New Music Times, Indeed!

By Alan Rhody

They're based in Charlottesville, Virginia and they exist for the betterment of do-it-yourself musicians, songwriters, entertainers plus agents and managers as well. They are called The New Music Times, Inc. and they offer a wide variety of helpful publications for the independent professional, whether you are a music person or organization. Their hottest new book is a great one, called How To Be Your Own Booking Agent And Save Thousands Of Dollars by Jeri Goldstein.

Goldstein has been a successful booking agent and manager for over twenty years and shares with the reader the most comprehensive guide to successful touring as I've come across to date. Having worked with Robin and Linda Williams, Dan Crary, Garrison Keillor and The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, as well as a slew of others, Ms. Goldstein is one of the most respected professionals in the business. Her background includes concert, promoting, tour coordination, television production and even radio disc jockey duty.

Full of great quotes from many notable performers, writers and behind-the-scenes people, this book will take the beginner as well as the seasoned professional through it all, step by step. Every aspect of the business is covered and covered well, from negotiating contracts, attending conferences, preparing promotional material, long-term goal planning, overall marketing and finding funding sources to road travel (and road problems), crossing international borders, dealing with the media, hiring help, ethics, plus dealing with record labels, managers and agents.

In addition to the incredibly valuable information this book contains, it also has a short section of "Road Stories" in Chapter 10, "Managing The Road," which I found particularly enjoyable. These include great little gems from folks like singer/songwriter Greg Brown; Dan Griffin, former road manager of 10,000 Maniacs; Richard Battaglia, road manager and sound engineer for Bela Fleck & The Flecktones; Byron Berline, from his days with Bill Monroe and many others.

This book will probably become the "bible" for many entertainers as far as a factual resource book. Nonetheless, You get the distinct impression that a big part of Goldstein's success comes from the simple fact that she really cares about those people who are on and off the road week after week, month after month, making their careers happen without the benefit of multi-million dollar corporations.

I spoke with Jeri Goldstein a few years ago when I was trying to find a booking agent to help put me a little further out there while promoting my than new release, From A Real Good Home. Though she was already obligated to many other people, she was very sincere and sounded like she truly wished me all the success in the world. She also had me find her at the North American Folk Alliance Conference that year so we could meet in person and discuss it some more. That impressed me very much.

For $24.97, plus shipping and handling, this is probably the best investment any music person who wants to learn more about the business of performing (and planning a career doing it) can make. Bravo! Here's how to get your copy: write to P.O. Box 1305 Charlottesville, VA 22902 or log onto the website at http://wtm.nmtinc.com, or phone (804)977-8979.

Good luck, everybody, hope to see you all at Twice Told Coffeehouse on Derby Night!

Award-winning songwriter and touring performer Alan Rhody is a Louisville native making his home in Nashville, TN. For product or itinerary, write to P.O. Box 12l231, Nashville, TN 37212; fax: (615)298-5146 or www.songs.com/ar