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How to Die a Slow Death On Stage

That title is scary, isn’t it? You know I teach about “moments” onstage. The audience longs for them. They come to concerts precisely to experience them. But the moments you don’t want to have are those dreaded “crickets” moments. That’s when you get 20 seconds into a song and you can feel the steam leaking […]

Passion Sells

At first glance, this title might seem crass and cheap, but let me explain. I’m on a flight home from working with a speaker just beginning a tour in which she delivers five 5-7 minute talks to arenas filled with middle school kids. An audience NOT for the faint of heart, I might add! Jacqueline […]

From Stage Fright to Confidence

As a Live Music Producer, I find I spend a lot of time helping the artists I work with enjoy their experience onstage. I don’t want their goal to be to “get through it!” I want their goal to be “have fun, connect emotionally, and have the audience walk away completely satisfied.” We can spend […]

Where Am I Going Wrong?

During a recent Tom Jackson Webinar, we got this question from Angela: “Any thoughts for those of us who perform to super conservative “critical” audiences? I’m in ultra conservative churches each weekend and have had to weather lots of criticism. How do you stay creative and confident?” I feel your pain, Angela! I was raised […]

School of Rock: What You Didn’t Expect

There’s something that always happens when we work with an artist that you might not expect. If you’ve seen one of our Live Music Makeovers, you know to expect the song will be rearranged and you’ll see a new visual element to the performance. But something always happens to the artists themselves… and that’s what […]

Your Place in This World of Music

One of life’s mysteries is figuring out our place in this world. And it’s no different in the music industry. Everywhere I travel and teach, it’s the same thing. I see glimpses of originality and talent in the artists who perform for me. But so many artists are frustrated because they haven’t found their place […]

A Better Way to Bring the Word

Southern Gospel music is steeped in tradition, heart, and of course, the gospel message. It’s a sound like no other genre, has been around for over 100 years, and is still going strong. In Part I of this blog, What Would Southern Gospel Do?, I pointed out some things – good and bad – that […]

What Would Southern Gospel Do?

My Dad always wanted our family to go on the road. He thought since ‘Daddy Sang Bass’ and mama sang – actually soprano – and me and big brother joined right in there, quartet-style, that we should get a bus and be the ‘Singing Swartzendrubers.’ But it wasn’t meant to be, since my brother and […]

Do You Get a Pass?

Some of you know I’m a big sports fan. A few years ago while I was in Atlanta working with an artist, we drove down to see a Braves game. As I walked up to the stadium, a scruffy looking guy came up to me and said “I’ve got a free pass to get in; […]

Popularity: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

As you may know, I work with some of the most “popular” artists in the world. And while I generally enjoy working at that level, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. This may be one of the busiest months I’ve ever had – and it’s not over yet! I’m going to work with […]