Meet photographer Mike Hamilton, quiet advocate for Florida musicians

Florida musicians have a talented advocate working quietly in the background at bars, festivals, and other venues. Mike Hamilton is becoming the persona grata in the world of Sunshine State music, and he’s drawing well-deserved attention for the many images he’s shot of musicians working in different genres. The first time I saw Mike, I had no idea who he was. He was shooting photos of Rebecca and Jennifer at one of their gigs. Later he posted some pics on Facebook and it was obvious he has a good eye for composition. I saw that he was photographing different bands,

Jacksonville music community options expand with Sam Ash opening

Sam Ash Music Stores recently opened a new store in Jacksonville (FL), at the former George’s Music location on Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. Several thoughts occurred to me as I read comments on a Facebook thread about the new store. Searching for information, I learned some interesting things about the latest option in shopping for the Jax music community.

‘She sheds’ new to media, but not to moms and artists

If you’re a creative in any art form, you know the need for that special place. You have to have a place to create and refine your art. If you’re a mom, you may need that special place even if you aren’t interested in creating art. Now media are taking note of “she sheds”, the fem equivalent of man caves. These sheds are outdoors. The term may be new, but the concept is old. 

Norway authorities allege millions of ‘fake streams’ for Jay-Z’s Tidal

Anyone in the music business is aware streams of artists’ music play a vital role in their success. While indie artists’ fans often ask for CDs or vinyl, streaming stats supply numbers guaranteed to impress media and fans. Whether streaming numbers translate to similar numbers in fans is up for debate. Now Norway authorities are investigating US musician Jay-Z’s Tidal, alleging millions of “fake streams” for some artists. If true, this would result in disenfranchising others because of the way revenue is tabulated for artists. 

CD Baby announces sharp uptick in money paid to member artists

On the heels of substantial increases in payouts for 2017, CD Baby has once again announced a sharp uptick in money paid to member artists. Payouts totaled “well over $100 million” according to an announcement on the CD Baby website. What does this mean to indie artists? Does it mean anything to their supporters? 

How can Dwight Yoakam leave the Sunshine State off his tour?

The website Saving Country Music said Dwight Yoakam is heading off on tour in 2019. The website said they have “hard confirmation” about this matter. What I don’t understand is why there isn’t anything scheduled in Florida.

Will social media chaos benefit arts communities in 2019?

At present social media like Facebook and Twitter are experiencing chaos. This was predictable. When you have massive numbers of humans from around the globe interacting, you have a landscape akin to the ‘Wild West’ of yore. Toss in bots, insert human screeners who make decisions to block people like a famous pastor (his page was restored), and media who snark among themselves like tweens on a middle school playground, chaos is no surprise. What’s next in 2019 when it comes to arts communities? 

Seamstress as artist—one woman makes up to $5k per month

Music and writing may occupy space here more than most genres, but other art forms deserve attention too. Those who can sew expertly are true artists. I happened across mention of a woman who began her business as a hobby. She sewed tablecloths for her friends and went on to establish a business she said can make her up to $5,000 during the busy holiday season. 

Will indie authors and musicians catch the print and vinyl wave in 2019?

There appears to be a print and vinyl wave in progress if news reports are accurate. Books and vinyl records are holding their own, with print book sales increasing last year according to Quartz. This is good news to me, at least on the books end of things. I love books. I declare I won’t buy another one every time I dust the shelves of books in various rooms of my house. Then I go buy another one. Or two or more. As for vinyl records, I haven’t jumped on that option yet, but I might. The latest report I

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