Devlin Miles interviewed by Ten Degrees Warmer

Here at Ten Degrees Warmer, we believe that any one of us can be awesome if we simply choose to be. Making that choice can be both terrifying and exhilarating, and staying the course through the challenges of life isn’t always easy. After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

The profiles we present here are of remarkable people who have made their choice to live a deliberately extraordinary life and who have agreed to share some of their insight with us. Whether those profiled are artists, or entrepreneurs, or would consider themselves “ordinary people”, I’m very excited to help people brag about their awesome selves. (As if anyone reading this blog is “ordinary”. HA! I scoff at the very idea!)

By day Devlin Miles is a personal trainer, and by night she the lead singer of the band Sweet Little Bloodhound, formerly known as the Devlin Miles Band. She has been writing original songs and touring for the past four years along with Rick Mauran on drums and percussion, and Ben Falkoff on lead and rhythm guitar. Her songs “This Guy”, “You & Me”, and “Autumn’s Fires” won first place for the Soft Rock Channel, she was selected as the Subway Fresh Artist by Mtv and Clear Channel affiliates, and was voted #1 to open for Bon Jovi in a battle of the bands on ourstage.com. Her new album, “Sweet Little Bloodhound” has just dropped and is now available on iTunes. (I’m listening to it right now!) Devlin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. read more here…

Cyber Monday and Holiday – Sweet Little Deals

Give the gift of music for the holidays and be the cool friend setting trends this giving season!  Sweet Little Bloodhound thanks you for sharing our music and being a super fan with our final package!

Gift packages for family, friends, and co-workers
Use these coupon codes upon check out after you fill your cart with listed items:

Sweet200

-10 Cds (gifts for friends and family) $150
-3 Tshirts (note size in notes) $60
-5 SLB Stickers $10
-3 Guitar pics $3
$150+$60+$10+$3= $223 – [Sweet200] = $200

Sweet100

-1 SLB Tshirt (note size in notes) $20
-6 Cds $90
-5 SLB Stickers $10
$20+$90+10=$120 – [Sweet100] = 100

Sweet50
-2 Tshirt- (please note size in notes) = $40
-1 cds = $15
-3 SLB Stickers = $6
$61 -[Sweet50] = $50

Sweet25
-1 SLB Cd $15
-1 SLB Autographed poster $5
-3 SLB Stickers $6
-1 SLB Guitar Pic $1
$15+$5+$6+1= $27 -[sweet25] = $25

Superfan

-1 SLB- MKaltenbach turquoise mix beaded bracelet with SLB charm $45
-1 SLB Autographed poster $5
-1 SLB Autographed CD $15
-1 T-shirt $20 (please note size in notes)
-3 SLB Guitar Picks $3
-3 SLB Stickers $6
$45+$5+$15+$20+$3+$6=$94 – [superfan] = $80

 

Shop here and put the above items in your cart, then add the coupon code for the discount https://sweetlittlebloodhound.com/?p=295

Sounds Local: Sweet Little Bloodhound via the Greenfield Recorder

Sounds Local: Sweet Little Bloodhound

Submitted photo<br /><br /><br />
Members  of Sweet Little Bloodhound pose with Officer Badge, the tracking dog with the Erving Police Department that appears in the album art for the band’s debut CD.Submitted photo Members of Sweet Little Bloodhound pose with Officer Badge, the tracking dog with the Erving Police Department that appears in the album art for the band’s debut CD.

By Sheryl Hunter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
(Published in print: Thursday, October 30, 2014)

“I’ll hunt you where you hide

Catch you every time

You’ll fear me on your trail

Sweet Little Bloodhound”

— Sweet Little Bloodhound

Singer-songwriter Devlin Miles was in the process of recording a follow-up to her 2009 album “Autumn’s Fires” when she realized she had to do something different.

“I needed to move away from the singer-songwriter thing because it has this connotation of a chick with a guitar and she is going to talk to you between every song,” said Miles with a laugh during a recent phone conversation from her home in Brooklyn. “I wanted people to hear the music as a whole entity and to know that when they bought the CD, it was going to be a band sound.”

The obvious way to accomplish this goal was to form a band and Miles didn’t have to look far to find her band mates.

Drummer Rick Mauran of Greenfield and guitarist Ben Falkoff of Amherst had been backing Miles, who also plays acoustic guitar, during her shows for the past four years. She had originally connected with the two musicians when she was assembling a band to back her during some shows at Six Flags amusement park some years back. They would go on to tour the Northeast under the moniker the Devlin Miles Band and they performed at one of the Coop concerts, as Miles is a member of the Franklin County Musicians Cooperative.

Miles has worked with many musicians throughout her career, but had never clicked with others the way she did with Mauran and Falkoff. She was not only impressed with their musicianship but with the commitment and passion they showed toward their music. Together, the three musicians formed Sweet Little Bloodhound and christened the music they play “soulful rock.”

Sweet Little Bloodhound released its debut, self-titled CD on Oct. 10. The group will celebrate with a CD release party at the Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St. in Northampton on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. Joining the band for this show will be a couple of the local musicians who performed on the CD, bassist Paul Kochanski and cellist Greg Snedeker.

Singer-songwriter Russell Kaback of Greenfield will open the show.

Miles, who divides her time between Brooklyn and Greenfield, was well established as a solo artist. Her album “Autumn’s Fires” received strong reviews and consistently placed in the top 40 on various online charts. She was the winner of the Subway Fresh Regional Artist competition and also came in first in a contest to open for Bon Jovi. She will continue to also perform solo.

“The band doesn’t negate my solo stuff,” she said. “It just encompass and welcomes the band’s participation. Ben has really great licks on the CD and Rick plays some really cool rhythm stuff, so it wasn’t just about my own personal identity in the industry but it was also about acknowledging the work that they have put into making the songs more unique.”

The band takes its name from the disc’s title track, a country-leaning ballad with an infectious hook.

“That name captured the band’s sound — a little bit southern, a little bit alt-rock — so it made sense,” Miles said.

If you name you band Sweet Little Bloodhound, then it is only natural your logo would incorporate an image of a bloodhound. But in case you haven’t noticed, bloodhounds are not a breed of dog you see walking down the street every day. So, the band had to do some extensive searching to find one to appear on the album’s artwork. They were thankful to come across K-9 officer Robert Holst of the Erving police department and his canine partner, Officer Badge.

“We found Officer Badge and he’s adorable and has a great personality,” said Miles about the dog.

But Officer Badge is a trained working dog, so posing for photographs didn’t come natural to him.

“He is a wild child,” Miles said. “He is trained to constantly search and seek, so when he picks up a scent, he just goes. And he is very strong, so when we were trying to control him for the shoot, it wasn’t always easy!”

But in the end the pictures came out fantastic and helped give the band a sense of what it is.

Officer Badge was recently presented with his own copy of the CD.

“Sweet Little Bloodhound” was recorded at the Signature Sounds Studio in Pomfret, Conn., and engineered by Mark Thayer. It features 15 tracks that showcase Miles ability to tell a story and convey deeply felt emotions in her lyrics. It includes two covers — one of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.”

Falkoff has a background in jazz and rhythm and blues while Mauran is a fan of rock artists like David Bowie. Miles is inspired by a wide range of musicians who range from Steven Tyler to Adele. Put all this together and you get a rock album with traces of country, pop and even funk sounds. Think the Heartbreakers fronted by Carrie Underwood instead of Tom Petty.

The disc opens with “Don’t Take it Personal,” an up-tempo song Miles co-wrote with Mauran. Miles said she is constantly finding inspiration in the world around her and that this song came about after she observed a co-worker being fired and packing up their personal belongs to leave. Other songs, like the sad ballad of loss “Echo,” arrived fully formed in a dream.

A strong supporter of other artists, Miles shares words of encouragement in her songs. On “Be Still” she sings “Don’t let others change your will/It’s your truth and your life.” Then there is the pure pop sound of “Superhero Female,” a song of female empowerment that encourages women to “rise together, be strong.”

Miles said that song is already getting a strong reception and that Bonnie Garcia, who is running for a state senate seat in California, has been playing it at her campaign rallies.

“What I hoped with this album is that people would listen to it and not get bored,” said Miles. “I wanted each song to have its own identity, but still work as part of a project. I wanted something out there in the world that was going to help people and move people and motivate them, to help them in their healing process,” she added.

Miles and her band mates accomplish this with the 15 tracks on “Sweet Little Bloodhound.” This disc is everything that you’d expect from music called “soulful rock” and the music here will make you feel, it will make you think, and best of all, it will have you singing along. This is a refreshing debut that leaves listeners hoping that there will be much more to come.

www.SweetLittleBloodhound.com

Advance tickets are $10 and available at online at www.iheg.com, at the Northampton box office, 76 Main St. in Northampton, or charge by phone at413-586-8686. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and national magazines. You can contact her at soundslocal@yahoo.com

10 Things: Avoid The ‘Uh-oh’ Moment

Avoid the ‘Uh-Oh’ Moment:

10 Things to remember when you are in the middle of recording your project by Devlin Miles

  1. There is a beginning, middle, and end
  • The Beginning everything is exciting and you are excited to hear your song come to life, energy is high, people are focused, the money is available
  • The Middle – spending too much time with people, people work and process in different ways, communication is key, too soon to judge the end product, be mindful of time wasters, focus wanes and the work begins, devil is in the details, be sure to have good back-ups the project is half over you want to make sure that if anything happens you have all the work you have invested in thus far.
  • The End – Things are wrapping up and the songs are finally taking shape, you can see the deadline, you need to get re-focused as the money is running out tempers and attitudes are flaring, people are getting testy, personality traits are shining through, weaknesses and strengths. You might need to be resourceful in how to get more money to finish the project to your liking, be aware of someone milking the budget because they don’t have anything else on the books, communicate your deadlines and be consistent with your follow up. Get all your files backed up and be sure that they are accessible- have another studio or friend check to see that the files are legible and that you will have what you need when you are pitching your tunes for Film/TV, correct charts and lyrics sheets as things can sometimes change in production, so you have them for live shows to send out to musicians on a moments notice.
  1. Getting the mixes
  • Your folders should look something like this:
  • get all the final mixes and save them in a folder for you to send on to mastering, get instrumental versions of the songs, I suggest having the final mix saved in 2 places: on your drive and on your computer and/or on the cloud, so you can save each song in a separate folder with charts and lyrics, Clouds- make file sharing so easy when you work with people in different locations.
    • Song title: Echo
    • Echo – Mp3 or mp4
    • Final mix wav and AIFF
    • Instrumental Echo
    • Background Echo track for karaoke or track singing
    • Echo Chart.pdf
    • Echo chord and lyric reference.pdf
  1. Back-up, back- up, back-up – Be sure to back –up every time now, there are some final nuances that happen every edit and you want the latest version. Be sure to “bounce’ the tracks after every session, so you will be able to listen to the latest version of your edits
  1. Don’t settle– you have come this far, do not settle. If the drums aren’t as crisp as you want them, tell the engineer. If you hate the background vocals or lead vocals do them again! Yes, time is money, but this is a product that you have to be proud of because you are the one that is going to be out there promoting it. I know from experience if you are not proud of the product you won’t take pride in ownership when you are promoting the Cd!
  1. Know when to say when – this might seem like a direct conflict with what I said above, but it is important to know when you have tweaked enough, there comes a time when you have to let the song, music, and lyrics tell the story and not let the littlest things in the mix get in the way of the song. If you have others listen to it and they point it out, then you know it has to be fixed.
  1. Listen on many different kinds of systems – Listen through earphones, car stereos, little speakers, and big speakers because you will hear different things. It also will give you a better understanding of what mastering will do. It will even out all the frequencies and get the song to sound consistent on all forms of playback
  1. Let others InSelect a few people to listen to the tracks and get their thoughts –warning make sure you are ready for honest feedback at this point. Point out any concerns you might have after they have listened and see if they agree. Warning if they aren’t hearing the song at this point, something is off in the mix, they shouldn’t be so distracted with the mix that they can’t hear the tune. Also be sure to pick people that enjoy and are familiar with your genre of music. For example, don’t ask cousin Sarah to listen to a metal tune if she hates metal- she has no frame of reference, like wise for Rap, Singer/songwriter, etc.
  1. Get out of your head –the reason you are doing this is to share it, don’t be so critical of yourself and others that you cripple the project. No one wants to work with a dictator or boss that is unappreciative, let others help you bring it to life and allow them the space to create around your frame work with that said – pay attention when someone really makes a tune stronger and decide whether you think it is worthy of a monetary recognition or a possible co-write. Warning you will be tied to this person as soon as you share co-writes, so be sure that they are going to help you promote it and take ownership, if they don’t strike you as motivated to help the song, don’t tie yourself to someone for life. They were paid and signed a “Work For Hire” agreement, correct? A must!!!
  1. Be kind and ask for help – This is really important, remember you need these people to make your songs great, so be kind in all your communications and even when speaking of the person, who might not have done their best performance on your song. Everyone has lives and unfortunately your project might not have made it on their priority list, so they didn’t perform to your standards, but when speaking of them in the professional world speak kindly as you never know who knows who and how everyone is interconnected within your little world. The second part of this point is to ask for help. When you need help finishing up a piece or when you are out of money, but still need something done, when you speak kindly and ask for help you might be surprised, who will rise to the occasion. Someone else might believe in your songs as much as you and want to be involved in your project and consider a co-write as payment or a payment plan, but be sure to honor the commitment, if this person pulls through for you and always refer that person- what goes around comes around!
  2. Be honest – honest when the money is running out, honest when you don’t like the reference mixes. Rather than sitting, bitching, and worrying about what you don’t like about the producer, engineer, musician, tracks, the process, discuss it with the person, so you can leave the communication open. We are all here to learn from one another and if you prefer to receive pretty polished mixes to share with your BG Vocalists and other additional instrumentalists speak up. This is also in the best interest for the producer/engineer as well because they want to put their best foot forward too to potential clients – (see 10 Things producers should know when working with indie artists)

Avoid The Uh-oh Moment PDF

 

 

 

10 Things: Know Your End Game

Know The End Game: 10 Things to budget for when recording your indie album

 By Devlin Miles

  1. Have the money set aside based on the estimate from the producer, do not co-mingle your money or you will end up not being able to finish your project
  2. Always budget 3+ days for mistakes – what? Yes, every time I have gone into the studio there are always things that you don’t plan for that happen. Here is a list of things that can trip you up in the studio.
    1. An instrument is out of tune –yes it happens and you don’t realize until after the musician is already gone
    2. The drum kit was not mic-ed properly and you are missing the Tom sound or the Sizzle on the cymbals
    3. The producer has an inspiration one day and then when you listen later you hate the way in turned out – that’s what you call a do-over
    4. Technical issues, so there is a delay
    5. You don’t like the lead vocals or background vocals, this is something that is saved for history, it is really important that you like the quality of the vocals. Vocals make or break a project!!! Remember this!!! (See Also: Raise The Spirits: 10 Things to do when you are recording vocals)
    6. Complicated pieces that the musicians have to record until they get it. (See Also: Be The Best: 10 things to do before you get to the studio)
  3. Where To Pitch Your Stuff – AAA, Country, Alternative Rock, etc? If you don’t know this you might very well end up with a little too much fiddle for country or not enough kick drum for pop.
  4. Artwork and Design – Determining where to pitch your stuff will also greatly influence your artwork. If you look around you will see lots of similarities in styles on album design, when artwork is used, when photography is more expected?
  5. PhotographyCan be very costly and it absolutely needs to be well executed. In no way should you ever chince on a background or take a selfie – never!!!
  6. Mastering – Do you want radio play and is your music appropriate for radio? What stations- name 5 right now, if you can’t find out where. If radio/TV is your end game then you cannot skip mastering it raises the bar of your sound and brings it to a commercially viable product that can play on many different mediums- car radio, internet, radio, etc.
  7. Duplication – How many cds should you have made? Although physical cd sales are down, vinyl is up or trending. Where do you fit and what age group will buy your product might directly influence whether they will stream your music for free on Spotify or if they will buy the cd in person or download it from Itunes.
  8. Merchandise – Will you have T-shirts, stickers, guitar pics, etc? Budget for it. Your fans and audience will determine which direction to go – but you will need tools to help you spread the word.
  9. Promotion – How are you gonna promote this beautiful sounding, looking, piece of art you have created? This is probably one of the most fickle points here – you can spend a lot of money on PR and get nowhere. The fickle part is you can pay upwards of $1500 a month to 10K dollars a month for an indie PR agency and there is absolutely no guarantee that they can get you any press.
  10. Professional Memberships/conferences You have to run on the same track as the as the Olympians to win a Gold medal- This is not an us and them kind of thing. If you have spent the time to get the excellent quality that you see on the Grammys, then why aren’t you competing with the other Grammy members? Make sure when you draw the line in the sand mentally that you are on the side where the other professionals are and not on the amateurs side.   (1 extra tip today)
  11. Time frame Be realistic and know that although you wrapped up recording in January that it is highly likely that fans won’t hear your music for 10-18 months! Establish a true timeline based on budget.

Know The End Game  PDF