes on and on.  Let's hope that they continue the tradition of open mics and nurturing new talent that Eddie's Attic is known for.

Alex has also promoted several music festivals including the 2nd Annual Atlanta Pop Festival held the year after Woodstock and attracted the largest gathering of people in Georgia until the 1996 Olympics.

Good luck to both of you.


Charging For Your Performance

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Image by moriza via Flickr

While looking up other things I ran across this article on written by David Roth of the band Mighty Groove.

It gives 4 lessons on how to charge for your performance.  We can't always get what we want though, so be sure to read the comments at the bottom of the post for more insight into what bands across the country are facing in this time where there is a more entertainment talent available than clubs to feature them.


Carolyn Wonderland

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Carolyn Wonderland (photo by RR Rodriguez via Picasa CC BY-ND 3.0)

Carolyn Wonderland is currently on tour and will be passing through the southeast next week.  If you like barrelhouse rock&roll and gritty Janis Joplin style blues vocals you'll not want to miss her show.

Check out her interview with Larry Gross of Mountain Stage at the end of this article to get and idea of how this lady whips out a song.

Tuesday, Oct 25th  7:00 pm
Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA

Wednesday, October 26th  -  7:00 pm
Casbah, 1007 W Main St, Durham, NC

Thursday, October 27th  - 8:00 pm
The Handlebar, 304 W Stone Ave, Greenville, SC

Friday October 28th - 9:00 pm
The Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, November 2nd  - 8:00 pm
Eddie's Attic, 515 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA

Saturday November 5th  - 12:00 PM
Riverhawk Fest  Brooksville, FL

UP CLOSE ~ Patrick Davis

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and onwer of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Patrick Davis' pals kept telling him he should do this - that he makes music people want to hear, that his songs and his voice are radio-ready. And, so what? Thousands of people are told such things all the time by millions of well-intentioned friends.


Here's what's different: Patrick Davis' pals are some of the most influential artists coming out of Nashville and climbing the country charts. And they're eager for Patrick Davis to join their club."

(Excerpt from 

"Talent, youth, good looks and a natural gift for songwriting with the perfect hook, Patrick Davis has everything it takes to become the next mega-star, so we are keeping our eyes and ears open!

Emerging from Nashville with a string of hit songwriting credits already under his belt, Patrick began his solo-performing career with a jump-start. He co-wrote Jason Michael Carroll's Top 10 hit, "Where I'm From" as well as the closing track, "Be Wary of a Woman," on fellow South Carolinian Darius Rucker's (Hootie and the Blowfish) platinum-level Learn To Live album. These days, we can hear his songs, as well as his influence, on new albums from Lady Antebellum, Jewel (Patrick and Jewel co- wrote 11 of the 12 original songs on the album, and he sang harmony on the track, "Count On Me"), Josh Kelley and Carroll (as producer.)"

Since coming to Nashville in 2002, Davis has written with a wide range of country and pop music heavyweights, from Jewel and Dallas Davidson to Radney Foster, Hal Ketchum and Nashville Songwriters Hall-of-Fame Member Guy Clark (co-writing two songs on Clark's latest album.  Davis says he considers the collaboration with Clark a highlight in his career).

Working the Clubs

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Jesca Hoop @ Nice & Sleazy's

Image by via Flickr

Remember, your job is to bring in people to your gigs and keep them entertained.  This equates to more revenue for the venue.  The more people you attract and the more fun they have the more money they are likely to make. The more money they make the more likely they are to book you again. 

The venue has responsibilities to you as well to help you achieve this goal.  Don't let them take advantage of you.  Make sure that at the end of the day you've gotten everything you expected.

Check out this article and discussion at cdbaby.

NoDa painted on a wall

Image by Escapists606  via Wikipedia

The Evening Muse in Charlotte North Carolina is a great venue for musicians as well as patrons.  Located in the NoDa district of Charlotte which is noted for it's arts and crafts vibe, The Evening Muse fits right in.  A place where you can see top notch performances from touring acts and also come to participate yourself on open mic nights.

They book bands that are touring regionally and nationally or have the chops to do so.  This is a listening room.  People come especially to hear the music.  You'll see all kinds of original music here.  Acoustic, electric, singer/songwriter, Americana, blues, folk, jazz, it's all here.

A few of the artists that have performed there:

The Evening Muse also has Open Mic Nights for upcoming artists.  Open mic is on Monday of every week.  Once a month on the first Wednesday of the month they host the Tosco House Party Open Mic.

Booking Information

Once you get booked you need to promote the band and the appearance.  Here are some great tips from The Evening Muse website:

Promotional Responsibilities for Artists & Bands

10 Additional Steps to Promote Yourself (Artists & Bands)

Event Calendar

The Evening Muse
3227 North Davidson Street
Charlotte, North Carolina

The Evening Muse Website

Space in Downtown Miami

Image by Dan Vidal via Wikipedia

You can have the greatest performance in the world but if you're  barely filling the house and activity at the bar is waning then your prospects of re-booking and higher revenue are slim.  

Playing smaller venues may be the key.   Doing well in a small venue can keep your reputation from being damaged by an empty hall as you work your way up to bigger and better things.

Your best source of new work is re-booking.  So remember re-booking is all about the venue making money.  No money... your days are numbered.

Read more about the subject in this discussion and article at


Vans Warped Tour 2011

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Zac Farro (drums), Hayley Williams (vocalist),...

Paramore (Photo by phillyist via Wikipedia)

The Vans Warped Tour is underway this summer.  For years music fans have flocked to the summer concerts for a chance to see their favorite alternative or unsigned artists.  This year, the performers include Against Me!, Less Than Jake, Unwritten Law, Paramore, and many more.  Bands vary by dates, but a full list can be found here.

It's also not too late to register your band for one of the smaller stages.  If you would like your label or band to perform at Vans Warped Tour, submit your request at  Not only will selected bands get to play, they can also get the chance to record 3-song EPs to help get their music heard or a $15,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center.

Make sure to check your schedule so you don't miss your chance to see this tour in your town!
Ran across this audio file on Youtube.  It describes how to book and re-book gigs at nightclubs and other venues by explaining the relationship between the artist and the club owner.  Simple business skills can improve your career.  Try it.


Jazz For Japan

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Central Avenue Jazz Festival

Image via Wikipedia

Fund-Raiser Dinner & Live Jazz Show
For Relief Aid to Japan

View the event program at:

Sunday March 27, 2011
500 - 900 pm
Tropical Escape Café
564 N. Anderson Road, Rock Hill SC

Please Direct any inquiries to
Tim Hartis:
Tropical Escape Cafe 803-366-3888