This is a special guest article written by country music veteran Dan Smith. Dan has played in the country band outfit ‘Leather Tone’ for over 30 years, touring all over America, and even a few locations in Europe and Australia. They rose up through the ranks during the golden era of country music during the early 90s, and toured successfully all through the 90s and early 2000s. The band still plays a few shows every year, however they are more casual these days. He reached out to us to share his story of how he converted his old bands footage from VHS to DVD, and was able to share this iconic footage with the world.
The VHS to DVD Story
I was in my mid 20s when the band started gaining a bit of traction. What started out as just me and my brother and our friend Steve Muska jamming away in the garage quite quickly snowballed into us being asked to play some of the biggest festivals of the year. My brother Tommy and I were always the driving force behind the band, and although at the time we were doing it purely out of the love for the music, none of us really expected it to turn into a music career. But that is exactly what happened, and along the way we encountered all manner of people looking to support the band. One of these such people was Billy Kelly, a complete eccentric who loved making films and documentaries. He asked if he could follow us on our tours, and we gladly accepted, so for the next 2 or 3 years Billy essentially became part of the band. He filmed everything, and little did we know that we would be looking for VHS to DVD conversion services years later.
Billy the Kid
Billy would get all up in our faces, get in the way of stage
crews, even knock things over, all just to get that perfect shot that he was
looking for. He shot on what was at the
time a state of the art camera, that recorded onto little cassettes that he
would take home after the shows and edit through to make into mini movies. My memory is certainly a little fuzzy, but he
would turn up every now and then with a finished tape of a particular show or
festival. We watched them at the time, and I think our promoter ended up with
most of them sitting in a box in his office.
They were given to my brother and I in the 2000s, and would not be resurrected
for another 10-15 years.
Digitising the Tapes
When we got those digital copies of the tapes, it was like
discovering a time capsule. ‘We all look
so young!’ exclaimed my brother Tommy.
We could now relive all these magical moments, but more importantly, we
could share them with the community, and people were overjoyed to see all those
great old concerts in action.
Country music is popular in many parts of the world. It is great for the summer, if you are visiting a tropical country, or even cooler climates.
There are many songs that have become classics. There are a few styles of country music, but the most famous is usually old fashioned country. Old-time Western style music has many fans. It also has some influenced rock & roll music, such as the “Rocky” movies and Jim Reeves.
Another popular genre is country style music that is traditional, as it was back in the early days of the United States. It is very traditional with different musical styles being used. It sounds different from the popular music styles of today.
Download sites are common on the Internet. In some cases, these sites will allow you to “rent” these tracks for a certain amount of time. It depends on what sites you visit. This is common in any type of media streaming and is very inexpensive.
The best way to find and download sites is to do a search on Google. Click on the Internet “video” icon and choose “audio streaming sites.” Now you can find all the audio streaming sites in one place.
You might also try to find download sites that offer membership. It is similar to a magazine subscription. You sign up and use a credit card. The membership is like a monthly payment for music downloads.
Music can bring a person back to childhood. Many music lovers come back to this wonderful style of music. Try to come back to the early times of the old songs.
One of the major questions in our society at the moment is whether or not music is accessible to the younger generation. One of the reasons why this question is debated is the price many people have to pay for music and the ongoing disagreements artists have with many platforms such as Spotify , Youtube and other music hosting channels.
Music streaming is a fairly new and extremely popular form of playing music. It has been quickly adopted by the latest generation of people and allows music on demand normally regardless of location. There are a number of inherent advantages as well as disadvantages and it varies vastly from older audio formats such as CD’s or cassettes
One of the most popular widely used audio streaming apps is Spotify. Spotify is the most popular audio streaming app. This is partly due to its free service which includes regular ads and also its paid premium service where users can stream millions of songs for a monthly fee. This is great for people who listen to a very wide variety of music and like listening to trending music on demand.
However industry giants such as Spotify have been embroiled in bitter battles with record labels as well as artists because they pay a very low amount of royalties to the artists every time their song is played. As a result of this many artists have boycotted the service and have withdrawn their songs from it.
Some users of Spotify have also added to the criticism surrounding the company that they do not give people who use ownership of the song. This is due to it being a streaming service although having said this users can still access songs they have downloaded when their premium service membership expire. Overall it would appear that Spotify has helped to broaden the horizons of many younger people who wish to access different music from around the world.
Concerts And Music Festivals
Concerts and music festivals are very popular with the younger generations with millions flocking to them every year. However there have been some restrictions implemented that have affected young people across the UK being able to attend concerts or festivals. One of the biggest factors that has affected concerts and music festivals overall is tickets and ticket prices. Due to the popularity of some high profile music artists many young people find it difficult to find a place within the music industry.
This has led to high priced tickets and has made many events unaffordable for younger people. This is partly due to some ticketing sites and ticket touts reselling tickets. In order to tackle this issue some concert and festival organisers are preventing touts or some select selling sites from using their services and trying to make music more affordable for younger people overall.
Overall to conclude music is becoming a lot more accessible to younger people but more needs to be done to eliminate ticket touts and widen access for all into the music industry.
We are nearing the end of our European tour and we hope you have enjoyed our blog on all the cities we have visited around Europe from sunny Scotland to ending our Tour in Lisbon, Portugal. In our final blog we will show you all our favourite things about Lisbon! We are lucky to have Dermal Fillers Glasgow specialists – The Berkeley Clinic Glasgow sponsor our final blog post…well not the final blog post but the final in our European Tour series.
Lisbon is world famous for its tiled walls, Portuguese food (nothing like Nandos by the way), glorious culture and rich history.
Time Out Market
With over 40 stalls, the Time Out Market has a whole host of delicious Portuguese food to try. The indie food trucks/ pop up restaurants have all been chosen my The Times food editors – with no less than 4 stars you will definitely want to come to this food market for a decent bite to eat.
This is one of Lisbon’s newest contemporary art museums which has been featured all over Instagram in recent months by social media influencers. This is a project by the EDP Foundation that has closed, opened, closed again and recently re opened.
Feira da Ladra
This market rivals London’s Portobello Market. Feira da Ladra is a flea market that has been open for business since 1903 in its location Campo de Santa Clara.
The best burger you will ever taste – no exaggeration.
The Bairro Alto get packed every evening on a rooftop bar full of revellers, keen to sip on cocktails and watch the sun go down. The view over Lisbon is incredible and with entertainment of live DJ to liven things up this is an experience you will not want to miss.
We are still on tour travelling Europe bit by bit. Boy is it different from our hometown Nashville. Each country we’ve been to so far all has different cultures and languages – it has been truly amazing! This blog is going to be about our Amsterdam gig and the best parts of this incredible city! We were fortunate enough to have this blog sponsored by commercial cleaners Glasgow, SE Commercial Services who we met on our Scottish leg of the tour.
A bar where everything is made from ice. The seats, the glass, the bar – everything. Although you can only stay for 20 minutes this is still an excellent tourist attraction to visit.
Anne Frank House
We didn’t learn much about the World Wars when we went to school however, we did decide to get educated at the Ann Frank House & Museum. Once you arrive you firstly getting a walking tour of the house and how the family managed to hide from the Nazi’s to avoid getting sent to concentration camps. Then after the house there is a thought provoking museum – if you have time to do this it is defiantly worth a visit.
Amsterdam has built itself to be a cycle-friendly city where there are actually more bikes than people. With some amazing cycle routes, there is no better way to explore the city than on your bike.
This neighbourhood is artsy, trendy, cool, quirky and desirable. Filled with art galleries, boutiques, cafes and other quirky independent shops – this is a relaxed area of the city you will definitely want to explore!
Well…we didn’t actually go inside this museum but there’s a really cool ‘Iam Amsterdam’ sign outside which makes for a brilliant photo/instagram opportunity.
So far we have enjoyed the Guinness & Tennants factory tours in Scotland & Ireland so we had to come and visit the birth place of Heineken.
We unfortunately only managed one day in Amsterdam before our next stop in Germany however the gig went brilliantly and the crowd were on great form! We can’t wait to come back one day
Within the music industry there are a variety of different tools and systems that are used to help aid production teams and artists. One of the most important and often overlooked tools is known as the pallet jack. Through this post we will explain to you how the Pallet Jack has made a real difference in the music industry. We will also explore its overall advantages and applications.
Challenges Production Crews Face
Production crews at music concerts often face a number of different challenges. These can vary from logistical challenges to technical and physical. The Pallet Jack can to simplify these issues due to its unique attributes it can bring to its users. Event crews can often suffer from exhaustion or burnout as a direct result of having to repeatedly lift heavy weights long and short distances. This can result in injury and employees having a reduced ability to work. This can impact on overall effectiveness. In order to counter this effect pallet jacks can be used to ensure heavy loads are moved without risking injury.
Another major challenge that production crews may face is lack of training. Often production crews at large music events are likely to be temporary event staff. As a result they may not be as likely to have up to date training on certain areas of work. Lifting technique is one of these factors and lack of training in this area could lead to severe injury. Thankfully the pallet jack can be used with basically no training and is an excellent lifting and moving asset.
Other Common Forms Of Equipment Used In The Industry
In addition to the pallet jack there are a number of different forms of equipment that are regularly used in the industry. One such form of equipment is the forklift truck. The forklift is driven by one operator and can move goods weighing over one tonne from one area to another relatively quickly thanks to its mobility and power. Unlike Pallet jacks forklift trucks require training to use and can be hazardous if used incorrectly or driven recklessly. An advantage the pallet jack has over the forklift is that the pallet jack costs significantly less to maintain and use.
Advantages And Limitations Of The Pallet Jack
The Pallet stacker comes with a range of advantages as well as limitations but overall is good value for money and a versatile and flexible piece of equipment.
One of the major advantages of the pallet jack is that it can navigate in narrow spaces. This is useful as it can be used in more enviroments and is more flexible than the forklift for example
Another advantage is ease of use. The pallet jack is normally pretty easy to use and understand compared with other equipment and requires very little training.
A disadvantage of the pallet jack is their weight capacity is significantly lower than some other forms of equipment such as the forklift.
A further disadvantage is that it may take longer to move goods than some other methods.
This was probably the most nerve wracking gig we have done so far in our career. The music scene in London is extremely eclectic so alternative country wasn’t something new but something exciting so some music bloggers and record company scouts were coming along to watch us perform. We decided we needed to up the anti and get some help from event crew hire in the production of our show.
The event crew hire company we used gave us lighting and sound specialists as well as event specialists who would organise tickets and drinks. Our gig was held as the famous O2 Academy in London and it was a sell out – we were thrilled when we heard this! It took nearly all day to get the production correct – lighting had to be perfect! The sound check went to plan and the place looked unreal. Event crew checked tickets and handed out bottles of water to the crowd. If any small band is looking for extra help on tour we highly recommend
The Best Things We Did In London
Pub Quiz in Peckham at The Nunshead
The Sky Garden
Have a curry in Brick Lane
Old Spitafields Market
Everything in Shoreditch
We took the underground everywhere
That brings us to the end of our UK tour sadly. We have had the best time ever in the UK and Ireland!! In the week we’ve been here we have seen and done so much- we will definitely be back! We are now currently on the ferry over to The Netherlands where will be playing one night in Amsterdam while exploring there for a few days – Speak soon!
As you may or may not know, we shipped most of our equipment from Nashville to Europe in our bid to help save the environment. So instead of flying around Europe we have made the decision to drive. We managed to ship over our beloved tour bus all the way from the states in a bid to make even more memories in it. However this van has toured America more than once and is nearly twenty years old…we like to think it looks ‘rugged’. On our Scottish leg of the tour we met some upholsterers in Edinburgh who offered to ‘spruce up’ our old and beloved tour bus. Here’s a blog on it in case any of you are interested?
The History Of Our Tour Bus
After we finished college we decided we wanted to take some time to travel as we’ve never really left Tennessee. Using our musical talents and strong friendship we decided to spend 3 months travelling the USA and funding it by gigging. We purchased the tour bus from a farmer who hadn’t used it in 15 years. Luckily it drove good as new so within a couple weeks we were headed to Florida! We travelled around every single state in America (except Hawaii and Alaska). As we are fairly eco-conscious when it came to our tour in Europe we decided to ship our equipment, including our beloved van and drive around Europe – avoiding planes completely in order to help save the planet.
Upholsterers In Edinburgh Changed Our Lives
This is a great story!
We were sitting in coffee shop in Edinburgh the morning of our opening night. Enjoying our coffees and big breakfasts (and curing a horrible hangover) we got chatting to a group of lads at the table next to us. They were very very interested in our tour, although they were probably more interested that we were American…
They were extremely interested that we shipped our beloved bus and decided to drive around Europe on tour rather than fly. After chatting away for a while they offered to take a look and see if they could repair some parts of the interiors. At first we were a bit apprehensive – this bus is like our child and do we trust them after all? After some convincing we handed over our keys – 98% certain we would never see the van again.
The next morning, Andy called and told us to come and collect it.
The interior was totally amazing! They reupholstered all the chairs (there is only 6 in total) but still managed to keep the vans character and vintage look- it was perfect!
Our Scottish Tour – Sponsored By Window Blinds Glasgow
Back in 2017 we decided to bring country music to Europe. There is a growing popularity of our genre of music in Europe thanks to film, TV….and Taylor Swift. Thanks Taylor. On our 3 month tour we will play to crowds in Ireland, England, France, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and many more. We promised our fans we would document our travels via vlogs on our Youtube channel. However we also thought we would treat you all to blog posts as well. This blog post will be dedicated to the beautiful country of Scotland – where we kicked off the tour. Thankfully this blog is sponsored by window blinds company Glasgow, Casa Blinds.
Our opening night was a success! We were so thankful to get such a great response from the Edinburgh crowd so – THANK YOU! We were excited to visit Edinburgh for the bagpipes, haggis and famous castle. Edinburgh castle is a must see if you’re ever in town – the history is almost unbelievable – very very cool. Haggis is delicious. That’s all there is so say about that. We tried Irn- Bru which is a fizzy orange soft drink – being American this was very similar to the utter trash we are used to. But yes, it was delicious and a life saver on a hangover by the way. All in all – Edinburgh was a success and we are looking forward to returning one day.
We were lucky to play to a beautiful crowd in world famous venue – King Tuts (apparently Oasis were discovered here). Glasgow took us by surprise. When you think of Scotland you think of miles of mountains and old castles. Actually Glasgow was ‘sound’ (apparently this means cool in Scottish slang). It wasn’t raining and it wasn’t that cold either – result! We met some really friendly and funny people everywhere we went! There was a large pink sign right in the city centre that read ‘People Make Glasgow’ – and they really do. Random passers by in the street told us all the great bars and restaurants to go to and most were even keen on coming to our gig in King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (haha what a name). If anyone asks – we would definitely recommend Glasgow for a ‘great night out’. The people are awesome, the bars, clubs and restaurants are great and the city is so much fun! The music scene is Glasgow is one of the best in the UK, never mind Scotland and there is lots to do in terms of day time activities – walks in the parks, food festivals…The ‘West End’ is a must for quirky coffee shops and cool activities. Don’t tell anyone but we much prefer Glasgow to Edinburgh.
Our first tour break took place after our Glasgow gig – we had 3 days to chill and explore before hitting up Belfast in Ireland. We decided we had seen all there is to see with Scotland’s biggest cities and took a drive up to the highlands.
The beaches, the mountains, the rivers, the ‘lochs’. This has to be one of the most pure, clean and amazing places we have EVER been to visit. Although it was a little chilly we were lucky to experience the glorious highlands in the sunshine. We spent 3 days hiking up the mountains, exploring the sandy coast and meeting the locals in the local pubs. We were shocked to find nobody was wearing kilts, screaming ‘FREEDOM’ at the top of their lungs and living in castles but living normally like the rest of the world. How narrow minded are we eh?! Again we would highly, highly recommend a holiday or weekend break in Scotland – because the country in so small you can easily get around by car and the public transport services are top notch with regular trains and busses going everywhere. – Thanks to Window Blinds Glasgow for making all this possible!
Now we are looking forward to getting the ferry across to Ireland for the next leg of our tour. Bring on the Guinness, YE-HA!