Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year in Review - 2016

Well, we did it! We made it through 2016! What a year for losing some of our musical and artistic icons, eh? I told Johnny recently that if 2017 is like 2016, our entire cover catalog will be dead people. Not okay, 2016. Not okay.

Our year was a little less eventful (no one died), but we did have our ups and downs. We landed some gigs at some new lucrative venues, but we also lost some of those gigs.

Those gigs helped make this our most successful year yet financially, but we also found that the heavy load of gigs coupled with our other pursuits outside The Staylyns brought us dangerously close to burning out.

But in the end, the good far outweighed the bad for us. We got a new band van, allowing us to dip our toe into the RV world.

Friday, November 25, 2016

You Don't Know - new old music

In my last post, I talked about how our gig schedule had slowed down, and we were glad because we were getting more rest and actually enjoying shows again, as well as starting to play more private gigs.

Those have both been really big positives, but there's one more. With us spending less time on the road, we've been able to work on new music.

I know, right? We're psyched, too!

We've got three new songs in the works - two of which we've recently started playing at shows. And today is the worldwide premiere of our latest single, "You Don't Know."

Longtime fans know this song already from our Johnny Austin days, but we decided to re-release it with The Staylyns sound, and we're pretty confident that this will be THE version of this song for time eternal. Don't want to read one more word until you hear it? Here ya go!

For those who stream music, the player above is courtesy of Spotify, so if you like You Don't Know, please add it to your playlist. If you don't stream, and/or you love it, you can buy a download of it from all the major platforms (iTunes, Amazon, etc.). The service we get the best payout from (at the same price to you), though, is CD Baby:

We're so pleased with how You Don't Know came out, and we're really excited to crank out a few more singles in the coming months. We normally give ourselves permission to be lazy during the holidays and winter months, but we've got such great material keeping us inspired that we're going to keep the studio fired up.

So be on the lookout for new stuff to warm up your new year. What's comin'? You Don't Know! (Actually, that's already here - I was just trying to do a play on words. You get what I was doing there, right? Okay, then. Enjoy the new single.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why getting fired is sometimes a relief

Fall is here! It was a ridiculously busy spring and summer, but things have finally slowed down for us as the year skids into its final few months. We're glad, though I'll admit, it wasn't necessarily our choice.

In late August, we showed up for one of our Waco gigs, and at the end of the night, as the club owner paid us, he told us they were "going in another direction" and that our services wouldn't be needed going forward.

It was a bit of a shock, considering at our previous gig there, the manager on duty told us we were the staff's favorite band, and she even called her boyfriend and friends to come hang out and listen to us while she finished up her shift. So, we weren't sure what had changed in two weeks, but as we climbed into the van to come home, we all admitted that while our egos felt bruised, and we'd miss the steady money, we were relieved that we wouldn't have to drive to Waco *every* weekend anymore.

Still wondering what had happened, though, I did a little digging in the days following, and I did find out more information. It seems that in the week prior to our gig, a new general manager had been hired at the venue, and within days of being hired, he was putting up ads asking for new bands to contact him if they wanted to play the club. So, he had never heard us or met us, but had already decided to change up the bands.

We later found out that we were one of the lucky bands. We at least got to play our gig, get paid, and get fair warning before our next gig there. Apparently, this new manager didn't feel it necessary to check the upcoming schedule of bands and contact the bands he wanted to replace. He just booked over them. So several bands showed up, ready to play for gigs that had been booked well in advance, and they were told that someone else was playing that night. Those bands didn't get to play, had no opportunity to find an alternate gig for the night, and promoted for what turned out to be someone else. Realllllll professional, pal.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only change for us in Waco, though.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Five Things You Only Hear in a Home Studio

We've been busy in the studio lately, and we're hoping to have a new tune for you by the end of the month.

This is what music looks like.
Over the years of recording our own music, I've heard a few things said here and there that I'm pretty sure you'd never hear in a paid studio. And they're what make recording in our home studio so awesome! So, for those who have never recorded in both, here are...

Five Things You'll Hear in a Home Studio that You Won't Hear in a Pro Studio

1. I think we should leave the cat's meow in there.

2. Can you turn off the dishwasher?

3. Can you turn off the air conditioner?

4. Take your time. (Do you have any idea how expensive professional studio time is?)

5. I'll put on pants later. All my shorts are in the washer.

Yup. All of those are actual things we've said when recording at Staylyn Studio. Makes me wanna get back to it and finish up this new song!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The newest member of The Staylyns

Exciting times are afoot at Staylyns HQ. For some time now, Johnny has been wanting to upgrade the band van to an RV. You can only change clothes in so many bar bathrooms and watch your bandmates nap in so many awkward positions before you say to yourself, "There must be a better way." Well, there IS a better way, and June of 2016 has brought it to us!

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the newest member of The Staylyns - Riggy Martin (props to Joe Kraft for naming her)!
I like it.

Thanks, Rick!

Riggy is a 1997 Dodge American Cruiser. She's a 20-foot Class B RV and has *almost* all the bells and whistles we want: 3 comfy captain's chairs, a marine toilet, a closet, a bed and/or seating area in the back (which will be filled most of the time with our gear), an a/c unit (separate from the truck's a/c), and a kitchen with refrigerator, cook top, sink and microwave. It's pretty sweet. Check it out:

Friday, May 27, 2016

What a difference a year makes

The weather forecasts say El Nino is on its way out, and La Nina is headed in, meaning we're in for a dry summer. After a record drought (finally busted by last year's rains - and flooding), I hesitate to say that we welcome some dry weather, but the truth is, we're water-logged in the Lone Star State, and frankly, we're starting to get moldy. We could use a break. And as a band that plays mostly outdoors, we wouldn't mind some dry weather.

Despite the continued rain, 2016 has been much kinder to us than 2015 was, though. Last year, it seemed like we couldn't catch a break. The whole week could be dry, and then as soon as we had an outdoor show, the rain would roll in.

Of course, it's raining. Why wouldn't it be? We have a show.
We lost a lot of money on cancelled shows, and we really started feeling like we'd pissed off some god somewhere that we didn't know about. 2015 was not our year.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!

We've been traveling a lot lately, and the more you travel, the more opportunities there are to screw something up. You forget to leave a light on, or you forget to put down extra food for the cat, or you forget to pack something important, etc. It happens.

This weekend we had three shows in a row - Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The first show was local, but the Friday show was in Kemah, which is about 4 hours away when you take into consideration a stop for lunch and rush-hour traffic in Houston, which we hit, of course, since we played the 6-10pm slot.

Normally, we drive home after shows - even very late ones. We'd all rather sleep in our own beds and be home when we wake up the next day. But we knew that our Saturday show would be a late show (9:30pm-1:30am), and it was in Waco, which meant more travel. We decided that would be a really hard show to do if we didn't get to bed until 2am or later (since I can never sleep late even if I get to bed at the crack of dawn). So, we decided to spend the night in Houston - get to bed at a reasonable hour and get some sleep before making the trek back to Central Texas.

A good, responsible plan designed to reduce stress and give everyone plenty of rest!

Except that an hour and a half after we left the house, I realized I'd left an appliance plugged in at the house - one with a heating element. Fire. Hazard.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sick happens

Wow. What. A. Month. March is always busy for us, but this year we got our gigging ON. Saturday night we played our 10th show in 24 days! We played 1 private event, and the other 9 events were public shows in 8 different venues, in 8 different cities. Luckily, we love what we do, so it's a privilege to have so many folks who like what we do.

The shows ran the gamut from an early evening 45-minute showcase with other bands on the bill to a late-night 4-hour show with just us. Some were more challenging than others due to sound issues, timing, convenience of getting equipment to the stage site, etc. But the real challenge was for me (Suzy) about half-way through a tour of shows we did during Spring Break week. I got sick.

I didn't puke on stage or anything (I'm talking to you, Justin Bieber).

But my body was definitely going through something and wanted me to be there for it - not traveling around playing shows. One of my friends, who is also in a band, asked me what you do in that situation. So, I figured, "That calls for a blog!"

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Audience participation has its limit

We've played a lot of gigs over the years, and we've had a lot of experiences that leave us asking, "What were you thinking?" Whether its venues that double-book or audience members that get so drunk they face-plant right in front of us while attempting to dance, a little forethought can go a long way into making everyone's experience better.

That's all - just think it through before you do it...whatever "it" is.

At the show we played Saturday, there was an audience member who did not think something through. She was attentive and into the show. She encouraged her kid to dance, which was cool. She and her family stayed for most of the show, which was great. BUT...

Just a few songs into the show, she went to her car and retrieved *her own tambourine* -- which she proceeded to *play* during every song for the remainder of her time at the show.

I know, right? We thought Joe's head was going to explode.
Let me give you a simple rule for attending live music shows: Do not bring your own instrument and play it during the show. Ever.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Say You Will

It's a new year, and it's really starting out right for us. We've locked down some great residencies that we're excited to get started on, and we've already lined up some Spring Break gigs, with some feelers out for a few private gigs - we're gonna work this year, bitch (as Britney would say)!

I *just* said we're going to work this year, Britney Jean. Step. Off.
But all that upcoming performance work is not stopping us from releasing some new music as well. As I said in my last post, we're going to continue our new policy of releasing singles, rather than waiting to release songs until we have enough produced for a full album. And we're going to start of 2016 by doing just that!