With my album starting to make movement to being done I’ve been working hard on building my audience and promotion on my album.
Here is what I did
- This winter I had only booked 3 shows to the few places I know with a built in draw.
- I applied my new knowledge of Twitter and Facebook ad’s
- Email blast
I really didn’t expect to have the outcome that I did at these show! Lets start with the first show in Snowqualmie.
Snovalley Coffee Co.
On the day of the show it started snowing. The roads were horrible with and average of 20 cars in the ditch every mile from reckless drivers, I was happy to have my dad (“the most experienced driver”) behind the wheel of our suburban. With luck on our side we were able to get to the show on time. The quote “the life of Riley” always comes to mind when I manage to make things work with no real explanation. I n all actuality, I should have been a good 45 min late, but I wasn’t.
After setting up and doing a sound check, I was asked to sing happy birthday, (In the picture with the two girls on the couch the one on the right), which definitely made her day. I asked them to take a picture for Instagram and with that they took a sticker and joined my mailing list! Before the show, my twitter account was doing more work for me then I’ve ever seen. I had re-tweets and likes from Snoqulamie and it brought in one very excited fan to see me. She was so nice, I asked if she wanted to take a picture for Instagram also, her grin was so big.
With a successful show of promoting and fan making down we headed back home.
I arrive at Pybus Market and find out that I was going to be playing on the same stage as Santa!Now you can bet your pretty face that I’m going to put that on my resume, opened for Santa, check. I played the same set as Snovalley and was very successful in gaining the attention of the people walking around the market. Which I thought might be vary hard with the Sea-hawks playing and being projected on the big screens everywhere. It was fun though I did some very short commentating for the game and had people laughing and enjoying the game along with my music.
St. Brigid’s Brewery
To be honest I’ve never played here before, I had reached out and was welcomed with open arms. The only catch, I had to sing only original music. I’ve only done that a major venues when I had to cover like 30 min. So 2 hours was a bit daunting. But again my Twitter and Facebook were making moves for me. I was contacted by a man named Brian asking if he could video my show and put a few songs on the upcoming online magazine Streets of Moses Lake. My thoughts, well of course that’s awesome! I met with Brian before my show and set levels on sound and light during my sound check. If you are in need of a Videographer Brian is the owner of video street productions
My family was also helping me out by having their friends come out who then brought their friends too. I was super excited, I normally have fun singing my songs for people but this show I felt like I was on fire. I was playing and singing great. Getting the crowed involved with clapping to the beat, making them laugh and sing along. It made me wish even more that music was full time.
As the night came to an end. I said my thank you’s and touched base with everyone, and grabbed some free food.
All in all I couldn’t have asked for any better outcome. I believe I made some solid fans, received great publicity, and got to do what I love.
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Recently I celebrated my birthday and thought, what better way to celebrate then to have a show!
I wanted to sell this show out and see how well I could do that with a grass roots campaign.( A grass roots campaign is really a fancy term for word of mouth.) So I made some flyers up and had them printed at the local print shop in town. I did this because I know they print shop works with other news outlets and asked if they could pass the word around for me. Then I did the Facebook event invited everyone I knew who was a local and put as a comment on the event to have people share the event with their friends. The day of the show I posted a picture of myself across all of my social media sites and did a $5.00 twitter ad to boost the exposure. The most successful promotion was the Facebook event It was shared 8 different time by a new person each time and had an exposure of 2,000 people.(one of my best viewed events yet.) To learn more on how to do grass roots campaigns read this blog!
after work I raced over to Uggie Boo’s Bistro to set up and sound
check. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but I was having my brother
Colton Franks and my buddy Devin Close play a couple songs with me so I wanted to make sure we all had a good even sound. I was a little nervous too because from the information I gathered online and word of mouth I expected to place to be packed before I started. None the less people started to show up about 10 min before I started and by 8:00 pm we were at max capacity! My brother and I learned a few new cover songs “I’ll follow you into the dark” and “A rocket to the moon” which we nailed. at 8:30 I pretended to take a break and while I was on “my break” Devin and Colton would come up and start playing “Teenage Tequila ” our first song we wrote as a
band 4 years ago. We played a few more covers and ended with a new cover song called “Party like a Rock Star” by JTX. With everyone feeling pretty pumped I was asked to play one more, an encore of sorts and finished the night off with and original called You’re my home.
All in all it was a really fun night. I don’t normally drink when I play because I like to be as professional as possible but since it was my birthday I partook of some tequila after our song “Teenage Tequila”.
Thank you for reading my blog, If you would like to see more pictures and videos of the night follow my Instagram. user name Rylei Franks if you haven’t signed up for my monthly email blast please join the story by putting your name and email at the top of the page.
At the start of September I went to visit my sister in Long Island, New York. If I wrote about my whole trip I would end up writing a short novel so to save you and myself time I’m going to write about my adventure in going to a local open mic at the Buzz Bean coffee shop in New York.
In order for me to play at the open mic I found I needed a guitar. Notwanting to spend a lot of money on one only because I wasn’t going to take it with me on the plane home. So my sister gave me an idea to go on craigslist to find one. After spending an hour or so looking I found one for a good price, called the seller and arranged a meet and greet.
As I drive down the road to my final destination I’m taken back to a thriller killer movie. It was a dirt road with cars that had previously been set on fire on one side and a junk yard on the other. As I come to a dead end in the road a man the size of an Ogre come out behind a fence made up of trailer home siding. My brain told me to stay in the car and drive away but my music determination told me to give this guys a chance and check out the guitar, so I crossed my fingers I don’t die.
we have the usual small talk and she showed me the guitar. My heart dropped! It was a Walmart brand guitar that was half the size of a normal guitar and it was missing a string. Not wanting to upset this guy I asked him if he had extra strings? He answered with a no. So I offered him $15.00 for the guitar. He agreed took the money and I high tailed it out of there. Got some new strings, tuned it up and took it to the show only to find the open mic offered a guest guitar for people like me to play. Because I was worn out on the craigslist game I put my new guitar in the Bermuda Triangle (how I met your mother reference) and in a few hours it was gone.
I showed up there a little late and signed up to play. Everyone got to play 3 songs that night, so as it stood I was schedule to go on around 10:00 PM. Now I can go into how the show went but I’ll just leave the video for you to watch. I was well recieved and was meet with people wanting to get to know me more. I had a blast!
So on September 30th I played at Gonzaga University! I have to say I was so excited to play this show, I practiced every night and it definitely paid off.
I received an email from a man named Richard from Gonzaga who asked If I wanted to play there. I promptly answered with a YES and from there we booked a date and filled out all the paperwork to get the show date set in stone. I made flyers and posters and had some coffee sleeves designed with the shows info. Unfortunately they weren’t able to use the selves because it was against the schools policy to promote that way.
As I got ready I went through about 5 different outfits to see what would seem presentable and relate-able to the age group I was playing for. I posted a picture and Facebook/Instgram took off. With lots of luck wished to me for my show I went to work.
After work I headed straight to Spokane where I was met at the front door by my cousin Kevin. He helped me unload my stuff and write up a set list for the show. after that I had my sound check where three college students from the sound department helped me. I have to say having a sound team is really nice. I didn’t have to worry if I was too loud or had too much bass. After having their help and being able to concentrate on my music and show I am even more excited to get to the next level in my music career where I never have to do my own sound, that would be nice.
The Main Event.
I start with my go to cover song 3 A.M. by matchbox 20 to wrestle out my early show jitters .After that I did another cover, Free Falling by Tom Petty. Then, after breaking the crowed in, I played my first Original song Badadada I told my short story that goes along with it and got the crowed into it by having them sing the chorus with me. Once I finished I knew I had them in my pocket. I played other songs but some out-shined the others. There was Folsom Prison Blues where people where shouting out Yea Haw, Irish Lullabies had some dancing, and Counting Stars where everyone was clapping with me during the bridge part.
All in all it was a great show, I made some new fans who signed up for my monthly email list, talked to Richard who said he would pass my information on the Bartlett in Spokane for me to play at.
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This summer I wanted to focus and playing more local shows and building my home fan-base. I reached out to a few clubs and venues discussed times, monetary arrangements and dates. After my meeting I made a deal with 12 Hawks Bar and Grill to do a full summer series!
I tried some new promotion ideas along with some classic one. such as news paper ads, and posters. This time though I had coasters made with my name and website on one side and the event on the other side. This worked a little but I had to point out what they were and who they were for before people started to catch on and taking them home.
Lets start with the show. To be honest I had a hard time figuring out the “scene” when I first started. After my first show and not getting the response I wanted I started working on different song line-ups, different tip jars, sitting down/standing up, everything. About my third week of playing my summer series I got a break and discovered a few thing that helped my shows like starting with a strong cover song is better then an original in most sports bars .
With this show being on Wednesday’s at 6:30. I would get off work and head straight to the club to set up and play, meaning I didn’t get a chance to eat and found myself lacking in the energy department.
I didn’t seem to have the energy to perform all my songs at full force like I usually do. So I decided to pick up coffee before my sets. when I first started I drank too much and was shaking by the end of my show from a caffeine high. So with some experimenting I also figured out how much to drink before and during my show to keep the engine running at full force.
Now I can’t say every night was a packed house with hyper attendees but I did play my heart out every night. Some nights I felt like I was missing something important, some step I might have missed to get a better crowed. I’m not sure what that step might have been but I know being personable and using free stickers as ice breakers really helped me make a connection with everyone and in the end made this series a huge success.
For my final show my old band mate and best bud Devin Close played a few songs with me. We had some old fans come out and as we played a little nostalgia kicked in making my final show one for the books for me.
In the end it was a great learning experience, great time, made some new friends/fans, and helped me find out a little more about myself as an artist.
Thank you for reading.
When you read this title you’re probably thinking. What does the Bus service have to do with Rylei Franks? Well about a month ago a fellow musician named Joshua James Belliardo contacted me and asked me to join in on a show. This show was to be hosted by S.T.A.(Spokane Transit Authority) as a free concert for all of Spokane to attend and would be held at the main bus station at the Spokane Plaza.
Chapter 1:-the meet and greet
I arrive in Spokane around 5, with a little worry in my mind only because I had no idea who the person I was suppose to check in with looked like. Lucky Peggy was waiting by the stage for the artists. After a brief introduction I met Nicholas the second act and soon to follow Joshua and his brother Jacob Sebastian. As we set up the stage Patty came to us and said that the CEO was there to watch with a little look of worry we assured her we would do our best.
Chapter 2:-Rylei Franks (me!)
With an hour of playing time I felt pretty good knowing that I was able to play all my favorite originals and covers. With some light heart-ed jokes and crowed interaction to fuel my music energy I let loose on the stage with some power vocals I’m not normally comfortable playing at my usual venues but I figured, hey I’m outside and these guys are really great so why not give it a go. I convinced quite a few people to take home a sticker and at points in time the block was packed but I think their bus ride came because it would empty just as fast. All in all it was a great experience and was told that I did as good as I felt I did, which really is exciting to hear.
Chapter 3: The Nicholas Peter Walker
Before Nicholas got on stage I made a small joke about him looking like Harry Potter. I wasn’t sure how he took it until he turned it around and used it in his act between songs. I have to say he is really funny and very down to earth. With a indie/ folk sound and a visual style to go with it. He mesmerized the crowed with witty conversation and clever lyrics. I was really impressed and after his set asked if he would be interested in playing a gig in my home town.
Chapter 4: Joshua James Belliardo (Final Act)
I’ve shared the stage once before with Josh where I was impressed with his music. To hear him play again in his own element and tell his stories was almost magical. (Not to be sappy in my own blog) Before this show I talked with him about how he was close to a sponsorship and I must say he deserves it. If you ever have a chance to hear him play, GO!
All in all it was a great night with all acts being different sounds and personalities. I’m told that the STA CEO was so impressed with our music and show that they are going to do more next year with a bigger budget! I told Patty when that happens please don’t forget me. “HAHA”
Thank you for reading my post if you have time give one of my songs or videos a listen and tell your friends about myself and the other artists mentioned in the blog. Till next time…
If you haven’t heard of Jesse Lawson one of the reasons might be that he was in a band called Sleeping with Sirens until 2014, where he helped write the guitar parts to their world renowned acoustic album. “If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Sound Track.” If by chance you don’t know Sleeping With Sirens or Jesse Lawson here are a few links to help yourself get antiquated with their music.
When I arrived for check in I was pleasantly surprised to see Jesse Lawson sound checking and then meet each artist. I followed suit and did the same trying to snap a picture with all of the acts before we became too busy. Right before the doors opened to the public my cousin and I walked the down town area passing out flyers/handbill to the show. If you are Kind of shy like myself I encourage you to try this out once, it’s a lot of fun/ nerve racking at the same time.
The First act Kyle Siegle was an artist I’ve yet to hear from in the Spokane area. But after his set I learned this was because he lived in Portland until a few months ago. Kyle was awesome, He played songs that were similar to Relient K and SecondHand Serenade.I took a quick video of each act as well if you would like more on him or others please follow the links I’ve provided to their pages.
Now the second act David Simmons I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a few times, four to be exact. David is a soft spoken alternative acoustic artist who sings and tells his stories from the heart. He plays ever so often in Spokane so Look him up and catch a show.
The thirst act was a band called Kevin and the Spokes who played covers like Mr. American Pic and Free Falling. Perfect for the scene and were a really cool down to earth group of guys.
Finally it was my turn. After listening to great acts and knowing I only had 25 minutes to play my heart out I decided to start with an upbeat cover song to catch their attention called “Honey I’m good”. Now if you’ve ever seen me live you know that I like to tell the story behind the lyrics of my song and so the songs I chose I did just that starting with, Santa Barbara. If you would like to listen to it I have it online here. Next I moved to “Work Place Tango”,then “Badadada”, “letters to Ann”, “Mamma Warned me”, and finished with “Iris in C#”, If you would like to listen to these songs I only have a few online other then that you’ll have to come out to a show and get the full meal deal.
Now for Jesse Lawson Ladies and Gentlemen. As we walked on stage he has this confidence you only get after being on the road touring I would assume. He starts the show with a joke and begins his first song. There is a sound issue where his mic cut in and out and after finishing his song they sound man is able to fix the issue. He admits he wasn’t ready for that and brings the crowed back into his control with a short story about being with Sleeping With Sirens and begins to play “James Dean and Audrey Hepburn” (my favorite song). The crowed goes wild as he reels us back in he said ok now for my songs. I had to say this show was funny, musically entertaining and just all around amazing.
With another successful show under my belt, I learned a lot about promotion in the Spokane area. As well as stage presence from Jesse Lawson. I hope to share the stage with him again.
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This year I was asked to come back and play Bloomsday! This is exciting because there is only 20 spots on the course and they usually have returning acts so it’s really hard to get booked.
So, after a long day before of playing two shows in a row. I wake up at 5:00 AM and get myself ready for my big show at Bloomsday on the course! A little sleepy eyed I make my way to my spot where I played the year before. I know I’m ready for this because I spent the last few days packing my car with everything I needed.
- power converter
- speaker system
- guitar and cables
As I set my equipment up Laura (the Director) drives bye and tells me that this year they will be filming the race and that I might be on a video they are going to sell later this year! Filled with excitement I hurry to finish setting up. After I finish setting up a photographer rides up to me and asks if he can take my picture, of course I say yes. He snaps a few pics and sets up a shooting spot by me. While waiting for the race to start I chat it up a little but, I realize it’s 8:00 and the racers were going to be running bye soon. I immediately begin playing.
I have to say playing for Bloomsday racers is something I wish all musicians could experience. The energy, the support, and just the pure joy everyone seems to have. They could be else where away from the cold morning and blazing afternoon, somewhere comfortable and relaxing instead of running about 8 miles with 42,000 other people, but they aren’t.
Right as soon as I started playing one of the racers crashed into the railing and First-responders came up. I had to stop playing because in the rules they give us the First-responders need to be able to talk to the patient and that means no music so even though I just started I basically had a 15 min break.
As soon as they had taken care of the racer I was back at it. I added it up and I realized I had played 4 hours straight after that. No breaks, no water, I just pushed though it. I wanted to keep spirits high as people passed bye me. Even though my voice was getting tired and may have given out a few times I kept going.
Around 12:00 I was told all the runners had finished and so I packed up. Even though I was tired I was happy, and proud of myself for playing so long and being able to see all those people, hoping a few would remember me and look my music up later.
After Party-1:00 PM
Around 1:00 pm after arriving home I received a call. It was a reporter from the Inlander!! His name was Mike, he asked me a few questions about the race, about myself, and my music. Super excited I anxiously awaited for the Inlander to come out to see if my interview had been printer. Sure enough It was and in the Bloomsday Special! I’ve attached a picture of the article at the bottom to read it you would like.
All in all I hope to play again next year, and I hope you enjoyed my story. If you like please sign up at the top for updates on my upcoming shows, past adventures, and new music. Who knows you might get a picture with me and end up on my BLOG!
This story starts on Friday
I worked a full day at my day job as an activities director and headed straight to Spokane, WA. to play a show at the Hop to open for Lovey James American Idol contestant. On the way up there I had to get some gas and use the facilities while there I found some pretty cool hats and tried some on. I didn’t have the money to buy a hat I probably would use but it was fun, it’s the little things that make life great isn’t it?
I make it to the hop where I met Lovey James and the other opening acts for her. I felt silly because I thought she was younger then what she really is and asked her how old she was and accidentally called her Lovely Bayer (I’m pretty sure that’s some kind of medical cream) There were some great acts one guy was amazing I believe his name was Gary. If you know who this guy is from the picture I have on the side leave a comment for him.
When my turn came up, I don’t understand why but I always get so nervous. (one way I cope with this is tell jokes and stories). Well in the middle of my set I had to re-tune my guitar because my second guitar broke. “check out my post about insurance is key”. Anyway I told this joke. I think you would like it too.
Resident: there it went, I swear I saw it go right out the window.
Me: what went out the window?
Resident: My patience…
Finally after my set Lovey Jame came on stage and did an amazing job. (now I know why I didn’t get to the next level of the Voice. I took some pictures with her and said thank you for letting me play. I hope to open again for her.