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Grammy Award Winners Form Troubadour 77

 Salt Lake City-Based Troubadour 77 to Release EP Featuring New Music with Classic Rock Sound

Redhead Marketing & PR is getting back to our New York City music industry roots with an exciting new project by Grammy Award-winning songwriters and husband-wife team Anna Wilson and Monty Powell. Their new band, Troubadour 77, will be releasing its debut EP on April 7, and we’re pleased to be handling their PR campaign. Look for them at the BottleRock Festival in Napa over Memorial Day weekend! Here’s a press release distributed today:

Seeking to revolutionize the youth-dominated music industry, Grammy award-winning songwriters Anna Wilson (piano/lead vocals) and Monty Powell (guitar/vocals) have formed Troubadour 77 (aka T77). The band’s mission is to create new music with classic rock influences that appeal to older Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, two generations largely neglected by contemporary artists. Having been staples of the Nashville music scene for years, the husband-wife duo is now based in Salt Lake City with fellow band members Nathan Chappell (drums) and another pair of husband-wife musical collaborators Austin Weyand (guitar) and Kassie Weyand (bass). Troubadour 77 will release their “Troubadour 77 EP,” a collection of four songs written by Wilson and Powell, on April 7, 2017. It will serve to introduce the band to older classic rock fans marginalized by the industry and left longing for original music that resonates with them. Pre-Sale begins exclusively at iTunes on Friday, March 24, 2017.

Appealing to the modern music consumer who craves new content and continual engagement, the EP will kick off what T77 is calling a “progressive album” that will be completed over the next seven months by releasing one new song on the first Friday of each month, leading up to the full-length album that will be fully packaged and available on December 1, 2017.

Wilson says, “We like that we can leak songs out a little at a time to build anticipation for the full album. It feels like a win-win for listeners who like to get their music one song at a time, and also for the old school fan who appreciates a beginning-to-end listening experience. For those wanting the complete “progressive album” in advance, it will be available for download when the EP is released on April 7 exclusively at Pledge Music, pledgemusic.com/troubadour77 through the purchase of an Access Pass.

Collectively, Wilson and Powell have written a dozen #1 songs and countless album cuts featured on more than 70 million records sold worldwide and have co-produced unique projects that pay tribute to The Eagles, Billy Joel and the Countrypolitan era of music. Powell was a driving force in establishing Keith Urban’s career as the country star’s early producer and top collaborator, earning many prestigious awards for the songs they co-wrote. A critically acclaimed recording artist, Wilson has also written songs for Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Billy Ray Cyrus and penned the International theme song for Habitat for Humanity International.

“As Troubadour 77, we are writing and performing new music with a sound reminiscent of the classic singer-songwriter and California country artists that helped define our generation,” explains Monty Powell. “We hope to inspire listeners to reflect on and celebrate where they are in their lives while reducing the need to rely entirely on the nostalgia of a bygone era for their entertainment.”

While incorporating a classic rock style, T77’s subject matter evokes today’s political and social issues, as well as the circumstances and perspectives of an older, wiser audience of music lovers. In the spirit of 1960s and ‘70s protest music, Wilson and Powell have no qualms about addressing hot topics like gun violence and control in the EP’s focus track, “I Got a Gun” and immigration controversies in “Open Home.” “Steal Forever” speaks to the challenges of recapturing the magic of lost love, and “Troubadour” is dedicated to storytelling, something this songwriting team has proven to be so successful in doing throughout their accomplished careers.

Troubadour 77 has already shared billings with established acts like Brandi Carlile, and will kick off their summer tour at the sold out BottleRock Festival in Napa, CA over Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, the “Troubadour 77 EP” will be available at iTunes, Spotify, and all digital retailers. For more info, visit www.troubadour77.com.

Fan Mail and the Dying Art of Letter Writing Led to a Career in Communications

It’s no secret that I love to write and have been told countless times that it’s only fitting that my last name is “Reiter.” From writing “Little House on the Prairie” plays in the third grade (and, of course, starring as Laura Ingles Wilder), to penning tear-stained, homesick letters from summer camp in Maine, to being the founder/editor of a music review publication in high school to writing a column about single life in a ski town and posting reviews on Trip Advisor, writing is my preferred method of communication. I even use Facebook status updates as a creative outlet and a forum for practicing concise, attention-grabbing writing…an essential skill in this era dominated by soundbites and short attention spans.

A friend recently told me that her daughter writes letters to her out-of-town relatives. I found this pretty remarkable given that children are predominately limited to email and social media as their primary written communication channels. Hearing about this child made me reflect on how letter writing has been an integral part of my life. At times it has resulted in vindication, apologies, gifts, friendships and the satisfaction of guilt tripping loved ones (as in the case of my homesick letters to my parents from sleep-away camp)….or finding occasional solace and relief that comes from venting.

As an early teen, I was completely enamored by ’80s glam rock music a la Poison, Def Leppard, Guns ‘N’ Roses, etc. I developed the hobby of writing my version of fan letters to up and coming bands, convinced I’d be more likely to get their attention than that of the multi-platinum acts. After seeing the music videos for “Madelaine” and “Seventeen,” I targeted Winger with my grammatically correct, voluminous letters. I figured if I focused on praising their musicianship while also coming across as better educated and more sophisticated than their typical fans, my letters would stand apart from the groupie-type fan mail they were probably receiving. And just maybe I would get a response. Yes, I was that calculated even at the age of 13.


Winger, with Reb Beach pictured second from the left.

Amazingly, one day I came home from school to a message on my answering machine (yes, the mechanical device with cassette tapes that served as a pre-historic version of voice mail) from a woman claiming to be the mother of Winger guitar virtuoso Reb Beach. She found my letter in the pocket of his jeans while doing his laundry and was impressed by my writing and the fact that it resonated enough with him that he held on to it. Over the moon with excitement, I immediately phoned Mrs. Beach. We talked for hours as she recounted stories of Reb, his childhood and their family. She said she had encouraged him to write me back. Upon learning that my family would be in Massachusetts visiting friends, she invited us to stop by her bed and breakfast near Plymouth.

I’m sure the last thing Mom and Dad were interested in was meeting some rock star’s mom at her B&B, but as the supportive parents I’m fortunate to have, they indulged me. We wound up enjoying a wonderful visit with Mrs. Beach and soon after, she had Reb arrange for tickets and backstage passes for my brother, Good Sport Dad and me for a Winger concert at some far flung arena in New Haven, CT (unlikely there were many Yalies in attendance!). This first of many times meeting a band backstage was a monumental and pivotal moment. The band members were so attentive, raving about how much they loved my letters. The fact that they made me feel like a friend, not a fan, clearly spawned my desire to work closely with artists in the music industry much later on. After our meeting, the individual band members wrote to me from the road – even the once apprehensive Reb Beach!

What looks to be a more recent photo of Reb Beach

While I eventually outgrew my pen pal phase, letter writing remained instrumental, sometimes serving as a weapon. And I was a force to be reckoned with. During high school, I wrote a letter to an airline CEO highlighting in great detail an unsatisfactory flying experience. I received a few hundred dollars in travel vouchers and an apologetic letter in return. Around this time, I developed the art of writing engaging cover letters that landed me my first internship at a boutique music PR firm while I was still in high school. Years later, one boss confessed he hired me over another candidate because I took the time to mail a hand-written thank you note as a follow up to my interview.

Although I am dismayed that letter writing seems to be an increasingly forgotten form of communication, I wanted this blog to serve as a reminder that writing letters can create lasting impressions, often yielding great results… whether it’s meeting your favorite band, landing your dream job, getting a letter to an editor published in the local paper, or communicating your feelings to a boyfriend when you don’t have the courage to verbalize them.

In my case, letter writing led me down my chosen career path. True to my childhood dream, I started my career in the music industry, worked with some amazing artists and used my writing skills to communicate their stories to the media who would in turn relay those stories to the public. I continue to enjoy working with public figures as I find it gratifying to help them become better known personalities and hopefully secure them some time in the limelight.

Granted, my writing letters to the Winger band members resulted in some friction due to unwanted attention. The New York Post learned of the unlikely friendship that ensued between a New York City private school student and a hard rock band and wanted to cover it from a human interest perspective. I met and interviewed with the reporter, but the band’s record label got wind of the article and feared it would overly soften Winger’s image. They pressured me to convince the journalist to pull the story, and I complied naively thinking it was also the wish of the band members. If only this initial exposure to the inner workings of the music industry had left a more sour taste in my mouth, I could have spared myself the “Devil Wears Prada”- type career experiences I was subjected to 10 years later. Ultimately, this was a valuable, early lesson in public relations that remains relevant to this day as a business owner and communications professional.