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My Songs are Finding their Way on Spotify 

Since 1999 I've posted music online in hopes that listeners like you would discover it and relate to the song's message and intent. Back then there was

Flash forward 24 years and Spotify is the go-to place to have your album tracks heard (or not). The music business now works from the bottom up more than ever before. Record companies used to pluck artists from obscurity and push their music to radio stations. Now, those same companies look at what is already a hit with listeners and then sign the makers of those already-proven hits. 

With the help of a service called Groover, I was able to pitch a couple of my songs to a few discerning playlist curators on Spotify. Some of those playlisters added my tunes when they sensed a good fit.

Playlist Title/Link Curator Song
All Monkey Gone To Heaven Blue Orchid Give Up the Ghost
Rock Acùstico | Internacional | As Melhores | Acoustic Rock | Unplugged | The Best | Grunge Manga Rosa Playlists Give Up the Ghost
Playlist Showland Productions Side Effects
Breathe The Music Stellar Voices Side Effects
Pop Squad Tata Kim Side Effects
Music for Monday Jon Pinter Cubicle

If you listen to Spotify, please give these playlists a go and support all the artists you enjoy hearing. 

How Groover Works

Groover connects artists to music curators - playlisters, journalists, radio hosts, and concert bookers. While it's strictly against Spotify policy (and artistic integrity standards) for playlist curators to sell guaranteed slots on their lists, there's another way. Artists can pay Groover to share their pitch with curators, who are then free to accept or reject the pitch. The curators make a cut of this money, incentivizing them to listen and provide feedback, not necessarily to use the music. You're not paying for placement; you're paying to advertise to the curators.

If an artist has a budget set aside for music promotion and wants to put some of their tracks in a position to be heard, they can give this a try. 

It took two campaigns for me to start to see a noticeable increase in listeners. My songs don't always fit neatly in a given subgenre, so matching my music with the tastes of the right curators based on genre is a learning curve. The table above lists the curators who chose to include a song I pitched. Many of my other pitches ended up getting feedback that the song I sent was not exactly the genre they promote.  

I hope I will continue to find my way to new listeners and deepen my connection with existing ones. My second Groover pitch got more results than my first; if I see this continue to improve, I'll stick with this as part of the process of promoting my new musical releases. 

Spotify's library grows by about 80,000 songs a day. Standing out in that crowd to someone, for a moment, is a good start. 

Earbud headphones

Advocating for Julia Beckley, an Advocate for Adaptive Sport 

Last night I gave an online benefit concert to help Julia Beckley raise funds to replace the racing wheelchair that was stolen out of her garage this week. As of this writing, she is more than ⅓ of the way to her $7,500 fundraising goal. She can still use more support. 

During the benefit show, we took a bit of time for Julia to appear onscreen and chat with me about her participation in accessible sport, some of the races she's been in and a race she dreams of taking part in. 

💸 Donate to Julia's GoFundMe page. 

📺 Watch a local news interview (ABC affiliate in Colorado) with Julia about adaptive sport.

Here's a replay of the benefit concert from last night. 

Here's the official music video for “Run With My Troubles," with an appearance by Julia at the 1:44 mark. 




Big Changes in the Live Streaming Performance Landscape 

Sessions Live has Shut Down

Over the holiday week in December, my friends who give streaming concerts from home started posting on social media that Sessions Live had gone out of business, taking with them the last of their in-app currency that fans had tipped them. Performers who earned that currency (or at least their 2/3 of it) were not able to cash it out. Billboard Magazine's web site confirmed the closure.

Live Streamer Cafe is Now Free for Artists to Use

My preferred live streaming platform, Live Streamer Cafe, initially operated by charging artists a monthly subscription fee. In turn, LSC would not touch the artists' tips - simply provide buttons to their Paypal/Venmo accounts so audience can tip them directly. Artists only have to share the usual small percentage with PayPal or Venmo, not the massive 1/3 cut that Sessions took. 

But since Sessions folded, Martyn and Kristopher, the founders of LSC, decided to go with a "freemium" model for artists. It's free to stream. But if an artist elects to subscribe at $1, $2, or $3 per month, they will be listed higher on the site's home page and easier for audience to discover, more so at the higher subscription level.

I am a coach at Live Streamer Cafe and can answer your technical questions about how to use it as an artist. 

Live Streamer Cafe Remains My Favorite Venue to Give Online Concerts 

I've given streaming concerts since 2004 when there was no video - just choppy audio and chat. Everyone in the room would have an opportunity to "grab the mic," which resulted in chaos during virtual open mic events and even concerts. 

Since then, Concert Window came and went. I had a very difficult experience putting on an online concert with StageIt where most of my audience couldn't see or hear me. We quickly scrambled over to Zoom where a new issue popped up - "What's the link?!??!?" 

Sessions Live had moved the process to an app that worked, but between their in-app currency and their convoluted layout for watching the show, having a strange cartoon avatar represent you in a "party" and navigating multiple tabs, my audience was confused and distracted from the show. Also, dealing with the in-app currency made the process more overwhelming for my existing fans. 

Along came Live Streamer Cafe, an intuitive and elegant environment for watching and interacting with a solo performer. This is a virtual neighborhood coffeehouse, comfortable and intimate. I give a streaming performance every 2-3 weeks and manage to attract a friendly, international audience most times. People in Europe stay up very late to catch my show. 

Kristopher, the site's developer, continues to do a great job listening to and implementing artists' suggestions, building the ideal venue to help an artist entertain their audience, raise funds for good causes, earn tips and sell merch. One key to this is the addition of "compliments," which come from a dropdown list and contain words and graphics of applause and appreciation. He creates new compliments that might even fit the theme of a song selection, like "Bigman Forever" when I cover a Bruce Springsteen song and a Clarence "Big Man" Clemons sax solo section comes up. 

Martyn, the site's charismatic co-founder, has created a YouTube channel with numerous tutorials on using the platform's various features to best effect. He's also a marvelous singer/keyboardist with an amazing home studio setup that rivals broadcast television. 

Using ReStream to Broadcast to LSC, YouTube, Twitch and Facebook Simultaneously

I subscribe to which lets me multi-stream to Twitch (my chosen back-end for Live Streamer Cafe), YouTube, and Facebook all at the same time. During the show I urge users watching on any other platform to join the interactivity at Live Streamer Cafe. It's a good way for my Facebook friends, YouTube subscribers and even newcomers to discover my live streaming shows in the first place. 

Artists and Audience - Sign up for Live Streamer Cafe for Free Today!

Hop on over to Live Streamer Cafe's web site and click Sign Up. Whether you're looking for quality entertainment in a friendly online , international space, or you want to put on a show, you will see why I consider it the best.


Notable Music from the Mastodon Community 

Here are some tracks by fellow artists on Mastodon I found intriguing - both the music and the way these artists tell their story on the open-source microblogging platform. 

I've embedded two playlists from the third-party site BNDCMPR that enables playlists of Bandcamp tracks. The first playlist has songs with lyrics/vocals; the second contains instrumentals. 

Hit me up on Mastodon to let me know about Bandcamp tracks I should check out for possible inclusion on these lists. Artists, listen to these tracks and promote each other. You may be tired of shouting into the void about your own music all the time. You'll get better audience engagement and make new fans more readily if you mix in promoting other acts you're excited about. 

Musicians of Mastodon curated by Jason Didner

Go to this playlist on bndcmpr to buy a song you like and support the artist. 

Musicians of Mastodon - The Instrumentals

Go to this playlist on bndcmpr to buy a song you like and support the artist. 


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