Photo Shoots Now Available with TMG Contract!

You heard it right! TMG is now offering a FREE photo shoot with an on-staff photographer when you come to our studios to record! This is a GREAT tool for many reasons:

1) There's no question that the quality of the photos will be high enough for print. We use professional quality Canon EOS Digital Camera with models ranging from XT to XSi.

2) You don't have to pay out of pocket for a photographer, so you have more money to spend on product that you will be selling.

3) You can purchase packages of the photos to use for your personal marketing purposes.

Your photo shoot is included in your contract with TMG. You can take advantage of the photo shoot if you plan on coming to our studios to record. Your photo shoot will be scheduled the same week you are here, and will normally be on the last day that you are here.

Your photographer will contact you at the beginning of the month that you are scheduled to be here to discuss any ideas or themes you had for the photo shoot. If you don't have any, they can help you decide what direction to take. They will also let you know the appropriate attire to wear and any props that you may want to bring.

Oklahoma weather is both good and bad for a photographer. When it cooperates, it makes for a great shoot. When it doesn't, Plan B is in full swing. We prefer to do shoots on location, but we also have a photography studio that will accommodate us even if the weather doesn't.

If you have any questions regarding this great new offer, send me an email at lynly@tatepublishing.com, or leave a reply to this post. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

We are looking forward to working with you!


We've Moved!

We are finally moved in and working hard in our brand new facilities! Below are some photos of our new space. Hopefully you will get to visit TMG and check out the place!

This is Melissa, my office mate, enjoying our new office!

TMG studios, in progress

TMG Artist Lounge

Steven's office

TMG Studio with producers Jameson and Houston, rocking out on the guitar

Our beautiful kitchen complete with 2 microwaves and a fridge!

The Multimedia department hard at work.

Multimedia wall of art

Hope you enjoyed the mini tour of our new facilities!


TMG Signs Songwriter Regie Hamm

Check out the most recent blog from our president, Ryan Tate, as he introduces one of our newest additions to TMG, singer/songwriter Regie Hamm!

You may have heard of Hamm from the popular show, American Idol. He penned the song that AI winner David Cook sang in the finale.

You can watch the video I took of Regie while at our offices, performing the AI hit song, "Time of My Life", one of many #1 radio hits for Hamm.

Hamm will be a great addition to the TMG line up and we are looking forward to a bright future! Welcome to the Tate family!


New things are on the horizon for the TMG design department! Next month we will be moving into our brand new office building! Our new building will be combining our TMG producers, TMG designers, our book designers, illustrators, multimedia producers and editors. Each department is very excited about this move and what it can mean for our productivity and all around good times!

If you're planning to record in our studio in the next few months, you'll get to experience our brand new facilities firsthand and get to hang out in the new lounge between sessions!

The main TMG area with loading door

Insulated drum room

Artist's Lounge

As always, it's a great time to be a TMG artist, and even more exciting now as we move into a brand new facility!

Also be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming iPhone app launch! Talk with your acquisitions or marketing rep about this new and exciting product from Tate Music Group!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Jeff Hill

Hello there! This week on the TMG Artist Spotlight we're talking to local worship leader, Jeff Hill. You can check out his new release, Not that Far, set to hit stores in September. Welcome to the TMG family, Jeff! Thanks for letting TMG be apart of your ministry!

1. When did you begin singing/performing?
I was 8 years old and I sang "I Am A Promise".

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?
My parents encouraged me, but I loved it the first time I sang in public.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
Convincing people that you can worship God, even with heavy guitars and drums.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
Go into it with your eyes open. It's an awesome & exciting industry but it's not without it's warts.

5. How would you describe your musical style?
Modern, intimate worship

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?
Like most artists, I have lead worship with my pants unzipped. (I thought everyone was smiling and laughing because they were happy!)

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?
I like the stage, the audience gives you something to feed off of. Sound booths rarely respond and sing with you. The studio is fun, but pretty restrictive. I love the freedom of performing live.

8. Have you started writing your next album?
I'm going to see if anyone buys my first one. I have a few thoughts though.

Thanks, Jeff! Good luck to you and your music! You can catch Jeff every Sunday at Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, OK.

Keep up-to-date with all of Jeff's events on his website, www.jeffhillworship.com and his Facebook.


Artist Spotlight: TMG Artist of the Year, Jeff Chandler

This week on the TMG artist spotlight, I'd like to introduce you to our very first TMG Artist of Year, Jeff Chandler! His album is currently in production with TMG, so you won't be seeing his cover art just yet! But I wanted to share with the world some interesting history Jeff shared with me and let you get to know who he is! Thanks so much, Jeff, and congratulations on winning the TMG Artist of the Year! Be sure to check out his performance and all the others, including Ron Walters, Sarah Scharff, The Cliftones and Sally Jayne, at TMG Artist of the Year page.

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

I was 16 years old. Had never sang a note...pretty much. I certainly had never had a solo before. Christmas time of 1991, my music minister at the time, Tony Kimbrell, let me have the lead "shepherd boy role" in our church's Christmas play. I loved acting. Being in front of people has always been fun (and mortifying) for me. Tony let me know that with that role I would have to sing a solo. So I learned it and sang it. It was awful, in my opinion. Like Michael W. Smith with a bad cold. (Nothing wrong with Smitty, I've always wanted to be him really and at times thought I was, but that's another boyhood dream story for another time).

I still have the VHS tape of me singing that first song. Scary! The funny thing was the response of the audience every night. People responded to it like I was Pavarotti. A scrawny little, nasally-singing kid with a towel on his head was making people cry with this debut solo about the birth of baby Jesus. I still don't believe it. It really became a defining moment for me. Up until this time I really had a focus to get a baseball scholarship and play for the Braves. This was an OBSESSION for me my entire boyhood. I completely dropped baseball-which was a huge deal-and gave my life to music. And here we are...

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?

This is interesting. Besides the story above, my mother tells me that when I was 10 I was in the kitchen with her; she was watching Richard Roberts (Oral's son) sing on television. I was apparently mesmerized by Richard and his ministry. I told her, "That's what I'm going to do", and then went about my business.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?

Holy cow, where do I begin? I guess I can honestly say: Mom warned me not to do this! LOL!! She wanted me to go to work for AT&T like my father had for 35 years now. I rebelled....(smile)...and I've paid for it dearly.

The last decade I've spent writing, touring, trying-no-beating my brains out to get a record deal, playing for no one (literally), to singing on stage with Casting Crowns for 12,000 people. The playing for no one was funny. I'll digress momentarily. We had a promoter/pastor who hired us for $1000 to play an event he was putting on. Apparently he wasn't a good promoter. NO ONE, not a soul, came to the event. There was another band there and we literally played for the other band and then they took the stage and played for us. It was awkward to say the least. You feel bad taking a grand to play for the other band...but we did. LOL!!!

We finally got a "record deal" in 2006, which basically amounted to nothing but a fair amount of debt for us all and loss of publishing on some of my songs. We had set out with the illusion we would replace U2, but what we did was get our single out to about 40 stations (who LOVED it by the way) and then faded back into oblivion.

It's funny, the statement, "to get where I am today"-I'm really nowhere anyone would want to be with my music accomplishments thus far, save this-I FINALLY do have a record deal I believe in with TMG! Excited to see where we go together in 2009! AND I did manage to get a song on Casting Crowns latest record. Mark Hall (lead singer for Crowns) asked me on a youth trip if they could use the song for "The Altar and the Door". So I guess I'm making some headway and it's about darn time.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?

My advice is this: No one, and i mean NO ONE, will ever believe in your music as much as you do. All the label reps that stroke you and make empty promises are making the same promises to many other hopeful youngsters who are just as or more talented than you. Don't rely on someone else to "get you out there." If you don't get yourself out there it won't be done. Consider a distribution deal with TMG. ;-) AND, never, never quit on your dream.

5. How would you describe your musical style?


6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?


I was 17 and performing to a track at a local church. I was singing "I Believe in Miracles" by Russ Lee and Newsong. There is an extensive instrumental in the middle of the track and I was trying to decide how to pass this time vocally, so it's less awkward and impacting to my audience. I had decided to ad-lib and build with the music of the track, which built to a head at a certain point and then EXPLODED into a radical accordion solo! LOL! I'm so serious here too! It really did erupt into something that sounded like an accordion solo...amazing.

Anyhow, if you've ever performed with tracks you know the importance of timing your cues. Well, I mistimed this one horrendously. My plan was to turn my back on the audience, then at the supreme moment of climax, I would turn abruptly, leap toward the crowd with a mighty yell as the instrumental tsunami (headed up by the accordion) overtook them like never before! They would, of course, be moved beyond human emotional limits and soar to new levels of pleasure and euphoria, and buy out all my tapes! This was the plan....

What DID happen was this: I turned my back on the audience, mellowed out to fake them out and draw them in, began to sway to and fro (the whole time imagining they were swaying with me), and with the quickness of a kung-fu-master I spun about, lept forward with a powerful-vocal-tricked-out-yell....4 bars too soon. The poor folks just stared at me staring at them while the music quietly continued to build, and FINALLY went into the big instrumental...

I've never wished I could disappear until that moment. Ugh.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?

I love both. In the studio you can eat more snacks and watch YouTube videos, unlike on stage. But onstage is more exciting!

8. Have you started writing your next album?

Soon. I'm already in talks with one of my great friends, Aswan North, about writing for the next album. Shameless plug for Aswan here. Please check him out: myspace.com/aswannorth. His music speaks for itself, you'll love it. I'm a big fan!

Thank you so much, Jeff! You are an inspiration to anyone interested in the music biz and you are truly great at what you do!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Pekints

This week on the TMG artist spotlight we feature Pekints new album, Party for Eternity, available now in stores! His new rap sound will be sure to meet you where you are and bring a light into a dark world.



1. When did you begin singing/performing?

I really can’t remember exactly when I started. You know everybody gets a chance to sing in one place or the other while growing up. However, I started getting really serious with singing and performing in 1993 when I gave my life to Christ. I joined the church choir and the music team and it went on from there.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?

Appreciation! That is the first thing that comes to mind. Before I was born again, I had lot of stuff that could make people happy, but I kept feeling a vacuum inside of me. Moreover, I suffered a lot spiritually. I kept on having these horrible nightmares in which strange people repeatedly tried to kill me. I would run so hard in these dreams that I would wake up panting and sweating. Sometimes while lying on the bed awake, I would suddenly feel a strange presence and invisible hands virtually trying to strangulate me. I won’t be able to scream, wake up or run. It was crazy, but guess what… When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I was instantly delivered from these oppressions. I was so grateful to God for deliverance, healing and salvation. That is how I got inspiration to sing his praise and tell the whole world what God has done for me and could do for anybody that would come to him.
3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
It has been an exciting challenge for me to be where I am now. Things get so difficult sometimes in many perspectives and you wonder if God actually called you into the ministry. But God has been more than faithful and merciful to me. He has been there to see me through every mountain and valley and I am very confident he will be there till the end. So despite the hurdles, I know with God, my future is a great one.
4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
Just love it. You really need to love and enjoy what you do. If someone gets involved in the music/recording scene just for the money or fame, there could be serious disappointment lurking around because money and fame don’t just come like that. But if you have a message or talent you really want to share with the world, just keep doing what you do best and have fun at it. Do it with all your heart, mind, talent and resources. When it is time, God will open the door and take you to the next level.
5. How would you describe your musical style?

Contemporary gospel music spiced up with hip-hop, rap, and slow jamz.

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of a large audience?

Oh man!!! I have had many embarrassing moments on stage, but I think the worst case happened at a wedding reception. I was invited to perform at a wedding reception weeks before the event. There was no problem. I composed a special song for the couple and even sent them a copy. They were thrilled. However, just one day before the main event, I caught a cold and lost most of my voice. To make matters worse, we could not get a replacement. So I had to GO AND SING. I prayed and went by faith. I managed to pull it off with a rather rough voice. Strangely, many people came up to tell me they really enjoyed the performance. No one seemed to have noticed I had a cold!

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?

Stage of course! There is so much energy one could express on stage and there is so much room for creativity, ad-libs and add-ons. Moreover, I believe the Spirit of God has a greater opportunity to move and bless the audience in a special way because of the flexibility on stage. Don’t get me wrong, God moves in the studio too.

8. Have you started writing your next album?

Oh sure. And I can tell you that this one is fully loaded. You will love it. Check my website for details.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?
Its God’s choice Christian Bookstore (Cd signing) Mar. 27th Christ Embassy Church, Upper Marlboro, MD (Performance) (Please see website for updates)

email: pekintsmusic@gmail.com

Thank you.

Thanks. Pekints!

Look for his album, Party for Eternity, in stores NOW!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Mike Calhoun

This week on the TMG artist spotlight we feature Mr. Mike Calhoun, dedicated guitarist who's worked with some of the biggest names in the business. His co-writing on a Grammy Award winning album is sure to secure his name in this fast-paced music scene. Here we catch a glimpse at his thoughts on the music scene.


1. When did you begin singing/performing?
I started playing guitar in high school and playing in clubs in the evenings right out of high school.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?
Songs by the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix inspired me, along with Motown and of course, the girls like you when you play guitar.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
Playing with some of my white friends back in those days became a racial issue with their parents but I overcame this. And getting into clubs at an early age as I was not old enough to drink, trying to look older so I would fit in. People try to take advantage of your talent and you can end up being used.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
Educate yourself on the business and if first you don't succeed try, try again and never quit.

5. How would you describe your musical style?
It's very versatile, pop, R&B, inspirational, rock, funk, jazz, etc...

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of a large audience?
While playing the guitar, my trousers fell down, so I slowly backed off the stage. Not sure who saw this but I kept on playing.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?
The stage of course, when I have a good belt on. I love the interaction of the crowd as I'm known to be a crowd pleaser in large circles. I love to perform. To perform onstage at the "Topping Off" ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Jerry Lee Lewis and Bobby Womack was history making. However, the studio is great also, as this brings out the creative side of me. Recording records for Motown, MCA, Island and 20th Century Fox/RCA records was the thrill of my life, working with Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire, Eddie LeVert (The Ojays), Gerald LeVert, and of course the master, Berry Gordy. To have my name on a Grammy Award Winning record on the Motown label (I co-wrote the flipside of "Let It Whip" by the Dazz Band) is truly a blessing.

8. Have you started writing your next album?
I have three full CDs written, recorded and mixed already just waiting for distribution.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?
Upon the release of "The One", I have a number of bookings awaiting me. The House of Blues (Cleveland) has been on my schedule for the past two years, and (God willing) will continue to be.

soultracks.com (artist information)

E-mail address - mikecalzone@sbcglobal.net

Thanks Mike!

Be sure to catch this jazzy hit when it debuts on May 5, 2009!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Juda

This week's artist spotlight focuses on the talents of Juda. With an unstoppable passion for God, Juda writes songs that speak truth to encourage anyone going through hard times. Her contemporary music has an eclectic blend of jazz and ethnic instruments.

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

I've sung in choirs and praise teams for all my life. But it wasn't until 2005 that I began to sing solo.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?

Meeting my birth mother in 2005. When she told me I was conceived by 8 men attacking her, I just cried. She patted my shoulder and said,"Honey, stop your crying. I've forgiven those men and look what God has done. He has brought you back to me. God is faithful!" I was inspired to write God is Faithful and gave it to her on my Valentine birthday. Others heard it and encouraged me to do a full CD.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?

Feeling unworthy at first was the biggest hurdle. But with God there was a quick turn around and He placed everything in place to complete the whole project even providing financial supporters.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?

Trust God in every thing.

5. How would you describe your musical style?

[It's] eclectic with world sounds and lots of rhythm

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?

Luckily it wasn't a large audience when I forgot my own words!

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?

[I] love both. [The] studio for it's creative possibility and [the] stage for ministering to hurting people.

8. Have you started writing your next album?

I do have more songs I am working on.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?

Most of my gigs wrap around speaking events. I have been invited to Harvard. Date to scheduled. Also I will be speaking and singing at the Republican party group in Houston Texas. Daystar TV will be interviewing me sometime in April.


Thank you, Juda!

Be sure to check out new TMG artist, Juda, here at TMG or at your local music stores, set to hit the shelves on 4.14.09!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Pieces of Influence

This week on the artist spotlight, we feature a band who is tearing up the stage with their rocking performances. Pieces of Influence is set to hit stores this February and they guarantee to rock!

1. When did you begin singing/performing?
I began as a self-taught guitarist at the age of 14, playing in front of an audience at the "Ye Old Whaler" in Easton, MD at the age of 15.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?
I used to listen to Kiss albums in my bedroom and play fake guitar with a tennis racket all day and night probably as early as the age 11, but I think I was truly inspired by my grandfather, Perry Clark, who use to visit us and bring his guitar to play. I remember sitting on his lap while he would play and I was so small I could barely get my little arms over the top of his big Gibson E-S models.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
Hurdles?!!!...wow, life has been been one huge hurdle but the biggest I believe was raising my children and sacrificing a music career in order to do that. Once grown, I could pursue my music again and the persistence proved to pay off.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
It's tough. You have to be willing to ACCEPT criticism and make room for change and remember that music is like this: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Sure it does, just no one can HEAR IT. Your music always starts as just that..so be willing to let people tell you what they want to hear and adapt to that, if you want to be heard. Don't be that tree that fell and no one was around to hear your noise.

5. How would you describe your musical style?
Musical style? [I would] describe that as "MINE".

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?
One time on New Years Eve, I was rockin' out on stage and stepped backwards, tripping over the drum riser, landing flat on my back while taking out a couple of cymbal stands on the way. And since I was the only guitarist in a 3 piece band, I couldn't stop playing, and proudly never missed one note!!!

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?
I froth at the mouth for both. But I have to say it's a 2-part process for me. One goes hand in hand with the other. As an artist, the studio is my laboratory, it's where I love to work and create. Usually I write stuff "on the spot" as everything just comes together, and then I use the stage as my playground where I can display all the hard work that went into the creation and just have a lot of fun with it.

8. Have you started writing your next album?
[We] already have 75% of the next album written and still coming up with new material everyday. Now its just a matter of piecing it all together. The band is recording a song called "Figured It Out" in AMI Studios on February 17th.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?
[We have a] cd release party at The Greene Turtle in Easton, MD on 3/27/09 and our agent, Guy Nelson of WhyteBeard Productions, is putting together a tour immediately following that. We'll travel as far north as New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and he has put us in for an overseas tour performing for our troops....WOW!!!

10. What is your website address or contact info, where people can find more info?
www.piecesofinfluence.com (under construction)

Thank you for your interest!


Thanks, Tod!

Be sure to check out Pieces of Influence's new album, Unspoken Voices, from TMG Studios, set to hit stores February 24, 2009!


The TMG Design Process

Here is a glimpse into what you can expect during the Production Process of your time with TMG!

When You Have Begun the Production Phase

• You will be asked to send in any and all materials that you intend to use on the album. You will need to send any and all artwork-related material to me (artwork@tatepublishing.com) for review. These materials must be sent to me for approval before the rest of production can begin.

• These materials could include photos, pre-designed artwork, or ideas for artwork. Please note: If you are or intend to submit photos of yourself for the album, we request that they be taken by a professional photographer and done in a professional manner. A professional photographer will know the best way to capture you and make you look your best. Please visit my blog (tatemusicdesign.blogspot.com) for more information on taking professional photos.

• Some artists have acquired artwork outside of TMG, and that is acceptable. However, we will need to review it for use in print. We will let you know if it is suitable for print. Some things we look for that would make the artwork unusable would be: low resolution/quality images, pixelated or fuzzy images, images pulled from the web, copyrighted images, poorly designed artwork, unprofessional artwork, etc. If any of these issues are apparent, we will be unable to approve the artwork for use in print.

• Again, any and all artwork related materials must be submitted for review before production can begin.

When You Have Begun the Design Process

• The design process will begin after the recording and mastering phase is completed. Your producer will pass the project over to us once he has received final approval from you on the recordings. They must have your final approval form in hand before they can move you into design.

• You and your designer will have one month to create and complete the full artwork. You will be contacted by a designer at the beginning of the month you are moved into design. They will email you to let you know they will be working with you. You will work one-on-one with them to create the full album design, which includes a front cover, insert with or without lyrics, disc design, and front/back intray. They will send you cover options around the middle of month, and upon your approval of one, they will continue to develop the remaining pieces. They will send those to you around the third week of the month. Upon your approval by the month's end, we will be off to print!

The timely flow of the design process is dependent upon you! We must have your artwork materials submitted before we can begin the production process.

Thank you for your attention to this part of the process and we look forward to working with you in the near future. Congratulations!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Willie Blake Davis

The artist's spotlight is burning bright again this week with the upcoming release of Willie Blake Davis' new album, Foundation Solid, set to hit stores on March 10, 2009.

Willie gives us an inside look into his world of writing and creating music. Hope you enjoy!

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

I have always been a church singer, though not a very good one though. Just ask my wife and she will tell you that she used to hate sitting beside me in church while we were dating because I used to sing so flat. I guess that's why I started to play drums so no one could hear me sing! It wasn't until I heard Russ Taff sing for the first time at an outdoor festival called New Sound. He closed out the first night and I was totally blown away by what I heard. I never knew anyone could sound like that and move me so, so deeply at the same time. It was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to sing with that much soul and passion that I could move people to that degree. So I went out and bought everything that Russ had done to that point and have everything he has done since. And I just listened to him over and over and started to copy everything he did. I wasn't trying to sound like him but I wanted to tap into that depth of the soul and spirit that was very evident that Russ had a hold of. And according to what happens when I perform I believe that I have tapped into that vein of the spirit.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?

See answer #1

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go throught to be where you are today?

WOW, WOW & WOW again!!! Oh my Lord, have mercy, where do I start? I guess it could all be summed up that I was raised in a very legalistic pentecostal church that robbed you of your personal identity that God had created inside each and every one of us.

First of all Rock and Roll music was considered the "devil's music" and that was the avenue that I felt God leading me into. And also you were hindered from expressing yourself from the stage that was considered "worldly". You pretty much had to stand there like a clone and just sing and that was very hard for this outgoing boy to do. But I thought I was living the whole truth of the word of God, and I wanted to sing so badly that I did just that.

The incident that sticks out in my mind the most is back in the mid 90s I was at a business event and there was supposed to be a man open the afternoon session with a song. Well he didn't show up and the man I was with knew the man in charge and told him he had a more that average singer with him that could take the absent man's place. (He was talking about me.) So I talked with him and told him I would not let him down. So I took to the stage and sang Steven Curtis Chapman's The Great Adventure. (I always carry tracks with me in case the opportunity presents itself.) And something happened that day that had never happened before I brought the entire audience to its feet. I was completely charged and sang with more soul and passion then ever and became more animated than in the past.

People were coming up to me afterward and asking where they could buy my album. Well I had never made one so I said "I don't have one" and the common response was "you're kidding...well you should".

So when I got back home I told the one who I thought would be the most excited for me, my pastor. His response was this: "If your dreams don't support my dreams then you have the wrong dreams" I was crushed and the joy and passion of singing died that day. And I walked away from church and never wanted to sing again. I still had a deep love for God, but if that is how the church was I wanted absolutely no part of if.

Long story short, I got deeply involved with racing motocross and fell in love with it. There I found no judgment, people accepted me as I was and I got deep into the motocross scene.
Then I had a bad crash in 2002 that laid me up for 5 months and in that time God started talking to my heart and nudging my soul and the spark to want to sing was ignited once more.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artist about the music/recording scene?

There is a lot I could say, but the biggest one is, do it if you love it, there has to be a raw love & passion for it that I believe can only come down from above.

5. How would you describe your musical style?

The style has a mixture of sounds. Anywhere from Lynard Skynard to Creed to Ozzy to Russ Taff. It just completely rocks.

6. What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?

My most embarrassing moment singing was about 20 years ago when my wife and I were the soloists for the choir that night in church. Rehearsal went great but during the live performance when it came to my turn to sing I drew a complete blank and I had to look over to the pianist and say "you sing it." But I recovered and kept on rockin'.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?

The stage for sure. It is harder to capture the raw energy that the crowd feeds to you. But when I'm in the studio I become the song just as I become the character I am playing when I do theatre. I have learned how to make the transformation almost instantly when I am in the studio. Plus Jameson @ Tate just put me at ease anyway. He was great to work with.

8. Have you started work on your next album?

Yes, we have started writing our next album. We even have a title for it but you'll just have to wait and see when it releases.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up I ht near future?

You can see where we are playing next by going to www.myspace.com/willieblakedavis

The full name of our band is Willie Blake Davis & 3 Steps Away. And everyone in the band is ready to start gigging out a lot more. We have rehearsal twice a week and these guys can really rock. They make it so, so easy to sing and I thank God above for each and every one of them. And as our band motto that I tell them everytime before we walk onstage..."Let's go Rock for the Rock!!!"

Thanks, Willie!

Be sure to check out his new album available now at TMG: www.tatepublishing.com
and in stores everywhere starting March 10!


Creative Inspiration

We'll be taking a break from the Artist's Spotlight this week and we will pick up next with an all new interview from Willie Blake Davis.

This week I'd like to share my thoughts on creative inspiration. I truly believe inspiration is all around, and you can't miss wonders and miracles God lays in front of your eyes. One of my most favorite things to do is get outside, away from the noise of frenzied people and busy cities, and relax in place that is beautiful and inspiring. I don't have to go far. There are many roads behind my house that lend themselves nicely to this. Or going on a vacation or camping trip. Anywhere that I can surround myself with the simplicities of life, I can find the most inspiration forwhatever I'm working on, whether it be my next photography project, or my next TMG album design.

So the other day, I decided to experiment with my camera, get some one-on-one time with it, and see what we could come up with together. I am not partial to the cold and so unfortunately haven't made it outside to do these little experiments, so I stayed inside and explored. I enjoyed viewing various objects piece by piece and joint by joint.

They are simple pictures, but they are foundations to build upon. I think this principle could span many an area in our lives. If you're reading this, you're probably interested in doing an album with TMG, so I will associate the two.

In the same way these photos are foundations, small parts that equal a whole, the same goes for the process of an album. You dream, you think, you write, you compose, you collaborate, you create, you edit, you create again, you let go, you trust and you fully realize the fruits of all that has transpired. For some the process is quick and easy, for other it is long and tedious. Whatever it is for you, be sure to make it the best it can be. If you're not satisfied, why settle for less?

We at TMG understand the tireless work you have put into your art, your music. We want you to be proud of what you have done, because we are proud too.


TMG Artist Spotlight: Roc

This week on the TMG Spotlight we feature Roc, with his new hip hop sounds, he brings to you "What Hip Hop Means".

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?
I've always had the habit of expressing myself through words and lyrics. To me, performing is just another level in itself.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
Doubts. Lots of 'em.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
It's what you make of it, really. Plain and simple.

5. How would you describe your musical style?
Conscious. I like songs that make people think, so I try to do just that with mine.

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?
Forgetting my words. You can slip, trip, and fall, but "choking" has got to be the worst.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?
Both, mainly because I see the studio and the stage as two different outlets. Putting down a track or performing to a live crowd; I love either one.

8. Have you started writing your next album?
In a way, yeah. I'm constantly writing, whether or not for the purpose of my next album.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?
I also got one in March, but the details are to follow. I'm hoping to do a few in New York way before then though, so heads up!

Thanks, Roc!


Be sure to check out Roc's myspace page for upcoming gigs and photos.