It was the kind of phone call you never want to receive…
It was one of Tom’s childhood friends who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A tough Marine who ‘only bleeds on the inside’, yet was crying on the other end of the line. The demon of post-traumatic stress was taking it’s toll.
Sleepless nights, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol and prescription drug abuse were wreaking havoc. His personal life and marriage were in crisis.
As he poured out his heart, the two of them cried, talked, and prayed into the night.
Sadly, it was only the first conversation Tom had with one of these men.
His newest single, “On The Inside” not only brings the soldier’s struggles to light, but is also raising money to help prevent veteran suicide.
Our commitment is simple. We will always give this song to veterans and their families for free.
PLUS, a portion of the proceeds (songs, downloads, merchandise sales, etc.) will always go to worthy veterans groups and services.
All of us in the Tom Cottar Music Tribe are honored to give back to those who have sacrificed so much. We thank you for your service and your commitment. We are forever in your debt.
The number of vets who take their lives every day.
Since we’re raising money with ‘On The Inside’ merchandise and downloads to help fight that, I’ll leave this video here. Together we can save lives. It’s that simple.
What is a House Concert?
A house concert is exactly what the name says: a concert in someone’s house. But it could also be in a backyard or community center. It is a concert outside of a traditional music venue.
Key elements about house concerts:
• There is no charge for tickets. We ask for donations only.
• It is not a party with a background musician, but a true listening event meant to support the artist – both with attention and income/expenses.
• It does not require a large fancy home or complex event planning; just a willingness to support live music by providing both a location and inviting people to attend.
- It does not cost much (or anything) to put on. Some hosts provide snacks and drinks.
- It is a unique, amazing, fun, and simple event.
How it works:
A host opens their home to an artist as a performance venue (and possibly a place to spend the night if the artist is traveling). The host and friends promote the show by inviting family, friends, and others passionate about music. The artist typically will promote their show as well.
An artist like myself will perform for an hour plus – often two sets with a short break for mingling and merchandise. During the break, the artist might talk with attendees about his or her music and be able to sell CD’s, t-shirts, or other merchandise. The host will typically act as the MC for the night by asking attendees for a donation for the artist. Hint: As the artist, I might ask for donations but I would rather focus on my performance and let the host ask for donations. It sounds less needy. 😉
It is simpler. Donations ensure the “party” is not viewed as a business. This protects the host as charging a ticket price could run you afoul of commerce laws. Typically, the donation system works well. The host can collect donations by reservation prior to the event or at the door. The host includes on the invite and announces during the show, something like, “Hey everyone. Tom is working hard and giving us great entertainment value. We are asking for a donation of $20 per person – more if you can, less if you can’t.” It’s simple, direct, and low-pressure.
Typically, I work with my hosts closely to help them with things like invitations and RSVPs (Evites and Facebook events work really well!) Other than that, a few electrical outlets and space for people to sit or stand is all you need. A small living room can pretty easily house 20 people. Guest can also bring folding chairs. When the weather is nice, a backyard works GREAT!
This info is simply a guideline… I’d love to help you plan a house concert that is both easy on you and is a night your friends will remember!
If you’re interested in hosting, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat. No obligation…but I bet we can create a great experience for you and your friends!
See you soon!
2016 Texas Songwriter Association Awards
I was pretty blown away a few weeks ago. In December, I submitted 11 songs to the Texas Songwriter Association (aka Austin Songwriters Group) song contest. The week before the awards ceremony, I got word that TEN of them made the finals in various categories. You can imagine how BLOWN AWAY I was to receive SIX awards last Wednesday night…it’s an honor to be involved in a community of such talent and creativity. Thanks to everyone for your support!
The songs were:
1. The Devil I Know (1st Place, Pop/Rock Category)
2. The Devil I Know (2nd Place, Angels & Outlaws Category)
3. The Devil I Know (3rd Place, Blues/Jazz Category)
4. Beautiful (Honorable Mention, Love Songs Category)
5. Beautiful (Honorable Mention, Family Songs)
6. Lacrimosa (Honorable Mention, Inspirational Songs Category)
There are also some things in the works with some new songs (“How The Light Gets In” and “On the Inside”), some co-writing and collaborating over the next few weeks with Kathy Gordon, Mark Lambert, and one of my new friends, Melissa Marks!
Here’s to the blessings and opportunities of a new year!
See you soon,
Set your DVR to record the whole show! You can watch my interview/performance right here:
Crazy central Texas floods, weather, and rain have made for an interesting week…
First of all, YES, we are safe and dry. While we didn’t sustain any real damage (just a lack of electricity for a while…), lots of our friends have suffered quite a bit of damage here in the area and around the state. Please keep them and the relief workers in your prayers and thoughts as we reach out to each other.
Second, as I’m sending this out, the CD artwork has been mocked up, posters are done, and t-shirts are designed. This week, we’ll finish tracking a few final things and begin the final mixes. If you’ve been keeping an eye on my KICKSTARTER page, you’ll notice that we’re a few weeks behind schedule.
As happens with things like this, we’ve had to navigate lots of schedules and wanted to produce the best product we could. I couldn’t be prouder of the work my producer has done and the things he’s brought out in this project. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
Below is a SNEAK PREVIEW of the upcoming artwork! Let us know what you think! (photo credits to Janett Marie Jones!)