Making it Small in Music
By Barker & Broski
Making it Small in MusicApr 23, 2023
We had a great conversation with Stuart Benbow about participating in songwriting events, the Michigan State Fair Superstar contest, the first Funky Rivertown Fest, and the many challenges and rewards of the small musician. To find out more about Stuart, check out stuartbenbowmusic.com
Mike and Chris sit down with Linden Thoburn and have a delightful chat about topics musical topics such as the art of giving (and receiving) criticism, the joys of a musical community, and the songwriting process. To find Linden's music and gig information, check out https://lindenthoburnmusic.com/
Vernon Tonges (Spoo Willoughby)
The time is finally here to converse with the inimitable Vernon Tonges, known in Indiana and other exotic locales as Spoo Willoughby. We speak of things old and new: how he learned guitar while grounded for shoplifting a George Harrison album, the history of the annual Hoedown and Corn Boil, and the stresses of band merchandise. Hear his music and learn more about the man, the legend at https://spoowilloughby.com/
This month Barker & Broski talk with Lenawee county, Michigan local music professional (and Mike's guitar teacher) Andy Schiller. Andy shares lots of tips on how to make money as a musician including music lessons, self-publishing books, performing at weddings and local venues, YouTube videos, 3D printing miniature figures and more! He also extols the benefits of working positively with others for collaboration and constructive criticism. Learn more about Andy and even schedule a remote guitar lesson at https://andyschiller.com/
Chris and Mike sit down with long time friend and collaborator Dan Cowan, and even let him talk a little! We ramble about all things small in music, including the open mic scene, songwriting, how hard it is to play guitar, the differences between solo acts and playing with a band, and why cats are better than dogs. To hear of some Dan's music, check out his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/yeahsonicyeah
Billy Joe Hunt
Billy Joe Hunt takes some time to talk to us about the pros and cons of being a musician and truck driver, his musical performance history, and writing original songs. More more information about Bill and his music, check him out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BJH61MUSIC/ and his Spotify artist page https://open.spotify.com/artist/0fwYm0ImEft1kcNkaToMr6
Cameron is a former recording industry professional that quit years ago to become an amateur musician with a day job. We talk to him about the dark side of the dreams of fame and fortune versus the pleasure of music as a low-stakes hobby. He shares his work with looper pedals, his early MIDI and recording experimentation, and how he sidled his way into a music composition degree, and the joy of getting to the heart of a song to arrange acoustic covers.
This month Mike and Chris talk with Phil Maq, host of “Theme Attic,” a radio show on Wednesdays from 12PM-4PM ET. It can be heard at WHFR, 89.3 FM in the Dearborn-Metro Detroit area, or streamed in the rest of the world https://www.whfr.fm/streamer/. We learn about Phil's lifelong love of music, radio, and songs—both appreciating others as well as making his own. We also ponder other musical conundrums: How long should songs be?, Are there correct chord progressions?, Are drummers actually musicians? Those are just a few of the fun loving stories you'll hear on this episode!
For more about Phil's radio show and blog including the Philby Awards, go to Phil's web site at https://philmaq.com/ and his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002642772310
This month we are making it small in music by talking with Sara Lambert - a musician who is not promoting gigs or fishing for Spotify listens, but performing only for the pure pleasure that music brings. She talks about her experiences playing music with family and community, discovering new artists while volunteering at the Ark, and incorporating music as a treatment in addiction group therapy.
Trailer - Making it Small in Music
I'm Mike Snyder-Barker.
And I'm Chris Broski.
We are the hosts of Making it Small in Music.
What we do is every month we bring one of these joyful musicians on to our show.
They share their story, their musical journey, they talk about songwriting and recording and performing, promoting their tunes; what brings them joy.
And I ask them a lot about how to write songs better too. I like to get a lot of advice about how to perform and write and promote.
You know, it's really selfish because they teach us!
Well, and then but we share it with other people. We don't just get to learn from their experiences but our listeners can also be inspired by many of the great people that we talk to.
Adam Labeaux and Sara Gibson
This month we talk with 2 partners - the singer and songwriter Adam Labeaux and cellist Sara Gibson. They share their musical stories and extol the joys of connecting with an audience and collaborating with other musicians. They also give some helpful advice on improvising and organizing a music festival.
Want to know more? Check out http://www.adamlabeaux.com/ Adam's Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Mw2MS4VjwrhnPAcrXbKJL and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/adamlabeaux Listen to Sara's cello accompanying other small artists' music on this playlist https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7pZmWfaO0zziVfnoVdPkHp
Barker & Broski take a couple hours to talk to Memphis Hawk (Steve Phelps) about the joy, challenges, and strategies surrounding the solo artist - how to manage the many hats of writer, performer, producer, and recording engineer. We touch on one of the benefits of being a small musician: all of our life outside of our music that feeds and inspires our songwriting.
For the music of Memphis Hawk, listen on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/6PgPCozfh1yRUJDochFjfn For performance and other information, you can find that on his Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MrMemphisHawk/
Our special guest this month is the delightful country singer and songwriter Kandace Fredrick. We talk about songwriting, family, and our shared love of music.
For videos of her songs and performance dates and locations, check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kandace.fredrick
Tom Alter & Katie Williamson of After Blue
Barker and Broski chat with Tom Alter and Katie Williamson about their musical duo After Blue. We talk about their musical life and history, plus balancing music with family, collaborative songwriting, and the joys of being a small act - only playing the music you like, no more often than you want. They also share some tips on booking gigs and how to enjoy them when you end up playing to an audience smaller than your band. For more information about their recordings and performances, check out https://www.afterblueband.com/.
Mike Gentry is an accomplished songwriter, performer, and local producer around Southeast Michigan. In this episode of "Making it Small", he shares stories from his musical journey with Mike and Chris and doles out wise advice on writing and performing. We are excited to share this with all of our amateur musician friends, and anyone else who would like to listen.
For more information about Mike Gentry and his music, his website is a good place to start https://mikegentrymusic.com/
Behold our first episode with a real guest! And it's a good one too. David roof is a local professional recording engineer and session player. He talks about his music journey and has a lot of great advice for other aspiring musicians. Find out more about Dave on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RooftopRecording/
In our second practice podcast, Barker interviews Broski who shares his musical story starting when he was 8 years old all the way to the current day. I think we are starting to get the hang of this. Maybe we'll even have
In our debut episode, Broski interviews Barker (Michael Snyder-Barker) so we can get a little experience with the whole podcasting thing before pressuring our other friends into coming on the show. Mike recounts his journey from musical obscurity to still musically obscure, but older now.