Should musicians pay blogs to review their music?

submit-your-musicThis morning, I received an unexpected email from a person saying they contributed to a well known music blog and just happened to come across my music which they liked. The email explained the blog received 700 – 1200 unique visitors per day and invited me to check it out and submit my music for consideration of a review (with no guarantee of acceptance). Seemed like a genuine offer I thought, but then when I checked out the blog itself and read the Ts & Cs on the about page I found out there was a catch – they have paid and non-paid options for submissions. 

IE Free Option A) album may be listed in the ‘weekly round up’ section of music they liked (whatever that is) or

$25 Option B) a written review will rate your music and include the genre, cover art, URL and two links to your music.

A further two options priced at $35 and $40 respectively would include more details. 

Sounds tempting right?

Well not really, to be honest, it sounds like a bit of a scam if you ask me but maybe this should be viewed like a marketing cost. Then again, maybe it’s enough that we make our music at great expense and then make it available for FREE on SpotifySoundcloud and other streaming services. In the past I received reviews of my work from Hotpress magazine which was greatly appreciated (on my website if you care to read) and they didn’t cost me a cent. Am I a cynic or has anyone else had success getting music reviewed on blogs or press without paying for it? Thoughts, opinions, comments welcome… check out my music here cheers.

Bead EP featuring Boz Boorer on Bandcamp

The new Bead EP Country Mountain featuring Boz Boorer is now available to download in 24bit technicolour sound from our pals in Bandcamp. Get on over there and have yourself a listen. It features five fabulous tunes including Just Like The Beatles, No One Ever Told Me, Black Irish Dogs, The Highway, and Country Mountain. All songs feature Morrissey guitarist extraordinaire Boz Boorer. Cheers.. Bead

Bead on Bandcamp

Cover art

Still standing. $olus street art in Dalkey used with kind permission for the cover of my 2010 album ‘Battle Stations’ Thanks @solus.art #streetart #irishmusic #singersongwriter

EP added to playlist IMS

Excited to hear this week that my songs ‘Black Irish Dogs’, ‘The Highway’ and ‘Country Mountain’ from my new EP will be playlisted on KCLR 96FM Irish Music Show on Nov 7th.

Follow me on facebook @iambead

Or Twitter @iambeadman @roddie_cleere show every Wednesday from 22:00 #irishmusic #indie #phillynott #singersongwriter #blackirishdogs #kclr96fm

New Bead EP featuring Boz Boorer

Yes, the recording which got off to a bit of a ‘rocky’ start last year is now complete and will be released in the coming weeks. So keep an ear out on my soundcloud and Instagram for updates.

It was an amazing experience and I am over the moon with the results which was achieved over two brief sessions (June and August 2017). I cannot wait for people to hear it.

Between session #1 (1-3 June 2017) and session #2 (24-27 Aug 2017), we finished 8 songs in total. Five of these songs will be released as an EP shortly.

As for the sessions, while I returned to Dublin in June, the producer roped in drummer Dave Ruffy who is best known for having toured and recorded with such artists as Kirsty MacColl, The Waterboys, Sinead O’ Connor and his own band The Ruts. I cannot thank Dave enough for playing on my songs.

Needless to say, the Drums changed everything and was the pivotal turning point in the way the sessions ended up sounding. Initially, my idea was to record an acoustic record as all of the songs were written on an acoustic guitar to begin with but sometimes you just gotta go where the song takes you. I have ended up with an acoustic guitar based sound but with much more than just one guy and a guitar. In short, this sounds like the record I have always wanted to make with Mandolin, Bass, Drums and Keyboards included.

Before we commenced the second session in August, the producer (Boz Boorer) collected me at FARO airport in his silver hatchback and we stopped off at a cafe on the way to the studio. As all good producers will do, he asked me if there was anything else I wanted to do on the recordings and I said I thought it was almost finished apart from a few vocal overdubs but I did get an idea that one of the songs should have a fiddle playing over it. That song started out with working title of ‘folksong’ but became known as ‘Black Irish Dogs’.

As luck would have it, Boz said he knew a local guy who could play fiddle, apparently known as ‘the bearded angel’ for his life saving skills. He sounded ideal and I gave a thumbs up to send out a search party for the infamous fiddle player. By the time I returned from the cash desk, ‘the bearded angel’ had been located and booked in for the next session. Little did we know it at the time but this would be one of many small but significant ideas in achieving the sound produced.

Although the sessions were great fun and an experience I will never forget, they were not without their problems which lead to delays. Without going into details, a number of challenging events took place throughout the sessions which added unexpected pressure to those involved. My thanks to Boz for sticking with it and for putting so much of his craft and energy into these recordings. You can really hear it in the songs.

Track listing:

1. Just Like The Beatles (Dwyer/Murphy)

2. No One Ever Told Me (Dwyer)

3. The Highway (Dwyer)

4. Black Irish Dogs (Dwyer)

5. Country Mountain (Dwyer)

Produced by Boz Boorer
Mixed by Bead

Recorded at Serra Vista, Monchique, Portugal and Dublin.
Mastered by Tim Young @ Metropolis Studios, London

Bead – Voice, Guitars, Keys, Loops
Boz – Guitars, Bass, Keys, Mandolin, Backing vocals, Percussion, Loops

Special guests:
Dave Ruffy – The Drums
Stuart Wilcock – The Fiddle on ‘Country Mountain’ & ‘Black Irish Dogs’
Clare Murphy – Backing vocals on ‘Just Like The Beatles’

 

Serra Vista Studio