Celebrating Neil Peart (aka “The Professor”)

My first concert was in 1984 and it was Rush at the Rosemont Horizon (now, Allstate Arena). I remember the day vividly. It was June 29th and cold. I stood outside my house waiting to be picked up and remember thinking, ‘this is too cold for June.’ My friend and bandmate, Paul picked me up in his beat up Pinto. We took a wrong turn and went way out of our way. Got to our seats for the last song of the opener, Marillion.

My obsession with Rush started years before in 1981 when my cousin popped in an 8-track of Moving Pictures. Again, it was a vivid moment. I remember staring at the radio, listening intently as I have never heard music like this before. As a classical piano student, which I started in 1976, there was a quality to the Rush songs that affected me on a deeper level like no other band.

Neil Peart Tribute Article
Neil over the years

So, from the summer of 1981 to somewhere in the mid-90’s, Rush became my most binged music. I was into a lot of other artists, but as far as listening time goes, it was Rush 10:1. I attended a Rush concert every year they toured Chicago during that same period. Then, there was all the time spent learning bass/keys for most songs on Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, GUP and HYF. It’s safe to say I was a Rush junkie.

It’s been 3 days since I heard the news about Neil’s passing and I really think I’m going through the stages. Listening to their 2011 Time Machine album this morning and hearing how wicked Neil’s playing was at age 60 is mind blowing. What Neil had been able to accomplish as a writer and musician, puts him into a class of his own. The complexity, creativity and quantity of his drums parts over the course of 19 studio albums is a body of work that is almost impossible to compare. And, up until 2016, he was performing those songs at near perfection – again – in his 60s! I’m 50 and playing piano/guitar for almost 40 years has taken a toll on my hands. I can’t imagine the toll of that level of playing/touring had taken on Neil. It would be like Tom Brady playing into his 50s.

As a lyricist and drummer, Neil was a pure artist. Never watering down his craft to fit into a more “popular” genre. Yet, by all measurements, Rush is more popular than most pop acts. I can pretty much guarantee Justin Bieber will not be performing at 63 years old.

As a musician and human, I need to thank Neil and Rush for having such a positive influence in my life. They were truly my “companion unobtrusive” for so many years. It’s very tragic that Neil could not get the chance to enjoy his golden years and meet more of the people whose life he changed.

Official Release: “Save Yourself”

So this new song, “Save Yourself” is not that new.  I wrote it years ago and released it as a demo, which is why it may sound familiar. I took it back in the studio with my good friend Chris Walke on pedal steel and Amery Schmeisser as Producer. They really helped transform and evolve the song.

I’m pretty excited about it and now it’s yours, if you want it.

Click to find it on your favorite digital platform. It would mean a lot if you shared it with someone.

If you’re into CDs (cool!), just msg me on FB or email me and I’ll send you a custom CD with this song and a new demo!

Music is changing, here’s why…

As a musician, songwriter and co-founder of Gigable, I hear a lot of people saying there is “no good music these days.”

What really strikes me is that I think it’s the opposite!  There’s more great music being produced every day than any other time in history. It’s just that the traditional ways to discover are broken – or perhaps obsolete.

My wife asked me the other day, “who’s the next Rolling Stones?”
Well, when Brit-Pop-Blues-Rock comes back for a solid 10-20 years, there will be another Rolling Stones.

The bands from the 60s and 70s that made it big are a household brand, just like Coke. Two generations of music fans were spoon-fed very few options – and it stuck with them. 

There’s over 100 million songs that have been recorded. How will you pick the ones you listen to for the next 20-30 years?

Tag #newmusicbiz on Twitter and let me know your thoughts!
@mechlin

The Music Modernization Act has been signed into law!

MMA has been signed with a unanimous vote from House and Senate.

The bottom line for the MMA is a single source of truth with a single database (blockchain anyone?) for all mechanical licenses. This is a major change in copyright treatment and a giant step in the right direction for songwriters and collaborators. Digital streaming services can now use a single master license for all music.

Producers and Engineers are also able to get compensated directly by SoundExchange now as the AMP Act was part of the new law.

Read more on SoundExchange…

“Americana Nights”

Starting in March 2018, Gigable will be producing a series of shows at River Street Tavern in East Dundee, IL.

Americana Nights is a series of live shows featuring the best and brightest up and coming talent in these genres – Roots/Americana/Alt-Country/Folk. The shows will be on Sundays or Wednesdays with an occasional Friday or Saturday depending on the artist.

River Street Tavern is fantastic American-style restaurant/bar. The performance room can seat 80 comfortably with a max capacity of 100. They have a roomy elevated stage that will host dozens of artists over the coming months.

Reserved seats for the shows will start at $7.

For tickets and playlists, download the free Gigable app: http://bit.ly/2tWMVjf

$25 VIP Passes Available ($50 Value)

Behind the scenes: Gigable Showcase at Woodstock Opera House

We had an amazing night hosting our first show in the Americana series. All three bands knocked it out of the park and the crowd showed lots of love.

The production staff at Woodstock Opera House are top notch and we look forward to working with them on many more shows.

Here’s some behind the scenes footage of sound check and the view from backstage:

Gigable Update November 2015

House Concert Series (1)As I sit down to write this and look through the last set of updates that I wrote.. wow!  So much has happened.

  • Secured initial round of seed funding
  • Signed on several artists to manage regional tours
  • Brought on a new partner and advisory team
  • 50% though development of a new mobile app that I’m insanely excited about
  • Considering the hiring plan for Marketing & Tour Ops

In addition to all this, we are planning a house concert series starting in January 2016.  So far, every house concert we have been involved in has been an amazing experience.  There’s a different vibe when you get a singer-songwriter in the cozy room telling stories about their songs.  There’s a deeper connection with the listener and it has a lasting effect that is different from a regular concert.

The team is very excited to help people “produce” their own house concerts and make it easy.

We are also excited to be working with Fontaine, Kevin Presbrey, Alex Dezen, Hurley Mower, Tyler Barham and potentially Randy Montana!  We’ll be planning shows in the Midwest for these artists and featuring their music on the app.  Also, we’re planning on doing some interviews and studio sessions for our upcoming podcast series.

Who’s gonna do all this work!? Stay tuned.