One of the true beauties of music is that it is truly simple to create with just an instrument and a voice.  These rawest forms of musical creation often are some of the most earnest displays of the medium.  WIth the technology available today this is lost more times than not when an artist makes the move to record an album.  Luckily our latest find Ryan McCarl is managing to keep it true.

Ryan McCarl

The singer/songwriter from Titusville, Pennsylvania has a goal of creating music in it’s purest form.  With just an acoustic guitar and his voice, Ryan McCarl combines an alternative country and blues rock style to form something that is all his own.  He leaves out the computerized sounds and overproduction while writing music about real life experiences that he has lived or been extremely close to.  This will always draw in the fans when they realize they can relate to these stories and the man behind the music is just like them.

Recently Ryan McCarl released his debut EP Riding With The Outlaws.  The 6 track record opens the door to his world for anyone that chooses to give the songs a listen.  The opener “Common Man” sets the tone with just a man, a melody, and his guitar.  The blues rock element is featured on “Feeling Blue” with its pretty and mellow guitar line accompanying some lyrics that share some heartfelt emotion.  The guitar solo will put any troubled mind instantly at ease.  The rawness of “Nothing Left To Say” truly hits home with its energetic tone and forced vocal style that gives the feel of sitting around a campfire with Ryan McCarl playing just for you and your friends.  The album closes just as real as it started with the closer “Raise Em’ Up”.  The simple melody will force your head to bop and pay close attention to what Ryan is trying to say.  

For some real music head over to: 


Category: Review

From social media to marketing, special events to Christmas office parties, there is actually a lot of room for DJs to truly make some big bucks this time of year (also, winter weddings, the typically club spots on weekends, and birthdays). Here’s five tips to boost your bookings during the festive season and top off your year end earnings.

Live DJ

1. Make sure to market early

Even though most individuals will complain about Christmas advertising spots on television in October, pubs, venues, and clubs are usually deep into planning for their festive season schedule by the beginning of fall. Therefore, get in early using some adverting that is seasonally themed. Contact venues you would enjoy working with, and figure out if there are any spots available during the period before Christmas, as well as elite spots for parties on New Year’s Eve.

2. Do not forget about your local conference centers and hotels

They do not usually show up on your radar while you are searching for venues, however, conference centers and hotels are busy throwing office parties throughout December, often various offices at a time!. If you possess a good set and reputation, why not find out if you are able to receive some lucrative evening/afternoon bookings at the local Best Western?

3. Make sure you are insured

Venues will not even pay attention to DJs who do not have quality DJ insurance. Therefore, ensure that your insurance package includes enough DJ Public Liability coverage.

4. Utilize social media to further your business

Leaflets and flyers are useful when getting local work, but you can also advertise your profile on social media websites. Post links of YouTube videos showcasing your skills, and potential venues can see what you look like and sound like, and whether you are good for their clientele.

5. Prepare to travel long distances

If you have been a DJ for any duration of time, you will know that it involves lots of traveling across the globe and unsociable hours. But, during the season of festivities, if you are prepared to do the miles, you will broaden your customer base and boost your reputation. Driving 100 miles on a dark, wet road on the eve of New Year’s Day might not feel the best in the moment, but if you would like to make money, you have to put in the work! Double check before putting your belongings in your car that your insurance includes car coverage that is applicable for business, including the typical clauses about domestic and pleasure.

It is always great to see bands that we have featured on Indie Band Guru in the past, come back with more music showing a drive a determination to succeed in this crazy music business.  Our friends from Seldom are back with a brand new EP.

Black Mirror

The Houston, Texas based 5 piece brings a powerful and multi-faceted version of pure hard rock that has been gaining momentum.  Their dedication to putting out the best possible music as well as an explosive stage show has given Seldom the opportunity to share the stage with some of the biggest acts in the genre such as Buckcherry, Flyleaf, Puddle Of Mudd, Lacuna Coil, POD, Drowning Pool or Saving Abel, as well as performing at major music events such as SXSW.

Yesterday Seldom released their next step in powerful rock with the Black Mirror EP.  The 5 track record continues the display of what this band is capable of.  The opening title track “Black Mirror” starts with a mix of hard hitting guitar and drums and melds into an intriguing vocal performance by singer Mitch Atkinson.  This is immense music.  The band enters a more experimental phase on “Digital Echoes”.  The addition of some psychedelic sounds creates an aura of mystery as the track builds to an energetic high.  The closer “Marionette” is a hard hitting kaleidoscope of sound which each member providing their own touch to the big picture. Seldom seems to be growing with each track we hear.  

Buy the new Black Mirror EP HERE!

Stay on top of the band at:




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Category: Review

Living the independent music life will always be a difficult one but the freedom that it provides to create the music that you feel within without the restrictions of music label honchos hanging over your head is priceless.  If you are willing to put in the hard work and learn about all the aspects of the music business then why not do it yourself?  A good example is our recent find Rotten Skee.

Rotten Skee

Born and raised on the streets of Atlanta, Rotten Skee formed a tough style with many experiences to call on for inspiration.  There are tones of the city, raps from the country and themes that allow the listener to connect and relate to the music.  The music is powerful and Rotten Skee is not afraid to tackle the controversial issues on people’s minds.  Skee teamed up with Rotten Rob to start the Rotten Empire Record label to showcase the innovative styles that they are bringing to the table.  

Recently the label released the Rotten Skee project RAW.  Rotten And Wealthy.  The mixtape contains 14 tracks that show off the diversity and power that Rotten Empire is bringing to the streets.  The tape opens with the dark tones of “Sweet Dreamer”.  The sample of the Marilyn Manson version of Sweet Dreams creeping in the background sets the tone for a deep experience.  On “That Boy Crazy” there is a powerful beat that hypes up any crowd while Rotten Skee rolls about what it is he does and the reasons he does it.  It is all on the table for everyone to hear.  The power continues on “War” as the vocal talents of Leshi are brought in to help.  There is a touch of anger in the song that translates well to the listener.  There is some experimentation on “Krack” as the flows are spit hot and hard while exotic sounds come at you from all angles.  The records closes with 4 different freestyle tracks that highlight the rhyming skills of everyone involved with the Rotten Empire label.  To learn more about Rotten Skee, please visit 


Category: Review

There is nothing more valuable in learning the art of songwriting than simply putting in the time and hard work.  Experience in different musical styles and genres will open up things that you did not even know you liked.  A great example is the story of our recent discovery Rhythm Rug.

The man behind the project is David Barkie.  Hailing from upstate New York he dove headfirst into the music world by opening a studio storefront at the age of 18 with a few friends.  Since David was also living there he had tons of time to experiment with the equipment and just write and record the sound that would pop into his mind.  The wide variety of influences that he was exposed to, such as Earth Wind & Fire, Pink Floyd, Jackson 5, Mos Def, and Erykah Badu became the start of the Rhythm Rug project.

The debut single “The Giver” was recently released to showcase this buildup of talent and skill.  The song has elements of mellow alternative rock, hip hop, and a touch of experimental psychedelia.  The smooth vocal flow is intoxicating as Rhythm Rug provides a strong reminder to do good and happiness will follow.  Have a listen for yourself here:


Keep up with new developments and hear more Rhythm Rig music at: 

Category: Review

One of the most important aspects in growing popularity for a band is getting out there and playing live shows.  Even with the internet getting your music out there for the chance of any ear hearing it, if no one is looking the songs will go unnoticed.  Creating a party atmosphere that everyone wants to be at will draw more dedicated fans than anything else your band could do.  Our recent find Sherry Drive is well aware of this and on the path to prove it works.

Sherry Drive

The hard rock band from Omaha, Nebraska prides themselves on having a great time with the people they play for and it has helped the band gain some real momentum.  Sherry Drive has been ranked the #1 Rock band in Omaha on Reverb Nation for the last 2 years.  The group is made up of father and son team, Rich (rhythm guitar) and Anu (Lead Guitar) with the help of active duty military members Darin (drums) previously of cover band The Shrooms from Iowa, Rusty (vocals) a degreed theatre major, and J (bass) previously of the Wayne grunge band Shrewdness.  Together they put together pieces of old school metal, 90’s Grunge, and modern rock for a sound that is all their own.  

The latest offering for Sherry Drive is the One Lane Bridge EP.  The 7 track record is a raw look at the power and energy of 5 guys doing what they love and hoping to share it with everyone they meet.  The album opens with the mellow start of “Walk Away” before launching into a full scale rock assault that could get any crowd moving.  There is a heartfelt emotion felt on “Drown Them In Sorrow”.  The lyrics spill over the powerful beat forcing the listener to lean in and pay close attention to what is happening.  The hard rock/metal influence shows up most in “Don’t Take It Back” with shredding guitar sharing the stage with powerful bass lines and drumming.  The title track “One Lane Bridge” begins with a pretty piano piece leading to fancy guitar work and the full band coming together for quite a beautiful song that reeks of true talent.  We are excited to see what comes next for these hard working rockers.  Keep up with the band at: 

Category: Review


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