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Tag: Eric Normand

Eric Normand

Nashville Berklee Jam – Rhett Akins: Hit Writer, Small Town Swagger

Our most recent Nashville Berklee Jam featured hit songwriter and country music artist, Rhett Akins as the guest speaker and performer. The Georgia native and member of the red hot songwriting team, “The Peach Pickers” is currently one of Nashville’s hottest songwriters, and his talk focused on just about every aspect of that world you could imagine. Working with Rhett as his tour manager, bandleader, and lead guitarist for the last seven years has given me some great perspective on what goes on in the world of a Nashville songwriter. And on this comfortable late summer night he gave the crowd of alumni and locals at the Fillin’ Sation a real peek behind the curtain into that otherwise secret society. Rhett preceded and followed his talk by performing some of his most recent mega-hits with two members of the alumni house band (Heston Alley on drums and me on guitar) and two other members of his touring band – session aces and former “G-men”, Mike Chapman on bass and Chris Leuzinger on guitar. Rhett also invited fiddle player/singer and Berklee alumnus, Michael Lambert to the stage to perform some classic country and bluegrass.

To read the guest blog post by Shantell Ogden ’05 about the latest Nashville Berklee jam visit http://nashvilleberkleejam.com.

The Nashville Berklee Jam is held on the first Tuesday of every month at The Fillin’ Station. The jam is hosted by Eric Normand ’89 who lives and works in Nashville, TN. He has worked as a performer, tour manager, band leader, guitar tech, guitar teacher, songwriter, website designer, author, and public speaker. He is the author of “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide“.

Nashville Berklee Jam with Rich Redmond – June 5, 2012

The latest Nashville Berklee Jam last Tuesday was a great success, thanks to all who attended! The weather was beautiful, so we had a very laid back talk outside on the patio at The Fillin’ Station, our usual location for this event. Rich Redmond, the guest speaker on this night, has worn a lot of hats during his 15 years in Nashville – session/touring drummer, producer, clinician, public speaker, and his hour-long talk gave all in attendance some great perspective into different ways to navigate the Nashville music industry.

Rich spoke of the need to aggressively market yourself to find work in Nashville and how in his earliest days he obtained work by handing out demo CDs of his drumming abilities to almost everyone he would meet around town. He candidly talked about those ‘lean years’, and that long before he was recording on hit records, touring the world with Jason Aldean, and producing acts like ‘Thompson Square‘, he was hustling gigs on Broadway, playing in corporate party bands – whatever was necessary to insure survival.

To continue reading, click here to read the original post on nashvilleberkleejam.com.

The Nashville Berklee Jam is held on the first Tuesday of every month at The Fillin’ Station. The jam is hosted by Eric Normand ’89 who lives and works in Nashville, TN. He has worked as a performer, tour manager, band leader, guitar tech, guitar teacher, songwriter, website designer, author, and public speaker. He is the author of “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide“.

Nashville Berklee Jam with Reese Wynans

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my dad playing records and, dare I say, reel to reel tapes of the music of Paul Butterfield, John Lee Hooker, Santana, and Derek and the Dominoes. I guess this music made an impression, because my early teens in the early 1980’s I was buying my own records, not of the pop-based FM radio music of my generation, but of the previous generations more blues-based artists. While everyone else was listening to E.L.O. and Michael Jackson, I was discovering Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers, BB King, and Bobby Bland. Sure, I liked some of the 80’s guitar rock of the day, but always kept digging back to a more rootsy sound. Then right smack in the middle of 80’s hair band mania came Stevie Ray Vaughan, and I immediately related to his music.

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The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide

Eric Normand, the author of The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide gives a sneek peak at his new book!

I’m here today to tell you about a book, a book that I believe every musician or aspiring artist should read, “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide.” The book is a street-level perspective of the music related jobs in the Nashville music industry and has been 2 1/2 years in the making – a labor of love, borne out of my genuine desire to help musicians navigate the rough seas of the music industry. As a professional freelance musician working in the Nashville music industry over the past decade, my experiences here have been an education as much as anything else. But long before I came to Nashville, I was sitting in a classroom learning music theory, and moving to Nashville, let alone writing a book about this place was the furthest thing from my mind.

When I walked out of the learning halls of Berklee for the last time, back in the spring of 1989, I had no idea what my future would hold. Although I was fairly proficient on my axe and armed with vast theoretical knowledge, at that point I didn’t yet have the much-needed street experience a musician can only gain from years of pounding the pavement – the endless stream of nightclub bands and gigs, years of teaching private lessons in a 6 x6 cubicle, driving two hours to play a gig after working all day as a salesman in a music store, maintaining a PA system, and the delicate juggling act required to successfully wear all of these hats and still keep my sanity.

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