Eb & Flow…

Hello everyone! I’m just realizing that I haven’t done this since January. I hope you haven’t completely lost interest but whoever is still hanging in here with me, thank you. There’s just been so much happening and so many changes that I would have probably been posting every week if I told you everything. I don’t even know where to start right now.

Well, I guess I’ll start here. I have over 100 Southern Soul DJ contacts now. Of course I don’t know all these people but I got them in sort of a sneaky way. On Facebook, a popular Southern Soul rapper called Joe Nice made a post about him dropping a new song. And he told DJs to give him their e-mail addresses if they wanted it. The e-mail addresses started pouring in to that post and I took every one of them and added them to my contacts! Shhhhh…. Hell, once they put it out there on FB, it was public information, right? It has come in handy because my music gets out there soooo much quicker now. for example, when I released “Ride” I sent it out and it started charting immediately. What is “Ride”? Glad you asked. Here ya go. Miss Mini featuring Black Zack “Ride”

So, I got an idea from my new “found” contact list. My first album has some REALLY good songs on it but since I only had about 5-6 DJ contacts back then, not many people have heard them. Now that I have so many contacts, I’ll be sending that stuff out again. I gotta re-engineer them first because the production was not so good at the time. I was an amateur then. I know a bit more now so it won’t take long to make them sound really good. I’ll also be writing new stuff and sending that out too. My plan is to flood the market with Miss Mini until those who don’t know finally have to say “Who is that?” Once they ask that, I’ve got ’em! Oh, I just realized you may not have heard my first project. Here is a link to it. This will give you snippets but you can go to YouTube and hear a lot of them in their entirety.  Miss Mini “Can’t Stop Me”

Now on to the business stuff….There has been soooo much turnover in my band in the last few months. I had to end up taking the meet the band page down because I just didn’t know who was gonna leave and who was gonna come.  I think I’m just gonna leave it down and keep marketing with the logo because Pressure Point can honestly be anyone. The one constant though is ME! My picture can always be used because I will always be there. It’s really been so hard for me to handle this part that I honestly thought about giving up this whole thing. I wanted to scrap the band and go sing on a cruise ship. Then, the vodka wore off and came back to my senses! smiley-face-flower-clipart-free-clipart-images But really, I’ve wanted to give up handling the business side of things for a while now. I know I need a manager because my heart is too soft to handle business. I undercharge for shows and I am reluctant to remove musicians even when they are hurting the group. Luckily, I think I may have run into someone who fits the bill. He is now my bass player and has experience with this type of thing. He has traveled all over doing music and wants to do it again and take me with him. Hey, I’m all for that! I haven’t signed anything but it’s looking like I will have decent management very soon.

One thing remains the same, as rocky as it’s been, I STILL REFUSE TO USE DAMN TRACKS!!!! I just won’t do it. Live music is where it’s at for me, now and always. I understand this may slow me down in the Southern Soul game but I’m still gonna do it my way. I just gotta make ’em want me enough to pay for not only me but the band too. Of course, on the beach side, I’m set! Live bands are the norm. Dipping my toes into both pools is interesting though. On Southern Soul gigs, you get MAYBE 45 minutes on a show and you’re done. You get your $$ and you go home. On Beach gigs, you perform for 3-4 hours. You are the entertainment for the evening. I grew up doing this so it doesn’t bother me but the thing is… THE MONEY IS THE SAME!!! Strange but true… and ALL I’ve got on the schedule right now is Beach gigs…. This should change with my market flooding strategy. Anyway, I’ve got some work to do so I better get to it. Thanks and keep listening!

 

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Beach and Blues

I’m just now seeing that I have not done a blog post since September. I’m hanging my head in shame. I’m really only doing it now because I borrowed a speaker from James Parker, manager of the band I started out with waaaay back, and he told me that he actually reads these! So, I figure he can’t be the only one. I thank him and you for taking time out to read my posts. I would promise that I will do better but…..

Anyway, I’ve made a couple of staff changes since I last posted. I have a new keyboard player who is absolutely amazing. His name is Brian Pitt and he was actually playing for another local band, who shall remain nameless, when we met. I think I caused a pretty nasty split with him and that band BUT it worked out to my advantage because he’s now mine full-time! Everybody say hi to Brian…
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I also lucked up and got his buddy Brandon Farmer who is one of the best drummers I have ever come across. This is his first secular experience playing music. He has only played in the church before he joined us. So I’m scratching my head like they do this in church? Everybody say hi to Brandon….
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If you want to meet the rest of the band, here ya go Pressure Point

Now, the way that we all came together is so strange and magical that if I still believed in coincidence, I wouldn’t anymore. There is definitely some universal workings going on here. This has been shown to me again with a recent situation that happened which resulted in us getting two big gigs this weekend. Grab a drink and let me tell you this story!

I saw a flyer months ago about a Beach Music and Blues show featuring  Pat Cooley, Theodis Ealey, Jim Quick and Coastline and Clarence Carter. I immediately said to myself “I would love to be on that show.” I made a small attempt to see if I could squeeze in there but when it failed, I wasn’t too phased because I wasn’t even sure if my band and I were ready to share a stage with Clarence Carter. My only interest in the show was Jim Quick and Coastline. He told me a little while ago that he would like to put us in the studio but he wanted to hear us play first. Now, if you know anything about Jim Quick you know he stays on the road. Seeing us live would be next to impossible with the schedule that he has. I figured if I could get on a ticket with him, that problem would be solved. But, we couldn’t get on the show so I let it go.

Fast forward to the week before that show. I get a call early Saturday morning from DJ Heavy, who is hosting that show and he says “You ain’t gon believe this.” Now, you know a story is good when they start off like that. I’m not going to type the whole conversation verbatim but here’s the gist of it. Turns out that Clarence Carter refused to do the show if Pat Cooley was also on the ticket. Apparently there was some situation that went down between the two of them a long time ago and he is still sore about how it turned out. Being that Clarence Carter is the headliner, they couldn’t allow him to just back out. So…..Bingo, Bango, Pat Cooley is out and I’M IN!!! Now, if that’s not divine intervention, I don’t know what is. I now have the perfect band for the job, Jim gets to see us perform and I get to share a stage with the legendary Clarence Carter….It doesn’t get much better than this folks. Oh, and as an added bonus, there is also a show in Yanceyville the following day that I picked up too. Here are the flyers.

I’ve been trying not to let myself get too carried away because I may strip naked and run down the street from sheer happiness but I do understand what this means for me. It appears that I am actually getting what I asked for. I wanted my band and I to get so busy that we no longer needed regular jobs to make ends meet. This could very well be the start of that. All of the sacrifices are starting to pay off. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now. Next year is gonna be a BEAST!!!

With that, I bid you farewell until my lazy behind decides to do another post! MMPPCP

 

Dog With A Bone

Hello all! I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve made a blog post but I’m feeling like I need to vent a little today so here ya go! I’ve been thinking that I have  been much too passive in my efforts to get myself out there in this music thing. In typical woman fashion, I have chosen to tread lightly and be nice instead of asking for what I want directly. This has to stop. It has gotten me nowhere. Now, I’m not saying that I will all of a sudden become a pit bull but maybe a bit of German Shepherd won’t hurt!

That being said, at least now I’m in a position where I finally have the band that I have always dreamed of. These guys are talented beyond measure and everybody actually gets along great. That’s hard to do sometimes especially when there is eight of you. They are dedicated and really believe in Miss Mini and Pressure Point. In case you haven’t read about them already, click here to read all about them.  So, I’m set up just like I need to be to start getting some serious work done.

I do have a bit of good news though. I ran into Jim Quick a few times in the last couple of weeks and we had some very productive conversations. Turns out that he is looking to take it a little easier on his voice and introduce some more diverse styles to his audience. That being said, he wants a band to start opening for them next year. Guess who he wants that to be???? MISS MINI AND PRESSURE POINT!!! He also played a song for me that he would like me to record. I will get on that ASAP. I know he is an extremely busy man so if I can’t get into his studio quick enough, I may just do it on my own and send it to him.

Well, I’ve got a gig tomorrow, Saturday September 2nd 2017 at Raging Bull Harley Davidson.
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I’m really looking forward to that. New places, new faces, new opportunities. I have to thank John Wilson of Big Time Party Band for this one. I really appreciate it when he gives me gigs that they can’t make it to! Keep it up John!

Well, there’s not much else to report so I’m just gonna leave it here. Thank you for taking time to read this and keep listening!

The Blur…..

Hey y’all!!! I have been totally slack again in keeping you updated but I said I was going to stop apologizing for that….Let’s jump right in. So, I went up to the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to do a show. But before the show, I had to go to WPFW 89.3 FM to do an interview with the one and only Dr. Nick! The traffic is TERRIBLE when you get close to Alexandria VA. Being new to the area I didn’t prepare for that slow down. AND I put the wrong address for the radio station in my GPS and ended up on the other side of DC before I realized I was in the wrong place. Needless to say, I was running late. I was supposed to get to the station around 2:00 pm but I ended up getting there at about 2:45.  So, I was completely flustered when I first got there but I quickly calmed down once I saw the smile on Dr. Nick’s face. It was so nice to see him again. He is always a lot of fun! I also met Lady C who is quite nice as well.

The interview went well, we talked about my music, particularly my song “That Actright”. The song was written by Mike Darden, a producer out of Mississippi and got me nominated in 3 categories for the 10th Annual Southern Soul Music Awards…Best Club Song, Best Debut and Best Female Vocalist! I didn’t win but WHO CARES??? To be nominated alongside the greats in the industry was reward enough!  We also talked about my new manager, DJ Heavy, and how I got started, where I’m from, etc…. and just like THAT my live radio interview cherry was popped and I’m glad Dr. Nick was the one to do it! LOL Here are some pics from my visit!

So, after the interview, it was back to the traffic to get to the hotel. I swear, I must just be country as hell! I just cannot seem to get used to a lot of traffic! It stresses me the hell out. I’ll have to work on that since I KNOW I’m about to start traveling a lot more. Anyway, I get to the room and as I start to get ready for the show that evening, I hear a knock on the door…I say “Who is it?” and all I hear is children laughing. So, I said to myself that maybe they had the wrong room.  Then about 10 minutes later, it happened again….They were PRANKING ME… Now, I’m already stressed so I was plotting to strangle the little rascals BUT since I didn’t want to catch a case in Maryland, I thought it would be better to just change rooms.

Fast forward to the show….

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I get to Lamont’s and it was pretty much like I thought it would be. I had heard a lot about it from other people so I had a good picture of it in my mind. It really is a down home country kind of place. It’s a big juke joint. That is NOT a complaint but a compliment! I felt right at home.  So, when Dr. Nick introduced me, the audience received me very warmly because it seemed that they all heard the interview from earlier that day! I was up first and I did a pretty good show. I say pretty good because I was not very happy with it but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. I’m still not very good at doing shows with a music track. This is yet another thing that I have to work on. But I did well enough that I was told I will be invited back. Next time, hopefully I can bring the band.

I also made another great contact. I was introduced to Pamela Boone who writes the Southern Soul Paradise Blog. She interviewed me after my set and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. I can’t wait to see what she writes about me on her blog! So, that was two interviews in one day! I’m still just overwhelmed that I’m doing interviews…LIKE A REAL CELEBRITY!!!

Shay Denise was up next and she killed it! I had seen her perform before but this time was different! This time she was out there on her own and she did a great show. J. Red was great and so was the Rise Band!

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Anyway, I ended up staying pretty late. After I ate a few chicken wings (Yes, they fry chicken there like any respectable juke joint!) I went back to the room to sleep.

The next morning I checked out a little late. The front desk called me and asked when I was checking out! That’s how much fun I had…So, I hit the road around 12:00 headed back to NC to my manager’s birthday party!

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No rest for the weary…After being on the road for a little over 4 hours, I was tired when I got there. After about 30 minutes, tired was GONE! I was in party mode again. AJ the DJ was playing really great music, I was taking shots of Fireball and before I knew it, I was on the dance floor! There was live entertainment by Tony Chambers, a really good saxophone player and singer. He did a couple of instrumentals on the sax and sang a couple songs. That was fun to watch. And I DID NOT come there to perform, I promise! But as the Fireball started talking to me, it said “You know you have your tracks with you. Sing something for Heavy! So, this happened.

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Totally impromptu!!! But the folks enjoyed it. And I actually think I did better there than at Lamont’s! At least it felt like it. It was probably the Fireball in my blood….Yeah it was! EVERYTHING about this party was great, the food, the music, the people, the atmosphere…I always have a great time when I go to the Hawg Pen anyway. AND I will be performing there on April 16th with the band!

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So after ALL of this, yesterday, I had to get up and do a photo shoot with the band. I did NOT want to get out of the bed but it was already planned. Something went wrong with the photographer that we were supposed to use so I had to find someone to do the pictures THAT day since we were all together. So, I went to my computer and googled local photographers. I found this guy Photography by Allen. He agreed to bring us in at @ 2:00 and I had just called him @12:30! I had no ideal what I was walking into. I had never worked with him, never met him, NOTHING. But for some reason, when I do things on a whim they usually work out. This was no different. He has the photography studio in his home so the boys and I went there and he was so very friendly. His wife was very friendly as well. We were in and out within an hour with some really great pics. The price was reasonable too. Needless to say, I was very pleased with the results. Check us out.

After that was over, I went home and crashed! I stayed in bed for the rest of the day. That was some well deserved rest. I was so tired, I actually couldn’t see well. Hence the title of this post…THE BLUR! This is why I’m JUST getting to this today. I just didn’t have the energy to write it yesterday! I hope you enjoyed reading this and again THANKS for your support. Keep listening.

Under New Management!

Hello all! I’m kind of tired of apologizing when I don’t post for a long time so I’m just going to tell you. You probably won’t get a blog post but about once a month! Apparently, that’s all I have in me!  My pattern has shown me that I just don’t have enough to say to post every week or whatever….On the bright side, at least you won’t get tired of me. So, on to why I’m posting today!

I have a new manager! I’m really excited about it because I have been managing myself up until this point and it has not been easy.  I’m starting to realize that me controlling EVERY aspect of my career is not as rewarding as I thought it would be. I am the artist, and that is what I want to be now and not so much the business person.  So, when I realized that I wanted a manager I had to think about a lot of things. First, I had to consider who I believe is trustworthy.  Even if I didn’t know the person well, at the very least I could look at their reputation in the business and form an opinion from that.

I also had to look at who had contacts on BOTH sides of the fence where I do music…Southern Soul and Beach music.  I sooo love doing both that I absolutely needed someone that also had their foot in both doors.  I love Southern Soul because I grew up on it and it makes me remember “The Good Ole Days” of when I was growing up and both of my parents were still around.  I love Beach because when I’m near the water I feel at home and at ease. I can’t explain it but I just feel like I belong there. AND I GET TO SING AND HEAR OTHER BANDS THERE??? GET OUT!!!! It doesn’t get any better than that.

I also wanted someone that has already been pushing me along in my career. This is the part that makes me tear up a little….There have been countless people that I have met on this journey that have seen something in me that I still have a little trouble seeing in myself. And because they see IT, they have thrown their hats in the ring to help and support me in ways that I could have never dreamed of. I feel so honored because these wonderful people didn’t HAVE to do any of it. It’s almost magical because it seems that when I need something, someone just shows up that can help me with that need.  This phenomenon is one of the things that confirms for me that I am doing what I was put here to do. All that to say, I wanted one of my allies.

(Is the suspense killing you yet?)  OK, so I thought about all this stuff and chose someone in my head. I asked and he graciously accepted. I have the paperwork to prove it! Anyway, I love this dude and I’m looking forward to our brand new business relationship. So, without further ado…My new manager is THIS GUY!!!

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That’s right! DJ Heavy…I am now officially a part of Heavy Entertainment! He was really the only one I wanted for this so if he had said no, I would have been crushed. BUT instead, I am ecstatic! So, if you want me, you gotta go through him. I need to get back to work and I know he is the man for the job. I’ve been pretty still for the last couple of months and I’m looking forward to being very busy.

Since I’ve not had many gigs in the last few months, I kind of let my band go by the wayside. The main reason is because I’m losing my star player; my bass player Andrew. He has been there since the beginning and was actually the one who encouraged me to strike out on my own. He was the FIRST one to see “Miss Mini” and was constantly telling me for months that I should be a solo artist. We met a few years back when I was a part of The Rhythm Express band and he came in as the new bass player.  When he saw me perform, he immediately started to ask me for a list of songs that I knew, which is too long so he never got it. BUT he wanted to work with me on other things that he had in mind. A few months went by and we got to know each other and I let him hear some of the stuff I was writing.  One day he looked at me and was like “What are you doing with these guys? You’re a star. You should be doing your own thing.” At first, the thought was a little scary but it obviously grew on me! So, we left the band pretty much at the same time and started working on my solo career.

Turns out he is also a brilliant musician and he was instrumental in helping me on my first album. For many of those songs, it was just the two of us in my studio for hours on end recording. Long story short, he can’t travel with me right now but has promised that he will still do my second album, which is currently in the works. BUT with Andrew also goes the guitar player, who is his son, and the drummer, which was a drum machine that he had programmed. So, I’m back at square one with the band. I’m looking at it as a positive though. I’ve been saying for the longest time that I wanted musicians that were dedicated to me and would put my projects ahead of their own. Now, I have a chance to find them. I can make that one of the things I insist upon before they join. I believe my last keyboard player is solid. I have a few other people in mind so I should be able to pull it off. I don’t know another bass player but I’m sure some of the musicians that I know do know someone. They probably won’t be as good as my Drew but I will learn to live with it…I will surely miss all of the energy and personality he brought to my stage. AND he gave the ladies something to look at while I sang. Did you forget what he looks like? Here’s a reminder.

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*sigh* At least I should be able to promise the new guys pretty consistent work in the coming year. I trust that my new manager with that!

Enough belly aching about that! Every change is a positive so I am looking forward to whatever may come out of this perceived loss. I think maybe I have been leaning on him too much. Not having him around will force me to stand completely on my own and learn how to better manage my musicians, which he was largely in charge of. So, I’m going to get on the stick and make some calls.

I’m off to the mall now. I hate to shop except online but my 16 yr old daughter has a choral program that she needs a dress for by tomorrow.  That’s right, she can sing too! But she has no interest in doing it as a career. She wants to model. I can see that for her since she is quite lovely and a size Zero….I’m not exaggerating. She is a size Zero and about 5’9″. Imagine how hard it’s going to be to find this dress!!! My 7 yr old son on the other hand just may have performing in him! He also has a nice singing voice. I can hope for one right?  That’s all for now. Keep listening and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 

 

Shelby Jean’s Restaurant

Hey, this past Saturday I performed at Shelby Jeans in Carolina Beach. I had a blast! The people there are really friendly and the atmosphere is really laid back and down to earth. I took a new keyboard player with me this time, Elmore Dunn, and he did an amazing job! The only crazy thing was, I go so scatter brained that I forgot I had taken my purse to the car. I was looking all over for it and it was in my friggin’ car. Not only that but I also thought my keys were in the purse and yes, the car was locked. So, we break into my car with a wire hanger only to realize that I actually had the keys the whole time in my CD bag!!!

I guess that 41 years is starting to take a toll on my brain! Anyway, I’m hoping this will open the door to more gigs in that area.  I really like it there. Here is a short snippet from the gig that Elmore posted on Facebook.

My crazy behind wanted to go to the fishing pier after the gig because they stay open 24 hrs. I was seriously going to go too had it not been for the rain! I had my gear and everything. Next time little fishies….

I’ve made a few more contacts today and I’m still going to e-mail a few more people before I’m done. I gotta keep dangling the bait until they bite…Did that fishing analogy do anything for you?  Probably not but what are you gonna do? Alright, it’s about 3:15 pm and the beer gods are calling me. For a musician, it’s never too early! Next stop, Shaw’s Ballpark in Kenly, NC on July 31st. This will be my first track show and I’m actually kind of nervous about it. I’m used to having my guys behind me. I’d better get used to it though. I see a lot more of these coming in my future! That’s it for now. Keep listening, join the fan club….XOXO

P.S. I’ve been thinking about finding a name for my fans. Do you like “Miss Mini’s Minions”? Could you be called a minion and be cool with it? I’m open to suggestions! Please give me your input.

Follow the Tracks

Hey folks. I have come to a sad, sad realization….I’m going to have to put together a track show. I have always hated using music tracks on a live show because it takes away from my flexibility as an artist. You can’t tell a track to “break it down” or give the musicians solos. And when I started out, tracks weren’t even a thing. Nobody did that! All live music was actually LIVE. Every instrument had a person on stage playing it.  That is what I am used to and that is what I like. For me, tracks kind of cheat the audience out of the best experience possible.

BUT alas, I must do it. Here are my reasons…

  1.  Musicians are unpredictable and not very loyal.  When I started (I know I’m beginning to sound like an old person), NOTHING came before a gig. If you had a show, you went and did it unless someone died! On Xmas and Thanksgiving, we took our plates of food on the road and ate on the way to the gig. I remember one girl getting fired because she chose to go to an MC Hammer concert (whew I just dated myself) instead of doing a gig scheduled for that night. It was THAT serious. Now it seems if someone has a hangnail, they won’t be able to make it! That blows and I’m sick of it!
  2. I’m still kind of the new kid and cannot yet demand top dollar.  Although my popularity is continuously growing, many still have never heard of me. It’s difficult to get paid a decent wage when you are not yet a household name. That means, there is only a little bit of money to spread around. I like to pay my guys well and I just can’t every time. *LIGHT BULB* THAT’S PROBABLY WHY THEY ARE NOT SO LOYAL!! Anyway, if it’s just me and a track, that little bit is fine because there is no one to pay but me.
  3. I can gig more often with tracks.   If I have music tracks, I can take gigs in smaller venues and get even more exposure that way.  I can charge a very low price while I’m getting my name out there. I can probably gig somewhere every week with the tracks. This would be impossible with my band.

Now, I’m still going to do shows with the band. I will never totally give that up. BUT the gig has to pay enough so that I can pay my musicians. If not, I’m going with the tracks…*shrugs shoulders*

OK, my radio show is now up and running on Remember Then Radio. It airs every Wednesday at 6pm. My music is played for a whole hour! Thanks Barb and Steve. You guys are great!

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I contacted a few folks in the Lake Gaston area who had venues that offer live music. I have gotten absolutely ZERO response but I am undaunted. I’m gonna bug them until somebody lets me play!  One good thing though is that my DJ friend Neal Furr (Soul Dog) hooked me up with a guy named Andy Lucy who apparently has a radio station in Emporia VA, lake country. I sent Andy my music and he has promised to play it! So, maybe when people hear it there, they will be more open to letting me come there to perform.

He’s also got a couple of more DJ friends in that area that he said he’d reach out to for me. I swear I LOVE that dude. I don’t even know what I have done to deserve so much of his support but I am surely grateful! And it’s not just him! So many folks have gone out of their way for me. Let me just shout out a few…DJ Heavy, Gary King, Scott Beasley (Deckerz Bar and Grill NMB), Robin Lancaster, Gene Coker, J Red the Nephew, VA Fonz, Terry L. Batts, Chip Sistare, Vicki Chaffin, Andrew Blackwell….I know I’m forgetting some people but my brain only works so well….Just know that I appreciate you all so much!!! I am honored and humbled that you have even taken the time to say my name much less help me along this winding road.

That’s all for now. Keep listening…Why am I about to cry?  Happy tears…