CINCINNATI -- After getting a taste of moderate success at the age of 16, there was no turning back for local drummer Brian Penick.
He and his fellow band mates of the Cincinnati pop-punk group Bottomline got a glance of fame while touring across the United States, Canada and Japan. Penick went on to play in other bands over the years, most notably Death in Graceland, Lightweight Holiday, AC Turnball and long-time Tri-State favorite The Seedy Seeds.
After nearly more than a decade of playing professionally, the 30-year-old wanted to expand his role in the music industry.
"I know too many artists that have been screwed over by the music industry because of simple ignorance, because they just didn’t know enough going into it."
Penick decided to quit touring and created his own music promotions company in 2010, The Counter Rhythm Group (TCRG), which currently focuses on growing local bands' presence in the scene.
"I’ve been very fortunate to have the career that I’ve had in the music industry. I’ve been able to find success and I like seeing when other people find success as well and I mainly don’t want other artists to get screwed over. I came to a point in my life when I realized I wanted to help out other artists."
Headquartered in his own home, TCRG aims to introduce new artists into the music industry's business side -- a side that Penick says can be overwhelming for those new to the game. TCRG is comprised of a staff of six that provides a variety of services including publicity, marketing, tour management and artist development.
As his company began to grow, Penick said he noticed a lot of bands struggling to stay afloat. This sparked the creation of "Musicians' Desk Reference," an interactive e-book that provides a plethora of information for bands just starting out.
"It’s a self-serving public platform. It’s meant to be very informative and give a lot of generalizations but it’s almost meant to give specifics that artists can work off of as well."
Penick said the models of the program were based on his experience working with established bands like Walk the Moon, The Pinstripes and Alone at 3 a.m.
"If an artist is going on tour and they want to build promotions surrounding that tour and they have the tour date in mind, they literally put in the tour date and the program literally splits out a customized timeline that tells them what they need to do and assigns tasks. It basically does everything for you. It preps the actual action itself for you."
After nearly two years in development with the help of fellow musicians, web developers, lawyers and designers, Musicians' Desk Reference is set to launch at the MidPoint Music Festival next week.
"It’s built for artists by artists and that could not be a truer statement."
Each band playing in the festival will receive a complimentary e-book. TCRG team will also be selling the product for $75 as an exclusive MPMF offer. TCRG will also have live demonstrations and be available to answer questions at the festival's Midway Stage.
Penick says the national launch will take place at the CMJ music conference in New York City this fall and again at next year's South by Southwest in Austin.
Though Penick and his team believe they've created a product that was derived from their years of personal experience in the industry, TCRG cautions users that the program alone cannot guarantee success.
"The problem could be with the root of your music. Your music might not be marketable, but more often than not it’s just not being marketed to the right audience. I mean you have to take a step back, just because something is marketable, doesn’t mean it’s good. Because something is good, doesn’t mean that it’s marketable. But when those two areas meet that’s when you have something that’s amazing and typically does pretty well in the eyes of the music industry."
For more information on The Counter Rhythm Group or Musicians' Desk Reference visit http://www.thecounterrhythmgroup.com/.
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