Concert Grosses-SiriusXM This Week

Tune in Saturday September 30th to Faction Talk, channel 103, at 4 PM East, 1 PM West.

Phone #: 844-686-5863

Twitter: @lefsetz

If you miss the episode, you can hear it on demand on the SiriusXM app. Search: Lefsetz


From: Andy Gould

Subject: Re: Sweet Sounds Of Heaven

Well said Bob, having heard the track 9 times, I think I now believe in time travel just for 7 and a half minutes I was back on the floor of my first flat (apartment ) reading liner notes and getting lost in the music and thinking I have to be part of this business, these moments are now few and far between but I am so glad when they happen and unlike the first track I feel like the kid waiting in line at the local record shop can’t wait for it to come out


Subject: Re: Eric Johnson-This Week’s Podcast

Eric is one of the finest to ever pick up a guitar and truly one of the nicest guys in this business!

Great singer/ songwriter too!

I have always been in awe of abilities!

Huge fan!



Subject: Paul Shaffer

Loved the podcast with Shaffer! I was a high school student in East Lyme, CT. from 83-87, and would tape (VCR) “Late Night” every night. At first it was just to listen to the band play in and out of commercials and play with the musical guests, (a tip from my Dad) but then, naturally, became a fan of the show. I used to watch their orginal song/video “Dress Cool” over and over! Flash forward to 2000 and I was on the show with Vertical Horizon performing “Everything You Want”. As you said, there was hardly any interaction with Dave, but talking with Paul beforehand and getting a positive nod from Anton as we finished and went into commercial was more than enough approval for me! Even if the set was cold as f*ck! Thanks for the flashback!

Ed Toth



From: Marty Walsh

Subject: Re: Katy Perry Sells Catalog

Bob, my brother Dan Walsh wrote a song called Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City. Bobby Blue Bland cut it in the 70s. Lots of artists did. Then his writing partner decided to sell his rights, Dan didn’t.  Next up, in 2009 Jay Z cuts it and puts in the American Gangster trailer. Since then it has been used so many times its unbelievable how much my bro has made and he’s been out of the biz since the mid 80’s. It’s still being used all the time. To quote my brother “If you have a dead body in an alley in a film or TV show that’s the song that’s playing.

For working songwriters never sell.


Subject: Re: Katy Perry Sells Catalog

Bob:  The most thrilling, fulfilling professional years of my life was working as right hand man to Howie Richmond and David Platz, founder/owners of TRO/Essex Music.  The catalog they built as an international music publisher remains legendary and, to this day, family owned.  When I joined the organization in 1976 based in London, Platz’ wife presented me with a “welcoming” gift—a handmade needlepoint embroidered with the unofficial business motto they lived and thrived by:  “Never Sell A Copyright”.

All best,

Burt Berman


From: Ralph Covert

Subject: Re: Katy Perry Sells Catalog

Exactly right, Bob. 

I played a long game early in my career, and released my own albums long before that was a thing. Maybe it hurt me, but I don’t think so. I controlled and still own all my masters and publishing for my solo work and with The Bad Examples. My friends who signed big deals and did big tours don’t have sh*t. I never got huge, but I never got kicked out on the curb. 

I tried something different with Ralph’s World, and signed a traditional record deal with a smart indie label, Minty Fresh, and their marketing was very effective in building the value of the that catalog, which was then sold to Disney for a cool million (none of which I saw, of course!). And that deal with Universal/Disney was an education in that way of doing business, good and bad. 

In my case, I got lucky, and years after I had left Disney I had the opportunity to purchase my Ralph’s World catalog at a discount (masters, publishing, videos, the works)… you’re damn straight right I remortgaged my house and bought it. It’s over ten years ago, and I’ve made my money back multiple times over since then. 

How do these artists not get it?! It’s exactly like trading the goose for a basket of golden eggs. Shiny? Sure. Smart? Hell no. 

Thanks for all you do, and keep shouting the truth. Maybe a few folks will listen…




Subject: Re: Trump/Fraud

Hi Bob

As always, you hit the mark.

My Dad owned a small grocery store in a suburb of Cleveland and his older partner owned a Cadillac Deville.  He would never drive it to the store, instead driving an old Ford.  I remember him telling me that you never show your customers your luxury items.

Best regards

Bill Berger


From: Jim Koplik

Subject: Re: E-Mail Of The Day

When I was a student at The Ohio State University I started my own concert business. Someone in my dorm put a swastika on my door. Growing up in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York, I had never felt anti semitism before. I was very shaken as I didn’t know who did it and what could happen next. I have privately lived with that fear for 56 years now but living in New York and Connecticut I never felt the sting of anti semitism again, thankfully. I just don’t understand why people hate me. Jews are regular people. Atleast I think so. 

Jimmy Koplik


From: Ellie Ovsenik

Subject: Re: Unbelievable

When I worked at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland a few years ago I oversaw all social and digital media. It’s ok to criticize the new classes and tell us that rap doesn’t belong with rock – discourse is good! What’s not ok are the racist tirades that filled our inboxes, comment threads, DMs, etc. any communication channel, we received it. Razor blades in the mail, phone calls to the main line, the threats were almost as predictable as the class favorites.

I should have reached out and  informed every single employer whose employees sent emails from their work addresses, but I was scared of retribution.

Our security team trained us in active shooter drills every year and I tell you what, it’s the only place I’ve ever worked where I felt like I might need to call on that training someday. I worked there when a bomb threat was called in.


From: Jesse Lundy

Subject: Re: David Sedaris At The Vilar

We get to work with David in Philly, when he plays Keswick. My wife and I pick him up at his hotel and drive him to the theater and get some time to chat…he’s really a great guy and interested in YOUR life and who you are. The books, the shows…totally the best. But it’s refreshing when you realize the act is like that.

Last time he told a story about signing books and the random things he writes in fans’ books, such us “Go back to Whore Island” which slays me

Totally the real deal


From: Gary Lang

Subject: RE: Oliver Anthony/Rich Men North Of Richmond

“Very few people in America are truly independent. They almost always vote one way or the other.”


That’s what the data says. From Ezra Klein’s book, “Why We’re Polarized”: “In his important paper “Polarization and the Decline of the American Floating Voter,” Michigan State University political scientist Corwin Smidt found that between 2000 and 2004, self-proclaimed independents were more stable in which party they supported than self-proclaimed strong partisans were from 1972 to 1976.13 I want to say that again: today’s independents vote more predictably for one party over the other than yesteryear’s partisans. That’s a remarkable fact.”


Subject: RE: John Gosling

Hi Bob,

Sorry to learn about John Gosling but your email sent me on a trip down memory lane to my brush with greatness.  I was in a band  in the early ’70s and we played a lot of Kinks covers from the Lola  and Muswell Hillbilly era.  I was the keyboard player and you are right, John Gosling’s unique style added much to the Kinks sound and for me was difficult to emulate. My band mate Glen was a Kinks super fan and we would attend many of their concerts.  On one occasion we trekked up from LI to see them I think to Hartford bearing gifts we hoped  to give Ray Davies. Glenn brought a book he thought Ray would enjoy and since I was in the throws of starting a boutique men’s shirt company I boxed up two shirts and enclosed a note telling Ray how much I enjoyed what he did and wanted to reciprocate with what I did.  Glenn had a sense of where to hang outside the theater and sure enough a limo pulled up and Ray emerged.  We said hello and gave him our gifts half expecting that they would be abandoned in some back stage dressing room.  Well some weeks later they were playing at MSG but I couldn’t go.  The day after the concert my friends who had attended told me that Ray came on stage after one of his wardrobe changes wearing one of my shirts.  Even though I was sorry I didn’t get to see it I was really excited.  Cut to some months later and Preservation Act 2 was released and there on the album cover is Ray wearing the other shirt, a polka dot one, embellished with one of his signature bow ties. My shirt company is long gone but that cover remains.

Jay Fortunato


From: Jermaine Fray

Subject: 90’s Hip Hop and Entertainment

Just some venting after I watched a couple of new music videos………. I still tap into music in my 40’s. Formerly a laid off Big Studio Engineer. Reading your letter that pissed people off. Here we go………

I was there for , arguably, the Golden Age of Hip Hop, the 90’s. Jay Z was underground , Radio didn’t care, Ralph McDaniels’ Video Music Box forced MTV to play it, and the F’ing  Wu Tang Clan. Hip Hop and Black Entertainment Culture , on the whole, taught us Black People that we are smart, historic, educated, enlightened, tough, gritty, creative and passionate. You had choices, Public Enemy or NWA. The Roots or Mobb Deep. A Tribe Called Quest or Tupac. The Cosby Show, Boyz n The Hood, Menace to Society, Love Jones,White Men Can’t Jump, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Mario Van Peebles, BET……….etc…..Too much to add…These and Many others set the foundation of Black Culture we now know today.

Is the Culture in a Great place after the setup? Hell No. Many of our so-called leaders capitalized, sold off companies, made millions and a few billions, and now throw their money in our faces every time they can. A few bullsht non-profits and PR statements help no one. The music is still popular, but complete garbage made for streaming and social media hits. We’re probably in less control than we were then.

I know I’ll be labeled a Hater, Too Old, Bitter and all the typical statements. But drive through the Hood and then look at some REAL stats and ask yourself, has anything changed here?



From: Marty DeHart

Re: The Death of Radio

Hi Bob,

Long time reader, always look forward to your missives and enjoy your insights.

I’d say Oliver Anthony is not a harbinger of things to come, he’s a beneficiary of what’s already been happening outside the tired outlines of the big labels/Billboard charts/radio play paradigm. “Rich Men North of Richmond” got a ton of play in the YouTube reaction community.

A significant way the work of label-less independent artists is being disseminated is through exposure on YouTube reaction channels. The big labels automatically copyright strike reaction videos to their music so reactors can’t show those videos much less monetize them (thereby denying their artists free exposure to potentially huge new audiences, but whatever). Independent artists understand that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship and thus allow such content creation with their music along with monetization.The big reactors have massive reach, and when they put up an artist’s track it gets heard by a very large number of people. Truly huge artist fan bases are being built this way. It’s occured to me that the better reaction channels are in many ways performing the curation function that radio programmers and DJs used to give their listeners.

The most notable example of this symbiotic dynamic is Ren, who blew past a million subscribers on his YT channel recently and has a very active and very devoted fan base of millions all over the world. Most of this fan base discovered his music via a reaction channel. He hasn’t been able to tour due to health issues, and thus this ardent following has been built *entirely* via his presence on social media, mostly YouTube with its long form format, but also Instagram and Tik Tok. Ren’s the standout, but others are following this path to success, too — the widely popular independent rapper NF comes to mind.

This explosion in new great music has totally reinvigorated my interest in the current scene. I thought my days of experiencing the thrill of discovering exciting new artists were dead and gone, but I’m massively happy to be wrong. I’m your age, by the way.


Marty DeHart

Nashville, TN


From: Charlie Brusco

Re: Jimmy Buffett

April 22, 1974 Lauderdale Arena Florence, AL … Lynyrd Skynyrd / Jimmy Buffett / the Outlaws

… Buffett was playing solo acoustic and standing by the side of the stage while the Outlaws were killing it with Green Grass and High Tides. Thirty minutes later he was on stage and between cries of “get the f*ck off the stage and SKYNYRD” he said … “I got 15 minutes left and then I get paid and you get Skynyrd and we will all be happy”. He came off with a smile on his face and said to Ronnie Van Zant “they’re ready”. 

RIP Jimmy Buffett



A safe bet many artists will add MARGARITAVILLE to their set list this weekend. For many, it may have been the first song they worked out on their first guitars.


My old boss, Louie Messina, used to say an act was either “an artist or performer but very rarely both.” 


Jimmy Buffett was one of those exceptions and if agent Howard Rose caught you spelling his last name with only one ‘t” in advertising in those early days there would be hell to pay!


One of Howard’s guys, Steve Smith, was our agent for the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in the 1980s when we promoted many of our own shows. Big stable included Elton, Chicago, Heart…all Arena Rock big hitters. Steve called for one of those “booking favors” but it was really a setup for a long, long run. We booked Jimmy, who all thought of as a one-hit wonder, at the 3,000 Syria Mosque. As Bogart said, it was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.


Smith correctly predicted that we would double Jimmy’s attendance every time we did him. Yep, sold out the Mosque. Played the next year in the roof open setup at the Arena for 6,000. Did 12,000 the next year at the Pittsburgh amp, Star Lake, which I moved over to run. Sold out 22,000 the next year. Did a double sell out the next. On to PNC Park for sellouts.


You could argue Buffett made amps what they are…they were the seminal singular act every summer. One year he took a European vacation. We all took a big hit.


We don’t much like Cincinnati in Pittsburgh. Been some bad blood with the Reds and Bengals. But at River Bend there, the whole Buffett thing was said to start. Thanks Cincy. And R.I.P. Jimmy.


Tom Rooney


We can’t think of Jimmy Buffett without thinking of The Iguanas….because the combination may have saved our careers.


We had the first night of two JB shows at Star Lake Amp in Pittsburgh in the mid-90s suddenly shrouded in darkness at intermission between the two acts (Iguanas travelling with him and doing a roving parking lot pre-show). Lightning hit our main transformer as we stood helpless backstage pleading with the local weather service to give us good news. Nope. Mark Susany, our electrician, figured a way to get the Iguanas parking lot generator hooked up and JB did the coolest unplugged show before 24,000 strong.


Next day corporate memo comes out. Jimmy’s agent, Howard Rose, demanded every one of our dozen Pace amps have backup generators on hand. That memo went to every shed in the country.  I bet those babies were back ordered for a while.


When in the mid 80s we did our first Buffett show, the agent for Rose, Steve Smith, assured the margaritas would multiply. 3,000 sold out at the old Syria Mosque. Then in the cut down Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Then 12,000 at Star Lake. Then 24K, then two sellouts.


Smith cited Cincinnati’s River Bend amp as the water source for all this madness. Up the Ohio River 300 miles, we picked up on that in Pittsburgh.


Jimmy kept going and going and I asked a close friend of his why he kept hitting the road. The man had no ego. He dined with us minions and stagehands backstage. “He’s supporting the people who were with him when no one knew him. He’s out there for them to have their livelihood. Every guy in the band on the crew. Just Jimmy!”


It was a sad “Come Monday” Labor Day weekend when we lost a great one.


From: Tom Clark

Subject: Re: Re-Jimmy

Saw Jimmy a few times out here on Maui… one of my favorite lines…”nice to be playing a place where the palm trees are SUPPOSED to be here…”


From: Rik Shafer

Subject: Re: Gary Wright


They are dropping like flies.

Now it’s Gary Wright.

Made me flashback to probably 1961 or 62. Gary was a year or two ahead of me in high school in Tenafly, New Jersey. He was a big cheese in school because he played killer piano. Jerry Lee Lewis stuff. Everybody wanted to play with him. Me included.

Never got the chance.

His sister Lorna was a really good singer and gorgeous to boot. Everybody was in love with her, including me. Through friends, I got to go out with her a couple of times, she sang some background vocals for a minute and a half in a band I played and sang in.

At that point,  Gary was playing B3 with a blues/jazz band and  it was cool. I remember going out with Lorna and some mutual friends, we saw Gary at  a local club and then all of a sudden he disappeared and ended up in England. That worked out OK for him.

From time to time I ran into Jersey friends who had connected with him over the years and hung to his house and jammed. To a man they all told me he was a really decent guy.

He also made good records.


From: Dr Koretz

Subject: Re: Cracked Tooth

Hi Bob—

I’m a dentist and a loyal subscriber and I feel your pain. I’ve probably treated many of your email subscribers.

I hear your story quite often and I feel your frustration. But taking care of your teeth is a good investment and is money well spent.

Teeth work for you 24/7/365, They help you smile, which is your initial calling card and your first impression to your friends. They help you eat and chew your food, which is one of the great pleasures in life. You grind them. You clench them. They even are        in action overnight, when you subconsciously grind and clench.

Other than your heart, they’re one of the only body parts ALWAYS in action. Science has shown oral health is a reflection of your overall health and ignoring dental health contributes to cardiac disease, dementia, and more.

Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away. Only floss the ones you want to keep. All corny but true.

And you can’t name any other possession of yours that you’ve used as often for 70 YEARS that you haven’t replaced or repaired.

But sadly the price of dental treatment is an issue. Medicare and/or the US Government hasn’t come up with a great plan to cover the failing teeth of an aging population. It’s an issue that should be addressed but probably is low on the list of things to do.

What doesn’t make sense to me is patients will spend $1500 on Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift tickets and ignore their teeth. They’ll keep a late model car they don’t use in their garage, grandma’s jewelry they don’t wear in their vault, go on a $5000         7-day vacation and come home with just Instagram posts, buy expensive snow skis they only use during winter……….but not take care of their teeth and complain about dental fees?

I know you just turned 70 and you’re confused as to how long you may live. But if you can’t eat pain free and enjoy all that good food you so look forward to, what good is hanging around?

Put down those new skis you use occasionally and GO ENJOY that white clam pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria with your new teeth!

And hopefully the government will come up with a plan so the haves AND have nots can enjoy their golden years with good dental health.

Good luck with your credit card bill. And enjoy using the points you earn from your dental work on your next ski vacation.

Dr. James Koretz



Subject: Re: Cracked Tooth

As my dad used to say, “leap and the net will appear”.

Jonathan Plotkin


Subject: Re: Re-Costco

Hello Bob,

I don’t think I saw anyone talking about the .97! When a product does not sell good enough, they need to liquidate! The .97 at the end of a product means it will soon be discontinued! Its amazing everything you see a .97 you must buy it! Example I bought the Chipotle superfood bowl on aug 24th , (After I tried a free sample) and it was 14.99. Then in September it was at 5.97 so I bought 5 boxes. 2 days ago,  they put it at 2.97 , this rarely happens, it usually all goes on the first mark down! So, 1 just stopped at the consumer service desk and they reimbursed me all the difference, 30$!

This is the 2nd best thing at Costco… If a product goes on sale within 30 days of your purchase, they reimburse you the difference!

Your Welcome !

From a self-Proclaimed Costco lover since 1996

Marianik Giffard


From: Michael Patterson

Subject: Re: The Modern Music Business

My girlfriend was discussing a friend who had 25 million streams, and to her surprise, I responded by saying, “that’s not a lot of streams.” This is a common reaction I have when artists tell me they have 10k streams. It amazes me that people struggle to grasp the significant difference in size when it comes to numbers.

My friend does programming at one of the country’s most influential radio stations. We debated whether bands would prefer to have 25 million streams on Spotify or 5 drive time spins on KROCK. Without a doubt, we agreed that the bands should chose the spins on KROCK. Those spins, just like the streams, only matter if there is a proper plan in place, and most of the artist with low spins on stream don’t have proper promotion and marketing plans in place. I’m tired of making records with people who release records without a proper runup to a release date or marketing.

The goal is to have records that change the world, and/or become “hits.” It’s crazy to me that artist spend all their money making the record and then hire a $100 per week social media person and a $500 a month PR person, FOR ONE MONTH, spend 0  on marketing (!!!!!) then wonder why no one hears their album. I’m SICK OF SPENDING MY TIME MAKING RECORDS ONLY FOR THE ARTIST TO F*CK IT UP! Like, I f*cking sick of it. I can do a better job releasing their record, and maybe I should as it’s in my best interest for people to hear the art I help create.


From: Don Bartlett

Subject: Re: The Modern Music Business

Are you familiar with “Keep the Wolves Away” by Uncle Lucius? Killer story. They had a bit of a good following down here in Texas back in the day but ultimately they got older, had kids and van touring got old so they broke up in 2018. A couple years later the singer got a text that their song was featured on Yellowstone. He didn’t even know that the show was. (He had given away 1/2 the publishing to their old label way back when, so they were the ones who approved the sync) They didn’t have a website or any socials, but suddenly the song had 100M plays on YouTube and 75M streams. It hasn’t slowed down much 4 years later, either….check out the comment section on the video. This isn’t the bullsh*t gaming of the numbers you see so often these days, it’s real people connecting with a song. The song ended up being certified gold, then platinum. And they got back together and now they’re touring again and doing good business.

And here’s the best stroke of luck I’ve ever heard of. Because of the writers strike, CBS is airing Season 1 of Yellowstone on Sunday nights…first time it’s been on network tv. The episode that features the song airs 10/1. Right as the band starts their fall tour. Not sure what sort of karmic bank account they’re drawing on to get this sort of good fortune, but it must be substantial.

Good placements happen all the time, but still fun so see what happens when a good placement meets a great song.


Subject: Re: Class Act (And Thicker Than Water)

Hi Bob,

A story about Tapie that few people know.

My close friend spent 18 months in jail for covering up for Tapie in the Adidas takeover. When he came out, Tapie gave him a plum salary and a Mercedes for a fictive assignment.

Many years later, he was dining in a restaurant with bankers for a proposed venture when Tapie came in with friends and sat down at the other end. My friend gave a note to the waitress for Tapie. Tapie replied with a “Join me at the bar”. They caught up briefly. My friend told him about the bankers and his idea for the new venture.

Later, while leaving the restaurant, Tapie walked up to my friend’s table and gave him a piece of paper: “This is my mobile number. Call me if you need anything. I’ll always be there for you.” His banker friends were totally impressed. Tapie was a legend!

The next day, my friend dialed Tapie to thank him. “The number you dialed does not exist.”

Achille Forler


From: Kelsee Becker

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

His summer 2024 presale started today and it includes 2 shows at Fenway, 2 at MSG and 1 at Hollywood Bowl. He sold out red rocks a few months ago. He was playing 500 cap venues Nov/Dec 2021, it’s wild! I feel like the build up really came with the release of the deluxe edition of his current album + the biweekly collab songs coming out since then


Subject: Re: Noah Kahan


Great seeing this on Noah Kahan. I was doing press at this year’s Boston Calling Fest in May. Huge headliners – Foo Fighters, The Lumineers, Paramore. Foo Fighters were finally there after a few years of cancels and hard times. Day 2 was by far the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at BC, and I believe the most tickets they’ve ever sold. I’m talking thousands more than Day 1. At one point I had the opportunity to walk the grounds. I asked everyone I saw who they were looking forward to seeing. Every single person said “Noah Kahan.” This was The Lumineers, Alanis day.

Noah’s set was incredible. It was like the perfect, giant campfire sing-along, where everyone attached to these personal songs that took on a personal meaning coming out of the past few years.

I was then backstage interviewing Mt. Joy later on, and ran into Noah after his set. We had a brief chat and he could not have been more kind to everyone he spoke with. Being from New England, he was just filled with gratitude that you could not help to notice and appreciate. It was so refreshing. And you know what…. that type of authentic attitude is working.

Noah then came out with the Lumineers and performed a Jason Isbell classic with Wes. It was awesome, and Isbell thought so too (tweeted about it).

This week, Noah Kahan announced his 2nd date playing Fenway Park for the summer of 24. We’ll all be here forever.

-Jeff Gorra / Artist Waves.


Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

hey Bob…..yeah, this kid is quite a story.  I am a tour publicist for Rounder Records, and when I went to start on his fall tour dates a few months ago, I saw two things immediately–1) Ruston was the support act for Noah Kahan, who I had never heard of, and 2) most of the shows were already sold out!

I was like “who the f*ck is this guy??” and found him on spotify.  I listened to some tracks and they were very good but his streaming numbers are sick–of the top 10 songs on it now, there is one song with almost a quarter of a billion streams, seven songs with 8-figure streams, and two with “just” 7-figure streams (and both of those were released in the last 10 days or so!).

the other thing I’ll tell you is that the more you listen, his songs just grow on you like a fungus.  you can tell the guy is singing from experience–the emotion just pours out and connects in a powerful way….and that’s what music is supposed to do.  and he’s only 25!

Mike Farley

Michael J. Media Group LLC

Rounder/Concord Records tour press


Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

Hi Bob, 

I appreciate this one! I’d been hearing him on XM Coffeehouse…a channel I really love. I’d recently gotten into XM because I have a road trip coming up. I realized from your subject line, “oh, that guy! I love that guy!” But I didn’t realize he was getting big already!?!? That’s good news. He’s a great artist, as are all the ones XM’s Coffeehouse plays. 

I couldn’t agree me. All the old paradigms are broken. I spent 20+ years in radio—a place where Coffeehouse couldn’t have endured, much less gotten off the ground. After a month of being stuck on this music channel, I’m starting to dig more into the artists and they’re all really good. Some have been around a while. I didn’t even realize The Japanese House had a new album before I started listening to XM.

And they say women over 40 “don’t like new music.” Ha! But again, all the old paradigms are broken. Noah probably doesn’t *need* the boost but he deserves it. I do like his music. I guess I’m a fan because I felt my heart skip a beat to see him get some recognition. 😊 

And as I complete this email, Stick Season has started playing on the channel… 

Heather Larson


From: Darren Herman

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan


Wow – I saw the subject line and completely shifted from doing my “work” to reading your note.  I’m a long time reader of yours and this piece on Noah Kahan hits home.  Noah is special to me – it’s the FIRST act my daughter (13 yrs) came home with last summer and said, “dad, listen.”  I listened and the whole home fell in love with Noah.  We were fortunate to see him at Mansfield (Xfinity Center) a few weeks ago and it was incredible to hear the entire crowd sing almost every lyric of every song. He mentioned how special it was to play in his backyard – and you can see the gratitude on his face.  Stick Season is a fantastic album but the more I dive into his older music, the more I enjoy it.  Dial Drunk and False Confidence are on my constant rotation these days.

Thank you for highlighting Noah.



From: Mark McLaughlin

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

How the hell has Noah Kahan been off my radar? Thanks for the introduction. I guess “he has been at it for years” but geeze, he is an old man in a 26 year old body. I’m an instant fan and I will be seeing him live now when he comes to Asheville.


From: Alex Crothers

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

And he’s from Vermont!   Im his local promoter in Vermont.  We’ve been working with Noah as a headliner since 2018.  We’ve sold out every show (10) at Higher Ground and two large outdoor shows this summer.  The only show that didn’t sell out was a singer-songwriter showcase competition he played in 2017 where he came in 3rd place!  Noah’s success is well-earned.   And, as is often the case with these stories, he’s got a great team behind him with Drew Simmons/Ryan Langlois and Joe Atamian/Paige Maloney.


Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

I never heard of him until he landed on the Xfinity Center Schedule in Mansfield, MA, last summer.  He sold it out. Of the 19,500, 80 percent were 18 to 25-year-old women, singing every note to every song. He just announced his second show at Fenway Park next summer!

Brian Quinn

Last Dance Production


From: Richard Young

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

Ticket demand is off the charts too.  Try to find a ticket at face value right now.  Or better yet, look at second market.  Even in secondary markets!


From: Steven Anderko

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan


About 5, 6 weeks ago, my 15 year old daughter (who’s a swiftie) played a tune of his and I was into it. She also was hooked right away with Morgan Wallen.

Their songs are on heavy rotation at home (Sonos)!



Subject: Re: Noah Kahan


I’d never heard of Morgan Wallen before last week, when I got a call to be stagecrew at his show here in Ottawa. Several dozen friends and I got called by the union to unload two dozen semis with his gear in them (and his picture on the outside) and put everything together.

The unload, setup, teardown, and load-out were fine. The touring guy I worked with mostly (hi Dario!) was excellent, as was every other member of the crew I came in contact with. I told him he shouldn’t expect miracles just ’cause I had long grey hair and beard; I haven’t actually been doing this for 50 years solid. His reply was “No worries, I started in April myself.” He was cheerful, knowledgeable, and observant; a treat to work with/for.

If Mr. Wallen can attract and retain people like that on his *touring* crew, riding a bus every night to a new place to have a show, he’s *really* a natural.

Dave O’Heare


From: Joe Greenwald

Subject: Re: Noah Kahan

Same thing I happening (not the same level but def a good one) with one of my guys Charles Wesley Godwin, im way too biased to even tell you how great I think he is (the audience will do that) but its the same thing, all songs written from the heart from him to the audience and we went from a Third and Lindley in Nashville just 2 years ago barely to two sold out Rymans (and could have put a third up) in one day. Give it a listen, I think you will like. Musicians (and fans) win when this kind of energy takes over.


Subject: Re: Angry

It’s great that the Stones are writing and releasing new music. Angry? Meh. Nothing new here.

What can millionaire rockstars be angry at, taxes? The Beatles did that.

Love interest? How can you relate to Joe Biden having sex?

If the Stones want to release albums and tour, good for them.

I hope I can still do that 14 years from now. I won’t be a millionaire but it’s fun making music and playing songs for fans. There’s nothing better. If you’ve never done that, it’s hard to understand. Applause rings for days. If you can find a job where at the end of the day you get a standing ovation, take it. Priceless. I’ll do it until I can’t, it stops being fun, or people don’t buy tickets.

Steven Gustafson

10,000 Maniacs

est 1981

Sweet Sounds Of Heaven



This is more like it. A complete return to form. How do I know? I wanted to hear it again. That’s the litmus test. I could barely get through “Angry,” it was a chore, it was a Stones cover band imitating the sound that made the act famous. You know, an opening cut that’s supposed to wow listeners and become a radio hit. But the radio doesn’t play the Stones anymore, at least not on Top Forty. As for rock… They want something new, just look at the Active Rock chart. Well, by their standards even Metallica is new, but that is about as far back as it goes. In fact, if you recognize most of the acts on the Active Rock chart you must work in the format, or be heavily dedicated to the sound. As for the rest of us…

What about the rest of us? What are we supposed to do? With no trustworthy filters. No one to point us to the good stuff. Sure, there’s tons of information, but you listen to the music and you wonder what the fuss is about, you can’t get through it. So you go back to the old records. You feel bad about it, but you just can’t find an entry point to the present. You’re told you’re old, you don’t get it, but you got it more than anybody else back in the day, how can this be?

The Stones have misfired with opening cuts for years now. That formula is long in the tooth and far from blue chip. But what’s between the buttons…that’s the nougat, that’s what we’re looking for, what we’re listening to. The stuff they may never play on the radio, but stuff we want to play again and again at home. That puts us in a mood. We don’t need a crowd to enjoy it, it’s just us, and that’s enough.

But now not only are today’s vaunted singles trash, the albums are endless, over an hour, it’s too much to digest, it’s too much to even start.

Now if you follow the history of rock and roll, it’s all based in the blues, the Delta. These acts might have been ignored in the States but they were godhead in the U.K. The nascent musicians across the pond digested this stuff and then fed it back to us in a slightly altered form that we loved. But in modern music we got so far from the garden. You know what the TV competition shows are missing? Soul. It’s not about how good somebody’s voice is, it’s something indescribable, that you can feel, that hits you directly in the heart, that moves you as a person, that is not teflon, that does not slide right off of you.

I think rock music could come back if it went back to its roots, back to the blues. Stripped it all down, slowed it all down, and just delivered the essence. The seventies were about the flourishes, expanding upon the form, demonstrating playing skills. The eighties were about how you looked, the rockers dressed up in spandex and sang ballads for commercial appeal and then Kurt Cobain came and put a fork in the whole damn thing. Don’t confuse Nirvana with Pearl Jam. Cobain was a great songwriter, he owed more to the Beatles than he owed to punk. His punk element was in the outlook, the feel, but the songs…they had melodies and changes like back in the sixties. And then Cobain killed himself and hip-hop took over. Hip-hop was the sound of the streets, Ice-T knew more about Compton than anybody in the government, but then hip-hop became a caricature of itself, a cartoon just like the spandexed rockers of the eighties. Also, since samples were expensive to clear, it became about beats and too true hooks and melody were absent.

As for pop… It might put you on the front page of the paper, but it doesn’t hit you in the gut, doesn’t stick with you, it’s evanescent, whereas the blues are forever, they’re still singing Robert Johnson songs.

So the Stones have actually improved on stage. They’re tighter. And they’ve got balls, they don’t employ hard drives, there are no fillers, just a band on stage, and it takes them a while to lock on, but when they do… It’s still the same thing, that’s the thrill. No one else does this. The Eagles present perfection. No one is on the high wire except for the Stones. The Dead used to inhabit this territory, talk about rough, but John Mayer elevated the professionalism of the act, Dead and Company were made for modern consumption, they were good from the first note, delivered what was needed, which was more than could be expected.

They sing to tape at the Super Bowl. It’s too risky to go live. Forget performance mistakes, the audio could fail, there are too many potential potholes. You record in advance and sing to tape and the engineer mixes a final product. But the Stones play to audiences this large without it. They might be rich, but they’re broke on stage, just depending on their skills, their wits, and nobody else does this to stadium crowds, nobody. Which is why when they hit the groove, when they lock on, it’s such a transcendent experience, the essence of live, because it is live, it’s human, and that’s something everybody can resonate with.

So “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” should have been the initial single. Screw the charts, the only people interested in Stones tracks are the faithful, they want to be satiated, and that’s what “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” does.

In other words, there are no rules, other than to throw the old rule book out. And if you’re coming from the wilderness with a big PR campaign don’t give people what you think they want, but what they need. I’ll tell you, I was surprised when I pushed play on “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” a slow, dirgey number? These are so hard to get right, but in this case the Stones triumphed.

Think of “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” as an album track on “Exile on Main Street.” You know, “Ventilator Blues,” “Casino Boogie” and “Loving Cup.” But mostly “Let It Loose,” the stealth number closing the third side, you know, with that woman wailing with her high voice at the end… There was once a letter in “Rolling Stone” saying the writer wanted to meet a woman like that, who could make that sound, who was that person. Back before money was everything, when it was about the sound, the record.

That’s Lady Gaga in “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.” And what’s great is it doesn’t sound like Lady Gaga, as in it doesn’t come across as a stunt, she fits the track, she doesn’t overpower the track, it’s about her voice rather than her fame. I was skeptical when I heard she was on the record, but ultimately not only does she sound like the woman on “Let It Loose,” but Maggie Bell in “Every Picture Tells a Story” and Sandy Denny in “The Battle of Evermore.” She lifts the track to a whole new level, she’s a spice, not the main ingredient, and that’s appropriate.

And the other thing is what happens when the edited version is over at 5:06, you need to listen to the original, the real thing, the whole enchilada, which runs 7:22. Because it’s at this point, when the single is over, that the whole track quiets down, that you’re transported to Muscle Shoals, back to Mississippi, the roots of this music…when this song is struck down to its absolute essence, its roots, no tricks, that’s when it shines. And you may not want to hear this part on the radio, but at home it’s what makes you happy to feel alive.

The lyrics suck, are substandard, someone needed the balls to confront Mick. Forget trying to be modern, Mick isn’t even in the league of what he’s done before. Even “Let It Loose” had more, never mind “Brown Sugar” and “Sister Morphine,” and “Midnight Rambler” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” And a lot of blues songs are repetitive, but really Mick, we needed more than this. But really, the lyrics are secondary to the sound, the feel, the soul on records like this. “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” is more, is great, but it could have been truly iconic with some better words.

But not only do I think of “Let It Loose,” I think of “Time Waits for No One,” the last cut on “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll,” a transcendent number that seems to have been lost to the sands of time, but if you were a dedicated Stones fan back in 1974 you’ve never forgotten it, never will forget it.

Because of Mick Taylor. The Stones have never been as good since. They’ve been good, but not that good. Taylor was a superior musician, a better player than anybody else in the group, Keith may specialize in feel, in sound, even riff, but Taylor could dance atop the whole thing, take it into the stratosphere.

With melody. Unfortunately Ronnie Wood’s guitar playing is too similar to Keith’s. Taylor’s was different. A special sauce that Brian Jones added too. The indefinable element that separates the wheat from the chaff, that makes the Stones the Stones. When Mick Taylor dances on the frets, over the track in “Time Waits For No One,” you’re both energized and transfixed, as he goes up the scale, this takes the number to a whole ‘nother level. Which is what the break down section, what happens past 5:07, does in “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.”

Instead of trying to hit us in the face, the Stones backed away, left just the juices, not the whole meal. They’ve been covering up for too long. But not in “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.” Gaga is wailing without showing off, she feels the music, the piano is playing, you can hear the notes, and Mick is toasting.

That’s rock and roll.

And that’s why “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” is great. Once is not enough, nor is twice, I’ve been listening to it for over an hour, will listen more on my hike tonight, I just don’t want to let go of the mood, one that I can’t get in any TV show, even the best, only music delivers this.

You know it when you hear it. And I heard it almost immediately. And I don’t want to let go.

Do I expect everybody to feel the same way? Absolutely not. Today you don’t make music for everybody, you don’t play to the bleachers, but to those up close, the fans, who need this manna. And if it’s good enough, they’ll spread the word, turn more people on. The old days of top-down marketing/manipulation are history. It’s all about the track. And “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” is that track, that transcends the image of the band, that stands on its own. It’s nearly remarkable. I was expecting the tracks released in the wake of “Angry” to be worse.

Life’ll surprise you.

And it’s life and life only.

It’s not money, it’s not possessions, it’s all about feel.

And there’s a great feel in “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.”

Jay Cooper-This Week’s Podcast

Nonagenarian entertainment attorney Jay Cooper is as wise, insightful and sharp as ever. Tune in to hear the story of a musician who became a lawyer and is as excited about the business today as he was yesterday.