Back in the late spring , early summer of 2011, I received an email from the Tate music label that released my CD Don’t Look Now…. the Tate Music Group’s A&R representative mentioned all of the following in the initial e-mail: They described some of the primary objectives in signing me to their label…. First…along with their team of producers and graphic designers who would partner with me to complete the album—they would be setting up, promoting, and publicizing all my live events, getting as much radio airplay as possible, and securing nationwide distribution of the CD. The label after hearing a small amount of my demo music material told me via numerous e-mails…that they looked forward to hearing more of my work. Tate music told me that they receive thousands of submissions and ideas each year and stated that they review each submission in great detail. The A&R department usually gets in touch with prospective artists within 4-8 weeks to let artists know whether their music is accepted, and if so, to discuss a possible contract offer.
Tate music is an all-inclusive record label with nationwide distribution agreements. They only sign a small percentage of artists each year to whom they pay the highest royalties in the industry. If your music is accepted and a partnership agreement from TMG is extended, TMG absorbs all costs of full studio production, producing, photo shoot, CD artwork design, nationwide distribution, artist’s personal marketing representative, publicist, booking agent and radio promoter.
The music industry is very demanding and not for the faint of heart or those with little resolve or commitment. At Tate Music Group, they strive to be the partner an artist has never had. They will share in your dream and give you the tools, support, expertise, distribution, and marketing that places you before the audience you deserve.
So, getting back to my personal deal….. In the summer of 2011 Tate music mailed me a contract , telling me I only had 30 days to make up my mind and sign the deal..or the offer was null and void…I read the contract 20 or 30 times and believed it was the real deal and signed on the solid lines( no dotted lines were available)…. I initially sent to the producers at Tate… 13 of my favorite compositions. After a few emails back and forth with Tate Music’s Chief executive producer (Don Johnson) who by the way used to be the piano player for Loretta Lynn…..we whittled down the song choices to 8. Eventually we beefed the number back to 10 songs for the final release of the CD. It was decided that I would work with Austin Harms (one of Tate’s in house music producers) After listening to all my demo versions of the songs, settling on tempos and song keys…. Austin recorded some basic tracks… a rough scratch version of each song with only rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drum machine. He sent me these rough tracks via the internet in the late summer…September 2011. I then set to work recording all the keyboard parts for the Album. During the entire month of October I recorded the dozens of keyboard parts… Working on my Apple G5 computer with Pro-tools software, I recorded all the piano, strings, organ, marimba, and various other synth sounds for all the songs on the CD. After finishing all the keyboard tracks at home, I downloaded all the tracks to DVD discs and brought them along with me to Mustang Oklahoma , to the Tate music recording studios in November 2011. So, in late November early December of 2011 I got to see a lot of really flat real estate…farms , evangelical organizations, a few retailers and hotels mixed in…my journey to the Tate Music recording studios was a great experience….Including a full day photo shoot with Janae Glass one of Tate’s photographers.
While in Mustang….I recorded all the lead and background vocal tracks, all the drum tracks and some percussion tracks…..visited a store called POPS, with almost every conceivable kind of soda pop you can imagine. Had lunch with the owner of Tate music, toured the company offices and production facilities ..and so much more…. even got stuck in Denver Colorado on my way back home in a big snow storm, DE-icing of the plane took so long I missed a connecting flight and got home about 7 hours later than originally planned. After arriving back home in early December of 2011, I had my friends, Ken Reid and Jeff Claussen come over the house and lay some horn parts down (trumpet and sax) on a few of the album’s tracks. After finishing all the horn tracks, Kenny came back and put down a killer solo sax track on Don’t Look Now. The tracks headed back to Mustang OK for some violin solos and piccolo trumpet solos on a few of the tracks. After all the individual tracks were finally recorded, Austin Harms started work on mixing and mastering the audio over the months of January, February and March of 2012. Next the graphic arts team set to work on the outside cover and inner sleeve for the album.