Friday, May 22, 2015

Nancy Moran's 'Ultimate Booking and Touring' Training Program to Begin June 10

         NASHVILLE -- Hit singer/songwriter/educator Nancy Moran will offer her "Ultimate Booking and Touring" online training program starting June 10.  

         Moran's popular, four-week, in-depth program is aimed at performing musicians who want to have more (and better-quality) gigs through expert booking techniques. It’s very detailed and hands-on, and she walks artists through the entire process of professionally booking gigs and tours. Students have reported career-altering results from what they learned in the program.

         "In my five-week-long, in-depth online program, I'm going to walk performing musicians through the entire process of booking gigs and planning tours," said Moran, a former member of the popular group The Bitchin' Babes. "I'm truly going to share everything I can think of to help artists book better gigs and to get them out on the road sharing their music with the world."

         The "Ultimate Booking and Touring" training process will show artists how to

         * Prepare for their first on-the-road gig.

         * Expand into new towns, new venues or even brand new music markets.

         * Land bigger, better and more lucrative gigs (to be able to quit their day jobs).

         *  Overcome the self-booking blues.

         Participants will receive five weeks of step-by-step guidance and in-depth instruction. Video, audio and written lessons will be delivered online and available for Mp3 download onto iPods, Mp3 players and other mobile devices. Artists can also download a host of worksheets, sample scripts, and sample contracts. They will receive personal attention during live group Q&A phone calls. Conference calls will be recorded for 24-hour access. A private group Facebook forum will provide additional insights and student interaction. Participants will have lifetime access to all educational materials.

         Tuition for the "Ultimate Touring and Booking" class is only $397. To sign up, click here.

         Moran is a working indie recording artist who performs at notable venues such as The Bluebird Cafe, house concerts such as Rouse House, and festivals such Kerrville Folk Festival. Declared "Songwriter of the Year" by the Virginia Sound Achievement awards and WXGI-FM Radio, she has released four solo albums, including her most recent "Something Old, Something New".

         The artist's CDs have garnered her public and commercial radio airplay on stations coast-to-coast and have landed her on the Gavin Americana charts alongside Delbert McClinton and Joan Baez. She also has been featured internationally on radio stations in Australia, Canada and Europe. 

         The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch called Moran "nothing short of a [modern-day] Joni Mitchell". Dirty Linen Magazine says Nancy has "a powerful, expressive voice...stunning."

         Moran is a former member of the acclaimed all-female folk troupe, The Four Bitchin' Babes. She also is a frequent keynote speaker at music conferences and events, an NSAI-endorsed music business instructor, a online instructor, the former assistant editor of American Songwriter Magazine and the author of several books, audio series, and live or online courses including, “The Songwriter’s Survival Kit,” “The Professional Songwriter’s Code of Conduct,” "Ultimate Booking and Touring", and “Making and Releasing Your Own CD.”


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Michael Bearden to Headline Film Scoring and Composing Seminar in Nashville from June 13-14

         NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Composers Association and "Film-Com" will present the seminar “Incorporating Everything You Do as a Composer Into a Living” with celebrity musical director and composer Michael Bearden from June 13-14 on Music Row.

         Attendees of “Incorporating Everything You Do as a Composer Into a Living” (during this summer's "Score-Com") will learn how to utilize their diverse musical talents and abilities as composers into making a living. Bearden, who has been doing this for 30 years, will discuss how he has succeeded as a musical director/producer, keyboardist, and film composer. 

         Bearden will provide an overview of his experience, including what it's like to work as a “celebrity musical director” for artists such as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, and others; score films such as the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It” and Spike Lee's “Drop Squad”; work on the Emmy Awards as co-musical director and conductor; and work on the "Late Show" with David Letterman as principal keyboardist/pianist.

         Music technology breakout sessions from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday and Sunday will be headed by Nashville Composers Association board member and CEO of MusicSynk John Pisciotta. Saturday's session, "Technology, Tools and Transparency", will feature panelists Charles Alexander, Lee Greer of NPREX,
Andy Tomlinson of Ditto Music, and Glenn Peoples of Billboard Magazine. Sunday's session, "Syncs and Drinks (coffee & lattes) – Sync, Clearance and Supervision Best Pactices", will feature panelists Randall Foster of ole Music and Bill Goff of Sony Tree. 

         All symposium attendees can attend a "Film-Com" networking event on Saturday night. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Composers are encouraged to bring their business cards, demos, or any other promotional materials.

         All paid "Score-Com" seminar attendees will also receive all-access laminates to attend "Film-Com" film and television business events from June 13-18, including a VIP kick-off reception at Tacklebox in Marathon Village on June 16, business panels at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Ford Theater on June 17, the "New Project Expo" at NorthStar Studios on June 18 and 19, and the annual Film/Television Industry Gala at Frist Center for the Visual Arts on June 18.

          Tuition for the “Incorporating Everything You Do as a Composer Into a Living” workshop is $55 for NCA members and $85 for non-members. Seating is limited. Composers must register by June 4 to receive an all-access "Film-Com" laminate. To register, visit .

'Shakespear-ience' Summer Camp for Middle and High School Students to Occur at Monthaven June 1-6

         NASHVILLE -- Middle and high school students can experience the literary world of William Shakespeare during a week-long creativity camp at Monthaven this June led by playwright/actress/educator Debbie Watts.

         "Shakespear-ience", a collaboration of the HAC and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, is designed for middle and high school students. It will occur at Monthaven from June 1-6 with classes occurring Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. Students will participate in a variety of informational activities, including Shakespeare's coined words and literary allusions from his plays. 

         Each student will prepare a monologue from a Shakespeare-penned play to perform in front of an audience on June 6 (Saturday). A panel of actors, directors, educators, casting agents and critics will offer feedback on the student performances. Each student will receive a DVD of his/her performance. 

         Tuition for "Shakespear-ience" is $50 per student. To register, visit
         A veteran educator, professional pianist-vocalist, and author, Watts is currently starring in the multi-media musical stage play, "The Ryman Diaries". Other theatrical roles include Mollie in "Mousetrap" and Agnes in "I Do, I Do". She began her career as a writer-producer for TNN: The Nashville Network. She has taught grades 6-12 in Sumner County Schools and served as an instructional and common core coach.  Watts, who was named National Vocabulary Championship Coach of the Year in 2008, performed regularly as a piano-vocalist at Loew’s Vanderbilt for many years. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Lipscomb University and a master's degree in English/Composition from Austin Peay State University.

         As nominees for the 2015 Governor’s Arts Leadership Award, the Hendersonville Arts Council at Monthaven conducts clay, art, music, songwriting, brewing, film production, literature, and photography classes, workshops and camps for all ages. Art exhibits are displayed in their 5-parlor gallery at historic Monthaven and visiting hours are Tuesday – Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  The Hendersonville Arts Council Gallery at Monthaven is located at 1017 Antebellum Circle, Hendersonville, Tenn. 37075. Call 615-822-0789 or visit for more information.

Musical Stage Play 'The Council of Creatures' to Hit Lakewood Theatre Stage May 22-24

            NASHVILLE -- The environmental musical stage play “The Council of Creatures”, written by Nashville playwrights and performers Tammy and Jamey Whiting, will hit the Lakewood Theatre stage in Old Hickory, Tenn., with three shows from May 22-24.

            “The Council of Creatures” delivers an environmental message for our time from the viewpoint of Earth's creatures. The musical features the iconic Francis of Assisi and his sidekick Clare, along with a host of animals who are given the opportunity to tell humans how they feel about what is happening to the Earth and to their habitats. Described as entertaining and poignant, the musical will be performed as a two-person show by the Whitings.

            "Our handmade masks, original songs and animal antics will delight kids and adults alike, which makes 'The Council of Creatures' good family entertainment," said Tamara Whiting. "Come to the Council and find out what the creatures have to say."

            Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (May 22, 23 and 24). Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Family passes are available for $25. Seats may be reserved in advance by calling (615) 847-0934. Tickets also may be purchased at the door before each show on a first-come, first-served basis. Lakewood Theatre is located at 2211 Old Hickory Blvd. in Old Hickory.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chakra Bleu Releases Humorous New Video for Romantic Rock Anthem 'Love Me Like My Guitar'

By Chuck Whiting
MCAU Editor

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 2015) – Americana/rock/pop artist Chakra Bleu chooses her guitar over a man in the humorous new video for her popular rock anthem about romance, "Love Me Like My Guitar".

            The video, which was released at You Tube on May 18, shows the artist cradling her guitar while refusing to allow a pursuing love interest into her room. She dances with the love of her life, her guitar, as the disenchanted suitor begs outside the door. Viewers are treated to a tongue-in-cheek story featuring Bleu's high-energy rock vocals and moaning (but loving) guitar. When all is said and sung, a man just doesn't compare to her musical instrument.

            "I loved shooting the video for 'Love Me Like My Guitar'," said Bleu, who recorded the song for her latest album, "All of Me". "My guitar is my constant, loving companion... the true love of my life. So, why not make a unique play on something that's close to my musical heart and soul?"

            The video, which features co-star Pal Sheldon, was shot and produced by Ray Boone of Music City Video. The song features performances by veteran Nashville session players John Billings on bass, Brice Foster on drums/percussion, Tom Britt on lead and slide guitar, Ronnie Godfrey on keyboards and organ, and Dana
Robbins on saxophone. The "Love Me Like My Guitar" video can be viewed online at

            The "Love Me Like My Guitar" video follows the release of two singles from her latest album, "All of Me". The first single, "The Shadow", reached number one on the NMW Indie Top-40 chart, where it remained for six weeks. The title track recently hit the top 20 on NMW's Top 40 and Hot 100 charts. The Nashville, Tenn., artist co-produced the recordings with Billings, a former bass player for the late Donna Summer.

            In "Love Me Like My Guitar", Bleu places certain conditions on her potential lover, singing, "I better let you know now... before you're in too deep. Don't want to get your hopes up... if you can't compete. If you're gonna love me... You need to love me like my guitar." Her infectious, rocking love song offers a sultry, sexy and humorous look at the ferocious tug-of-war between lust and wisdom.

            "I describe my latest album, 'All of Me', as a savory treat of pop-rock and R&B -- sweet and sultry with a shake of sass," said Bleu. "The song 'Love Me Like My Guitar' fits well into that mold. The storyline and feel are perfect for a video, presenting clever one-liners and crying electric guitar. It was fun writing the script and casting my unfortunate love interest."

            The "All of Me" album, which features "Love Me Like My Guitar" as the fourth track, is available for download on the artist's website, , iTunes (, and all major online stores, including CD Baby, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Sony Music Unlimited.

            All of the songs were recorded in Nashville at Funky Tymz Studio, with Bleu on vocals and electric guitar. Music industry veteran Gary Lefkowith is overseeing radio promotion. Whiting Publicity and Promotions is handling publicity.

            According to Dave Carew, a writer for the blog Underground Nashville, Bleu is "hands down one of the most original and distinctive pop/rock/Americana artists ever to grace the underground Nashville music scene. Inspired by everything from the styling of bands like Heart and the Cowboy Junkies, to transcendent New Age thought, she has forged, over the past decade, some of the most uplifting, eclectic, thought-provoking, and empowering music ever created in Music City USA."

            Born and raised in Spokane, Wash., Bleu grew up with a passion for music and the outdoors. She started writing songs in middle school and performing with jazz choirs and grunge bands in high school and college. On weekends, she headed to the mountains for hiking and camping. After college, she lugged her guitar and synthesizer to Paris, only to lose her green card a year later. She spent the next two years back home in Washington working in secondary education. But a trip to Nashville changed her life. Successful performances at the Bluebird Cafe and other venues convinced her to move to Music City to pursue a professional career as a singer-songwriter.

            Bleu's music accomplishments have been substantial since then. Her recent single, "The Shadow", quickly climbed various NMW charts, reaching number four on Top 40, number four on Hot 100 A/C, number five on Top 40 Internet, and number one on Indie Top 40 (where it remained for six consecutive weeks). Her sixth album, "Souvenir", generated five top-40 hit singles on various charts, with the song "Addicted to You" receiving "Spotlight" recognition in Cashbox Magazine. Other hit singles from previous albums include "When I Hold Your Hand" and "Hopelessly in Love".

             "I want to be as inclusive as possible, providing music that is inspiring, empowering and joyful," added Bleu, who returns home to Spokane every summer for songwriting, while enjoying the outdoors of the Great Northwest. "My songs speak to individuals from every walk of life."

            Bleu said there is nothing better than playing live in front of enthusiastic audiences. She has performed at a wide range of Nashville venues, even taking the honors of being the showcase artist for BMI and Bluebird Cafe shows. She is the recipient of the prestigious "Arena Award", an honor bestowed to legendary artists such as Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Jo Dee Messina.

            "I'm very grateful for the Internet in that it allows me to run my music business that includes my record company, 1746 Records," Bleu continued. "By working directly with distribution and manufacturing companies, I am able to reach fans across the globe simultaneously through my website and other online stores such as iTunes and Amazon."

            For more information about Chakra Bleu or to hear her music, visit To book the artist for an upcoming event, send an e-mail message to     

Monday, May 4, 2015

'Tunesmithing' to Spotlight Five Songwriting Acts on May 20

     NASHVILLE -- "Tunesmithing" will spotlight five professional songwriting acts from 7-9:30 p.m. May 20 (Wednesday) at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. (near Music Row).

     Attendees will enjoy original songs by Americana/Rock/Pop singer-songwriter Chakra Bleu, film and orchestra composer/guitarist Carlos Enrique, the Americana/country/folk duo Nancy Moran & Fett, country/gospel singer-songwriter Gordy Thomas, and country singer-songwriter Scott Wesley.

Chakra Bleu

     Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Whiting Publicity & Promotions, Music City Arts Update, and Shine Time Records and Books.

     The monthly show was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for tunesmiths at all levels. For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write, or visit (Photo of Chakra Bleu by photographers Shannon Fontaine & Deb Beazley)