WAY DOWN SOUTH

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For the first time I’ve made my way to North Carolina. My fiancee and I went to visit her friends and family in Greensboro, NC. Before we left she got in contact with a friend named Fredd–a local Greensboro artist–to help book a few shows in the area.

Southern Cuisine

During our stay I was introduced to three very popular fast food restaurants Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles and Cookout. I tried the chicken minis at Chick-Fil-A, the cajun chicken and biscuit at Bojangles and the $5.00 box at Cookout ball both were very interesting to me but still very good.

Brewery testing

Also during my trip, I went to visit many craft breweries which is a hobby

 

I’ve started. All of the breweries my fiancee and I have visited are uploaded to our Instagram page www.intagram.com/hopsnobsadventure . So far we’ve been to Pig Pounder, Natty Greens,Hops and Joymongers, and World of Beer.

While we were out trying new breweries I found one called Little Brother Brewery that had a house/community guitar. After asking if I could play and getting the OK, I grabbed it and played on it for a little bit.

Salsaritas

I was kind of skeptical about playing at Salsaritas mostly because it’s a taco bar restaurant. It’s like a subway but for tacos. It brought back memories of

when I used to perform at the froyo shop in Moses Lake. Fredd was beyond amazing his vocal range is something else. I’ve attached a link to his YouTube page to check him out if you want. I was also blown away from his set up. He was using an amp for both his vocals and guitar but he was also running his vocal mic through a pedal called a TC Helicon. I don’t want to sound like a salesman but that vocal pedal was amazing and when I save up some money I’m going to get one myself. For the curious musician reading this here is a link to the TC Helicon website to see how it works. My set was well received and I had so much fun playing. The show that was booked for Saturday ended up being canceled the day of the Salsarita show.  I figured I would play the songs I’ve been working on the last few months.

A little back story on who Fredd is: Fred was one of the Ffnal contestants on a Hispanic television show much like the voice called ‘Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento’. After the show he started getting a lot of attention and was going to be on the Ellen show but some things came up and he wasn’t able to do it.  He is still working towards becoming a rising musician and is able to live solely off performing.

I really have to thank Alex Munoz and his girlfriend, Catherine, for letting me use their guitar for the show. All in all, it was a good trip. I have a few leads for some bigger shows next time I come around. I learned so much and hope to apply my new knowledge to my music.

Please join my adventures in real time by adding me to Instagram at www.instagram.com/ryleifranks, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ryleipaulfranks.

Rylei Franks

 

Here are links to some of the places I went to visit during my trip.

 Litte Brothers Brewery – https://www.littlebrotherbrew.com/

Natty Greens Brewery – http://www.nattygreenes.com/

Pig Pounder – https://www.pigpounder.com/

Joymongers – www.joymongers.com/

World of beer – www.worldofbeer.com/

Lights, Camera, Action!

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Brain Storming

Recently I made the decision that I needed to improve my online presence and while going over ideas I realized I should make a music video for my new album! After listening to my album over and over two songs hit me with images in my head I could see playing out in a video.

After talking to my friend Brian Bridges the owner of Video Street 14203696_1721309651468477_112537093_oProductions with my ideas, I then settled on the song Irish Lullabies. The idea I had created in my head was a classic kind of video that would be similar to movies like Dancing In The Rain. There would be dancing, singing, classy outfits and have a grandiose feeling about it, and it would be done on a tight budget of $300.00.

Staging and casting

So after I had my videographer set I needed a venue and actress. The venue was easy I asked a local business called Uggie Boos Bistro which has a very romantic/ intimate atmosphere where I’ve played many times before. Getting the actress was more difficult though.

I started asking girls who I thought would fit my ideal character, red hair and blue eyes and about my age. Now sure how to go about it I decided on a straight forward process. Hey do you want to me in my music video?  You wouldn’t believe how many people were quick to say no. Then I realized maybe I need to tell them the context of the video, because they could be thinking I’m making a rap video or something and that’s why they didn’t want to help. After thinking about my word choice a little better I asked a local model if she would be interested and at last I had found my actress. That is until I took too long to book everything and she

14151728_1721309641468478_920874988_o
My friend Tayler

lost interest. luckily I ended up finding a good friend of mine name Tayler who was really excited to help me.

 

The next step was getting a background crowed. I didn’t have much luck I posted online and asked around for people to help me out, again lucky the owners of the venue had a group with them and we were able to use them in the video as background cast. I also was really happy when my dad  said he could come and help out a little.

The Day of The Shoot

On the day of the shoot I had to go to work and wasn’t able to get to the venue before everyone else which made a little uneasiness at the beginning. After making peace with everyone I had Brian set up while I helped Tayler put on the wig that we borrowed from my grandma. We began shooting immediately  in the venue as we had a dead line of 8:30 pm before the venue closed up shop for the night.

The first shots were with my dad and I, he was such a trooper. When ever

My dad playing his part so well
My dad playing his part so well

the camera was on him his face light up like Rudolph’s nose but he pulled it off and we were able to get some great takes.

 

I really had very little to do as far as directing, with meeting with Brian prior and talking to Tayler everything went very smoothly and were able to shoot everything before 8:00 pm. Everyone gave some input and with those ideas we built on different takes and I believe we ended up making a beautiful video. It had the feel of a movie, with dancing and singing, and professionalism on a level I wasn’t sure we were going to make with my budget and time restraint but we did it.

A shot of us making a video. No big deal
A shot of us making a video. No big deal

The Editing stage

After the video was shoot, Brian took it home and worked on the editing portion of it, where, again needed little guidance besides the few ideas I gave him. On top of making the video he gave me some pictures for promotion and a behind the scenes video.

You can watched both the video and the behind the scenes videos by clicking on either link. Make sure to share with your friends and family and please subscribe to my YouTube channel as I’ll be working on the next idea as soon as I can.

LAUNCH Music Festival!

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I hear that train a coming.

If you do follow me online or you have signed up for my email list you then you know that I performed at the LAUNCH Music Festival in Pennsylvania. I had to admit it was a hard decision to make on whether or not to go. One, because it’s expensive and recently the company I work for closed their doors and secondly, I had a show the very next day in Washington State. So, I sat down and looked at all my options on how I could afford to get to the show and not spend all of my money I had saved up! I ended up buying a train ticket to Lancaster, PA and booking a flight back home. Here is how the train went…

*Note my writing jumps from past to present *

The train was expect to arrive 9:42 PM, which meant I needed to be there a little after 9:00 to have a cushion incase the train showed up early. When 9:42 came around there was no train in sight! I won’t lie; I was starting to panic a little. I checked out my ticket and looked at the train times with a sigh of relief; it said my train was running 30 minutes late. However, when 10:15 came around and the train wasn’t there yet I checked out its time frame again and it was now running 40 min late. I began to wonder if there was something wrong with the train and if it was a good idea to get on it. I decided to wait until 11:00PM after that I was going to head home. While waiting, a stranger came up to me to ask for the time but at 10:30 a night I figured I should keep my distance and just pointed to the big clock by the train station. Finally, at 10:52 (an hour and ten minutes after the scheduled arrival time) the train showed up. I grabbed my stuff, presented my ticket, and boarded the train. I was lucky to find a seat by itself and was able to sprawl out on the chairs. I tell you what though, sleeping upright is not a comfortable task and I was glad I brought my sweater and scarf to use as a pillow.

MontanaIMG_20160516_144951

After getting comfortable and falling asleep, I woke up to the sound of the conductor at 7:30 AM announcing that the breakfast cart was now open and our first stop in Montana was about to happen. I rode through Glacier Park which was awe inspiring! After that, which was about 11:00 AM, Montana was as flat as counter-top and on top of that, it was very dry and desolate. I watched as we passed ghost towns and cattle farms stretched across miles of empty land. I now know why they call it “big sky Montana”. I felt as if I was riding a train though our Wild West history. On a side note, if you’ve ever watched Hell on Wheels I imagine you would feel the same way as well riding though Montana. It wasn’t until 9:15 PM did the train actually get through Montana; I never knew how huge Montana was until now.

South Dakota

I had heard North Dakota had an oil find and that business was booming but I needed to see it with my own eyes to understand how big this industry really had gotten. The towns that I had seen were far and wide from each other. You’ll actually see more oil tankers and drills than houses. I did see an oil plant (I’m not positive what the official name was) all on its own, which is different for me because I’ve seen them next to towns like in Yakima, WA. I’ve seen a few in Texas where they are right off the highway and next to towns and cities. There wasn’t much to see other than that.

Mississippi River

When I fell asleep I must have missed a few cities because the conductor announced the breakfast cart was opening and that our next stop would be in Minneapolis. I noticed a body of water and was informed that it was the Mississippi River. The conductor gave us a little info tour of the Mississippi River and how there are 29 river containers (much like damns) that help the river stay the way it is and not make new river veins and probably flood areas. On the trip the train took 4 bridges over it.

*A little side story during my time in the twin cities. I had to use the IMG_20160419_132822bathroom and went to open the first door only to find someone behind the door occupying the room. I quickly shut the door and went to the next door making sure to knock on the door. When I was in the restroom I heard one of the train assistants laugh at the guy who was in the room I had opened on saying “did you forget to close the door?” I felt a little embarrassed but the guy told me “it’s all good I was the one who forgot to lock the door.”*

Wisconsin

There is a Hooderites Colony close to where I live, but Wisconsin must be the capitol. I’ve seen so many ladies and gentleman dressed up in wool clothes, straw hats, and the men had beards that must have taken years to grow. Not that I was starring or anything, I just haven’t really seen very many people like them before so my mind took note of how many hooderites came on the train. In case you were wondering it was a lot.

It’s crazy how most of the middle states look like Grant County, WA. I would see a town the train was passing and caught myself making comparisons like: This reminds me of George or Odessa. There is definitely a lot of room for people to explore in America.

*A little side note, as I started writing this part of the blog I realized I had lost my stylist pen, I asked the attendants, people around me, and checked my area but I have come to the realization that I have lost the pen for good. *

Chicago

My first train transition was in Chicago. Unfortunately, I ran out of peanut butter and jelly and bread so I broke down and bought some foodIMG_20160420_162921. I read somewhere that when you’re on the road its really good to try to buy healthy food. Mostly because you don’t have a lot of exercise time and healthy food is always the best choice. I bought a Chicken Cesar salad and a Penne Pasta. After I finished I had about 2 hours of waiting until my train. In the waiting room, the police were called when a man became unresponsive! Soon they brought in a stretcher and had the police dogs do a walk through. I found this interesting because any other train station no one checks your luggage, no metal detectors, scanners, you don’t have to take your shoes off, and you can bring 2 bags and 1 carry on. So if you think about it, taking the train isn’t all that bad it’s just a lot slower than a plane! Around 5:00 PM I started to get worried because every train had a gate assignment except mine. I later found out that whoever was in charge of working the monitor just didn’t put it up because I looked around and found the gate where I needed to be on one of the plastic caller boards. Also, another cool tidbit about most train stations is they are all really cool/pretty looking. They’re designed to look like fancy 1950’s train stations. There is marble everywhere. Chicago has this great hall that they were working on fixing or updating. It was all white marble and kind of like a Roman Cathedral with arches and pillars and a huge water fountain.

Anyway, I make my connection and was assigned a seat. At first, I was kind of upset because I was assigned next to someone this time. Let me tell you, it’s really hard to sleep on a train to begin with and then being confined to one seat and not being able to stretch out. It’s terribly uncomfortable! I heard over the speaker that the lounge cart would be open until 12P, so I went there and called my girlfriend and family. While talking to them, I overheard these two guys who were talking about whose probation officer was cooler. One said “yeah, mine’s great but I hope I don’t get tested when I get home right away”. Another lady next to me was sipping on a bottle of cough syrup just passing the time, I suppose. I tried to buy something to drink but the cafe was closed so I went back to my seat. Luckily, the guy next to me was getting off on a stop at 10PM so I was eventually able to get to stretch out. I took a Tylenol PM and went to sleep.

PittsburghIMG_20160421_174528

Not a lot of excitement in Pittsburgh. I arrived at the station at 5AM and had another 2 hour wait until the next train. I did my new daily ritual which consisted of scrubbing myself down with body wipes (did I mention trains don’t have showers?), brushed my teeth, and used the dry shampoo to convince myself that I was somewhat clean. I also bought body spray deodorant and used it all over just in case. I didn’t want to smell off putting if I ended up sitting by another person. In the bathroom, where I was brushing my teeth, I made friends with this cool guy brushing his teeth also and we kind of bragged about who had gone without a shower longer. It made me smile knowing someone else was in the same boat as me. At 7 AM I boarded the next train and basically slept until my stop in Lancaster.

Thank you for reading my post about my train excursion. Make sure to read the rest of the story called LAUNCH Music Festival. 🙂

It’s my birthday

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Recently I celebrated my birthday and thought, what better way to celebrate then to have a show!

The Promotion.

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!

Grassroots Promotions

The show

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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 1023152042brother 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.1023151958a

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.

Pybus Market and an adventure

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IMG_20150328_074021I spent the morning getting ready for my first show in Wenatchee in over a year. With all my prep work I still wouldn’t have been able to avoid the days trials.

I got up around 6:30 with fear that I was going to sleep in and not have enough time to get myself ready for the day. After loading up my mom’s BMW with my check list of items I needed for the show I proceeded to Wenatchee’s Pybus Market.

I got there early because the day before I received an email from the owners that I would be sharing the stage with a church that was holding an Easter Egg hunt that day.  Because I was playing during the hunt I was told I couldn’t be too loud, which isn’t bad. Truthfully, I’m used to hearing that being that I play at wine bars and bistros and people need to be able to make orders during my sets.

As I set up, a few of my friends had come to support me and listen to my music. I’m really glad they came, it definitely helped with the nerves.  I began to play at 11:00 am, as I played I felt confident I was in the appropriate sound range and being heard by everyone.  Now when it comes to busking, its’ different from playing a normal show. A gentleman walking by, was nice enough to give me some pointers about how to get people to drop some pocket change.  Here are the tips I 0328151041was given:

1) Keep your eyes open. If you make eye contact with someone give them a nod and smile.

2) Play cover songs. If you can get people to connect to a song they will stop and word of mouth is really big in busking.

3) Don’t forget to tell people who you are, but don’t take too long between songs.

I have to say he was right on all of those. I’m sure I knew this already but the gentle reminder definitely helped.  As I played I had a few people sign up for my email list and a bunch of little ones grabbed my stickers (this made me smile). I always like giving things away and making people happy and the kids running around with my sticker on their shirts, who could ask for better advertisement.

Well I finished up my busking time and packed up. As I headed out one of the bookers said I did really well and said I’m welcomed back anytime. I loaded up my card and started home.

This is where the story starts to turn.

I’m driving down town Wenatchee and the power steering goes out and the radio shuts off. This has happened to me before and knew I only had a few miles left before I was dead in the water.  I managed to drive my car across the bridge to Hobby Lobby and make a call to my dad. He said he could come get me but I would have to find a way to get the car home. I thank my lucky stars because I called the insurance company for a tow truck.0328151422

As I wait for my dad and the tow truck I walked to Fred Mayer’s to grab a snack. There was a patch of grass by the highway so I had myself a little picnic. When both my dad and tow truck show up I load my stuff to my dad’s car and was told I have to pay the tow truck before the tow. Heart broken I ended up forking over all the  money I made busking that day to pay my bill.

All in all I did have a really good time playing and enjoying the day, I was bummed that I left home broke and came home broke but this is why I have a 9-5 still.

Until the next adventure join in the story, leave a comment, add me on Facebook, join the email list, and listen to my new song Santa Barbara online at

http://warped.battleofthebands.com/u/rylei_franks

 

Am I a songwriter?

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Am I a Songwriter?

A little while ago I was informed that a song I entered into a competition 11066704_10153146035857505_6561633631465509996_nwas chosen as 1st place.  With this accomplishment I received a cash prize and some radio time for the song. I didn’t know who to ask but the thought came to my head. Now that I’ve been paid for a song, signed a disclaimer, and have radio time. Does this make me an official song writer? I know it’s only one song and actually it’s a Jingle so I’m not trying to get a head of myself. What do you think?

If anything it’s a step closer to becoming a full fledged songwriter and performer.

Below is the link to the Facebook Link and the original song before it was remastered for radio.

“Congrats to Rylei Franks”

 

Kana Winery-The return

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There is something to be said about people who really like your music and support you. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain, to know that people believe in you and what your doing and will help you do what ever they can to see you successful.

Kana Winery- Round 1

  This story starts with an email. As usual I spend a few hours out of the week to try to get the attention of a venue asking to have them let me play at their venue. On a Tuesday I received an email from Kana Winery asking if I could play on the second Friday of February. Of course I said yes and we proceeded to book the show and go over business stuff.

Fast forward to the show date…

     I ran out of paid time off from my day job so I went to work the day of my show  and left to the venue as soon as I got off of work. Once I make it to Kana Winery I find my self in a warm environment with friendly people and a great sound system.
     I didn't know what to expect with being booked on short notice so I didn't do my usual promotion for the show but with great surprise there wasn't a spot in the house to sit. I met a lot of great people through the night but one person made a point of getting my attention. Nathan a.k.a. Nate.
    
     Now Nate had no intention of coming to my show but saw his parents at my show and came in. When he heard my music and noticed me playing a few covers like "My Guardian Angel" and "I'm Already Gone" by underground bands he decided we were going to become buddies.  I finished my set and met Nate and his girlfriend and after my show we hung out for a few more minutes before he called over the owner of the wine bar and proceeds to tell them he wants me to come back. Right then we booked another show.

Kana Winery-Round 2

For my return I did the usual promotion on a budget. here are some blogs I read about what I do for promotion on a tight budget.

     Now here is something I'm sure every musician gets tickled about hearing but a few days before the show Nat messages me and tells me he was able to get my show posted on  the Tourist page and the Upcoming Wine Events page for the Yakima area.  He also shared my page and event. The venue also shared my page and event as well as posted it on their official website.

The day of the show:

The usual check list for my show prep.

  1. inspect guitars
  2. clean out car,and check car and fluids
  3. load up the equipment-(I usually pack everything just encase something goes wrong I always have a back up)
  4. get set list made
  5. Get rock-stared out- (like they say if you look good you play good)
  6. Don’t forget your merchandise and set list and check over check list.
     This day the suburbans battery died and I had to get a new one and install it and cap off the antifreeze. since I played at this winery before I packed my stuff up but only loaded in what I needed.

     As a token of my gratitude I spent the week earlier learning "James Dean and Audrey Hepburn" by "Sleeping With Sirens" for my new friend Nathan.  Also I was pleased to see returning people who stayed the whole show which was a 3 hour gig. I  made some new fans and also tried out a new email sign up sheet list where people really did sign up!  All in all it was a great show everyone's work paid off and I was able to play the whole three hours and not lose my voice.

     In the end, with the success of the past two show I was offered to play the First Friday in Yakima, where I'm told is the most popular night of the month to go out and the city really comes alive. I think for that show I will do an ad in the news paper and some bigger budget promotion.