- The Washington Times - Monday, February 21, 2000

Richard Dutchman designed his new Web site to strike a pleasing chord with struggling musicians.

Busy Musician (www.busymusician.com), based in Northwest, provides a free on-line magazine filled with business tips and information.

Mr. Dutchman, a professional drummer and writer for a music industry trade publication, wanted to appeal to a broad range of people in the music industry.

"I am combining my two passions, music and writing, to create a Web site that will serve musicians who work to earn their daily bread as well as star seekers," Mr. Dutchman said. "I want the site to serve the kid in a rock band and the classic instrumentalist."

Financed and developed by Mr. Dutchman, who is working with two unnamed investors on the project, planning began in July and the site went live in January.

The publication's content features Musical Societies and Unions, Music Marketing programs, equipment transportation advice bulletin board, columns and articles. The site also contains a community discussion area and news list.

"I found that most Web sites are targeting pop bands that are trying to make it big," Mr. Dutchman said. "I want Busy Musician to appeal to a broader group of professional musicians who need quality tools and information."

Sections cater to persons who are typically members of the musicians' union or in other associated businesses such as disc jockeys, sound engineers and producers. However, the up-and-coming rock band will find some leads to help them get out of the garage.

The magazine's content focuses on helping musicians find jobs and then collecting pay, joining unions, teaching, understanding contracts and creating a professional image.

"We are offering the tips and advice that people need to succeed when growing a small music business, whether they are solo artists, rock stars or in wedding bands," Mr. Dutchman said.

Articles are written by professionals that provide legal, consulting and professional advice. February's front page feature is by Ken Inouye, former booking manager for the 9:30 Club who discusses tips for the local rock star trying to book engagements on the local club scene.

The site even offers information one would normally have to pay for mainly from the legal circles. January's feature is "Organizing Your Band as a Company: A way to Protect Yourself and Keep Friends."

Written by entertainment lawyer and author Paul B. Ungar, who received his law degree following five years spent as a professional recording and touring musician, the piece discusses the different business agreements bandmates may have.

"The article speaks from experience," Mr. Ungar said. "Following graduation from Dartmouth, I was a working musician and I found it very difficult to find good advice, even when I paid for it. I appreciate this opportunity to share information that all musicians need to know."

Have an interesting Internet site? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Business Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002; call 202/636-3016; or e-mail (joseph@twtmail.com).

Site of the Week: BUSY MUSICIAN

Site address: www.busymusician.com

Creator: Banu Consulting (www.banu.com)

Recommended user group: Those that can play, sing, record, mix, promote or hire persons with musical talent.

What's to like? The site design is very clean and crisp without out a lot of annoying spinning objects and other motion taking away from its purpose of providing information.

Busy Musician is easy to navigate and quick loading, regardless of modem speed. The overall design is extremely professional in appearance which should help Mr. Dutchman in efforts to market his product.

The site features Job and Gig (performance) Listings by city and state for the entire country. Individuals can search by numerous areas, including Position, Instruments, Conductor/ Leader, Administrator and Audio Engineer.

Discussion lists vary from job opportunities to finding substitute musicians to buying and selling of instruments.

Registered users can receive a weekly e-mail briefing of news and events.

What's not to like? The site is still missing a lot of elements. Discussion lists and bulletin boards have yet to be started up, job listings are still very light and the archives are pretty empty.

But those are things that will hopefully change as Busy Musician develops and begins to market itself on the World Wide Web. I would think this would be a good site to watch if you are thinking of starting an on-line business, whether it be a commerce or publication site.

Plenty of links to go around: The site does not contain links at this time, but users will see a an icon for One List (www.onelist.com). Busy Musician employs One List discussion technology to for visitors using the community bulletin board.



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