Smash into the Republic this Wednesday at 7 p.m.for the premier of an upcoming series called the HIT ME AMERICA Louisiana Jam Sessions. Co-hosted by Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., the songwriters’ showcase will premiere eighteen individual musicians whose challenge is to write a hit song in one hour with the help of a live audience. Producer Steven Scaffidi has teamed up with the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame to film Wednesday’s event as well as subsequent jams, all eventually set for broadcast.
The showcase aims to introduce the public to selected artists by placing all of them on the same stage in one night. Some of the musician/songwriters include Steve Blaze (Lillian Axe), Vince Vance, Lynn Drury, Christian Serpas and Reed Alleman. In the middle of the show, the producers will go through the songwriting process to enlighten the audience on what Hit Me America will be like.
Mike Shepherd, Executive Director of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame says, “This is the wildest music event I’ve ever been involved with.”
The Jam Sessions call upon the local community to host private jams with any of the artists listed on the website. “Anything is possible,” says creator Scaffidi of Ghost Rider Pictures. They could be held at private residences, coffee shops, bars, schools, or even large venues like the Mahalia Jackson. Hosts invite their friends to be a part of the filming of this live music experience.
During the first hour of the jam, the performing artist will play original music and tell the stories behind the songs, but the challenge begins in the second hour when the artist takes cues from spectators with one common goal: to write a smash hit.
“The artist has no idea what the song will be like. The lady in the front row might yell something,” says Steven, “Someone in the back plays a drum riff on a coffee table. The artist can take or reject the ideas.”
At the end of the second hour, the musician will perform the finished piece. They must have a finished product and will only be allowed 30 minutes extra time if need be.
“It puts the artist under the gun and adds a bit of drama to see if the artist will freak out and crumble under the pressure, or deliver,” noted Scaffidi.
They’ll record it on the spot and submit it to record companies with hopes of getting it picked up. At the very least, it will end up on iTunes. The participants even share in the royalties and choose a charity to which they donate the earnings.
“It’s hard to get a song noticed these days. There’s lots of good music that never sees the light of day,” says Steven, “At the end of the day it’s about getting the music in front of the most people. It’s not like American Idol. We don’t control the artist, only the song created in the jam session. The concept is good for artists and gives the public a chance to be a part of the music. “
Any individual or group is eligible to apply here as long as they meet the criteria to cover filming costs.
Discounted tickets for Wednesday’s Showcase are available at this link.
Where: Republic New Orleans, 828 South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
When: Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Time: 7PM