Keith Bradford Records New Music Business Bible

Keith Bradford Photo Credit: Natasha Slinko

Photo Credit: Natasha Slinko

The jury’s still out on who wrote the book of love but we now know that Keith Bradford’s just written the definitive book of the music business. Being that this is the 21st century, the book is actually a DVD and will eventually  be available as a download. 


The Music Business-Ya Gotta Love It is a nuts ‘n’ bolts how-to instructional manual for surviving and thriving in the music business. Everything from what’s a TV tile to stool; what is it good for?, using street teams and achieving airplay dreams. Amazingly, it’s the first of its kind to gather this kind of arcane knowledge about the music business in one place and Bradford’s proud to be the one to do it.


The project is a joint venture between Bradford’s Nashville based media- empire, Toronto’s Entertainment Music Group and Redhead Productions, where the project was shot this week in Toronto’s West End studio with Director/Producer Taffi Rosen at the helm.


Dapper and charismatic in a shirt that twinkled and sparkled like a Hubble telescope photo, Bradford is the perfect front man with a contagious enthusiasm for the gig, energetic and enthusiastic in talking about his project, “ This DVD, this information is meeting a need and it’s a need I was made aware of from the very first episode from which it developed. The station airing it received lots of emails, many having music business questions of their own. There was definitely a lack out there”.

The idea came into bring as a fill-in for a Nashville gossip show that went sideways and in a pinch, went for Bradford’s suggestion of an episodal how- to show about surviving the music biz.  “ They asked me what it was about, what it's gonna be called” and I said, “ I dunno, it’s just about the music business, ya gotta love it’. And they said, ‘Hey, let s keep it!’.  Actually, I got it from my brother Mike who says that to just about anything as a capper”. The show didn’t last long but the name survives today as the title of Bradford’s ground breaking instructional DVD.


All of this carries with it the gravitas of 46 years experience n the business, 16 of them as bass player in Kitty Wells band when that artist was at her peak, all the way to currently managing a string of media interests including a TV and radio station.

Articulate and impassioned, he's a big fan of the gestalt method; you just turn on the cameras and you talk, “ At first it was just like that. I would talk about every aspect of the music business I could think of without imposing any chronological order, as things in the music business don’t come at you that way. You also have info on dealing with the business’ many dark sides and how to maximize the good times When you hold or download that DVD, you have my 46 years of experience in your hands, most of it steeped in the classic traditions of Nashville”.


Bradford’s not only up to date on the ways the business has developed; he’s a big fan of some aspects. Notably the Taylor swift business model and the immense currency of the ‘street team’ in modern music, which is largely sidetracking the traditional omnipotent role of the manager in place of a team of specialists. They can include, vocal coaches, choreographers, media people, social networking people and the business sense of a street team can make or break an artist. The DVD contains72 concise modules of specific information on specific situations. There has been considerable positive feedback around the project and there’s already loose talk about volume 2 and 3.


“This is information of use to any kind of performer, whether rock, country, Broadway. This one is mostly for the singers and performers but there’s a lot of interest in separate DVD selections for the musicians and songwriters. “The one for songwriter would cover things like formulas, structural methods, rhyme schemes, the basic mechanics of song writing."


“One for players would have for instance items on the many differences between playing live and playing in the studio, instrument dynamics, and the legendary Nashville Number System. Down in Nashville we don’t play from music charts we play by numbers, a very unique system”.


The Music Business  Ya Gotta Love It is expected in stores early in the new year. In the meantime, you can get your weekly slice of Bradford’s wit and wisdom in his Cashbox Canada column, Music City USA.


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