January's All Hands Jam
Dear BYO Members and Fans,
I couldn't let the moment pass without a brief comment about last night's BYO All Hands Jam at Six Springs Tavern in Richardson.
In a word, the AHJ was, well, joyous! It was an event of good friends and music buddies reunited in a great venue after far too much time passing! It was an opportunity for new members to mix with veteran members, it was a night of tight sets from Brazilian Jazz instrumentals to vocal Pop Jazz to a Beatles Set to Country Rock to Modern Rock to a great Cream closer set, and nearly everything in between! Wow, our BYO Members may or may not have rehearsed a bit in the interim! Excellent musicianship, great vocals and really fun song selections met the 70-80 folks that joined the festivities last night.
A special thanks to our Set Leaders from last night, Lisa Bloom, Pam Musgrove, Chris Cree, Mark Jones, James Ashcroft, Fred Doyle, Tim Hazzard and Jim Martin. You folks Rock! Or in Lisa's and Pam's case, Swing! Thanks to BYO Old Faithful Stan Bradshaw for herding cats and actually bringing all 8 sets of excited Busicians in on time as Jam Poobah! Thanks to Six Springs Tavern for hosting our event. And thanks most of all to you BYO Members for hanging in there during this blasted Pandemic and keeping the BYO Faith. You have the undying gratitude of the BYO Board and me personally! Better days are coming for us all!
See you next month on Thursday, February 24 back at Six Springs Tavern.
All My Best,
12/31/2021Dear BYO Members and Friends,
We have officially made it through 2021! In a word, 2021 has been challenging for me and, I presume, each of you BYO Faithful as well. Of course, other descriptive words for 2021 might be frustrating, aggravating, irritating (anyone else experience the joy of mask acne? At age 61? Really?!!) and even stamina-testing! Having said that, I continue to think positively that better days are coming, with the rising vaccination rates, possible milder strains of COVID and looming herd immunity to finally beat back this hundred-year pandemic we have all had to endure since March of 2020.
On that note, I hope that by now each of you has heard about the first BYO All Hands Jam on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Six Springs tavern in Richardson. For those who have not yet been to Six Springs, it is a cavernous, wide-open venue that has a great stage and sound system, and its capacity of approximately 250 far exceeds our typical AHJ crowds, so we should have plenty of room to spread out for those BYO Busicians who wish to perform, watch or just renew in-person friendships! January’s AHJ Jam Poobah is Stan Bradshaw, who reports a full night of music with 7 or 8 groups raring and ready to perform. We will take safety measures such as cleaning mics after each set and encouraging those who so desire to bring masks with a goal of making our members more comfortable. Either way, we look forward to resuming some sense of normalcy for BYO. I have tasked Ian Dickson, our fearless Events chair, to start building the BYO events calendar for the first and second quarter of 2022—more to come on that front.
We have also been asked by BYO Member Michael Brandenberger, who also serves as President of the Dallas Songwriters Association, a terrific non-profit group with which we have previously partnered, to provide a band or possible bands to perform the hits of this year’s DSA Hall of Fame inductees. This year’s DSA HOF class consists of notable local talent, including the likes of Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Townes Van Zandt, Leann Rimes and Kelly Clarkson. The event is set for April 23 at Love and War in Texas’ outdoor stage. This DSA event provides another great opportunity for our BYO Busicians to Give Back and have a ball playing music for a worthy cause. More to come on that front as well.
As challenging as 2021 was, I believe it is also worthwhile to review what our BYO Busicians were able to pull off during the year, limitations notwithstanding. Even though we were unable to host a live fundraising event such as Christmas Rocks as in past years, we were able to raise a significant amount of funding for one of our favorite fellow charities Music Meets Medicine and its founder, Dr. J Mack Slaughter. Many of your fellow BYO members were active participants in the video project along with J Mack, and thanks to a ton of work and skill provided by BYO’s own Brad Bush, we pulled off an impressive medley to showcase BYO and MMM. For those who either haven’t yet seen our video or just haven’t seen it in a while, I highly recommend that you take 10 minutes to enjoy it, and here is a link to our project:
We did not just sit still because of COVID-19 during 2021, and many BYO Members continued to provide music and their talents to worthy causes. Several come to mind, including Mike Ernst committing to provide music on a weekly basis to the St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Farmer’s Market. Many BYO members joined Mike to provide regular great music, including Eric Spomer, Stan Bradshaw, Tom Black, Pam Musgrove, John Jaggers and others! While we are talking about BYO Members giving back, how about our own Fred Doyle, who again this past year coordinated some BYO volunteers to play a great set at Abilene’s Garageband Woodstock, an event that raised approximately $50,000 for local causes in Fred’s old stomping grounds. A big thanks to Fred, Ian Dickson, Kathi Allan, Sharon McGregor, Pam Musgrove and Rod Clark for their great efforts in unofficially representing BYO. I have heard anecdotal stories about many other BYO members giving back to great causes during 2021, and for that I send my sincere thanks!
Our BYO Business and Social Committee, headed by Sue Schildt and assisted by Jane McGregor among others, kept us in touch with virtual Happy Hours that were both fun and informative with music trivia questions! Thanks to Sue and Jane! Not to be outdone, Ian and his Event Committee managed to pull off both a virtual jam on Zoom and to, thanks to the generous offer of their beautiful back yard by Stan and Judy Woodward, a live Jam in October. I think it is fair to say that we all missed the live Jams, and the October event just whet our collective appetites for more in 2022!
Your BYO Board has continued regular meetings to monitor the spikes and variations of COVID with the primary goal of keeping our BYO Members safe and healthy despite the pandemic. Not once or twice, but the three times the Board voted to freeze any dues assessments, which dues holiday now runs through 2022, thanks to prudent management of BYO’s funds. The Board, as you know, has adopted safety measures and policies to assure your safety as we do open things back up.
Finally, despite no efforts on behalf of our organization to grow during 2021, we have been blessed by 5 new BYO Members: Steve Gendler, Penn Collins, Tom Van Hoose, Mark LeDoux, and Steve Enstadt. Please take the opportunity to look for Steve, Penn, Tom, Mark, and Steve at the upcoming BYO events and welcome them! Pam and I have personally had the pleasure of playing music with Steve Gendler, and he is an excellent bass player and a great guy!
You can look forward to cool new 2022 BYO T-Shirts, a continuing BYO tradition. If you didn’t get your 2020 T-Shirt, please let me know, as I have a bunch left.
Thank you for your trust and confidence in a challenging year (or two) for our humble organization. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be your president. Let’s have an amazing 2022 together!
Happy New Year to each of you,
9/1/2021Dear BYO Members,
All My Best,
4/20/2021Dear BYO Members,
I would like to follow up on our two recent BYO events of March 31 (the Events Committee’s Zoom Song Swap) and April 8 (the Business and Social Committee’s Zoom Happy Hour and Trivia Contest) and thank the many Members who participated in and enjoyed those events. I would also like to thank both Ian Dickson, the Chair of the Events Committee, and Sue Schildt, the Chair of the Business and Social Committee, and their respective committees for their hard work in making each of you engaged and entertained! As I have mentioned in my previous updates, our two biggest priorities as a Board are and have been (1) keeping our BYO Members safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic and (2) keeping BYO relevant in a challenging time for each of us in which our cherished music jams have not been possible.
I would also like to thank the Members who stayed late on the Zoom call on April 8 and asked a lot of heartfelt but tough questions of me as President of BYO. I thank you because those questions went directly to the heart of what many of our Members have been thinking and feeling, and it was really our first opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue about returning to live BYO Jams as more and more of the herd immunity begins washing across the DFW and North Texas area. Believe me when I tell you that the principal topic of our April Board of Directors meeting last week was squarely upon this topic. WE HEAR YOU, and the Board truly looks forward to safely resuming live Jams as much as each of you do!
To speak directly to that question of when it will be safe to resume our live Jams, the Board has agreed that our goal, based upon the information available to us at this time and under the assumption that live events may be resumed in a manner consistent with healthcare guidelines in effect at that time, is to resume live Jams in the early fall, perhaps in September or even sooner. In order to facilitate the Jams, the Board has tasked the Events Committee with finding suitable venues that have good ventilation and are outdoor venues. We have already identified two possible venues, including a covered outdoor pavilion and the large backyard of one of our Members, as two suitable places to resume the Jams. With a view toward continuing safety for our Members, we have additionally discussed a new requirement for each Jam singer to bring his/her own microphone out of an abundance of caution and the possibility of Jam participants and guests signing a suitable waiver in favor of BYO.
The Board is aware that many of your bands and projects have cautiously resumed live music, and from my own perspective I will tell you that Pam and I have performed live a few times in the last few weeks, including a neighborhood jam with Stan Bradshaw and other BYO members in a non-BYO event.
I would like to ask two important favors of each of you. First, if you have ideas for safe, well-ventilated and hopefully outdoor venues (at least for now) that would be suitable for BYO Jams, please send them both to Ian Dickson and to me as soon as possible.
Second, and equally if not more important, I would like to ask each BYO member to send me a private email (i.e., please DO NOT reply to all) OR respond via this Private Form with the answer to my simple question of “Have you and your spouse or significant other (and any friend likely to attend a future BYO event) been vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of the actual vaccination variety).” I will hold your personal information as private, but I wish to get a sense of how many of our Members are now vaccinated as a data point and would potentially feel safe returning to live Jams after vaccination. I will then confer with the rest of the Board and the Event Committee with the group information and numbers in making decisions when to safely roll out our return to live Jams.
Thank you in advance for your help on my two requests above. Thanks to each BYO Member for your support of the BYO Board and me in an unprecedented time, as well as your continued faithfulness to BYO. You have our sincere appreciation and gratitude.
All My Best,
3/19/2021Dear BYO Members,
First and foremost, I hope each of you are well, thoroughly rehearsed and ready to once again jam together in the coming months! I have missed your faces and your collective talents a great deal in the Great Pandemic Shelter of 20-21. As I type, the vaccination numbers and estimated “herd immunity” numbers are increasing quickly, and the horrible COVID-19 deaths that our community has experienced appear to be waning, along with decreases in new cases reported. Perhaps we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
However, in the interim, I wanted to reach out and let each of you know that we have 2 terrific BYO Zoom programs in the coming weeks for your enjoyment, a “Zoom Song Swap” on Wednesday, March 31 and a Zoom Happy Hour with a Music Trivia theme on Thursday, April 8!
Our own Ian Dickson and his Event Committee are coming out of forced hibernation to coordinate the March 31 Zoom Song Swap. If you are interested in participating as a solo act or a duet act, you still have another couple of days to contact Ian and participate in the Zoom event. Although the Event Committee is still working on logistics and details, the working model of the Song Swap will be having 5-7 BYO members play 2-3 songs each for the enjoyment of the other participants and listeners. I encourage you to support our great BYO musicians and join Ian and his Event Committee on Wednesday, March 31 at 6:30 for an hour or two!
Similarly, Sue Schildt and her Business and Social Committee are continuing to work on programs that will bring our BYO Members together virtually until we can safely reconvene in person. Sue has cooked up a great twist on our BYO Happy Hours to add a Music Trivia program for all us liner note nerds such as yours truly! Sue has engaged the services of a professional company called “Not Rocket Science Trivia” and its owner Alex Abernathy to keep things lively and fun. Rumor has it that Sue’s Committee Members Jane and Michael are working hard on some tough questions to stump you, so start getting rid of that COVID Fog Brain and let’s get some great participation on this fun event! It’s on the BYO Calendar for Thursday, April 8 from about 6:30 to 8 or so.
You will be receiving updates on both events, but I wanted to reach out to each of you to share my enthusiasm for the upcoming events.
Finally, a huge thank you and debt of gratitude for all your generosity and the generosity of your friends and family who have supported our terrific Video that Brad Bush expertly cobbled together and that featured a slew of our talented BYO musicians and singers for the benefit of Music Meets Medicine. I am thrilled to report that due to your donations and the extremely generous anonymous matching donor we have raised over $11,500 for Dr. J Mack Slaughter’s Music Meets Medicine non-profit! In a year of negative news, suffering, sacrifices for all and sheltering in place forced by the Pandemic, I think that without a doubt our BYO Members have lived up to our motto of “Giving Back.” Thank you all.
I look forward to seeing you sooner rather than later!
All My Best,
1/22/2021Dear BYO Members and Friends,
A heartfelt thanks for all who were able to join us on Thursday night for our BYO Musicians Zoom Annual Meeting. We had nearly 50% of our active members join us, which is a terrific turnout for a Pandemic Thursday night!
One of the highlights of our Annual Meeting was a group listen to our BYO/Music Meets Medicine Benefit Video, which was skillfully edited and arranged by Board Member Brad Bush. Brad announced that thus far, we have raised $3500, plus a match from a generous anonymous donor, for a total of $7,000 raised for the great program of Music Meets Medicine!
While that is admirable, I challenge our Busicians and BYO Friends to dig a little deeper to hit $5,000 or more. If we hit that number, we will get a dollar for dollar match up to $5,000 in order to reach the Board’s goal of $10,000! Please give generously to this great charity!
Additionally, I am so proud of our BYO/MMM Benefit Video that I think this group can go viral with it! What if each of our 80+ members sent the video’s link (see below) to 5-10 of their friends?!! And if those friends lived out of state or even out of the country, you just never know what might happen. So spend a few minutes and forward the YouTube link below!
For those of you who are a touch challenged by technology, you may share by clicking on the share button - pick Facebook, Twitter, Email or one of the other options.
Thank you all in advance, and I can’t wait to see you in person – Soon!
All my best,
BYO Fund Raiser Video - Update
We have extended the sign up for our Charity Video to support Music Meets Medicine to October 16th. Please visit https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/byovideo-14010 to sign up.
Here are the answers to a few more of your questions:
Q: Can my part be recorded on a computer or only on a phone?
A: You will be able to record on your computer or a phone. You may need two devices (one to play the music and one to record the video) depending on your setup. More information will be available to those who signup.
Q: Do I need to download an app in order to record my part or send my part?
A: No. You can use your standard phone video software.
Q: You said that I'll be listening to the backing track on headphones. What will the headphones be plugged in to?
A: The headphones will be plugged into one device (like a phone or computer) while you video with another device (phone or computer). On a computer it can be the same device.
Q: I have Bluetooth headphones but heard that wireless connections create latency issues when trying to play against a recording. Should only wired headphones be used?
A: Because you are recording a video that is independent of what you are listening to and we can match up later, you can record with either wired or wireless headphones.
Q: You mentioned that audio and video may need to be separately recorded in order for the audio to be picked up from the distance of the video camera. If I use a computer webcam on a cord to the computer, would the mic in the webcam be sufficient?
A: We will work with whatever you are able to record. A separate microphone is just a suggestion for those that are able to do more advanced techniques.
Q: If I play an acoustic instrument, does the instrument need to be played through a P.A. or amp separate from just using the mic in the camera?
A: We can work with it either way. Recording your instrument with a mic up close or through an amp is better, but get us sound and video!
Q: Can I record more than one take and pick the take that I would like to be used?
A: Yes, but just send us one final take of the whole song. We will only be using a part of your recording, so don't stress out if you mess up in one part!
BYO Fund Raiser Video - Play and Get Involved!
BYO Musicians is proud to announce our 2020 fundraiser which once again will support Music Meets Medicine, a 501c3 non-profit organization that donates instruments and teaching time to teenagers being treated in children’s hospitals. In light of the uncertainty about when we will be able to resume live jam sessions we have created this alternative to the annual Christmas Rocks event. We will be creating a video compilation where we can all “play together”. We will raise money for the charity by allowing our members to donate to the charity to secure spots in the compilation music video. This will be offered through the same web auction site we utilized last year: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/byovideo-14010
We have decided to combine 3 songs and meld them into a single video: Everyday People, Tulsa Time and Born in the USA. On each song, we have several spots per instrumentalist, vocalist and even dancers. We will give you easy instructions to record your part over a set “backing track” so that we can all stay together (no special equipment needed, but if you have it, we will have instructions for using it). The first step though is to make a donation in the category of the part you choose by clicking on the link above. The selections will close on September 30th, so figure out what part or parts you are going to play and reserve your spot today. Remember you can reserve your spot and still donate more on the front page!
You will have the option of recording your part at your home or any location of your choosing, or for convenience you can make your recording at Stan Bradshaw’s rehearsal studio which will be set up for this purpose. In any case, you will be listening to a backing track through headphones and recording your part (video and audio) along with the backing track. The BYO Board will present both BYO and its Members in the best light possible with this video project, while at the same raising money for a great cause. We ask for your money, your talents, your sense of humor and your understanding that the video can’t feature all of us, but the Board believes that the end product will be representative of BYO and its Membership! Let’s Rock.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What if I want to donate more than my $50 spot?
A: You can use the big blue Donate Now button on the auction site to donate some more. We will be promoting the donations once the video is live.
Q: What if I want to play an instrument that is not listed?
A: Sign up for “Dance or Other” and we will be contacting you.
Q: Where does my money go?
A: All your money except a small administrative fee charged by the auction site goes straight to Music Meets Medicine to help them deliver more music therapy to children.
Q: How will my video be used? Who will decide what part to use? What will the final video look like?
A: The BYO Board is responsible for the final video. We will mix both the music and the videos into a great end to end product that we are all proud of. You will see multiple performers on the screen at once all “playing together”.
Q: Can I just give money and not be in the video?
A: We would rather you dance or play some percussion, but sure you don’t have to be in the video. You can go to the auction link and just click on the big blue “Make a Donation” button in the top right.
Q: Can only BYO Members participate in this project?
A: Right now we are holding to only dues-paying BYO Members for this project.
Q: Can I get together with a group and sing or play together?
A: Not at this time. We are requesting each part to be separate.
Q: If I am doing a guitar part, should I play rhythm or lead?
A: You can play either or both through the whole song.
Q: What if the song lyrics call for harmony vocals. How do I know what line to sing?
A: We will have to work that out after September 30 when all slots are taken. If you want to sing harmony with another specific member then the two of you can work that out and make your recordings accordingly.
Q: Can I withdraw my video from being used if I am not satisfied with it?
A: Yes, by end of October, you can tell us if you do not want your video to be used or not record a video.
Q: I donated for a video, but could not record my part (or withdrew my video). Can I get a refund?
A: No. The purpose of this project is to facilitate donations to Music Meets Medicine. The donations are being made directly to MMM to support their very good cause. Your participation in the video is just BYO's way of thanking you for making a donation to Music Meets Medicine.
Q: Are there any other terms or conditions to participate in the video?
A: Yes. As indicated on the auction site under auction terms, your election to participate includes your agreement to the specified terms, including your acknowledgement that the BYO Musicians Board has discretion on the selection, editing and use of the videos for purposes approved by the BYO Board and your full release to allow your video or any part of your video and your name and likeness to be used as may be approved by the Board.
Q: Is my donation to Music Meets medicine tax deductible?
A: Although you should consult your tax advisor regarding your personal tax situation, it is our understanding that the recently adopted CARES Act allows people who take the standard deduction to also deduct up to $300 to public charities. For questions about the tax exempt status of Music Meets Medicine, please visit http://www.musicmeetsmedicine.org/
Q: Where will the video be posted?
A: We will post the video online on our Facebook page and potentially other public forums. The goal is to get as many people to see, share and like the video as possible.