Friday, April 11, 2014

Country Music Fair in Bergheim Germany High expectations – that fall to pieces!

Country Music Fair in Bergheim Germany 04th – 06th April 2014
High expectations – that fall to pieces!


The event took place in a kind of gymnasia, a few security guys at the door and right behind them sales booth, with guitars and cd´s and artist information points. To the left there was a little scaffolding for the entertainers.
When you went down the cellar you came to the “Bluebird café”, and every now and then an artist gave a performance.


When you walked into the next room, there was a large coliseum, in front of it a big stage, with a dance floor and a few chairs arranged in about 10 lines. Behind it a tables with chairs to make the people sit down and watch the shows. It wasn´t that creative, people could have done better, they need more inspiration and fantasy to fascinate the people with a certain kind of look, something to blow them away, if you walk into the room. The first impression is very important!


There was a very large sales counter to the left, that need a special touch, it was everywhere so bare faced and cold, kind of uncharitable.

A few sales booth as well and information points, but nothing to knock their socks off!

It really was a shame for the floor in this hall, with all those people walking around…..Everybody knows, that it is not allowed, to walk with shoes over those kind of grounds, because it damage the floor. For the next venue, people could be advised, to buy an industrial carpet, he can be used again for the next fair and above all, it would protect the floor. It would have been a good investment for the future.


In the next hall, there have been more stands, special with label company´s and artist and here too, a few sales booths for example with clothes and cowboy hats.
Mark Merritt was the only big label company with “Amazing Records” around; if he wouldn´t have been there, it would have been a disaster, because he brought most of the artists with him.

Mark Merritt - is also a very nice American country singer, with a great voice and someone that inspires the audience. He is the man behind a lot of things, like CD production, distribution and promotion of a lot of good artists….like for example, Memphis Sky, Wild Bunch (Katja Picker), Kayleigh Leith, Mike O´Donoghue, Michael Lonstar and Barry P. Fooley, and a lot of other artists.

Compared to Mark Merritt’s Stand, there was Eddy Gee, a very pleasant and nice country singer from Holland. Eddy was there with his wife, which supports him so much in his career. Next to him was Jeffrey Backus, which is the son of a former pop singer, by the name of Gus Backus. Jeffrey has quite a good voice…..and looks like his father. He was there with his cohabitee, also a very nice young lady.
A lot of artist, too much to name them all, did their best to keep the fair going, without them it had nothing to represent. The artists and bands, where the highlights of those days, they made the people happy, made them smile and they touched their hearts, either in his own way.

What people really missed on this fair was gospel country. They had heard so many cover versions of Johnny Cash, that day, but there is more in country music. At the moment, it is very single track guided and that is a great pity. It should not point in only one direction; there is a lot to reconsider.

A little bit of adverse fate was multi - present. Human failure and technical failing, walked hand in hand. Very important things, make a big difference, little and big things, needs a lot of attention for the next venue to come.

On Friday they had apparently a little problem with the electricity, because at 10.00 pm the sales booth owner didn´t had any light anymore…..Salesman talking here and there - Someone said, with a smile in his face …,quote, „it looked like, they didn´t want us here anymore…..!!!!, unquote.

For intended events, the hosts should know, to get more food stands, because it wasn´t enough. People went to other places, away from the venue, and that isn´t good. Walking away is never good, in any circumstances. There wasn´t much choice in food and some of the food was sold out in no time. If you want to make the people happy, give them alternation in food….long days make people hungry! Hungry people are discontented clients – and these clients are the visitors of the fair – with the utmost probability you lose them as guests.

On Sunday there had been not much public and you could see the emptiness all around you. What a pity for the owner of the sales booth. Here and there we noticed and heard stand owner talking, that they didn´t make that much money, that they got a raw deal on the charge for the location. That’s a shame, but, the devil is in the detail, you don´t have influence of a fair…people come or don´t, it is always a bit like a russian roulette. Of course you have to make a lot of noise, so that people hear you. With noise is meant - tongue - in - cheek. Advertising in many ways, is the key to success.

And for the so called security guys, when you appear at a venue, where the security people hanging around like lazy bugger, it doesn´t look professional, it looks awful! Besides, a few of them looked like young teenager, who would be afraid of them? When a gang of agitators had appeared on that fair, these security guys had been in real big trouble!

The backstage area was the biggest disaster - without security in sight and around, nobody there, not a single person - anybody walked in and out. Nobody cares two hoods about it!

Than the emergency helper – they sat in their car, making jokes, laughing there head off, that is no problem at all, but, they had to walk around in a certain time schedule, but this didn´t happened at all, now and then and not as they had to do it. The very thought, if there had been an accident on the fair, makes you shiver.

A lot of people would bear down this peewee kind of handicaps, but who knows, if they come back to a fair, that leaves this kind of impressions behind and that on his first event, where you normally try to give your best. Maybe the organizer thought the fair is a fast - selling item, but this gunshot – could backfire!

Just a thought…..

It would be a very good idea for an organizer to create a win – win situation, because the artists and bands has to pay in addition, they have to pay for renting a sales booth, travel costs, food, drinks, pay for a fair cd (if they want) and they have to perform for nothing. That is a bad situation – that needs to change.

What do the artists and bands get back, if we consider Sunday they didn´t even had public to watch them…..a few guys sitting around…that’s it! An artist or a band needs at least the honor he or they deserve and when there is no public – what’s left?

Maybe for the future the organizer of venues stand still by the fact, that without artists and bands, they would not have anything at all!

Make it attractive for the entertainer and they will be happy to come back, pay for at least a few costs, like drinks, food and free space for advertising at a sales booth, don´t take money from an artist or a band when they make a performance – because for a lot of people it looks like exploitation!

Every cloud has a silver lining, when you have the experience to deal with it!!!!

Gaby Agrikola for Country Music News International

Country Music News International April 11. 2014

Country Music News International April 11. 2014


Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International Magazine http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Lucy Malheur http://www.lucy-malheur.info/

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages von Country Music News International Magazin http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.de . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Lucy Malheur http://www.lucy-malheur.info/

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The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will welcome Melvin Klaudt http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2014/04/the-southern-gospel-music-hall-of-fame_11.html
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Marcel Elisen Interview

Marcel Elisen Interview

Marcel Elisen was born on the 01th of January in 1968. His career started in the early 80’s as a Elvis Presley impersonator. In the mid of 1980, he renounced his Elvis suits and in 1985 he released his first single, "Rock Me." In the late 80’s, Marcel was in the supporting program at concerts of famous Dutch artists, like Lee Towers, René Froger, Gerard Joling, Piet Veerman, Rob de Nijs and others. His television debut was in 1993 in "The Henny Huisman Sound Mix Show" on RTL4, when he performed the song "Jacky" by Scott Walker. Later that year, Marcel went to Memphis Tennessee for a 10 day mini-tour. There he performed every night with "The Silver Eagle Band" in "Hernando’s Hideaway". In 2003 Marcel puts his singing career on the backburner and decides to devote more time to painting, another passion of him. You can find it on www.elisenart.com.   
At the end of 2010, Marcel Elisen decided to make music again. He recorded a Christmas album - “Merry Christmas", followed by a country album - „Rock and Roll sings Country." Marcel’s repertoire is a mix of Rock and Roll, Country and Golden Oldies. In 2012 Marcel had 8 shows in Memphis Tennessee and when he returned to the Netherlands, he recorded 29 Elvis Presley songs for a double CD called "Memphis Memories". Later that year he recorded another album with Dean Martin songs, called "The King of Cool".
 


In May 2013 Marcel returned to the USA again, to do shows in Tennessee and North Carolina. He appeared for the first time in two American newspapers with a picture and a interview. He released his album "Rock and Roll Cowboy" and a few months later, Marcel was back again in the US, to do a few more shows in North- and South Carolina. The Kings Mountain Police Department represented by the Chief of Police, hand of a special coin to him, for Excellence. When he returned home, he wrote the song “Kings Mountain". In the fall of 2013 he was back in the studio, recording the album "Slowly towards Fifty". This album is a joint project of Marcel and his friend Ron Verpoorten.
 


In June and July 2014, Marcel will be back in the US, to do more shows for his quickly growing fan base in North Carolina. In 2014 there are two CD releases are planned; the album "Slowly towards Fifty" and a gospel CD. For 2015 a double Cd album is planning, to celebrate Marcel Elisen´s 30 years, as a recording artist. Take a look at www.marcelelisen.com.
Gaby: 
Music has many new fans throughout Europe, they may hear about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you make, to someone who has never seen, or heard about you?
 
Marcel:
My name is Marcel Elisen, born and still living in the Netherlands (Europe)
I am a singer, who sometimes writes and records lyrics of his own, but mostly I sing songs from other artists. Like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Dean Martin, Alan Jackson and many others. My repertoire is a mix of Rock and Roll, Country and Golden Oldies.
 
Gaby: 
How much creative control do you have about your music?
 
Marcel: 
I have 100% creative control about my music at all times. This keeps me away from the bigger labels but I like to decide myself which song I am going to record and what the Cd will look like in the end. I select my own photographers and record every single album in the studio of my dear friend Ron, R.V. Studio. I like to be independent; it’s passion, not work. So the ‘control’ is covered..Lol.
 
Gaby: 
Who inspires you in music and how deep are your musical roots?
 
Marcel: 
I like all kinds of music from the 50’s and up, but my personal idol was and is Elvis Presley. He influenced me with my love for colorful clothes and jewelry. Even my style & sound of singing is partly based on his. I don’t hear it myself by the way, but many people mention it to me. I’m no imitator and no impersonator, just a sincere fan.
 
Gaby: 
As an artist, you have so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like most, what is your favorite activity?
 
Marcel: 
There are two things I like & love the most and that’s recording and performing.
 
Gaby: 
Before you became a star, did your friends and family support you or was it a never ending struggle?
 
Marcel: 
It’s always a struggle to get somewhere, but easy come, easy go, right? I had a very supportive mum and supporting grandparents and friends. Even my dad thought it was fun until performing got in the way of my daily job back then. For the past 11 years I am making a living as a singer and a painter (on canvas) and enjoyed every adventure so far. I have a wife, who supports me all the way and I can be creative as I please, I’m a rich man.
 
Gaby: 
What is the motor that keeps you going?
 
 
 
Marcel: 
I could give the short answer; passion for music and people. It’s a combination of singing songs you really like, performing, talking and listening to fans. Have a satisfied feeling after doing a recording take in the studio. The things along the way, make new friends, visiting the States twice a year to meet up and sing. No lack of motivation ever!
 
Gaby: 
Any thought of retirement ahead?
 
Marcel: 
Sometimes I think I’ll stop recording and performing after reaching the age of 50, almost 4 years from now. Return to making paintings full time ……………..time will tell.
 
Gaby: 
When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
 
Marcel: 
I like to watch movies and listen to music. I like cooking and spending time with our 3 dogs. I have a fan group on Facebook called; I am a Marcel Elisen fan, and this takes a ‘few’ hours a week as well. But when people comment or place/share a music video of you, the least thing you can do is like/or respond. It’s an honor.
 
Gaby: 
When you are on tour, do you have time to behave as a tourist?
 
Marcel: 
I’ll be touring & performing in North Carolina for 8 weeks in June & July. Mostly in the Charlotte, Matthews, Gastonia, Kings Mountain area. The singing is for 90% in the late afternoon or evening. So during the day I have time to ‘play the tourist’. But this time my schedule also includes shooting material for 2 or 3 music video clips, and some kind of festivity concerning my Cd single” Kings Mountain”, for which I will probably meet the mayor of Kings Mountain.
 
Gaby: 
What was the most enjoyable compliment, a fan has ever given to you?
 
Marcel: 
“Only one other person could make the hair on my arms stand up, and that was Elvis Presley, Thanks for bringing it back”
 
Gaby: 
Most careers don't last as long as yours.  What gives you the power of endurance?
 
Marcel:
Next year in 2015, I’ll celebrate my 30th anniversary as a singer, 1985 - 2015. It took a while to get picked up and get my name out there somehow, but it’s all based on doing what I like to do. It never chanced in 30 years, still a guy recording songs he personally likes. The power of endurance in my case is love for music, and for me that’s not a hard job.
 
Gaby: 
What kind of hopes and desires do you have?
 
Marcel: 
Hope to grow old with my wife in good health of body and mind, and knowing that I learn every day. I want to stay open for improvement on a daily basis to stay & become a better man. Desires I have none, I have a watch, I have a car, a ring, a house, a wife I love and trust. Food in the fridge and friends and family that I love. I have everything that really matters and more.
 
Gaby: 
Who is your castigator/ slasher/ hypercritic, you or somebody else?
 
Marcel:
I’m a perfectionist when it comes to performing or recording, so I’m a self critic in the first place. Beside myself I listen to the advice of only two people; Ron from R.V. Studio and my wife. Ron, a singer as well, knows what is off-key; he has a very fine tuned feeling when it comes to sound. My wife has a real good “feeling” when she hears a take for the first time. That’s the way I come to final studio takes.
 
Gaby Agrikola for Country Music News International

The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will welcome Melvin Klaudt.

Gospel legend and author will appear at Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame April 18 and 19

The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will welcome legendary gospel performer Melvin Klaudt.
He will appear in the museum April 18 and 19, 2014 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. both days.
Klaudt was a member of the Klaudt Indian Family Gospel Singers for over 40 years. His late mother Lillian Little Soldier Klaudt was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.
“We are tremendously excited to have a visit from a member of one of gospel music’s most interesting groups,” said Arthur Rice, SGMA president. “This talented family often appeared in full Indian regalia and featured a vast array of instruments in their programs.
“They were one of the best-loved groups on the Wally Fowler All Night Singings,” he said. “ The popularity of the group continued through the 1960s as they were fixtures on the Bob Poole Show as well as other Gospel Music programs.”
Klaudt, who was born on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Northwest North Dakota, will be visiting with guests and signing his book “Thank God I’m Uncivilized.”
“I wrote the book because I am concerned about how civilization in this country has changed over my life for the worse,” Klaudt said. 
The 81 year-old author describes the book as a tongue-in-cheek, 226-page history of his family and his life sometimes laced with satire.
“It has some strong serious spiritual moments,” he said. “Everyone that has read the book, give it a thumbs up review.”
He said his strength in his later years has been his lifelong ties to Southern Gospel Singing and the message of Christ.
“It is a must for anyone serious about Southern Gospel Music and Native Americans,” he said.
Klaudt is the administrator of the Klaudt Indian Memorial Foundation and is host of the television ministry “Just Keep Singing” that is viewed in 112 nations around the world.
“The program features many of the present day gospel groups, plus many of the Southern gospel music legends of the past,” he said.

Baltimore's Federal Hillbillies Embark on Spring Tour

 
Baltimore's Federal Hillbillies Embark on Spring Tour

 
The Federal Hillbillies are an Americana band hailing from Baltimore, MD. Their unique blend of steel guitar, acoustic and harmonies provides a simple, yet moving and melodic listening experience. Influences from artists such as Ryan Adams, Gram Parsons, The Black Crowes, The Band and Jason Isbell can be heard in their sound. This combination of country, rock, folk, and blues distinguishes the band in a growing local music scene.

Since 2012, the band has been playing shows at bars, venues and festivals in and around the Maryland, Virginia and DC area — winning over fans everywhere they play. Having just released their debut EP in October 2013, Federal Hillbillies have recieved widespread praise for Whiskey to Wine.  They will showcase the album along the Eastern seaboard this spring!

DOLLY PARTON SCHEDULED TO APPEAR ON QVC

DOLLY PARTON SCHEDULED TO APPEAR ON QVC 


Multimedia retailer scheduled to offer latest album 'Blue Smoke',
20 days before street date

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 10, 2014) – Dolly Parton, Country Music Hall of Fame member and internationally-renowned superstar, is scheduled to support the release of her latest studio album, Blue Smoke, with a  broadcast on QVC®, live from Nashville, Sunday, April 27 at 7 PM (ET).  The hour-long show will feature Parton performing, live in front of a studio audience, songs from Blue Smoke as well as a few of her greatest hits!

Featuring a collection of 12 bluegrass and country songs, Blue Smoke marks the first release of new music from Parton since 2011 and will be bundled with Dolly Live, a bonus CD exclusive to QVC, featuring five tracks.

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