Tag Archives: Way To Know

DownTown Blog – Rage Against The Brexit Machine: Way To Know

Brexit

Way To Know was released as a single by Nub Music in the UK on October 20, 2017 as part of the Rage Against The Brexit Machine project. The project, spearheaded by business author/musician Peter Cook, had released 3 previous singles. What made Way To Know different was the fact that it was from an American Artist—DownTown Mystic. So how did this come about you might ask?

DTMPS15

One day in September I was on Twitter and saw a tweet from Nub Music looking for songs for a project called Rage Against The Brexit Machine. Since I had a deal with Nub I thought I’d take a closer look. I clicked on a link that was provided and read about the project and what it was trying to accomplish. Much to my surprise, it was a campaign aimed at stopping Brexit using pop music to get the message out. I was under the impression that Brexit couldn’t be stopped, so now I was curious.

I decided to contact Mark Lee, the head of Nub, and offer Way To Know to the project. Mark thought it was a great idea and got Label Manager Guy Thompson to send the song to Peter Cook. Peter gave it a listen and liked what he heard. He gave me a call to see where I was at and to tell me more about the project. When I asked if it was possible to stop Brexit, Peter paused and said that Parliament could reverse it. He said the impetus for the Rage Against The Brexit Machine project was the effect that Brexit would have on generations to come. People were not aware how it would hit their pocketbooks until it was too late.

I told Peter that the one good thing that had happened in the US with the election of Trump was the Resistance Movement against Trump that had been started. People here in the US were truly pissed that Trump was elected despite losing the popular vote. Peter felt the people in the UK needed a bit of a push in that direction if stopping Brexit was to become a reality. And the British people should be pissed because the British Supreme Court ruled that Parliament never made a decision to stay or leave!

Peter told me that one of the reasons he really liked Way To Know was that it didn’t preach and laid out the problems in a matter of fact way. This was great to hear and I told Peter as much. I also told Peter that it wouldn’t hurt PR wise that the song features RnR Hall of Famers Max Weinberg & Garry Tallent—the rhythm section from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. That info might come in handy, especially at Radio.

BrexitPeter2

So that’s how I got involved with the Rage Against The Brexit Machine project and got to know Peter Cook. He’s a very decent chap (as they say) and has really put himself out there. You can feel his passion when he speaks and he’s doing the project for all the right reasons. As a fellow artist I’m proud to stand with him and help out in any way I can. The stakes are truly high as the future of the UK hangs in the balance. Check out the Article 50 Challenge for yourself and help Stop Brexit!

DownTown-Nashville-Cover

DownTown Blog – 2016 Year In Review: Part 1: DownTown Nashville

DownTown-Nashville-Cover

It’s that time of the year again when we take some time to look back and assess what we’ve done before heading into a new year. As usual, it’s hard to believe we’re at this point again as another year just seemed to fly right by. You think we’d be used to it by now. 🙂

As crazy as 2016 was for the world in general, it turned out to be a very good year for DownTown Mystic. As the year started, I had this feeling that something “big” was coming. I don’t know why that was, but I could definitely feel it. In 2015 I was focusing on a strategy to release the Rock’n’Roll Romantic album. It felt like the absolute right time for it, but I decided to take a long term approach, promoting digital releases such as singles and EPs to build up to the release of the album.

Now that 2016 was here, I knew I would have to finally release the album. In January, Way To Know was released as a single in Europe. It had been released there in December but an error had caused there to be a problem with the upload to Radio. Luckily, I caught it and had the problem remedied with a new release in January. Way To Know steadily climbed the Official European Indie Music Chart, eventually making it all the way to #1 (here’s a previous post about it). In late January, the video single She Said, She Said, celebrating the 50 year anniversary of The Beatles REVOLVER album, was released exclusively on YouTube.

A pattern of doing 2 releases at the same time was starting to develop. With the release of She Said, She Said as a single, a spring release for Rock’n’Roll Romantic was scheduled. Rock’n’Roll Romantic would be the 1st full album since the self-titled DownTown Mystic album in 2013. Being that it was going on 3 years since DownTown Mystic had been at Americana Radio, there was a worry that Rock’n’Roll Romantic might not be Americana enough for the format. It was around this time that a new idea popped up.

The new idea was to create and release something that would be more conducive to the format. That release would become the DownTown Nashville EP. The original idea I had was about creating a CD to send to the music industry people (A&R, Managers, Publishers, etc.) in Nashville. I had some songs plugged down there and with the sound of modern country going more rock & pop, I wanted to introduce the music of DownTown Mystic for publishing purposes. But the idea soon morphed into creating a CD release at Americana Radio. This would create a story to interest the music people in Nashville and set up the release for Rock’n’Roll Romantic.

Steve, Robert & Paul

Steve, Robert & Paul

I had recorded a bunch of songs with Steve Holley & Paul Page (the rhythm section from Ian Hunter’s Rant Band), along with additional help from guitar ace Lance Doss, that were inspired by the many influences I had gotten over the years from the music made in Nashville. The more the idea for the release began to become clearer to me, the more I wanted to make a statement with it. I needed something iconic for the cover art, something that everyone in Nashville would immediately recognize. Then I realized that I had the perfect cover photo from my last visit to Nashville—the famed Oak Bar Men’s Room in the Hermitage Hotel! It was perfect! I had visited the Men’s Room one afternoon when it was empty and was busy taking photos when the cleaning lady showed up. She was nice enough to take one of me since my selfies weren’t too good. 🙂

Robert in Oak Bar Men's Room

Robert in Oak Bar Men’s Room

Now that I had the cover, I wanted to be able to fit the song lyrics on the inside, but that meant I would only be able to fit 5 or 6 songs. That made an album out of the question and the DownTown Nashville EP was created. I decided to release the EP digitally, but only print up 100 CDs, and make them for RADIO ONLY. This would tie in nicely with the visual on the cover (my graphics guy Larry Bentley did an amazing job!). Meanwhile, the single Way To Know kept gaining momentum, climbing the Top 20 in Europe. 🙂

In early March I mailed out less than half of the cds to less than half of the Americana radio panel. For the 1st time I would be promoting the release by myself and I decided to just concentrate on the stations that had played me before, plus some of the stations that weren’t there 3 years ago with the DownTown Mystic release. I had scheduled the DownTown Nashville EP for release on the 1st day of spring—at the Vernal Equinox.

On March 21st DownTown Nashville debuted in the Top 5 Most Added on the AMA Chart…the 1st time that had happened! In just 2 weeks it broke into the Top 100, something that took the DownTown Mystic release from 2013, 8 weeks to achieve. 2 weeks later it was at #60, blowing by the 2013 release, which took 12 weeks to reach #65!! DownTown Nashville would reach #53 and stay on the AMA Chart for 7 months, becoming DownTown Mystic’s best release at the format yet. DownTown Nashville would also be #1 on the AirPlay Direct Top 50 Global Radio Rock Albums Chart in March and April, beating the mark set by the DownTown Mystic on E Street EP the year before as DownTown Mystic’s most downloaded release on APD!

Meanwhile, the single Way To Know was about to start a 3 week run at #1 in Europe. It was only April and the year was rockin’ in a big way and there was still the matter of releasing Rock’n’Roll Romantic. 🙂

To be continued…Part 2: Rock’n’Roll Romantic